Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Healthy Relationships’ Category

Juneteenth flag

What do you do to celebrate Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday signifying the date June 19, 1865, when a Union general told the slaves in Galveston, Texas that slavery had been abolished ­– two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves. Last year Juneteenth became an official national holiday, after congress passed the Juneteenth Act and President Biden signed it into law on June 17, 2021.

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, “Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future”. You can celebrate this holiday in many ways, including music and food!

Juneteenth celebrations often include picnics or cookouts, customarily celebrated with foods red in color. The color red signifies ingenuity and resilience in bondage and it’s also a nod to drinks traditional to West Africa that were made with hibiscus flowers and red kola nuts, according to historian Adrian Miller.

Some red produce options for your Juneteenth celebration include:

water infused with strawberries and fresh herbs
  • Strawberries – in-season right now, you could celebrate Juneteenth by visiting a strawberry patch to pick and enjoy this fresh fruit. Strawberries can also be added to fresh squeezed lemonade, combined with basil to make a refreshing infused water, or used in desserts like strawberry shortcake.
  • Red cabbage – you could make a crunchy red cabbage slaw with a red wine vinaigrette.
  • Watermelon – eat as is, make it the centerpiece of a fantastic fruit salad, or create a fun fruit pizza.
  • Beets – roast and add to a salad, or puree into a colorful dip.
  • Red beans – try a traditional red beans and rice dish.
a plate of watermelon slices

Other traditional foods served at Juneteenth celebrations include collard greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, corn bread, red velvet cake, strawberry soda, and smoked or barbecued meats.

Whichever foods you choose to add to your Juneteenth celebration, I hope that you enjoy your holiday!

Writer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Franklin County.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Ross County.

Sources:

National Museum of African American History and Culture. Juneteenth. https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/juneteenth

Turner, T. (2021). Chow Line: Healthy red food options for Juneteenth. https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/chow-line-healthy-red-food-options-for-juneteenth

Read Full Post »

My daughter at graduation

Sunday marked a milestone as my youngest child graduated high school. While I knew this day would be filled with mixed emotions, I also knew I had done my best to prepare my daughter, and previously her two older brothers, for this new chapter. High school graduation marks a significant achievement, not only for the graduate, but also for those who have helped them to this point. When I became a parent nearly 25 years ago, I realized my responsibility was to help ensure my children had received the skills and guidance necessary to fly from my nest when the time came. I can proudly say that both my sons have done fairly well and I have no doubt my daughter will as well.

I have been fortunate to have children who did not struggle much, if at all, with school. In fact, my daughter was the valedictorian of her class and my older son graduated from college a few years ago with Summa Cum Laude distinction. My younger son has to work a little more in school. He is more hands on and mechanically inclined, so I don’t worry too much about him. He will be able to use these skills since he is pursuing an engineering degree. College certainly isn’t for everyone, there are other options for higher education besides a traditonal 4-year institution. There are lots of things to consider when determining what option is right for someone and just because someone may choose not to pursue higher education immediately out of high school, does not mean they cannot at a later time.

My daughter and two sons at her graduation

In order for children to grow in their confidence and competence, they must be given opportunities to use their current skills and knowledge, as well as to learn new ones. Stepping aside and allowing your children to make mistakes takes a lot of reserve and discipline. As parents, we want nothing more than for our children to succeed and to do so with minimal hardships. While this is a lofty notion, it is virtually impossible for children to develop many of the necessary skills and abilities to navigate the real world without stumbling along the way. Of course I am talking about small everyday stumbles, like being late to school due to oversleeping. Our children still need us for those bigger things. Letting them experience the consequences of their actions or decisions for those everyday things can teach them valuable “life” lessons and perhaps help them to avoid more serious issues later.

Here are a few tips from Dr. Bhargava to prepare your teens for the next step:

  1. Change your focus.
  2. Avoid quick fixes.
  3. Give your child the freedom to fail.
  4. Promote independence.
  5. Make college  or training decisions together.
  6. Ask about mental health support on campus or at their job.

As my daughter prepares to head off to college in August, like her brothers before her, I will continue to support her and encourage her as she makes those final decisions over the summer. I will make sure she knows that while she may be flying from the nest, no matter where in life her wings take her, I will always be here for her.

