By: Marsha Reece
There is a potential upside to the way families may be forced to shop for groceries. It could encourage a deeper appreciation of our environment and help families develop a healthier way to buy prepare and consume meals using more fruits and vegetables and less dairy and animal based products.
In an effort to ease the effects of the drought on US ranchers and farmers, President Obama has announced that the Department of Agriculture will buy up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish. The President saw the damage first-hand while touring Iowa on Monday and described a new effort to help livestock producers. According to a While House media release, this purchase will assist producers currently struggling due to challenging market conditions and the high cost of animal feed.
The money to pay for the purchase will come from the Emergency Surplus Removal Program, funds set aside to aid farmers and ranchers who have been affected by natural disasters.
While the purchases are expected to lessen the severity of the drought, some economists are saying the cost of food at the grocery store will go up because of the drought. Higher food cost could change the way grandparents and parents shop for food. Children will notice the difference and if you don’t explain to them what is going on, they will make up a story to satisfy their curiosity.
Sandy Canfield, a licensed mental health counselor in Florida, says, “Children are born naturally sensitive and wanting to help. It is their true human nature. So when their family is struggling with putting food on the table, or whatever life circumstance is happening, kids generally are pulled to want to help. The parents or grandparents need to just be careful, because it is really important to involve children in becoming a part of the solution and helping out in the family, but not to such a degree that the child feels burdened by that responsibility. So, good information is helpful, but the parents or grandparents need to make sure not to alarm the child. The child needs to be protected from being alarmed or burdened, and as long as the parent and the grandparent are carrying the burden of the life situation then it’s important to involve the children and have them be of help.”
Grandparents have educational tools to get children involved. You can go to http://kids.usa.gov/ and get tips on exercise and how to eat healthy, even on a tight budget. There are also recommendations on how children can contribute to save the family money. Kindergarteners through 12th grade students have an option of learning more about droughts and how rain is measured by visiting the website for the Smithsonian Institute at http://smithsonianeducation.org/students/index.htm
Grandparents should be alert to the Warning signs in children:
- The grandchild becomes worrisome
- The grandchild is anxious
- The grandchild has trouble falling asleep
- Waking up in sleep
- Going to bathroom often
- Do not alarm the grandchild
- Pay attention to the grandchild’s behavior
- Give your grandchild more time to talk
- Find answers to questions that are educational
- Don’t burden your grandchild with adult troubles
- Help them find balance in their lives
Sandy Canfield is trained extensively in Redecision Therapy and is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, as well as a Certified Group Psychotherapist. Sandy also supervises psychotherapists and is a Certified Psychotherapy Supervisor in the State of Florida.
Marsha has worked in the TV broadcast industry since 1974 in various positions. She currently works with Grand Magazine on the Kinship Care Program and as a contributing reporter. Marsha is married with two adult children, and is a grandmother. If you would like to contact Marsha, she can be emailed at: [email protected]