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Most unmarried, low-income couples show positive co-parenting

Study shows how parenting teamwork helps child development

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Newswise — COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite the many challenges they face, slightly more than half of unmarried low-income couples with children have positive co-parenting relationships, a new study found.

And those supportive relationships were linked to their children showing more empathy, less emotional insecurity and fewer behavior problems.

Parents who are good co-parents work together as a team, provide support to each other and back up each other’s parenting decisions, said Susan Yoon, lead author of the study and associate professor of social work at The Ohio State University.

Those types of relationships may be particularly hard for the parents in this study, who may be more likely than others to be stressed by finances, racism, and lack of support.

“Our study specifically focused on racially and ethnically diverse unmarried couples with low incomes who are more likely to face a lot of parenting challenges,” Yoon said.

“But we found that 56% of these families had good co-parenting relationships which was linked to positive outcomes for their children.  Our findings really highlight the strengths these families exhibit.”

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Participants in the study were 4,266 unmarried couples and their preschool-aged children from eight cities across the country who participated in the Building Strong Families study.

Parents in the study completed measures of how much they worked with their partner as a team to raise their child, and their perception of the other parent as a supportive co-parent.

Children’s socioemotional development was measured by asking mothers a variety of questions about their child’s empathy toward other children, their emotional insecurity and their internalizing problems (such as how fearful they were) and externalizing problems (such as being overly active).

The results of the study showed couples fell into four categories based on the quality of co-parenting and how each member of the couple thought the other did as a co-parent.

The largest category, Profile 4 – 56% of the sample – included couples with high-quality co-parenting in which both the mothers and fathers thought the other parent was supportive.

“This is the category where the children had the best outcomes, and it is encouraging that this was the largest group in our study,” Yoon said.

Parents in the other categories showed that it wasn’t just the quality of co-parenting that was related to how well the children fared – it also mattered quite a bit how much parents agreed that their partner was supportive, according to Yoon.

Children fared the worst in Profile 2 – (25% of the sample) – in which co-parenting was of moderate-high quality, but fathers had more negative views of how the mother co-parented.

“These findings suggest that fathers’ dissatisfaction might be an important warning sign for children’s poor functioning, even though co-parenting seemed relatively good,” Yoon said.

Children didn’t do much better in Profile 3 (12%), where co-parenting was rated moderate, but mothers were much less happy than fathers were with the co-parenting relationship.

Parents in Profile 1 (7%) had low-quality co-parenting and mothers had more negative perceptions of the co-parenting relationship.  Here children also did not fare well.

“Overall, we found that it isn’t just the quality of co-parenting that matters for children, it is also important to look at whether both the mother and father are satisfied with how things are going,” Yoon said.

“It is not good if there is a discrepancy between how mothers and fathers feel about the co-parenting relationship.”

These results show how important it is to include fathers in studies like this, given how their agreement or disagreement with mothers on co-parenting played a key role in child development.

Results also showed that when both parents had higher income and education, they were more likely to demonstrate high levels of supportive co-parenting.

“In order to strengthen families, we need to ensure that these low-income, unmarried parents have access to financial and material resources,” Yoon said.  “That can help support the development of mutually satisfying, high-quality co-parenting relationships.”

Other co-authors, all from Ohio State, were Joyce Y. Lee, Junyeong Yang, Jingyi Wang, Yiran Zhang, Minjung Kim and Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan.

 The study was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Family

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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Kid-friendly crafts that bring loved ones together

(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.

While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.

Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Visit Culinary.net to find more Easter inspiration and recipes from “Cookin’ Savvy.”

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 can frosting
  • 1 bunny chocolate mold
  • 1 cakesicle mold
  • ice pop sticks
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
  • cake pop sticks
  • 1 bag orange melting chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bag green melting chips
  • pastel sprinkles
  • 1 piece hard foam (optional)
  • edible markers
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
  3. Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
  4. Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  5. In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
  6. Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
  7. Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
  8. When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Easter Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • assorted food coloring

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. To make icing: Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
  2. To make cookies: Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
  5. Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
  6. Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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Child Health

Time is Running Out: Life Time’s 3 Key Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp

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CHANHASSEN, Minn. /PRNewswire/ — With summer creeping closer, parents are now on the lookout for engaging activities to fill their kids’ days once school is out. Life Time (NYSE: LTH), which serves more than 31,000 children aged 5 to 12 annually at its summer camps across North America, offers these tips from its Kids experts to guide parents in selecting a camp this year.

