Newsletter

Spring 2010

Child Care Subsidy  The Student Child Care Subsidy for students with children is a need-based subsidy that pays up to half of your child care expenses each term.  Read more...

Who We Are  The Childcare & Family Resources Office is here to support parents on campus in a variety of capacities.  Read more...

From Our Parents  Balancing Home and School Read more...

Recipe: Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup  Read more...

Research Highlight: Helping Children Cope:—Managing Between Jobs  Losing a job affects all members of the family. Adults frequently become so preoccupied they forget  unemployment has an emotional, as well as financial, impact on their children.  Read more...

Upcoming Family Events  Check out our calendar to find upcoming events in the Corvallis and Albany areas.

Spring 2010

 

Student Child Care Subsidy: Due April 9th

The Student Child Care Subsidy for students with children is a need-based subsidy that pays up to half of your child care expenses each term. You must apply every term.  The subsidy is due April 9th, 2010. Pick up an application at our office or download  it online at:  http://oregonstate.edu/childcare.  New applicants must call our office at 541-737-4906 and make an appointment to go over the application before turning it in.

 

Who We Are

The Childcare & Family Resources Office is here to support parents on campus in a variety of capacities.  Here are just a few:

Advocacy:

We act on your behalf on OSU committees, respond to your University concerns and work to create family friendly policies and programs for OSU.

Resources:

We provide resources and can help connect families with    programs on campus and in the community. Stop by the office to pick-up brochures that we have for many community    programs.

Child Care Subsidies:

We administer both the ASOSU Child Care Subsidy for students and the Faculty/Staff Child Care Subsidy.

“Kid Friendly” Events:

We will strive to keep parents informed of upcoming “kid friendly” events on and off   campus. Watch our newsletter, website, Facebook and Twitter.   

Our Little Village|Library:

A short-term drop-off child care center for children of student parents. For more info, visit our website or call 541-737-8122.

 

From our Parents:  Balancing Home and School

Ah, the life of a student parent. My home looks like a tornado blew through it. My three year-old has seen more of Dora the Explorer this week than his own mother. I am not sure when my nine year-old last bathed. My family has been eating pizza, tortilla chips, instant oatmeal, and an occasional orange. I look bedraggled and feel exhausted. Why am I in school? I ask myself for the    umpteenth time.

I feel an overpowering sense of guilt and sense of mediocrity that pervades my interactions with my children and study time. But, the only voice telling me I am doing a mediocre job is my own. I do not have the superhuman  capacity to fully devote myself to my children, partner, and studies without some form of prioritizing. This is where my guilt originates, in compromise.

This issue has come up repeatedly in conversations with other  student parents. How do you negotiate your commitment to your family and your studies? Do you feel guilt in dedicating yourself more fully to one or the other? Another way to look at the issue is by asking if it is necessary to compromise commitment to your family in order to be successful in school, or vice versa.

Student parents are in school to provide a better future for their children. We are setting positive examples for our children by pursuing higher education. Although student parents may be struggling at present in their   simultaneous pursuit of family unity and education, the future benefits outweigh current struggles. Does not the very fact we are in school while being parents demonstrate that we are fully committed to both family and educational success? Must there be a compromise? I would argue that the compromise must be within one’s own expectations. If a student parent is conflicted about balancing studies and family commitments, adapting or modifying one’s 

standards can be helpful. Does the kitchen floor need to be swept and mopped every day? On the one hand, missing a few classes during the term because a child is sick does not signify that we are any less committed to succeeding in our studies. On the other hand, looking for childcare so one can study uninterrupted for 3 hours does not suggest a lesser amount of commitment to one’s children.

It is helpful to focus on making the time with our children high quality and interactive. Student parents should strive to be warm and responsive toward their children,   lovingly setting rules, limits, and boundaries that are clearly established.  I have come to greatly appreciate the adage of not crying over spilled milk. Rather than berate myself over the chaotic condition of my home, or for getting a lower grade on the test than I preferred, I dismiss these worries and  decide to hug my kids instead.

