Vision problems often run in families, but there are some factors that you can control in your child’s environment to help their eyesight. Try these tips to give your child’s vision a better chance.
Brighten things up.
Unfortunately, your mom was right: reading in dim light can wreak havoc on your eyes. Buy your child a good reading light, or make sure that homework is done in plenty of natural light.
Give them space.
Place a pillow about eight feet away from the TV, and tell your child they have to watch it from that distance. Sitting too close to a television leads to the same focus problems that your child can develop from using computers and video games.
Experts agree that kids’ increased computer use can cause focus problems, particularly the ability to refocus on objects far away. Take note of how much time they spend in front of the computer, and make sure they take a ten-minute break every hour.
Your child may not need glasses, but it’s a good idea to buy them sunglasses. UV exposure can lead to macular degeneration or the early development of cataracts.
Don’t skip eye exams.
Children should be screened by an eye doctor or pediatrician between 6 and 12 months, 3 and 3 ½ years, at 5, and then annually after that.
It’s not too late for adults to start practicing these techniques, also. Make them a family habit, and you could slow the loss of your vision as you age. It’s important to set a good example for your children, too.
Was parenting easier forty years ago?
As a mom in the new millennium, I dream about the idea of parenting in a world where streets are safe and parents can let their children run freely through the neighborhood, their bodies naturally challenged with the exercise of play.
Instead today, before the slam of the car door fades and the backpack drops on the floor, the TV is switched on and the last few hours of daylight disappear in a haze of video games and over processed snack foods.
Even the concerned, well-meaning parent can often stand helpless, wondering how to compete against marketing genius and instant gratification. Exercise and carrot sticks have a hard time competing with Xboxes, SpongeBob and potato chips.
The proof is all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health of too many North Americans is in danger because of unhealthy lifestyles. (www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity)
The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. The CDC reports the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
My kids aren’t obese – why should I be concerned?
Your kids are normal, right? You are parenting just fine. But in a world where walking is limited, school P.E. programs are being cut, and cars, elevators and buses eliminate our chance to exercise naturally, we need to make a concerted effort to make physical activity part of our day and our children’s days.
Despite all the benefits of being physically active, most Americans are sedentary. (www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/contributing_factors.htm). Inactive children are likely to become inactive adults. (www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4596)
So as parents how can we get our kids moving?
"The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day."
The great news is exercise comes in many forms and can be a lot of fun! With a little creativity you can easily add some fun physical activity into your parenting style.
1. Lead the way
You need to set a good example. Kids, especially younger children, naturally follow their parents. So make sure you are looking after your own health and making physical activity a priority in your life.
2. Do it together
In today’s overscheduled world, we need to make sure we are spending quality time with our children. What better way than to be active together. Since kids can’t be alone roaming the neighborhood, parents need to play with them.
3. Make it fun
Put on some music and dance. Play tag. Roller blade. Basically just play. Provide them with toys and equipment that encourage them to be active while having fun.
Bikes, scooters, hockey sticks and baseball bats will get your kids moving and active. For preschool children, ride on toys that get them exercising like pedal cars, big wheels and tricycles are always a great parenting decision.
4. Cheer them on
Create positive reinforcements with encouragement and support. Help them find sports and activities that build their self esteem. Attend their sporting events and let them know you are their biggest fan whether they win or lose.
5. Turn it off
Of course, we need to limit the time our kids watch TV and play video games. But make sure you do it in a positive way. If they are angry that you just turned off their favorite show, they might not be too excited about going out rollerblading with you.
Allow screen time during designated hours, preferably after homework is done and when physical activity is finished, like in the evening or on Saturday morning when tired parents might need to catch a few extra minutes of sleep.
Adding more physical activity into your family’s routine will help you all feel better and get you having more fun together. Most importantly, as you model a healthy lifestyle you will help instill in your children lifelong habits and healthy attitudes toward exercise and physical activity.
Every grandmother and grandfather will tell you hilarious stories of their children when they were first born. And for every funny and touching story they have, they will be able to tell you another for every hardship they encountered. Parenting is something that is done in many different ways by each parent. The following are four general styles employed by parents.
Authority: Authoritarian parents rule on just that: authority. Commands are given to children that they must follow regardless of the circumstances. If these commands are not followed, harsh punishment will ensue. These parents do not welcome feedback from their children. In fact, it is met with severe punishment. The children tend to be quiet and unhappy. They have more of a fear than a love for their parents. Male children have trouble dealing with anger and female children have trouble facing adversity due to their heavily structured life where nothing ever changes.
Indulgent: Indulgent parents tend to be described as lenient. They allow immature and childish behavior. These parents expect the children to learn from their mistakes and to fend for themselves in most times of need. These parents tend to be democratic and allow for feedback from there children on issues. They will hear both sides of an argument and usually make a compromise. Indulgent parents usually avoid confrontation with their children by all means, but do tend to be more involved and emotionally closer to their children.
Authoritative: Authoritative parents are a combination of the two styles previously mentioned. They are the happy medium. While expecting proper behavior from their children, they welcome feedback and questioning on certain issues. They’re able to demand things of their children but are also able to respond to what they’re child says, questions and requests. These children tend to be the happiest, most confident and self assured of all the mentioned parenting styles. It is very difficult to be a purely authoritative parent.
Passive: Passive parenting is being completely uninvolved. These parents may never be home due to immaturity, work or the like. These children are usually raised by grandparents, older siblings, babysitters or themselves. There is no parental involvement at all.