Parents' Corner by Shannon Anderson en-us When the Family Pet Dies: Tips for Parents One of our family cats died not too long ago. My daughter is 3 and really could care less about the cats. They're old and not too interesting to her. Explaining the cat's death to her was pretty easy, but for many parents helping their children deal with the loss of a family pet can be quite stressful. Frequently, adults do not understand the depth of feeling that some children have with their pets. It's important to makes sure that you do not make your child feel guilty or ashamed about... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 15:27:46 -0600 The Thanksgiving Peanut Butter Sandwich It's a scene that plays out around Thanksgiving gatherings all over the country. The extended family sits down together for a meal that the family has slaved over the stove for hours. All is perfect--except for the lone child eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Sound like your child? Most people this time of year are writing about teaching children to be thankful. Instead, let's take some time to save yourself some embarrassment at the family gatherings. Here are some tips... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:33:28 -0600 New Pencils and Notebooks--NowTears: How to Deal with Separation Anxiety The beginning of school often means many new challenges for parents. One of which may be that your child has developed separation anxiety. It's common this time of year for younger children to suddenly be fearful of leaving mom or dad. For children starting preschool or kindergarten, the beginning of the school year is particularly stressful. If your child has never been away from you for extended periods of time, then starting school can trigger separation anxiety. Even children who have... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:50:20 -0500 Summer Childhood Memories! When I stepped out of the office today to grab some lunch, I couldn't help but notice that summer is in full swing. And let's just say the hot, humid dog days of summer are far from my favorite time of year! But, as I began thinking about the heat and my dislike of it, I also began daydreaming about past childhood memories that occurred during those long, hot, humid days of summer just like the ones we're experiencing now. Thoughts of swimming in the pool, wading in the neighborhood... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 23:15:41 -0500 Positive Parenting Suggestions for New Step-fathers/Step-mothers Our culture has more and more blended families everyday. While blended families bring some great new experiences to life, they also present some challenges. So what do you do when you suddenly become a new step-parent? The first step in learning to discipline a new step-child is to NOT discipline the child. You are not the child's parent, so you don't have the natural bond that the child has with his or her biological parents. Your new spouse may be expecting you to suddenly take up... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 11:02:37 -0500 Parenting the Strong Willed Child It seems like some children are just born strong willed. From the moment they are born, some children are just harder to manage than others. The strong willed child is a challenge to his or her parents, but it doesn't have to always be a power struggle. Here are some parenting tips for parents with a strong willed child. A strong willed child loves being in control. So give your strong willed child something to control. If getting dressed in the morning is a power struggle, then let... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:07:36 -0500 Time-ins So you've heard about Time-outs. What about Time-ins? Time-in refers to the positive side of parenting. Children often see their parents as people who set limits and punish them for misbehaviors. In order to develop a strong parent-child relationship, parents should also be seen as supportive, loving, and a source of positive attention. As I've said many times before in this blog, it's important in early childhood for parents to develop a strong bond with their children that fosters... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:33:32 -0600 3 Olympic-Inspired Family Fun Nights It's frigid outside! Time to hibernate indoors until spring, right? Maybe watch some TV--maybe the Olympics?? Instead of mindlessly watching the Olympics, why not use the Winter Games as a springboard for some great family interaction time? Here are 3 great ideas for family Winter Olympic fun. 1. Make a meal. Do a quick Google search and research traditional meals of some of the competing countries. For something familiar, try fish and chips in honor of Great Britain. Want to try... Fri, 07 Feb 2014 19:50:21 -0600 Preparing your High School Senior for College In my last post, I began discussing tips for parents of high school seniors who are planning to go away to college next year. In this post, I've got a few more suggestions. 4. Set the contact rules. Discuss with your child how often he wants you to call. For some kids, several times a week is good. For others, once a week is more than enough. Don't forget to decide on Facebook rules. Are you allowed to post on your child's wall? Can you tag him in family photos? By establishing the... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:10:41 -0500 For Parents of High School Seniors For parents of high school seniors, this school year is a momentous occasion. Senior year is a bittersweet time for your kids. They're at the top of the social ladder at school, and enjoying the benefits that come with being seniors. They're also realizing that each school event that passes is the last one for them. For parents, the emotional rollercoaster of this year is just as intense. But parents of high school seniors who are intending to go away to college next year, have an added... Fri, 04 Oct 2013 09:20:53 -0500 For Parents of College Freshmen Our culture recognizes the back to school blues for parents of Kindergartners, and even for that matter for parents of high school seniors, but we rarely take the time to speak to parents about the challenges they face when their children begin college. For these parents, dropping their child off at a college dorm is just as difficult as sending them on the bus on the first day of Kindergarten. Parents of college freshman need to know that ready or not, their parenting role is changing. To... