Bind Together During Hard Times: Family Stress and Coping Strategies

Every family deals with stress. This is normal and it is not always a bad thing. Families can experience stress when waiting for something exciting, like adding a new child to the family. This stress helps motivate preparation for the new baby. Stress can help us realize that something is wrong and it can help push us to be better. However, big stressful events or chronic, long-term stress can be hard on family relationships. The stress the famil...
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5 Benefits of Owning a Pet

5 Benefits of Owning a Pet
Do you remember the first pet you ever owned? I remember being 5 years old when I got my first pet; a blue betta fish named Rainbow Blue. I was thrilled to have this little fish that was all mine. Every day I made sure to feed it and attend to its needs. Eventually, I got pet crabs and then a dog! Each pet we owned gave me confidence as I cared for them. It also helped me create memories that have lasted a lifetime. I learned many skills from the...
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Screen Time Series (Part 3): Parents on Screens: How to Model Mindful Use

Screen Time Series (Part 3): Parents on Screens: How to Model Mindful Use
  "More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents. " This statement jogged my memory of a photo I once saw. It was of a couple sitting up in bed, as they were illuminated by the light of their phones in the darkness of the night. Neither of them appeared to be speaking to the other. They each were focused solely on the device they held in their hands. Since then, I have seen other photos that depict ...
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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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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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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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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 to Save Money For a Child

How to Save Money For a Child
Parents pay an average of $233,610 to raise a child to the age of 18, according to analysis by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Not only does this amount include the cost of housing and education, but it also takes food costs, healthcare costs and other necessities into account. This figure works out to a little under $13,000 annually if you break it down over 18 years, which actually doesn't sound so bad. But remember, this fi...
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Building Sibling Relationships—Family Night Idea

Building Sibling Relationships—Family Night Idea
While doing an outreach event recently I had a wonderful conversation with a mom about sibling relationships. She told me about her hopes and dreams for her children and the friendship she hoped they would develop and keep throughout their lives. She admitted, like many parents, that fostering those good relationships was sometimes incredibly hard! After this conversation I got thinking about my own family, I grew up as the older sister of three ...
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4 Tips for Helping Your Child Eat a Healthy Diet

4 Tips for Helping Your Child Eat a Healthy Diet
When kids eat a healthy and balanced diet, it provides them with the nutrients that they need to grow and develop in a healthy way. However, it can be hard to know what and how to feed your kid sometimes. These four recommendations can help guide you in helping your kid eat a balanced and healthy diet. Eat the 5 food gro ups: Kids need to eat a balance of foods from the five food groups each day. The food groups include fruits, vegetables, dairy,...
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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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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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Helping Your Child Cope with Nightmares

Helping Your Child Cope with Nightmares
Around 50% of young kids have severe nightmares that cause them to wake up their parents. I had a nightmare every night as a kid, and even though it was distressing to me, it was equally distressing to my parents. My bedtime routine became a battle because I was so terrified to get into bed. And even when I finally did get to sleep, I would wake up from a nightmare and refuse to go back to sleep. This goes without saying, but it isn't very fun wh...
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Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Helping Children Cope with Divorce
Divorce is a common challenge many children face, and though this decision may be best for your family, you as a parent may worry about how this change will affect the little ones. How you break the news to your child and how you each cope with it will affect how well your child adjusts to the divorce. Children might struggle with finding out about the restructuring of their family, and being clear about what's going on will help them take it bet...
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How to Explain Difficult Subjects to Young Children

How to Explain Difficult Subjects to Young Children
We live in a time of political turmoil, disease, and natural disasters. At home, we may be enduring trials such as divorce, the death of a loved one, or mental illness. These difficult subjects are hard enough to talk about with other adults. Attempting to explain these events to children can be a daunting task. So, how are our kids feeling about and learning about the difficult things around them? Explaining difficult subjects to young children ...
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Benefits of Allowing Your Child to Fail

Benefits of Allowing Your Child to Fail
While allowing kids to fail feels messy and frightening, letting them learn from their mistakes helps them to become empowered, releasing the controlling hold of fear that paralyzes decisions and helps develop lasting, deep rooted accountability along with, ironically, building the self confidence that comes with personal autonomy and recovery from failure. Failure is a part of life. Some of the most successful people in this world have seen the ...
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Promoting Healthy Attachment Through the Senses

Promoting Healthy Attachment Through the Senses
For the past 137 years, Children's Service Society of Utah has been involved in child welfare throughout the state by empowering families, caregivers and professionals through services supporting the safety and well-being of children. During this time, advocates have engaged with children and families in various settings, promoting healthy attachment and bonding and working hard to ensure every child feels safe and cared-for. In 2002, Children's ...
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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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How To Help Your Child Cope With Death

How To Help Your Child Cope With Death
Losing a loved one is always a very hard and emotional experience. As parents, you might struggle with healing from your own grief, while also supporting your children. It's helpful to know how your child might respond and what you can do to strengthen them as much as possible. Here are a few ways that Stanford Children's Health reports children may respond: Denial, shock, confusion and anger Inability to sleep or nightmares Fear of being alone S...
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Managing My Mom Guilt

Managing My Mom Guilt
My two-year old son is crawling in my lap and my three-year old daughter is at pre-school. Frozen 2 is on the TV because it's my son's favorite movie and his older sister rarely lets him watch it, because siblings. This is relatively straightforward, but in one sentence I can point several things that hit that Mom Guilt Button. Screen time. Listen, I lie on the pediatrician questionnaire. I don't know how much screen time they get. It's not out o...
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