The YMCA of Greater Louisville is the largest provider of child care in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and we, along with the nation, watched in shock as the tragic events unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut.
Our hearts go out to every person that was touched by those events. We know that children will have questions about what happened, and we as the Y, feel that it is important for us to help parents communicate on this difficult issue.
Below are some guidelines that can be used if/when your child seeks answers:
- Try to exhibit a sense of calm in the presence of children.
- Create a safe environment and allow children to freely express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear or consequences. Ask and discuss what makes them feel safe.
- If the topic arises, ask how they feel and let them know that you understand. Validate their feelings and let them know that how they feel is OK. Sympathize and empathize with them.
- Allow children to put their grief and/or emotions into action, i.e. write a letter or draw a picture.
- Be age appropriate, but direct, when answering questions. If the topic comes up, families should be encouraged to take breaks from the media coverage.
- Take note of any behaviors that seem to be out of character for the child as this may indicate the need to seek professional intervention. Behaviors can include, but are not limited to, persistent nightmares, bed wetting, soiling, aggressive behavior, isolating, etc.
- Maintaining normalcy in routines can also be helpful and comforting in these situations.
The Y will continue to work with our local experts to learn how we can continue to maximize the safety of our facilities and programs.
The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen you and make your life better. When making New Year’s Resolutions, the YMCA of Greater Louisville wants to remind families that resolutions should also include family time.
Here are some simple things families can do at home to improve their health while spending more time together. The following are 5 New Year’s Resolutions the Y recommends for 2013:
- Eat Together. Sitting down together for a meal is a great way for parents and kids to share stories, talk about the school day or share their favorite part of the day. Set aside time for your family to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once a week to catch up.
- Volunteer Together. Giving back and supporting neighbors benefits everyone. It teaches children and teens to the value of helping others while meeting new people or discovering new interests. Find an opportunity in your community that the entire family may enjoy, such as distributing food at a local food bank or cleaning your neighborhood park.
- Unplug from Technology. Limit screen time (TV, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an hour to play games, go for a family walk, take a bike ride, or a trip to the park. Make some family memories outdoors!
- Be Physically Active. It’s important for kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. And children aren’t the only ones who need activity – 30 minutes a day for adults too. Go swimming during Family Swim at your neighborhood Y or take a family exercise class.
- Put Extras to Good Use. Do you have extra clothes or canned goods that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs. You can get the entire family involved and demonstrate the value of giving.
What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?
Have you looked at the weather forecast this week? Temperatures are set to be in the 70s and 80s with loads of sunshine, and I am stoked! I felt like a whole new person this morning when I was able to walk out the door in short sleeves without shivering. Now as much as I love the cool crispness that fall brings–pumpkin lattes, sweaters, amazing colors–for awhile there it felt like we went straight from summer to winter on the thermometer, which is not okay with this lady.
Too many nice weather days slipped past me the last few months without running outside or hiking, so I’m determined to make my way out this week while I still can without adding on a ton of layers. I got a head start on Saturday when my fellow and I hiked for a couple hours at Jefferson Memorial Forest. The recent rain made all the colors pop so much that it was hard to get a good hike in; I kept stopping just to take in the scene.
We are lucky in Louisville to have such an expansive parks system, and if you haven’t spent much time at one lately, now’s your chance. The best advice I can give anyone this week is to block off a chunk of time to be active outside: go for a walk, go for a jog, go for a hike, just GO!
We know football season is right around the corner. And we thought it might be a good idea to post some yummy, healthy recipes in case you want to start planning your menu for the season opener. (And let’s be honest…we’ve all started thinking about that!) So whether you’re a Cards or a Cats fan, take a look at this awesome recipe.
(Thank you to Erin Brown, our very own Registered Dietitian, for graciously sharing her knowledge with us!)
Taco Salad – Greek Yogurt Recipe
8oz Greek Yogurt
8oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 bundle of green onions, diced
Shredded lettuce to cover
2 tomatoes, diced
8oz of shredded 2% cheese
1 package of taco seasoning
Mix greek yogurt, cream cheese, and taco seasoning as a base. Then top with diced onion, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and shredded cheese – in that order. Makes 8 servings.
Total calories/serving: 123 total fat/serving: 6g protein/serving:14 g
Rainbow mud. That’s how I would describe my appearance on Sunday morning after a few friends and I, along with 7500 other people, completed The Color Run 5k downtown. Now, this wasn’t so much a race as it was a colorful street party. For those of you who haven’t heard of The Color Run, the gist of it is that you start the run wearing a clean white shirt, and along the course, you get gently pummeled with colored powder; at the end, you look like something out of Willy Wonka.
I can say with total certainty that I’ve never had so much fun in a race! Our team–for PEACH’s sake–had one objective: get as colorful as possible. To accomplish this, we rolled around in color that had fallen to the ground at each station. STOP. DROP. ROLL. COLOR. It just goes to show, getting exercise and being active doesn’t have to be a drag. While this certainly wasn’t an intense cardio work-out, jogging and laughing at the same time with friends make for very fun physical activity.
You don’t have to be an Ironman competitor to complete a race. There are lots of runs and walks still left this summer and fall that would be great for the whole family to do, or if you’ve never completed a race before, there’s no better time than now to push yourself and do one! You can look at a fairly comprehensive list of races in and around Louisville here. There are a number of races for charity, so you can support a good cause and get in some exercise at the same time. Maybe you can even get a team together and make silly shirts for the race (“Don’t let life be the pits” was our team motto for The Color Run). However you go about it, I would highly recommend doing a race. Whether you run, walk, or do some combo of both, you’re going to feel great after you cross that finish line.
Okay, so I have a new obsession! I was turned on to Orange Leaf by a very close friend of mine. During all of this summer heat, Orange Leaf is a new, delicious, frozen yogurt place in the Gardiner Lane Shopping Center. They have a great selection of frozen yogurt options to choose from, and a wonderful, family-friendly environment. The really neat thing is you can actually have a serving of frozen yogurt from Orange Leaf, without consuming a ridiculous amount of calories. (For those of you participating in Weight Watchers click here.) I recommend Orange Leaf to all of my families and friends, with a great price, great options, and a different place to take the family, you can not beat Orange Leaf! I encourage everyone to check it out!
We have a new Childcare Enrichment Program (CEP) video and we want to share it with you!
Our caring, trained staff offer homework support, help build positive self-esteem, and work on improving literacy and reading skills. We also have nutritious snacks available and play fun, active games.
We offer before and after school child care throughout Bullitt County and Jefferson County. Register through July 17 and it’s only $15 per child per week! So don’t wait – register today!