Cook Children's has been an important part of the community for nearly 100 years. While we have grown to become a nationally recognized pediatric health care system, we are still focused on one promise:
Knowing that every child's life is sacred, it is the promise of Cook Children's to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury.
We know that good health begins at home, so to help fulfill our promise, we are offering several family-focused ideas as part of Family Forward, a new community-based Cook Children's program. Family Forward provides information parents can use to help build stronger relationships with their children. To allow families to be their absolute best, Family Forward offers tips and tools for tackling day-to-day challenges.
There are four Family Forward ideas we are sharing with the community:
- Family Dinner Nights
- No More Bullying
- Technology Safety
- Giving Back
By participating, families can build stronger, more open relationships that help their children:
- Develop stronger morals (rules of right and wrong) and values (ideals, customs,
institutions) that we (family, organizations, society) find to be important.
- Learn respect for one another.
- Become more responsible and accountable for their actions and choices.
- Develop better decision-making skills.
- Become more well-rounded individuals.
Tools for success
As part of Family Forward, Cook Children's will offer simple, education materials for parents that give information and tips on each initiative. We will offer ongoing support, as well as compelling reasons why families should participate, through the Cook Children's Web site and Checkup magazine.
For the little ones, Family Forward will include fun, child-friendly materials to help encourage their participation. Engaging children in the initiatives will be a major key to success.
Our hope is that through community awareness and family engagement, we will be able to make a big difference in the way families relate and function, with the ultimate goal of helping families be their absolute best.
Family Dinner Nights
Taking time to eat dinner together as a family has great benefits. Research shows that families who eat together with the television off are more likely to have children with better social and communication skills. They also tend to do better in school and eat more nutritional food.
Families are also less likely to have children with problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, illiteracy and violence.
Cook Children's will offer ideas and strategies for making family mealtime easier and more fun.
With technological advances, we now have easy access to entertainment and each other; however, there are pitfalls, especially when it comes to kids. Computer and internet time, TV, cell phone use and gaming systems must be monitored. Parents should also limit access so children don't abuse these privileges or become exposed to
Cook Children's can help parents guide their children in the use of technology. Limits and structure are important when allowing kids to use these tools. An Internet usage agreement is available to discuss with your children. Ask them to sign it as a contract to use the Internet appropriately. Our materials will help you identify the many dangers lurking in cyberspace and help you understand how they can affect your child.
No More Bullying!
Parents should be armed with the right information and resources for helping their child when they see signs of bullying. Bullying can affect both the bully and bullied child for many years. Bullies are more likely to skip school, use tobacco and alcohol and get into fights. Children who are bullied are also likely to skip school and may withdraw from many activities. Bullied children often complain of health issues, have declining grades and display more sad and angry emotions.
Child psychologists at Cook Children's have helped develop a list of the signs of bullying and do's and don'ts when it comes to dealing with a bully. Educating children at an early age about respect and diversity may be the best way to curb unacceptable behaviors before they become a problem. Setting a good example is another way parents can raise responsible children.
Parents are the most important role models for their children. By acting, saying and doing the right things, we teach our children how to behave. Parents can teach compassion and generosity by showing their children how charitable activities and actions make our community and our world a better place.
Cook Children's understands the importance of giving and has a number of programs and resources that allow the community to give to our organization. Regardless of where time and energy are given, children can learn valuable life lessons through service to others. We can provide information and resources to get you started and make 'giving' a family affair that will be both worthwhile and rewarding.