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Moral development . . .

Parents can help their children develop a sense of moral goodness with an accompanying feeling of obligation to do the right thing. The formation of “conscience” is promoted when parents nurture awareness and the development of feelings. Conscience is also promoted when parents help children understand that two people may feel differently about a situation, …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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Storytelling . . .

Telling stories is one playful way to help children address important themes in their lives, particularly those that children might prefer not to talk about. Discharging powerful feelings connected to memories and experiences is important, though, so residual feelings are not left to bubble up later in life. Stress over family changes and other fears …Continue reading

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Frustration temptations . . .

Parenting has its share of frustrations, and sometimes the appropriate thing to do in response is not apparent. Frustration, impatience, confusion, and anger are all expected emotions during the parenting process—yet they are not excuses for copping out, threatening, or playing on your child’s fears. Have you ever said “Just wait until your father [or …Continue reading

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Disagreements . . .

Disagreements are merely differences of opinion. Since disagreements are unavoidable, the real key to disagreeing is doing it in a way that respects the parties involved. Kids need to learn how to respectfully disagree, and parents have an opportunity to teach this lesson. Here are a few suggestions: Listen to your child calmly and carefully …Continue reading

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Internal conversations . . .

Self-talk is powerful because having conversations with ourselves—even silently—links thought, language, and action. Self-talk is really like a delay switch to action allowing us to think things through. Children are great teachers for showing us how language can guide actions. In fact, several studies have shown that children who talk out loud as they give …Continue reading

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Why questions . . .

Why questions are tough questions for young children to answer because they require examination of less-than-obvious origins to wishes, desires, or feelings. Three- or four-year-olds will usually answer why questions in a concrete manner. “Why did you throw your pizza on the floor?” will often be met with “Because I wanted to!” Such a concrete …Continue reading

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Stretch out conversations . . .

When you stretch out conversations with your toddler, you give your child an opportunity to connect his or her inner thoughts with the outside world. It’s really simple to stretch out the chatter when you take time to talk about everything under the sun. Conversation starters can be centered around anything you might be doing …Continue reading

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Moral development . . .

Parents can help their children develop a sense of moral goodness with an accompanying feeling of obligation to do the right thing. The formation of “conscience” is promoted when parents nurture awareness and the development of feelings. Conscience is also promoted when parents help children understand that two people may feel differently about a situation, …Continue reading

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Family rules about fighting . . .

Having clear family rules about fighting that hurts is important. A good place to set these rules is at a family meeting. Family meetings model communication with words, not fists. Working out problems through talking rather than physical fighting is supported by brain research that indicates if we can learn to put very strong feelings …Continue reading

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