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10 Simple Things All Healthy Kids Have in Common

Changing a handful of little habits can help ensure you have super healthy kids. These are the pediatrician-approved qualities of the most robust kids around.

They get plenty of sleep

Many kids—especially as they hit their teen years—don’t get the recommended amount of sleep. “Prioritize sleep,” says Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician in Kansas City, Missouri. “Sleep is required for healthy growth, body functions, and mental health. Plus, sleep protects against obesity and its associated risks.” For toddlers, expect 11 to 14 hours of sleep, while teens should get between 8 and 10 hours per night. Need help getting shut-eye? Try these 10 tips for a better night’s sleep.

They wash their hands before eating

A 2012 study showed that something as simple as teaching your kids to wash their hands regularly can drastically lower the rate of respiratory and gastrointestinal illness. Here are other key ways to avoid getting sick.

They don’t eat only mac n’ cheese

“Parents can teach their kids to eat foods that are all colors of the rainbow,” says Jean Moorjani, MD, a pediatrician at Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. “The variety will ensure that kids are getting the appropriate vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and be healthy.” These are the after-school snacks nutritionists give their own kids.

They stay up to date on vaccinations

Vaccines are key to preventing illness—and to healthy kids. “Parents can make sure they give vaccines on the CDC recommended schedule,” Dr. Moorjani says. “This includes a flu vaccine every year.”

They get out and play

Active kids are healthy kids. And beyond the physical benefits such as decreased risk of obesity and weight-related disease, regular exercise can help reduce stress and boost mood too. “Healthy kids do something fun every day, screens not included,” Dr. Burgert says. “Promoting mental health is important.”

They have parents who prioritize their own health

“When parents get busy, we have a tendency to prioritize the health and wellness of our kids over our own,” says Dr. Burgert. “Moms and dads need to prioritize their own health to set an example. This includes eight hours of sleep, limiting media use, eating at home with their kids, drinking lots of water, getting a flu shot, washing hands, getting regular exercise, and taking time out for ourselves.” By having healthy habits of your own, you’ll be modeling a healthy lifestyle for your kids. Here’s how to carve out more “me time.”

They use car seats and seat belts

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of death in kids under 12, and 35 percent of those killed were not properly restrained in car seats. Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, and have kids rear facing until they turn 2, in a five-point harness until they outgrow their forward-facing seat, and then a belt-positioning booster until they reach 4 feet 9 inches. Learn how to use a car seat safely.

They wear helmets when they ride bikes

Only about half of children wear helmets when they ride their bikes, even though nearly 26,000 kids each year end up with bike-related head injuries, according to the CDC. And though they aren’t perfect, a study in the American College of Surgery shows that people who wore helmets reduced their risk of traumatic brain injury by 53 percent. These are the signs you need to go to the ER after a head injury.

They limit their screen time

A recent survey by Common Sense Media finds that kids are glued to their screens for an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes every day. But super healthy kids step away from technology. “Kids who spend too much time in front of a screen—computer, video games, tablets, smartphones—have higher risks of developing obesity, depression, sleep problems, lower academic performance, and increased risky behavior,” says Dr. Moorjani.

They see their doctor annually

Regular doctor’s visits can help ensure that everything’s ship shape—and make sure that you catch any underlying medical issues sooner. “Parents can contact their trusted pediatrician for guidance in helping their kids grow up as healthy as they can be,” says Dr. Moorjani. “As healthcare providers, we want what you want, and that is for every child to grow up healthy.” Here’s how to find a pediatrician you can trust.

BY LISA MILBRAND
source: www.rd.com


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8 Keys to Handling Adult Bullies

How to handle adult bullies

“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda

Most of us encounter adult bullies at certain points in our lives. An adult bully can be an intimidating boss or colleague, a controlling romantic partner, an unruly neighbor, a high pressure sales/business representative, a condescending family member, a shaming social acquaintance, or other types of abusive relationships.

There are five major types of bullying:

Physical Bullying – The use of physical intimidation, threat, harassment and/or harm.

Tangible/Material Bullying – Using one’s formal power (i.e. title or position) or material leverage (i.e. financial, informational, or legal) as forms of intimidation, threat, harassment, and/or harm.

Verbal Bullying – Threats. Shaming. Hostile Teasing. Insults. Constant negative judgment and criticism. Racist, sexist, homophobic language.

Covert or Passive-Aggressive Bullying – Negative Gossip. Negative joking at someone’s expense. Sarcasm. Condescending eye contact, facial expression or gestures. Mimic to ridicule. Deliberately causing embarrassment. Social exclusion. Deliberately sabotaging someone’s well-being, happiness, and success.

Cyber Bullying – Examples of verbal and passive-aggressive behaviors mentioned above can be conveyed on-line, via social media, texting, video, email, on-line discussion, and other digital formats. Identity theft is also a form of cyber bullying.

