Parenting Advisor - Online Parenting Programs

Parenting Advisor

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Food, Mood & Behavior

The connections between food, mood and behavior continue to develop, and many families could benefit from exploring how children, especially, are affected by diet. Mayo Clinic suggests that the ingredients in food affect behavior and the American Psychological Association says kids who have healthy diets are better able to regulate emotions and cope with stress. Much recent research seems to validate what many parents and teachers have known for years: “A well fed brain is more likely to lead to good mood, behavior and learning” (Rex, 2017). What can we do? As parents, there are steps we can take to ensure our children are getting the most out of the food they eat and that what they are eating doesn’t alter their moods or...

Being a Mindful Parent

It’s a word that’s recently come into the mainstream: mindfulness. It sounds impressive, but what is it? Mindfulness is touted as a way to improve our health and well-being by purposely paying attention and staying in the moment. It allows you to regulate your emotions and quiet your mind. In a fast-paced world full of stress, these are valuable skills to have. Mindfulness is nothing new, really, but lately it’s emerged as an effective treatment for everything from ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral disorders. And research has shown that, with or without these issues, learning to practice mindfulness in parenting can be of great benefit for our kids, improving not just our health and well-being but theirs too....

Stress Isn’t All Bad

We live in a world where it’s tempting for parents to try and “work everything out” for our children, shielding them from all forms of stress. However, it’s becoming clear that there may be real benefit to our children when we resist that temptation. Sound strange? It’s true. When we allow our children to face appropriate struggles and challenges, we are actually helping them develop an important life skill called resilience. And experts at the Child Mind Institute tell us that resilience is fostered as a result of dealing with obstacles and even stress. And resilience is a very good thing. Resilience at its core is the ability to adapt positively when life throws you a curve ball. It means you can overcome obstacles and keep...

Getting your Child to Sleep: When the Monsters Come Out at Night

We all know that how we sleep affects how we feel, how we look, and how we function each and every day. We know because we’ve had plenty of tough days that began when we woke up feeling more tired than when we went to bed. Researchers are discovering that sleep is one of the most important things a parent can help their child achieve. We don’t need the experts to tell us that sleep deprivation can make kids moody, emotionally unstable, and even aggressive. But studies have shown that to be true. In addition, it has been found that without good sleep, focus and impulse control decrease, both of which lead to problems in daily functioning, underdeveloped life skills, and ongoing academic struggles. It’s frustrating for parents and...

Understanding Resilience

Being able to bounce back when life deals us a blow is one of the most important skills our children need to learn because the impact of being resilient — or not being resilient — is felt every single day by everyone around us. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve been developing the skill of resilience for most of your life. Every time you’re presented with a stressful challenge or an obstacle, you have an opportunity to exercise and apply the “skill” of resilience. This skill is what helps you persevere when things get hard. When you learn to deal with difficult situations and setbacks, and keep going, it means you’ve developed some resilience. Without doubt resilience is something we want to see in our children,...

Be Smarter Than Your Kids with Smartphones

Kids and cell phones: What should a parent do? This question eventually presents itself to every parent in America. Chances are your middle-schooler or teenager already has a phone — Pew Research Center reports 95% of teens do — and if you have a young child, you may be feeling the pressure to provide one. But when is the “right” time? No two families are exactly alike, and there is no hard and fast rule that applies to everyone. Each family must decide when to give their child a phone based on what will work best for them. If you haven’t yet provided a phone for your child, asking yourself some questions may help you determine what time is the right time. Does my child understand it’s a privilege to have a cell phone and...

Keeping Tabs on Screen Time

Technology has become a constant in our world. It’s like a steady presence reaching into every part of our lives. As a result, the amount of time spent in front of a screen has become a concern for many. Medical professionals, behavioral therapists, and health and wellness experts all count themselves among those who warn that screen time should be monitored and in many cases restricted. This goes for both children and adults. So why the concern? Too much time looking at a screen can cause blurred vision. Extended screen time has also been known to lead to disrupted sleep rhythm, chronic neck and back pain, and less efficient information processing in the brain. All in all, too much time engrossed in a digital screen is not good for...

Focusing on “Slow Parenting”

For many of us, life moves at breakneck speed. We have demanding jobs with lots of obligations, and if we are parents, we juggle our personal commitments with the crazy calendars our kids keep. Between school routines, enrichment activities, birthday parties and soccer games, we grocery shop, constantly battle the laundry pile, read our emails, caffeinate, and barely sleep. Life becomes a treadmill and not a few of us have wanted to jump off. What’s ironic about this exhausting scenario is that, in many cases, we do it to ourselves. We pack our own schedules and we do the same for our kids, making sure every waking moment is filled with some kind of planned program or structured activity. On their behalf, we rarely say no to...

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