Being kind to others

A little act of kindness goes a long way.  A simple smile aimed at someone who looks sad, a simple heartfelt question of concern can do a lot to change another’s disposition.  How gracious God is to us; we need to pass that along (Ephesians 4:32). Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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Creating confident kids

In the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a single father facing some tough stuff, along with his son.  Yet, Smith’s character maintains his self-confidence. He is determined to create a better life for himself and his son.  As a parent, it’s so important to have a strategy to build confidence in our kids in a world that constantly tells them they can’t. First, start by listening to your child.  They just want to be heard.  Second, be their number one encourager. Take time to attend their activities and tell them how proud you are of them.

Sometimes you wonder if it is worth it…

The other night, after a string of tough days, my wife and I fell into bed, both of us almost asleep before our heads hit the pillows.  But in the stillness, as I tried to quiet my mind, all I could think about was how hard her day must have been with all she had on her plate.  I realized I’d spent my whole day taking great care of my to-do list, but not taking great care of her. Yes, you understand that too.

I reached over, took her hand, and gave her a little squeeze.  ‘How are you holding up?’

Tears welled in her eyes, and she said, ‘I’m okay… It’s just a lot, you know?’  I gently squeezed her hand again.  Then the tears came.  ‘Sometimes I just wish we could move to the middle of nowhere and get a cow.’”

Yes, those times will come, but persevere.  Each day is a new day and has its’ blessings to get your through.

Waiting

Are you using the “W-word” with your kids?  A lie parents tell their children is, “You can have it now.”  The four-letter word no child wants to hear is, “Wait.”  Let’s face it, neither do we.  We live in a society of instant gratification…fast food, instant downloads, immediate access.  Instant is good, right?  Well, it’s convenient, but there is value in waiting too.  But we can’t just tell our kids they need to wait; we have to show them how by example.  Wait and be patient in traffic.  Wait in the checkout line without grumbling.  When they see your patience, they’ll know that “wait” is not a bad word, after all.

Enjoying sports with your kids

Baseball historian George Will writes about Ted Williams, a perennial All-Star and one of the greatest baseball hitters ever: “He used a postal scale to check that humidity had not added an ounce to the weight of his bats. Challenged to find from among six bats the one that was half an ounce heavier than the others, he quickly did. He once returned to the maker a batch of his Louisville Sluggers because he sensed that the handles were not quite right. The handles were off by five-thousandths of an inch.”

Williams was an outstanding hitter.  And obsessive.  This trait made him hard to deal with – both on and off the field.  Don’t let that be your kids.  Sports are designed to teach children how to persevere and to just be plain fun, not stressful.

Exercise is good for the brain

A growing number of politicians and educators have begun to heed the research and decided that to improve academic performance, they must do something about their students’ physical fitness as well. As a result of this new attitude, at least 14 state legislatures considered new laws in 2016 that would increase the amount of physical education or recess schools are required to offer or raise the bar for qualifications for physical education teachers, according to a 2016 report by SHAPE America. Some even took action.

“Effects are actually found in the brain,” one researcher said. “We find higher fit kids have differential brain function than lower fit kids.”

The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus of physically fit children are better developed than those of less fit children. These two brain structures control many of the abilities that lead to high academic achievement: long-term memory, self-regulation and goal making, among other key functions.

“Students who are physically active and healthy have higher test scores, lower rates of discipline referrals and increased focus in the classroom,” the researcher said. And while that’s important, the health and wellness value of high quality physical education: It teaches kids “how to be physically active for a lifetime.”

Fit kids = healthy adult lungs

Children who are fitter and whose fitness improves during childhood and adolescence have better lung function as young adults, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Good lung function in early adult life is believed to lower the risk of developing chronic lung disease later in life, but until now, there has been very little evidence that childhood fitness had any bearing on adult lung function.

Chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are a leading cause of global ill health and, with an ageing population, this is projected to get worse. The new study provides early evidence that keeping children fit could help reduce the burden of lung disease in the future.

 

The results show that fitter children had better lung function and the more their fitness improved during childhood, the greater their lung capacity when they reached adulthood. The link between lung function and fitness remained after the researchers took account of factors such as height, weight, asthma, and smoking. The results also showed a stronger effect in boys than girls.

 

The better your lung function as a child, the better you’re protected against lung ageing in later life. It seems that regular sports in childhood and adolescence, ensuring development of peak exercise capacity, may be your lung-insurance for later.

Great news!