Hot Topics In The Community
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by Katie Hurley
Remember the long days of summer of your youth? Days spent chasing butterflies and digging in the sand until the sun began to set were not just the norm, they were to be expected. Sadly, those days are gone.
It seems as if there is a camp for every interest these days, and many kids hop from camp to camp for eight weeks straight beginning just days after school lets out. While camp can be a great experience for kids and can fill a much-needed childcare void during the summer months, it is also important to make sure that kids have some downtime during the summer months.
Friday, June 14, 2013 by Katie Hurley
Losing a grandparent or other close family friend is often a child’s first true experience with death. Sure, they might have lost a goldfish or two along the way, but facing the loss of a loved one can feel like an impossible task for a child.
While children process loss in different ways depending on age, there are ways to help them work through their grief and process these very confusing and overwhelming feelings.
Be honest but brief:
Parents often wonder what to tell kids following a loss. Do we share the details? Do we talk around it and hope they stop asking questions? How do we proceed?
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by Katie Hurley
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Just months ago, your child was full of enthusiasm and ready to conquer the great outdoors…away from home. But now that the weather is getting just a little bit warmer and the drop off date is looming, suddenly your child is a little less enthusiastic.
Before you make the decision to forfeit that nonrefundable sleep away camp deposit, consider this: Many children experience cold feet as the school year winds down and camp approaches. It makes sense. Leaving the comfort of home and familiar friends for weeks at a time can be anxiety producing. But it can also result in lifelong memories and increased independence. Some kids just need a little help preparing for camp.
6 Tips for preparing your child for sleep away camp:
Friday, June 07, 2013 by Katie Hurley
With summer vacation quickly approaching, parents everywhere are looking into summer camps, pool passes, and fun family getaways. Summer is typically a time for endless hours outside and sunsets that linger.
But did you know that children face a real danger of losing some of the educational gains made during the school year if they do not continue with reading during the summer? It’s true. Commonly referred to as the “summer slide”, some kids lose valuable academic skills when they do not exercise their reading muscles for a couple of months. While a nice break is definitely in order after a long school year, it’s also important to sneak in some reading throughout the summer months.
Six books seems to be the magic number for older, independent readers, but pre-readers and emerging readers need to continue with at least twenty minutes of reading each day.
Reading can be a lot of fun, particularly during the summer months. Shake things up a bit and keep up those academic skills while having fun with your kids this summer.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 by Katie Hurley
It doesn’t matter how much we shield our children from the influence of media in our homes, eventually they go to school (or a play date) and come home talking about Angry Birds, Spongebob, or some other thing you so carefully avoided.
The bottom line is that, unless you plan to keep your child locked up at home until age 18, kids are influenced both by media and by other kids. Trends exist because they’re fun and it feels good to be part of a larger movement. If every kid is talking about Angry Birds except yours, your kid might feel left out.
But you don’t have to cave to the peer pressure. The good news about trends is that they are here one day and gone the next. Kids, in particular, shift focus fairly quickly.
There’s no doubt about it, TV can be a powerful educational tool. When programming is carefully selected, kids are exposed to everything from letter sounds to social skills.
TV can also, on the other hand, have a very negative effect on children. When shows are not carefully selected and time spent in front of the TV is not carefully monitored, kids can end up with a shortened attention span, distorted body image, experience fear, and display aggressive behavior.
Friday, May 31, 2013 by Katie Hurley
Moms always hear about the importance of “me time” and why time away from the kids can really rejuvenate a tired mom. It’s true. Sometimes you just need a little space to relax and take a break from the constant shuffling, worrying, mediating, and everything else that happens almost every hour on the hour.
But it can be hard to find the time, and sometimes that pesky mom guilt creeps in. Is it really ok to be relaxing in the nail salon when one of my kids might need me for something right this very minute?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Not only is me time essential to the emotional health of tired moms everywhere, but it also benefits children.
Here are three reasons why your “me time” helps your kids:
Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Mindi Stavish
As we approach summer vacation, perhaps you are starting to feel panicked about having endless unstructured hours with your kids. The fighting, the whining, the non stop complaints of boredom, and the endless pleas for more TV or video games can make any mom go crazy. Instead of having a nervous breakdown just two weeks into summer vacation, build in daily kid fitness time into your routine. There are many different fitness DVDs geared toward children, including yoga programs. Many research studies have shown that children of all ages can benefit from yoga.
Here are just a few benefits:
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Katie Hurley
While some parents are so worn out from the nightly battle to sit and get the homework done that they would do just about anything to have a motivated, self-starter who genuinely seems to enjoy the work, it’s important to remember that there are always two sides to the story. Some children are so consumed with excelling at absolutely everything that they put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves. And when something doesn’t go as well as planned, be it a spelling test or a soccer game, they completely fall apart.
Perfectionism often leads to anxiety.
Children who are perfectionists are at risk for eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and even self-mutilation (commonly referred to as “cutting”). It’s best to help your little perfectionist learn to manage and cope with feelings of failure along the way as soon as you see perfectionism pop up, so with that in mind, here are 7 Tips for Curbing Perfectionism:
Friday, May 24, 2013 by Katie Hurley
Do you ever have one of those days where you send your child off to school with her homework folder, a perfectly packed lunch box, and a brand new sweatshirt and she comes home empty-handed? You’re not alone. Young children tend to lack organizational skills.
The good news is that organizational skills can be taught. The more organized you are at home, the more your child will internalize the steps toward organization.
There are many benefits to teaching your children organizational skills. Kids feel more secure when they have some control over their lives. Organization also fosters independence, improves self-confidence, decreases anxiety, and decreases clutter.
Bottom line: External clutter causes internal clutter. It’s time to get organized!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Katie Hurley
One of the greatest challenges of parenting is standing back and watching as your child makes a mistake. It doesn’t even matter how big the mistake is. It might be jumping from the couch to the hardwood floor while wearing the most slippery socks ever sewn or blowing off an important study session for a final exam worth 60% of the final grade. Either way, it’s hard to watch.
From the moment we bring children into this world, we feel the urge to protect them. They start out so small and helpless; they need us for every little thing. But then they begin to grow, and it’s our job to instill a sense of autonomy in our children. We have to let them go.
Psychologists often reference “authoritative parenting” as an effective parenting style. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children but have high expectations. They also rely on structure and boundaries while respecting autonomy. In short, they show their children the way, but they let their children make mistakes.
In contrast, permissive parents fail to provide structure and/or boundaries, and authoritarian parents micromanage every detail of their children’s lives.
And this is where overprotective parenting comes in.
In world full of violence and kids growing up way too fast, it’s comes as no surprise that parents want to protect their kids as much as possible. But the truth is that we can’t protect them from everything. And if we try to, we can actually cause more harm than good.
Three reasons to lay off the overprotective parenting: