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Teen’s Perspective on Family Dinners

by Sam P. March 30th, 2020 | Seasonal, Teens
I have always considered family dinners a sort of magical thing.  It gives the appearance of being the perfect family and has this wonderful feeling when you're there.  Something about crowding around the table and asking for people to "pass the mashed potatoes" or "toss me a roll" has this sense of wonder to it, your family almost never feels so close and together.  Apparently,
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If You Have Nothing Nice to Say

by Michele March 23rd, 2020 | Behavior, Tweens
The tween years can be trying. For everyone. As the parent, you may be feeling frustrated with this hormonal, pre-adolescent person, but remember, he or she is feeling that frustration, too. Of course, frustration is not a get out of jail free card for poor behavior.

The key piece of advice I have for parenting during those moments of frustration is based on something my mom used to say:
If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

So, how did I implement this advice, besides seeking quiet instead of complaining?

There are several steps that can be taken. First, encourage your
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How to Make Family Dinners Awesome

by Tania Cowling March 16th, 2020 | Elementary, Seasonal
Mealtimes should be happy routines for your kids. Remember that pleasant eating experiences are just as important as nutritious foods. At this age, the kiddos are developing their food habits and attitudes – hopefully good ones, although sometimes the dinner table can be a battleground between kids and their parents. Do your kids balk at the food served? Maybe the fight is over pizza versus pot roast? Does this reaction make you want to shout, bribe, lecture, or threaten? Hate to admit that this is a normal part of growing up. So, how do you make family dinners happy times?
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3 Ways to Bond Over Family Dinner

by Joe Lawrence March 9th, 2020 | Preschool, Seasonal
Family dinners are one of the best, if not the best, ways to bond. There is something about sitting down as a collective group that brings us all closer together. However, when you have a preschoolers or toddlers, it does not always feel like “bonding” as much as it does a survival exercise. There are a couple of things we can do to introduce some sanity to the process.

The family dinner has been a study interest for social scientists for many years. They have been exploring why families that eat together bond on different levels and seem to know what
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Conventional Versus Organic Milk

by Tania Cowling March 2nd, 2020 | Care, Infants/Toddlers
Organic has been trending these days especially when we talk about fruits and vegetables – but what about milk? There are several reasons that concerns us about buying milk for our youngsters, and believe me children go through a lot of milk per day. We have to consider the cost, how long it lasts, the nutrition benefits, and the way cows are nurtured. Now, did we really worry about the cow years back? Today, there is concern about their livelihood and conditions, which in turn makes a difference between conventional and organic milk. Here is some information that will help
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Age-appropriate Responsibilities for Your Kids Regarding the Family Pet

by Editorial Team February 28th, 2020 | Elementary

Many parents struggle to decide when the best time is to get a family pet. Should they wait until their kids are older and better equipped to cope with the responsibility of taking care of an animal? Or should they get the pet when their children are still young so that they can all grow up together? 

There is no right or wrong answer. The key is to ensure that every child plays a part in caring for the new pet, being careful to assign various responsibilities that

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3 Social Influences for Teen Health

by Jane Wangersky February 24th, 2020 | Social, Teens
Getting a teen to live a healthy lifestyle is one more of those things that take a village. It takes more than just parents, anyway -- though your example is a strong influence, your teen is likely too intent on becoming an independent person to let that show. (That’s why
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Family Activities to Keep Your Tween Healthy

by Kimberly Hays February 17th, 2020 | Seasonal, Tweens
It can be difficult to get your tween to disconnect from technology and move to get some exercise. Most often, they’d rather play a video game, watch a movie, or chat with friends on social media. Having at least one activity that you do as a family will assure that your tween, and you, stay healthy and get exercise, all while enjoying time together.

Hiking – Hiking as a family can be a lot of fun for everyone. Be sure to take some photos so you can document your fun day. Choose something to look for while hiking, like leaves to
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4 Truths to Communicating with Our Children

by Joe Lawrence February 10th, 2020 | Communication, Elementary
Communication is the most important part of any relationship. When we communicate well, things run smoothly. When we do not, there is much frustration. Most people would agree with this; however, most of us (me included) are very intentional with making our children better communicators.

We practice communication from the moment we are born. All parents know the frustration of trying to relay a message to a child that simply does not understand and even worse is the feeling when watching our child try to communicate a message to us and they can’t get the message across. It is a wonder
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4 Ways to Help Kids Reach Activity Milestones

by Marnie Bii February 3rd, 2020 | Development, Preschool
During the preschool years, the timing of hitting movement milestones tends to spread out across the peer group. Some preschoolers may exhibit a strong ability to run, climb and jump, while others are a bit clumsier. Most kids’ abilities tend to even out upon approaching kindergarten, which is important due to the increase in group activities during PE, music and recess. You can help your preschooler hit movement milestones faster while having fun by enjoying these activities together on a regular basis.


