OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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:

  • You can help your children best by first helping yourself. Try to gain control of your own stress, then you are ready to help children cope.
  • Provide your children with information about your family's situation in a way that is within the child's understanding.
  • Recognize symptoms of stress that may affect your children. Symptoms may include sleeplessness, diarrhea, withdrawal, headaches, and/or angry outbursts. Encourage the child to share feelings and fears.
  • If you feel overwhelmed in helping your children manage stress, talk to the child's teacher, a school psychologist, clergy member, or contact a mental health professional.
  • See that children eat balanced diets and get adequate rest and plenty of exercise to avoid health problems.
  • Even though some changes are unavoidable, such as a move, try to keep other major changes to a minimum. Too many changes at once can be overwhelming. Routines are important for children, especially during a crisis.
  • Help your children focus on the positive aspects of their lives. Look at family and personal strengths and draw on talents and contributions of all family members. Recognize these contributions, no matter how small.
  • Hold a family discussion on how the income loss affects money available for extra activities and allowances. Talk about family spending priorities.
  • Spend family time together doing low-cost or no-cost activities that family members enjoy. Visit nearby museums, hike, bike, camp, or play board games.

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.