With the recent extended warm spell, safety on frozen lakes and sloughs should become a concern. While some look at melting ice as a sign of spring and warmer weather, for winter outdoor enthusiasts, it is a sign that our season is winding down. As Winter ends, the need for safety becomes even more important for those trying to enjoy it as long as they can.
With the recent cold weather, thoughts turn to ice fishing and other outdoor activities associated with winter, such as ice skating and cross country skiing. Outdoor activities are a healthy way to enjoy Mother Nature and her bounty. If some precautions are followed ice fishing and ice-skating can be a safe and relaxing activity. These activities may be great ways to fill some of the time off from school during the holiday season.
Camping, swimming, softball, picnics, and family vacations are just some of the activities that families look forward to during the summer. These events provide opportunities for exercise as well as family bonding. While summer is often the prime time for outdoor activities, in extreme heat, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
When one family member experiences stress, all members are affected. Family stress can be related to multiple factors such as financial struggles, mental health issues, or communication difficulties. These issues may be intensified during environmental phenomenon such as the current drought conditions across South Dakota. Although youth may experience stress related to the drought indirectly through their parents, the development of positive coping strategies among youth can reduce their personal stress while also decreasing the strain felt by other family members.
Take a moment to think about someone who had an impact on your life. Someone who supported you during a difficult time or provided guidance as you learned a new skill. Who was this person? A parent? A teacher? A coach? A 4H Adviser? A friendly neighbor? Regardless of who assisted you, or what support they provided, you likely feel a deep appreciation for that relationship.
Imagine a time in which you felt really positive about yourself. You probably felt confident and found it easy to interact with others. You felt happy and content. You did not feel the need to prove your worth. Self-esteem is a vital component within mental health and involves respect and a favorable view of oneself. A child’s self-esteem impacts how he or she interacts with the world. Low self-esteem can be seen in a child’s behavior, body language, and approach to life.
Dating is an important rite of passage during adolescence. By age 17, 70% of teens report participating in a romantic relationship in the past 18 months (Carver, Joyner, & Udry, 2003). Thus, dating is a common experience among adolescents. Dating is associated with both benefits and potential risks, and understanding these risks and benefits can assist parents in supporting their teen’s development.
Eating fruits and vegetables is crucial for a healthy diet, for both adults and children. Yet many find it hard to incorporate the recommended amounts in their diet. Looking at the MyPlate website, you will see that half your plate should be fruits and vegetables!
The majority (73%) of adolescents report using drugs or alcohol at least once by the time they reach 12th grade. The most commonly used substances include alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. Although most adolescents will experiment with drugs or alcohol, only a minority will develop a serious addiction. Yet, even limited exposure to drugs and alcohol is concerning as substance use among adolescents is related to poor academic performance, impaired memory and critical thinking skills, and depression.
Although sometimes viewed as trivial and overly dramatic, the dating experiences and romantic relationships of adolescents can greatly influence the success of their future relationships. Healthy romantic relationships during adolescence are related to committed, satisfying relationships in adulthood.
The Department of Education recently defined bullying as, “…a form of harassment; which can include verbal, written, or cyber name-calling; can be physically threatening or humiliating…" While bullying typically peeks in middle school and then declines, youth may experience victimization at any point during their school years.
This past year, I’m sure many of you have seen the recent NFL commercials promoting “Play 60”, but have you thought about what the meaning and importance of this message is for children and adolescents? The NFL Play 60 campaign is enforcing the physical activity recommendations for children and adolescents, which is 60 minutes (1 hour) of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. These 60 minutes can make a great difference in academic and athletic performance, weight status and overall health of an individual.
Can you remember back to when you were a child going on your first sleepover? Did you find yourself in unfamiliar routines or eating unfamiliar food? I remember thinking my friend’s family did things a lot different than my family. From how they did afterschool chores, to snacks and meals, to getting ready for bed and getting up the next day; it was all different. It was neither right nor was it wrong, it was just different than what I knew.
Not all conflict is between two individuals, sometimes it is between or within groups of people. In these situations working as a team instead of a group will be beneficial to resolving a conflict. Knowing the differences between a group and a team will assist your group in working as a team which will lead to resolving any conflict that you may have more constructively.
Etiquette is a useful tool to treat people respectfully. Treating others the way we want to be treated can help us to avoid some conflicts. As the quote by American author, Eldridge Cleaver goes, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.” Which one you are, is up to you.
What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “conflict”? Do you have thoughts of aggression, hostility, power struggles and bullies? Does just thinking of the word make you feel uneasy? Conflict seems to be something that most people want to avoid due to the fear of the confrontation in the conflict, the anger associated with the conflict or if the conflict is seen as destructive.
Peer relations is an important part of children’s social and emotional development. As children grow and mature from elementary school to middle school and then into high school; they are sure to run into peer conflict, disagreements and in some situations bullying. Conflict between and among peers is common, and not necessarily a bad developmental opportunity.
As I have been working on developing a program that will require teens to complete a “community challenge”, I have been looking at resources and research on how to make youth and adult partnerships work cohesively and be productive. I found the following article from Michigan Extension that shows how to make youth “partners” in the process.
As a youth leader you may have completed many community service projects with your youth and now want to know how you can take your Community Service Project to the next level which is Community Service Learning or Civic Engagement. In this article I will be addressing Community Service Learning.
A major aspect of the 2011 National 4-H Congress was an emphasis on teamwork and leadership. Each delegate attended both a leadership and a teamwork workshop filled with various activities.
Community Service is an important function among 4-H youth. The longitudinal 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development reported a notable trend indicates that 4-H youth are 3.3 times more likely to actively contribute to their communities when compared with youth who do not participate in 4-H.
My attention was drawn towards the Southerns, Blondes, and Lawyers workshop. I had no idea what to expect, the only thing I knew was that it was a diversity workshop. Right away when I walked into the room I sat down at a table with six other 4-Her’s. (There was about a total of 40 kids in this workshop.) I noticed signs on the walls spread across the room which were labeled: Jocks, Blondes, Southerns, Lawyers, and Asians. Other signs that were next to those were: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, and Strongly Agree.
The 4-H motto is ‘learn by doing’; but ‘doing’ includes so much more than just a once and done activity. Doing refers to the full process of completing a project – experiencing, sharing, understanding, relating, applying, recording, and reflecting. The act of recording in a notebook offers yet another layer of learning by providing an opportunity to reflect on what was done, what was learned, and engage youth in thinking about what’s next.
SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H participated in the 24th annual Big Sioux Water Festival on the campus of SDSU, May 10. Students from area schools were engaged in many area of the festival. The festival is a one day water themed event where youth can apply their knowledge of water education they have learned in their classrooms.
This year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) experiment provides an opportunity for youth to explore the physics behind a moving vehicle. They learn about vehicle speed, momentum, and kinetic energy and the impact that they have on car crashes. In addition to providing an understanding of what happens during a collision, the 4-H NYSD experiment takes this lesson a step further and adds the element of distraction.
Factors influencing the lives of our youth range from values and situations found in home lives to those in school/daycare and communities. These factors all work together to define perceptions of the surrounding world. With so many influencing components, it should be apparent that schools are not the only places that shape youth opinions of the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.
STEM education is about much more than ensuring that our future accountants, doctors, engineers, scientists, and technicians have the skills they need within their career fields. It is about ensuring that the entire population has the ability to observe, communicate, work as a team, problem solve, and do basic calculations.