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The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Teen Social Networking (Part 3 of 3)

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey (Part 3 of 3)

Q. My middle school and high school children seem hyper-focused on social networking. It seems they have a constant preoccupation with texting, checking their cell phones, and being on the computer. Should I be concerned?

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO? TTYL: Talk Now + Talk Later + Talk Again

Clearly parents are essential in helping our children develop a healthy and productive relationship with technology. This can be nurtured in a number of ways and it begins with talking to your kids about technology the same way you would talk to them about drugs, sex or anything else. Kids listen to parents very closely and will internalize your values and standards if you maintain a healthy and open relationship with your adolescent.

Heres' what to do:

Read more: Teen Social Networking (Part 3 of 3)

 

Teen Social Networking (Part 2 of 3)

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey (Part 2 of 3)

Q. My middle school and high school children seem hyper-focused on social networking. It seems they have a constant preoccupation with texting, checking their cell phones, and being on the computer. Should I be concerned?

What does this mean for parents? It suggests that we critically attend to the pros and cons of social networking and the impact is has on our unique family composition and personalities. Different children are going to need limits and guidelines tailored to them.

We need to explore how technology and social networking serves our children and what are the pitfalls. Monitoring, education, and limits are critical, but equally as important is safeguarding your connection with your kids, maintaining family time and continuing to establish a trusting relationship based on respect, high expectations and accountability.

Read more: Teen Social Networking (Part 2 of 3)

 

Teen Social Networking (Part 1 of 3)

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey (Part 1 of 3)

Q. My middle school and high school children seem hyper-focused on social networking. It seems they have a constant preoccupation with texting, checking their cell phones, and being on the computer. Should I be concerned?

A. Though technology is no different than anything else, with its capacity for good and bad, social networking has become a conflict-laden issue for many parents as they struggle to find the balance between setting limits and giving their kids the freedom to explore technology safely. Our children are technology natives: they have never lived during a time when communication, gathering and sharing information, learning, creating and down time wasn't driven in large part by technology.

It is familiar territory for them. The current statistics on teen technology use are startling, and trends suggest a continuing increase in technology use for the future.

Read more: Teen Social Networking (Part 1 of 3)

   

Nearly 400,000 Breakfast Servings for Metro Families Following Successful DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Cereal Drive Because Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Vacation

Detroit, Mich., June 14, 2012 - Thousands of children and families will now have breakfast over the summer thanks to an outpouring of community support for DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council's (PNC) Third Annual Cereal Drive. A formula used to convert donated dollars into cereal servings, coupled with boxes of cereal collected netted a total tally of 400,000 servings and solidified DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan winner of the national competition.

The grass roots idea, which began in 2010, snowballed into a spirited competition. Eleven children's hospitals across the United States participated, collectively bringing in more than a million cereal servings for children vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition during the summer months when free or reduced school meals are not available.

Read more: Nearly 400,000 Breakfast Servings for Metro Families Following Successful DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Cereal Drive Because Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Vacation

 

"Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign

Ask the Experts by Anne Nearhood

Q: Can you tell me about the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign in our community?

A: Drug-Free Action Alliance has developed the Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don't be a party to teenage drinking, a public awareness campaign to provide parents with information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. The campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message at prom and graduation time that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable.

It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.

Read more: "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign

   

Choosing a Bicycle Helmet

Ask the Experts by Donna Bucciarelli, R.N.

Q: My eight- year-old twins want to ride their bicycles to school. What's the best helmet to buy?

A: You should pick a helmet that fits well, round and smooth on the outside, and has a Consumer Product Safety Commission sticker. A CPSC sticker means that the helmet has been tested and meets the uniform safety standard. If you use an old helmet, make sure it has a seal from one or more of the voluntary bicycle helmet standards such as ASTM, Snell or ANSI.

Read more: Choosing a Bicycle Helmet

 

Is a Professional Caregiver Right for Your Senior Parents?

