Potty Training

I remember long ago when I was a relatively new mom I still had insecurities about what I was doing (despite the fact that I was a pediatrician). Well, to be honest, I still have lots of great advice for parents, but with my own kids I often struggle to know what’s best.  But my kids are way beyond the potty training years, so I feel like I have that hurdle down now…

A problem for many parents, even pediatrician moms…

My son’s baby book’s potty training page shows my naivety.  He started showing interest in the potty and even telling me appropriately when he needed to go about 18 months of age.

I knew that he was on the early side of potty training (normally between 18 months and 3 years). This is especially unusual for boys, but he was a smart kid, was directing it all himself, and why not potty train him if he’s interested?

I was so excited for him (and me!) that he was interested.

We put out the potty chair.

We clapped and praised.

He was so happy to make pee in the potty.

Then he lost interest. Out of the blue. Done.

It is almost a year to the day later that the baby book says he was interested again. I actually tried to not let him train, since my 2nd baby was due soon, and I didn’t want him to regress.

One day the daycare teacher said, “He’s been in the same diaper all day for 3 days in a row, he needs underwear!” It was time to try again. I decided it was okay to break out the Buzz Lightyear underwear.

When he did it this time, he did it well. He easily mastered the skill and didn’t have accidents.

You’d think we know better for the 2nd kid…

When my daughter started using the potty early (at about 15 months) I thought it was a fleeting interest as well, but she continued to regularly use the toilet.

Wow! Easy… she did it all on her own.

Her independent streak has its negatives, but I liked this aspect of it.

She never had accidents.

Ever.

I stopped bringing extra clothes for her cubby at daycare, she was that good.

Then she lost interest. Out of the blue. Done. At 3 years!

One day she woke and said she was a baby and needed a diaper. By this time, we had no diapers. I told her she was a big girl, got her dressed, and sent her off to daycare as usual.

When I picked her up there was a bag of other kid’s wet clothes. She was on her 4th outfit of the day, but we had no extras at school because she was my never-has-accidents kid.

I knew she wasn’t sick (UTI’s can cause accidents.) She had simply decided that she wanted to be treated like a baby. And she’s always been stubborn.

I had to go out and buy diapers. We stocked her cubby with extra clothes. She LOVED being treated like a baby. The daycare even moved her back to the toddler room because the 3 year room didn’t allow diapers. She loved being with the babies, so it suited her just fine.

The problem was the teachers made such a big deal about how she was a big girl and didn’t need the diaper. When I finally convinced the teachers to just matter of factly change the diaper and ignore her behaviors, she decided it wasn’t fun any more to be a baby. Suddenly she was potty trained again.

No more accidents.

Ever.

Kids develop at various stages.

My advice has always been to let them take the lead when to start potty training, which can happen anywhere from 15 months until 3 years of age.

Kids leading the way?

They are ready to take the lead and potty train when they show interest (wanting to sit on a potty chair, wanting a wet diaper off, telling you when they are wet).

If you push, they will resist. (Trust me.)

Teens and toddlers are one and the same: they both try to exert independence and do it their own way. The more you push, the more they pull.

If you think your child is aware of when he/she needs to urinate or have a bowel movement, put out a potty chair that is in full view when in the bathroom.

Buy potty training books geared toward toddlers.

Show excitement and give praise for interest and any steps in the right direction (sitting on potty, peeing in potty, washing hands, etc.).

You can do a potty dance, give stickers, call Grandma, and do whatever makes a big deal for each little step.

Praise others for using the bathroom.

Invite playdates who are similar ages and are potty trained over so your child can see them in action.

Praise older siblings for going to the bathroom.

You can put the idea in their head: “I’m going to the potty. Boy, do I feel good! I went on the potty, didn’t get my pants dirty, got to flush the toilet, got to use the foamy soap, etc.” but don’t tell them directly to go. They resist being told anything! Teenagers and toddlers are very similar in this aspect.

Scoop on Poop

Many kids are ready to go pee in the potty, but are afraid to poop there.

That is okay.

Offer a diaper at the time of day they often have a bowel movement.

It is not good to try to force stooling in the toilet if they don’t want to go there. They will hold it and end up constipated. Don’t go there!

