positive power

Road Trip With Kids

Tips and Tricks for a Relaxing Road Trip with Kids

road trip with kidsAhh, summer vacation. What could be better than the all-American, old-fashioned family road trip with kids? Not much…until the whining starts. Before you reach for the earplugs, try one of these fun solutions, suggested by the creative parents visiting our Facebook page, to keep your kids happy and you sane:

  • Games are a great way to include the whole family while painlessly passing the road trip with kids. Top suggestions were Name that Tune, Spot the State License Plate, and Twenty Questions. But Tara C. turned the tables to put parents in the hot seat while teaching youngsters a bit about the country: “We looked in an atlas and quizzed Mommy and Daddy on capitals and states.” Or if you’re crawling through a busy town, try Red light/Green light, a game suggested by Elena A. To play, divide your car into teams. “If we make a light, we (green team) get a point and if we get stopped at the light, the red team scores. I like it because we win and lose and it is a great way to prevent their whining about getting there and the potential road rage on my part.”
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Beyond “Do your best”: Three Ways to Lessen Your Child’s Anxiety about School

schoolanxiety_FacebookWhen I first started working with 12 year-old Sarah*, she was the picture of anxiety. Sticking close to her mom, her hair covering her face, she sat in the waiting room as I came out to say hello. She muttered a “hi”, and we walked back to my office. We talked for a few minutes about movies, then–knowing her parents had brought her to my office because of her anxiety about grades–I asked her about school. Sarah burst into tears as she described just how anxious she felt.

“I feel like I have to be perfect; I have to make straight A’s”, she told me. “I don’t know when to stop, I study all the time. It takes me so much longer to finish my homework than my friends. And if I get a B or worse, I freak out.” Read More

Nixing Negativity Part 2: Promoting the Positive

nixingpart2In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the power of ditching the “don’t.” This less-than-helpful word can be discouraging and confusing to kids when they hear it all the time, plus it only reinforces the bad behavior. While it’s okay to say “no” and “don’t” sometimes, you’ll get more cooperation from your kids if you can avoid them. Use these four strategies to cut back on the negatives and promote the positives: Read More

5 of the Most Common (and Fixable) Feeding Mistakes Parents Make

Become a Fearless Feeder With These 5 Easy Tips

feeding mistakesThis week we welcome Maryann Jacobsen, a registered dietitian and co-author of Fearless Feeding How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School to the blog. 

Feeding kids in today’s world isn’t easy.  Not only do parents have a lot of pressure to raise healthy kids, they don’t always get the support they need to make it a reality. That is, until now.

My book, Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School by Castle, Jill, Jacobsen, Maryann Paperback, fully supports parents in their important job as feeder.  The book demonstrates that common feeding mistakes aren’t a result of flawed parenting, but missing feeding knowledge.  Once parents have a bigger picture of what is going on with feeding, it is pretty easy (even empowering!) to turn things around.

Let’s take a look. Read More


This week we welcome a guest post from author Susan Orlins who is also giving away a copy of her book, Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others. See details at the end of the post on how to win!

reversalsDays drag but years fly by, as the saying goes. 

Between tantrums, tattling, and tummy aches; being a sleep-deprived mom to little ones requires effort and patience.

I remember those days well. Although my three daughters—now in their twenties and thirties—are old enough to be moms themselves, that has not yet happened. Instead, more and more, my daughters have been taking care of me, the way I took care of my mom.

My first blatant reversal took place more than a decade ago, when I was 53 and newly divorced. That year my 16-year-old daughter, Eliza, and I trained together for the Marine Corps Marathon. Well, not exactly together: her pace group ran near the front of the pack, while I in my neon CoolMax costume jogged among the less hurried. Read More

How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

Ice Cream, Pizza, and Cookies – Oh My! How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

How To Get Kids To Eat HealthyHow to get kids to eat healthy? Let’s face it: sweet and savory will always win out over green and leafy when it comes to foods our kids will willingly eat. We want the best nutrition for our kids, but our daily pleas to “Eat your vegetables” seem to fall on deaf ears, or – worse yet – result in a tantrum or other power struggle.  Can we really convince our children to make smart food choices and eat healthy without seeming like a wicked witch?

Yes!  Here’s how to get kids to eat healthy (without unleashing any flying monkeys) by using these three tips:
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