Ask the Experts by Karen Adair

A group of friends in my book club was sharing conversation about our "sandwiched lives" and had concerns about issues with each of our parents.

Q: Why should I hire an agency to care for my mother when it seems cheaper to hire an aide directly?

A: There are both legal and personal risk issues involved in directly hiring a caregiver. Some things to consider include: criminal and reference checks, tax withholdings, liability and worker's compensation insurance, bonding for personal property theft, and arranging for replacements if the caregiver does not show up for a shift. Professional in-home care companies can alleviate these concerns.

Read more: Is a Professional Caregiver Right for Your Senior Parents?

   

Summer Brain Drain

Ask the Experts by Michael Richman

Q: What does "summer brain drain" mean? 

A. Summer brain drain, also referred to as summer learning loss, is the phenomenon that occurs over the summer when students forget some of what they learned in the prior school year. Most people know that the school year is based on the agricultural cycle. 

Students had their long summer holiday during what was traditionally harvest time. Of course most students in our community no longer work the fields in the summer, but the effect is the same for our students. They forget a significant portion of the material they learned If they are not challenged with some form of learning opportunity.  There has been much written on the subject over the years.

Read more: Summer Brain Drain

 

Breast Feeding

Ask the Experts by Mary Ann Godzwon, R.N.

Q:  I'm pregnant with my first child and deciding if I should breast-feed.

A: Making the choice to breast-feed your new baby is one of the most important decisions you will make as a new mother. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend breast-feeding as the preferred method of infant nutrition. Breast milk continuously changes and adapts to your baby's needs, creating protection that is customized to your baby on a daily basis, regardless of the age of your baby. The act of breast-feeding itself helps form a close, emotional bond between mom and baby.

Read more: Breast Feeding

   

ChariTea Bear's Tea Party Attendees: Thank You!

"What a fantastic event." "We had such a great time." "The food, the games, the magician, the story time - my daughter was so happy with everything!"

So many moms and dads and grandmothers and aunts made a point of stopping and saying thank you for their afternoon at ChariTea Bear's Tea Party on April 29, 2012. Wow, thanks! Thank you!

Read more: ChariTea Bear's Tea Party Attendees: Thank You!

 

The Race to Nowhere

Ask the Experts by Brendan Walsh 

Q: The film "Race to Nowhere" argues that our schools are contributing to a growing problem of "over-achievement," leading to harmful stress on our children. Are schools truly the problem? What can we do about it? 

The film "Race to Nowhere" exposes what the filmmaker called a "silent epidemic in our schools." In a call to "change the national dialogue on education" the film’s creators want to "mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America." 

The film contributes to the national debate about high-stakes testing and the "over-achievement" culture. But for every advocate mobilized by "Race to Nowhere," as many or more fret that American students are slipping in global benchmark reports. 

Read more: The Race to Nowhere

   

Videos on Medicaid, Depression in Children, Infant Massage, Autism Challenges

Detroit Public TV's VITAL SIGNS programs take a first person look at health issues in Southeast Michigan. The program introduces the people, families, professionals and institutions involved in making Michigan healthier place to live. Click on the links below to hear their stories or you can watch the first episode On Demand here.

Read more: Videos on Medicaid, Depression in Children, Infant Massage, Autism Challenges

 

LEGO Artists Challengers: Thank You!

The LEGO Artists Challenge was great fun for all - contestants, their families and friends turned out on April 21 from 12:30pm to 3:30pm and enjoyed reviewing all the entries. Emcee (and Family Center Board of Directors member) Ted Everingham announced the winners: first, second and third place in three age groups.

But everyone was a winner at the LEGO Challenge. As one mom said, "Thank you so much for this wonderful event! My son had such a great time planning and making his LEGO project. We are all proud of his efforts and we're having a great time looking at the great work the kids have done!" Read on for more photos >>

Read more: LEGO Artists Challengers: Thank You!

   

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