You can take them to the bathroom after the bowel movement and drop the stool into the toilet, then have the child flush. Then they associate the stool going down the toilet, which sometimes helps. Encourage lots of fruits and water so the stool stays soft. If it hurts to poop, they hold it longer, which then hurts again, which reinforces holding and then constipation.

Don’t worry about setbacks

Many kids show a temporary interest in potty training, but then stop wanting to go completely.  Return to diapers, but leave the potty chair visible.  When the child starts to show interest again, give praises.

potty training
Potty training is scary for a lot of kids.

Remember: normal children do not go to kindergarten in diapers!

They will potty train some day.

If your child isn’t potty trained during the day by 3 1/2 years, talk to your doctor.

Night Accidents

Nighttime accidents are actually normal much longer, see my office’s bedwetting information.

potty training, toilet training

Traveling with Kids

Many families travel when school’s out of session, which over the winter holiday season and spring break means traveling when illness is abound. I get a lot of questions this time of year about how to safely travel with kids. Traveling with kids can increase the level of difficulty, but it can be done safely and still be enjoyable!

Sleep disturbances

Sleep deprivation can make everyone miserable, especially kids (and their parents). Make sure your kids are well rested prior to travel and try to keep them on a healthy sleep schedule during your trip.
  • Bring favorite comfort items, such as a stuffed animal or blankie, to help kids relax for sleep. If possible, travel with your own pillows.
  • If you’re staying at a hotel, ask for a quiet room, such as one away from the pool and the elevator.
  • Be sure to verify that there will be safe sleeping areas for every child, especially infants, before you travel.
  • Try to keep kids on their regular sleep schedule. It’s tempting to stay up late to enjoy the most of the vacation, but in reality that will only serve to make little monsters of your children if they’re sleep deprived.
  • If your kids nap well in the car, plan on doing long stretches on the road during nap time. If kids don’t sleep well in the car, be sure to plan to be at your hotel (or wherever you’re staying) at sleep times so they can stay in their usual routine.
  • Some families leave on long trips at the child’s bedtime to let them sleep through the drive. Just be sure the driver is well rested to make it a safe trip!
  • If you’re changing time zones significantly, plan ahead. Jet lag can be worse when traveling east than when going west. Jet lag is more than just being tired from a change in sleep routine, it also involves changes to the eating schedule. Kids will often wake when they’re used to eating because the body is hungry at that time. Try to feed everyone right before they go to sleep to try to prevent this. Breastfed infants might have a harder time adjusting because mother’s milk production is also off schedule.
  • Tired, sick, and hungry all make for bad moods, so try to stay on track on all accounts. Sunlight helps regulate our circadian rhythm, so try to get everyone up and outside in the morning to help reset their inner clocks. Keep everyone active during the day so they are tired at the new night-time.

Keeping track of littles

  • Toddlers and young kids love to run and roam. Be sure that they are always within sight. Use strollers if they’ll stay in them.
  • Consider toddler leashes. I know they seem awful at first thought, but they work and kids often love them! I never needed one for my first – he was attached to parents at the hip and never wandered. My second was fast. And fearless. She would run between people in crowds and it was impossible to keep up with her without pushing people out of the way. She hated holding hands. She always figured out ways to climb out of strollers – and once had a nasty bruise on her forehead when she fell face down climbing out as I pushed the stroller. She loved the leash. It had a cute monkey backpack. She loved the freedom of being able to wander around and I loved that she couldn’t get too far.
  • Parents have a number of ways to put phone numbers on their kids in case they get separated. Some simply put in on a piece of paper and trust that it will stay in a pocket until it’s needed. Others write it in sharpie inside a piece of clothing or even on a child’s arm. You can have jewelry engraved with name and phone number, much like a medical alert bracelet. Just look at Etsy or Pinterest and you’ll come up with ideas!
  • It’s a great idea to take pictures of everyone each morning in case someone gets separated from the group. Not only will you have a current picture for authorities to see what they look like, but you will also know what they were wearing at the time they were lost.
  • If you want more, I wrote a whole blog on keeping kids from wandering.

