She’s so shy! Sat, 15 Mar 2014 14:21:40 +0000 Shyness can keep a child from feeling confident and ready to interact with others. The ways in which we teach, respond and support a child will help her develop the confidence to build healthy relationships. Some children are naturally slow to warm, and are more comfortable easing into new situations. This is true of many young children, who are learning to navigate social situations and new life experiences. Recognize your child's emotions, without reinforcing them. For the truly shy child, [...]]]> Infusing love into every day Sun, 16 Feb 2014 21:01:42 +0000 Valentine's Day isn't just another Hallmark holiday. It's an opportunity to share love and joy with others, whether they are family, friends, or neighbors. So, for one day each year, all across the nation, we pull out all the stops. We write love notes expressing our love and appreciation, buy flowers, chocolates or other thoughtful gifts, and express to family and friends how special they are. On one special day, we all take the time to say, "I love you." Wouldn't it be nice if we were able [...]]]> Let go of the guilt! Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:12:23 +0000 Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs you'll ever have. The challenges are endless, and just when you think you've got it down, something changes, requiring a different response, a new lesson, a consequence or a compromise. Mistakes can be made with quick decisions that result in our remorse or guilt for having mishandled a situation. Rather than carry that guilt around, let it go, learn a lesson from the mistake and make the decision to do things differently next time.   Read the full [...]]]> Snowed in, again Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:55:10 +0000 Remember the good old days when you waited for that phone call to hear that school was cancelled for a snow day? I hold such fond memories of playing with friends in the back yard, while my Mom baked cookies and warmed hot chocolate for us. She dried our wet snow pants, hats and gloves on the radiator, so they would be warm and ready for a second or third run in the yard. My dad flooded the driveway with the hose, which froze over into a magnificent neighborhood ice rink where we skated for [...]]]> You are Enough Sun, 19 Jan 2014 23:22:51 +0000 William J Bennett's book, The Children's Book of Virtues, is filled with stories that connect to the specific virtues parents can teach their children. He enumerates the top ten for all to learn, which include courage, perseverance, responsibility, work ethic, self-discipline, compassion, faith, honesty, loyalty and friendship. How we actually teach those ten important virtues will determine the character of our children. Read the true meaning of You are Enough in Children achieve and succeed every day. Most days we recognize their accomplishments, but as they get older, it seems that we recognize those accomplishments less and less, as we come to take age-appropriate successes for granted. However, it is those small successes (which may go unnoticed) that keep children (as well as adults) motivated, interested, focused and successful. Therefore, in order for your child to continue to strive to do or to be his best, teach him how to set and achieve [...]]]> Keeping your teen safe Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:10:19 +0000 Teens most always talk a good game, and they are masters at layering on the guilt. "But everyone else's parents let them do it!" is a common phrase heard by most every parent. Keep the faith! Don't give in, don't negotiate, don't yell, and don't give up! Hold the line with your family values and make it your mission to keep your teen safe. There are many ways to connect and communicate your family values as well as the consequences for unmet expectations. Make a date with your teen, sending [...]]]> Home for the Holidays Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:57:07 +0000 Gathering for large family events is sometimes abundantly wonderful, and sometimes incredibly stressful. Family dynamics unfold as triggers and button pushing begin. This year, leave the baggage at the door as you greet family members with thoughtful care. Model for all the children how to rise above childish behaviors, or rude, hurtful remarks, teaching them to show consideration, empathy and patience toward all guests, family and friends, Read the full article, Parents often remind their kids to mind their manners, but that just doesn't seem to help. That's because we need to teach manners each day, with every opportunity. That doesn't mean nag all day long, it means decide what it is that is important to you, and teach it in a way that your child will learn. Do you want him to make eye contact while shaking hands when introduced? Do you wish she'd use a napkin, chew with her mouth closed and swallow before speaking with a mouth full of food? These [...]]]> Literal thinkers or teachers for life? Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:48:10 +0000 I'm sure that most of you have heard the expression, "Spare the rod, spoil the child", and have your own opinions on that statement. Must "the rod" literally have to be a switch from the back yard, or a paddle hanging over the mantle as a continuous unspoken threat? I'd like to take you to a different place with that. I'd like to introduce the thought that the rod can be an extension of a loving parent, who has the ability to reach and teach with patience, care and empathy. I received a [...]]]> Giving with Gratitude Tue, 03 Dec 2013 13:53:26 +0000 We all have so much for which to be grateful. Even if we are currently under the weather, or experiencing difficult financial times, there is always someone else who is experiencing even a deeper level of devastation. If I am tired, I think how fortunate I am for my warm bed to go home to. When I feel that I've put too much on my plate, with too much work, I express gratitude that I have a plate, and a career that I love waking up to. For the past 12 years, I continue my fulfilling [...]]]> Raising a Reader Sun, 24 Nov 2013 20:04:53 +0000 It's so easy to nurture a love for reading while your child is young. However, as children grow, some loose interest in books, so stick with it, become creative and follow some of these ideas for emergent or resistant readers:

