Posts tagged #parenting

How To Keep Your Kids Excited About School


Did you know when kids are excited to learn, they do better in school? Here are a few ways parents can keep their kids excitement going all year round. 

Be a Role Model

Having your child see you excited to learn is key! 

The next time you learn something new, don’t keep it to yourself. Instead share your findings with your child. Show them your enthusiasm for learning - it is contagious after all. 

Read Together

It's never too early to introduce your child to books. 

Being a good reader will help your child build their confidence both in school and in life.

Set up a Designated Homework Area

Our environment can make or break our overall concentration and productivity levels.

Everything from your child's toys and electronics can be very distracting. 

That doesn't mean you have to get rid of them. It just means they can't be used during homework time. Learn More

Posted on October 1, 2019 .

Teaching Your Child How to Forgive

Forgiveness: Teaching your child about forgiveness is very important for their social development. Here are a few tips you as a parent can start using as soon as today.


Teach Them About People: We are all equal. We all have feelings. “A person is a person no matter how small.” - Dr. Seuss

Kindness, Respect, and Generosity: Before explaining forgiveness to your child, ensure they understand what kindness, respect, and generosity actually mean. Being able to forgive someone, requires these character traits.

Start Early:

Conflict is a part of life, and avoiding it can cause more harm than good. Teaching children healthy conflict resolution and forgiveness at a young age is extremely important. The sooner they start, the better. Read More

Posted on May 15, 2019 .

Five Tips for Promoting Your Child's Mental Health

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1. Love Unconditionally. Teach the values of apology, cooperation, patience, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

2. Look at your own problem-solving and coping skills. Model healthy coping and maintain awareness about the example you are setting. An adult who copes in healthy ways provides a sense of safety and stability for kids. Seek individual help if you have difficulty managing your stress.

3. Promote mutual respect and trust. Keep your voice calm. Keep communication channels open and listen to your child. Encourage questions and be honest (in a developmentally appropriate way). Encourage your child to express his or her feelings. Focus on the positives and provide reassurance.

Abby Tuttle-Shamblin, LMFT

4. Discipline constructively and consistently. Always view discipline as a form of teaching. Learn what approach is most effective for your child; no physical punishment. Pay attention to positive behaviors. Help your child learn from his or her mistakes.

5. Demonstrate and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. Participate in regular, physical activities as individuals and as a family. Limit TV and electronics. Provide healthy food choices. Go for a walk after dinner. Encourage extracurricular activities that your child will   enjoy. Make healthy living a part of daily life.

Posted on September 11, 2014 .

Five Tips for Parenting

by Michele Markstrom, LMFT

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1. Be proactive. Plan ahead to avoid common problem situations. Recognize them and change how you handle them. 

2. Encourage and support the behavior that you want to see in your child. Use verbal praise to highlight when your child listens or makes a good effort. 


3. Act more/talk less. Limit the number of times that you repeat a direction to 2-3 times. If your child isn’t listening, take action. Use a time out or remove a privilege. 

4. Find support for yourself. Ask family or friends for help with your child.

5. Take time for yourself and your partner. Plan time to spend together as a couple and/or individual time to do something for yourself.

Posted on September 11, 2014 .

Five Mindfulness Practices to Share with Your Partner or Child

1. Share a mindful commute.  Take a moment to silently notice three sights while taking a familiar route together.  Next, share what you noticed before reaching your destination (e.g., a mural on a building; a majestic oak tree; a mailbox that has been painted your favorite color; the way the shade makes the car dark while going down a certain street; a nest next to a power line)


2. Practice the appreciation exercise daily.  Create a routine of taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to point out three things that you appreciated about your partner or child during the past 24 hours.  The more specifically tied to a behavior the better!


3. Ask three new questions.  Power down the cell phone. Turn off the screen.  Take out the ear buds.  Attune to your partner or child and learn something new. Take turns asking each other questions about your past, present, or future that you have never asked.  Make it a game you regularly play over dinner, while doing chores, or while in the car.


4. Notice, name, and share your thoughts and feelings.  Take time to share your internal experiences with your child or partner.  Practice using statements such as:  “I am having the thought that _______”; “I notice that I feel _______ when I have the thought that ______.”  This will grow your child’s emotional intelligence and increase intimacy with your partner.


5. Locate your emotions.  Talk about where you experience emotions in your body.  You could use the formula: “When I am (insert emotion), I feel (insert sensation) in my (insert region of body)”.  As an example: “When I am anxious, I feel tension in my forehead.”


Posted on September 11, 2014 .

Boost Your Mindful Parenting

Michele Markstrom, LMFT

 Practice being in the moment with your child. Set aside other pressures and slow down enough to notice how your child doing. Deal with one issue at a time.

Act with love and compassion. Recognize this is what your child needs the most from you, even when you need to discipline him. 

Use your breath to calm yourself. Stresses can overwhelm you but taking a few breaths, with intention, can help you be more focused and effective. 

Step back and think about what you need now. Ask yourself what are you trying to achieve and what do you expect from your child in the present moment.

Enjoy your relationship with your child. Take a few minutes to look at the world from your child’s perspective. Sit with your child and listen to what they say. 

Want to learn more?  Watch my webinar below: 

Posted on November 25, 2013 .

How can you boost your child's emotional IQ?

Five tips for increasing your child’s emotional intelligence

Keith Miller, PhD

Label your emotions on a daily basis with your child (e.g., I am frustrated by that driver cutting me off; I am excited to take you to the game on Saturday; I am proud of you putting so much effort into math)

Help your child identify their emotions  (How did you feel when recess ended early?; So you felt embarrassed when you got to school late?. . . I’ve felt that way too; What was the happiest/most frustrating thing that happened today?)

Validate your child’s emotions (I understand how you could feel that way).  Do not use sarcasm, shame, or criticism when responding to your child’s emotions (e.g. There’s no reason to feel angry/sad/mad).

Know what emotions were “off limits” in your childhood home and provide opportunities for your child to express these emotions

Provide guidance and modeling on how to respond to difficult situations while openly discussing related emotions


Want to learn more?  Join me at my free 

Vista Knowledge at Noon Seminar:

Are we there yet?: Getting to where you want to go with your child without nagging, cajoling, or coercing

Tue, Nov 5th, 12:15pm

Register now, space is limited.  



Posted on October 28, 2013 .

It’s Not a ‘Problem.’ It’s Called Being a Child

KJ Dell'Antonia has some nice ideas for taking the pressure off ourselves, and our kids, while riding out the natural ups and downs of childhood.  Check out the full article at the NY Times blog Motherlode: Adventures in Parenting

Growing up isn’t easy. When a child struggles, parents should not assume a shortcoming in the school any more than the school should assume a shortcoming in the parents. Everyone benefits when the strains of normal development are expected — even welcomed — and taken in stride.
Posted on October 3, 2013 .