Airplane issues

  • The great news is that air travel is much safer from an infection standpoint than it used to be. Newer airplanes have HEPA filters that make a complete air change approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every 2-4 minutes. The filters are said to remove 99.9% of bacteria, fungi and larger viruses. These germs can live on surfaces though, so I still recommend using common sense and bringing along a small hand sanitizer bottle and disinfectant wipes to use as needed. Wipe down arm rests, tray tables, seat pockets, windows, and other surfaces your kids will touch. After they touch unclean items sanitize their hands. Interestingly, sitting in an aisle seat is considered more dangerous, since people touch those seats during boarding and when going to the restroom, so if you’re seated in the aisle pay attention to when surfaces need to be re-sanitized. Sitting next to a sick person increases your risk, so if there is an option to move if the person seated next to you is ill appearing, ask to be moved.
  • Most adults who have flown have experienced ear pain due to pressure changes when flying. Anyone with a cold, ear infection or congestion from allergies is more at risk of ear pain, so pre-medicating with a pain reliever (such as acetaminophen) might help. If you have allergies be sure to get control of them before air travel. The best allergy treatment is usually a nasal corticosteroid.
  • It has often been recommended to offer infants something to suck on (bottle, breast or a pacifier) during take off and landing to help with ear pressure. Start early in the landing – the higher you are, the more the pressure will change. Older toddlers and kids can be offered a drink since swallowing can help. Ask them to hold their nose closed and try to blow air out through the closed nostrils followed by a big yawn. If your kids can safely chew gum (usually only recommended for those over 4 years of age) you can allow them to chew during take off and landing.
  • Airplane cabin noise levels can range anywhere from 60 – 100 dB and tend to be louder during takeoff. (I’ve written about Hearing Loss from noise previously to help you understand what that means.) Use cotton balls or small earplugs to help decrease the exposure, especially if your kids are sensitive to loud noises.
  • The Car Seat Lady has a great page on knowing your rights when flying with kids.

Cruise ship issues

  • Learn about cruise-specific opportunities for kids of various ages. Many will offer age-specific child care, “clubs” or areas to allow safe opportunities for everyone to hang out with people of their own age group. Cruises offer the opportunity for adventurous kids to be independent and separate from parents at times, allowing each to have a separate-yet-together vacation. Travel with another family with kids the same ages as yours so your child knows a friendly face, especially if siblings are in a different age group for the cruises “clubs”.
  • Talk to kids about safety issues on the ship and make sure they follow your rules. They should always stay where they are supposed to be and not wander around. There’s safety in numbers, so have them use a buddy system and stick with their buddy. Find out how you can get a hold of them and they can get a hold of you during the cruise.
  • Of course sunscreen is a must. Reapply often!
  • Be sure kids are properly supervised near water. That means an adult who is responsible for watching the kids should not be under the influence of alcohol, shouldn’t read a book, or have other distractions.

Car seats (for planes, trains and automobiles)

  • I know it’s tempting to save money and not get a seat for your child under 2 years of age on a plane, but it is recommended that all children are seated in a proper child safety restraint system (CRS). It must be approved for flight, but then you can then use the seat for land travel.
  • I always recommend age and size appropriate car seats or boosters when traveling, even if you’re in a country that does not require them. Allowing kids to ride without a proper seat will probably lead to problems getting them back in their safe seat when they get back home. Besides, we use car seats and booster seats to protect our kids, not just to satisfy the law.
  • So… my section header was meant to be cute. Trains don’t have seatbelts, so car seats won’t work. But they are a safe way to travel. Car Seat for the Littles has a great explanation on Travel by Train.

Motion sickness

When should pregnant women and new babies avoid travel by air?

  • A surprising number of families either must travel (due to a job transfer, death in the family, out of state adoption, or other important occasion) or choose to travel during pregnancy or with young infants.
  • Newborns need constant attention, which can be difficult if the seatbelt sign is on and needed items are in the overhead bin. New parents are already sleep deprived and sleeping on planes isn’t easy. New moms might still have swollen feet and need to keep their feet up, which is difficult in flight. Newborns are at high risk of infection and the close contact with other travelers can be a concern. And traveling is hard on everyone. But the good news is that overall young infants tend to travel well.
  • It is advisable to not travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy because of concerns of preterm labor. Pregnant women should talk with their OB about travel plans.
  • Some airlines allow term babies as young as 48 hours of age to fly, but others require infants to be two weeks – so check with your airline if you’ll be traveling in the first days of your newborn’s life. There is no standard guideline, but my preference would be to wait until term babies are over 2 weeks of age due to heart circulation changes that occur the first two weeks. Waiting until after 6 weeks allows for newborns to get the first set of vaccines (other than the Hepatitis B vaccine) prior to flight would be even better. Infants ideally have their own seat so they can be placed in a car seat that is FAA approved.
  • Babies born before 36 weeks and those with special health issues should get clearance from their physicians before traveling.
  • Overall traveling with an infant is not as difficult as many parents fear. Toddlers are another story… they don’t like to sit still for any amount of time and flights make that difficult. They also touch everything and put fingers in their mouth, so they are more likely to get exposed to germs.

