Put the HAPPY Back in Your Holidays

Tips for More Joyful Parenting This Season


For some parents, this season is merry and bright. For others, it’s like the “Santa gone wrong” photo with kids screaming and Santa looking like he needs a serious vacation.  If your holiday is starting to look more like the second scenario, take heed; there are tips and tricks for keeping your wits about you and having lots of fun throughout the holiday season.

Here are a few tips to put HAPPY back into your holidays…

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4 Ways Children Learn the Art of Giving

Guest Post by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD


Is there an “art of giving?” I believe there is. Much like the creative inspiration that flows through paint brushes and poetry, giving is an individual expression of caring for someone or something beyond ourselves.

Most of us learn the art of giving in our childhoods. I remember how my mother coordinated a neighborhood bake-off so we could take sweet holiday treats to our local nursing home. With several other families, we delivered trays of goodies and sang carols for the residents. I remember how I felt as I witnessed gratitude through the eyes of elderly patients, some of whom could not speak.

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Six Parenting Hacks For Life in the Fast Lane


Ever feel like you’re on the Daytona Speedway version of life and wonder if there’s an emergency brake?

You’re not alone – parents everywhere are feeling the pinch of a world where “taking it easy” means only doing ten things at once.

Fortunately, on-the-go doesn’t have to equate to overwhelming.

Take comfort, there are ways to find balance, fun, and even a little downtime – it just takes a little planning, a savvy strategy and a good dose of humor.

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Updating “Because I Said So” – Four things to say instead.

Whether we’re talking about closing the front door, making a replica of the Alamo out of salt dough or cleaning poor Goldie’s dirty tank, we all know it shouldn’t take threats, bribes and every-three-minute “reminders” to get our kids to complete their responsibilities. So why does it?

One thing is for sure: “Because I said so” doesn’t apply to this generation of savvy-yet-stubborn kids. And millions of parents are at their wit’s end trying to figure out how to get the cooperation they’re looking for.

The truth is, the authoritarian “Because I said so” method of parenting is on its way out.  Collaboration and respect are replacing the top-down dominance of the previous generation.

Just like husbands can no longer demand dinner on the table when they walk in the door from work and bosses can’t berate their employees for walking in five minutes late, parents shouldn’t depend on pure authority to get kids to toe the line.

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4 Ways to Raise an Empathy Rich Child

Guest Post by Katie Hurley, LCSW


Six months ago, I took my eight-year-old daughter on a road trip to San Francisco. It was her first trip to the area and she researched the city to find the best spots to visit. The list was long and we didn’t stand a chance of completing it in two days, but she was determined to give it a try.

She was mesmerized by the Golden Gate Bridge (although she preferred to view it from a distance) and she enjoyed climbing up the crooked street. She couldn’t fathom how people got in and out of their driveways at such difficult angles. She loved watching the seals play at the Wharf and she certainly ate her fill of sourdough bread. None of those things, however, stuck with her. They were memories we collected during our girl’s weekend together, but they didn’t leave her with a sense of purpose.

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5 Mistakes (some) Parents Make When Praising Their Picky Eater

Guest Post from Feeding Specialist, Melanie Potuck

5 Mistakes Parents Make Praising Their Picky Eater (1)What’s parenting got to do with raising a healthy eater?  Everything.

Now, that’s not to say that kids become picky eaters because of “bad” parenting. When I teach classes around the United States, the audience learns that kids with serious feeding challenges got there because something went awry with their physiology, sensory or motor development, and consequently, children quickly learn to limit what they’ll eat.

For example, an infant with severe gastroesophageal reflux (chronic heartburn is one symptom) learns to avoid breast or bottle-feeding until their hunger pangs override the heartburn. They’ll typically only consume about two ounces and will often stop abruptly once the pain of eating is greater than the hunger. Treating the discomfort with medication doesn’t always resolve the feeding challenges, however, because the child needs to “unlearn” the lesson that eating hurts.

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