Written by Monica Olverra, mother of 2, Grad student in Human Development and Family Sciences

 

Recipe: Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is a good source of Vitamin A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy.

3 cups water • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth • 1 1/4 cups flour • 2 eggs • 3 tablespoons water •      2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped • 2 cups mixed vegetables, fresh, canned, or frozen • 1/4 teaspoon  pepper

1. In a large pot add water and chicken broth; bring to a rolling boil.

2. For noodles: Put flour in a medium bowl, make a well in center and add eggs. Mix well.

3. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

4. Put dough onto a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin until thickness is about 1/2-inch.

5. Cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips, about 3-5 inches long. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

6. Add egg noodles one at a time to water and chicken broth mixture.

7. Bring the soup back to a boil.

8. Add chicken, vegetables and pepper.

9. Boil for 12-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.

10. Serve warm.

 

Research Highlight:  Helping Children Cope:—Managing Between Jobs

Losing a job affects all members of the family. Adults frequently become so preoccupied they forget  unemployment has an emotional, as well as financial, impact on their children. Children depend on their parents for emotional security. When parents are tense, upset, and inattentive, much of this security is gone.

Unemployment can mean sudden lifestyle changes for the entire family. There's less money to spend, so decisions must be made on how to spend what's there. It may mean there is less family time while looking for a job. Unemployment can mean a parent is home more. It may involve a move. Whatever change unemployment brings, all family members feel the impact. Discussing these feelings and concerns is important.

Family Communication

Communication has two parts--talking and listening. Each must occur for communication to be  successful. As people undergo changes in their lives, they need to talk about them. This includes adults and children. Harvard psychologist Gerald Kaplan says people who deal with crisis the most successfully are not ashamed to express fears, anxieties, and sorrows, and seek help from others. Children who learn this at a young age will be more likely to cope well with stress as adults. Being able to express angry feelings helps to keep those feelings from creating more severe problems, such as emotional problems, family violence, or alcohol abuse.

Listening is as important as talking. Everyone needs someone to listen to them -- someone who supports them and allows them to openly express feelings. Sometimes a person can find a solution or discover the sources of stress just by talking. The listener should not feel obligated to advise, analyze, or have all the answers. Listening and responding with concern and understanding may be all the help needed.

Open communication within the family is vital to good relationships. During stress, we frequently need people outside the family willing to listen when we need to vent our feelings. In some families, listening is difficult because we want to help but have strong feelings and opinions. Also, family members are sometimes too busy or preoccupied to listen well. Taking the extra effort to actively listen is important.

Tips for Helping Children Cope

Even though you feel overwhelmed with your own problems, as a parent you can help your children cope with the stress. Here is a list of tips for helping children cope:

Article EC1403-e from the OSU Extension website, http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1403-e/, was adapted to fit in this newsletter.

 

Upcoming family-friendly events: Check out our calendar of family events happening in the Corvallis and Albany areas.

Winter 2010

 

Who We Are

The Childcare & Family Resources Office is here to support parents on campus in a variety of capacities.  Here are just a few:

Advocacy:

We act on your behalf on OSU committees, respond to your University concerns and work to create family friendly policies and programs for OSU.

Resources:

We provide resources and can help connect families with    programs on campus and in the community. Stop by the office to pick-up brochures that we have for many community    programs.

Child Care Subsidies:

We administer both the ASOSU Child Care Subsidy for students and the Faculty/Staff Child Care Subsidy.

“Kid Friendly” Events:

We will strive to keep parents informed of upcoming “kid friendly” events on and off   campus. Watch our newsletter, website, Facebook and Twitter.   

Our Little Village|Library:

A short-term drop-off child care center for children of student parents. For more info, visit our website or call 541-737-8122. 

 

Child Care Subsidy

The ASOSU Child Care Subsidy for students with children is a need-based subsidy that pays up to half of your child care expenses each term. You must apply every term.

The ASOSU subsidy is due January 15, 2010. Pick up an application at our office or download one online at http://oregonstate.edu/childcare.  New applicants must call the office at 541-737-4906 and set up an appointment before turning in their application.

