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"Save Your Kids...Now"

September 27, 2009 7:26:41 AM PDT
Keeping your children healthy, active and open to communication with you can prove difficult at times. Dr. Douglas Haddad, author of "Save Your Kids...Now," joined us with tips. What inspired you to write this book and what makes it unique?

There are so many new kinds of problems that are surfacing for children nowadays that need to be addressed and strongly influence today' youth as I've seen over the last 10 years working with children as an educator, tutor, mentor, coach, and speaker. I've said before that we are in the midst of a kid crisis where they are reaching out for someone who cares through any and all channels both online and face-to-face. This book addresses the major problems that target today's youth and provides adults who care about children the necessary tools for understanding these challenges and then practical solutions for preventing/overcoming them.

You have stated before that it is all about "super health" for kids? How do you address that in your book?

Super health takes a look at the complete picture of health: the state of complete mental, physical, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease. In order for a child to be truly healthy, he or she has to eat well + exercise well + sleep well + think well.

You talk about healthy eating strategies for a child. What are some of the things you suggest?

HEALTHY EATING STRATEGIES FOR A CHILD

Stock your home with nutritious food on a regular basis. What is readily available is what is consumed.
Provide some options for a child to be actively involved in selecting nutritious and delicious foods.
A child should eat breakfast each day. It is the MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day!
Educate yourself on what is healthy eating. The general rule of thumb is to follow the updated food pyramid when planning meals.
A child should regularly consume 6-8 glasses of water a day (about half a gallon/day).

Customized exercise programs to help a young person get into shape. How do you get kids active and involved when they want to play video games at home?

GETTING A CHILD MORE ACTIVE

Limit the "tech time" and set a standard for daily physical activity.
Provide options for different "activity choices" versus calling it "exercise." If a child doesn't like sports, there are a host of other heart-pumping healthy activities available.
Provide a child with chores to do around the house that increase activity levels.
You be the role model for a child and become involved with the child in the activity. Do a family activity together that gets everyone moving more.
If a child is struggling with his/her weight, be sure to encourage a child, make the activity fun and non-competitive, and reinforce how much you love the child.

You state that there are methods for effective communication with a child. Can you give us some examples?

TIPS TO EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE WITH A CHILD AND HELP PREVENT THE OCCURRENCE OF TODAY'S CHALLENGES FOR YOUTH

Hug your child regularly and provide affection letting him/her know that you love and care.
Monitor a child's peer group and encourage a child to make good decisions.
Get a child involved in activities that bring forth leadership and responsibility.
Have restrictions on computer time, TV time, and use of cell phone. In today's society, there are many new issues that children encounter and are exposed to (both good and bad) more than ever before.
Request to be your child's "friend" on social networking websites and be aware of your child's interactions with others. Express your feelings on major topics that include addictive behaviors such as alcohol, substance abuse, gambling, sex, etc.
Be a role model of character and encourage a child to be kind, caring, considerate, respectful, and trustworthy. Encourage a child to do one's best in life (not having to be the best).

For more information, visit www.douglashaddad.com.


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