Ask an Expert // Back to School Stain Removal Tips

Stain Removal Graphic

Keep your kids looking sharp for school with these tips on removing stains.


Ever looked at your kids’ new school clothes after school and wondered what happened? Kids can get all kinds of stains on their clothes while playing and learning at school. Here are some common stains, and how to treat them.


Airplane glue: Saturate area with pretreatment laundry stain remover (aerosol types work better on greasy stains). Wait 1 minute for product to penetrate the stain. For stubborn stains, rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Launder immediately.  If color stain remains, soak/wash in chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or in oxygen bleach. For extra heavy stains, apply dry cleaning solvent to back of the stain over absorbent paper towels. Let dry, rinse. Proceed as above.

Blood: Soak in cold water if fresh. If dried, pretreat with prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, liquid detergent booster or paste of granular laundry product and water. Launder using bleach safe for fabric. Old stains may respond to soaking in enzyme product.

Felt tip marker: Saturate area with pretreatment laundry stain remover (aerosol types work better on greasy stains) Wait one minute for product to penetrate the stain. For stubborn stains, rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Launder immediately.  If color stain remains, soak/wash in chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or in oxygen bleach.  For extra heavy stains, apply dry cleaning solvent to the back of the stain over absorbent paper towels. Let dry, rinse. Proceed as above.

Grass stains: Sponge the stain with alcohol and let dry. Sponge with cool water. Work liquid detergent into the stained area. Rinse with water. Let dry. Soak in mixture of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon enzyme product for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Launder in hot water with chlorine bleach if fiber content and fabric permit.

Mud:  Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of 1 quart lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Rinse.  Sponge with alcohol, using light motions from center to edge of stain.  Soak for 30 minutes in 1 quart warm water with 1 tablespoon enzyme presoak products.  If color stain remains, launder in chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or in oxygen bleach.

Washable ink: Treat stains as soon as possible after staining.  The older the stain, the more difficult to remove.  Use these steps before laundering a washable garment. Stains that are laundered and dried are almost impossible to remove.  Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of 1 quart lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Rinse. Sponge with rubbing alcohol, using light motions from center to edge of stain. Soak for 30 minutes in 1 quart warm water with 1 tablespoon enzyme presoak products. If color stain remains, launder in chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric or in oxygen bleach.

Crayon (a whole load of clothes):  Scrape excess crayon with blunt knife. Wash in hot, soft water with soap (such as Ivory) and 1/2 cup baking soda for 10 minutes. If stain remains, work soap paste into stain. Wash 5 minutes. Rinse. To remove remaining color, use bleach or color remover that is safe for fabric.

School glue:  Saturate area with pretreatment laundry stain remover (aerosol types work better on greasy stains) Wait 1 minute for product to penetrate the stain. For stubborn stains, rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Launder immediately. If color stain remains, soak/wash in chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or in oxygen bleach. For extra heavy stains, apply dry cleaning solvent to the back of the stain over absorbent paper towels. Let dry, rinse. Proceed as above.


Stain Removal Reminders

Treat stains as soon as possible. The longer the stain remains in the clothing, the harder it is to remove. Stain removal should be done before laundering washable items or drying them. Stains that are laundered and dried are nearly impossible to remove.  

More tips available here.


This article was written by  Marilyn Albertson –USU Extension Associate Professor, Salt Lake County.

Saving for the Future: Your Child’s Education

Saving for the Future Graphic

As you prepare to send your kids back to school, consider these two options for saving for their future education. 

Does having children worry you about their financial future? You’re not alone. A recent survey by Citi of 1,500 parents found that 56 percent of parents surveyed “are not confident that life for their children’s generation will necessarily be better than it has been for their generation.”

Are you wondering what you can do to help your children now? We’ve put together two Popular Options for Saving for Your Child’s Education.

The first thing families should do is decide where educational savings fits into their overall financial goals. Buying a home, preparing for retirement and providing an education for the children tend to be the three most costly family objectives. Few families have the means to tackle all three at the same time. It’s been said that you can’t get a scholarship for retirement. There are more options to cover the costs of higher education (scholarships among them) beyond having the savings entirely on hand. Given that, I suggest a retirement strategy be in place before establishing a means for college savings.

