Posted on July 19th, 2022
Image via Pexels
Guiding Your Children on the Path to a Healthy Life
For parents, it’s common to worry about whether they’re making the right decisions for their children. Remember that a large part of your job as a parent is teaching your kids to make the right choices for themselves later in life. The best way to do so is to provide examples of healthy routines your child can adopt.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
It’s easy to cave in and only give your child the foods they already like, regardless of their nutritional value. The sooner you vary your child’s diet, the easier it will be to get them to try new things. The easiest habits to break are the ones we never develop in the first place, so exercise your own self-discipline as you ensure your child’s eating habits are healthy from the start.
One way or another, of course, your child will end up trying some less-than-healthy foods. Don’t treat this as some cardinal sin to be strictly avoided. Instead, teach your child that there can be too much of a good thing and that most unhealthy things can be enjoyed in moderation. Studies have found that we eat 600 more calories a day on average than we did fifty years ago, so how much we eat is just as important as what we eat.
Don’t Ignore Mental Health
It’s been proven that our mental well-being is tied directly to our physical health, so make sure your child is equipped to keep a healthy psyche as well. How they interact with the world will reflect on them as well as you, so encourage them to be kind whenever possible. Teach them to help others or give to charitable organizations like Kids Without Cancer when they’re able.
Teach your children that there’s no shame in seeking professional help such as therapy when needed and that even healthy minds need regular maintenance. Unchecked trauma, hormone disorders, and chemical imbalances can seriously affect your child’s behavior and physiology. Especially, an online therapist is worth looking in to if your schedule stays too busy for an office visit or if there aren’t any therapists available who suit your needs. Oftentimes, online therapy is often more affordable than in-person options.
Beyond professional intervention, there are plenty of small changes you can make around the home to improve the mental health of everyone living there. Keeping nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables on hand will give everyone more responsible options that will keep them in better health and better moods. Natural lighting and dedicated quiet areas can also have a calming effect on your family.
Stay Active Often
As with a healthy diet, the earlier you get your kids outside and active, the better. Establishing the habit of active playtime will have them associate relaxation with exercise, which is an invaluable compulsion to have in our increasingly sedentary world. Make sure to lead by example and actively play with them, rather than standing nearby idly.
As your children outgrow playgrounds or even sports, set aside recurring time to exercise deliberately as a family. Daily walks, morning yoga, or intentional time in the pool can keep the whole family active. If feasible to own one, a dog can teach your child responsibility while also providing a consistent reason to exercise. As with all the other tips covered so far, making exercise a habit will ensure that you rarely break the routine.
Ideally, children look up to their parents. Make sure you’re providing a good example and setting them up for a happy, successful, and most of all healthy life.
Posted on June 30th, 2022
Photo via Stocksnap
The Benefits of Planning Your Child’s Summer Vacation
For children, the summertime represents three months of carefree fun and activities and long, hot days. Parents, on the other hand, tend to worry about the idle time and lack of restriction that comes with not having a set schedule or obligations. The best way to ease your mind around the sudden increase in free time your child has is to plan a well-rounded summer schedule for them. Here are a few suggestions from Kids Without Cancer to help you plan accordingly!
Spending time outdoors should be one of the great joys of summer, but with so many opportunities for technology to be a distraction, it can be a chore to pry some kids away from their digital devices. To keep kids engaged with the natural world, plan family outings to local parks, nature centers, or even just your backyard! Make sure, however, to always keep safety at the forefront of your mind during your excursions.
For example, if you have a pool, building a fence that surrounds it will prevent kids from entering the water when you’re not around to keep a watchful eye, especially if it’s outfitted with safety latches. You can search online for fence installers to find review sites, and some even showcase local contractors who are offering discounts. Similarly, if your family decides to explore a local nature trail, heavy-duty boots (or at the very least, sneakers) and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing will protect you from bugs, snakes, and poisonous plants.
There are a host of products available, like wagons and all-terrain strollers, that make it easier to get outdoor activity with small children. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which products are best for meeting your needs. You can read reviews online at Safe Smart Family to get a better sense of what will work best for your family. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision that you’ll be happy with.