Author: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu

Read Full Post »

As springtime activities get into full swing, are you busier than you’d like to be? Do you find it difficult to get everything done on your to do list? Even more importantly, does your calendar match your priorities in life? If not, maybe it is time to de-clutter your schedule and reestablish your priorities.

planner on table with vase of flowers and jar of sidewalk chalk

Many of us wear our busyness like a badge of honor when maybe instead it’s a burden that needs lightened. Organizational and time management skills can help you be more efficient. But even the best time management strategies aren’t enough to tackle a schedule that is just too full. We tend to over-estimate what we can accomplish in a day, and under-estimate the amount of time a certain task will take. Maybe we need to observe our patterns, acknowledge our limits, and clarify the values that add meaning to our lives. These principles apply to both work and personal life.

There is no easy checklist for finding balance, but here are some things to consider:

  • Set priorities. Sometimes that means making tough choices… letting some thing(s) go. Before committing to yet another project or volunteer opportunity or an activity for your child, ask yourself if it fits into your priorities.
father-figure blowing bubbles with 2 little girls on grass
  • Get on the same page. Make sure your family agrees on priorities. Before you add a big commitment to the calendar, check with your spouse or partner to avoid unnecessary time crunches.
  • Acknowledge your limits. As much as we try to do it all, we have limits. Be realistic with your calendar and your energy level on the number of commitments you have, and do the same for the other members of your family to avoid having overscheduled kids.
  • Say no. We probably kick ourselves more often for saying yes when we should have said no (than the other way around). No is such a little word, and yet it holds so much power to free up the schedule.
  • Keep your focus. Reestablishing priorities is a cyclical process as we go through life. Make sure those priorities show up on your daily to do list, as a way of being intentional about keeping your focus on what is most important.

For more information, check out these blog articles about how to create margin in your life and find balance.

Writer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

References:
Carter, S. “Creating Margin in Your Life.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, August 2017.

Carter, S. “Overscheduled Kids.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, May 2017.

Price, R. et al. Time Management: 10 Strategies for Better Time Management (C 1042) University of Georgia Extension, April 2020.

Treber, M. “Balancing Act – Helping You Find Your Balance.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, September 2015.

Read Full Post »

I’ve always been curious about the outdoors but never really thought about how or what I do when I’m outside, until recently when a friend asked me, “How do you do nature?”  What a great question! It’s sometimes hard to know what to do when something is new or there is a shift in perspective, so here is a quick guide that will help get you started.

Before you get started here are a few things to keep in mind…first, it does not matter where you live…city country, or in an alleyway…nature IS all around us…if we just stop and notice.  Second, don’t overthink it. Just get out before you change your mind!  Stepping outside into your backyard might be a great place to start and when ready consider going to an Ohio park. Have the courage to turn off the TV and other devices and just go outside. Begin where you feel comfortable…for me it was in my own yard and only took a few minutes, so this does not have to be time consuming unless you want it to be. 

Once outside, you might be asking yourself “What do I do now?” Here are three simple ideas and a place to start:

blue skies, looking up at pine trees
Source: Gallup, S., March 29
  1. LOOK UP. As simple as this sounds…just look up. What do you see? Are you under the trees? Or the clouds?  As you look up, your thoughts begin to slow down, and you may begin to notice things you have not seen before.
  2. LOOK DOWN. What is under your feet? Mud? Grass? Tiny flowers?  Notice how you feel in this moment. Do you feel like sitting? Did you see something you wanted to take a closer look at? It is always amazing to me to see flowers or grass growing out of tiny little cracks in rock or concrete!
  3. LISTEN.  Stop and listen. What do you hear? Birds? Wind? Cars? Is it quiet?  Our senses come alive when we take the time to be still and we notice is amazing.   
Grass with single purple flower

Going into nature might feel a little awkward, but it gets easier the more you go out. For example, I started in my backyard and now this season I have walked the same path each day with my dog. We walk under the pines near the hospital and factories (in the city). I walked that path about 100 times and then one day, suddenly, I noticed that the pine trees I was walking under were all different!! It was a moment of awe and amazement for me!  From there my mind became more curious and found myself in nature more often, craving what few tend to stop and notice.  

I hope you find your way into nature.  Remember…don’t overthink it…just go! And remember to slow down, look up, look down, listen and look all around.

