Sacred Heart - Inspiring Health

Fall 2014

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1 5 S A C R E D H E A R T E A U C L A I R E . O R G > Looking for other ways to get involved with your kids? Make a family commitment to exercise together for at least 15 minutes every day. Track your family's activity progress by visiting and enrolling in GO myWay, an online wellness tool provided by Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's hospitals. IF DINNERS AT home typically involve silently staring down at smartphones and serving plates, liven up your family's evening meal with our checklist of six dinner- table topics. ✳ Have each person share a favorite moment from his or her day. Rather than simply asking your children if they had a good day at school, which can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no," ask them to share a favorite thing about their day to help conversation flow and remind your children that even tiring or bad days have good moments. Lead by example by sharing a positive moment from your day. ✳ Ask your kids about fun activities they've done with friends. Though it may be difficult to get your children to open up about their friends, keeping up to date with their peer groups can offer insight into potential problems and give you a clearer sense of how your children are connecting socially with others their age. ✳ Take an interest in your children's passions. If your kids are hesitant to share details of their day, they may be more likely to open up about a topic they love. Maybe your son is an avid reader or your daughter loves basketball. Ask them about their favorite activities, books, TV shows, movies, celebrities, singers, and superheroes, and follow up with questions such as, "What do you love most about this activity?" or "Why is she important to you?" to gain a greater understanding of your children's thoughts and values. ✳ Talk about current events. The dinner table isn't the place for arguments or heated political discussions, but discussing age-appropriate news, such as a recent scientific discovery, can help your children learn valuable lessons about society. ✳ Share family stories. Have a particularly funny or relatable childhood memory of your own to share? Telling your children about some of your experiences may help break the ice and help them feel more comfortable confiding in you. ✳ Involve kids in meal prep. While this isn't technically a starter for dinnertime conversation, children who help cook are more likely to become interested in healthy eating and learn essential skills, such as reading a recipe. Working with your child in the kitchen is also a great forum for conversation. Once dinner is served, ask your children if they enjoyed helping in the kitchen and if they have any ideas for future meals they'd like to help prepare. Peppering the Conversation GATHERING AROUND THE DINNER TABLE OFFERS BUSY FAMILIES AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECONNECT AND SHARE THE DAY'S NOTEWORTHY NEWS AND EVENTS. IN MANY HOUSEHOLDS, HOWEVER, INITIATING DINNERTIME CONVERSATION IS A CHALLENGE. S A C R E D H E A R T E A U C L A I R E . O R G 1 5

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