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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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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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An emerging sense of self . . .

As your toddler reaches the age of about eighteen months, he or she will realize that his or her angry “me” and loving “me” are within the same person. During this time, your toddler will also realize that the people he or she trusts and loves can also be the people who make him or …Continue reading

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Self-help skills . . .

Self-help skills make both your and your child’s life easier. As a parent, you can combine teaching, learning, and fun to help your child develop these skills. Let’s take getting dressed as a first example. Providing oversized dress-up clothes with zippers, buttons, buckles, and snaps allows your child to practice getting dressed with clothes that …Continue reading

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Offering praise . . .

If you have a child who finds it easy to do lots of things, from tossing a ball to writing his or her name, it will be easy for your child to figure out how to accomplish tasks worthy of your praise. This child will learn and become aware of the kind and warm feelings …Continue reading

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Tune into your tone . . .

Words are powerful. Words can build up or break down your child’s confidence, shape her identity, and affect her emotions. And words are never just words. Words are voiced with tone and volume. When you speak to your child, the tone and volume of your voice are critically important. Children tune into your emotional tone …Continue reading

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Listening . . .

A nurturing relationship involves open, honest communication, and that kind of communication involves listening as well as talking. We need to listen to our children. When we listen, really listen, we show our children that we respect them and that we care about their thoughts and feelings. By carefully listening, we “tell” them that they …Continue reading

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Tap into your child’s imagination . . .

Children thrive in our world when they thrive on the inside. The inside—where personality, imagination, heart, and mind reside—often seems to receive less attention than the behaviors and interactions we observe on the outside. Yet a shift that occurs in that internal place often changes what we see from the outside. Take imagination as an …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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The power in confidence . . .

Power is a human attribute that comes in a number of forms. Confidence is a kind of power that if pinpointed on a negative-positive spectrum would tip toward the positive end. Examples of confidence include standing up for what is right, a willingness to be safely adventurous, attunement to an inner strength, striving persistently to …Continue reading

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