 

From Our Parents

     Student parents face unique challenges in our pursuit of higher education. We need to find, keep, and pay for childcare in order to attend school, we have to deal with our child(ren)'s potential illnesses and emergencies as well as our own, our housing and living expenses are higher, and so on. In addition, we are constantly dealing with an institution (the university) that assumes that its participants (students) are not responsible for raising children.

     Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that many of the people in positions of power within the institution (administrators, professors, instructors, employers) are ill-equipped to deal with us appropriately when our roles as parents are incompatible with our roles as students. We must be prepared to advocate for ourselves if the university is inflexible when we find ourselves caught between our dual roles. Because of the ways in which society allocates the elements of parenting to female and male parents, with the bulk of the responsibility for child care typically falling on mothers, the ability to advocate for ourselves may be particularly important for student mothers.
     As student parents, we must first understand that we have the right to equal access to education. Just as students who use mobility devices cannot be denied access based on their ability status, students who are parents must not be denied access based on our parental status. For us, equal access may sometimes require unique accommodations, just as ramps and elevators provide access to mobility device users. Unfortunately, accommodations are not always provided as a matter of course, requiring further action.
     We can advocate for ourselves most effectively when we communicate our needs. It is a good idea to stop by office hours at the beginning of each term to introduce yourself and mention that you are a student parent. If an issue arises, be matter-of-fact about your needs; your instructors will be much more inclined to accommodate you if they know you are familiar with your parenting role. Have documentation handy, as instructors tend to be (justifiably) skeptical, but don't hesitate to inform your professors of the situation and request a sensible solution. If something catastrophic happens and faculty cannot (or will not) work with you to resolve the situation, seek further assistance; start by contacting the Student Parent Advocate, Stephanie Duckett, or the Advocate for Students, Patricia Lacy.
     In addition to advocating for ourselves on campus, we may need to carry our sense of self-advocacy home with us. I know of two mothers whose return to college has sparked resentment in their teenage children because the mothers are less available to provide household services. We need to confidently explain that our college responsibilities are important and legitimate. Not only are we modeling college success for our children, but we can help them work toward their own self-sufficiency.

By Michelle Marie, parent of one, PhD Student in Design and Human Environment

 

Breakfast No-Bake Granola Bars

This recipe is a good source of iron, which carries oxygen in our blood.  

· 2 1/2 cups toasted rice cereal

· 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

· 1/2 cup raisins

· 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

· 1/2 cup light corn syrup

· 1/2 cup peanut butter

· 1 tsp vanilla

1. Put the rice cereal, oatmeal, and raisins in the bowl and stir together with the wooden spoon.

2. In the small saucepan mix together the brown sugar and corn syrup.  Turn the heat to medium-high. Stir constantly while the mixture is brought to a boil. Once boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat.

3. Stir the peanut butter and vanilla into the sugar mixture in the saucepan. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereals and raisins in the large bowl. Mix well.

5. Press the mixture into the baking pan.

6. When cool, cut into 18 bars.

 

Research Highlight: Home-based child care meeting nutritional standards; widespread use of TV a concern

A large study of family child care providers shows that while nutrition standards are often met, most children ages 2 to 5 are not getting enough physical activity and are exposed to the television for most of the day.

A study of about 300 home-based child care providers by Oregon State University’s Stewart Trost, an internationally-recognized expert on childhood obesity issues, sheds light on both positive and negative aspects of family daycare providers. The findings are published in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Trost, who directs the obesity prevention research core at the new Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children at Oregon State, said a big concern was television exposure in such a young age group. The providers surveyed were   caring for young children up to age 5, and two-thirds of providers said they had the TV on most of the day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of television per day for children between the ages of 2 and 5, and discourages any television viewing for children younger than 2.

In addition, while many providers (78 percent) reported offering more than an hour of time for active play daily, 41 percent said children sat for extended parts of the day. Also of concern to the researchers: A majority (63 percent) restricted active play or exercise as punishment for kids.  “Would you withhold fruits and vegetables for kids who misbehave and negatively affect their health?” Trost said. “All the research shows that restricting physical     activity makes children more, not less, likely to misbehave. So it’s not even an effective means of punishment.”

