Holiday Parenting Keeping the Joy Alive

holidays parenting tips Dec 06, 2020

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, this year, maybe a little less intense but, no doubt, still exciting. While holiday parties may be missing from our typical December schedules, the pandemic can't stop the spirit of the season! Decorating the house, wrapping gifts, and baking goodies will keep the joy alive. Ultimately, just as in any other year, however, the excitement can become overwhelming and put children into full sensory overload. This, coupled with the world's unsettledness, can increase cortisol, causing more stress than joy. Implementing positive strategies into our routines can help counteract these tensions and reconnect us to the season's true meaning.

 

During the holidays, children's emotions are at the forefront, and a season of excitement, happiness, and hope quickly turns into apprehension, stress, and irritability. The constant stimuli and lack of downtime lead the way to exhaustion and crankiness, and, therefore, children become more reactive, and...

Continue Reading...

Whole-Brain Parenting: Engaging the Brain for Optimal Development

On any given day, we may experience moments of high emotion in reaction to an event, or we find ourselves trying to control everyone and everything around us. Either way, our mental well-being is in danger, especially if we find ourselves stuck in either scenario for long. It can be difficult for children to get unstuck without some help from a parent or other adult. To give children the support they need when faced with this, parents must have a basic understanding of their child’s brain development. By incorporating this knowledge into interactions, parents can support children in learning and growing through a whole-brain approach.

 

To help us get a clear understanding of how these two extreme reactions can present in children, Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson created the concept of the “river of well-being” in the book “The Whole-Brain Child.” Along the river of well-being, there are two banks: the “bank of chaos”...

Continue Reading...

The Developing Mind - Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

Uncategorized Nov 07, 2020

One of the biggest struggles in parenting is understanding why perfectly sweet and smart children can, in an instant, turn into the most difficult beings ever faced. It’s often as if a switch was flipped and chaos has ensued. This typically results in parents becoming frustrated at their child and disciplining them in the heat of the moment. And while this may seem like the best option, it can be counterproductive in many ways. When parents become knowledgeable about the basics of brain development and how this affects behavior, they can help integrate all areas of the brain and have better parenting success.

 

The key to whole-brain integration is having a basic understanding of children’s brains. To simplify this, Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, created the concept of the “upstairs brain” and the “downstairs brain” in the book “The Whole-Brain Child.” When children are born, their primitive, “downstairs...

Continue Reading...

Igniting Your Teens’ Motivation

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2020

Adolescence has always been a challenging time for parents and teens to get through. Typically, this is because adults feel teens are lazy and/or out of control. However, these behaviors are usually present because teens feel uninspired and lack the right motivation in their lives. And while the development of the brain hasn’t changed, the environment around teens is constantly changing. Now, with the global pandemic at the forefront of our lives, teens are struggling to even complete the minimum daily tasks. Finding ways to inspire teens will ignite their motivation and support them in creating new things again.

 

The teen years are a time when the brain is in a very vulnerable state. Changes in the brain, along with physical, social, and emotional developmental shifts, make for an intense array of day to day challenges. This vulnerability, coupled with an ever-present pandemic, has now amplified these challenges and has decreased teens’ motivation even more. And...

Continue Reading...

Balance Feels Best – Helping Children Neutralize Technology Overload

Uncategorized Sep 18, 2020

As digital learning has become a widely preferred alternative for school, children everywhere are now "required" to be on devices in the wake of the pandemic. This is quite a change from the screen time limits that parents have attempted to enforce for years. Now, allotting time for school online, connecting with distant relatives via video chats, and participating in physical activities virtually are all a part of our everyday lives. Therefore, our new reality is challenging parent’s view of how much screen time is too much. Parents everywhere must shift their rules regarding their children's use of technology and implement a balanced online lifestyle with other offline activities.

 

Technology has become a part of our daily lives in many positive ways. And while we have quicker and easier access to things and people, it has also caused many to live in a continual state of hyper stimulation. For children, this constant dopamine fix is the reason so many become...