*Be a diabolical reader; talk through the story rather than read it, as your child follows or draws the pictures. *Create a personalized family photo album with family names captioned. *Use puppets, dolls and stuffed animals to tell the story or join you for [...]]]>
My mother, my teacher Sun, 17 Nov 2013 22:04:01 +0000 Parents are the most important teachers a child will ever have. Children learn what we teach them and they do what we do. Running a household with laundry, bills, grocery shopping and meal prep can be a full time job for some, while others choose to include their children in life's daily lessons, adding academics and core standards as they homeschool. Read how one mom manages to provide an accelerated learning environment at home, while giving her children a rich, individualized education. [...]]]> Family Feuds Sun, 10 Nov 2013 23:47:56 +0000 It can be a tricky business when your child comes home with hurt feelings from a cousin or other family member. While nobody wants to start a family feud, it is especially important for relatives to learn how to communicate with each other to resolve conflicts. Family is so important, and those who enjoy a close relationship know what a gift that is. When issues aren't calmly addressed soon after the event, hurt feelings become deep wounds, which are difficult to heal. It's important to [...]]]> Taming the monster Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:15:06 +0000 So often when children misbehave or are disrespectful, parents just don't know what to do. When yelling, spankings, grounding or time-outs don't change the behavior try logical and natural consequences instead. Those are the ones that make sense, and teach the lesson. Those are also often the toughest to come up with when we are frustrated or angry. Think of specific situations that have happened, and how you might have handled them differently or more effectively. Once you begin to use [...]]]> Logical consequences that teach Mon, 28 Oct 2013 12:46:48 +0000 Do you have a tough time thinking of what to do when your children misbehave? Do you take away television privileges or send them off to their room? The real question is, are those punishments actually teaching a lesson and a different behavior? If your kids continue to do the same things, over and over, without learning from being grounded or having toys taken away, start teaching with logical consequences. Logical consequences are those that have an action directly linked to the behavior. [...]]]> Aprons all around! Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:08:29 +0000 Teaching in the kitchen is a fun, relaxing way to reinforce math and reading skills. Include your toddler or teen with daily food prep, or choose one day out of the week for family participation with prep. Even toddlers can sit safely at the table and snap off the ends of string beans or open boxes and pour dry foods into bowls. Starting kids young in the kitchen will build their sense of confidence, while reinforcing a wide variety of skills, including listening carefully and following [...]]]> When in doubt, check it out Tue, 15 Oct 2013 11:40:24 +0000 Children develop a variety of different skills at different times. Girls usually develop language sooner than boys, who often develop large motor skills sooner than girls. And so it goes, when trying to figure out what's normal and what's not. If you are concerned with social or developmental delays, your first stop is to ask your pediatrician about milestone marks. However, some pediatricians may express concern while others may prompt you to "wait and see." I say follow your heart. In many [...]]]> Single Parenting Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:23:37 +0000 Whether you're married, partnered or single, it's time to let go of the resentments and parent with your child's best interests in mind. You cannot raise an emotionally healthy, stable child if you parent without structure and limits but fall back on resentments, caustic accusations and blame. Intentionally pull the plug on high stress situations, set guidelines upon which you decide to raise your children and be the best parent for an amazing outcome. Read the full article,
When allergies impact the party Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:52:52 +0000 More and more children are affected each day by severe food allergies. Managing those allergies to keep your child safe can be a challenge, especially at birthday parties, where candy, cakes, pretzels and chips are served, and are loaded with nuts and gluten. So, how do you safely send your child to a party where dangers lurk in every bite? Read Adolescence can be a difficult period for everyone. Communication is an important piece, as teens tend to become less interested in sharing both their thoughts and their time with family. Teens think of themselves as capable young adults, but lose sight of the fact that their immaturity or poor judgement may affect their future success. Be prepared and stay connected. Read This Mom’s Memories Mon, 16 Sep 2013 12:38:55 +0000 Being a single mom and living only miles from New York City on September 11 brought emotions of both fear and determination. As our entire country was torn apart within moments, I felt helpless but determined to protect my three children at any cost. Read “Be prepared, but don’t live in perpetual fear”.