Trost said the most eye-opening result of the study was that less than half of the providers had received any training in physical activity. Trost’s past research has shown that children in family daycare get an average of only seven minutes of physical activity per hour. Group this with the 114 percent rise in childhood obesity in the last 30 years, and Trost said it is time to act on this crisis facing American children.

He said providers did “pretty well” in supporting healthy eating habits. Very few reported serving fried foods or high-fat foods, and a low percentage of providers served sweets or chips as snacks.

One area of nutritional concern was the use of whole milk and an over-reliance on fruit juice. More than 50 percent of providers reported serving juice every day, and less than 14 percent served low-fat milk regularly.

“There is a misconception that whole milk is what should be served to youngsters,” Trost said. “Low-fat or skim milk has just as much vitamins, and is much healthier. And fruit juice, even 100 percent juice, is mainly sugar and is not what we recommend.”

Trost said weaning American children off juice is not an easy task, and child care providers are probably doing what they think is best for kids.

“Juice boxes are part of the culture, and it is hard to break those habits and the heavy influence of marketing, on both parents and child care providers,” he said.

Trost and colleagues at OSU Extension Service, in response, have begun a four-year intervention study called the Healthy Home Child Care Project with family daycare providers in a five-county area from Portland to Eugene. The largest intervention of its kind, this $1.2 million project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It will   collect data on what Oregon family care providers are   doing, as well as seek to improve nutritional and physical activity standards through Extension-based training.

 “We’ve got an epidemic that affects the future of our children, and we need to act,” Trost said. “We need to put the research into the hands of the people caring for our youth and start getting results.”

 

Did you know..?

You can receive FREE Marriage Counseling- 

Students:  You can receive free marriage counseling services through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).   To make an appointment with CAPS, call 541-737-2131, or email CAPS@oregonstate.edu

Staff/Faculty:  You can receive free marriage counseling services through Employee  Assistance Program (EAP) .  To talk to a counselor or receive a referral from EAP, call 503-588-0777, or visit the EAP website at www.cascade center.com.

 

Upcoming Family Events  Check out our calendar of family events happening in the Corvallis and Albany areas.

Fall 2009

Who We Are

The Childcare & Family Resources Office is here to support parents on campus in a variety of capacities.  Here are just a few:

Advocacy:

We act on your behalf on OSU committees, respond to your University concerns and work to create family friendly policies and programs for OSU.

Resources:

We provide resources and can help connect families with programs on campus and in the community. Stop by the office to pick-up brochures that we have for many community    programs.

Child Care Subsidies:

We administer both the ASOSU Child Care Subsidy for students and the Faculty/Staff Child Care Subsidy.

“Kid Friendly” Events:

We will strive to keep parents informed of upcoming “kid friendly” events on and off campus. Watch our newsletter, website, Facebook and Twitter.   

Our Little Village|Library:

A short-term drop-off child care center for children of student parents. For more info, visit our website or call 541-737-8122. 

Child Care Subsidies

The ASOSU Child Care Subsidy for students with children is a need-based subsidy that pays up to half of your child care expenses each term. You must  apply every term. The Faculty/Staff Child Care Subsidy is  need based and applications are due the beginning of fall term.  Faculty and staff with children at Beaver Beginnings or Growing Oaks may apply for the child care subsidy.Both subsidies are due October 16, 2009. Pick up an application at our office or download one online at http://oregonstate.edu/childcare

From Our Parents:  Chores to Grow Into

When my son was 2 years old and able to walk around the house his dad and I decided it was time to introduce chores into his life. His pediatrician applauded our efforts to raise a responsible young man. But the chores we introduced then have grown up with him and as he approaches his 11th birthday he is still doing some of those same tasks. 

At age two we decided to use chores as a learning tool.  He became responsible for picking up the shoes that were randomly scattered around the house and putting them in the closet. This taught him about pairs and being organized. We also incorporated sorting laundry into his weekly routine, teaching him about colors. 