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 11:12:44 -0500 Tips to Improve Your Child's Social Skills Do you have a child who struggles with social skill? Or do you simply want to encourage better social skills with your child? Children with a social skills deficit often need help in the areas of eye contact and reading other's emotions. Eye Contact is a very important social skill because it lets other people know that we are interested in what they have to say. Likewise, it's important for children to be able to read the emotions of others. Not being able to do so can cause problems with... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:59:26 -0500 Squeeze in Some Summer Fun! The countdown to the start of the next school year has begun. Already stores are stocking up with school supplies. It's time to squeeze in the last bit of summer fun with your kids. Looking for cheap things to do? Try going on a nature walk. Our community has tons of great walking trails, and since this summer has been milder than usual (at least so far!), it's a great opportunity to unplug your kids from electronics for a while and enjoy some quality time together. If nature walks aren't... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 08:55:34 -0500 Make a Summer Bucket List School is just about out for the summer. The kids are excited. You're looking forward to spending some quality time with the family. During this time of the year most of us have the best of intentions for the summer break. However, before we know it the stores are displaying school supplies and it's time to schedule the "back to school haircuts." Before summer gets away from you this year, sit down with your family and create a Summer Bucket List. Write a list together of fun activities... Mon, 13 May 2013 09:10:05 -0500 Little Kids, Big Fears Part II So it's been a while since I posted the first part of this thread. Here's the rest of this series. Now that we've discussed many of the sources of toddler fears, how can parents effectively deal with these fears? The first thing parents should do is acknowledge the fear. Fears are real to toddlers, no matter how irrational they may be. Ignoring or dismissing the fear will not help your toddler overcome the fear. Letting your toddler know that fears are normal and that everyone has fears... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:03:49 -0500 Little Kids, Big Fears: Dealing with Toddler Fears Part I Fear is fairly common among toddlers. However, as parents, it's important to know how to properly handle toddler fears so that they don't become phobias as the child grows older. In order to most effectively deal with toddler fears, it's important to understand why toddlers develop fears. The toddler years are ones of great change. Toddlers are learning lots of information, but yet don't have the life experience to understand the irrational fears they may have. For example, a toddler... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 11:16:46 -0500 Teens and Part Time Jobs One question parents often have for us is the question of teens working part time jobs. If your teen wants to get a job outside of the home, parents need to keep a few things in mind. First, consider your teen's after-school activities. If you want your child to continue participating in these activities and still learn a few business skills, consider allowing your child to work at an after-school job for less than 10 hours a week. If your teen is working more than 20 hours a week, they... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 12:30:08 -0500 More on Allowances In my last post I started discussing strategies parents can use when giving their children an allowance. The following are some additional tips and suggestions regarding allowances. *Pay your child in cash. Paying in cash will help your child understand the abstract concept of money. *Set financial responsibilities for your children and stick to it. For example, if your child has to buy his or her own video games, don't buy one for them "just because." And don't help them out buying one... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:18:39 -0600 Allowances In my previous posts, I began a conversation about teaching your children financial responsibility. I'd like to spend the next few posts discussing the pros and cons of allowances. Parents often have concerns about offering allowances to their children. On one hand, allowances allow children the opportunity to learn about money management and learn the concept that our individual labor is worth money. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for parents to believe that children... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 12:17:11 -0600 Financial Responsiblity Part 2 Last time I started a post on teaching financial responsibility to your children. One very important aspect of financial responsibility is creating a budget. Don't be afraid to show your child your family's budget. Explain to your child how you keep track of expenses. Teaching children to fit expenses into earnings can be difficult, but practice will help. For example, next time you're eating at a restaurant, tell your child, "You have XX amount of money to spend at the restaurant today. ... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:23:16 -0600