Here are two currently popular options: a 529 plan and the use of a Roth IRA.

529 Plans

A 529 plan is named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, the provisions of which allowed for their creation in 1996, and each state has at least one. In our state, it is the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) and it is consistently rated among the very best in the nation.

  • A 529 savings account is initially set up for a named beneficiary, however, the recipient can be changed to another family member, with a wide range of people who can be named, including a first cousin. The donor to the account is in full control of the assets.
  • Beneficiaries can attend qualified schools throughout the nation, not just in the state where the plan is held. This includes most community colleges, universities and even some vocational schools.
  • The fees and other maintenance costs associated with 529 plans are generally lower than with other investments. This is especially true for direct purchase plans like UESP. These are self-directed plans.
  • Among the UESP options are an FDIC insured account and a range of investment accounts that adjust with the beneficiary’s age. They automatically shift from aggressive investments to more conservative choices as the child draws nearer to college age.
  • Contributions to a UESP plan (and other state 529 plans) are not tax deductible, but all earnings from investments in the plan are free from federal taxes. The USEP plan is also free from state taxes. This means that when distributions are made to pay for qualified expenses, there are no taxes due. Current Utah law also allows state residents to claim a tax credit based upon USEP donations.
  • If distributions are not used for educational expenses, the earnings on your contributions are taxable and are also subject to a 10 percent penalty.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is another savings option that many families are considering for college expense planning. A Roth IRA was developed as a retirement savings program. Contributions to a Roth are not deductible, but earnings grow tax free.

  • While contributions to a Roth IRA can be withdrawn anytime, withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59 1⁄2 are subject to taxes and penalties. That is, unless the funds are used for higher education purposes. This provision means that it is possible for families to use a Roth IRA for both retirement and college preparation.
  • There are two other benefits of a Roth IRA. First, lower income tax filers may get a federal tax credit for contributions to a Roth IRA. Second, unlike an education savings account, retirement accounts like a Roth IRA are generally not considered when applying for financial aid. On the other hand, there are limits to annual Roth IRA contributions. If you use half of your retirement savings to send your kids to school, you may need to bank on them getting a good enough education and career to support you during retirement.


In summary, here are some issues families should consider:

  • Tax considerations are an important aspect, but not the only factor to consider.
  • Risk levels, potential rates of return and the range of investment opportunities will be part of any strategy.
  • The investor must determine how much or how little professional help they desire.
  • Family income levels and the number of children involved are critical components. Well-to-do grandparents with lots of descendants have different challenges and opportunities than newlyweds expecting their first child.

Which will it be? A Roth IRA, a 529 savings plan or some other option? Think about it now because the toddler munching Cheerios on your kitchen floor today will be off to college before you know it.

This article was written by Amanda Christensen, Extension Assistant Professor for Utah State University. Follow her on Twitter: @FamFinPro, Facebook: Fam Fin Pro, Instagram: @FamFinPro.

Republished from 2014.

4 Simple End of Summer Ways to Connect with Your Kids

Connect with Kids

Summer is winding down, but it isn’t over yet. These last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to have fun and connect with the kids in your life.


The Four E’s of Summer

Summer is almost over, which means kids still need activities to keep them busy, and school isn’t too far in the future. Consider the following steps to help you to create healthy, productive and, above all, fun activities for your children.

1. Encourage Proper Nutrition

The risk of childhood obesity and other health factors can be combated with proper eating habits. Give your children plenty of encouragement to stay healthy this summer. One activity that is great for encouraging proper nutrition (and it also helps build strong relationships by working side-by-side on a task) is gardening. Take your children to a local garden nursery and choose fruits and vegetables to plant in your garden. As you describe how the plant will look and how the fruit of the plant will taste, allow your child to pick the fruit or vegetable. When children are involved in the planting, growing and harvesting process their knowledge of healthy eating habits are greatly increased. Another great activity is preparing healthy foods and meals. Include your children in menu planning, grocery shopping, as well as food preparation for making delicious meals. Check out eatwellutah.org and extension.usu.edu/foodsense for more healthy eating ideas.

