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Empowering vs. Enabling - The Fine Line of Parenting

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2023

We live in a competitive world and most parents would jump at the chance to give their child every advantage imaginable. The world can also be unkind and, as parents, we feel a need to protect our children from everything possible. And yes, parents are supposed to help and protect their children but when does supporting children turn into overhelping? The difference between the two is a very fine line and is often very difficult to decipher.


Responsible parenting means proving food, clothing, and shelter, giving attention and love, and protecting our children from danger. It does not mean doing everything for them and protecting them from anything that may bring them grief. This type of parenting is excessive and can develop due to a parent’s fear, anxiety, or peer pressure from other parents. It can also be a way that parents overcompensate for the difficult childhood they experienced. Whatever the case, although the hyper-involvement comes from a place of love, it can...

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Conflict Resolution

Uncategorized Jul 27, 2023

Let’s face it, conflict is hard and is bound to happen no matter what ground rules are put into place. Whether it’s on the playground or right in our own homes, children will clash. And while it can create challenging situations, it is a normal event that occurs between children. This is why conflict resolution is an essential life skill for them to learn. In order to help them, though, early instruction is key in making this a standard routine during disagreements with others.


Often when children are involved in conflict, one of two things happen. Either the parent rushes into save their child or the child goes to an adult immediately. And yes, when there is physical violence taking place, adults must intervene at once. But when children are arguing over a toy or whose turn it is, they should be given the opportunity to resolve the conflict on their own. Learning this skill is important in the development of friendships. Adults allowing time for this to take...

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Age-Appropriate Talk!

Uncategorized Jul 06, 2023

I am sure that most of us have experienced those moments when a child says something that catches us off-guard - a swear word, a mean phrase, or something that typically is not said by someone their age. Where does language like that come from?

Brain development in children ages birth to 6 years is the fastest rate of brain growth in the human life span. A child’s brain is like a sponge, soaking up everything they see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Ages 3-6 is also when children like to test boundaries to learn what is and is not acceptable.

Think about the many environments that our children are exposed to: home, school, bus, daycare, after-school activities, extended family, neighbors, friends, etc. Do these other people or settings provide an opportunity for our children to soak up words not meant for them to use? Absolutely!

While we cannot always control what is said in other environments, we can provide appropriate redirection to help our children learn acceptable...

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The Power of Predictability

Uncategorized Jun 27, 2023

As hectic as life is most days, parents are often more concerned with getting everything done instead of strategically planning out their day so that it is predictable for their children. Knowing what activities to expect each day and knowing how parents will respond at the moment is critical in helping children feel safe. The consistency in this will ease children's moods and minimize the chances of a meltdown. Therefore, parents should establish predictability in their daily routines to ensure children have the best chances of a successful day.


When children are unsure of what to expect daily, they often become more anxious and, therefore, demanding their parents' time. Stress goes up, self-regulation goes down, and meltdowns ensue. This leads to more reactive parenting, which feeds into an already difficult situation in which no one comes out happy. When this is a typical daily pattern, children develop more insecurities as the unknown of what the day will bring or how...

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Uncategorized Jun 06, 2023

Adaptability is about how you respond to your child, especially when things do not go as planned. Your child will have a variety of great days, bad days, and everything in between. Here are a few ways you can apply adaptability to your parenting and keep your child motivated:


Intrinsic Motivation:

  1. Choices

What do you do if your child does not want to do something?

You can intrinsically motivate them by allowing them to make choices or small decisions. Before I began using healthy competition to encourage my child to brush his teeth, I had to physically put the toothbrush in his mouth and brush for him. I eventually realized that I had to adapt differently because it was not working. He needed to learn to brush himself.

I took him to the store and let him pick out 2 toothbrushes to get him more interested in brushing his own teeth. Being adaptable meant giving him some choices so he felt more involved and motivated. Now he has 24 toothbrushes!

If your child is a picky eater,...