References:

Gallup. S.L. (2021). Falling In Love with Nature. https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/05/19/falling-in-love-with-nature/

Stanton, L. M. (2021). Get Out! Celebrate Nature on Earth Day and Every Day. https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/04/19/get-out-celebrate-nature-on-earth-day-and-every-day

Written by:  Shari Gallup, MS., Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Licking County, Ohio. Gallup.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Laura M. Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60.osu.edu

Read Full Post »

As we age there are many important things to consider. One of those important considerations is living arrangements. With the aging of America, the retirement living industry has grown exponentially over the past decade providing the seniors of today and tomorrow a vast variety of housing and care options. Understanding the housing choices that are offered can make your selection easier.

The first option is continuing to live at home. As with any other critical decision, you should think about the benefits and challenges of living at home. Some benefits may include being surrounded by friends and family in a familiar setting. Some challenges may include needing outside help with everyday tasks and feeling isolated and lonely.

If you choose to stay at home, think about possible modifications that can be done around your house to make your later years of life easier. This concept of making the home more accessible and safer is called Universal Design. The Virtual Universal Design Tour can show you ideas on modifications that can be made to your home.

The next option is to move to an outside facility. There are various types of settings depending on your desires and needs. Understanding the various options is important to help guide your decisions. Here is a brief overview of housing options for older adults:

Active Adult Communities – offer services and amenities aimed at giving residents a more carefree lifestyle, while also providing social engagement opportunities of all kinds.

Independent Living -refers to a way of life in residential communities designed specifically for those who have reached or are nearing retirement age, but want to remain active and independent.

Assisted Living – is a communal way of life designed for seniors who need help with various daily tasks like grooming, bathing, and medication management, but still wish to remain as independent as possible.

Skilled Nursing Care – provide skilled nursing care, a level of care provided by a registered nurse who monitors a patient’s health and administers treatment around-the-clock.

Residential Care Homes – provide individualized service, often in a standard single-family home. These houses have been modified to accommodate the needs of seniors, and are generally licensed by the state for only two to six beds. Similar to assisted living, residents receive 24-hour care and assistance with activities of daily living, including medication management, housekeeping services, transportation to doctor’s appointments as needed, meals, and social programs.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – offers several different senior living options or care levels all on one campus. It provides a peace-of-mind guarantee of care to residents for the rest of their lives.

Long-Term Care – refers to any community that provides 24-hour care on a long-term basis. Assistance generally includes regular supervision, help with activities of daily living as needed, medication reminders, housekeeping, meals, and social activities.

Memory Care – long-term care that helps those with dementia of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory care is either offered at a stand-alone community, or as an add-on service at some assisted living facilities, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and nursing homes.

Housing decisions are unique to everyone and will depend on personal preferences, financial resources, and care needs. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging offers A Guide for Making Housing Decisions that provides more detailed information for housing options for older adults.

Written by: Kathy Tutt, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County

Sources:

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Housing Options for Older Adults: A Guide for Making Housing Decisions, retrieved from: https://www.usaging.org/files/HousingOptions.pdf

Prosch, T. (2014). The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking with your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life. United States: McGraw-Hill Education.

Read Full Post »

fresh strawberries and flowers

Join the “Spring Into Wellness” Email Challenge Now!

Challenge Dates: April 4 – May 15, 2022

Topics Covered:

  • Financial Wellness
  • Social Wellness
  • Intellectual Wellness
  • Creative Wellness
  • Environmental Wellness
  • Emotional Wellness
  • Physical Wellness
  • Occupational Wellness
  • Spiritual Wellness
  • Balance

What is the cost? It’s FREE!!

Who can participate? Any adult with an email account.

How do I sign up? Look at this chart and find your county. Go to the link beside your county and register before March 28, 2022.

