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  • Anger Management is a Big Part of Parenting, So How Do We Do It?

    From Calm to Chaos

    The sun rises, your alarm rings, you roll out of bed and find your way to your first mug of coffee (Not a coffee person? Imagine tea instead). The birds are singing. The world feels full of possibility. You take a deep breath, committed to starting your parenting day with smooth transitions and calm nerves. You were born for this.

    Twenty... 

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  • Teen Mental Health: 14 Ways to Support Your Child

    I received a phone call this past winter from a parent who had attended one of my workshops a few weeks before.

    "Dr. Walsh, I definitely feel like I know a lot more about what is going on inside my daughter's brain after your workshop. But I have to say that it feels like my daughter is a lot more extreme.

    "What do you mean? Can you give me some examples?" I... 

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  • Raising Gamers: Little Known Ways to Get the Most Out of Playing Video Games

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    “Yeeessss! There’s going to be another Fortnite Day!” I heard a child exclaim in the hallway of my kids’ school last month. Confused, I turned to a teacher for an explanation. He responded “I think they mean snow... 

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  • Here's Why You Should Thank Your School Librarian

    The fire crackles and flickers onto the surrounding birch trees. Hanging lanterns transform the tents in front of me into glowing nests. Two signs point towards the nearest outhouses and children’s voices ring out through the air.

    As I describe this scene, you are likely picturing an adventure deep in the wilderness. But this past February students at Seward Montessori in... 

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  • Three Apps That Will Help You Put Your Phone Down

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    When it comes to digital devices, "proximity is destiny." Of course in an ideal world we would all have the internal impulse control to make good choices about when to scroll and when to look up towards a family member or friend.

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  • Helping Kids Cope With Tragedy

    The details of the shootings in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand are just beginning to unfold and this violent high profile event will likely dominate news headlines for weeks. This latest attack joins a long list of mass shootings that our children hear about from friends and in the news. Though few of us were there during the shooting, the event may cause children to fear that an... 

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  • The Talk 70% of Teens Wish Adults Would Have with Them

    Image"Just guess!"

    I would say to the wall, purposely turned away from my mom perched gingerly on the side of my bed. "Honey," she would respond, "It's hard to just guess what you want to talk about." I usually met this gentle... 

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  • Do You Recognize the Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction?

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    “I feel like he is addicted to video games!”

    This worry is becoming more and more common among parents. For most, it just means that their child loves technology and has a difficult time unplugging. For some, it means that... 

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  • An Invitation to White Parents - Black History Month Is an Opportunity to Talk With Our Kids About Race

    “Whoever tells the stories, defines the culture.”

    My oldest son and his friends have been watching a lot of The Who Was? Show on Netflix. The series explores the lives of famous people from history. Before dinner recently he excitedly listed all the people he had learned about. After reciting the names he made this obvious but important... 

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  • The Teenage Brain: Risky or Ready to Learn?

    “What is wrong with me?”

    This was not an infrequent refrain when I was a teenager. I am sure that some of my behavior (e.g. So. Much. Crying.) wasn’t easy to understand. The transition from happiness to complete despair during my adolescence sometimes clocked in at about 2 seconds, abrupt to say the least. No doubt this was disorienting to my parents... 

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  • The Brain Benefits of Boredom

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    My mom had a consistent and clear response to me and my two older brothers when we complained of being bored. Her response was always simply, "If you're bored, I'll give you something better to do."

    Keep in mind that her assigned... 

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  • Want to slow the summer learning slide? Read read read.

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    After the graduation caps have been thrown in the air, school picnics held, and final report cards mailed, families greet the summer months with a similar question: what do we do with our kids?

    Many are eager for the unstructured time... 

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  • The Empathetic Teen: Raising Kids Who Care

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    “I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.”

    I add that I am not... 

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  • Media Literacy Matters

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    Children and youth today have the world at their fingertips. They can access libraries with the click of a button, download thousands of books on smart devices, and read... 

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  • Navigating Post-Election Stress With Young Children

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    There have been many good posts and articles that focus on how to talk to young children about the outcome of the presidential election. These were helpful guides for how to respond, as children rubbed their eyes awake on the morning... 

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  • Dopamine and the Teenage Brain

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    I can still remember the kitchen conversation as my brothers excitedly hatched the plan with their friends. “Yes! Let’s do it!” was the consensus as five teenage boys raced out the front door with their skateboards. Ten... 

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  • Your Child's Brain on Nature

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    I was waist deep in muskeg (a fancy name for stinky swamp mud in canoe country), a wood-canvas canoe perched on my barely 16-year-old shoulders, and mosquitoes buzzed hungrily in my ears – a challenging, but not atypical, portage in the... 

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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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  • Grade for Grit? Not Yet

    We’ve been showing a video of the classic “marshmallow experiment” for years at parent education seminars across the country. We re-constructed the experiment with a group of local parents here in the Twin Cities about ten years ago, and it serves as a catalyst for important conversations about the role that self-discipline plays in our children’s success and happiness.... 

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  • When We Outsource Talking to Toys

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    Walk down the children's toy aisle in any store these days and you will be greeted with a cacophony of noise. Instead of the excited voices of children that you might expect, however, much of the chatter emanates from the toys... 

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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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  • Teens and Social Media: Depressing, Uplifting or Complicated?

    "I know there is a lot to be excited about, but I can't help but feel depressed about all the time that kids are spending online," a father of a middle schooler said at a workshop last week. Another parent added, "Well, you aren't alone. I am not sure that social media isn't making my daughter depressed too!"

    Parents everywhere are expressing similar concerns about how digital... 

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  • 3 Ingredients for Healthy Media Use in the Preschool Years

    “Broken!” Miles exclaimed. “It's broken!” He said again in an increasingly frustrated voice.

    It took me a couple of minutes to catch up. My son was positioned directly in front of the TV, trying diligently to move a character on Daniel Tiger with his index finger. I soon realized what he was trying to do and was struck by what a digital age moment this... 

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  • The Curious Brain

    If you have ever spent any time with preschoolers, you know that they incessantly ask questions. "Why is that squirrel eating a nut? Where do you think it lives? Why are there nuts on that tree? Where are the other squirrels? Why? Where? How come?"

    For us parents, these endless questions can be exasperating. At the end of a long day, "Because I said so!" is about all you can muster in... 

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  • Six Back To School Essentials That Won't Fit in Your Child's Backpack

    Walsh kids circa 1987

    ^ Walsh kids circa 1987

    Students will enter school this year with all sorts of supplies, habits, skills, and feelings. The pens, notebooks, books and class schedules will fit neatly... 

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