Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Teens and Stress: Don’t Eat it Away

posted by Linda Mintle

A group of high school teens sat down with me and discussed stress and our tendency to eat when we feel it.

Watch the video to see what stresses them and how they can cope in healthy ways.

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Huge Benefits to Having Family Meals

posted by Linda Mintle

This week I did an interview for Telemundo Miami on the importance of family meals. The benefits from sitting down to meals as a family are so compelling that I hope  you think about making this a reality. Family meals have become a lost tradition in our culture. It is too easy to allow busy schedules to dictate our day, but making time for meals is definitely worth the effort. And even if you are a working mom, you can make this happen with my tips.

Family meals….

—Decrease teen risk of psychosocial problems– drug use, alcohol use, risky sexual behavior, suicidal intention and early sexual behavior.

—Allow kids to eat healthier and have better nutrition.

—Bring a sense of emotional connection among family members.

—That are no stress zones create a relaxed atmosphere for great conversation and catch up on daily activities.

—Provide a routine that help kids thrive.

—Increase the chance of kids getting their fruits and vegetable servings needed for healthy development.

—Are the single strongest predictor of better academic achievement (University of Michigan study).

So with all these incredible benefits, how can you make this happen?

1.Pre-plan for meals. This is the key. On the weekend, make up a menu and buy needed ingredients. Plan your daily meals.

2. Pull out that Crock-Pot that is located somewhere in a cupboard. The night before or early a.m., fill it with tasty ingredients, plug it in and simmer all day and come home to a home cooked meal.

3. Get on the net and find a number of 30 minute meal preparations. Rachel Ray and others have on-line recipes that are easy to make.

4. Cook meals on weekends and freeze them. Then you simply thaw the day you need the meal.

5. Accommodate schedules. When my kids were in ballet, soccer and other activities, I adjusted mealtime each night to fit the schedule. It can be done!

This one change in your family life can make a huge difference!

 

For more tips on how to raise healthy weight kids, click on the link to my book,  Raising Healthy Kids, winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards.

Job Hunting? Focus on These Three Questions

posted by Linda Mintle

Robert lost his job last month and is anxious about interviewing for a new one. His company downsized and he was one of the casualties of that decision. The problem is that Robert hasn’t interviewed for a job in over seven years. He is asking how to prepare for his upcoming interview.

I recently saw an article in Forbes that talked about what recruiters look for when hiring for a new position. Since so many people are job hunting these days, I found this article very helpful. Here is a very brief summary. The link provides the full article. If you are looking for a job or want to change jobs, you will want to be prepared to answer these three questions:

1. Can you do the job? This question is intended to get at your strengths. While technical skills are needed for a position, you also want to be good with interpersonal relationships and have leadership skills. Recruiters look for people high in Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ is all about your ability to monitor your feelings and the feelings of other people and use the information to guide your decisions and actions.

2. Is there a fit between you and the company hiring you? People leave and get fired from organizations when the fit is not happening. In a job interview, not only are they assessing you, but you will need to assess them. This question about fit gets at who you are in relation to the organization interested in hiring you. Will the two of you work well together?

3. Do you have passion for the position? People who hire are looking for those who are highly motivated because they have passion for a position. This question assesses your motivation. Are you interested in the job simply because you need a job and can do the work, or do you have a passion for the work?

As you prepare to interview, be prepared by thinking through your answers to these three questions. If you can answer, YES, to all three questions, you may have a better chance of finding a job you like and can stay at for awhile.

The Positive Side to Gaming

posted by Linda Mintle

Most of you know I am not a fan of children, teens and young adults spending long hours a day playing video games –especially the violent and sexually exploitative ones. We know from studies that playing violent video games changes the adult male brain after just one week of playing. The brain regions associated with emotional control become depressed. And there is an association with compulsive gaming and obesity, depression, and being more introverted. Furthermore, a meta-analysis conducted by Iowa State University found violent video games to make people more aggressive and less caring to others.

But is there any up side to the research on game playing?

Apparently YES, according to the Tuesday, March 6, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. Even when  violent games are played, these benefits were noted compared to those who didn’t play games:

1) Those who played action video games were 25% faster at making decisions.

2) Those who played Starcraft II were faster thinkers.

3) Middle school kids who played electronic games scored higher on creativity.

4) Surgeons who played video games for at least 3 hours a week made 37% fewer surgical errors.

5) Hand-eye coordination improved.

6) Players could multitask better (University of Rochester).

7) Women improved on their ability to mentally manipulate 3D objects.

The games played were engaging but most often violent and researchers do not know if the violence matters. So while there are positive benefits noted, there are also positive benefits to other types of learning that engage the reward systems in the brain.

For me, the jury is still out in terms of the overall impact of violent video games. But at least we know there is also an up side to time spent playing video and computer games.

 

 

Dr. Mintle is the author of Raising Healthy Kids in an unhealthy world. The book includes a chapter on the impact of video game playing on children in terms of childhood obesity.

 

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