You Should Know
We know spending time outdoors has a plethora of health benefits, but now new research shows a link between exposure to nature during childhood and better mental health in adulthood. In the study, adults who reported spending less time in nature as children scored lower on mental health tests. At the same time, they gave a lower importance to natural environments. Considering kids spend much more time indoors than out these days, that’s not good news for their futures. Or the future of our planet. Anyone want to go to the park?
Deciding when it’s okay to leave your child home alone for the first time is not about their age; it’s about their maturity. Things to consider include their ability to care for themselves, their decision making skills, how they respond to stressful situations, and how they feel about being home alone. They should understand your rules and expectations while you’re gone too (like not answering the door). Keep outings short the first few times. And, make sure they can contact you if needed. Or dial 911 if they have to.
When you’re so busy parenting, “connecting” with your partner may not be the top priority on your to-do list. But, psychologists say emotional connection with your spouse is the glue that keeps you bonded as a couple. And, if you don’t do it daily, your marriage can suffer. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to connect emotionally. It can be done verbally or nonverbally using affection, support, humor, or attention. A gentle touch as you pass in the hall; a kind remark over dinner; or even a wink across the room is helpful.
When going out for ice cream, do the environment a favor and skip the cup and plastic spoon. Order your ice cream on a cone. If you’re counting calories, remember; it’s the ice cream, not the cone that’s the problem. Cake cones only have about 16 calories. Skip the straw in your soft drink too. Every little bit helps!