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Child Development & Well-being

Bright Beginnings 3: Steps Toward a Healthy Pregnancy for You and Your Baby

It is important to create a healthy environment for an unborn child during the time of pregnancy. Key topics in creating a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby include managing personal health concerns, practicing healthy behaviors, meeting nutrition needs, increasing your knowledge of child development and reducing stress and preparing for the child's birth.

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Essential Elements for Positive Youth Development

Positive youth development is intentional. It is the combination of positive experiences, positive relationships, and positive environments. When youth programs combine these three components, youth are more likely to stay involved and experience the essential elements that serve as the foundation of positive youth development programming. The eight essential elements can be categorized into one of four key concepts: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

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Helping Your Child Cope After a Natural Disaster

Children have limited experiences with natural disasters, so it is normal for them to be afraid. It is important that children are met with kindness and understanding from parents and other adults to help cope with these feelings. Children should be encouraged to talk about their feelings and express their fears through play, drawing, painting or clay/play dough. Caring conversations can help them process any fears.

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Talking to Children About Armed Conflict

Whenever stories about armed conflict, terrorism or the possibility of war appear on television or in the news, considering the possible reactions of children and youth is important. Such topics quickly become a focus and concern for children. Addressing children's reactions is especially important when the issues directly relate to their family life, such as deployment of a parent for military service.

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Talking to Children About Divorce

Divorce can be a challenging and painful transition that children experience differently than adults. The distress of the parents involved in a divorce can interfere with their ability to respond to their children and their children’s needs. However, parents and caregivers can find the tools they need to help themselves and their children through the difficult transition of divorce.

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Talking to Children About Money

Children learn about and use money continuously. How children use money will affect not only their economic stability and security throughout their life. Parents and other adults can help children learn about the develop money management skills by discussing money with them, planning together, and providing children and positive learning experiences.

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Talking to Children About Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is among the most serious issues that face children and youth today. The specter of child sexual abuse is frightening to parents and caring adults. Sexual abuse steals so much from children, robbing them of trust, innocence and security. Addressing the problem of child sexual abuse directly and responsibly is important to fostering appropriate awareness of this difficult topic.

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Talking to Children About Suicide

Suicide is not a comfortable topic. It is sobering, serious and saddening to talk about. But the factors involved in suicide and approaches to diminishing or preventing its occurrence must be openly talked about in responsible ways. Silence cannot prevent the problem of suicide – it only can make it worse. Understanding when, how, why and who should talk about suicide is important.

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Talking to Children About Terrorism

Children may experience strong emotions when faced with mass violence or terrorist acts either on television or in the news. This publication helps parents and adults find ways to support children through kindness, understanding and reassurance.

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Understanding and Working With Youth

Certain characteristics are common to youth at each age level. While the rate of development of youth may vary, the order of the stages does not. Each of the four stages is distinct, characterized by abilities and attitudes that are different from the stages before and after. Within each developmental stage, there are four areas of development impacting individual learning.

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Youth Mental Health: How Adults Can Prevent, Recognize and Intervene with Mental Disorders

Mental disorders are prevalent among today's youth. However, an increasing number of disorders are left unnoticed or untreated. Many adults are unaware of the growing numbers, warning signs, and risk factors associated with youth mental disorders. It is important for caring adults to know how to recognize these warning signs in order to intervene effectively and promote positive mental health for youth in our schools and communities.

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