NDSU Extension Service - Sargent County

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A Different Kind of Weight Loss

A Different Kind of Weight Loss  9/9/16Personal choices regarding our physical activity level and what we eat and drink are key to personal weight management.    The strategies for losing weight typically include reducing how many calories are consumed and increasing how many calories are burned. 

The same principles apply to managing household “stuff,” be it shoes, clothes, toys, tools, gadgets, food, knick-knacks, electronics, plastic containers, and anything else that clutters or fills our closets, drawers, countertops, floors, rooms, and garages.  To get rid of the excess is to experience household weight loss. 

To keep excess from re-accumulating takes conscious effort in a culture that has become increasingly overindulgent.

Overindulgence basically means having too much of anything that looks good but that prevents healthy living and healthy development.  When raising children, overindulgence appears as:

- having too much (too many things)

- doing too much for a child when it is age-appropriate for him/her to be doing (or learning to do) those things for himself or
  herself

- having too much soft structure and not enough firm boundaries

“Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence” suggests adults and children use a tool known as “the test of four” to help prevent overindulgence, encourage clear thinking and good decision-making, and guide them toward personal responsibility and self-control.

The test of four is just four simple questions designed to focus our thoughts:

- who will benefit from the purchase or commitment,

- how will the purchase or commitment affect progress toward developmental tasks,

- how will the purchase or commitment effect use of family resources, who benefits,

- what possible harm could result from making this purchase or commitment

The test of four can be used anytime there is the potential of being overindulgent.  For example:

-  buying a treat or toy for my child every time we go shopping

-  picking up toys, watering the plants, feeding/walking the dog and other chores children do

- what is my role with my child’s homework

- choosing between buying the shoes my child wants or the coat I need

“Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence” is a free online course available from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.  To learn more, go to http://www.extension.umn.edu/family/live-healthy-live-well/healthy-children/overindulgence/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/dump/  (downloaded 9/13/16)

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