2. Enhance Creativity

Creativity is a very important process that helps a child gain powerful problem solving skills as well as exploring different ideas. Creativity can also lead to discovering hidden talents. A perfect activity to enhance your child’s creativity are crafts or DIY activities such as home and yard décor. Create different types of décor alongside your child, such as painting stepping stones or miniature figurines that can be placed in the home, flower beds, or gardens.

Remember an important part of creativity is allowing children to explore and play in a safe environment without restraints or distractions, with minimal guidance (i.e., let them get dirty and make a mess!). Use positivity as you accept and praise their creative projects, and limiting rejecting unusual ideas. Allow sufficient time for your child to explore all possibilities, moving from popular to more original ideas.

3. Encourage Mathematics and Literacy

Math and literacy don’t need to wait for school. Did you know students can lose up to a 1/3 of the knowledge they gained during the school year? Help you student retain all that hard-earned knowledge. Encourage your child to participate in as much mathematics or literacy activities as they can without overwhelming them. These activities can be anything that involve numbers, reading or writing, such as scavenger hunts, read-a-thons, cooking with recipes, library trips, or reading with your child for at least 20 minutes a day. Most local libraries provide lists of great read-aloud books for any ages, which can be a great source of entertainment for you and your children. By engaging your child in these activities, you are helping them to retain the knowledge they gained during the previous school year.

4. Extra Time with Your Child

To some adults, packing a picnic or going to the park may not seem like the most exciting way to spend their afternoon, but to a child it can bring so much joy and excitement to their day as well as make them feel special. Spending extra time with their child can make all the difference in the social, mental and emotional health of your child.

If you’re unsure about what activity your child would like to participate in with you, simply ask them. Commit to your child and set aside time to participate in that activity. By spending a few extra minutes or hours, you’re guaranteeing a stronger and prolonged relationship with your child.

This article was written by Whitney Trapp, former Family and Consumer Sciences summer intern and Mealanie D. Jewkes, Extension Associate Professor, Utah State University Salt Lake County Extension. Republished from 2015.



1. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/05/30/12-free-or-low-cost-summer-activities-for-your-kids
2. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/nutrition/facts.htm
3. http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Creativity_Young/
4. http://pdk.sagepub.com/content/92/7/64.extract

Math Brain Games

Math Brain GamesMom and Dad may be ready for school to start again, but are your kids ready to trade in their pool towels for pencils and notebooks? Get their math brains going with these sidewalk chalk math games.

Sidewalk Chalk Hopscotch Math Games

Step 1 – Draw a large 5 x 5 grid on the ground using chalk.

Step 2 – Fill the squares with the numbers 1 to 25 randomly.

Step 3 – Gather children ages 3 to 9 and get hopping! Try the following hopping games to reinforce and practice arithmetic skills:

  • Number Sequencing – Hop on each number in order from 1 through 5, then 1 through 10, then 1 through 15, then 20 and then 25.
  • Odd/Even Numbers – Hop on the odd or even numbers in order.
  • Pre-subtraction – Hop on each number from 5 through 1, then 10 through 1, then 15, 20 and 25 through 1.
  • Addition – Start at 1 then add 2 each time, then 3, 4 etc. Repeat starting at 2, then 3 etc.
  • Subtraction – Start at 10, then subtract 2 each time, then 3, then 4. Repeat starting at 15, 20 and 25.
  • Times Tables – Hop through the 2, 3, 4 and 5 times tables.

For each game, start with easy questions so your children get a chance to enjoy the hopping and get some oxygen to their brains before tackling the harder questions. Stop while they’re still enjoying it. For easier games, try a 3 x 3 or a 4 x 4 grid. For math whizzes, try a 10 x 10 grid (but only if they draw it out themselves).  (Source: http://imaginationsoup.net?2011/03/17/hopscotch-math/)

Sidewalk Chalk Dice Game 

Draw 12 circles and write the number inside each one up to 12.  Then let your kids throw dice and add them up, and hop as many spaces as they rolled.

