Parenting Blog

Making Sleep the “Good Guy”

How to help kids build a positive relationship to sleep

sleepAs a parent, how do you feel about sleep? Is it something to look forward to? An activity you value like good food and regular exercise? A treat you’d like to have more of?

The answer is probably yes to all of the above—we grown ups welcome the chance to sleep!

Unfortunately, our kids often don’t get that message. The hurried, anxious, go-to-sleep aspect of bedtime comes through loud and clear, and without even realizing it, we send kids the message that sleep is negative, or even a consequence or a punishment.

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Food for THOUGHT: Best Brain Food for Test-Taking

Giving Your Child EVERY Advantage

best brain food for test takingYou can almost hear the collective GROAN from both students and parents! Common Core testing is right around the corner and EOG’s are trailing close behind. So what’s a parent to do? How can you give your kid every advantage, every chance for success when they sit down to take those all too important tests? You fuel both their bodies and their minds with the right stuff.

The research tells us that when kids eat the right combination of foods with the nutrients that matter most, it positively affects their attention, memory and cognitive function. They are more focused. More engaged. More alert. Ready for whatever life (or the standardized test) throws their way. Read More

Should I Let My Kids Fail?

5 strategies to help our kids succeed

should I let my kids fail

Can I pour that juice for you? Are you sure that’s the right answer? We ask our kids lots of questions each day in the hopes of avoiding minor messes and stained shirts, and because we want to build up their confidence. But here’s one question we should be asking instead: should I let my kids fail?

It’s a scary concept. As parents, we want to see our kids succeed in everything they do, whether it’s acing their science homework, making the varsity softball team or simply making a sandwich without smearing peanut butter and jelly all over the kitchen. And often, we try to push our kids toward success with constant reminders and prodding, and we jump in to rescue them when we see a risk of failure. But is that more hurt than help?
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What Every Parent Should Know About Bedwetting, Accidents, and Potty Training

It's No Accident

As far as I know, no mom has ever tweeted: “Wet sheets again for Kyle. Whole family is exhausted. #Wish bedwetting would stop.”

Toileting problems aren’t openly discussed in our culture. But in my pediatric urology clinic, they’re what I talk about all day long — with distressed parents and with kids who miss out on sleepovers and feel crummy that they can’t stay dry.

Most of these families have been led to believe that a) accidents and bedwetting are a normal part of childhood and b) they need to wait it out. Both notions are wrong. Truly, most of what parents and even many pediatricians believe about toileting troubles is not based in fact.

Here’s the real poop.
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Stir Up Some FUN!

How to Get Kids Into The Kitchen for Cooking and Quality Time

kids in the kitchen

If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your kids – or for them to eat healthier – get out some kid-sized aprons. Cooking with your kids may take a bit longer and might not have the best presentation, but you’ll spend quality time as a family, and since little ones are more likely to eat things they’ve helped prepare, everyone wins!

Spending time with you in the kitchen provides kids the one-on-one attention they crave. And when they have the POSITIVE attention they need, they’re less likely to seek it out in NEGATIVE ways. It’s also a great time to work on following directions, reading by using a recipe, and measuring – not to mention a fun way to learn about fractions.
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Start with 10 tips for better behavior

10 tips for better behavior

Sometimes, when tasks and schedules get overwhelming, it’s helpful to make a to-do list to make things feel more manageable and focused. If your children’s behavior problems have you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do first, start with these 10 tips for better behavior.

1. Invest in one-on-one time with kids daily. By far, the best thing you can do to improve your children’s behavior is spending time with them individually every day, giving them the positive attention and emotional connection they’re hard-wired to need. When they don’t have that positive attention, they will seek out attention in negative ways, and consequences and other discipline methods won’t work. Aim for 10-15 minutes a day per child and you’ll see measurable improvement almost immediately.
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