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Parenting Advisor

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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...

Be Your Child’s Superhero

Did you like superheroes when you were young? Do you still like them? Do your children like them? They can do amazing things. They have special powers. They save the day! Do you wish you could be a superhero? Would you like to have special powers? Would you like to save the day? Would you like to be a superhero for your children? Young children might already think you are a superhero. They might think you have special powers. They might think you can do special things. They might think you can save the day. Or they might wish you could. You can do things to be a superhero for your children--and for all children! You can be an advocate. An advocate is someone who stands with someone else. That person speaks for and with other...

Not All Crying is the Same

Imagine you were stuck alone in a closed room. You couldn’t get out. You didn’t have a phone. All you had was a buzzer to push. Someone would hear the buzzer. Then maybe someone would come. Would you push the buzzer? Would you push it a lot? Would you push it hard? That buzzer is like crying for a baby. A baby doesn’t have words. A baby can’t walk around and take care of itself. Crying is the only way to get someone’s attention at first. Babies push the crying button a lot when they need something. How do you feel about children and crying? How do you feel when you hear a child cry? It is not a pleasant sound. It is not meant to be pleasant. Crying for young children is like a siren for a firetruck. Or it is like a buzzer...

Boredom Busters for Kids

Do you remember the excitement of the last day of the school year? You were free! Or did the end of the school year mean something different for you? Maybe you could play all summer or all vacation! Maybe you were sad. You would not be able to see your friends. Maybe you loved school. You didn’t want it to end.Maybe you would go to live with another parent during vacations. That might have been a happy thing or a sad thing.Maybe your parents had other things for you to do during the whole break. That could have been good or bad.Maybe you needed to stay inside. There was no place to go outside. Maybe there was nothing to do. You just got bored. Vacations should be a break. It is good to do something different for a while. It helps...

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...

Answers to Top Parenting Questions

People like answers. They like to ask a question and get an answer right away. There are help lines to get answers for some questions. On Thanksgiving people can call the Butterball Turkey Hotline. People call them with problems when they cook a turkey. A popular National Public Radio show was Car Talk. People called in People like answers. They like to ask a question and get an answer right away. There are help lines to get answers for some questions. On Thanksgiving people can call the Butterball Turkey Hotline. People call them with problems when they cook a turkey. A popular National Public Radio show was Car Talk. People called in with car problems. There are no new Car Talk shows anymore, but the old shows are still popular....

When Do I Let My Child Win?

Playing games with children can be fun. Many families have game nights every week or every month. Families might play card games. They might play board games. Some play ball or shoot hoops. Some play video games. Games give families a chance to be together. Children learn to follow rules. Parents and children can learn about each other. They can relax. They can laugh. They can have fun. And sometimes family members get serious with games. Some games have winners and losers. Family members might try hard to win. The children might really want to win. Or the parents might want to win. Sometimes the parents let the children win. It can be hard to know what to do in family games. Should the parents let the children win? Should the...

When Children Ask “Who Am I”?

I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line. --Ziggy Marley Who are you? You are a person on your own. But you are also part of a family. The family is very important for young children. They need their families to survive. And family stays with you all of your life. You might not live together all of your life. But family identify follows you. People will ask, “Who is your mother?” or “Who is your father?” Sometimes they want to know who your grandparents are or were. They want to connect you to your family. That is really important in some cultures. Families help to make you who you are. But sometimes it is hard...

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