Parents of teens are sometimes asking “how do I get them to eat enough, but not too much?” Well it turns out that is a layered question! With so much development in this age group, there is a lot to take in. Hear all the insight, strategies, and recommendations in today’s episode.
Your child’s first 1000 days of their life are a great opportunity to establish their eating habits. Listen in to learn why this time is so important and hear strategies for making the most of this important time!
By now you’ve heard our hosts tell you that everyone has a natural temperament, come explore how your child’s may be influencing how they eat!
We may have strong beliefs and values around food and our kids, but what we actually do and say has the most impact. In this episode, you’ll hear practical strategies for raising a healthy and independent eater.
Baby-Led Weaning is an infant feeding method that’s been getting more attention in recent years, but some parents are wondering if there is science to support it. In this episode, our special guest cohost will help us explore the research and reality on this infant feeding approach!
When it comes to parenting, being on the same page or in agreement with your co-parent usually brings some stability and confidence with decision making. When co-parents agree to a parenting philosophy their actions communicate a solid foundation that can provide boundaries and safety for the entire family.
Deciding on a parenting philosophy may take some research or discussion. Some parent the way they were parented; Others parent based on what they have studied about healthy child development. Several philosophies that have been highlighted include:
- Attachment parenting
- Authoritative parenting
- Authoritarian parenting
- Permissive parenting
- Helicopter parenting
Learning about the styles and how they fit your family’s values is important. Children who know what is expected of them and feel safe and secure will be better able to manage their behavior. One study, the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaption (MLSRA) revealed that the quality of the early attachment was influential well into later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This study highlights the importance of the first few years of life and how influential parents can be to the growth and development of their children.
Identifying a parenting style or philosophy is one important step in creating a happy healthy family.
Join the Science of Parenting Podcast hosts as they explore and discuss the role of identifying a parenting philosophy in this episode.
To our listeners and viewers, thanks for sticking with us for a season and a half so far! We’ve decided to take this week off to relax for the 4th of July holiday. In the place of a regular podcast, we wanted to share our outtakes from our very first recording – the podcast trailer! Enjoy, and we will see you next week!
If you follow along with us on social media, you may have noticed our team ‘teasing’ an upcoming project. Last week in the blog, I mentioned a few resolutions for March, which was also a teaser for that same project.
We have an announcement … We’re launching a podcast!
Thanks for continuing to follow along with us on our journey as we bring you information in new and exciting ways!
You’ll be able to listen to us on Thursdays weekly in any podcast feed, as well as watch us on Facebook. We’re also going LIVE Thursday once per month at 12:15 p.m.!
We’ll continue our blog posts, which will align with our weekly podcasts.
So where can you find us?
As I was looking forward to what’s to come with Science of Parenting while trying to think of a blog to write today, I started to look at one of those lists of “National __ month” topics.
At the top of that list, it noted that in Ancient Rome, March was the start of the new year because of the spring equinox (an interesting historical fact that I did not know!). As someone who hasn’t done too well on my New Year’s resolutions … I like the idea of starting anew in March as the weather warms up! The crazy thing? It’s a leap year – so we get a special day to LEAP into this ‘new year’!
If you failed to make a resolution back in January amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s never too late to start! Join the Science of Parenting team in setting goals and making changes in the Roman New Year.
In this new year, the Science of Parenting’s resolutions are:
- Get a new wardrobe. Our old looks are starting to feel a little outdated.
- Deliver messages to parents in new and exciting ways.
If you follow us on social media, you might have some insight on how these goals will manifest in the month to come. If you don’t follow us on social media, you should do it NOW!
Burgers and mashed potatoes for lunch. Solving math problems on the back of an old envelope. Horse-back and combine rides.
When I think of growing up and going to my grandparents’ house, these are the things that come to mind. What memories do you have of time spent with your grandparents? If you have grandkids, what are your favorite activities to do with them? If I asked my parents, I’m sure they’d say time spent in Okoboji would be on the top of their list with my niece and nephews.
Over the next few weeks, we will share some throwback posts with great information on grand parenting! Following these, we will hear from Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee on her current work in grandfamilies, or families where grandparents are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.
