Healthy Youth. When you first read those words do you think of active children that eat healthy food?
Even though nutrition is of utmost importance, it is not the only component of a healthy child. Emotional health is just as important, maybe even more so because children can mask their emotions. It’s fairly easy to provide a healthy meal to youth, but being able to draw out the emotions our children experience through the day may take more finessing. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Many parents don’t realize that their kids are being bullied at school. Sometimes, parents are shocked to find out their child is the bully. Modern life has families pulled in so many different directions. But, shared mealtimes, even just dinner, benefit the family’s socio–emotional health. This is the perfect time to provide a healthy, nutritious meal and to delve deeper into each other’s lives.
This week, can you invest some time to ‘tease out’ just a bit more information from your kids? Ask them open ended questions about their day. Make eye contact. Observe their body language. Listen to what they are saying AND what they are not saying. Maybe ask them if they see kids getting bullied at school. It’s always interesting to hear their perspective.
Most likely, your children are not being bullied, especially according to the official definition – “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time” (stopbullying.gov). But, this is a great way to launch into other discussions about their emotional health. Go to https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ to find the most current information on Healthy Families.
By Kimber Sarver, 4-H Agent
“Bully” clip art retrieved from Royalty free clip art website https://cdn.pixabay.com