 Sidewalk Chalk Calculator Game

Draw an oversized calculator with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway.  To play, a person throws a stone on the calculator to indicate the number you have to jump to.  When you jump on the number on the calculator you have to figure out how to make the number (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division). For example, if the stone lands on 4, then you hop to the 2 and then multiplication sign, jump to 2 and then jump to the equal sign and hop back to the 4.
(Source: http://eisforexplore.blogspot.com/2012/05/kid-calculator.html?m=1)

Sidewalk Chalk Subtraction Game

Gather two bean bags and write numbers 1 through 25 on the sidewalk. Throw bean bags on two numbers and subtract the smaller number from the larger one to get the score for the round.
(Source: at:http://www.education.com/activity/article/sidewalk-chalk-subtraction/)

This article was written by Marilyn Albertson –USU Extension Associate Professor, Salt Lake County

Top 10 // Tips to Prep Your Babysitter

Babysitter Tips Try these ten tips to equip your babysitter with the information they need so you can both feel more at ease while you are away.

Are you apprehensive when it comes to leaving your child in the care of a teenager? Babysitters may not know everything about how the household functions, but by discussing these topics with them, they will feel confident and comfortable while taking care of your children. That in turn should help you to feel more at ease when leaving your children in their care.

  1. Where you are going and how to reach you at all times. Simply knowing where you are and how to reach you will give a sitter a sense of confidence in knowing you can be reached if needed.
  2. When you expect to be back. This helps the sitter in planning activities and entertaining the children and makes it so that what time you come back is not a guessing game.
  3. General house rules and routines. Include any limits on TV, computer use, video games, playing outside, etc. This gives the babysitter an idea of how the household works so that children aren’t taking advantage of him or her.
  4. What meals and snacks to feed the kids. Although you may show the babysitters where the food is, some may feel apprehensive about what food they should use. Give ideas about what to feed your children.
  5. Let them know if the children have any allergies or medical issues. If these issues could occur while the babysitter is around, make sure to write down how to handle them properly.
  6. What to do If the child needs discipline. Let the sitter know your disciplining practices. This way the children don’t get mixed messages when you aren’t around.
  7. Specific hints for individual children. Let the sitter know special things the children love, things that calm them, activities they enjoy doing, etc.
  8. Expectations you have for the babysitter. Discuss such things as leaving the house with your child, driving with your child, whether the phone and visitors are off limits, etc.
  9. Emergency information. Let them know under what circumstances to call 911 before contacting you. Write down the phone number and address of your home. Make a list that includes neighbors, friends, relatives and your doctor.
  10. Safety rules. Not all sitters may know basic safety for children. Discuss such things as choking hazards, water hazards, electrical hazards, being left alone, answering the door, etc.

This article was written by Shayna Savage, former Utah State University family and consumer science intern in Salt Lake County.  Republished from August, 2014.

Back To School Clothing Inventory

Back to School Clothing InventoryThe end of summer is a great time to declutter your children’s closets as they prepare to go back to school.  Why not make a game out of identifying what to discard, what to keep, what to repair and what to replace? 

Items needed:

Have your children try on all their clothing. Once they have modeled an item and a decision has been made, they can put the item in the discard bag, put it back in their closet/drawer or label with the appropriate ticket. The “Fix It” ticket can be filled out describing the needed repair, pinned to the item and placed in the designated basket.  The “Match Me” ticket could be placed on any item needing to be matched with something else to make a wearable outfit, then placed in a bag to take with you to ensure a proper match when shopping.  As you take inventory, it might be helpful to chart what they have and what will need to be replaced now or later on the printable clothing inventory table. The list could be used when shopping to help you avoid overbuying or forgetting needed items.

This article was written by Marilyn Albertson – USU Extension Associate Professor- Family and Consumer Sciences, Salt Lake County.

Getting Back into the School Routine

Job Tips for Teens-Recovered-Recovered-Recovered-Recovered

Ten tips for helping Families get back in the groove as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

1. Reset the Clocks

Start practicing your daily routine including wake up time and bedtime before school starts so your student can get plenty of rest in order to tackle the school day’s demands.

At least a week before school starts, move up bedtime by 15-30 minutes. Then be sure to wake them up earlier as well.

Give them a reason to get up earlier. Plan some fun activity outside in the early morning sunshine to help reset their internal clock. They will gradually fall asleep earlier and wake up earlier.

Reset their homework clock. Start by setting some time aside in the evening to go to a “homework station” and practice numbers, reading or other skills

2. Establish Goals

What does your student want to accomplish this year? What would you like your student to accomplish this year? These are things to consider when setting goals.  In order to set reachable goals, it is good to know the S.M.A.R.T. way to set goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

Specific: Be clear and don’t leave room for guessing,

Measurable: Make a goal where the progress can be tracked.