Encourage them to try new things
With no set schedule, it’s easy for your child to fall victim to spending the majority of their summer break on the couch playing video games. Encourage your child to get out and be active by learning to try something new! Learning something new keeps your child from falling into a rut and it also feeds their creativity.
Something new for them could be learning to rock climb, joining a summer sports league, kayaking, or learning how to make lotions, soaps, and candles! While they may be nervous in the beginning or unsure of their abilities, their confidence will soon build and lead them to trying even more new things.
Avoid idle time
Encouraging your child to pick up a new hobby or try new things will structure their time over the summer, which will help them avoid falling into bad behaviors. It has been said that too much of anything can be a bad thing, and that is no different with time. Children that don’t have any fulfilling activities to occupy their time are more likely to pick up bad habits such as hanging around the wrong crowd or partaking in the use of drugs.
Try to keep your child as involved as possible throughout the summer by signing them up for camps and spending quality time with them whenever you can. And not all teens are able to seek summer employment, but that doesn’t mean they can’t volunteer their time. Look for ways your teen can be a mentor or work with other kids to be a leader and contribute to the community. This can end up being a rewarding experience that leads to a lifetime of service work.
If you are a working parent or own a business, it can be difficult to find opportunities to spend with your child. Looking into implementing tools that can improve your time efficiency, like an email scheduler such as Boomerang for Gmail or cloud accounting tools for your business. Automated tools make it easier to start and complete repetitive tasks like invoicing or inventory, save you money and time. Not only can software grow with your business, but it will help you get more family time as well.
Be honest with them
As a parent, your number one priority is to keep your child safe and to protect them from anything that could pose a threat to their wellbeing. As you know, you will not always be able to be around your child when certain situations present themselves, so it’s best to have open and honest conversations with them about the dangers of drug abuse and choosing to go down the wrong path. These conversations may seem painful in the beginning, but it is important that your child learns from you rather than someone else who could potentially be a bad influence.
Teach your child the importance of being a leader and that it is honorable to not give into peer pressure under any circumstances. Tell them that with all decisions come consequences, so it’s always best to make the right choice. Even if your child does not seem to grasp the magnitude of what you are saying right away, continue to have these conversations. As they grow older and are faced with different situations, your words will be a light on their path.
Planning a schedule for your child’s summer vacation is the wisest thing you can do as a parent. Not only will you keep them out of trouble and guarantee their safety, but you will also be setting a positive example for other parents and their children!
For the past 40 years, Kids Without Cancer has been raising money to fund the pediatric cancer research being conducted at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!
Posted on June 2nd, 2022
Photo via Pixels
Beneficial Self-Care Activities for Kids with Cancer
Are you looking for ways to help your child cope with cancer? Self-care can be incredibly valuable for children battling health conditions and serious illnesses like cancer. If you’re looking for ways to support your child and ease their pain, teach them how to practice self-care! Self-care for kids is all about encouraging children to become introspective and aware of their needs, both physical and emotional. Check out the following tips from Kids Without Cancer to learn more!
Model Good Self-Care Behaviors
Kids take after their parents. Even if you don’t think they’re watching, your kids are internalizing your words and actions to form their own perspective on the world. Modeling good self-care behaviors will show your children that taking care of one’s own body and mind is incredibly important.
Let your kids see you exercising, making healthy food choices, and going to bed early. Beyond these actions, show your kids that you’re aware of your needs and emotions by verbalizing what you need. Discuss why it’s important to prioritize activities that will improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. Aim to teach your kids the value of self-care. With that in mind, here are some actions you can take to help your kids see the benefits of self-care!
Get Out of the House
While getting out of the house, enjoying new activities, and attending events may be more challenging when your child has cancer, a little outing can go a long way toward improving everyone’s mood. For example, attending a sports game is a great way to relax and unwind with your family. Surprise your child with tickets to watch their favorite local team play! If the team isn’t playing nearby, consider traveling out of town for a weekend trip! Find what types of things your child likes to do and indulge these interests every so often.
