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It’s a Mouse Potato World

It’s a Mouse Potato World

One of my favorite photos is a shot of our younger daughter at age two. She’s standing at the desk, her chin just barely clearing the top. Her hand is working the mouse as she plays on our computer. When I was two, I didn’t even know how to operate the television set, let alone a computer.

The electronic devices available for home use has grown exponentially. Many homes have multiple televisions, computers and cell phones. DVD players, MP3 players, home theater systems and game consoles are becoming more common. Electronics aimed at young children, such as Leapfrog and other teaching aids. In fact, the average age children begin to use electronic equipment is getting lower every passing year.

What does this have to do with childhood obesity? When we were growing up, the TV might or might not work, and when it did we had three channels. There was no equipment to play movies, you either went to the movies or watched them on TV. We spent a lot of time playing outside. We rode our bikes or played pickup baseball.

In fact, while we referred to it as playing, we exercised.

Many women still grew and preserved food when we were growing up, my mother, grandmother and aunts included. We kids were conscripted to help weed the garden, pick the produce and preserve it. That’s a lot of work. We also lived on a farm for many years. Added to the garden were chickens, ducks, rabbits and other domesticated animals that needed our care.

That translated to grooming, cleaning cages, gathering eggs and otherwise caring for the animals. It meant a whole lot of mowing, so that we could keep the grounds looking nice and occasionally provide extra nourishment for the grazers. That, too was a lot of work. All of that work did provide us with lots of exercise and healthy food to eat.

We’ve mostly lost that lifestyle now. Instead, our kids play on the computer, use a gaming system, text message each other and otherwise stay indoors and inactive. It might be an idea to limit the amount of time and the type of device our children use. Take them outside and play an active game with them. Plant a small garden and teach them how to grow things. Show them the learned as children.

They are our future, and the responsibility lies with all of us.…

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Puberty and Sex Hormones and Their Effect on Your Body

Puberty and Sex Hormones and Their Effect on Your Body

For every boy and girl, there comes a time just before or early into their teen years when they experience a major change in their body’s natural chemistry. This change is caused by a surge of hormones – sex hormones to be specific.

Sex hormones are produced in minuscule amounts in early childhood and have very little activity until puberty. In most cases puberty starts when a child is 11 to 13 years old. The actual age is determined by one’s genetic makeup and heredity.

Regardless of when it happens, puberty causes the sex glands (ovaries in girls, testes in boys) and the adrenals in both sexes to manufacture and release into the blood large quantities of sex hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone flood the system, which causes rapid transformation of a child into a young woman or a young man.

Girls start developing a clearly feminine form, with the appearance of breasts, pubic and armpit hair, and a female hour-glass figure. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone become high enough, a girl will ovulate and get her first period. This flood of hormones causes mental and emotional changes as well. I am sure you are familiar with the rapid mood swings and short tempers teenagers can have. But most importantly, high levels of hormones are responsible for the glowing health and boundless energy that most teenagers enjoy. They can eat an incredible amount of junk food and not gain an ounce. They can go without much sleep for days. They hardly get sick and if they do, their recoveries are usually speedy and complete. They tend to have a positive and optimistic outlook on life.

The sex hormones have a stimulating effect on energy production, causing the cells to burn more fuel at a greater rate. This is why teenagers have such a high metabolic rate, which allows them to consume a lot of food, seemingly without any consequences. In general, high levels of sex hormones have nothing but positive effects on the health and well-being of kids going through puberty.

While estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are known as the sex hormones, they are not fully intended for the purposes of sex, especially since teens are not prepared emotionally and financially for handling reproductive responsibilities. As we grow, these hormones take on a vital role in the proper development and regulation of the body’s essential functions, especially in women.…

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Pediatric Brain Tumors and Brain Cancer Alter the Definition of Normal

Pediatric Brain Tumors and Brain Cancer Alter the Definition of Normal

For most of us, today will begin like any other day. We’ll sip our coffee, skim the morning paper, drop the kids off at school, and perform the normal rituals that make up our daily lives. The good, the bad, and yes, even the somewhat ugly; we’ll tackle it all with confidence and a sense of comfort, knowing that tomorrow, as routine as it may be, we’ll get to do it all over again.

But, for several families across America, today will be different. Today will be life-changing.

Today…

• Nine families will learn their child has a brain or spinal cord tumor;

• Three families will mourn the loss of their child to this dreadful disease; and

• Six families will transition to survivorship.

Each year, an estimated 3,400 children in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor or brain cancer. Approximately one-third of these children will survive no more than five years, making this the deadliest of all childhood cancers. For the families of these kids, there will never be another “normal” day. Their days will now be filled with medical appointments, treatment options, and learning how to operate within a new definition of “normal.”