Life Time’s summer camps are designed to give children an unforgettable experience full of adventures, sports, activities, and friendships, all while keeping them active through the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, active children tend to have better grades in school, improved concentration and better cognitive performance.

  1. Look for Unique Activities – Consider a summer camp that engages kids in new active experiences, helps them learn different skills and encourages them to be healthy. Every Life Time Summer Camp includes weekly themes, from science experiments to outdoor exploration, giving kids an opportunity to learn and try something new every day. Two electives are included every week including art, STEAM activities, sports, athletic training, dance, coding, cheer and pickleball. There are also weekly Friday field trips to museums, zoos, aquariums, waterparks, amusement parks and other local attractions.
  2. Is the Summer Camp Flexible? – Parents are busier now than ever before. Be sure to check that your summer camp start and end times work for everyone. Many camps have forced times for drop-off and pick-up, creating extra challenges. Life Time has extended hours to accommodate parents’ busy schedules. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before care (7-9 a.m.) and aftercare (4-6 p.m.) are included in the cost of camp. Additionally, consider asking about flexible payment options. At Life Time, parents can pay in full during registration, or choose a flex payment plan for the same total price.
  3. Save Time with Swim Lessons – Summer is a great time to get kids started with swim lessons. Why not cross two things off the list with a summer camp that includes swim lessons? Registration for Life Time’s summer camps includes twice weekly swim lessons supervised by lifeguards and trained professionals, ensuring parents’ peace of mind regarding water safety throughout the season.

Life Time’s Kids Camps are designed to give children an unforgettable experience full of adventures, sports, activities, and friendships, all while keeping them active through the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, active children tend to have better grades in school, improved concentration and better cognitive performance.

“What truly sets our summer camps apart at Life Time is the quality and variety of content your child will be experiencing. Each day has a unique lesson plan, so kids never get bored,” said Samantha Stark, Senior Director of Life Time’s Kids Programming. “If you add in our unique offering of electives and swim lessons, kids at Life Time’s camps will be well-equipped to have a healthy, happy summer.”

Busy families at Life Time looking for an exciting way to keep their kids healthy and active this summer can now register for the Life Time’s 2024 Summer Camps. For more information about camps near you and to register, visit the Life Time Summer Camps website.

About Life Time®
Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of more than 170 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The Company’s healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 37,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events and comprehensive digital platform.

SOURCE Life Time, Inc.

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Navigating Change: Paradise Valley Unified School Board Votes to Close Three Schools Amid Declining Enrollment

In a tough decision, Paradise Valley Unified School Board voted to close 3 schools due to declining enrollment, sparking community concerns.

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In a recent decision that has stirred emotions and raised concerns within the Paradise Valley community, the Paradise Valley Unified School Board has voted to close three schools due to declining enrollment. Sunset Canyon Elementary, Desert Springs Prep Elementary, and Vista Verde Middle School are the institutions that will be affected by this move, with the closures set to take effect on July 1, 2024.

The board members involved in this difficult decision emphasized the necessity of being fiscally responsible in the face of dwindling student numbers. Despite acknowledging the emotional weight of this choice, their primary focus remained on the financial sustainability of the district. As board member Tony Pantera succinctly put it, “In the end, they’re buildings. Some people say, ‘Well it’s not a building.’ It’s just a building.”

However, the response from the audience highlighted a deeper sentiment among community members. Their outcry, expressing that these schools represent more than just physical structures, underscored the vital role these educational institutions play in fostering a sense of community and belonging. As one can imagine, the decision to close these schools will have far-reaching effects beyond the mere physical closure of buildings.

While Pantera’s assertion that “the community can exist anywhere” may hold some truth, the emotional bond and shared experiences nurtured within these school environments are irreplaceable. The impact of these closures extends beyond mere logistics, touching the hearts of students, parents, teachers, and residents who have built their lives around these educational hubs.

As the Paradise Valley Unified School District navigates this period of change and transition, it is essential for all stakeholders to come together to support one another and ensure that the well-being of the students remains at the forefront of all decisions. While change can be challenging, it also presents an opportunity for growth, adaptation, and the forging of new paths forward.

In the wake of this decision, it is crucial for the community to unite, reflect on the values that these schools have instilled, and work towards creating a positive and supportive environment for all students, regardless of the changes that lie ahead. By coming together with empathy, understanding, and a shared commitment to education, the Paradise Valley community can emerge stronger and more resilient from this period of transition.

Source: KTAR News

https://ktar.com/story/5561735/3-paradise-valley-schools-to-close-as-enrollment-numbers-decline/

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