Spend Some Time in Nature
Spending time in nature offers countless benefits for kids and adults alike. For example, Clearvue Health explains that kids who are exposed to nature have significantly better mental health as adults compared to those who were not exposed to nature as children. Spending time in nature is also associated with lower levels of psychological distress. Head to a nearby park or forest where you and your children can enjoy the natural environment for a while. Try not to go out with a goal or destination in mind. Just let your kids explore, have fun, and take in their surroundings.
Engage in Physical Activity
According to ChoosePT, exercise can benefit children with cancer in several ways. Physical activity has been shown to improve heart and lung function, muscle strength, sleep quality, joint health, and emotional wellbeing, all of which will make it easier for your child to cope with cancer. Talk to your child’s doctor about exercises that will help your child maintain an appropriate physical activity level during their treatment. You can also work with a pediatric physical therapist for help getting your child moving.
Encourage Your Child to Make Healthy Food Choices
It can be tough to get your kids to eat healthy meals during cancer treatment. But making healthy food choices is essential for maintaining their energy and mental wellbeing. Make sure your child gets enough protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Look for healthy, kid-friendly recipes that will get your child excited about nutritious food!
As a parent, nothing is worse than watching your child struggle through a cancer diagnosis. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to help your child maintain good health, energy, and a positive mindset. Encourage and model self-care for your child so they can gain greater control over their health and wellbeing!
Do you want to get involved in the fight against childhood cancer? Donate to Kids Without Cancer to help end all childhood cancers! Fill out the form on our website to make your contribution.
Posted on April 28th, 2022
Photo via Pixabay
Self-Care Tips to Help You Beat Cancer
Maintaining a positive outlook improves your chances in almost every situation, but sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Living with cancer, whether you’re a parent or a younger person, is difficult even on the best of days; it can take a toll physically and emotionally. It can be hard to perform daily tasks and learning to cope with the realities of an aggressive illness can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s so important for children and parents who are living with cancer to practice self-care. This can mean anything from finding ways to relax to taking care of your body in a way that makes you feel happy, comfortable, and healthy. Cancer can make you feel isolated, so self-care is also about your mental health — finding ways to be part of your community, spending time with loved ones, or just finding a quiet moment to yourself to do something you enjoy.
Being kind to yourself will help you get through even the roughest days. Here are a few tips from Kids Without Cancer on how you can do just that.
Engage your mind.
Many kids or parents who are living with cancer spend several hours a week at the mercy of a doctor, hospital, or chemotherapy station. It can be draining on your body and mind, so it’s a good idea to find ways to engage your brain during this time. Download stimulating games on your phone or tablet, bring along a good book, or listen to an interesting podcast on your headphones.
Staying positive is important, and this starts with your living space. Support a positive environment by making your home a place that makes you feel happy and relaxed. Ways to transform your space from negative to positive include doing a deep clean, decluttering, and letting in more natural light.
Consider getting a therapy dog.
Animals can be extremely helpful when it comes to our emotional needs; not only are they loyal, happy companions, they can actually help reduce stress and even lower blood pressure when you spend time with them. The Bark notes that’s why many doctors suggest their patients get the help of a therapy dog who can help with emotional support with an illness or mental health issue. These animals are highly trained and can be quite expensive, so it’s best to do some research before choosing one.
Spend your time the way you want to.
Living with cancer can be hard even on the good days, so it’s important for you to do things you enjoy as much as possible. If you have a hobby, practice it; if not, carve time from your daily schedule to do something you enjoy, such as sitting down with a good book or spending time with your grandchildren. This can boost your mood and help keep you positive even during a rough week. Live Better With suggests other self-care tips like keeping a cancer journal and practicing mindfulness.
Take care of your body.
Getting daily exercise and eating well-balanced meals can go a long way toward helping you feel good both physically and mentally, as can getting enough sleep. Treating your body well is one of the best methods for staying motivated when it comes to your health, so eat a variety of veggies and fruits, including mood-enhancing foods like kale, spinach, asparagus, and avocados.
Fit in a workout each day and make sure you’re getting enough rest. Even doing some simple stretches can relieve pain and release stress. If possible, spend some time outside, as fresh air can help you feel relaxed and at peace. However, you may end up spending a lot of time indoors, which is why you need to take good care of the air inside your home. Using an air filter with a high MERV rating with your HVAC system, for instance, will remove a large portion of the potentially harmful airborne particles in your home, giving you fresher air to breathe.
