Making time for exercise can make all the difference in how you show up as a parent, partner and professional. It is virtually impossible to be a calm, empathetic and loving parent when you’re depleted. Self-care can also be a win-win; not only do we feel better, we are modeling behavior for our children and creating opportunities for connection.
A child’s anxiety is stressful to the child and can also be stressful for the child’s family. Anxiety can actually be debilitating for kids. Children may spend endless amounts of time and energy fixated on things such as grades, family issues, peer relationships, and performance in sports, as well as disasters they think might happen or dangers that do not actually exist.
Understanding the different types of anxiety and the options for treatment for children and adolescents is really important. Over the course of the last 5 to 10 years, the practice of mindfulness has received significant attention and gained recognition as an effective means of treating and managing childhood anxiety.
Parenting is hard work, and without consistent self-care parents can easily and quickly burn out. That is why this Mother’s Day it is not only important to do something special for yourself but also to make a plan to incorporate more self-care in your daily life. Many mothers sacrifice their own self-care because they are taking care of everyone else; they leave their own needs until last. This benefits no one in the family! Not only are parents who sacrifice their own self-care less able to manage their own strong emotions and solve problems effectively, they are also modeling poor self-care for their children. And who wants their child to learn that they must sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of others?
One of the biggest challenges for parents these days is managing their children’s use of electronic devices. Devices are the source of many power struggles for modern families. As a parent or caregiver, it’s your responsibility to set limits. Every family’s values and schedules are different, so limits on devices look different from one family to another.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, which always gets parents thinking about how to keep their children safe. All parents face the same concerns when it comes to the safety of their children: who to trust and who not to trust, what they can do to ensure their children’s safety when they are not present, what to teach their children about safety, and how to teach it.
Many parents feel powerless when it comes to their kids because they cannot get their kids to listen and do the things they want. What they do not realize is that there is so much unspoken power that they hold that they are forgetting to access. It is the power of nurturing a human being, and the kind of relationship we have with them, that will help define who they are and what they do for a lifetime.
In our changing world, teaching children civility is more important than ever. Civility goes beyond being polite and courteous; it involves listening to others with an open mind, disagreeing respectfully, and seeking common ground to start a conversation about differences. By teaching skills like empathy, problem-solving, and perspective taking, we can help nurture civility in our children.
The election season is in full swing, and discussion about the various candidates permeates our homes and schools. An election year is a wonderful time to teach children about the electoral process and issues being debated, such as immigration, terrorism, and healthcare. But the media and most voters also spend a lot of time and energy debating the character of the candidates, their behavior, and how they represent themselves, so the election process also presents parents with a plethora of unique opportunities to teach core social-emotional skills, such as empathy, emotion management, and social problem-solving while addressing topics such as accepting differences, dealing with gossip, bullying, and name-calling.
All humans struggle for power and control over their own lives and young children are no different! Ideally we want our kids to do what we need them to without us having to do anything more than merely ask. Let's not kid ourselves, that is just not going to happen most of the time. "I said so" or "you have to" is about us asserting our power over them and can feel disrespectful to the child.
Our children have little to no control over much of their daily lives. That is why most power struggles revolve around their physical self or body.
The smile that lights up your day; that laugh that warms you up with joy and optimism; the ability to show you the world through innocent eyes: kids can be such amazing parts of our lives with their constant ability to learn and grow, teaching us how to see the big picture and to love someone so much it hurts.
And then they learn the word “No.”
Ever feel like you might be the winner of the biggest loser parent contest? That your words and actions might be totally screwing up your kids for life? Yeah, me too! It is crazy just how much we allow judgment and fear drive to our choices and responses. Notice the word ALLOW. Allowing judgement to drive our actions is a choice. Most of the judgement we fear is in our minds. It is not really the judgement of other as much as it is the judgement of ourselves.
All humans struggle for power and control over their own lives and young children are no different! Ideally, we want our kids to do what we need them to do without us doing anything more than merely ask. Let's not kids ourselves; that is just not going to happen most of the time. "I said so" or "you have to" is about us asserting our power over them and can feel disrespectful to the child.
As a parenting coach and educator, I often meet parents distressed by their children’s potty accidents or bedwetting. They ask: Why is it happening? Will my child outgrow it? What can I do? I recently discovered a terrific resource for answering these questions: Steve Hodges, M.D., a pediatric urologist at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
“Toileting accidents are really common — I would say epidemic — but in toilet-trained children, they are actually not normal, and parents shouldn’t wait around for these issues to resolve,” says Dr. Hodges. “They are totally fixable.”