County Registration Link
Belmont go.osu.edu/LHLWBelmont
Brown go.osu.edu/LHLWclermontbrown
Butler go.osu.edu/LHLWButler
Carroll go.osu.edu/LHLWCarroll
Champaign go.osu.edu/LHLWChampaign
Clark go.osu.edu/LHLWClark
Clermont go.osu.edu/LHLWclermontbrown
Coshocton go.osu.edu/LHLWCoshocton
Darke go.osu.edu/LHLWdarmerpreb
Defiance go.osu.edu/LHLWnwohio
Fairfield go.osu.edu/LHLWFairfield
Franklin go.osu.edu/LHLWFranklin
Fulton go.osu.edu/LHLWnwohio
Hancock go.osu.edu/LHLWHancock
Hardin go.osu.edu/LHLWHardin
Henry go.osu.edu/LHLWnwohio
Hocking go.osu.edu/LHLWFairfield
Holmes go.osu.edu/LHLWHolmtusc
Knox go.osu.edu/LHLWKnox
Licking go.osu.edu/LHLWLicking
Lucas go.osu.edu/LHLWLucas
Mahoning go.osu.edu/LHLWMahoning
Medina go.osu.edu/LHLWMedina
Mercer go.osu.edu/LHLWdarmerpreb
Monroe go.osu.edu/LHLWMonroe
Morrow go.osu.edu/LHLWMorrow
Ottawa go.osu.edu/LHLWOttawaSandusky
Paulding go.osu.edu/LHLWpauputvw
Perry go.osu.edu/LHLWPerry
Pickaway go.osu.edu/LHLWPickaway
Pike go.osu.edu/LHLWPike
Preble go.osu.edu/LHLWdarmerpreb
Putnam go.osu.edu/LHLWPauputvw
Ross go.osu.edu/LHLWRoss
Sandusky go.osu.edu/LHLWOttawaSandusky
Trumbull go.osu.edu/LHLWTrumbull
Van Wert go.osu.edu/LHLWPauputvw
Warren go.osu.edu/LHLWWarren
Washington go.osu.edu/LHLWWashington
Williams go.osu.edu/LHLWnwohio
Wood go.osu.edu/LHLWWood

If your county isn’t listed, you may register with this link:

go.osu.edu/lhlwopen

For more information, contact Lisa Barlage, barlage.7@osu.edu or Roseanne Scammahorn scammahorn.5@osu.edu. 

Spring into Wellness with Extension!

Sponsored by Ohio State University Extension

Read Full Post »

Let’s face it the last couple of years has been a whirlwind of events that have challenged us all!  The pandemic, racial tensions, natural disasters, and now the war in Ukraine. That isn’t even including the daily events in our lives that add stressors.  Talking to our kids about difficult subjects is one of the toughest things a parent has to do.  It’s hard to put the words together to address such big issues.

Communication helps us to process and to make sense of things we don’t understand. Offering guidance, a listening ear, and explaining current events brings comfort and allows children to understand and process subjects that are challenging (even if we don’t know all the answers).

Allow your child to lead the conversation. This helps you learn exactly what they are concerned about, so you can address it. Ask open-ended questions to gauge their understanding, make sure you are not distracted, and take your time. Making eye contact and repeating back what they say without judgment teaches them how to be good listeners and gives them the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings. Be sure to let them know you are there to talk to them when they are comfortable and ready. Lastly, be honest. If you don’t know the answer it is ok to say, “I don’t know, can I get back to you on that?”  Lying can cause damage and may result in the child getting information somewhere else.  It is best that they get information from a trusted adult.

Talking about difficult subjects with children’s guidelines:   

  • Be honest
  • Limit small kids’ exposure to age-appropriate subjects by turning off social media, tv, radio
  • Let them know you are a safe person to share with
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Acknowledge their feelings. Let them know you understand it is OK to have these feelings of uncertainty. 
  • Ask what they would do if they were in a difficult situation
  • Get them to consider solutions
  • Ask them if they ideas to help or change the situation and what they can do

Sources:

Walls, T. (2020.) How to Talk to Your Child About the News. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/news.html

Rocker, L. (2020). Breaking Bad News to Your Children.  https://www.childpsychologist.com.au/resources/breaking-bad-news-to-your-children-quirky-kids-6-top-tips

Children’s Museum Team, (2020). 7 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Difficult Subjects. https://www.cmosc.org/talking-about-difficult-subjects/

Written by:  Kellie Lemly M.Ed., Family Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension, Champaign County, lemly.2@osu.edu

Reviewer: Roseanne Scammahorn, Ph.D. Family Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension, Darke County, scammahorn.5@osu.edu

Read Full Post »

I have lost track of how many diets I’ve started. How many Mondays were going to be a “new start”. How many “cheat meals” I’ve indulged in, or the number of times I’ve promised myself that I would make it to the gym and then didn’t.  Infinity.  Inner talk like this has been a habit of mine for several years.  I think and talk about goals I’ve set and new routines I want to try but then when it comes to doing it. . . . You know the story.

Silhouette of businessman holding target board on the top of mountain with over blue sky and sunlight. It is symbol of leadership successful achievement with goal and objective target.

Let’s all take a minute and admit; self-improvement is hard.  Say it out loud if you want because it’s true and it deserves to be acknowledged. 

