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March, 2017

Play and anxiety . . .

Challenges are typically preceded by feelings of anxiety. If anxious feelings are managed well, then anxiety can serve as a useful emotion because mastering age-appropriate anxiety and its accompanying challenges is an incentive for learning new skills. Mastering age-appropriate anxiety is possible when a child’s abilities are put to the test without the child feeling …Continue reading

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Offer choices wisely . . .

Giving children choices rather than routinely telling them what to do engages the child’s higher thinking brain. By offering choices with consequences, your child will get some practice in planning and thinking through his or her choices as well as experiencing the consequences of that choice. By the age of five, most children respond well …Continue reading

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Self-conscious emotions emerge . . .

Beyond the basic emotions—happy, sad, mad, and scared—humans are capable of experiencing a second group of higher-order feelings, such as shame, embarrassment, guilt, envy, and pride. These higher-order feelings are referred to as “self-conscious emotions” because each one offers either damage to or enhancement of our sense of self. For example, pride reflects satisfaction in …Continue reading

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Downtime . . .

Downtime is important for the healthy growth and development of your child. Your child’s brain needs breaks in order to process the incoming flood of new information. Being idle allows the brain to take what it already knows and then think, reflect, and change. Idle time allows the circuitry to develop. Unstructured free time is …Continue reading

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Needing nature . . .

Children live through and learn from their senses. Sensory experiences—what they see, hear, taste, touch, and smell—connect their exterior world with their internal, affective world. The importance of this sensory learning may be why studies indicate that natural settings, which provide primary experiences for all the senses, are essential for healthy childhood development. Here are …Continue reading

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