The last category I pulled out of the ‘101 Ways to Celebrate Your Family’ was community engagement. Week one, we explored hobbies. Week two, we embraced family. This week, we’re getting out and giving back! Building civic engagement in kiddos is critical – we need to help build a generation of youth who support one another, volunteer, and speak up for themselves! How do we help them do that? Here’s some ideas:
2 – Discover your neighborhood
12 – Plan a block party
13 – Organize a neighborhood recycle day
17 – Volunteer time at a hospital
18 – Babysit for a foster family
20 – Invite another family for dinner
23 – Plant a tree
32 – Plan a neighborhood clean-up day
40 – Volunteer at a food bank
46 – Volunteer for a local community service project
48 – Visit your state capital
53 – Learn more about the history, customs, and heritage of an ethnic group different from your own
59 – Attend a city council meeting
70 – Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper
78 – Have solve a community problem
80 – Discuss global issues
84 – Invite an international exchange student to dinner
92 – Observe the media critically
97 – Visit a local historical site
99 – Run an errand for your neighbor
That’s it – that’s all 101! Even if you pick just one out of them all, you’re making steps toward helping the children in your life build a great childhood. Any one of these will give them skills and memories to last a lifetime!
Like what you saw here? Check out more on the Science of Parenting website!
Last week, I gave you some hobbies and activities to try in order to celebrate your family and create #greatchildhoods. Want to dig a little deeper? The next step beyond immediate family activities is family connections and family history. These are the ideas that will help parents connect their children to those who came before them and helped to pave the way. Remembering, celebrating, and reflecting on history is a great way to bond with one another across generations!
1 – Read a book together
4 – Say “I love you” to one another
8 – Visit a relative
26 – Sing old songs
36 – Take cookies and visit an older neighbor or friend
42 – Look at old family pictures
43 – Tell old family stories
49 – Give everyone a hug
52 – Celebrate your heritage
62 – Watch an old black and white movie
68 – Talk to older persons about their lives
72 – Bury a time capsule
73 – Dream about the future
77 – Start a journal
81 – Begin a wisdom list of quotations, sayings, and advice
82 – Fingerprint family and compare and contrast any similarities or differences
90 – Plan a family feast
91 – Write notes to each other in the family
93 – Give a compliment
100 – Create a special events calendar
101 – Enjoy one another
What other ways have you embraced family connections and embraced your family history?
– Adapted from 101 Ways to Celebrate Your Family, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach –
April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month. The national organization Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) America’s theme this year is “Do more of what you love to create #greatchildhoods,” which I LOVE. It embraces the idea of finding a passion – or finding things you enjoy doing – and using them to spend quality time as a family.
In a recent office cleanout, I happened upon a couple of folders with information from 2000-2002. I think the universe pulled me to them. I swear. Inside this folder I found a handout from 2000 entitled “101 Ways to Celebrate Your Family.”
What a perfect fit! This list appeared to help us find some things we might enjoy doing as a family!
This handout is exactly what it says it is – a list of 101 ideas for your family to be engaged in what I narrowed down to three categories –
- Hobbies and activities
- Family connections & History
- Community Engagement
The first category – hobbies and activities – are fun undertakings, some costing money, some cost-free, and some of the items are ones we’d often consider ‘chores,’ but can be made fun if you’re doing them with family. Personally, I think this would be a fun “to-do” challenge for a family to try to cross off all the activities by the end of the year. Or maybe this list will spark other ideas for a to-do list of your own!
This category contains 59 items, so I’ll stop explaining here and let you explore the ideas for yourself:
3 – Turn off the television
5 – Enjoy a ride in the country
6 – Plant a flower garden
7 – Have a garage sale
9 – Bake cookies
10 – Start a “Once upon a time…”story and everyone add to it
11 – Go to a movie
14 – Visit a local museum
15 – Go on a picnic
16 – Fly a kite
19 – Make a homemade pizza
21 – Attend a local sporting event
22 – Go on a bike ride
24 – Jump in a pile of raked leaves
25 – Do homework together
27 – Clean the garage
28 – Go Horseback riding
29 – Take a hike
30 – Visit the library
31 – Play leap frog
33 – Enjoy a concert
34 – Go caroling
35 – Have a banana split party
37 – Go swimming
38 – Play a board game
39 – Roast marshmallows
41 – Experience your farmer’s market
44 – Go to a lake
45 – Lie on your back and watch the stars
7 – Skip up and down your block
50 – Talk about a television program
51 – Plan a concert
54 – Put together a first-aid kit
55 – Blow bubbles
56 – Cook out
57 – Go fishing
58 – Play cards
60 – Go to an airport and watch the planes come and go
61 – Have a scavenger hunt
63 – Gather wildflowers
64 – Splash in the rain
65 – Collect fall leaves
66 – Do your own exercise video
67 – Visit a zoo
69 – Have a band with kitchen pans
71 – Put a puzzle together
74 – Make, repair, paint, or refinish an object that would make your home nicer
75 – Hike on a fitness trail
76 – Watch a sunset
79 – Make a collage with magazine pictures
83 – Rent a movie and eat popcorn
85 – Look under rocks in your yard
86 – Design your holiday and birthday cards
87 – Plan an herb garden
88 – Create a snow sculpture
89 – Go skating
94 – Roll down a hill
95 – Make homemade ice cream
96 – Whistle a song
98 – Draw pictures
Which one are you going to try this week? Look for more ideas on how to connect with your family on our Science of Parenting EVERYDAY PARENTING page!