Keep a pack of chalk and a small stone in your bag to play hopscotch wherever you go. This
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5 Tips for Creating a Healthy Toddler Schedule

by Marnie Bii January 27th, 2020 | Infants/Toddlers, Seasonal
Toddlers of all personality types, from outgoing to reserved, thrive on routine. A stable daily routine helps eliminate constant anxiety from expecting the unexpected. Toddlers are taking in new information a mile a minute, so it is important to keep some areas of life stable and calm. You do not have to create a rigid routine to have success with this tactic either. Simply creating a loose daily schedule gives toddlers anchor points to rely on throughout the day. Here are five tips for creating a successful daily schedule.

Work Around Mealtimes

The most important parts of the day for toddlers are
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Teen’s Perspective on Schedules

by Sam P. January 20th, 2020 | Seasonal, Teens
Schedules are everything.  They are so important in my life and many of my friends' lives, simply because they keep us organized.  My friends and I all keep fairly busy schedules, so having a way to lay out our day and what we need to achieve makes it much easier than trying to juggle everything all at once.  There are a few tricks to mastering the art of scheduling, which I will share with you.

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Tweens and Twitter

by Gary Hays January 13th, 2020 | Safety, Social, Tweens
Twitter is one of the largest and most popular social media sites on the internet. It allows for quick and easy communication between friends but limits posts to 140 characters, so long dissertations are not a possibility. From the outside looking in, Twitter appears to be a safe enough site
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Catching up From Sick Days

by Gary Hays January 6th, 2020 | Elementary, School
With winter comes cold and flu season. Let’s face it, when subjected to the confines of a classroom full of other sneezing students, your child is a target for airborne enemies, and more than likely, before the season is over, will catch their own case of the bug. It simply comes with the territory. When this happens it, of course, means staying home from school, but it also means they have to catch up on what they missed once they are well, and especially in elementary school when they are learning the all- important basics, it’s important for them to stay
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3 Steps to Changing Your Preschooler’s Behavior

by Joe Lawrence December 30th, 2019 | Behavior, Preschool
When it comes to our preschoolers, there are so many things to discover. They are mingling with like-minded children and really becoming who they will be in terms of behavior. That is why it is so important to help set the right foundation today.

I watch my five year old interact with my 21-month old and am usually very proud. She is the sweetest and most caring big sis. However, there are the times when she decides to push or yell at her little brother and we scold her for it. It puzzles me how this little, sweet girl can
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4 Ways to Help Toddlers Stop Throwing Food

by Marnie Bii December 23rd, 2019 | Behavior, Infants/Toddlers
Just when you think you are safe to eat your own meal with your toddler eating in a highchair nearby does the food throwing begin. As you quickly grow exasperated by these messy antics, your toddler is likely just starting to really enjoy this new game. You do not have to resign yourself to wasting your time, energy and food; it is actually possible to end this habit with a few easy steps. You just need to take the fun out of the activity and
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Teen’s Perspective: Making it Through the Holidays

by Sam P. December 16th, 2019 | Seasonal, Teens
For as much as I love Christmas, I understand it can be very stressful.  All those family visits are fun and loveable at first, but can get a tad annoying very quickly.  Having gone through it for the past seventeen years, I have learned a few tricks on making the holiday season a little less stressful.

The most important thing is to skip Black Friday.  Now that tip may not help for this year, but it will in the future.  Believe me the deals are
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Social Media and Your Tween

by Gary Hays December 9th, 2019 | Social, Tweens
Social media has often been deemed as the good, the bad, and the ugly. Like most everything, depending upon how it is used determines if it is a benefit or a detriment. If you are the parent of a tween-aged child, participating in social media activities is no doubt of
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Say Thank You, Dear

by Gary Hays December 2nd, 2019 | Communication, Elementary
Especially with the holidays upon us, this is the perfect time to reiterate to your child, the value and importance of proper communication. This is a time of family, and if yours is akin to the typical one, you will be spending at least a portion of your time with relatives, some of whom you only see once a year. And God forbid, you be the family member who is remembered throughout the remainder of the year as the one with unruly and unmannered children. Not that your children would ever dare misbehave, but hey, you were young once, and
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5 Rainy Day Preschool Entertainment Ideas

Marnie Bii November 25th, 2019 | Entertainment, Preschool
As rain showers start to become a daily occurrence, preschooler's boredom levels skyrocket. Without time outside running and playing, most kids this age start to act out and drive everyone up the wall. Luckily, you can introduce a few fun indoor activities into your preschooler's life to drive boredom away once and for all. The following five indoor activities take very little time to set up or clean up
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