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The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Stress Overload? Slow Down

Ask the Experts by Marla Ruhana

Q- I find myself so irritable, short fused, and I feel it is leading to anxiety and depression. Is this possible? 

A- Yes, it sounds like you are experiencing detrimental effects of stress, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Can you think of what might be precipitating your irritability?

Q- My husband has been out of work for two years and since he lost his job, I've been working full time and caring for the kids. I do not like my job at all, it is ...

Read more: Stress Overload? Slow Down


Nutrition for Kids in Sports

Ask the Experts by Kunal Kalra, MD

Q. Can you provide nutrition and hydration tips for kids participating in sports?

A. Proper nutrition and hydration are essential in optimizing a student athlete's performance. An athlete who does not have enough nutrients or liquids to prepare for competition can be at risk of developing serious medical issues such as dehydration. Here are a few tips to on proper nutrition and hydration for the student athlete.

Eat like a champion 

The best way to ...

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About the Flu in Children

Ask the Experts by Nicholas Gilpin, D.O.

Q. How do I know when my child is getting the flu?

A. Influenza is a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system, so the most common symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and cough. Your child also may have severe fatigue, body aches, fever and chills. During the winter, these symptoms should always raise one's suspicion for the flu.

Q. What kind of care should I give my child with the flu?

A. For most healthy children, the best ...

Read more: About the Flu in Children


Fostering Independence and Resilience in Children

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey

Q. My teenager is so easily discouraged by setbacks. How can I help him handle his frustration?

A. One of the most important traits that builds confidence and helps kids become more independent is resiliency, or the ability to take healthy risks and recover from disappointments. Resiliency is a skill that can be fostered when we treat kids in a way that demonstrates we believe they can handle disappointments and that mistakes are allowable, or even encouraged....

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Family-Friendly Economics - empowering children to make informed decisions

Ask the Experts by Michelle Balconi 

Q: Why should I talk to the children in my life about economics?

A: For most of us, "Econ" was a class we had to take and were happy to earn a "C," but that doesn't make the topic any less prevalent in our daily lives. Understand it or not, economics has a place in your life and that of your children.

It might help to think about economics less in terms of bowtie-wearing professors mapping the correlation between supply and demand, and more in terms ...

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Finding Peace and Balance in a Stressful World

Ask the Experts by Gail Elliott Patricolo

Q. I work full time and try to take care of a busy family. My daughter has a full load at school and with sports. We both seem stressed out all the time and need some coping skills we can share with the rest of our family. The stress does not seem to go away and may even be hurting our health and relationships. Are there stress management skills I can learn? 

A. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s following an argument with your spouse ...

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Raising a Reader

Ask the Expert by Stephanie Cork, Education Specialist

Q: How can I foster a love of reading in my child?

A: One of the more difficult questions I am asked by parents of late elementary through high school children is how can they make their child enjoy reading. Like anything else, a child will not enjoy reading if it is difficult and does not yield any sort of intrinsic satisfaction, therefore, much of the answer lies in the importance of starting early in order to make the reading process ...

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Self-Defense for Mothers & Teen Daughters

Ask the Experts by Ian Kinder

Q. My daughter and I walk every night.  With the days getting shorter, we are walking at dusk, sometimes even later.  What can we do to stay safe?

A. Walk in well-lit, open areas that are well populated and active. Avoid dark areas that are confined and isolated. Carry charged cell phones and stay in areas where there is a good signal. 

It is always a good idea to be trained in self-defense and carry a personal protection device, such pepper ...

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Ask the Experts by Angela Hill

Q. I would like to get my family more physically active. What are some of the benefits of yoga? Where can I find a class for my whole family?

A. Yoga brings harmony and balance to the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, muscular, spinal, endocrine, digestive and immune systems. This gives you the emotional and physical stability to respond to life’s challenges with courage and grace.  

It’s a fun way to increase self-esteem, self-control ...

Read more: FAMILYoga


Building Better Brains!

Ask the Experts by Laurie Wagner, Education Specialist

Q: Are children diagnosed with dyslexia destined to struggle with reading their entire lives?

A: Research confirms that effective reading instruction literally reorganizes the brains of struggling readers. Especially effective is the engagement of the visual, auditory, tactile (touch) and kinesthetic (muscle movement) learning pathways.

When struggling learners are taught to read using direct, explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics ...

Read more: Building Better Brains!


Infant Massage: Learning the Language of Touch

Ask the Experts by Emily Robson, LLPC

Q. What is infant massage and what are the benefits?

A: Touch is the most powerful of all interactions between parent and child. It is a mirror of our inner feelings toward another person.

Babies can sense what their parent is feeling by the way they are touched. Everyone has a personal “touch” history, which consists of all the touch experiences that a person will have had during their lifetime. It doesn’t matter how old or young a person ...

Read more: Infant Massage: Learning the Language of Touch


The Heavy Heartedness of Grief

Ask the Experts by Marla Ruhana, LMSW

Q. There is immense sadness surrounding me now as my dearest friend has recently died. Is this sad feeling normal?

A. Grief has many different stages, sadness is one of them. I empathize with you in the midst of grief. There are several stages of grief, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote of the five stages of grief, the stages are denial, anger, depression bargaining, and acceptance. Shock is also part of grief as well as social isolation. Everyone experiences ...

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Coping with Loss During the Holidays

Ask the Experts by Rebecca L Palen, MPA, LMSW, OSW-C, GC-C

Q. I just lost my spouse to cancer this past summer. I am starting to feel even worse now that the holidays are approaching. Can I have some guidance of how to get through the next few weeks?

A. While there are other critical dates and times that affect grieving people, but for many the most difficult day for the bereaved is Christmas.

This particular holiday than any other means family is together, making the void of your loved one ...

Read more: Coping with Loss During the Holidays


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