Living with cancer can affect your body in many ways; it can cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to memory problems, which can, in turn, make you feel disorganized and out of control. Get rid of clutter – both physical and mental – to give yourself some breathing space. Carry a notebook with you to write down things you need to remember and make lists daily of tasks and other things you don’t want to forget in order to stay organized.
Whether a child or a parent, practicing self-care is a big part of staying healthy and positive during a battle with cancer, so it’s imperative that you learn what works for your body and how to stay on a schedule. Get support from friends and family during this time, which will help you stay motivated.
For the past 40 years, Kids Without Cancer has been raising money to fund the pediatric cancer research being conducted at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and its affiliates Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Reach out for more info today! www.kidswithoutcancer.org
Posted on November 8th, 2021
Image via Unsplash
Thank you Scott Sanders of CancerWell.org for writing this article for Kids Without Cancer…….
Practical, Meaningful Ways to Help Pediatric Cancer Patients as an Everyday Citizen
It’s hard to imagine something more difficult than having a child diagnosed with cancer. And while research and treatments have come a long way in recent years, the fact that cancer still exists tells us that there is much more work to be done.
Whether cancer has struck your own child, the child of a close friend, or you simply feel the tug on your heart to help pediatric cancer patients, you can start making a difference today. And you don’t have to be a doctor or scientist to do it. Below, Kids Without Cancer discusses a few simple, impactful ways to help children with cancer.
Cancer has long been the most common culprit of death from disease among children. Despite a steady decline in death rates over the last 50 years, it is estimated that 10,500 new childhood cancer cases will be diagnosed by the end of 2021 with around 1,190 deaths resulting from those diagnoses. There are many different types of cancers prevalent among children, though the most common types include leukemias, lymphomas, and CNS tumors.
As with the numerous types of cancers that exist, there are many different treatments to consider. Parents of children with cancer must make a lot of decisions, including how best to treat the disease, which doctors to choose, how to cope with a diagnosis and everyday struggles of the disease, and how to make the necessary life adjustments necessary.
The more you learn about the plight that comes from pediatric cancer, the better you will be able to think of meaningful ways to help the children who are battling the disease. Through your research and education, you may even be inspired to become a teacher or practitioner of alternative cancer treatments (e.g., yoga, music therapy, massage, etc.) or take other steps to get heavily involved!
Redirecting Your Career
Along with learning as much as you can about pediatric cancer, you might consider tailoring your career path to benefit those with the disease. By becoming a nurse, you can deal directly with children who have cancer. This will not only benefit the children you serve but you may also get a fulfillment that would be hard to match through other careers.
If you choose to become a nurse, you will need to get the proper education. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing or healthcare will equip you with the skills and credentials necessary to help your patients and community at large in the battle against pediatric cancer. Plus, if you take online courses, you can structure your workload in a way that accommodates your current job, family life, and other commitments.
Another practical way to contribute to the battle against pediatric cancer is to get involved with organizations that are already committed to the cause through service, or perhaps you can donate regularly to organizations in your community, across the country, and across the globe. Kids Without Cancer funds and promotes pediatric cancer research and partners with Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute to enact meaningful, tangible change at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and abroad.
Starting Your Own Nonprofit
Finally, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider launching your own nonprofit to fight childhood cancer. Your organization could focus on cancer research and treatments, among other issues, and you could partner with other organizations around the world to expand your influence. As with any type of organization, you will need to dedicate time and energy to forming your nonprofit. This includes handling legal tasks, getting the funding you need and dealing with other financial responsibilities, selecting and managing a board of directors, developing your branding, raising funds and support from your community, plus many other actions.
While we all wish that pediatric cancer had been eradicated at this point, the hard truth is that it still exists and impacts the lives of thousands of children each year. If your heart is burning to contribute to the fight against this vicious disease, consider the information and advice above. But don’t stop here—keep researching and thinking of other ways that you can help children with cancer in your community, across the nation, and abroad.