Raising Healthy Children: How to Set Your Kids Up for Success

By Joyce Wilson

Parents fill various roles in their children’s lives. In particular, they serve as caretakers, role models, and protectors. According to the experts, one of the most important jobs parents have is to help their children make healthy choices in order to prepare them for adulthood. Here are some ideas from Empowered Flower Girl that can help you begin making those important lifestyle decisions.

Learn the Importance of Healthy Habits

If you want your kids to grow healthy and happy, teach them how to maintain their health. When you focus on healthy habits, you reduce their risk of future conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

For children to maintain ideal body weight, they need to be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food choices. In addition, teach them about hygiene and expiration dates. After all, spoiled food can wreak havoc on the body. When you understand the importance of health, whether the health comes from diet or exercise – including the many benefits of martial arts – you can instill those habits in your children.

Instill Healthy Habits Early

To make healthy eating a priority, stock up on fresh, unprocessed at-home snacks. If you only have nutritious snacks available, children cannot choose to drink sugary soda or eat snack cakes. Instead, keep pretzels, fresh fruit, bagels, and sparkling water at home. Children begin to develop their sense of taste in the first two years of their life. Providing reduced-sodium snacks to toddlers may help them develop preferences for foods with less salt.

Children model themselves after you. They observe your habits and your ability to handle stress and coping mechanisms. For instance, if children see an adult becoming aggressive, they too may react aggressively. When paving the way for better decisions, do not be overbearing and restrictive, because you could encourage eating disorders. Instead, be the example for your kids.

It’s important for your children to see you engage in healthy friendships, too, so invite friends over to the house sometimes and be transparent about minor conflicts in a kid-appropriate way. You can also show them the importance of reconnecting with friends by finding old high school friends online. It’s a simple process of entering your location and searching through databases for familiar names. Reconnecting with friends from your past can be a lot of fun and show your kids how to find people they enjoy being with.

Make Success Attainable

Be open to talking to your kids about good and bad habits. Talk to them if you worry about gaming, drugs, alcohol, or poor education habits. Hold family dinners where you can discuss your day and model good behavior while discussing the risks associated with unhealthy choices. Starting these practices while your kids are young will help them feel more comfortable talking to you about bigger issues, like bullies or conflicts with friends. Empowered Flower Girl offers tools and resources to help both you and your child learn how to deal with these difficult situations in healthy ways.

Set good examples for your kids with your choices as well as your behavior.

In addition, talk to them about how they can achieve their dreams. It is never too early to discuss future aspirations. Teach your children to practice a skill every day and, when they experience failure, to get up and keep trying.

Do not forget to chase dreams of your own. This could involve starting a business centered around a hobby that you enjoy; be sure to do plenty of research to ensure that you’re putting together everything you need to get this venture started on solid ground. Or, join the countless parents and older adults who return to school to finish or start a degree. With all of the obligations of parenthood, you may enjoy the flexibility of online schools. Online degrees can match your passions and interests. The following ideas can narrow down your options:

  • To learn more about data analytics, cyber security, and information technology, choose a degree in IT.
  • To find occupations in management positions or start a business of your own, look into business management degrees.
  • A degree in education may not only launch your career but help you become an effective teacher to your children.

When your children learn to make healthy choices, they maintain those decisions throughout their lives. Developing new habits as an adult can be challenging, but not only can you make a positive change in your life, you can establish a healthy foundation for your children.

Remember to chase after things you love, too, and to make use of helpful resources like Empowered Flower Girl to help you and your child learn ways to work through difficult situations in life.

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark. Her website is a compilation of practical resources that will inspire student engagement and instill a love for learning. By tapping into a student’s natural creativity and curiosity, Joyce believes that they can take their education to a new level.

 

She’s EmPOWERed: Third Grader’s Passion for the Planet Inspires Environmental Justice-Themed Book

Around the world, governments are trying to figure out how to solve the most pressing environmental issues – from air and water pollution to global warming and sea level rise. 

So, what on earth can we do to fix these problems? It may seem overwhelming but the first thing to do is something! 

Meet Aahna Rangnath – an eight year old from California deeply committed to environmental justice. She is an elementary school student who is doing something! Aahna is on a mission to motivate kids to help transform the environment. 

The aspiring author is working on publishing her first book entitled Green Girls.

The book follows a group of three friends who find a magic portal in Hawaii and travel around the world to save the planet.

Aahna, who is of Asian Indian descent, wanted to make sure that the characters in her book reflect the girls in her community. “There are not that many books about girls with brown skin so I made sure all my characters had brown skin, she said. “I want people to know that young girls can be powerful.”

Girls are indeed powerful and have the potential to create world-wide change. 

According to a report from the National Democratic Institute, gender equality is a vital component of climate justice. “Women and girls are, and will continue to be, more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation,” the report stated. 

More women and girls are needed to hold leadership positions and be at the center of environmental activism and governance. 

Aahna is well on her way. When she grows up, she wants to be a scientist. “I want to be a dog scientist because I love my dog and I love science. I do a lot of science projects and I really enjoy them,” she explained.“ I also like doing science projects about water conservation.”