More than Live, Laugh and Love Mon, 09 Sep 2013 13:03:38 +0000 Being a parent is a 24/7 job that can, at times, be exhausting as well as frustrating. Let go of the negative cycles and infuse nine L's into each day to build a stronger bond and raise a thoughtful child. Read the entire article “Live, laugh and love”. So many young children struggle at daycare, for so many reasons. The result is biting or hitting, or spitting and kicking. When that occurs, parents are notified and horrified, and children are given warnings or invited to find another school. Rather than overlook the actual problem that is causing the aggressive result, it's time that we take the time and determine the true cause, so that each child can be successful in school and with friends. Read Young children are often fearless, until a negative experience occurs that teaches them otherwise. As parents we strive to protect our kids, but run into the difficult decision of just how much frightening adult information to give them, in order to keep them safe. Do we talk about the danger of strangers, and frighten them with information about abduction? Do we talk about emergency evacuation plans, to be prepared? Read my syndicated column, With the new school year right around the corner, the kids (and even the parents) are excited to get back into the routine, reconnect with friends and begin a new year filled with endless possibilities. It's easy to maintain that enthusiasm throughout the year with some simple but inspiring suggestions. Spark continuous interest as you invest in your child's future. Read more in Is your child bully-proof? Mon, 12 Aug 2013 17:05:51 +0000 What should you do if you see a child bullying another, saying some ugly, hurtful things?

What should you do if you see a child bullying your child?

What should you do if you see a child bullying your child, with that child's parent in close proximity?

What should you do if your own child is coming on too strong, and is hurtful or even bullying another child?

These and other questions are addressed in my syndicated column Kids are typically so carefree and have very little idea about their surroundings, unless they are taught. Teaching doesn't have to come from a book, and most times the lessons are more easily learned when they are from direct experiences. Start with a civic lesson and a map, so relationships to states and counties and cities become visual. Visit historical sites in your area that will spark further interest in your town. Read about these and other ideas to build a sense of community and [...]]]> Whose team are you on? Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:10:59 +0000 Children of divorce or a strained marriage can become just as stressed as their parents. They take blame when they have none, and try to please both sides without taking sides. Children in the middle struggle emotionally and sometimes academically as they fight to find their place in a broken home. Read more in “Divorces can [...]]]> Too old for therapy? Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:13:17 +0000 A mom of a young teen wrote to ask what kind of help might be available for her son. She explained that he had been diagnosed as a toddler with Sensory Processing Disorder, and that therapy and home activities seemed to help so much that he was discharged from therapy. The problem is that he continues to struggle with SPD, as it never really goes away. Those who are hyper or hypo sensitive to noise, touch, clothing, taste, smell, motion, water or food taste, texture or temperature are [...]]]> Zero tolerance for sarcasm Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:13:27 +0000 Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don't say it mean! Many people use sarcasm to express the exact opposite of that they mean. It is common to hear remarks such as, "Glad you could make it on time", to someone who arrives late, or "Oh, that's real nice, to hit your sister like that!" Neither statement is the truth, and both are sarcastic. Sarcasm is now viewed as the simplest form of bullying, because it makes fun of the other person, or is meant to make them uncomfortable in an [...]]]> Raise a flag and raise a patriot! Wed, 10 Jul 2013 09:15:07 +0000 On our country's birthday this year, I played a patriotic CD with songs such as "You're a grand old flag", "America the beautiful", and many others. I sang along with every word as my daughter marveled. She actually asked how I knew the words to each patriotic song on that CD, and I replied that when I was in kindergarten we learned them all. We pledged to the flag each morning, and chose a meaningful, patriotic song to start off the school day. It is unfortunate that today's children don't [...]]]