Thankfully, hope springs eternal. The survival rate for children with brain tumors and brain cancer has increased significantly over the past twenty years. Advancements in research have resulted in better treatment methods, improvements in the quality of life and the long-term outlook for these young patients. However, survival does bring with it an all-new set of unique challenges. Treatments can cause damaging late effects on survivors; effects that range from cognitive impairment, to physical challenges, to social isolation.

Collaborations between nonprofit organizations, research foundations and leading medical institutions have proven to be instrumental in the fight against these childhood cancers. By joining forces, these groups are able to connect the best of the best to keep research moving forward, raise public awareness, and provide support to the patients and families who need it.

Several non-profit organizations have been established over the years to provide help to families who find themselves on this new and very difficult life path. Most of these groups offer resources for education, assistance with medical and financial services, and much-needed emotional support through a variety of family outreach programs and special events.

These nonprofit organizations work tirelessly in their battle to make pediatric brain tumors and brain cancers a disease of the past. They are continually searching for research partners, corporate sponsors, and private foundations to help support ongoing research. Individual donations are also critical to the success of these organizations. While much work is being done, and progress is being made, the need to raise awareness, fund research, and provide support is ongoing.

A quick Internet search and a few simple clicks of the mouse will land you on the website of one of these dedicated, nonprofit organizations. Once there, you’ll likely find an abundance of valuable information, along with resources and opportunities to help. Why not spend a little time today learning more about this devastating disease? Perhaps, make a donation, or even sign on as a volunteer. Not only can you help to redefine “normal” for these kids and their families; you might just alter your own idea of “normal” as well.…

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How Divorce Can Make Your Child Gain Weight and What to Do About It

How Divorce Can Make Your Child Gain Weight and What to Do About It

Forty years ago, only about 11% of children lived in a single parent home. Today more than 50% of children will live for some part of their childhood with a single parent. Often their parent will get remarried and they will then live with a step father or mother. Some single parents never remarry and others live together unmarried. The most common type of single-parent family is one that consists of a mother and her biological children. In 2002, 16.5 million or 23 percent of all children were living with their single mother. When single families are mother headed the economic burden is greater. The balance of work and family duties become distorted. Many single mothers pay large fees for daycare services.

Children who lived with single mothers were significantly more likely to develop obesity. Parental marital conflict and divorce may increase the risk for adverse health consequences both in childhood and adulthood.

Here is how separation, family discord and divorce influences child and teen’s eating:

Threatens children’s sense of emotional security including depression, anxiety, anger,loneliness.

Dysfunctional family climate including lack of regular meals, more eating in front of the TV

Income decline after a divorce leading to more fast food restaurants and purchasing less healthy, high cost foods at home

Children are left alone, without adult supervision or placed in day care because mother’s are required to work longer hours

Even more important is when one parent goes about sabotaging the efforts of the other

How Can Both Parents Help Their Children Survive Divorce?

Both parents need to talk (often sounds impossible) and decide what is best for their children. They need to provide a united front and start thinking about their kids first. Maintain as much normalcy as possible by keeping regular routines, including mealtimes, family rules about behavior, and discipline apply equally whether the child is with the father or the mother. Often the father who is living out of the family home starts lavishing presents, breaking rules and not enforcing limits, often because of guilt.

Kids should not witness parental conflict. Kids whose parents maintain anger and hostility are much more likely to have continued emotional and behavioral difficulties that last beyond childhood.Consistency in routine and discipline across the households is important. Similar expectations regarding bedtimes, rules, and homework will reduce anxiety. Wherever possible work with the other parent to maintain consistent rules – and even when you can’t enforce them in your ex-partner’s home, you can stick to them in yours.

What can they do with an ex-husband, who often acts simply out of spite or anger? Not an easy situation. Maybe the child’s doctor or pastor can speak or write a note to the father. May be the father can bring the child to the pediatrician’s office for a talk. Often the children can help, even young ones can tell the father that they simply cannot go to these restaurants. You would think that the father would think of his child first, but that’s not all the way things work out.…

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Determining the Risks of Childhood Obesity Factors

Determining the Risks of Childhood Obesity Factors

One of the most important things that parents should know is the risks of childhood obesity. Obesity has become a common disorder that is tremendously increasing and largely affecting children. Here are few of the factors that are commonly associated with childhood obesity. If you are a concerned parent about your child that may have been suffering from this condition, this is something that you cannot just ignore.

One of these factors involved is diet. Most often, kids are consuming foods with high calorie content that are available in fast food chains, vending machines in schools and sweets that can easily make them gain weight. If you allow your children to consume much soft drink, candies and dessert, they will also gain weight fast. As much as possible, parents should watch out of their children’s consumption of these types of foods.

Another factor that can trigger obesity is the lack of exercise. Children who are not regularly doing exercise are more likely to gain weight. This stops them also from burning calories because of their failure to perform physical activity. They consume more calories than burning them. And also, kids spend most of their time playing video games and watching TV which can further worsen the problem.