Often, we go out of our way to keep a promise that we made to a friend or family member, but we think nothing of breaking a promise we’ve made to ourselves.  Promises we make to ourselves are just as important as the promises we make to others.  Forbes referred to these in 2020 as “the most important promise you’ll make.”

With the new year starting did you make a promise to yourself? Was it to exercise or walk more? Maybe your promise was to eat more fruits and vegetables?  Are you trying to reduce the sugar you consume each day? Whatever that promise was that you made to yourself- we want to help you keep it!!

Here are a few strategies to help you reach your goal successfully:

 Don’t just talk about your goal, plan HOW you can meet it. Start with a small goal.  Aim to drink more water every day or add one fruit and veggie to lunch and dinner. It can be easier to add a habit than to take one away. When that goal is conquered, set another. Have a goal that is measurable and specific.  Having steps will help you achieve your goal. Consider telling a friend and inviting them to join you. There can be power in being accountable to someone and having their support. Having a friend join you in achieving your goal can help you feel motivated while being consistent.

2022 Goal, Plan, Action checklist text on note pad with laptop, glasses and pen.

Be honest with yourself as you go through this process. Be honest about what your actions are and how they relate to your goal. Are the little things you are doing every day supporting your goal steps? Examine your time and abilities. Be realistic and set yourself up for success instead of failure.

Lastly, be positive.  We can be so hard on ourselves when we miss a step or take a small detour. Recognize a failure or a setback as an opportunity to learn. Take that lesson and move on, don’t throw your goal away because of a mistake or bump in the road. It might not hurt to forget that self-improvement is a lifelong journey. I love the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh reminding me “Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us; it is the most important day of our lives.”  Work on that promise to yourself today.

Written by: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Miami County.

Reviewed by:  Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Ross County.

Sources:

57 thich Nhat Hanh quotes on mindfulness (to live a more meaningful life). Develop Good Habits. (2020, November 17). Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.developgoodhabits.com/thich-nhat-hanh-quotes/

Blaschka, A. (2020, December 14). How to keep the most important promise you’ll make. Forbes. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyblaschka/2020/12/15/how-to-keep-the-most-important-promise-youll-make/?sh=66a64964127c

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 23). 3 reasons to work out with a friend. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/workout-buddy.html

Jantz, G. L. (2016, May 16). The power of positive self-talk | psychology Today. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hope-relationships/201605/the-power-positive-self-talk

Treber, M. (2014, January 17). Set a wellness goal for the New Year. Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2013/01/07/set-a-wellness-goal-for-2013-4/

Read Full Post »

January 10, 2022 by Jennifer Little

https://stocksnap.io/author/mattmoloney

Human Trafficking is an issue that affects Ohioans of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, and Wear Blue Day is an effort to raise awareness of the signs and to, ultimately, stop this crime which destroys lives of vulnerable people in our own communities, and across the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice describes Human Trafficking as” a crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex”.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 further recognized that this issue includes the use of “force, fraud or coercion” as well as the recruitment of those too young to give legal consent (under age 18).  This Act began to draw national attention to what is often referred to as “modern day slavery”.

The Department of Homeland Security describes the many ways this issue affects the people and institutions of United States – “Human trafficking threatens our physical and virtual borders, our immigration and customs systems, our prosperity, our national security, our personal and public safety.” Addressing the issues related to human trafficking is a national priority and includes strategies 1) to support organizations combating Human Trafficking, 2) to limit the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and 3) to end Child Sexual Exploitation.

Human Trafficking is not only a national concern, but a significant problem right here in Ohio.  According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Update in January 2020, Ohio ranks 4th in the nation for prevalence of human trafficking, even though our state population is only ½ to 1/3 of other highly ranked states.  In 2019 the Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission was part of an effort that rescued 110 trafficked victims and referred another 217 people to victim services.  One major Ohio law enforcement operation in 2020, involved 76 open missing/exploited children cases. 

January 11th is National Wear Blue Day and is part of the Blue Campaign sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and to educate individuals, law enforcement and organizations about how to recognize indications of human trafficking, and what to do if they suspect someone is being trafficked.

What are signs that someone may be the victim of human trafficking?

