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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...

Teaching Children Responsibility

“Every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity an obligation, every possession, a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller What does it mean to be a child? What does it mean to be childish? What does it mean to be child-like? What does it mean to be a parent? What responsibilities should a child have? What responsibilities should a parent have? Most people agree that a baby is not responsible for anything. Parents take care of babies. Babies can’t take care of much of anything. They can’t take care of anyone else. And most people agree that teens do have some responsibilities. They need to take care of some things. They have some chores to do. They need to help with some things. So, what happens as children grow from...

Am I Doing A Good Parenting Job?

Did a teacher ever ask you to grade your own schoolwork? Or did you have a chance to say what grade you thought you earned in a course? Some students would say they thought they should get an A. Others would be more modest. They might say a B. Almost no one would choose to get an F. What would you have said? What if someone asked what grade you should get as a parent? Do you think you deserve an A? Do you think you are an average C parent? Does it depend on what day it is? Some days you might feel like a total failure as a parent. Many parents do. Other days you might feel like a total parenting success. Does it depend on which child you are caring for? Studies Show That… It is important to feel good about yourself as a parent....

Skills Children Learn When Playing

You probably have heard the saying “leave no child behind.” That saying is related to giving every child an education. It talks about giving all children a chance to succeed. But “leave no child inside?” What does that mean? Leave No Child Inside is about children and the outdoors. An organization called the Children and Nature Network (www.childrenandnature.org) started this saying. Have your children been outside today? Were they outside yesterday? How often do they go outside? I don’t mean just walking to the car. I mean spending time outside to play, explore, and be active. Do they like to go outside? Do you worry about the weather? What is “good” weather to go outside? When is it too hot or too cold for children?...

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