Family is also one of the childhood obesity factors. It is not impossible for a child to become overweight if most of the family members are really big. It is hard to stop this because the family environment often shows abundance in foods that are high in calorie. Moreover, the family does no practice physical activities.

Considering their emotions, children tend to eat more when they are stressed or if they are emotionally disturbed. Psychological factors have a huge role in the development of obesity in a child. Most probably, they learn this condition from their parents who might be having the same issues.

There are times when the family became the contributing factors in the condition of obesity. Parents sometimes fail to realize that most of the groceries they purchased are tremendously high in calories like chips, cookies and other foods that can speed up weight gain. If you are able to control the access of these foods to your children, you are more likely helping in losing their weight.

Another important fact that parents should know is that if their family are earning low, children are at risk of developing obesity. Most of them lack the time and resources to create a healthy eating plan and also fails to regularly perform exercise.

These factors should be something that a responsible parent should know. They should also develop a plan that will avoid their children from developing childhood obesity. These risks of childhood obesity factors should be determined ahead of time so that necessary actions can be immediately taken. Obesity in children is a serious issue that should not be neglected to provide proper attention and possible cures. It would be best for parents to implement really good strategies which can help greatly in your goal of keeping your children healthy and free from worse conditions such as obesity.…

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How To Prepare Your Toddler For School

How To Prepare Your Toddler For School

When my children starting school for the first time, I was both excited and sad at the same time.

My babies were growing up and heading into the big wide world without me. How would they cope?.Will they make friends?. These were only a few of the millions of thoughts running through my head.

There are a few things you can do to help both yourself and your child transition from being at home to being at school. Try not to make too big a deal about it, as this may stress your child even further.

Here are a few tips which may help

1) Find some books that cover the subject of "My First School Day". Read them to your child and encourage any questions they may have.

2) Have trial separations from your child. If you child has been glued at your hip since birth, watching mum leave them can be quite traumatic for any child. Start leaving your child at Gran’s house for a few hours, or a friends, or perhaps day care. Work up to a whole day so your child get familiar with separation from Mum or Dad.

3) Attend the school’s orientation program – take your child, show the around so they get familiar with the play equipment, toilets and classrooms they will be using. This will help reduce the anxiety for your child.

4) Structure their days like a school day – include reading time, play time, morning recess, lunch and so forth. Get your child to pack lunch with you and place it in their school bag. Routine preparation will help your child feel comfortable on the day.

5) Set up play dates – if you already know children that will be attending the same school, encourage play dates prior to first day of school, that way your toddler will know a familar face on their big day.

6) Show excitement for your child – if Mum is anxious, your child will pick up on this. Be excited, drop your child off, give them a big kiss and walk away. Teachers are skilled in dealing with anxious children so they will be in good hands

But what happens if my child really hates their first few days at school?.

Be patient, give love and support to your child, listen to their fears and encourage them to be excited. It will only take a few weeks for your child to get into an established routine.

Good luck Mums and Dads, I hope your child enjoys their transition into school.…

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Family Cookbooks Are Ideal For Fundraisers

Family Cookbooks Are Ideal For Fundraisers

Fundraising by selling unique personalized cookbooks had been a consistently successful process for decades. Whether it is for schools, churches, PTA, bands, charities or politics, a quality cookbook packed with recipes from real people in your community or organization will be a proven method for raising those much-needed funds.

Why Are Personalized Cookbooks So Popular?

A family cookbook that is made up of recipes from members of your group or organization is not only a useful tool in the kitchen; it often becomes a keepsake, as well. There will be no other cookbook like it anywhere on the planet. Imagine being able to sell a cookbook with your Aunt Sadie’s famous chicken casserole recipe. You know… the one she has kept secret for about 50 years until you convinced her to give it up for your fundraiser? That in itself could be worth the price of the book.

Is The Market Flooded?

You might think that there are already too many fundraiser cookbooks available already, but the history of fundraising cookbooks indicates otherwise. As mentioned above, the cookbook you design will be a one-of-a-kind publication with recipes and ideas than haven’t been published before. People will also purchase a cookbook simply because it is for a good cause. It could be to raise money for cancer research or to help a specific person, family or organization. Human beings are “wired” to be generous. We enjoy sharing and helping others. It’s in our nature. Offering an attractive cookbook will give them the chance to show that generosity. I know first hand. My wife has more than a dozen cookbooks from fraternal organizations, schools and churches.

The Process Is Simple

Designing and creating a cookbook isn’t difficult. You need to work with cookbook publishers that have a solid track record and a guarantee. That’s right… I said a guarantee. There are a few cookbook publishers out there that provide them. If they don’t, I would steer clear of them.

With the guides and assistance provided by a quality fundraising cookbook publisher, you can have yours ready to go with a minimum of time and effort. They provide a very professional product that anyone would be proud to have in their kitchen library.

If your organization wants to conduct a successful fundraiser, check out the various cookbook publishers and find one that fits your needs.…