On the surface, an adult bully may come across as aggressive, demanding, and domineering. However, with an astute approach and assertive communication, you can turn aggression into respect. Here are eight keys to successfully handle adult bullies, with excerpts from my book: “How to Successfully Handle Aggressive, Intimidating, and Controlling People.” Not all of the tips below may apply to your particular situation. Simply use what works, and leave the rest.

1.  Keep Safe

The most important priority in the face of an adult bully is to protect yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable with a situation, leave. Seek help and support if necessary. Contact law enforcement, emergency hotline, crisis hotline, social agencies, or legal representatives if you have to. Should you decide to deal with the aggressor, consider the following skills and strategies.

2.  Keep Your Distance and Keep Your Options Open

Not all adult bullies are worth tasseling with. Your time is valuable, and your happiness and well-being are important. Unless there’s something critical at stake, don’t expend yourself by trying to grapple with a person who’s negatively entrenched. Whether you’re dealing with a road rage driver, a pushy salesperson, a hostile neighbor, an obnoxious relation, or a domineering supervisor, keep a healthy distance, and avoid engagement unless you absolutely have to.

There are times when you may feel like you’re “stuck” with a very difficult person, and there’s “no way out.” In these situations, think outside the box. Consult with trusted friends and advisors about different courses of action, with your personal well-being as the number one priority. We’re never stuck unless we have blinders on. Keep your options open.

3.  Keep Your Cool and Avoid Being Reactive

“Bullies win when you’re upset.”
– NCAB

A common characteristic of bullies is that they project their aggression to push your buttons and keep you off balance. By doing so, they create an advantage from which they can exploit your weaknesses.

If you are required to deal with an adult bully, one of the most important rules of thumb is to keep your cool. The less reactive you are to provocations, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation. Some bullying scenarios may require a strong and assertive response, while others may be handled simply with you being unimpressed. Either way, keep your cool when you approach the situation. Maintain superior composure.

4.  Know Your Fundamental Human Rights

A crucial idea to keep in mind when you’re dealing with an adult bully is to know your rights, and recognize when they’re being violated.

adultbullies

As long as you do not harm others, you have the right to stand-up for yourself and defend your rights. On the other hand, if you bring harm to others, you may forfeit these rights.  The following are some of our fundamental human rights:

  • You have the right to be treated with respect.
  • You have the right to express your feelings, opinions and wants.
  • You have the right to set your own priorities.
  • You have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty.
  • You have the right to get what you pay for.
  • You have the right to have opinions different than others.
  • You have the right to take care of and protect yourself from being threatened physically, mentally or emotionally.
  • You have the right to create your own happy and healthy life.

The Fundamental Human Rights are grounded in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, laws in many democratic nations protecting against abuse, exploitation, and fraud, and, if you’re in the United States, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

These Fundamental Human Rights represent your boundaries.

Of course, our society is full of people who do not respect these rights. Bullies, in particular, want to deprive you of your rights so they can control and take advantage of you. But you have the power and moral authority to declare that it is you, not the bully, who’s in charge of your life. Focus on these rights, and allow them to keep your cause just and strong.

5.  Utilize Assertive and Effective Communication

As mentioned above, avoid interacting with aggressors unless you absolutely have to. When you are required to deal with one, strengthen your position by utilizing assertive communication skills. For more on this topic, see my Psychology Today article: “How to Negotiate With Difficult and Aggressive People“

6.   Talk About Your Experience

Some victims of adult bullying remain quiet about their experience, and hide their suffering within. Reasons for keeping silent may include, and are not limited to fear, shame, embarrassment, denial, a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, as well as gender, cultural, social, and/or institutional conditioning.

However, being a quiet victim is not only mentally and emotionally unhealthy, it can encourage the bully to repeat and intensify their aggressive behavior. No matter how difficult the circumstance, seek out trustworthy individuals to confide in, whether they be friends, family, workplace confidants, counselors, or operators on a crisis hotline. Sharing your experience is not only cathartic; the support you receive may often strengthen your ability to handle the challenge.

7. In Serious Situations, Proactively Deal with the Problem Early On and Formalize Your Communication.

With adult bullies whom you need to interact with on a regular basis, it’s important to put a stop to any serious, potentially damaging patterns early on. Let yourself, not the bully, be the one who sets the tone of the relationship.

Whenever possible, formalize your daily communication with the bully by either putting things in writing, or having a third party present as witness. Keep a paper trail of facts, issues, agreements, disagreements, and timelines. Build a strong case of factual evidence against the aggressor. In addition, identify whether there may be other victims of the bully, and consider a joint, formalized response. Leverage strength in numbers.

