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Recognize when you are frazzled . . .

As a parent, it takes some awareness to recognize when you feel emotionally low and need to refuel with the company of other adults. Because children count on grown-ups to provide emotional regulation for them as they learn to manage their feelings, this regulation is one way from parent to child. Continual emotional giving—which is …Continue reading

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Staying connected while setting limits . . .

The key to setting limits and staying connected to your child relates to emotions. Tuning in to your child’s emotional state is important if you are going to set a limit that is in conflict with your child’s wishes and desires. Empathize first. Reflect her feeling about her desire back to her and then follow …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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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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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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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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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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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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