> How to help your teen get help Mon, 01 Jul 2013 00:17:42 +0000 So many teens truly struggle through their adolescence. Sometimes it's more than they can manage because their inner turmoil is more then they can emotionally understand. Teens rebel by shutting down, sleeping in, slacking off on their responsibilities, dropping grades in school, being rude and disrespectful, and the list goes on. Many teens have small moments like this, while others seem to live this way every day, suffering day in and day out. If your teen is on the road to destruction, [...]]]> Who’s this teenager in my house? Mon, 24 Jun 2013 11:12:19 +0000 Raising children through their adolescent years can be a struggle for the parents, as well as for their teen. Teens truly believe that they are fully mature and can handle any responsibility. They hone their negotiation skills and debate their point until victory is achieved. Some teens do exhibit good, common sense, and associate themselves with levelheaded friends who also use good judgement. Most, however, have an unrealistic sense of infallibility. They are impulsive and inconsiderate, [...]]]> Parenting on the same page Mon, 10 Jun 2013 09:23:56 +0000 So many times parents struggle when their spouse handles a situation differently than (s)he would. Sometimes one parent will step in, tell the child they don't need to listen to the other parent, undermining authority completely. That is never is any child's best interest, no matter what. When you disagree with your spouse, agree to disagree at another time, when the kids aren't around. Arguing in front of children is unsettling and allows for unnecessary manipulation and disrespect. Read [...]]]> What to do when your kids run off into the parking lot Mon, 03 Jun 2013 02:13:39 +0000 There's an age-old problem of children running off into the street. If you run after them, they think it's a game. If you call out after them to STOP, they may hesitate, but usually continue running. Where danger is concerned, there's no time for games. Read how one mom with four children handled the two who ran ahead. Read how to teach outside the event to keep your child safe. Read the entire article Some children scream or shriek loudly and often throughout the day. Telling a child to use an inside voice won't change the behavior. Yelling at your child won't stop his yelling either. Determine when the screaming usually occurs and track down triggers. If it happens any time throughout the day whenever your child doesn't get his way, then probably the screaming is behavioral and can be managed with redirection a careful behavior plan that everyone follows. If, however, your child screams [...]]]> Eight Top Tips for Tough Situations Mon, 20 May 2013 19:13:32 +0000 Do you dread certain situations when you just know that your child won't do as you say? Are there times when you ask, tell then yell before giving up? Do some days seem longer than others when your child seems to have super powers, controlling the entire household? Become empowered as you take control in a calm, loving manner. Read about the simple, effective teaching tips which will improve any situation in How many times have you walked around the house picking up what your child leaves behind? Kids "drop and go" on a regular basis, leaving parents frustrated, and when reminders don't work, the nagging begins. Nagging turns into yelling, and then come the threats of "If you don't clean this up I'm throwing it all away!" Sound familiar at all? Change the negative dynamic and use a positive approach to teach your child how to become responsible. Read how one family supported their eight-year-old [...]]]> Gifts for Mom Mon, 06 May 2013 05:15:59 +0000 Being a mom is a full time 24-7 responsibility. How our kids behave and what they achieve seems to be a direct reflection of us, their Mom. Moms need time to restore themselves, so they can be calm during a crisis . Moms need a steel coat of armor and a tool bag of supplies, just like a medical doctor, a plumber or an electrician. For ideas on how to fill your tool bag read my full article When parents divorce it is both difficult, yet critical to ensure that the children are emotionally stable. Many children believe they are the cause or have some part in their parent's divorce, while others believe they have the power to reunite them. When parents divorce, extreme stress permeates through the entire family. Extended family takes sides, friends disappear and the children feel the impact, often withdrawing. Parents, who put their children first, above retaliation and anger, [...]]]>