Illness prevention

Who wants to be sick on vacation? No one. It’s easy to get exposed anywhere during the cold and flu season, so protect yourself and your family.
  • Teach kids (and remind yourself) to not touch faces – your own or others. Our eyes, nose, and mouth are the portals of entry and exit for germs.
  • Wash hands before and after eating, after blowing your nose, before and after touching eyes/nose/mouth, before and after putting in contacts, after toileting or changing a diaper, and when they’re obviously soiled.
  • Cover sneezes and coughs with your elbow unless you’re cradling an infant in your arms. Infants have their head and face in your elbow, so you should use your hands to cover, then wash your hands well.

 

Make sure all family members are up to date on vaccines.

 

Keep records

Take pictures of your passport, vaccine record, medicines, insurance cards, and other important items to use if the originals are lost. Store the images so you have access to them from any computer in addition to your phone in case your phone is lost.

Have everyone, including young children, carry a form of identification that includes emergency contact information.

Create a medical history form that includes the following information for every member of your family that is travelling. Save a copy so you can easily find it on any computer in case of emergency.

  • your name, address, and phone number
  • emergency contact name(s) and phone number(s)
  • immunization record
  • your doctor’s name, address, and office and emergency phone numbers
  • the name, address, and phone number of your health insurance carrier, including your policy number
  • a list of any known health problems or recent illnesses
  • a list of current medications and supplements you are taking and pharmacy name and phone number
  • a list of allergies to medications, food, insects, and animals
  • a prescription for glasses or contact lenses

Enjoy!

Last, but not least: Enjoy your vacation!
Be flexible.

Don’t overschedule. Your kids will remember the experience, so make moments count – don’t worry if you don’t accomplish all there is to do!

Take a look at some of the Holiday Health Hazards that come up at vacation times from Dr Christina at PMPediatrics so you can prevent accidents along the way.

Take pictures, but don’t make the vacation about the pictures. Try to stay off your phone and enjoy the moments!

A Working Parent’s Guide to Being There

As a working mom myself, I have at times struggled with the guilt of not being around for every new milestone, class party, or other occasion. Working parents can make time to have time with their kids.

There are the stay-at-home vs working mom “Mommy Wars” that I don’t want to get into because these options are unique to every family.

I know that working is the right choice for me on many levels.

I like that my kids have two hard-working parent role models that also spend quality time with the family.

Do things always flow smoothly?

Of course not. We have a crazy, hectic life.

Every stage has had it’s own problems to conquer, and once we get into a routine it settles for a bit.

Then the life stage changes and we adapt.

At this point I thought my life would be less crazy (my oldest is away at college and my youngest drives), but it’s still crazy aligning schedules.

Life with little kids

When my children were younger, it was really hard to get home, get dinner on the table, and get them to bed on time for a good night’s sleep.

Young children need 11-12 hours of sleep, and when we get home at 6:30 pm, it’s really hard to do anything.

I became the queen of 15 minute meals and love my crock pot. My quick cooking is probably even healthier than fancy casseroles because it’s a basic heated frozen vegetable, stove top cooked chicken or a quick fish, and noodles or rice. No fancy cream sauces or cheesy goodness weeknights.

Sometimes my kids ate leftovers from the previous night so they could eat within minutes of getting home.

Whatever worked at the time to get dinner served quickly so the bedtime routine could start was what happened.

It takes a village

We only have two kids, and are fortunate to have two parents, but sometimes we still needed help from friends to get kids to scheduled activities on time.

I am a big believer in being there at games or shows, but it’s impossible with more than one child and overlapping schedules to be at everything.

We tried to alternate which child’s activity we do, though my husband went to more hockey games and I went to more dance activities because, well, we’re human and he can only watch so many dances and I had a hard time watching my son get thrown against the boards.

