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6 Tips for Raising Independent Children

As parents, it feels good—great even —when our kids NEED us. When they turn to us for guidance, affection, even that peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Those are all good things.

We do have to remind ourselves, however, our long-term parenting goal is to guide our kids from being totally dependent on us to being independent thinkers and doers. That’s no overnight task.

It happens in all the little moments and lessons that occur in the day-to-day. From little steps like letting them pick out their own clothes to tying their own shoes, to helping them learn to weigh out what to spend their allowance on to choosing a college that suits them. Every little decision they make, right or wrong, along the way is a learning experience that will help lead them to be independent people we can be proud of.

Then, the thrill you get when you see them take on a task all by themselves and win at it? That’s awesome! If you’re eager to see more of that, let’s look at six terrific tips for helping your kids embrace independence.

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The Parents’ Guide to the X-Plan: How to Hold Up Your End of the Bargain

You may have seen a recent post by a dad, Bert Fulks entitled X-Plan: Giving Your Kids a Way Out.  The article recently went viral, and for good reason. In it, Bert shared a powerful strategy that helped his children safely remove themselves from situations that were dangerous or uncomfortable. With a bonus – they could still save face with their friends.

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How I Changed from a Toxic Mom-Manager to an Encouraging Soul Builder

From New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Macy Stafford

There was a time in my life when I barked orders more often than I spoke words of love … when I reacted to small everyday inconveniences as if they were major catastrophes … when normal human habits and quirks raised my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Rather than nurturing my family members, I took it upon myself to manage my family members until there was no room to bend or breathe.

My artistic, busybody, dream-chasing older daughter’s desire to start projects, try new recipes, and leave trails wherever she went received disapproving looks on a daily basis. 

My stop-and-smell-the-roses younger daughter’s desire to buckle in stuffed animals before we drove off, accessorize every part of her body before walking out the door, and move at a snail’s pace drew exasperated breaths and annoyed frowns.

My fun-loving, laidback husband’s spontaneous approach to weekend plans and ability to totally chill out got the silent treatment more times that I could count.

The people I was supposed to love unconditionally possessed qualities that irritated, annoyed, and continually derailed my carefully planned agenda—an agenda that was all about efficiency, perfection, and control.

I was not acting as a mother or a wife or even a decent human being. I was acting as a surly manager who was intent on creating a toxic environment—a place where it was pretty hard to show up each and every day.

How do I know?

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One Simple Strategy to Help Make Homework Time Easier

It is time to retire the red pencil?

homework-time-easier

How many of us have been guilty of subscribing to “red pencil mentality?”  You know, when we focus on the homework mistakes rather than on what’s correct?  Probably most of us; because it’s human nature.  However, focusing on our kids’ mistakes or the wrong answers can be a big source of homework power struggles.

Let’s put ourselves in their shoes.  What happens when someone points out our mistakes?  It makes us feel judged.  The same goes for kids. When we focus on what they got wrong, they feel judged and discouraged, which makes the situation ripe for eye rolls and power struggles. 

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6 Essential Tools to Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety

A Guest Post from Julie Sams, MA, LPC

overcoming-anxiety

Anxiety stems from your child’s reaction to stress, and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America affects one in every 8th child.  From the child who is deeply afraid of bees to the child who will not leave their home out of fear, anxiety is a real condition that can be debilitating.  No matter what the level of anxiety, or what causes it, it is so hard to watch your child miss out on things you know they should enjoy.

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4 Tips for Pokemon Go Safety

A Guest Post from Child Safety Expert, Amy Tiemann, PhD

thumbnail_PPS Pokemon Safety

The new mobile game Pokémon Go has won the hearts and minds of millions of Americans with over 7 million downloads in its first week of release. This has happened so quickly that many parents are just catching up with this new craze.

What makes this game different is it features “augmented reality” technology, which means players look at their mobile phone screens and see animated Pokémon creatures superimposed on the “real-life” background generated by their phone’s camera. To the player, it appears that they are throwing balls at a Pokémon monster right in front of them. The game also calls for a lot of walking to reach virtual map targets like a PokéStop supply station or a Pokémon Gym where players can battle to capture that location, or to incubate and hatch Pokémon eggs.

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