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Family Files

Facts for All Ages
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Gifts Kids Really Want

Despite the title, I am not going to talk about the latest video game or Monster High doll! According to authors Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock-Staeheli in their book Unplug the Christmas Machine, as early as the age of four or five kids can l...

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Winter Fitness

Winter Fitness Now that winter is upon us, it is quite comforting to sit down with a movie, hot chocolate, and your family for some quality time together. Although it is important to do some enjoyable and relaxing activities, it is important to try to incorporate some plans that include physical movement for overall fitness. Even though you may have to be creative in yo...

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Achieving Balance in Your Life

Periodically, I am asked to do a presentation on work/life balance. Everyone is so busy juggling work, school, family, friends, household duties, self-care, etc., that they want to know how to fit everything in their schedules. This can be a very tricky thing to accomplish s...

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Holidays and Traditions ~ tis the season

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Practicing Daily Gratitude

Practicing Daily Gratitude

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday and with it quickly approaching, I thought I would re-share a blog post from 2015. Food, family, and of course remembering what I am thankful for makes turkey day the best day for me.  I also relish this time of year because it seems as if EVERYONE is practicing more gratitude.  Scrolling through social media, you will likely find at least on...

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Making Meaningful Memory Care Visits

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Stay Mommy, Stay!

When my son was very young, I remember dropping him off at the child care center and then preschool. I recall seeing little ones crying, clinging to their parents – and then seeing those same parents crying in the parking lot. It is very...

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Making the Grade

        School has been in full-swing for a while and…ready or not…the...

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Mental Illness Awareness Week - Be a part of the solution not the problem

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Be proactive! Create a Family Disaster Supply Kit!

Information in this blog comes directly from the University of Illinois Extension Disaster Resources Web Page The images from Hurricane Florence had me thinking this morning.  Would my family be prepared for such a disaster?  Sadly, my answer was no. When disaster strikes, loc...

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Make Family Mealtimes Happen

With many families in back-to-school busy mode, it can sometimes be difficult to enjoy having meals together. However, research shows that having meals together is beneficial for individuals as well as the whole family. F...

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Back to school! Ease those First-Day Blues! A tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project

Ease Those First-Day Blues! A tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project! Separations, sadness, fears, and tears—a young child's first day in your program can be challenging for children and adults! These strategies can help teachers and caregivers make it easier for children and parents to get through those first-day blues. Help families prepare....

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Bullying or Peer Conflict

Back to School, Back to Bullying?

With the start of the new school year, I thought I'd re-share a blog post on bullying I wrote in 2015.  This timely information is a great reminder for us all in how to tell bullying apart from peer conflict. A concerned parent once approached me with a myriad of questions on bullying. Why was her child being excluded from the peer group? What about name calling – is that bullying? Why...

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School and Homework Tips for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

With the beginning of school fast approaching, I thought I would share this article that I originally wrote back in 2015. August is the time of year when parents are busy getting their children ready to go back to school. Registering, shopping for school supp...

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Opioid Use: How does it affect the community and what are some resources?

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How to Have a Successful Summer

Ah, the lazy days of summer. Around my house, summer is a cherished time of year – for both the kids and parents. Routines are more relaxed, the pace is slower, and the "rules" are bent a little. Even though we are all enjoying a little more freedom from the frantic school year, by this time of the summer, everyone is also ready for a little more "normal." What does having a successful...

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Unplug and Re-Engage in Life

Since Summer is here, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this article about unplugging from our devices and enjoying our surroundings - especially our youth!  Everywhere around us, we see people constantly checking their smartphones. You might w...

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Unschedule Your Child

Summer break is coming up and parents are busily trying to make arrangements for their children to be safe and occupied during the next few months. Ask yourself - does your child's schedule have more on it than yours? Do you feel more like you...

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The Importance of Health Screenings

Regular preventive care exams are key to identifying risk factors and health problems before they become serious. Many diseases and deaths can be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right...

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Effectively Communicating With Your Teen

Sometimes talking with your teenager can be a real challenge. I feel I have made a major breakthrough if I hear more than "fine" when I ask my teen how his day was. Sound familiar? In reviewing the current literature on the topic of communicating with tee...

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Extracurricluar Activities: How much is too much?

The first question my son asks me each day when I pick him up from school is: "what do we got tonight?" I can see the wheels in his brain turning as I respond- X amount of time for practice/scouts/4H, X amount of time for homework, X amount of time for play time and on as he's planning how his evening will go. Most days, he is excited to attend whatever practice or event we have going on, but t...

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Staying Active with the Whole Family

As New Year's Resolutions start to fade, we hear more and more excuses for why we are not able to complete our goals. "There's not enough time in the day!" "It's too cold outside!" "It's not fun!" "I'm too old!" These are some of th...

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Generations Can Learn From Each Other

When children, teens and younger adults spend time with older adults, there are many benefits to everyone involved. Older adults can be great role models for children, while also passing on family stories, historical information and teaching the rituals and tradition...

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Parenting

Parenting Newlyweds - Tips for the Transition

The day you plan, dream and somewhat dread has arrived…..your child is getting married! It happened to me just last week-end. Every detail in place, my husband walked our daughter down the aisle to begin her new life as a Mrs. First of all, how in the world did I get this old? I mean, just yesterday I was changing her diaper and looking for her retainer in the trash can. The day was bea...

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Talking with Your Teen about School Violence

The primary topic in the media currently, is the mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. This has certainly brought about dialogue about gun control, mental health, and student safety in schools. Despite what has happened recently, t...

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