4 Tips to Encourage Reluctant Readers

Reading by cesarastudillo
Reading by cesarastudillo

Reading by cesarastudillo

Maybe you heard these words from your kids over the summer: “School’s over, Dad! I don’t want to read!” Although I wasn’t surprised to hear that my son would rather play outside than read, I was hoping to see him pick up a book occasionally instead of his Nintendo DS. Well, school’s back in session, and it’s time to get back to reading… But how can parents motivate reluctant readers? Here are a few of my ideas:

Anatomy of Competition (Episode 125)

Children soccer competition at Marina Green, San Francisco 6 by Guillaume Paumier
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Do depressed moms have depressed kids?

IAN HOOTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYDepression can be a debilitating condition, affecting not only mood and outlook, but sleep, appetite, energy levels, and concentration. These symptoms are bad enough for an individual, but for a husband, wife, or parent, they can have ripple effects throughout the home, interfering with relationships and possibly affecting the ability to respond to children’s needs.

When considering the impact of parental mood problems on children, researchers have tended to investigate the impact of maternal depression, and have found links between depressive symptoms in mothers and a number of areas of adjustment for children and adolescents. In a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, researchers followed mothers and their children from 1 month after birth until they were 15 years old to investigate the impact of maternal depression on the mood and behaviour of teens. What was unique about this particular study is that maternal symptoms were examined regularly for more than a decade, and the adjustment of the adolescents was reported by the teens themselves.

Body Image, Part 1: How kids can learn to like their looks

Kids' Body Image: Ian Hooton-Science Photo LibraryBody image concerns can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of children and teens. While parents may be legitimately concerned about their kids’ weight, some children are becoming preoccupied about their bodies, comparing them unfavourably to those of celebrities or even to their friends. This week, Family Anatomy will be writing and talking about body image issues, to provide parents with ideas and information to address what seems to be a growing concern.

A recent study in the Journal of Health Psychology reported that about 40% of elementary school-aged girls and 25% of boys are dissatisfied with their bodies; other researchers have found different rates, but body dissatisfaction appears to be a relatively common problem, and the age at which it occurs may be dropping. Links have been found between poor body image and emotional distress, smoking, steroid use, social anxiety, and eating disorders. In the U.S., the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders (ANAD) reports that 7 to 10 million women and 1 million men are affected by eating disorders, with 86% indicating an onset before age 20. A story in the Chicago Tribune suggested that the average age when eating disorders develop has dropped from 13-17 to 9-13 years!