Being there

It is important that kids know parents are there for them, even if they aren’t physically able to be there all the time.

The best way to do that is to show kids. When you’re together, really be together. Don’t keep checking your phone. Make conversation. Make eye contact. Have fun.

Sneak in quality time any way you can, even if it’s just a minute or two.

Car trips

Talk on car rides.

Make routine trips no-screen rides.

On longer trips consider an audiobook that you can all listen to and discuss along the way.

Eye contact

Make eye contact when your kids ask for your attention.

Even if you’re busy making dinner or doing the dishes, be considerate enough to look at them when you’re speaking to them.

So often we get upset by our children’s manners, but we forget who they’re modeling after.

Bed time

Definitely at bedtime make the time to connect.

Those night time stories, back rubs, and cuddles are the perfect time to bond.

Even when your kids can read, take time to read to each other.

Game night

Find quick games to play after dinner.

Many games list the time it takes to play right on the box.

No one has time for Monopoly after dinner if they plan on getting the kids to bed on time, but family games are a great way to connect, and kids learn many skills from playing.

Work together

It sounds silly, but kill two birds with one stone. Have a family “clean time”- and make it fun.

The house needs to be cleaned or picked up regularly and if everyone pitches in with age-appropriate chores, it gets done more quickly.

Brag on your children’s effort and build their confidence.

Go to the games, recitals, and events

Try to be at activities as much as possible.

If they’re in a recital, they want you there. If they have a big game, they want you to see it. Even if they say, “it’s okay” when you can’t go, they want you there.

I know it’s not possible to be there for everything, especially if you have more than one child and you need to alternate between which activity you go to, but try to be at as many things as you can.

Even when it’s painful to watch the first season of kid-pitch baseball. And if you must take a pain reliever before going to the band concert for your 4th grader. Still go.

Make the time with them with them

Turn off your cell phone. Don’t check e-mail or social media.

Set a good example and talk with the people you’re with.

So many studies are being done that show parents ignoring their kids due to electronics.

You have time to check email after your kids go to bed when they’re young. When they’re older and their bedtime rivals yours, you can find time when they’re doing homework or when they’re at an activity.

No need to ruin family time with work, social media, or other things that can be done when you’re alone. I cannot stress the importance of this. Don’t miss your real life and your children’s lives by wasting time on screens.

Family meals are important

Study after study shows the benefits of eating together.

Take the time to talk.

Turn off the tv.

Keep the phones away from the table.

If your family gets stuck with conversation, try some conversation starters or the story game where someone starts with a sentence, then the next person takes it from there.

Slow down

So often we have a list of tasks we know we must accomplish, but our kids can sense the rush. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment with your kids.

Take 10

Take 10 minutes to do whatever your child wants.

Read a book.

Run outside.

Color a picture together.

Just 10 minutes a day can make a difference. Make it a tradition, something your child looks forward to every day.

Don’t strive for perfection

And finally, remember that no one is perfect.

Some days just won’t work out as planned. That’s okay.

Just don’t let every day become that over-rushed day.

Stop the guilt

I see far too much guilt in parenting.

Guilt because you choose to give baby a bottle.

Guilt because you want your baby to sleep through the night.

Guilt because…

It never ends.

I think one big driver of guilt is social media. We see into other people’s lives on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter and compare it to our own. The posts are usually the best parts of their life, but we forget that everyone has the parts they aren’t showing.

Everyone wants to be like someone else on some level. We all have dreams and aspirations to improve. Great. Keep bettering yourself. But don’t suffer from guilt of choices you’ve made. If they are working, great! Keep them.

If they aren’t working, investigate other options and make a positive change. In 4 S’s of Being a Confident Parent, Dr. Escalante discusses the trials parents face and errors parents make and why that’s okay.

Attachment parenting

I came across this great post on the problems with Attachment Parenting.

I think that when people have such strong opinions about anything, it is a set up for failure.

Attachment Parenting can lead parents to feel guilty because they aren’t always there for a child.

You know what? It’s healthy to have alone time.

Parents need to do things with other adults and leave the kids with a trusted adult or mature teen babysitter. It’s just healthy. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t take as good of care of your family as you can if you are healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Enjoy time with your kids.

They won’t be little forever. Make the time to be present in their lives.

One last thought… Here’s an old song that I always think of when I think of busy lives: Cats in the Cradle from Harry Chapin.

