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Posts Tagged ‘Family Dinner’

Over scheduled would be the word I try to avoid every fall. With school, starting sports and activities usually, resume making school nights hectic. There are so many great opportunities and it is easy to overbook children with sports and extracurricular activities. Some years we really miss the mark, other years we do better at prioritizing activities and schoolwork.

Like adults, children also need downtime to be at their best. If we want our children to do, their best in school we want to set them up for success in the evenings. Parents need to give children adequate time to complete schoolwork and prepare for the next day. Providing this time in the evening can be tough with multiple children, homework, and activities. Try a few of these suggestions to help with over scheduled school nights:

Child working on homework

1. Make eating dinner a priority. There are many benefits to regular family meals. These include higher self-esteem, better academic performance, lower substance abuse and lower rates of obesity. Sitting together for meals can help increase family unity. Planning a family dinner in the schedule on school nights can help family members slow down, regroup and unwind from the day.

2.     Help children with homework. This can help children do well in school but also this time is beneficial to parents making sure their students are staying up with classwork, and getting adequate time to complete their assignments.

3. The start of each school year is a good time to evaluate the academic, social, physical and emotional needs of each child when it comes to extra activities. Keep in mind that children are unique and their needs will be different. Some children can handle their schoolwork and extracurricular activities without difficulty. Other children may benefit from more time for homework and fewer activities.  

4.     Have an evening routine. Routines are beneficial for keeping families organized. An evening routine could include family dinner, homework time, chores, time for activities and bedtime. Children need different amounts of sleep depending on their age.  Children who do not get enough sleep can struggle academically, and be tired or cranky at school.   

Carefully selecting the right balance of extracurricular activities can be difficult. Parents providing support can be beneficial to children as they try to balance academics, friends, sports and other activities. In the end, academics will be important to your child’s success. Choosing academics over one more activity, or working on a slower evening routine may exactly what a child needs to feel prepared for their next day of school.  

Written by: Alisha Barton, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County.

Reviewed by: Lorrissa Dunfee, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Belmont County.

Sources:

“Benefits of Family Dinners.” The Family Dinner Project, https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/about-us/benefits-of-family-dinners/.

College-Homework-Help.org. “Should Parents Help with Homework to Let Their Kids Succeed at School.” Should Parents Help with Homework to Let Their Kids Succeed at School, https://college-homework-help.org/blog/should-parents-help-with-homework.

“Routines for a New School Year.” Live Healthy Live Well, 13 Feb. 2019, https://livehealthyosu.com/2018/08/06/routines-for-a-new-school-year/.

“Signs Your Child Isn’t Sleeping Enough.” Sleep.org, https://www.sleep.org/articles/signs-your-child-isnt-sleeping-enough/.

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Join me in Going Red this Friday. I wear red to increase awareness about the dangers of heart disease and to honor my parents. Heart disease is very personal to me as I lost both my parents in their 50’s to this disease. Heart disease continues to be the number 1 killer of men and women in the United States.

Did you know that heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet it’s 80% preventable?

At your next meeting, family gathering or social event, look around you and count the number of women in the room. If there are 21 women in the room, 7 women will die from heart disease and stroke. When I think about an office where 6 women work, realizing that 2 women will die from heart disease and stroke is sobering. What about at our family holiday party where there are 15 women in our immediate family? 5 of us will die from heart disease. These numbers bring it home to many of us. 

What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke? These suggestions are not just for women, they are for men, too. The American Heart Association website shares tips to encourage all of us to be heart healthy:
Be Active – aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This can help you lose weight as well as lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems. Talk with your health care professional about your activity level before beginning a program. Get their advice and get moving!
Manage your Weight – if you need to lose weight, set goals and begin this journey by adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Eating a diet high in fresh vegetables and fruits may help you achieve a healthy weight. Drink water, move more and eat those veggies.
Stop Smoking – if you are a smoker, make this your year! It is never too late to quit. Gather your support and make the change.
Know Your Numbers but Manage Your Risk – According to the American Heart Association, these are the ideal numbers for the general adult population:

Total Cholesterol – less than or equal to 180 mg/dL
Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than or equal to 25 kg/m2
Blood Pressure of less than 120/80 mm/Hg
Fasting Blood Sugar of less than or equal to 100 mg/dL

Show your commitment to living a healthier lifestyle by wearing Red this Friday. Visit  https://www.goredforwomen.org for more information on how you can begin to make positive lifestyle changes.

Do you like to cook? Want some new heart healthy recipes? Check out these heart healthy snacks: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/heart-healhty-snacks-and-eating-on-thego/heart-healthy-snacks-for-kids/
For fast family dinners, visit: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/cooking-heart-healthy-for-the-family/fast-family-weeknight-meals/

This is why I will Go Red on Friday.

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Family Photo: Debbie Klinger, sister of author, Brandy Harris, niece of author, and Michelle Treber, author.  Monument photo: my parents monument.

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu

 

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