– Adapted from 101 Ways to Celebrate Your Family, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach –
Guest blogger Malisa Rader, Human Sciences Specialist, shares insight on supporting children’s temperament.
Children’s temperament develops early in life and is influenced by genetics and experiences. When parents have an understanding of their child’s unique temperament, they can tailor their approach to best meet their child’s needs.
Think about different babies you have held. Some snuggle right in while others are more active in your arms. That’s temperament. The more parents accept their child’s temperament and learn to adapt, the more they create family harmony.
Researchers have found that the main factors contributing to different temperaments include:
- how strongly children react to people and events.
- how easily children approach new people or new situations.
- how well children can control their attention, emotions and behavior.
Parents also must keep in mind their own temperament. For example, if both parents and child react strongly to experiences, a cycle can begin that continues to escalate. But if a parent can remain calm, this will help break that cycle.
Adults can also learn to anticipate issues before they occur and avoid frustrating themselves and the child.
For example, if a caregiver knows a child’s temperament struggles with changes to the daily schedule, the caregiver can plan snacks and breaks on days that might not follow usual routines.
Parents need to continually remind themselves that there are no good or bad temperaments, but work to see a child’s strengths and places where they might need more support.
I offer the following suggestions to support children’s temperament:
- Note how your child reacts to new and unfamiliar situations. Allow more time for transitions if needed.
- If a child’s activity level is high, be sure to have extra activities available for times such as waiting at the doctor’s office.
- Give a persistent child permission to step away from a challenging activity and come back to it at a later time.
- For a child who is easily distracted, create a quiet place for completing homework.
- Listen patiently as “high-intensity” children share feelings.
- Check in frequently with “easy-going” children to stay in tune with their needs.
- For children whose behavior is challenging, set clear and consistent limits rather than using harsh punishment. Spell out any consequences in advance and make sure that your discipline strategy is fair and is geared to encouraging appropriate behavior.
We’ve talked about music in terms of resilience and mental health – but what other benefits can children gain from experiencing music?
According the Environmental Rating Scales Institute, children can gain language skills, fine motor skills, social skills, balance and coordination, expressing emotions, creativity, a sense of rhythm, and listening skills through music and movement. It can also promote group learning in settings like a small group, child care, or preschool. Awesome things for our kids, right?!
Plus, music can also support cultural diversity for children. According to our publication Supporting Cultural Diversity, which can be found under any age on the Everyday Parenting page of Science of Parenting, music supports cultural diversity through “instruments, music, folk songs, and dances from different countries. Music activities are great activities for building relationships and learning English and other languages. The repetitive nature of songs allows children to become familiar with new words and phrases.”
With all of these benefits related to music, the next question is, “now how do I help my child get all of these benefits?” Well have we got some good news for you – music can be super easy to incorporate into your child’s life. Some simple strategies can include listening to (age-appropriate) music together in the car together, singing your child’s favorite songs before bed, encouraging your child to use instruments (simple ones like maracas for your younger kiddos or having an older child involved in band), or even just having dance parties on the weekends.
Learn more about the science behind music and the child’s brain from our previous blog, Is it Magic? Or is it Music? from guest blogger, Elizabeth Stegemöller, PhD and Board Certified Music Therapist from the ISU Kinesiology Department.
After all this music talk, let us know how you incorporate music throughout the day to encourage your child’s development!