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I’d rather do it myself . . .

Sometimes, with the best of intentions, parents impede their child’s growth by putting themselves in the middle of their child’s problems. It is important to resist the temptation to steal our child’s struggles because we all learn from our mistakes. It is a gift to our children when we let them know they have ability …Continue reading

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Unexamined memories . . .

Implicit memories—our memories that are not on a conscious level—cause us to form expectations about how the world works. These expectations are based on our previous experiences, and it is important for parents to examine how subconscious memories of past experiences influence the present. Unexamined memories can be a special concern as parents care for …Continue reading

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Sharing by example . . .

Play complements love and work. Play is a critical piece in the complex dynamic of healthy physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. When play, love, and work are all involved, learning and development are the most effective. One of the best ways to encourage our children to play and develop lifelong habits of …Continue reading

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Wanting something . . .

If you have ever taken your child with you shopping, you probably realize that stores—especially stores with toys—can activate the seeking system in your child’s brain. Curiosity, exploration, willfulness, drive, expectancy, and desire are a part of this system. In addition, the seeking system activates optimal levels of dopamine and glutamate, making your child highly …Continue reading

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Love, affection, respect, and forgiveness . . .

Decades of research reveal that ten essential parenting skills are important for bringing up healthy and happy kids. The skill that tops the list is the skill most parents already know, believe, and try to practice every day. The most important skill and gift is enveloped in the concept of giving lots of love and …Continue reading

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Toys, TV, and movies . . .

Great toys are the playthings that invite children to create with a full range of expression. Most toys from the store, often marketed through and based on movies and TV programs, have a “script” that suggests children do one thing over and over again. Children do need and love repetition, but every child also needs …Continue reading

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Remembering . . .

Did you know that you can help your kids improve their ability to remember? Memory is a brain function that gets stronger with practice. The more we exercise memory, the stronger it becomes. So, when you give your kids practice at remembering, you improve their ability to integrate both implicit and explicit memories. It’s easy …Continue reading

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Teach calming techniques . . .

Children need constructive ways to deal with the range of emotions they experience. To develop constructive responses to emotions, children need to learn how to calm down. We all think more clearly when we are calm. When children especially are experiencing upsetting, unsettling, or uncomfortable feelings, it is very hard for them to think about …Continue reading

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Are you frazzled?

One of the most important skills you can develop as a parent is recognizing when you are frazzled. When you realize that you are at the end of your rope, it is time to be with some emotionally replenishing people. Adult company is very important for maintaining balance and feeling calm and in control. The …Continue reading

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Parents can practice gratitude too . . .

Last week, Parenting Playbook talked about how parents can teach kids the meaning behind feeling thankful. This week, let’s look at the positives for parents in the practice of gratitude. As we mentioned last week, not only does a sense of gratitude feel good but research shows that this pleasant emotion and its expression result …Continue reading

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