Bradley Hospital helps you deal with difficult parenting issues in these comprehensive reference sections:
Effective DisciplineCurrent attitudes, ideas and help for parents of toddlers, teens and kids in between.En español
Alcohol & Drug AbuseUnderstanding potential problems, signs of abuse, and tips for prevention and intervention.En español
Depression & SuicideRecognize the signs of depression, why kids fall victim and what you can do to help.En español
Teenage PartiesWhat you don't know can hurt you. Tips for parents of hosts and guests. Plus, ideas for a successful bash.En español
Life's Difficult ChangesSymptoms of transitional difficulty in parents and kids and advice for dealing with change.En español
Parent/Child CommunicationFeel like you're from different planets? Here's how to find middle ground.En español
Childhood ChoresWhy household chores are important for kids and teens.En español
Healthful LeisureA little leisure might be just what your family needs. Why leisure time is important and how to add more to your life.En español
Rhode Island Parents' Guide to Children's Mental Health (PDF 5.07mb)Have questions about common children's mental health problems? Download this one-stop resource for those answers plus information about advocacy organizations and support groups.
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Great nutrition is only half the battle for healthy kids; activity takes them the rest of the way.
Screen time is the time children spend in front TVs, computers and video games-a growing amount, and problem, in many homes today.
"When I ask my patients how many hours per day they watch, I often hear four or more hours on school days, and six or more on weekends," says Barbara Robinson, RD, MPH, pediatric nutrition specialist at Hasbro Children's Hospital.
Parents can cut back on their child's screen time by cutting back on their own. Most children, especially young children, want to mirror their parents' behavior and so less parent screen time usually means less for a child. In addition, it's important to make family activities a habit when kids are very young, as this enforces spending time together and time away from screens.
Rainy days are prime time for excess screen time. Family recreational centers are great places to go; however, there are plenty of ways to for kids keep active at home.
Robinson recommends trying old-fashioned games. These might include drawing a hopscotch board on a foam mat, or building a playhouse or fort by draping blankets over a couch or chairs.
In a child-friendly room, kids can play with small, inflatable balls or even try bowling with empty milk cartons and a soft ball.
Though most kids prefer to play with a parent or friend, their time alone can still be activity-filled.
Parents should try making a CD of their kid's favorite songs and encourage them to dance until all the songs finish.
If a physical activity is a little harder to work into a child's solo time, Robinson recommends creative activities or modes of expression. "Kids should try making up stories, dressing dolls, art or crafts, and building with Legos."
This type of activity is important not only for a child's mental health, but also for their physical health, because it encourages healthier eating habits. "Studies have shown that kids who have strong interests, or are more creative, are less drawn to food as a form of recreation," Robinson says.
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