Sherman County Public/School Library: To Infinity and Beyond, Space Party
Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do
Study Abroad Opportunities for High School Students
A Silent Tragedy: Children and Mental Health
People will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Bonnie Jean Wasmund.
1. Sherman County Public/School Library: To Infinity and Beyond, Space Party
Friday November 22, at 6pm
Sherman County Public/School Library
Astronaut Food & Drink
Escape Room Game
Wear your favorite Sci-Fi costume or dress as your element. If you don’t know what your element is, give us a call or message us to find out. – Best costume gets a prize.
2. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do
3. Reinforcing Relationships
Have you hugged your kids today? This isn’t just “bumper sticker” philosophy. Dr. Martin Seligman includes Relationships in his PERMA model for well-being, for good reason. Today, let’s talk about the importance of affectionate touch to “kids” of every age.
Let’s be clear from the get-go. We are talking about affection and love here, directed at those close to us, not the unwanted advances from individuals who refuse to believe the word “NO” is meant for them. Those situations are not about affection, and definitely not about love. They are about power and its abuse, sometimes about anger, and the inner need to make everyone else smaller than these individuals know they are.
From what we know these days, a child’s experience with touch is crucial to his or her ability to relate affectionately later in life. Now, it’s certainly true that no one would expect a mother, for example, to indulge in as much physical behavior with an adolescent as she would with an infant. Our needs for affection change in degree and kind, at different times in our lives.
However, demonstrated honest and true love and affection is important to our mental, emotional and physical health at every age. Did you know that our actual body chemistry changes when we are physically close to another? It is true. Many studies have now conclusively demonstrated that touch, especially caring touch, can boost the strength of our immune system, increase the oxygen carrying hemoglobin in our blood, and in general, make us happier and healthier human beings. Combined with a good belly laugh or two, and we are well on our way to a heightened sense of well-being.
If you’ve never felt comfortable affectionately touching those you love – and let’s face it, it’s a bit of a minefield lately – maybe you’d like to think about how you might go about gradually changing things and the benefits that might accrue.
Keep in mind that physical closeness is only one way of expressing love, but it is a vital element in most caring relationships. ~The Pacific Institute
4. Study Abroad Opportunities for High School Students
Local high school students are offered a unique opportunity to spend an academic year, a semester or the summer holiday in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia or South Africa, as part of the ASSE International Student Exchange Program.
Exchange students live with a caring host family while attending high school and learning about the language and people of their chosen host country. Students, 15 to 18 ½ years of age, qualify on the basis of academic performance, character references and a genuine desire to experience life abroad with a volunteer host family. Prior knowledge of the host country’s language is not a requirement. Scholarships are available and are based on academic performance, leadership skills, and financial need.
ASSE also encourages local families to host an international student from one of over 60 countries worldwide here in the United States. To learn more about these outstanding young students, families are invited to contact us or visit our hosting website at www.assehosts.com.
5. A Silent Tragedy: Children and Mental Health
By Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos, Psychiatrist.
There is a silent tragedy that is unfolding today in our homes, and concerns our most precious jewels: our children. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! In the last 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:
Statistics do not lie:
- 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
- A 43% increase in ADHD has been noted
- A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted
- There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14
What is happening and what are we doing wrong?
Today’s children are being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material objects, but they are deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:
- Emotionally available parents
- Clearly defined limits
- Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
- Movement in general but especially OUTDOORS
- Creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom spaces
Instead, in recent years, children have been filled with:
- Digitally distracted parents
- Indulgent and permissive parents who let children “rule the world” and whoever sets the rules
- A sense of right, of deserving everything without earning it or being responsible for obtaining it
- Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Endless stimulation, technological nannies, instant gratification and absence of boring moments
What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and get back to basics. It is still possible! Many families see immediate improvements after weeks of implementing the following recommendations:
- Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you have control of the helm.
- Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what children NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your children if what they want is not what they need.
- Provide nutritious food and limit junk food.
- Spend at least one hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching
- Enjoy a daily family dinner without smartphones or distracting technology.
- Play board games as a family or if children are very small for board games, get carried away by their interests and allow them to rule in the game
- Involve your children in some homework or household chores according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, unpacking food, setting the table, feeding the dog etc.)
- Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough sleep. The schedules will be even more important for school-age children.
- Teach responsibility and independence. Do not overprotect them against all frustration or mistakes. Misunderstanding will help them build resilience and learn to overcome life’s challenges,
- Do not carry your children’s backpacks, do not carry the homework they forgot, do not peel bananas or peel oranges if they can do it on their own (4-5 years). Instead of giving them the fish, teach them to fish.
- Teach them to wait and delay gratification.
- Provide opportunities for “boredom”, since boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. Do not feel responsible for always keeping children entertained.
- Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it at the first second of inactivity.
- Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, shopping centers. Use these moments as opportunities to socialize by training the brains to know how to work when they are in mode: “boredom”
- Help them create a “bottle of boredom” with activity ideas for when they are bored.
- Be emotionally available to connect with children and teach them self-regulation and social skills.
- Turn off the phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
- Become a regulator or emotional trainer for your children. Teach them to recognize and manage their own frustrations and anger.
- Teach them to greet, to take turns, to share without running out of anything, to say thank you and please, to acknowledge the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values you instill.
- Connect emotionally – smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them.