Good luck Aahna. We can’t wait to get our copy of Green Girls

Empowered Flower Girl Hosts 2022 Be the Impact Virtual Youth Service Summit

Empowered Flower Girl (EFG), a social enterprise on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another and themselves, will host the 2022 Be the Impact Summit on Saturday, October 8, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. The virtual youth service event will be held during National Bullying Prevention Month and the weekend before International Day of the Girl.

The event showcases and celebrates young people making or aspiring to make positive contributions to society as well as helps them discover their passion for community service.

The summit is free and open to youth and youth advocates globally and includes:

Youth Power Panel:

  • Avery Kelley (Atlanta, Ga.), producer and host of the Teendom Talk Show and CEO of Inspired Melanin
  • Vanesha and Varshini Hari (Redmond, Wash.), sisters and co-founders of Joys of Giving
  • Rosemary Nwaosuagwu (Houston, Texas), 9-year-old author and founder of Books by Rossy

Workshop:

Passion. Purpose. Profession: Introduction to Strategic Service facilitated by Rasheda Kamaria Williams, mentor turned social entrepreneur and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl; and featuring Tia Russell, founder of Take My Hand.

Presentation:

Youth Service America featuring Nikki Liles, director of partnerships, who will discuss community service initiatives and funding opportunities for young people and youth-serving organizations.
To close out the event, Empowered Flower Girl will announce the winner of its $250 Impact Ideas giveaway.

“There are young people in our communities and around the world tackling issues and championing causes – from climate change and racism to access to education and homelessness,” Williams said. “I am inspired by the courage and commitment of youth globally and Empowered Flower Girl is committed to honoring those using their gifts and talents to create change.”

The 2022 Be the Impact Summit is sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest. Empowered Flower Girl was one of three Detroit-area organizations/social enterprises to receive a Social Impact Grant from the Consulate in June.

For more information visit http://www.empoweredflowergirl.com/2022BetheImpact.

She’s EmPOWERed: Giving Back is a Way of Life for Tennessee Teen

For many children and teens, volunteering is a chore or something you do because you are told.

But not for Asia Bigsbee.

The 14-year-old Tennessee native has been giving back for nearly a decade and finds joy in it.

She is the founder of the Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program for girls ages four to 11. The program helps participants learn life skills that will help develop and mature them into positive and productive individuals in life, education and community.

“The Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program is making a difference in communities worldwide by providing free programming, community workshops and free resources to give girls in low-income areas a lifetime opportunity to dream big no matter what,” said Asia, who began volunteering when she was four.

Overall, she has hand-written more than 200 letters of hope filled with inspirational and encouraging words to girls worldwide. Additionally, she has fed and provided clothing for over 500 hundred people in need in her community.

Activism, Athletics and Academics

Asia has spoken to and served girls through free workshops, seminars and service projects as a girl power champion.

Not only is she laser-focused on uplifting those in her community, but she’s also focused on academics and athletics. Asia is an honor roll student, volleyball player, basketball player and proud member of several regional and national organizations/associations, including Royal Neighbors of America, Delta Gems of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Peace First, Points of Light, Volunteer Memphis and Mentoring Grizz Foundation.

After high school, Asia aspires to enter a veterinarian program.

You can learn more about the Beautiful Spirited Cupcake Mentoring Program by visiting the Beautiful Spirited Women website at www.beautifulspiritedwomen.org.

Learn more at:
Instagram: @beautifulspiritedwomen
Twitter: @bswblessings
Facebook: @bswblessing

Girl World Peace Academy gives youth advocates tips, tools and templates to engage and empower girls

Countless articles, polls and reports have shown that girls are being adversely impacted by digital harassment and cyberbullying. Additionally, a 2020 study revealed that we are in the middle of a teen mental health crisis – and girls are at its epicenter.

Now is the time for us to come together to help our girls. 

You may have been thinking of launching a girls mentoring program or youth-focused nonprofit but not sure where to start or how to engage students. 

Or perhaps you already have an established program but need additional help and resources to grab the attention of potential participants, media and funders.

If either of these describe you, consider Empowered Flower Girl’s Girl World Peace Academy! 

“Our course graduates are making an impact and a difference in their communities,” said Rasheda Kamaria Williams, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “Our girls need positive role models, mentors and advocates. They need women like you.”

Make a Difference this Year!

Girl World Peace Academy is a self-guided online course + coaching for youth advocates of all backgrounds – from teachers and counselors to after-school program professionals and mentors.

This course is especially for you if:

  • You aspire to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women. 
  • Girls in your school or community face social or emotional challenges (bullying, peer pressure, trauma, etc.) that impact their ability to thrive.
  • You seek empowering and interactive tools and content that complement your current or future SEL, prevention or after-school programming.
  • You can use help getting the word out about the good you’re doing (to media, sponsors and potential participants)

Questions about the course or general questions about the youth empowerment space? Book a free discovery call with Rasheda. 

Enroll at https://rashedakamaria.com/girlworldpeace.

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Defeating Bullying One Conversation at a Time

Bullying and digital harassment are pervasive in schools and communities around the globe. We all know this. But what are we doing collectively to address and prevent it? Our friends over at Defeat the Label are bringing together students, parents, educators and youth advocates to discuss strategies that produce solutions. And it all begins with a conversation.

On Oct. 26, the organization will host its 3rd annual Community Conversation on Bullying at the Oakland Community Schools Conference Center in Waterford, Michigan. In addition to conversations, the event includes workshops on topics ranging from mental health and relational aggression (girl bullying) to social media and empathy in early childhood.

Empowered Flower Girl’s Rasheda Kamaria Williams will discuss the impact of popular media on girls’ relationship realities and how the adults in their lives can transforms the way they relate to one another during the Mentoring Girls and Inspiring Sisterhood workshop.

Admission to the conference is $25. Learn more and RSVP by visiting defeatthelabel.com.

Be a mentor in 2018

If you’ve resolved to make a difference or dedicate your time to worthy causes in the new year, I encourage you to consider mentoring.

You may have thought about it in the past but weren’t sure if you’d have the time or qualifications. But chances are – you do!

January is National Mentoring Month – a time for individuals and organizations across the country to bring awareness to the need for caring adults to serve as role models for youth.

I’ve been inspired to mentor for the past 16 years. While I have no biological children, I am dedicated to positively impacting the young people in my family and in my community.

According to MENTOR, the national mentoring partnership, 1 out of 3 children will grow up without a mentor.

There are many benefits for children and teens matched with mentors. These young people are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and activities such as truancy, drugs and gangs. They also are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.

Consider this.

It only takes a few hours a month of face time and a phone call a week to help increase a child’s self-esteem. In addition to the mentee’s development, the mentor benefits in many ways. My mentees have helped me aspire higher in my career and in life. And knowing that they’re looking up to me, keeps me living in integrity.

Still not sure about mentoring?

Visit www.rashedakamaria.com to download your copy of my FREE mentoring guide. 

Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, author and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl LLC. Check out her TEDx talk to learn how mentoring makes a difference. 

Cheers to Stevenson High School!

The Stevenson High School cheer team got a visit from Empowered Flower Girl founder and author Rasheda Kamaria Williams on October 16 during National Bullying Prevention Month.

Mrs. Diana Langlois, a member of Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe, a volunteer service organization, purchased copies of the book “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama” for each girl. Diana’s daughter, Robbie, coaches the team which is made up of 22 ambitious and dedicated cheerleaders.

The girls had been reading the book since the beginning of the semester. To reward the team for their recent successes and to encourage them to keep up the good work, Diana coordinated the visit.

Schedule a “Be EmPOWERed” book talk for your school, organization or house of worship. Empowered Flower Girl offers a special rate for nonprofits that order 20+ books.

Does New Anti-Sexting Legislation Criminalize Kids?

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R.1761, also known as the “Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017,” which builds on current law that makes teen-to-teen sexting a crime.

This new legislation supposedly aims to close “loopholes” in current child pornography legislation. But a recent Forbes.com article revealed that the bill could have teens facing 15 years for trying to sext. Second-time offenders would be fined and imprisoned for up to 50 years.

While it is important to protect our children from predators and those seeking to exploit them, it is also important that we communicate with children the consequences of sharing inappropriate or sexual content. Criminalizing them isn’t the answer.

While the legislation was supported by many in congress, it was opposed by dozens of others, including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime. Lee, in the article, called the bill “deadly and counterproductive,” and commented during a House debate over the issue, “While the bill is well intended, it is overbroad in scope and will punish the very people it indicates it is designed to protect: our children…”

Learn more about the legislation here.

Program helps teens find passion and purpose in service

Growing up in the ‘80s, I often heard adults saying things like “children should be seen and not heard.” It was their way of maintaining peace and quiet. I was never a proponent of this proverb. In fact, I am a firm believer in the opposite – young people should be seen and heard. Their voices matter!

Everyone – regardless of age – has the power to change the world. All it takes is the courage to speak up and take action.

April is National Volunteer Month and we encourage tweens and teens (and adults) to turn their passions into purpose by volunteering with organizations that reflect the issues and activities they care about the most.

There are thousands of causes, charities and issues in which to get involved. Websites like Idealist.org and VolunTeenNation.org are great resources to help find opportunities that touch, move and inspire action as well as funding to make it all happen.

Looking for ideas to encourage volunteerism among youth?

Empowered Flower Girl’s got you covered with our School & Community Service Learning Guide, which explores ways for tweens and teens to make a difference in their communities based on their interests and passions.

The guide is available for schools and organizations that purchase at least 20 copies of “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama.” Register by April 15 and receive special bonuses! Email info@rashedakamaria.com for details.

Be sure to join us at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 via Facebook for a special announcement about the service learning guide and how teens can secure funding for their do-good projects!!

About Global Youth Service Day (GYSD)

Hosted by Youth Service America, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and the only one that celebrates the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year.