Active Shooters: Reflections and Talking to Kids

Area flags are at half mast today as we are mourning the loss of innocent lives from another mass shooting at a Texas church over the weekend. We are sad for grieving families once again. What we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from random violence and acts of hate?

My generally safe town has had two incidents of violence that have made national news in recent years. A man opened fire at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish Retirement Home and killed three innocent people. Another man shot two men eating at a local restaurant after yelling racial slurs and telling them to leave his country. One of the men died.

My kids have been on lockdowns at their schools on several occasions over the years. Our kids are getting used to lockdown drills and even real events. Thankfully none of the local school lockdowns turned tragic. Being a parent who cannot do anything while a school is in lockdown is stressful. Not knowing what is happening during a lockdown when my children are most likely sitting on a floor of a crowded dark room is terrifying. My kids have never felt that scared, even when it’s a real lockdown, probably because they’ve practiced and feel prepared. For many kids this seems to be the case, but I’m sure there are some who start having separation anxiety or other manifestations of trauma-related stress.
Today my front office staff saw policemen with weapons in hand enter our building and run down the hall. They did not come into our office.
We locked our front door, closed the blinds, and kept patients in exam rooms. We saw several police cars in the parking lot for our building and those near ours.
Our office manager called the police department to find out what was happening and not a lot was learned, but there was a potential active shooter in the area, so they recommended lockdown.
Because I was only in the office for meetings on my “day off” I was able to help tell staff and patients what we knew. I helped bring some of the families into the office. I checked Facebook and Twitter repeatedly to find out what was going on. (But I didn’t grab these screenshots until hours later.)

I had planned on updating our social media, but couldn’t find any real information to post.

At one point we were told they apprehended someone in a creek area behind our building and got the all clear to open back up and let people leave.
41ActionNews
A few minutes later we were told to put our building back on lockdown. No one knew what was going on.
Our receptionists covertly monitored the parking lot for patients so they could get the door for them – we didn’t want families stuck in a potentially dangerous parking lot. Several patients called that they would be late to their appointments because police had blocked one of the roads into our parking area.
I am very proud of my staff and the families that were in the building. Everyone remained calm. No one complained that they were told to not leave the building. I didn’t hear anyone complain when the rooms started to fill, which affected the flow of seeing patients. I must admit that I didn’t really feel scared during all of this, since it seemed like police were all over and our office felt secure. It was frustrating not knowing what was going on, but the anxiety was much worse when the potential shooter was near my children’s school and they were on lockdown.
It is sad that a false alarm like this must be taken seriously. I’ve heard that it was just a man with a stick. Or maybe it was just a prank. No one really knows at this time.
But what I do know is that there are many good people in this world. We can help each other in times of need. We can support one another. Mr. Rogers says:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

When you have to explain these things to your children, remember to keep it simple. Answer their questions, but don’t go deeper than they’re ready to go. Find out what they already know and help them to understand it in ways that mean something to them. Try to keep the news off when kids are in earshot and monitor their screen time online. It’s okay to share your feelings, but try to reassure their safety and list some positives, like Mr. Rodger’s mother did.

Resources for parents to talk to kids about tragic news, such as mass shootings:

Common Sense Media: Explaining the News to Our Kids
PBS: Talking with Kids About News – sorted by ages
HealthyChildren: Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events
American Psychological Association: How to talk to children about difficult news

Lead by Example

We’ve all heard the saying: kids will do what they’re shown, not as they’re told. Lead by example.

It’s so true. Think about all the times your kids are watching you. They are learning from you.

What can you do to help them have healthy habits?
  • Eat your vegetables.
  • Get daily exercise.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Stop at stop signs.
  • Don’t use your phone while driving.
  • Wear a life vest near a lake or river.
  • Maintain your composure during times of stress.
  • No phones at the dinner table.
  • Don’t tell lies- even little ones.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Be kind to others.
  • Call home- your parents and siblings would love to hear from you.
  • Don’t permit violence in your presence.
  • Give your time and talents to others.
  • Take care of your things.
  • Limit screen time.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.
  • Wear a helmet when on a bike.
  • Don’t mow the lawn without proper shoes.
  • Make time for family.
  • Lead by example every day!

 

helmets, exercise
Exercising together safely as a family sets great lifelong habits!