Category: Child Development

How to Get Your Child to Listen The First Time With One Simple Strategy

How to Get Your Child to Listen The First Time With One Simple Strategy

One of the most frustrating aspects of parenting is figuring out how to get your child to listen the *first time* you ask them to do something. Nothing is more irritating that feeling like you need to repeat yourself, yell, or resort to punishment over simple requests. If you are struggling with little kids who don’t listen the first time, stick with me for the one simple strategy that actually works.

But first, here’s why it doesn’t work to repeat yourself in the first place:

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How to Help Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset

How to Help Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset

Is your child one that gives up easily? Do they sulk and say “I can’t do it” when things get difficult?

Or is your child brave & resilient, knowing that with the right effort and strategies, she can accomplish anything?

These two very different mindsets start during childhood and follow your child right into adulthood. They are described by Dr Carol Dweck at Stanford University as a Fixed mindset vs a Growth mindset.

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7 Easy Games to Boost Your Preschooler’s Critical Thinking Skills

7 Easy Games to Boost Your Preschooler’s Critical Thinking Skills

Your little one is officially a preschooler. She’s making her way out of the impulsive toddler-zone and heading into big-girl-ness right before your very eyes. Every day is a new adventure with so much to learn, see, and do!

The first 3 years of your child’s life are all about gaining the language skills needed to question the world around them. And now that they have all the language they need to ask a MILLION questions a day, your child is ready to spend the next 3 years building his critical thinking skills.

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How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

Kids are notoriously terrible at waiting. Patience is just not something that comes easily to young children who want everything RIGHT NOW.

With every new piece of technology that comes out, our kids become more and more dependent on instant gratification. As a society we’ve forgotten how to stick with long-term projects and reap the rewards of our patience and hard work.

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Toddler Behaviors

A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Toddler Behaviors

Ahh, toddlers. You’ve got to love them. Toddlerhood is actually my favorite age of childhood, because it’s a time of such huge growth. One of the most notable changes happening during this phase is child’s desire to be independent… the child’s desire to do things their way.

Sound familiar?

Wanting to do everything their way, along with other major cognitive and social gains creates the perfect storm for negative behaviors (like screaming, hitting, biting, saying “no”) to rear their ugly head.

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The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

If you asked me a year ago what word best described my parenting, it might have been “rigid.” Being a preschool teacher for so many years had made me a little too good at setting limits and following through. It got to the point where every day with my 3-year-old son was a repeat cycle of tears and unnecessary power struggles. I found myself thinking that I couldn’t let go of one single thing because then, “He’d win.”

But one day it hit me… at what point did he and I stop being on the same team? At what point did I start controlling him instead of guiding him? Of course I should want him to “win.” I want him to win at solving problems. To win at loving others unconditionally. Most importantly, to win in our relationship.

Fast forward to now, and I’m viewing defiance and misbehavior in a whole new light.

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The Beginners Guide to Positive Parenting

The Beginners Guide to Positive Parenting

I started learning about positive parenting long before I was actually a parent. When I was getting my MA in early childhood education, everything that I was studying about child development and how children grow up to be well-adjusted and emotionally intelligent… all pointed back to positive parenting.

So once I had my own children, it made perfect sense for me to start putting some of those principles into action. Once I dove in, the first thing I realized is that there is a TON of information out there. Too much information. It’s overwhelming and honestly hard to know where to start.

To help save you time on your journey towards becoming a more positive parent, I’ve compiled this list of 6 core positive parenting principles to live by. Consider this your “starter’s guide,” the “beginner’s manual” to positive parenting. Let’s dive in!

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The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

Think back to the last tantrum your child had. What do you remember about it? There’s a pretty good chance that you can’t remember what it was about, but I bet you remember “that feeling.”

You know what I’m talking about… the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and the heat rising in your neck and cheeks. The feeling that is a cross between desperately wanting to help your child work through the pain they are experiencing, while also being so incredibly frustrated that you just want to start screaming yourself.

It is so difficult to remain calm when our children are having a meltdown. The most important thing to remember about tantrums are that they are a completely normal part of childhood.

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10 Things to Say to Your Child Instead of “Stop Crying”

10 Things to Say to Your Child Instead of “Stop Crying”

Have you ever seen those pictures on the internet titled “Reasons My Kid is Crying?” It’s a hilarious series of pictures of toddlers and young children having tantrums over the most ridiculous things such as “I wouldn’t let her eat raw eggs,” or “I told him he couldn’t drink my beer.”

Parenting a toddler is basically taking a walk through a minefield and waiting for the next explosion. As parents we have to be able to find some humor in the reasons our kids are crying, because otherwise we might literally go crazy. But at the end of the day, parents are always looking for the same thing: how to help our children recover from their meltdowns and build resilience over time.

Toddlers and young children lack the language, impulse control, and self-regulation skills to keep themselves calm and collected. Instead we see them whining and tantruming whenever they experience strong emotions or become overstimulated.

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How Spanking Changes Your Child’s Brain

How Spanking Changes Your Child’s Brain

Spanking is a major hot-button topic these days. Technically, spanking is legal in all 50 states as long as it’s “reasonable discipline” and does not cause the child injury. Some people come from the mindset of “I was spanked as a child, and I turned out okay,” while others feel it borders on child abuse. 

Aside from a couple of swats for truly atrocious behavior, I was not spanked as a child. Generally speaking, my parents opted for taking away privileges or adding chores when I misbehaved. There was a time (before I really started studying child development) that I wanted to believe that spanking was no big deal. It’s what generations upon generations of parents did. It couldn’t be as damaging as so many people made it out to be.

But after I started really looking at the research and learning more about how children’s brains develop in those early years, I have taken a much firmer stance on this issue. Here are some of the unexpected ways that spanking affects the development of young children:

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