Blog — Parenting Tips

How to Not Pass on Stress to Your Kids

Ojie Paloma / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with my dear friend, Dr. Dan Gottlieb on his NPR radio show, Voices in the Family. His guests, Drs. Sara Waters and Wendy Mendes from University of San Francisco were reporting on their study of the transmission of stress from mother to infant. It was a great conversation, and you can listen to the program here. The take away message was very positive-- that parents can do so much to manage their stress and importantly "repair" their connection with their child if stress gets in the way-- through apologies, loving gestures-- and just spending time together. In otherwords, we don't have to pass on our stress, we can clean it up as we go. Here's a piece I wrote to share these ideas. 

 

 

 

 

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Homework is Stupid and I Hate Everything!

homeworkBack to school means to back to homework, and for many families that means back to homework battles. For the next couple of blog posts I will share ideas about how to get kids and families on track with that necessary evil, I mean, that vehicle for reinforcing learning-- homework!

 

 

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What to Do When Your College Student is Homesick

Ian Fuller / Foter 

This week as students are heading off to college, parents are wondering-- what do they do when their child is unhappy or homesick? Is it a sign of trouble, or just a normal sign of change? This is normal! Teaching your children (young adults) how transitions work is your new job. Here are many ideas to get you started.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Talk to Your Child (and Yourself) About Ebola

Name

Many parents are hesitant about whether or not to bring up the topic of the Ebola virus with their children, because they don't want to upset them, and more to the point-- because they don't know what to say because they're feeling overwhelmed themselves. Here are ideas about how to talk about Ebola by shifting away from the fears and to the facts, and even how to refocus on gratitude and compassion, the greatest antidote to fear.

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School's Out, Structure's In: How to Plan Your Child's Summer "Work Week"

©2015 Corbis/Veer, used by permission

Please tell me I'm not alone, but every year when school lets out for summer, I worry (yes, I do) what are the kids going to do with all of that free time? So practicing what I preach, I know it's better to use my time planning than worrying, here's a plan to introduce a little structure into your child's summer vacation. Not too much, but just enough. It could help end the fights over screen time and make a better summer for everyone in your home. Happy summer all!

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What to do when your child starts mouthing off

©Veer.com, used by permission

Don't you hate those "gotcha" moments, when (often in public, but audience not required) your child flings some words at you like-- this is lame, or, this dinner stinks, or, this vacation is boring-- and it takes all your strength not to fling some equally undesirable words back? Well, me too. Here are some ideas to get you out of the gotcha moment and make it a win-win situation for all. 

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Yes, Your Teen is Going to College, But Are They Ready?

Acceptance

What a very exciting time for families of high school seniors. College decisions are being finalized and the future is looking bright. After the arduous journey of the last several years which has brought you to this moment, it is understandable that families will be breathing a deserved sigh of relief and ready to coast until August. My advice to parents? Coast not. Catch your breath, but then take this opportunity to help your student prepare emotionally for the transition. Hint: this may involve doing less laundry and dishes for them.... 

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School's Out! Help for Panicked Parents and Bored Kids

Bored KidsHappy summer! How many parents are already having that "what's wrong with this picture?" feeling as they are juggling job, dishes, laundry, and the insistent "I"m hungry!" followed by "There's nothing good to eat!" proclamations, while their kids are mostly sleeping in, waking only to hunker down to Netflix, Minecraft, or similar. Lack of structure can be our downfall. What's the best order-to-chaos ratio so that summer still feels like fun? Check out these ideas. Your child may not thank you, but if you are a calmer parent this summer, that's a win for all. 

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How to Survive Summer with Bored Kids: Give Them Just Enough Structure

Bored KidsLast week I was on a work call with a parent whose pre-teen kept interrupting our conversation with the frustrating refrain, “I’m so bored. There’s nothing to do, what am I supposed to do?” Without a plan in place, screen time is the default much to our kids delight and our dismay. Fear not! Here are some easy ideas to create and sustain just the right amount of structure with your child to make it a great summer for all.

 

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Countdown to College: How to Prepare Your Student (and Yourself) Emotionally and Practically

PreCollegeBingo

Do you have a student starting college in a few weeks? If you and your student are feeling anxious about this transition it's totally to be expected. How could it be otherwise? Our second child is leaving the nest and while I'm confident that she is ready, much to her chagrin-- I wrote this blogpost about continuing to hound, I mean teach about being responsible-- emotionally and practically. Because, let's face it, roommates and friends may not be charmed by things like: being late, not having your keys, leaving dirty dishes around, etc etc. At our house we even made a Bingo game for practicing new skills (because that's just the kind of people we are....). So, with our daughter's gracious permission, and it must be said, she is a wonderful human being...I'm sharing it here. In addition, here are lots of ideas for emotional and practical preparation for a great start to college. Maybe you'll make a bingo card too-- or at least talk about it. OK, yes, this might just cue the eye rolling, but parents-- we know what we're talking about even though our kids may never admit it. Right? Best wishes to all for a great start to college!

 

 

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