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News Filed Under Children and Parenting

Still life arrangement of a pair of knitted infants booties, a hospital ID band and a pacifier.
October 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

Identity theft takes many forms, but theft of a child’s identity is one of the most difficult frauds to detect and can go unnoticed for years.

The Federal Trade Commission defines child identity theft as another person using a child’s personal or financial information to make purchases, get benefits, file taxes or commit fraud.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County, said this theft often goes unnoticed until the child gets ready to enter college.

May 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Technology, Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Educators planning for next year can participate in a free, online train-the-trainer course that will help them teach children and adults how to recognize and combat cyberbullying.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools to develop the program.

Law enforcement officers, school resource officers and other interested adults can also participate.

Eliminating clutter is one way to prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem. Once these parasites are introduced into a home, extermination requires professionals. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
February 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, Insects-Human Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.

Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.

Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.

Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.

Boone Purser enjoys afternoon cuddles with his son, Benji, on Oct. 31, 2016. Benji is a breastfed baby who thrives on attention from both his parents at his home in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The choice to breastfeed babies does not remove fathers from nurturing duties that create strong bonds with their children.

Hannah Lambey, a dietetic intern with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a father can significantly impact the mother and baby just by doing a few simple things.

"Breastfeeding centers around the relationship between the mom and baby, sometimes leaving dad feeling left out," Lambey said. "Dads have many other bonding opportunities that are just as important for both the mother and child."

Minerva Graham (left) and Shelia Sanders, co-directors and co-owners of the Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany, receive educational technical assistance and support for school-age children through the Early Years Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. This photo was taken Aug. 25, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
September 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

NEW ALBANY, Miss. -- School-age programs can take a backseat to activities for younger children at many child care centers, prompting Minerva Graham to change that situation at Rainbow Learning Center.

More than a decade ago, Graham was working as a schoolteacher in Tupelo, Mississippi, and her friend Shelia Sanders was providing in-home child care.

In 2002, the two women decided to go into business together and open Rainbow Learning Center in New Albany. The co-directors and co-owners have been working to provide quality child care at the center ever since.

August 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Michaela Parker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Toddlers who like to bite are a common source of concern for parents, but moms and dads can help their children manage this behavior.

Biting is a normal developmental step that begins when a child starts teething, said Karen Benson, Neshoba County coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Members of Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Early Years Network and Excel by 5 celebrated the grand opening of the North Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center with Durant Mayor Tasha Davis (center) and community members on Aug. 2, 2016. The center provides early child care educators, families and other residents in Holmes County a place to visit and borrow educational books, toys and games. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
August 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

DURANT, Miss. -- Early child care educators, families and other residents in the Durant area now have a new place to visit and borrow educational books, toys and games.

On Aug. 2, the North Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center celebrated its grand opening, becoming the 18th center of its kind in the state.

Young athletes need family support on and off the field, especially when it comes to staying hydrated and eating nutritious foods. (Photo by MSU Extension/Brian Utley)
July 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Nutrition

By Michaela Parker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Student athletes will be returning not only to the classroom soon, but also to after-school practice and games.

Research shows that around 70 percent of children participate in organized sports. In addition to exercise, young athletes need nutritious, well-balanced diets to reflect their active lifestyles.

July 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Michaela Parker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Children are supposed to enjoy being around each other, but bullies can quickly spoil the fun and hurt a child’s feelings.

Watching children endure bullying is difficult, but what should parents do when their child is the bully?

Tashmia Turner, a family and consumer sciences agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Madison County, said bullying is a behavior that should not be accepted.

July 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

DURANT, Miss. -- The Early Years Network and Durant Excel by 5 Coalition invite parents and young children to attend a grand opening event for the new North Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center on Aug. 2.

The open house at 515 Northwest Ave. in Durant will be from 3-5 p.m. Following a brief ceremony, staff and Early Years Network personnel will be on hand to visit with patrons and community members.

Adara Blalock, 10, visits with a grasshopper (or vice versa) while taking a break during the Adams County Farm Camp near Natchez, Mississippi, on July 7, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
July 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

NATCHEZ, Miss. -- Life in a rural community does not guarantee opportunities to experience agriculture, understand where food comes from or learn how to treat animals.

The Adams County Farm Camp offered 35 children, ages 8 to 13, hands-on activities around cattle, chickens, horses, fish, wildlife and gardens.

When children from the Mississippi State University Child Development and Family Studies Center go home for the summer, their parents can find many options to stimulate imaginations and encourage learning. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)
July 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer vacation gives children a break from school, but that does not mean they should stop learning or that summer has to be boring.  

RAND Corporation researchers found elementary school students’ academic performance falls by about a month during the summer.

But continued learning does not mean math worksheets, vocabulary lists and tests. Summer is a great time for children to discover learning is fun and can happen anywhere.

To avoid sunburn, young children should wear sunscreen and stay in the shade as much as possible when playing outside. (Photo by MSU Extension/Alexandra Woolbright)
June 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. – During the summer months, few activities are more appealing than a dip in the pool to escape the heat, but safety must be the top priority.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers have been known to drown in as little as a bucket of water. Swimming pools can pose the greatest drowning riks to toddlers.

Despite the dangers associated with swimming, the good news is that drowning is preventable.

Melissa Tenhet, director of the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences’ Child Development and Family Studies Center, left, and Andrelyn Smith, center manager, celebrate the center’s recent notice of accreditation. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/David Doleac)
May 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For those in early childhood education, achieving accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the mark of excellence in their field.

In Mississippi, few have earned this distinguished honor, but the School of Human Science’s Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University is among the elite.

Director Melissa Tenhet learned on May 17 that the center’s efforts in recent years to achieve accreditation have been successful.

Heather Bond (left) plays with Thaddeus Pyko, while his mother, Maj. Kyla Pyko, watches. Bond is a family-home care provider who has opened her home to military families needing child care.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alexandra Woolbright)
May 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- For military families, finding child care that accommodates their hectic schedules can feel impossible, which is what makes child care providers like Heather Bond so special.

For nearly six years, Bond has opened her home to military families who do not have traditional schedules, giving parents a safe and inviting alternative to conventional child care options.  

Children do not have to leave the city limits; they can explore nature in their own backyards. Eastern box turtles (left), which are native to Mississippi, are land dwellers and do not even need ponds to find friends who want to play. Getting dirty is half the fun for children exploring and playing in the great outdoors (right). Rain may drive families inside for a time, but they provide some great water features after the thunder and lightning have passed. (Photos by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
May 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With the busy schedules many of us keep, it is hard to make time to spend outdoors with our kids, but this is a vital part of their development.

 A news article recently caught my eye with a report I found appalling. On average, prisoners spend more time outside than our youth do. To me, this is incredibly sad. Most of our schools are not doing much to help young explorers thrive.

Our children spend over 90 percent of their time indoors and more than 50 hours a week on electronic devices. Society needs to wake up before it is too late.

The Mississippi State University Aiken Village Preschool director Lucy Bryant, on right, led a tour of the facility and playground for a group of early care and education providers interested in quality improvements. (Submitted photo)
May 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss -- Sometimes seeing is believing, and a group of early care and education providers got a firsthand look at what it takes to create high quality learning environments for young children.

Quality is the goal of all early care and education providers, but it might look different depending on resources and facilities. The Early Years Network recently hosted 36 early care and education providers and members of the staff from the Allies for Quality Care project based in Jackson for a tour of three different child care facilities to see quality in action.

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