The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued an updated policy statement in Pediatrics advising that children use rear-facing car safety seats until they reach the height and weight limits recommended by manufacturers and use forward-facing seats with harnesses until recommended limits are reached once they have outgrown rear-facing seats. The guidance also urged the use of belt-positioning booster seats for those who exceeded the limit for forward-facing seat use and said that all children younger than 13 should sit in the back seat of a car. Read more.
Encourage your kids to take the Healthy Summer Challenge form the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living. Summer is a time to relax and enjoy downtime, but don’t forget that staying active and eating healthy is still Important. Getting 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day and eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is essential to child health. These fun calendars challenge kids to stay active and eat healthy over summer break.
Happy families have strong family bonds. Create a firm foundation by committing to these practices that will strengthen your family’s relationships:
Schedule Family Time
Try to make a regular night, maybe once a week, when the entire family gets together for a fun activity. By keeping it on a regular schedule, everyone will know that they need to keep that night clear for family times.
Eat Meals Together
Studies have shown that eating meals together helps reinforce communication. Don’t allow phones or other electronics, either. If you unable to get together as a family for dinner because of busy schedules, try breakfast.
Do Chores as a Family
Make cleaning your home or caring for the yard a responsibility of the whole family.
Create a Mission Statement
It may seem a little corny or too business-like, but it works. A family mission statement can remind every family member about your core values or what you love most about each other. It is simple and fun to develop as a family (it’s a great project for family night). Place your mission statement in a predominant place in your home. Read it and talk about it often.
Have Family Meetings
Family meetings are a good time for everyone to check in with each other, air grievances, or discuss future plans (like a vacation!). These can be scheduled events or you can make them impromptu and allow any member of the family to call a meeting if they feel the need. Start each of these meetings by reading your family mission statement.
Encourage everyone to learn about things that are important to everyone else and to support each other through good and bad times. Share when something goes well at work. Ask your child how their test went. Commiserate when your kid’s team loses a game. Celebrate good grades and reward good behavior by doing something special together.
Take Time for Yourself
Parenting is a huge responsibility that you are required to fulfill every day. The reality is that you will be a better parent when you take some time just for you. Do something you enjoy, even if only for a few minutes.
Giving your time to make someone else’s life better is always a powerful learning experience. Spending a day at the local food bank or a weekend building a home for charity will be valuable experiences you can share throughout your life.
Get Involved in Your Child’s Interests
You don’t have to be the coach, but you can help out with a fundraiser or be in charge of snacks for the bus on an away game night. Ask where you can help, it will show your child you care about what they are interested in.
Join Other Families
Being with other families will strengthen your own family bonds.