Category: Family

Leaving Your Child Home Alone

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” ~ Graham Greene (Photo by Kate Krav)

Deciding when a child is ready to stay home alone is a difficult decision for parents. There is no set age. Some 10-year-olds can be very mature while some 13-year-olds may still need to grow-up a bit. It really comes down to a parental judgment call.

Today’s guest is Renette Wardlow, human development specialist for University of Missouri Extension. She has advice for parents on how to determine if a child is ready, how to prepare a child for time alone, and steps to take to keep a home-alone child safe.



Staying Home Alone: Is Your Child Ready for Self-Care?

Leaving Your Child Home Alone

At Home Alone: A Self-Study Guide for Families With Children Who Spend Time At Home Alone

Disconnect to Reconnect with Life

"Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except technology." ~ John Tudor (Photo by Christoph van der Bij)

This week is National Screen-Free Week.  It’s a time for all of us to take a good look at the amount of time spent with screens.  Smart phones, tablets, e-readers and all other “screen” devices take hours away from other activities such as spending time with family and friends. Don’t think “screen time” is a problem? Consider this: From January to March 2012, more iPhone were sold than babies were born worldwide.

Do you think you could do without devices for a week? How about a day? Could you put them down for a few hours?  Why not give it a try. The life you discover may be your own.


Today’s guests are Sara Gable, State Extension Specialist in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Robin Gammon, Program Manager for the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program. Both are with University of Missouri Extension.

University of Missouri Extension has some fun suggestions for non-screen activities on their Play More, Watch Less page.

Community Involvement One Child at a Time

Abigail's winning photograph - Photovoice Missouri 2011-2012

Photovoice Missouri is a statewide health photography program and competition that’s a collaboration between the Health Communication Research Center at the Missouri School of Journalism…and the University of Missouri Extension Healthy Lifestyle Initiative.

Last August, students from several Missouri counties were given the task of showing, through pictures, examples in their communities that support healthy choices, and areas that need improvement.



All of the students’ pictures can be seen on Flickr, a photography sharing website: Photovoice Missouri

Photovoice Missouri is supported by University of Missouri Extension’s Healthy Lifestyle Initiative , assisted by the Health Communications Research Center at the Missouri School of Journalism

Dealing with Holiday Stress and Avoiding Meltdowns

"Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you." ~ John De Paola (Photo by Carl Dwyer)

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and its holiday spirit theme, may seem most appropriate for the winter holidays.  However, so many of us stress over making the holidays perfect that A Tale of Two Cities may be much more relevant.

”It was the best of times, it was the worst of time. It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness…It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”


Today’s guest is Lucy Schrader, Human Environmental Sciences Associate State Specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

National Family Week is November 20-26, 2011

For more tips on dealing with holiday stress visit the Missouri Families webpage.

Celebrate and Honor the Family

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." ~ Jane Howard (Photo by Stephanie Hofschlaeger)

National Family Week is an annual celebration observed during the week of Thanksgiving.  This year it’s November 20 – 26.

This is the perfect time to highlight the work of MU Extension’s Building Strong Families program.  Based on research, Building Strong Families help adults and children find their strengths, build on those strengths and learn skills that create closer ties and stronger families.