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November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.

Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.

"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."

Althea and Joel Bontrager of Columbus examine a communication ball at the beginning of a three-hour workshop for foster/adoptive parents in the Oktibbeha County Extension Office on March 19, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
April 13, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Family service providers know that parenting is never easy, especially when the children are not your own.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is teaming up with the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children’s Services to provide workshops on topics such as parent/child communications, helping children cope with change, and coping with stress, depression and anger.

February 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The foundation of a healthy marriage rests on the solid ground of communication.

Karen Benson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Neshoba County who conducts family life programs, said couples are able to grow closer emotionally when they open up about their hopes and needs.

“Conflict is inevitable, but marriage does not have to be a struggle,” she said. “We learn to negotiate and learn more about ourselves when we work out solutions to conflicts.”

This is an image of Anna Hughes, a field technical assistant with the Early Years Network helped with post-tornado child care at a Red Cross Shelter in Louisville, MS in May, 2014.
October 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of the most difficult tasks a parent or provider will face is guiding children through the grief and instability brought on by tragedy.

Natural disasters, terrorism, mass shootings, deaths of loved ones, or acts of domestic or physical violence are traumatic for everyone. When faced with these events, children and adults alike experience feelings of fear, helplessness and anxiety. However, children have very little, if any, experience in properly dealing with those feelings.

Katherine Weatherby is surrounded by her 2-year-old grandchildren (from left) Zirean Davis, G’Niereya Alston and Bryson Ward at her home in Sallis, Mississippi, on Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Human Sciences/Amy Barefield)
September 10, 2015 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grandparents provide a loving, low-cost and flexible alternative to center-based child care for many families across Mississippi. The benefits to the parents, children and grandparents in these situations are significant for many reasons.

Nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 in the United States go to some type of child care for an average of 36 hours each week. Some children are in multiple child care settings because of their parents’ nontraditional working hours.

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