Activities of the Week
Income taxes have to be filed by April 15, 2014. Don’t wait to the last minute. There are lots of resources available through IRS.gov to get assistance in filing, answering questions, and avoiding scams. If you make less than $50,000 you can go to an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program site where IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Find a VITA site near you or call 1-800-906-9887.
Healthy relationships at every age are built on respect. Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Dating violence can happen even in relationships that aren’t “serious” and teens and young adults aren’t immune. Talk with your kids about recognizing signs of abuse for them and their friends, and learn ways to find help by visiting http://www.teendvmonth.org.
The next time you’re with your kids and they start telling you a story, or ask a question, stop and drop what you’re doing and roll with it. Mute the TV. Put down your phone. Save the re-Tweet for another day. Give them your undivided attention.
Positive communication is a cornerstone to healthy relationships. Sometimes with our kids it’s hard to know what to talk about. Try this ice breaker the next time you’re not sure what to say. Get a bag of multicolor candy and assign each color a question, like Blue is what’s your favorite song right now? Yellow is share your favorite knock-knock joke? Each time you pull out a candy, someone shares an answer. Just make sure to listen to the answer before reaching for another treat!
Cheering on your favorite team together can be fun! Take the time during the next Big Game to practice and model good sportsmanship with your kids, and compliment the other team for a good play. “I can’t believe he threw that interception – but what a good catch” “That was a great penalty shot! I hope we can get it back.”
This year celebrate The MLK Day of Service with your kids by finding volunteer opportunities that you can do together by visiting www.mlkday.gov. Can’t make it on the 20th? Don’t worry, there are lots of great opportunities to give back to the community all year long.
Reading. It’s all Fun and Games. For young kids, building skills around reading can be more than just stories at bedtime. These PBSKids Reading games work on creating words, making songs, decorating cakes, writing your own comic book, and more. Try some out tonight!