Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Day Care Centers Benefit Parents!

     Mario Small, Professor in Sociology at the University of Chicago has discovered in his research that child care centers serve a function that is often overlooked. He found that centers "connect parents as informal advisors in child rearing and with agencies that help with the challenges of parenting."    He further stated that "Parents come to school to find someone to care for their children, and they end up learning way of taking care of each other. When you are a parent, particularly a first-time parent, the best resource you have is another parent. The centers become a resource where parents find support they need to solve problems and solutions such as referrals from other parents on good health care providers or schools. Parents who are at first unacquainted, find quickly a network at their child's day care by working together on fundraising activities or field trips. They connect with other parents who can provide helpful suggestions or advice abour child development or health issues and can even be available for emergencies.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leisure education and achieving wellness

A recreation therapist provides persons with illness or disabilities services that improve health and wellness and restores or rehabilitates to improve functional and independent living skills. Leisure education is one tool that is used to assist in helping individuals in overcoming barriers while developing a healthy leisure lifestyle.

Wellness is a holistic approach to good health by reaching the optimal level of functioning in all area of your life. Through recreation, or "re-creation" of self, and leisure, "the attitude that one is totally free from compulsions" is a component to achieving wellness.

The four domains of wellness and their benefits includes:

1. Physical: maintain independence, reduces premature death, and improve health
2. Emotional: decrease depressiion, develop coping skills and stress reduction
3. Social: the ability to get along with people and accept differences
4. Intellectual: the use of the mind, curiosity and learning

Barriers to achieving wellness may include lack of motivation, unable to stop unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or overeating, procrastination, not handling stress and anxiety,inability to identify and overcome fears, and boredom.

Thus, ten steps to achieving wellness are identified:

1. Clarify you values and attitudes by prioitizing things that are important to you.
2. Develop a written plan with goals and objectives with dates for achievment.
3. Find activities that are fun and enjoyable.
4. Make a "to do" list and include you goals.
5. Don't "should" on yourself. I "should do this." Have positive self talk.
6. Become a time manager and get organized.
7. Learn coping skills for dealing with stress.
8. Take action. Habits develop in 28 days.
9. Establish a pattern of success and rewards, both intrinsic and extrinsic.
10.Take responsibility for your wellness. You are the only one that can do it.

Leisure education is only one intervention a recreation therapist uses to address changes in leisure behavior. Leisure awareness, identifying leisure resources, developing activity and social interaction skills are also included in the Leisure Education Model.