Screen Time Series (2): Alternative Activities & Managing Multiple Kids' Screen Time

Screen Time Series (2): Alternative Activities & Managing Multiple Kids' Screen Time
Imagine that you are at home with your children. You're scrolling through your social media feed while your spouse is working on their laptop. Your toddler and preschooler are watching a children's program on the television and your school-aged child is playing a game on your tablet. Suddenly the power goes out, taking the precious Wi-Fi connection with it. What do you do? How can you keep your family "entertained" without the screens that are re...
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Screens are Here to Stay!

Screens are Here to Stay!
Getting our very first TV was a huge event: my sister and I could watch black-and-white shows, but only around bedtime. Fast forward a few decades, and now screens are everywhere (at work, in school, and at home; even in our bedrooms), available 24/7 and used for an endless variety of purposes. Right before the first lockdowns of 2020, a nationally representative survey found that about half of the parents said whether or not their infant or todd...
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Prioritizing Self-Care: How to Make YOU-time Happen!

Prioritizing Self-Care: How to Make YOU-time Happen!
  Have you ever been on an airplane? Before the plane takes off the flight attendant reminds the passengers where the safety exits are located and how to access the overhead oxygen mask. Importantly, they instruct the passengers to put on their masks before helping another person. Why is it important to put your oxygen on first? Simply put, if you don't have oxygen you are unable to help the person next to you. It seems intuitive, but moms a...
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Learning About Autism for Autism Appreciation Month

Learning About Autism for Autism Appreciation Month
The month of April is Autism Appreciation Month! According to the CDC, 1 in 44 children are autistic, so it is very likely that your child will interact with or know someone with autism. This month is a great opportunity for you and your child to learn more about empathy. Here are a few ways to do so! Read Books Together There are so many great picture books that can help kids learn about autism, and autistic people. Here is a list of 10 books th...
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Strong Happy Families: The Strengthening Families Approach

Strong Happy Families: The Strengthening Families Approach
In 2001, The Center for the Study of Social Policy ( CSSP ) began studying how education programs and early child care across the country could prevent child abuse and neglect and build healthy, happy families. They came up with an approach called Strengthening Families . Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. The foundat...
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Talking to Your Child About Sex

Talking to Your Child About Sex
Not many topics frighten parents more than talking to their child about sex. However, I hope to convince you if you start early, you can talk about sex bit by bit and create an even closer relationship with your child. Suggestion 1 Start early. Begin by referring to your child's body parts (genitalia included) using the correct terms. A penis is a penis, not some silly nickname. The vulva is the vulva, not "your nether regions" or "down there." W...
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Happy Birthday Help Me Grow Utah

Happy Birthday Help Me Grow Utah
It has been another year of adjustment and growth at Help Me Grow. We are grateful for the support from our donors, partners, and families like you ! Let's take a look at how we've grown over the last year.   98% of families have reported that Help Me Grow Utah has been equally helpful or more helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic the past year 1,235 community referrals were made 1,301 new families joined Help Me Grow Utah We engaged 1,318 pe...
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The Power of Proximity- Teaching Children to Regulate Big Emotions

The Power of Proximity- Teaching Children to Regulate Big Emotions
I recently sat down with a mom who told me her story about parenting a child who has experienced living in an orphanage, foster care, and being adopted at two different times in his life. I was moved by her strength and the lessons she has learned as she strives to become a person of stability in this young boy's life. She described using ideas from the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) therapy model that have helped her reach her child ...
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How to Overcome Feeding Challenges

How to Overcome Feeding Challenges
  Feeding a child can cause the most anxiety-inducing moments of the day... OR it can be an enjoyable experience that brings parent and child closer together. The following guidelines can empower your family to start out on the right foot when feeding your baby, or if you have a picky eater , to take steps toward positive feeding moments. Mealtime peace The foundation to success in eating and feeding is creating peaceful mealtimes. If your c...
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How to Support Your Child as a Single Parent

How to Support Your Child as a Single Parent
Being raised by a single parent is special but far from easy. I grew up in a single-parent household along with my younger brother. As a single mother, my mom did everything in her power to make sure my brother and I were happy and gave us the best life possible. As a child, I never once felt unsupported in any way, despite having a single mom. If you are a single parent reading this today, I want to let you know that your child/children can be j...
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How Fathers Can Bond with Their Babies

