Tag: Parenting

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  • Beyond the Sex Talk: Communicating With Your Kids About Sex, Sexuality, and Consent

    Many parents drag their feet into the dreaded "sex talk" with their children. Maybe it's time we take the pressure off of that single talk. If we want the sex and relationships our children ultimately have to be physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy then we'd better start talking to them about it early and often.

    Some parents don't talk to their kids about sex... 

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  • 7 Common Parenting Pitfalls on the Road to Limits and Consequences

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    “Sometimes I feel like my kids are out of control,” worried one parent. Another quickly added, “My daughter knows just how to push my buttons.” A third chimed in with, “I’m always in a power struggle with... 

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  • What Will Your Children Remember About The Holidays?

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    Holiday spirit or holiday madness?

    It is December and the holidays are in full swing. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or something else, the break from school and work can be a great opportunity for... 

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  • Tips: How to Involve Your Kids in Meal Planning and Meal Prep

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    I have been cooking with my parents since I was a kid. Usually this involved sitting on the counter tasting the cookie dough batter (yes, with raw egg!), but not always. Sometimes I also helped by licking the brownie mix from the... 

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  • Tips: How to Eat a Variety of Foods

    This may come as a surprise, but the goal to “eat a variety of foods” is the hardest one for me to implement in my house. Introducing new foods can be met with skepticism (or outright displeasure or disgust) and personally I find it frustrating to spend time making a meal to have everyone turn their noses up at it. Eating a variety of foods also means that I have to continually... 

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  • Tips: Listening to your internal cues of hunger and fullness

    When babies are born they are extremely attuned to their internal signals of hunger and fullness. When they are hungry they know, and they will let you know too! They also know when they are full, and they stop eating. This ability is so fine-tuned that - if left to determine their own intake - they will eat to within a few calories of their energy intake from the previous day.

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  • Why I Set Food Goals for My Kids

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    Thinking about how to raise healthy children runs in the family, so it’s no surprise that when I started having kids I did a lot of reading, thinking, and talking about parenting. In... 

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  • New Study Reveals the Cost of Parenting While Texting

    “The intervention came one night during dinner,” a friend recently told me, “when my four-year-old son pleaded, ‘Dad, would you please put that away? I’m trying to talk to you.’” He hesitated before adding, “I knew my cell phone use was out of control because the next night I snuck into the bathroom during dinner to check my messages so he... 

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  • Parents: Try Starting at the End and Working Backwards

    "Respectful. Caring. Intelligent. Courageous. Hard working. Empathetic. Confident. Humble. Kind."

    One of my favorite ways to start a parenting workshop I facilitate on limits and consequences is to ask parents to close their eyes and envision their children-turned-adults. "What kind of people do you hope your kids become?"

    To be clear, when I ask this question I am not... 

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  • Fail well, little one

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    Today my second child went off to kindergarten. He wore the blue plaid “kindergarten shirt” his big brother wore on his first day. When he boarded the bus and sat down, the window revealedonly a blond tuft and his little... 

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  • How To Negotiate With Your Teen Without Being a Pushover

    "Dad, Andy just called and his family is heading out to dinner and he wants to know if I can come. Can I?" My son Brian asked.

    "That sounds fun but you promised to clean up the basement today." I responded.

    "Dad, Andy is leaving for the summer this weekend and this is my chance to see him. Can I clean the basement tomorrow?"

    "Do we have a deal that you'll get it cleaned... 

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  • Zombies, Distracted, or Engaged? Tots and Television

    “My kids constantly move from one activity to the next - except when it comes to TV. Should I be worried when my 5 year old just sits and stares at the screen?”

    Seth, St. Louis

    When TV was still a fairly new pastime for kids, researchers coined the term "zombie effect" to describe the glassy-eyed, TV-induced trance familiar to... 

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  • Why We Can't Always Trust Our Kids (Or Ourselves) to Resist Digital Distractions

    We live in a world that begs our attention and engagement at every turn. Even as I settle in to write this blog post, Ping! A new email; Beep! someone posted on my Facebook timeline; Bzzz. my phone alerts me to a text even though I've put it on vibrate in a weak attempt to avoid incoming distractions.