  • A person who appears fearful, timid or acts overly submissive or defers to an older or controlling companion for basic questions
  • Someone who has a sudden or significant change in behavior or withdrawal from school or other outside activities
  • A person who seems to lack possessions or appears to have been denied food, sleep, or medical care
  • A person who appears to have bruises at various stages of healing, signs that he/she may have experienced physical abuse over time
  • Someone who seems to have an overly restrictive living situation, such as limited ability to move about or to leave on their own

What can you do to assist someone you suspect may be a victim of human trafficking or to help combat this issue in your community?

  1. Report suspected human trafficking to the federal authorities at 1-866-347-2423.
  2. Encourage or assist the victim to text HELP or INFO to 233733 (BeFree). 
  3. Bring awareness to this crime by participating in #WearBlueDay on January 11th. Learn more about @DHSBlueCampaign and #WearBlueDay here:  https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/wearblueday.                                                                                                           
  4. In Ohio, participate in the Attorney General’s initiative to end human trafficking by visiting the website:  https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/humantrafficking.

Written by: Jennifer Little, MS, RD, LD, FCS Educator, OSU Extension Hancock County

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, MEd, FCS Educator, OSU Extension Wood County

Sources:

  1. U.S. Department of Justice website:  https://www.justice.gov/humantrafficking
  2. Homeland Security Human Trafficking webpage: https://www.dhs.gov/topic/human-trafficking
  3. Ohio Attorney General website: https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Newsletters/Criminal-Justice-Update/January-2020/New-human-trafficking-efforts-aim-to-make-a-differ
  4. Homeland Security Blue Campaign webpage: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/wearblueday

Read Full Post »

a gift-wrapped box

With the holiday season comes gift-giving to our young people. Often, the gift box contains new technology for our teens and even younger children. The device could be a first cell phone, tablet, or even a laptop. When our young people exhaust playing with toys, we default to technology as the next level of gifts. My children are young adults now, but I can remember back to the iPod, laptops, Nintendo DS, Wii, and smartphones opened from the boxes at Christmas. For my son, we waited until 13 for his first phone, but for my daughter, we surprised her a year early at 12. As adults, we were in control, and we decided when they would get access. However, looking back, I would have delayed gifting some technology until later. 

It does not have control when it is in the box, but once you open Pandora’s technology box, devices can control a person. It is hard enough as adults to have the willpower to set down our devices. Young people struggle even more without fully developed will-power or self-regulation. Healthy boundaries are good to provide and can benefit children’s mental health. Setting technology boundaries before a device is out of the box or turned on for the first time is the best practice.

Some best practices include setting up data limits. If the data runs out, they can still use the device as a phone or in Wi-Fi, but they have just exhausted their “connected time”. Most phones now come with a screen time feature that limits time on certain apps, at certain times of the day, or which apps can be downloaded. Use these features to help enforce the guidelines, but do not depend on them alone. The Internet is a dangerous playground for youth to access unsupervised. Set restrictions on which types of websites they can visit and ensure all Internet use is done in public spaces.

Phones also have helpful features, like knowing your children’s location or contacting them after school. Some educational apps will help youth study and learn about different topics. Show your youth how they can be content creators rather than just consumers. Many apps teach youth coding to create the app versus just consuming the app. Ohio 4-H just launched a program called Clovers CODE, which helps youth in 4-H learn to create apps and the code behind the app.

Modeling guidelines is also important. If your family rule is no phones in bedrooms, then have a family charging station in a central place in the home. Introduce a “no phones at dinner time” rule and abide by that. Show your children that immediate responses to their friends are not urgent and can wait by delaying your own replies. And instead of spending time on devices, enjoy time together this holiday playing family games.

As you wrap up all your boxes this holiday season, do not forget to think outside the box and set your family boundaries before the technology is gifted to your children.

Written by Mark D. Light, Ph.D., Leader, Ohio 4-H STEM & Digital Engagement Innovations

Reviewed by Jenny Lobb, MPH, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

References:

Abi-Jaoude, E., Naylor, K. T., & Pignatiello, A. (2020). Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health. Canadian Medical Associaton Journal192(6), E136-E141. https://www.cmaj.ca/content/192/6/E136

Dempsey, S., Lyons, S., & McCoy, S. (2019). Later is better: Mobile phone ownership and child academic development. Economic and Social Research Institute. http://aei.pitt.edu/101971/1/RB201903_01.pdf

Wiles, B. B., Schachtner, L., & Pentz, J. L. (2016). The New Screen Time: Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones Enter the Equation. Journal of Extension54(2), 10. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol54/iss2/10/

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »