House Calls

FALL 2016

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 16 of 54

Befriending Competition Y ou win some, you lose some. Sure, it's sound advice, but channeling inner peace in the face of defeat is often easier said than done—especially for those in the 12-and-under set. "Children have lower impulse control," says Dr. Maggie Wilkes, a psychiatrist with Roper St. Francis. "That means their behavior is shaped most strongly by immediate rewards and consequences, like receiving a cookie, trophy, or praise from others." Because of that, losing (be it in a soccer match or game of hide-and-go-seek) can lead to breakdowns. "When children lose, they don't receive the immediate gratification they crave," says Dr. Wilkes. "Tantrums are par for the course." However, despite the potential for loss-induced hysterics, exposing your kids to friendly competition can lead to lifelong benefits. "How children handle adversity and challenges in the face of opposition is a key to character development," says Dr. Wilkes. Only with practice will they learn the importance of being a good sport, playing fair, and losing with grace (i.e., without the tantrums). With time, the goal is to treat a loss not as a negative, but as a motivator for future success. Those character-building benefits extend to grown-ups, as well. An appreciation for competition—and a lack of fear of failure—can push adults to work harder and to step outside their comfort zone, says Dr. Wilkes. "Whether it's in your career or personal life, use peers' successes and your own past accomplishments and failures as inspiration for growth," says Wilkes. The key to making sure that competition stays healthy? "The golden rule is to treat other people how you want to be treated," says Dr. Wilkes. "When we practice good sportsmanship and accept setbacks graciously, we actually decrease our stress levels. It promotes a general sense of well-being and belonging." A Roper St. Francis psychiatrist shares how healthy competition can benefit kids of all ages – B Y K A T I E K E R N S G E E R 12 { fall 2016 } h o u s e c a l l s for for the the family The Makings of a Good Sport Defeat happens. Here's how to help your little one take it like a champ: Focus on what he or she did well. Help steer your child's thoughts to the positive by praising the attainment of new skills, work ethic, teamwork, and communication abilities. Encourage your child to follow her passions. When children are involved in activities they truly enjoy, they better understand that the scoreboard isn't everything. Avoid comparisons. Focus only on how your child did—not on how his or her performance compared with others' on the team or in the competition. Look at the positive side of defeat. "Use losing as a way to motivate your child to create an alternative game plan for success," says Dr. Wilkes. Walk the walk. Watching parents engaging in healthy behavior is how children learn best to play fair. "Parents should demonstrate by celebrating not only wins in life, but also the perseverance, dedication, and attainment of skills that led to their success along the way," Dr. Wilkes says. a. Motts 100% Apple Juice b. Sunny D Orange Juice c. V8 Splash Berry Blend d. Whole milk Answer: a. Motts 100% Apple Juice, which packs 28g of sugar in each cup. V8 Splash Berry Blend is next with 18g per cup, followed by Sunny D Orange, which has 13g per cup. Whole milk is sugar-free. POP QUIZ! Which popular children's beverage contains the most sugar? 4 5

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