6 Phrases for Successful Interactions with Your Child

6 Phrases for Successful Interactions with Your Child
"Why didn't I think of that?" frequently crosses the minds of parents watching other parents handle their children successfully in the grocery store, during a playdate, or out in public. Memorizing some short basic phrases and the situations in which to use them creates confidence even in doubtful parents. 1. Say yes more than you say no . Even when you have to say no it can be done gently. For example, "I know you want a cookie, you can have one...
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How Parents Can Model Social-Emotional Skills

How Parents Can Model Social-Emotional Skills
Nearly all children could benefit from social/emotional coaching. The purpose of social and emotional coaching is to help children learn social skills, emotional intelligence, and behaviors. These abilities can help children relate to their peers and regulate their own emotions. It might sound like a daunting task for parents and caregivers to teach children how to regulate their emotions. However, there are very simple things parents can do as t...
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5 Ways to Encourage Good Behavior While Handling Negative Behaviors

5 Ways to Encourage Good Behavior While Handling Negative Behaviors
I was so excited to meet my nephew and watch him discover what life has to offer. We were enamored by his first words and loved to hear him giggle.. then came the pureed fruit packets. For weeks, his parents sternly told him, "No!" as he would spray the sauce from his mouth on to them. They were trying to change his behavior but were only reinforcing it. It wasn't until they decided to not acknowledge the bad behavior that it began to stop. Wheth...
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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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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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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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7 Parenting Tips for Raising a Child with ADHD

7 Parenting Tips for Raising a Child with ADHD
Around 6.1 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, also known as ADD). That means that 9.4% of children between the ages of 2-17 have been faced with the challenges associated with an ADHD diagnosis. So if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you are not alone. ADHD is a complex disorder that requires treatment from professionals. That being said, there are some strategies that you...
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Behavioral Changes to Expect When Your Child Starts School

Behavioral Changes to Expect When Your Child Starts School
You might not remember your first day of school - or maybe you remember it a little too well. It's a big transition that includes new people, places, and pressures. Children experience lots of confusing emotions because of this, and if you anticipate certain behavior changes you can help your child navigate this time successfully. As children go to school and learn about new things they might experience fears about criticism and failure for the f...
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Public Tantrum Survival Guide

Public Tantrum Survival Guide
It's 5:10 pm. You were supposed to be at the park to meet the babysitter 10 minutes ago. But you're stuck at the grocery store waiting in line after rushing in to grab "just a few things"... with the 3-year old. Shockingly, Susie kept asking for candy after you specifically told her NO MORE CANDY. You're feeling defeated because you caved and gave Susie your cell phone to distract her. You're fumbling through your purse looking for your wallet. Y...
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8 Tips for Delivering Trauma-Informed Feedback to Your Child

8 Tips for Delivering Trauma-Informed Feedback to Your Child
Children who have experienced trauma often react to both positive and negative feedback a bit differently than other children. Brookes Publishing discusses some ideas for teacher-student interactions on how to give both positive and corrective feedback. These ideas can also translate to how you respond in the home. For positive feedback, make it: Low-key and private . Use nonverbal signals like giving a thumbs-up, a hug or, jotting a few words on...
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Working towards the ideal: Affection in the Home

Working towards the ideal: Affection in the Home
Memories and physical pictures remind me of my relationship with my dad. From sitting in the pew next to him in church or on the couch for a movie, dad wanted to squeeze my ears, arms and fingers.  As I grew up and became more aware of my dad's way of loving, I grew to hate physical touch. I shrunk from it. I claimed he made my ear lobes bigger. I resisted his effort to care in this manner. This took a toll on our relationship, which began t...
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Window of Tolerance

Window of Tolerance
Know your limits As parents, we get pushed to our limits. The rollercoaster of parenthood takes us up, down, around, backward, and sometimes through flaming rings of fire. Often we may ask the question: am I going to survive this? The Window of Tolerance offers perspective into understanding one's own personal limits. Knowing one's own personal breaking points and how to rejuvenate can help parents keep their cool. What is the Window of Tolerance...
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Guest Post: Essential Resources and Tools Every Parent Needs for Every Stage of Childhood

Guest Post: Essential Resources and Tools Every Parent Needs for Every Stage of Childhood
Raising children is so much more than a full-time job for parents — it's a lifelong adventure aimed at raising those children into healthy, happy, and productive adults. So, what's the secret to accomplishing this feat? There's not really one secret; after all, if there was, we would all be putting it to good use to nurture and protect our little ones. But there are some helpful resources and tools that can make life as a parent a little easier. ...
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Early Childhood: Sexual Behavior Part 2

Early Childhood: Sexual Behavior Part 2
  If you have already read Part 1 of Early Childhood: Sexual Behavior, you know that two very big topics were left to Part 2: How to promote healthy boundaries and communication with trusted adults, and What you (the parent) should do when something is troubling regarding your child's sexual behaviors. Since these topics can be quite broad and lengthy, we will go over them superficially and generally. For more in-depth information, plea...
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Early Childhood: Sexual Behavior: Part 1

Early Childhood: Sexual Behavior: Part 1
  We all know it's part of human nature and development, but many questions are associated with self-touch and sexual behavior in young children. It's a sensitive topic for parents for many reasons: religious beliefs and personal values, inexperience in explaining body development and appropriate behaviors with children, uncertainty around what is typical at this young age range, and others.  Though we cannot expound on all reasons list...
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Simple Ways to Help Your Child's Intrinsic Motivation Flourish

Simple Ways to Help Your Child's Intrinsic Motivation Flourish
I was reading an article the other day that talked about studies in favor of toddlers sincerely enjoying and wanting opportunities to help those around them. After finishing the article, I wondered, "where does all that 'helping spirit' go when they get older?" And why is it that some older children are more willing to help than others-- why do some children have more intrinsic motivation? The Deets on Motivation Motivation is generally categoriz...
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