How Fathers Can Bond with Their Babies
A few weeks ago, I was watching my husband play with our 6 month old son, tossing him lightly into the air, and I felt my heart drop from where I sat. My heart couldn't handle the fear as I saw the potential for him to fall and get hurt, but at the same time, I loved the sound of the giggles and laughter from the two of them. I was terrified, but they were having the time of their lives! I know I play and laugh with my son, but it's so different ...
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The Fundamentals of 'Fun' in Parenting

The Fundamentals of 'Fun' in Parenting
Parenting is not easy – but it can be fun! Amidst the sleepless nights, the tears and tantrums, and so many other demands, we can still infuse humor, joy, and playfulness. In fact, play and silliness can make those challenging moments lighter! Imagine getting out of the door in the morning. Just as you realize you forgot something, your preschooler doesn't want to put on her shoes, and your baby spits up. A typical reaction would be to start feel...
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6 Surprising Secrets about Feeding

6 Surprising Secrets about Feeding
Have you ever wondered about the best ways to encourage infants or children to eat healthy, nutritious food? Dietician and family therapist Ellyn Satter offers some advice. You may be surprised by some of what you find! N ever force a child to eat . Instead, follow the Division of Responsibility system created by Ellen Satter. In this system, parents determine what children, infants, and almost toddlers eat, and the child determines whether to ea...
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Navigating Children’s Emotional Meltdowns

Navigating Children’s Emotional Meltdowns
If there's one thing I've learned about toddlers, it's that they have some pretty big feelings , and sometimes they struggle to convey those feelings well. Sometimes, they know what they're trying to say, but are unsure about how to express what they feel, or they may not understand what they're feeling, and that can be scary for a child. This can create a challenge for parents as they seek to help their kids learn how to use words to express the...
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How Strengthening Marriage Helps Children

How Strengthening Marriage Helps Children
In some cases divorce is necessary for the well-being of the family, for example, when there is abuse. Though when that is not the case, strengthening marriage and working through conflict avoids many challenges while at the same time supporting children in learning valuable skills for life. Why to avoid divorce when possible Divorce hurts children when there are fewer resources available to cover expenses and when the reason for the break up is ...
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How to Say "No" without Saying "No"

How to Say "No" without Saying "No"
My 5-month-old son has recently started reaching for my face when I hold him. He enjoys grabbing my glasses and pulling at my nose. Kids his age are curious and starting to learn to use their hands and grab things. They also don't understand that sometimes the things they do can cause pain or potentially create damage (if he had squeezed my glasses in just the wrong way, it could have been a big problem). It got me thinking about how I should app...
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The Importance of Grandparents

The Importance of Grandparents
Growing up, I was fortunate to have my grandparents in my life. My relationship with each of them was as different as each of their personalities, from the grandpa who lived out of state but was a "snowbird" and traveled through Utah each fall and spring and treating us to dinner at a local buffet to the grandma who passed on her love of Welch's grape juice and the color purple to me. With Grandparent's Day just around the corner on September 12,...
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How to Have Smoother Bedtimes

How to Have Smoother Bedtimes
If your child's bedtime is a struggle, you're not alone. Whether it's asking for a drink of water every 5 minutes, hearing "I'm not tired", or a meltdown in general, bedtime can be chaos. We all know that sleep is important, but for children, getting enough sleep helps with things like behavior and learning . Studies show that poor sleep habits in childhood can lead to difficulty sleeping as an adult . To help bedtimes go smoother, you can try th...
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What To Do When Your Child Lies

What To Do When Your Child Lies
When 2-year-old Liam* started crying, his mother Sadie went to investigate. Her two children were playing in their room together and Liam was crying and obviously in distress. After questioning her older daughter, Abigail, who insisted she didn't know what happened, Sadie decided to check the video feed from the baby monitor. Much to her surprise, Abigail had kicked Liam as they were both on the ladder of the bunk bed. When Sadie showed her daugh...
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5 Secrets for Back to School Success

5 Secrets for Back to School Success
It's August, which means it's time to get ready to go back to school. When I was growing up, getting ready to go back to school meant shopping for school clothes, going to bed earlier, getting up earlier and of course new school supplies. There was always excitement in the air as I met my friends at the bus stop and we talked about our summers and wondered if we would have the same teacher in class that year. The beginning of the new school year ...
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