Attainable: Ask yourself if your goal is attainable within your time frame.

Relevant: Make sure your goal is meaningful to you.

Time-bound:  Set a “due date” for your goal.

3. Get Calendars Aligned

Parents and kids should review schedules together before school starts.

Find out what time school starts and ends.

Find out times and dates of extracurricular activities your kids will be involved in.

Include on the calendar vacation days and other special events. Parents should make a plan for who will handle any carpooling, childcare and taking children to all after-school activities.

Plan who will prepare dinner, help with homework, pack lunches and handle bedtime preparation and other needs. Record this on the calendar for easy reference.

4. Create a Routine 

Set times for different activities your family takes part in, whether it be chores or family game night, make a routine of it.  Involve kids in the planning and decision-making.  Have them help you decide when to do homework, chores or other activities.  If they feel they had a part in the decision, they may be more likely to follow through and cooperate.

Set mealtimes, wake up and bedtimes, leaving and returning home, homework time, extracurricular activities, chores and bedtime activities.

Prepare for the next day. This could include setting out clothing to wear, making lunches, gathering homework and signed permission slips, etc. to take back to school and loading backpacks.

Set up a place for homework time where there are supplies needed for homework.

Create a place to store artwork, school keepsakes, certificates and other special school memorabilia.

5. Brainstorm Meals and Snacks

Start now collecting ideas for fun lunch box meals and after-school snacks.  You can even start gathering supplies, and trying some of the recipes out to see how well the meals are received.

Create an afterschool menu or list of the snacks available that day and make sure children can easily access it so they know what is available to them.

6. Hunt for What You Have

Check for clothes packed away and in dressers to assess the amount of clothing your student has for school.  Then check you drawers, offices and closets for school supplies that you might already have. After everything is gathered, bring it all together and make a list of what you need.

7. Gather What You Need

After you have hunted for the supplies you need, start looking through ads to find coupons or deals on school supplies and clothing. Then venture out to gather what you need. The earlier the better so there is a good selection and to guarantee you will get what you need.

8. Follow the Rules

Go on your student’s school website or visit the school and ask for forms, applications and a list of rules they have in order for your student to attend.

Don’t forget to find out the dress code and get the needed physicals and immunizations.

Update your student’s emergency contacts.

Pay any fees needed for your student(s) to attend school.

9. Participate in Back to School Activities 

Find out the dates for Back to School night or a meet and greet with teachers. This can help your student acclimate to the change school will bring and give you a chance to become accustomed to the school, teachers and other staff.

10. Take Time to Play

Make sure you plan free time for your student(s) before they start on t homework.  Helping them decompress can help them have fresh minds when starting their studies.

This article was written by Marilyn Albertson – USU Extension Associate Professor- Family and Consumer Sciences, and Fayth Bushman – former USU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Program Assistant, Salt Lake County.

Dads:  4 Tips on Raising Responsible and Confident Children

4 Tips for Dads Graphic

This week’s Family Friday is especially for Dad. These 4 tips will help you raise responsible kids and enjoy fatherhood.

1.  Model Mistakes & Good Problem Solving

As a dad, it is okay for your children to witness small mistakes. This shows them that you are human and also gives you the chance to model good problem-solving skills. For example, on a short hike, you may purposefully leave your own snack at home and say to your kids, “Oops! I forgot to bring my granola bar. I’m hungry. I definitely won’t forget next time!”


2.  Give Your Children the Chance to Make “Affordable” Mistakes

Consequences of mistakes grow costlier the older children get, which is why it is important to allow your children to make plenty of small, or “affordable”, mistakes while they are still young. For example, you may say to your kids, “We are leaving in 30 minutes for a short hike. You get to be in charge of putting together the snacks you would like to take.”


3.  If a Mistake is Made, Show Empathy While Holding Your Child Accountable

The most loved and respected dads are the ones who deliver firm consequences with a strong dose of empathy. If a child forgets to bring his/her own snack on a short hike, saying something like “This is so sad. You forgot your snack, and now you’re hungry. We can’t drive all the way home to get them. Hang in there, I love you.” Using an empathetic delivery allows children to stay accountable for their mistakes, but know that you still love them.


