25 Ways To Ask Your Kids How Was School Today

By now those of you with school age kids have probably already made it home and attempted the “how was school today” conversation.

As a child my answer to my parents was always “fine,” “good,” or “alright,” but never much more. My mother would always have follow-up questions such as “what did you learn today?” as she attempted to get more than a one word answer out of me. Again my answer was the usual “nothing.” You may have done the same with your parents, but now you are on the other side of the table. So what do you do?

25-Ways-to-ask-your-kids-how-was-school-720x720Liz Evans, of the blog Simple Simon and Company, used to be a teacher and now has three kids. She too wanted more than a one word answer, so she came up with a list of 25 Ways To Ask Your Kids How Was School Today without asking “How was school today?”

After an overwhelming response to her original post, she added more questions for older kids in 25 Ways to Ask Your Teens ‘How Was School Today?’ WITHOUT asking them ‘How Was School Today?’.

Prevention of Underage Drinking – National Prevention Week: Day 2

alcohol Although the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, alcohol is the drug of choice among America’s adolescents and is used by more young people than tobacco or illicit drugs.

Youth generally drink less often than adults, but drink more than adults when they do use alcohol (binge drinking). Nationally, South Dakota teens rank 2nd highest for binge drinking at 26.2%. And South Dakota teens rank 5th highest for driving after drinking at almost 11%.

Underage drinking is a problem shared by all communities and can have serious consequences for both young people’s health and the well-being of the community.

The good news is that underage drinking can be prevented. Research shows that parents are the #1 reason young people decide not to drink. So, start talking to your children about alcohol before they start drinking—as early as 9 years old. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, they really do hear you.

Talking To Kids About Alcohol – 5 Conversation Goals

1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking. – Over 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink. So they really are listening, and it’s important that you send a clear and strong message.

2. Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being. – Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink—not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re working with, and not against, your child.

3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol. – You want your child to be making informed decisions about drinking, with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the internet, or the media—you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

4. Show you’re paying attention and you’ll notice if your child drinks. – You want to show you’re keeping an eye on your child, because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice. There are many subtle ways to do this without prying.

5. Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking. – Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. It could be tempting to drink just to avoid looking uncool. To prepare your child to resist peer pressure, you’ll need to build skills and practice them.

Keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks are better.

Download more talking points [pdf] from the Parents Matter Campaign at http://www.safesouthdakota.com/images/TalkingPoints_3.17.14.pdf.

Learn what you can do to help protect your loved ones and community by downloading the Fact Sheet on Prevention of Underage Drinking in the U.S. [pdf].

Other Resources:

  • Safe South Dakota – Take a Stand – A campaign from Parents Matter about talking with your kids about underage drinking & driving.
  • Too Smart To Start – A website that helps youth, families, educators and communities prevent underage alcohol use and its related problems.
  • UnderageDrinking.SAMHSA.gov – A public education website supported by the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on underage drinking that communicates to parents how they can help reduce their child’s risk of becoming involved with alcohol.
  • Stop Underage Drinking – A collaboration among SAMHSA and other federal agencies, this website provides a wealth of information on underage drinking, such as data and statistics; resources for parents, youth, educators, community organizations and businesses; and more.
  • Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide [PDF] – A guide provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that serves as a tool for identifying youth at risk for alcohol-related problems.

Enrolling a New Family Member in TRICARE

Did you know that as of 1 April 2014, the TRICARE Service Center located in the 28th Medical Group no longer provides walk-in customer service?

Today during our Bundles to Babies we had a question about the closure of the service center and how families can register new family members in TRICARE. Here is what we found.

Children are covered by TRICARE Prime for 60 days as long as one other family member is enrolled.  Here are the steps to keep your child enrolled after the first 60 days:

Most importantly, register your newborn or adopted child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Registering your child in DEERS is separate from enrolling your child in any health plan option and is the first step to ensuring your child is eligible for benefits. (You don’t need a Social Security number to register your child in DEERS. Once you have one, update DEERS with that information.)

There are then three ways that you can add your new family member to your TRICARE:

  1. Call our regional TRICARE contractor. Ellsworth AFB is in the West Region and so theTRICARE Regional Contractor is United Health Care Military & Veterans. Their phone number is 1-877-988-9378 (WEST).
  2. Add your child to your existing plan online by going to the United Health Care Military & Veterans website: http://www.uhcmilitarywest.com/ and fill out a profile for your family, then add your baby to the existing plan online at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/bwe/indexAction.do;jsessionid=CWI98W8nyS7pxoE-Hs2xtsTalEnPxp7Jlb-VFwrhr0awzKLNvRRz!-953372071 or
  3. Send an enrollment form to the regional contractor.

For more information you can go to http://www.tricare.mil/ and search for “Life Events”, then selecting “Having a Baby or adopting.”

Workshop gives expectant parents bundles of knowledge

Daphne Perez, 28th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, informs participants about ways to save money and budget for a baby during a Bundles for Babies class at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 5, 2012. Many topics were discussed with expecting parents, including finances, child care, relationships, and nutrition.
Daphne Perez, Airman and Family Readiness Center Community Readiness Consultant, informs participants about ways to save money and budget for a baby during a Bundles for Babies class at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 5, 2012. Many topics were discussed with expecting parents, including finances, child care, relationships, and nutrition.

Ellsworth moms and dads expecting a new arrival were welcomed at the Airman and Family Readiness Center for a morning of tips and tricks at “Bundles for Babies,” Dec. 5.

The class aims to educate first-time and seasoned parents about the different areas of preparation for a new baby, both before and after it’s born, and provide them with a few of the necessities they will need along the way.

Read Airman Ashley J. Woolridge’s full article on the Ellsworth AFB Official web site: AFRC class gives expectant parents bundles of knowledge.