    Given all these temptations, it is amazing that I am still here typing away. Thank... 

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  • Everybody Loses in a Power Struggle

    Dr. Dave, I am having a problem with my eleven year old son. It seems like all we do is argue and I am tired. I try to explain what I am doing in terms of my parenting decisions and why I am doing it but it never ends. He is so strong willed but I am the parent. He needs to listen to me. Help!

    Scott, Tulsa

    Scott, You are not alone! For lots of... 

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  • 8 Steps for Effective Limits and Consequences

    We know that effective limits and consequences are key to the development of respect, empathy, and self-discipline. That said, setting and enforcing them aren't always easy. Try these tips to get started:
    • Get real. Remind yourself that it is your child's job to push against the limits and your job to set them. Some children will... 
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  • A Message to Parents: Celebrate Your Struggle

    Being introduced as a "parenting expert" before speaking engagements always feels a bit uncomfortable. It is not because I don't think that I bring value to parents. I am passionate about the information I get to share. I delight in reading and translating research on child and youth development and I have seen it give parents more confidence. But parenting is probably the vocation in which no... 

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  • Teenage Dating: Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Romance

    I just wrote a post about the brain science behind falling in love. Whether your child is just starting dating or in a longer term relationship - here are some thing to keep in mind as you talk with your teenager about romance:

    • Talk to your kids about their brains. Explain that it... 
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  • Wired Differently: Parenting Kids with Special-Needs

    We are just beginning to understand how amazingly complex the human brain is. While each brain is completely unique to its owner, brains share general commonalities and similar functions. Some children, however, are born with brains that are wired differently from those of most kids. Not better or worse, just different.

    Wired Differently

    Kids with... 

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  • Parenting Teenagers: Getting Creative With Connection

    Before I had a teenager I used to joke that my kids will someday be mortified to be seen with me! I knew it was coming - it just doesn't feel good now that it is here. My 16 year old daughter wants NOTHING to do with me but I don't want to give up on our relationship. Help!

    Margarite, CA

    Margarite, Having raised three kids I... 

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  • The Art of Intervening: What To Do When Siblings Fight

    I just wrote a post about what kids are learning when siblings fight. Kids do need to work some things out on your own but they also rely on parents to intervene and facilitate when needed. Here are some tips to remember when you decide to step in:
     

    Guide problem solving and... 

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  • When Siblings Fight

    I have two boys 16 and 12. One is very introverted and the other is VERY extroverted and exuberant. They really push each other's buttons. The older one is very condescending and the younger one is really silly and obnoxious. They FIGHT ALL THE TIME and it is really getting to a crescendo in that my husband and I are starting to have a lot of conflict over this matter. ... 

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  • What should I do when children lie?

    Dr. Dave and Erin,

    Our seven year old daughter has been lying a bit lately.  One night her toothbrush lay on the sink with toothpaste still on it; clearly she had not brushed her teeth.  We asked her if she had brushed them and she said "Yes! I did!"  

    It's become a bad pattern of her making a poor... 

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  • Brain Food Tips

    We just wrote a post about the importance of feeding your kids brain food. Here are some tips for getting these foods into your family's food life: 

    The food itself:

    • Plan ahead. Foods on the go are less likely to be brain healthy. Make sure you have fruits, veggies, and whole grains on hand.
    • Buy... 
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  • Why Your Kids Need Brain Food

    I have heard you talk a lot about the importance of experience in brain development but as a certified nutrition I think it is important to talk about food too. Thoughts?

    Kathy, Nebraska

    Kathy, 

    We all know now that nutritious food builds strong bodies. But as you note in your question, they build strong brains too!

    Our brains take... 

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  • When Kids Hit: Helping Your Child Regulate His or Her Emotions

    I am looking for a good technique to stop my 5 yr old from hitting me when he doesn't get his way. I usually use the 1-2-3 counting and then time out in his room, but find for hitting it doesn't work well, because I am not going to let him hit me 3 times so it is 3 straight to his room, but in these situations he seems to continue to melt down and will hit me when he... 

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