More than Baby Talk: Talking to Baby Helps with Brain Development

According to a recent study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) in Seattle, babies as young as seven months old are mentally working out the mechanics of how to form words with their mouths — well before they’re able to utter their first recognizable syllable. And, as ABC News reports,  that means speaking “parentese” to your baby can help with brain development.

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Youth Addiction Prevention: What Works?

By Dr. Beth Fishman, Manager of Addiction Services at JCFS Chicago

As the old adage goes, “the best defense is a good offense.”  That is no less true when talking about problematic drug use by young people.  So how do we build a strong offense to help the youth in our community resist the pressures and temptations to begin using drugs and alcohol?  For youth drug prevention, what works?

Here are four insights to get you and the burgeoning young adults in your life on the right track. 

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The Case for Handwriting vs. Typing

The debate about whether handwriting is obsolete (in favor of going straight to the keyboard) continues to bubble as technology becomes more ingrained in daily life at younger ages.  It's been a hot topic in the news, with articles in the New York Times , Good Morning America, and more.  But, aside from Johnny not being able to read Grandma's hand written letters, what other developmental implications are there if handwriting is foresaken?

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Body Image – 5 Ways to Strengthen How Your Kids View Themselves

By Ann Luban, Community Services Program Specialist

Body image isn’t the shape of our bodies; it’s how we view our bodies.  And negative body image can affect kids as young as four or five years old.  Parents and other adults play a central role in how kids of all ages view their bodies and view themselves overall.   It is critical that we act intentionally to support them in their development.

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Having "the Talk"

Everyone knows about the “sex talk” – also known as the conversation with your children about sexual health.  Some parents and guardians dive right into the talk, while others avoid it at all costs. If you’ve been practicing avoidance, which response below best describes your philosophy?

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Mental Health Therapy for Children? Why?

By Lindsay Hardy, M. A.

Life in general presents us with ongoing challenges, many of which we feel unprepared to handle- parenting, divorce, interpersonal issues, etc.. At times, we need outside support to help us make sense of the challenges we face.  And so do children.  Pursuing counseling for a child, either as a primary service or an addition to current services, can foster positive change on a number of levels. It probably looks much different than you think.  However, knowing when a child might need this type of help can be challenging.

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Understanding Your Teen's ADHD

By Kevin Goldberg, B.A.

Children and Teens with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can face challenges throughout their academic career; one of which is preparing for, and taking college admission exams such as the ACT and SAT.  As you begin preparing for college exams, questions often arise around how to best support your teen’s success.  Although the emphasis universities place on these exams is slowly diminishing, success on these tests is still crucial for students.  Added to the stress and pressure of taking these exams, a teen with ADHD may also struggle with studying for these exams.

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1 in 10: Learning to Recognize Signs of Teen Dating Violence

By Betsy Lazerow, JCARES Outreach Coordinator

Your 13 year-old may appear to be completely absorbed in math club, sports and preparing for his or her Bar/Bat Mitzvah – but 89% of 13 to 18 year-olds say they’re in or have had a dating relationship, according to a Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll.

US government statistics reveal that 1 in 10 Illinois teens was a victim of physical abuse by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year, so it’s not too early to have a conversation about healthy relationships. The first people most teens will turn to when they are being abused are their friends – but JCFS wants you to know what parents and community members can do to help prevent teen dating violence and abuse.

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