4.  Give your Children the Same Task Again

Later that week, you may say, “We are leaving in 30 minutes for a short hike. You again get to be in charge of putting together the snacks you would like.” When you give your children responsibility for the same task again, without nagging or reminding them of their previous mistakes, this sends a very powerful message: “You are smart enough to learn from your mistakes.”

Learn More

Want to learn more concepts like these? Register for a free Fathering with Love and Logic™ course offered by Healthy Relationships Utah. Fathering with Love and Logic™ is a research-based parenting course geared specifically towards fathers and father figures. Courses are available throughout all of Utah. To learn more or register, visit healthyrelationshipsutah.org.

This article was written by Megan Hargraves, Media Specialist with Healthy Relationships Utah, megan.hargraves@usu.edu.

Love and Logic™ is a registered trademark of the Love and Logic Institute, Inc.

No More School

School's Out

“No more teachers, no more school, summer time will be real cool.” Yes, your kids may be feeling this way as the school year finishes up.  Kids are excited to leave their books behind and look forward to a “lazy” summer of fun.  Waiting for summer to come is much like waiting for Christmas; you just can’t wait until it gets here.

Keep Your Kids Busy

Now that summertime is here with longer days, what are the kids going to do?  Research shows that kids who have learning projects, reading activities and group involvement activities run a much lower risk for education regression or involvement in risky behaviors.  All of us want our children to be successful, productive and happy, but it won’t just happen. Parents need to provide direction for summertime activities.  Making summer plans with your youth will create positive relationships and positive growth during the summer months.

Family Activities

There are many opportunities for youth during the summer months.  Most families do plan for recreational activities, some traveling and day activities.  Summer outings are excellent opportunities for families to enjoy one another.  Picnics, games, sight seeing and road trips make memorable experiences that have lasting effects. Camping is considered one of the best family activities, as it encourages all family members to work together to set up the camp and the experience.

Learning Activities

Learning activities are always encouraged for summer growth.  Summer camps and youth programs offer a wide range of activities and excellent opportunities for youth and adult relationships.  The world’s largest youth group is the 4-H organization.  The 4-H organization is strong world wide, nationally and certainly in Utah through Utah State University Extension.  All Utah counties provide strong 4-H youth program with clubs, camps, youth development and leader involvement.

Play Together

However you choose to spend this summer, take the time to do some quality family activities.  Families that “play” together, stay together.  It’s as simple as that.  Try to plan for 5-6 hours of quality time together a week and you will keep your family relationships strong.  Yes, “school is done, books are put away, and it is time for family fun today.”

This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, Utah State University Family Consumer Science Professor, carolyn.washburn@usu.edu.

8 Top Tips for Strong Family Relationships


Follow these tips to help strengthen your family.

Strength Training

Today’s families face greater challenges than families of years ago. Family time can build strong family values, healthy relationships, and resilient family members.

Families that work together, eat together, talk together, and play together can better weather the storms that families will face.

Here are a few tips to help encourage quality family time:

1. Quality family time together in doing great activities such as games, hiking, reading, playing outdoors and visiting family and friends.
2. Meal time is family time. Families who eat 3-5 meals together a week have stronger relationships, kids who do better in school, and avoid risky behaviors. Plan simple meals where family members can assist with cooking and meal planning.

3. Take time for weekly family meetings where family members can communicate about emotions, family issues, family finance, family plans, and upcoming events. Make sure all family members have a chance to communicate and share.

4. Build a family crest that illustrates your family values. When children understand what is important to the family, they can incorporate these values into their lives.

5. Encourage a routine that schedules homework and reading time, limiting TV, video games, and computer time.

6. Share household responsibilities. Encourage all family members to have some responsibilities that help family members. Teamwork builds pride in each family member doing their part.

7. Show love and caring to all members. Share the great things family members do. Have a bulletin board, give “love notes”, and always praise the good things you want your children to do.

8. Keep spousal relationships strong. Parents need to keep their relationship strong and be sturdy role models to their children. Weekly date nights help parents focus on and enjoy one another.

This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, Extension Professor, Washington County