As he got older and kept placing his dirty fingers on the windows we would give him a towel and have him clean the smudges off the windows. Around age 7 he wanted to grocery shop with me, so I put him on the lookout for coupons in the stores which started teaching him about being frugal and responsible with his money. 

When he became tall enough, we added emptying the dishwasher into his weekly list of things to do, which again promoted sorting things and taking care of what belongs to the family.  When he gets sloppy, he knows he will have to take everything out of the cupboards and reorganize them. There are consequences for every action and as a member of a family with two working parents, we need to all pitch in around the house so we have time for fun family activities on the weekends. 

Without my son’s help, I would still be cleaning the kitchen or windows or something else around the house instead of taking him to cub scout camp, or the zoo or to the park.  Our family has become a team, and learning to be a good team member is another valuable lesson in life. 

So, remember, as your child grows up adapt his or her chores to fit into your lifestyle. It’s not necessarily all about getting the house clean and tidy. Chores will teach them so many valuable lessons and help them grow into responsible young adults.

By Jennifer Hall, parent of one, College of Engineering

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup

This recipe is an excellent source of vitamin A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy.

You’ll need: 1  tbsp oil • 1 cup chopped onion • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1/2 tsp curry powder • 1/4 tsp ground cumin • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg • 2 cloves garlic, minced• 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed • 2 cups low-sodium, fat free chicken broth • 1 1/2 cups water • 1 can (15-ounce) pumpkin• 1 cup low-fat milk • 3 tbsp reduced fat sour cream

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes.

3. Add ginger, curry, cumin, nutmeg, and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Stir in the sweet potato, chicken broth, water, and pumpkin and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft, stirring constantly.

6. Stir in the milk until heated through (don’t boil).

7. Ladle into bowls and top with 1/2 tablespoon low-fat sour cream.

8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2-3 hours.

Did you know...?

Health insurance can help cover the cost of breast pumps. Blue Cross Blue Shield covers 85% of the cost.

Regence BCBS Preferred providers of Standard Electric Breast Pumps:

Eugene-

Salem-

Contact your health insurance provider for specific coverage information.

Research Highlight:  Caring for Caregivers

Alexis Walker, a professor in OSU's College of Health and Human Sciences, is looking at a conundrum: The     typical middle-aged woman takes care of everybody in her household except one — herself. The consequences of this benevolent self-neglect can be dire: chronic disease, even death.

Even the healthiest lifestyle can't always prevent  disease. Still, millions of wives, mothers and grandmothers could better fend off, or at least slow down, the ravages of diabetes, heart disease and stroke if only they could find the time (or make the time) to exercise and eat right. Walker is digging into the social and psychological reasons they can't (or don't). If she can identify barriers, she can help craft interventions that break them down.

Walker's area of expertise, family dynamics, is the third prong of a cross-disciplinary OSU investigation into lifestyle choices among women who have been diagnosed with "metabolic syndrome" — a dangerous complex of risk factors that has reached epidemic levels in the United States.

Afflicting fully one-quarter of middle-aged Americans, metabolic syndrome is the coexistence of high blood sugar, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and extra fat at the waistline. After menopause, women's risks go up. So middle age is the "last window of opportunity" to head off illness, Walker stresses.

Tackling the first prong of the metabolic syndrome study, motivational interviewing, is Rebecca Donatelle in Public Health. The second prong, diet and nutrition, is  being handled by Melinda Manore in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.

"My role in the study," says Walker, "is to pay attention to how women's family lives and responsibilities limit their ability to make changes that would benefit their health."

For women juggling jobs, kids, husbands and homes, going to the gym usually means dropping something else. And then there's the eternal question, "What's for dinner?" When the answer is, "spinach salad," the groans can be heard in Missoula.

"Women feel they have to keep the machinery of their families running — the psychological machinery, the emotional machinery and the practical machinery," Walker says. "This research is really about helping women to be self-caregivers."

This article first appeared in Terra Magazine, Summer 2007