8.  Set Consequences to Compel Respect

When an adult bully insists on violating your boundaries, and won’t take “no” for an answer, deploy consequences.

The ability to identify and assert consequence(s) is one of the most important skills you can use to “stand down” a difficult person. When effectively articulated, strong and reasonable consequence(s) gives pause to the adult bully, and compels him or her to shift from violation to respect. In my book  “How to Successfully Handle Aggressive, Intimidating, and Controlling People”, consequence is presented as seven different types of power you can utilize to affect strong and positive change.

In conclusion, to know how to handle adult bullies is to truly master the art of communication. As you utilize these skills, you may experience less grief, greater confidence, better relationships, and higher communication prowess. You are on your way to leadership success!

Nov 06, 2016        Preston Ni M.S.B.A.

References
Albert, D.J.; Walsh, M.L.; Jonik, R.H. Aggression in Humans: What is Its Biological Foundation?. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 17. (1993)
Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology. (2002)
Berkowitz, L. Aggression: Its Causes, Consequences, and Control. McGraw-Hill. (1993)
Bloom, Sandra L. M.D. When Victims Turn Into Bullies. The Psychotherapy Review. (2000)
Carr-Ruffino, Norma. The Promotable Woman. Career Pr Inc; 4th ed. (2004)
How to Deal with Bullies. The National Center Against Bullying. www.ncab.org.au/kids/whattodo/
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). United Nations General Assembly. (1948)

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Children take more risks crossing streets than parents think

BY LISA RAPAPORT

(Reuters Health – Children may cut things closer than their parents realize when it comes to guessing how far cars are from an intersection or how long it takes to safely reach the other side, a small study suggests.

Using virtual reality, researchers tested how often kids might walk into oncoming traffic in real life. The results show that “parents may be over-estimating how careful their children are” and missing opportunities to teach kids safer habits, study author Dr. Barbara Morrongiello, a psychology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, said in an email.

Morrongiello and co-author Michael Corbett recruited 139 children and their parents to participate in the virtual street-crossing experiment in Guelph, a suburban community about 45 minutes from Toronto.

Study participants wore headsets outfitted with a 3-D display and motion sensors to detect every real step they took into virtual streets. Participants stood at an intersection on a virtual two-way street with sidewalks, enhanced by traffic sounds that got louder as cars approached.

After a trial run for the children to practice using the equipment, the researchers asked kids to cross the virtual street when they thought traffic conditions were safe.

Researchers measured how many seconds the virtual cars were from hitting kids when they crossed the street. Then, they put parents in the same situation and asked them when they thought their kids would attempt to cross.

Parents generally expected their kids not to cross the street when an oncoming car was less than 4 seconds away, while the children crossed into traffic with tighter gaps of about 3 seconds, the study found.

Children were hit by virtual cars about six percent of the time.

 

crossing street child

Younger kids, aged 7 to 9, typically walked into traffic when an approaching car was about 2.95 seconds away, while their parents generally thought the children would allow for a gap of 4.19 seconds.

Older children, aged 10 to 12, on average allowed for a 3.03 second gap, while their parents thought they would let 3.85 seconds pass.

It’s possible that these suburban kids aren’t as savvy about traffic as their urban counterparts, and it’s also possible that the children took more risks in the virtual world than they would in real life, the authors acknowledge in the journal Injury Prevention.

But the findings still reveal a real danger, Dr. Frederick Rivara, vice chair of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in an email.

“Parents need to be realistic about their children’s developmental level,” said Rivara, who wasn’t involved in the study. “I call it the Lake Wobegon effect – all parents think their kids are above average, when of course, most kids are average. The issue with pedestrian safety is that an error here can result in the child being seriously injured.”

To keep kids safe, parents need to start by setting a good example, David Schwebel, a psychology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in an email. “Children learn a lot just by watching, and if parents behave in dangerous ways, their children are likely to do so also.”

Pedestrian safety lessons can start at any age, and it’s especially crucial to begin early when children live in cities where they will be exposed to busy intersections from a very young age, said Schwebel, who wasn’t involved in the study.

For toddlers, parents can talk about what safety choices they make each time they cross the street, from looking both ways to making eye contact with drivers, said Jodie Plumert, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

By the time children are 4 or 5 years old, it’s smart for parents to start letting children make the decision about when it’s safe to cross street, starting of course with residential streets with light traffic before trying busy intersections, said Plumert, who wasn’t involved in the study. This lets parents gently correct bad choices so kids can fine-tune their instincts about when it’s safe to cross.

“I’m a big fan of talking to kids about why they need to follow particular rules or procedures for crossing safely,” Plumert said by email. “As soon as kids start walking across streets with their parents, parents can start teaching street safety to them.”

SOURCE: bmj.co/1ChoNjD Injury Prevention, online March 31, 2015.       Reuters.com