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Teaching gratitude . . .

Having a sense of gratitude feels good, and research psychologists are finding that the pleasant emotion of gratitude and its expression result in higher levels of happiness, vitality, optimism, and hope. All of these lead to greater satisfaction with life. People who consciously experience appreciation also derive some physical health benefits, according to some of …Continue reading

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Family meetings . . .

Family meetings are a great way to promote constructive communication skills. During family meetings, everyone in the family can learn what each individual family member thinks and feels about a particular situation or issue. Family meetings promote the practice of problem-solving skills, and all members of the family have a chance to talk as well …Continue reading

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Logical consequences . . .

Consequences provide feedback for behavior, and when we provide logical consequences for our children, they will connect their choices to outcomes. Logical consequences fit a particular situation. A parent chooses a response that connects to a child’s choice, which then guides the child in the right direction. In this way, children learn they are responsible …Continue reading

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Regression . . .

When children regress—that is, when they act younger and less mature than they really are—their behavior can trigger annoyance in parents. Usually, regression happens when children (and parents) are feeling stressed, as when a new sibling has arrived to join the family. To the older sibling, it seems that the adults give lots of attention, …Continue reading

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Natural consequences . . .

Natural consequences can be quite instructive for your child, and all you have to do is sit back and let the laws of nature do the teaching. The feedback your child receives from natural consequences can be less than pleasant, such as when he or she learns that going without a raincoat or umbrella on …Continue reading

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Cultivating patience . . .

Patience refers to our ability to accept or tolerate delays, troubles, inconveniences, or distress without getting angry or upset. As any parent knows, parenting provides an opportunity to examine the meaning of patience on a daily basis. Though it is true that some people are more naturally inclined toward patience than others, it is also …Continue reading

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Teaching concentration and focus . . .

Playing on the floor with your child is a wonderful way to enhance your child’s attention span. Attention requires practice, and practice will occur naturally during “floor time” for a child who has been blessed with the ability to concentrate and focus. Floor time can also help a child who is easily distracted. During floor …Continue reading

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Movement and learning . . .

As scientists learn more about how the brain works, they find extensive links between movement and learning. No wonder kids move so much! For example, some research has revealed that gesturing and pantomiming speed up the process of learning to talk. They also stimulate intellectual development, enhance self-esteem, and strengthen the bond between parent and …Continue reading

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Tears and connection . . .

Tears can be an opportunity for connection between a parent and child. Your child gives you a sign that the tears are an effort to connect when he or she “peeks out” and looks for you. If you see your child peek out for you after a good cry, he or she may want and …Continue reading

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The age of reason . . .

Children develop their ability to reason at different chronological ages. Some children arrive at the age of reason when they turn four while others are seven or eight years old before they have reasoning powers. It makes sense then to instruct children accordingly. For example, asking a young child to follow simple rules, such as …Continue reading

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