Continue Reading...

Work First, Then Play

Throughout the past four months schedules have been upended and downtime has taken over. However, as the new school year gets underway, reality is going to show up and we are going to be scrambling to get ourselves and our children back on a productive path. In the book “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey habit three is “Work First, Then Play.” While time doing homework has always been a struggle for children, adding in the digital learning for them makes school even more of a daunting task. But in the wake of the pandemic, this is our reality, so children grasping habit three will be essential, so they stay on track with completing school assignments and homework.

 

When it comes to schoolwork, children often find ways to avoid it for various reasons, and parents often label this behavior as laziness. But let’s be honest…children have different priorities then adults do and the last thing they want to do at home is schoolwork. The...

Continue Reading...

Preparing Children to Return to School – A Social Approach

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

Over the past few months, interactions have been minimal, and our social skills are rusty. Since prolonged school closures have a negative impact on children’s social development, we are now faced with how to regain skills while moving forward with new skills. Though some children will return to a brick-and-mortar school, others will virtually engage with teachers and classmates. But no matter how they attend school in the beginning, all children will return to in person classes eventually, so we must prepare them now so they can feel confident as they re-engage with friends, classmates, and teachers when the time comes.

 

The extended time away from school, in conjunction with periods of isolation and the summer break, have exacerbated feelings of uneasiness when it comes to social interactions for children. And while they may be excited about seeing their friends and teachers again, the anxiety that they are feeling may deter them from regular social interactions in the...

Continue Reading...

Preparing Children to Return to School – An Emotional Approach

Uncategorized Aug 16, 2020

As back to school plans continue to change almost daily, children’s emotions will remain unpredictable. One day they are thinking about returning to their friends and teachers at school, and the next, they are told they won't be returning for another few months. Because of this, our children's emotional needs have never been greater. And while the uncertainty of everything is still present, what we do know is that we must prepare our children, emotionally, for a return to school, whenever that may be.

 

For those that return to a brick and mortar school, they may experience some separation anxiety from their parents. For those who go back to digital learning, they may continue to be unmotivated and feel depressed. To help children adapt to the constant shifts, parents must stay attuned and connected to their children’s ever-changing feelings and implement ways to support them and reassure them.

 

1) Create Dialog: Strong emotions have been running high for...

Continue Reading...

Preparing Children to Return to School – An Intellectual Approach

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2020

Over the past few months, we have been inundated with information that seems to change almost daily, making it hard to resolve what should and should not be done. Everyone has their thoughts and feelings about varying current debates, especially regarding starting school. And while there will be no answer that satisfies everyone in the short term, we must remember that children will return to some form of school, either online or brick and mortar, so it is essential that we prepare them intellectually for what will lie ahead to counteract any learning loss already exhibited.

 

As it happens during the summer each year, it is no surprise that most children have experienced even more learning loss when coupled with the "COVID slide." The abrupt switch to online learning created a disrupted ability to focus for a lot of children, and lack of resources at home caused even more achievement gaps for many. As we approach a new school year, students will return at varying levels, and...

Continue Reading...

Preparing Children to Return to School – A Physical Approach

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2020

We are currently faced with all sorts of unknowns most, of which, are completely out of our control. And while we cannot dictate how others choose to move forward, what we can do, as parents, is prepare our own families for what may lie ahead. Currently, the most pressing matter is preparing children to return to school. As school’s layout the various options that parents can choose from, the American Academy of Pediatrics is backing a return to brick and mortar. But jumping back into this option has some parents nervous for their child’s health so accurate preparation for physical safety is essential.

 

Over the past few months, children have had varying experiences with the outside world, depending on how their family chose to respond to the pandemic. Because of this, their feelings in reaction to returning to school will be different. To give them the best advantage for a successful and safe return, parents should have age-appropriate conversations and practice...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.