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How Mirror Neurons Impact Learning

Uncategorized May 27, 2023

Learning is a big part of child development and how children learn things is dependent on a variety of factors. Much of the time, observational learning contributes to how children learn information and behaviors. This type of social learning can be greatly influential because of the role that mirror neurons play in learning. Providing children with positive environments is key in helping them learn new skills and appropriate behaviors.


A lot of learning happens indirectly through what is called observational learning. This type of social learning happens when children watch and imitate others. Psychologist Albert Bandura originated what is now called the Social Cognitive Theory that encompasses social learning. This type of learning connects traditional learning theories to a cognitive approach and emphasizes how mental factors are involved. This is a great source of learning and can be seen in all stages of development.


In a nutshell, Bandura stated that children...

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Situational Awareness – Increasing Children’s Observational Skills

Uncategorized May 08, 2023

Today's world is busy; people are rushing here and there to get to work, school, the store, or the next activity. Even our “leisure” time is filled with busyness. And during all of it, we are distracted by our devices. This not only leads to us missing important moments in our lives, but it also creates a higher likelihood that we would become the victim of a crime or, at very best, be unable to help someone near us that was. Therefore, it is essential to teach children to be perceptive and educate them on situational awareness skills to improve their safety.


Nowadays, not only are children distracted as they play and talk with their friends when they are out, but they are also looking down at their phones or other devices. When they are alone, they are often using headphones as well. These behaviors set them up for dangerous situations because they are entirely unaware of what is going on in the environment around them. Research indicates that offenders look for...

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Resilience: Helping Children and Teens Build Coping Skills

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2023

Stress is a significant part of our lives today. And while we all experience it, children and teens have a more difficult time managing it. Academic pressure, social tensions, family stressors, etc. all impact a young person’s mental well-being. For this reason, it’s important for parents to help their children develop coping skills by guiding them through tough times instead of jumping in to save them from any discomfort that may come along.


Children and teens often present stress as what adults call a meltdown or a tantrum. Psychologists call it “flooding.” This happens when a wave of strong, negative emotions flood in and rational thinking goes out the door. The amygdala, which helps coordinate emotional responses to the environment, is engaged during this. Since the pre-frontal cortex, or self-control center, is not fully developed, children and teens struggle to get control of the powerful wave of emotions. And to top it all off, emotions are...

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3 Ways to Help Your Child Use Their Ninja Skillz at Home

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2023

Kids love ninja classes at a SKILLZ child development center. The mix of age-specific martial arts themes and powerful child development lessons makes for a fun yet educational experience.


Parents love ninja classes because of the results they see in their children's physical, intellectual, emotional, and social growth while on the mat.


But what happens when your child gives the instructor a high five and leaves the building after class? Do the lessons carry over?


Every experience a child has affects their development somehow. These subtle shifts in personality and ability will affect their growth for years to come. However, the right nurturing outside of the learning environment can supercharge your child's training benefits.


Here are 3 Ninja Parenting tips you can use at home to help your child extend the lessons they learn in class to the rest of their lives.


  • Labeled Praise
  • Ask Questions
  • Catch Them Being Good


Let's look at each of...

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How To Manage Your Child’s Temperament

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2023

Every child is born with their own unique way of interacting with the world. Some are flexible in the midst of change while others may experience stress when presented with new situations or a change in schedule. This is what is referred to as temperament. And while some temperaments are easier to handle than others, it is important for parents to understand temperament traits, such as adaptability. By doing this, we can help children become the best version of themselves in the most effective way possible.


Temperament is the way a child reacts to their environment and how they regulate emotions. Psychiatrists Dr. Stella Chess and Dr. Alexander Thomas identified nine dimensions of temperament that they felt were significant when determining how a child relates to the world. One of the nine, adaptability, plays a huge role in how children transition through changes around them. Understanding how this plays a role in the different types of temperament is key for parents,...

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