Archives for Parenting


The Power of Kindness

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. "Aesop
I was a new mom, trying to manage a crying infant and two grumpy stepsons at the library.
One of my arms held the baby; the other balanced a stack of children's books and two DVDs. We were all tired and frustrated and ready to get out of there, and the kids were eager to watch their movies.
The librarian scanned my...
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The Power of “NO”

My mother says that my first word was no.

I’m not surprised that this was the first true word that came out of my  mouth.

Many children sing out the joys of no regularly and with enthusiasm. "Would you like more potatoes?" "NO!" "Put on your shoes please." "NO!" "Time for a nap." "NO!"

And why not? Children learn very early on that when they say no, something big and important happens. It could be that the food they dislike is...
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Dear Daughter: 5 Life Lessons for My Child

As my daughter enters the middle of her eighth year, she is changing and growing rapidly.
She vacillates between the feelings and needs of a child, and the desires of independence of a young teen.
Eight years old is an age of rapid maturation for many children. She picks up on the nuances of relationships. She hears the news and is afraid sometimes. She is learning her own boundaries and setting limits, but still...
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Sadness or Depression? Recognizing Mental Illness in Tweens and Teens

Kids carry around a ton of emotion.
As infants, they communicate with cries, screams, and eventually smiles and laughter.
Toddlers grow and begin to use spoken language in addition to laughter, hugs, biting, hitting, and crying.
The childhood years are generally calm. A second grader has not yet entered the emotional turmoil of the teen or preteen years, and has increased social skills that they didn't have as a toddler...
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Do You Have a Challenging Toddler? 8 Simple, Proven Solutions

Ah, toddler-hood: the years when a child's mind is growing faster than their speech, where they have big feelings but little control. Parenting a toddler is challenging to say the least.
My daughter is seven now, but I clearly remember those days of leaving the grocery cart full and walking out of the store with a flailing, screaming 2 year old. Nearly anything can set a toddler off: a cat...
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The Fat Shaming Epidemic

I've been thinking a lot about body shaming and fat shaming.
It's all over the media lately. And although kids being teased for their weight is nothing new, the power of the internet takes it to an entirely new level.
Carleigh O'Connell, a 14 year old girl from New Jersey, became a viral sensation and anti-fat shaming advocate when she posted a photograph of herself in a swimsuit in response to a graffiti message...
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8 Easy Ways to Reconnect with Your Teen

The teen years are a developmental time when children begin to distance themselves from their parents and families.

This is necessary and healthy.

But sometimes the emotional distance can become too extreme and you will feel the need to reconnect.

Your job as a parent parent is not an easy one: to allow your child to grow an independent sense of self, yet remain close enough to provide support and guidance when needed.

As your teen grows in maturity and independence,...
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When a Pet Dies: Helping Your Young Child Grieve

When your child's pet dies, it can be a stressful and confusing time. He or she may not behave in a way that seems normal or natural, or their sadness may seem to linger for an extended period of time.

For many kids, the death of a beloved pet can bring nights of sobbing and tearful questions.

Even if the pet seems insignificant to adults, like a goldfish won at a fair, a child may feel as if their world is falling apart and mourn deeply.

On the other hand, some children appear nonchalant and unfazed about the death of a pet cat or dog. They may talk about the death in a matter of fact way and become focused on getting a new animal.

Parents may be struck by their child's lack of intense feelings and worry that he or she isn't crying or appearing to mourn. This can be especially true if the parents feel the animal's loss deeply and are grieving.

Just like adults, no one child grieves in the same way as another. So whether your child reacts with nights of sobbing, pictures drawn, and an  elaborate funeral complete with a decorated box and flowers, or if he or she shows very little outward sorrow, your role as a parent is to help your child through their loss at their pace and in their unique way.

Here are some suggestions to help your child when they are grieving the loss  of a pet.
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Talking With Children About Death

A close friend of your child dies unexpectedly in a horrific car crash. An aunt loses her battle with cancer. The beloved cat has to be put to sleep. A parent is diagnosed with a terminal disease.

All these are examples of ways children can encounter death for the first time.

A child's first experience of death often comes when a pet dies. For many children, losing a beloved animal can be the most intense sadness they...
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