Parenting Articles

Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity not a Luxury

“Be still and heal.”

 — Thich Nhat Hanh,

Vietnamese monk

How that insight could have helped me as a new mom … if I’d had even an inkling of the value of being still.

No one prepared me for the unrelenting demands of motherhood. The realities of a 24/7 responsibility that left no time for myself. That lonely time after the front door closed behind my husband each morning, and I felt like I had to cope and should be happy about it.

9 Tips for Getting Kids with ADHD Organized for School

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

9 Tips for Getting Kids with ADHD Organized for SchoolWhen it comes to school, we expect all kids to be organized. But we don’t realize just how complicated this really is, according to Elaine Taylor-Klaus, an educator and parenting coach. For kids with ADHD, getting organized is a big challenge.

In fact, ADHD affects the very skills that are required for success in school. Kids with ADHD have difficulty getting started, prioritizing, planning, managing their time and emotions, staying on task and focusing, she said. It’s the nature of the disorder, which impairs the executive functions of the brain.

Plus, each school year typically requires new systems, new habits, new books and new lockers, said Laurie Dupar, a trained psychiatric nurse practitioner and ADHD coach.

It’s important for parents, kids and teachers to realize just how difficult school-related tasks are for kids with ADHD. Fortunately, there are many strategies that help. Here are nine insights and techniques to try.

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity“Creativity is a gift, given in some measure to all of us,” said Tom Sturges, an accomplished music executive, author, teacher and speaker. For over 15 years, Sturges has mentored and taught thousands of students to explore their creativity, “to let their creative instinct ‘emerge’ rather than to force it out into the open.”

(There’s even a documentary, “Witness to a Dream,” about his work with inner-city kids in Los Angeles.)

Creativity, he noted, isn’t drawing, painting or writing a song. “These are just some uses of the creative instinct. But there are so many ways that children can be creative.”

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for Children

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for ChildrenAnger occurs when a person of any age is feeling overwhelmed and overpowered. It is our way to say “No, stop it! I don’t like it. It is unfair. I can’t handle it,” and so on. Since children have many rules to learn and follow daily, they are likely to feel challenged and frustrated often. Therefore, parents should not be surprised that children question and challenge boundaries.

Anger is natural. It is about our sense of feeling wronged and attempts at boundary setting. It does not have to be toxic and abusive, but it might escalate to that level. It happens when people don’t know how to express and handle it appropriately. It is important to allow children to express their anger and teach them how to go about it.

3 Big Reasons to Try Mindfulness

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

mindfulness

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

- Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddhist monk, author and peace activist

What does it feel like when you are talking to someone and they check their text messages? Or you try to tell your husband about something the children did today and he starts opening the mail?

Mindfulness helps us focus our attention on one thing or one person without feeling compelled to follow distractions where our wandering mind wants to take us. That is truly being present.

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?With the ringing of the first classroom bell to signal the start of a new school year, two images often come to mind: children excited about seeing old friends and their favorite teacher, or the endearing scene of a shy child clinging to his mother’s leg.

But what if the latter scenario is not as innocent as popular culture depicts? In the most recent Care For Your Mind (CFYM) series, experts associated with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shed light on a debilitating but little known disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD) that effects 12% of youth. Often first appearing in grade school, this disorder can be treated and managed with the right support and professional help.

Families Engaged in Destructive Tug of War: How to Drop the Rope

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Families Engaged In Tug of War: How to Drop the RopeTug of war is an ancient game that is believed to have begun in the 8th century BC as a training exercise for warriors. Today it is a fun game usually played at social events that pits two teams against one another to reveal which team is the strongest and has the most endurance.

However, when a tug of war pits two family members against each other, it’s anything but fun. Indeed, it often turns into a deadly game — killing any safety and security that family members feel in their own home.

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

1. Eating disorders are real and deadly illnesses and having one is not a choice. Your reaction, as an administrator or teacher, to a disclosure of an eating disorder should be the same as if you were told a child had leukemia. Certain eating disorders have a mortality rate as high as 20 percent.

Eating disorders are up to 80 percent genetic, and they are biological in nature. Treatment has to be the number one priority, and the medical and psychological needs of the student should drive how school absences, attendance and other issues are handled.

Therapists Get Anxious, Too

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Therapists Get Anxious, TooMy heart was pounding, my breathing restricted, my hands sweaty.

My instinct screamed at me, “You’re too young to die. Turn back now.”

My rational brain said, “That’s just your anxiety talking. You’re only going up the stairs of a lighthouse.”

My rational brain also said, “Lean forward as you climb the stairs, because if your panic makes you pass out, you don’t want to fall backward into the spiral of doom.”

Answering Children’s Questions about Foster Care

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Answering Children's Questions about Foster CareRecently, a colleague came to me for advice on addressing a very tough question from a child: Why don’t I live with mommy anymore? With roughly 400,000 children in out-of-home placements in the United States, this is a question that gets asked by hundreds of thousands of children every year.

If you’re a foster parent, you’ve probably answered this question many times. However, if you’re a relative taking custody of a child, this question may not be one you’ve prepared for. Instead of anxiously awaiting the child’s question, I recommend being proactive and facilitating a meaningful discussion with the child about the move.

4 Tips for Helping Children with Abandonment Issues

Monday, August 11th, 2014

parents-can-learn-from-kids-boy

4 steps for raising a child who doesn’t feel emotionally stranded.

Your child suffers from abandonment issues.

If you are a nurturing parent, you are probably balking at this statement. Most of us associate abandonment with physical conditions, such as inadequate nourishment, inadequate clothing, physical abuse or literally leaving our child without care. If you provide for the well being of your children, how could they possibly feel “abandoned”?

Key Questions for Couples to Consider before Baby Arrives

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

right-way-feed-babyThere’s no shortage of advice and to-do lists for parents-to-be. There are articles on do’s and don’ts; information about things you should and shouldn’t buy; and books you must read right away. The sheer overload of information can be dizzying.

Pausing can help. In fact, one of the best things parents-to-be can do is to look within and reflect together. Not surprisingly, communication between partners is key when you start expanding your family.

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