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Tips for Encouraging Children to Enjoy Writing

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Language Development, Recent | 0 comments

Tips for Encouraging Children to Enjoy Writing

Among my favorite moments as a parent is when I see my children become completely absorbed in activities they love. I often notice my 15-year-old daughter engrossed in writing. At times, I can stand in her doorway for several minutes watching as she is caught up in the flow of her thoughts, entirely unaware of my presence.  Recently, as she selected her classes for the following school year, I suggested that she enroll in an English course with an emphasis on writing, naively assuming that her interests carry over to school.  “Ugh…” she...

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The Best (and Most Important) Things in Life are Free

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Child Rearing, Recent | 0 comments

The Best (and Most Important) Things in Life are Free

“Kids are expensive!” parents are told. And they are. But really, the most important things parents ever give their children – the things that truly last – are, for the most part, FREE. Parents have been conditioned through a lifetime of schooling followed by years of striving for professional achievement to equate success with effort, measureable outcomes and money. Given this perspective and background, it is not at all surprising that adults approach becoming parents within the same framework. Somehow, during the past 20-30 years,...

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Mem Fox: An Author For All Children

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Child Development, Recent | 0 comments

Mem Fox: An Author For All Children

Earlier this month, I found myself rifling through my bookshelves looking for multicultural picture books related to share with children. An unrepentant collector of books, I had plenty to choose from. As I pulled various books from the shelves, I was flooded with memories of sharing them with children over the years. As I read over titles, some evoked recollections of beautiful illustrations, while others brought back the emotions I felt from the character descriptions and vivid story lines. I stumbled upon this gem, and my thoughts turned...

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To the mom who no longer feels needed

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Child Development, Recent | 0 comments

To the mom who no longer feels needed

Dear mom, Remember those days… the days when you were largely responsible for everything regarding your children. You monitored every input that went into their little bodies and minds. You knew what they ate and when they pooped. You oversaw what they wore, their level of cleanliness, and their interactions with other people. You recognized what toys they played with, who their playmates were and how their interests developed. You knew the songs they sang, what books they read and you certainly observed them at play with other children to...

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Do Parents Matter As Much As They They Think They Do?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Child Rearing, Recent | 0 comments

Do Parents Matter As Much As They They Think They Do?

Robert and Sarah Levine are a husband and wife team of anthropologist-researchers who have spent their lives studying parenting practices across four continents for nearly 50 years. Their new book, written for parents rather than for fellow academics, is provocatively entitled, Do Parents Matter? The book synthesizes decades of research on child rearing practices all over the world. Each chapter covers a topic related to childcare and the expectations of children’s learning and development from a variety of perspectives. The Levines challenge...

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My Favorite Parenting Book

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Child Rearing, Recent | 0 comments

My Favorite Parenting Book

            I believe the author CS Lewis was correct when he said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I enjoy a great many books written for children and I often find myself identifying with the adults in children’s books, finding inspiration in some characters while hoping to avoid the characteristics of others. Consider this poem by Roald Dahl providing insight into the personalities of James’ two aunts in James and the Giant...

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How to Best Support the Needs of an Anxious Child

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Child Development, Recent | 0 comments

How to Best Support the Needs of an Anxious Child

Every Wednesday evening between 5:15 and 5:30, my 13-year-old son becomes “ill”. Sometimes it’s his stomach. Other times it’s a headache and sore throat. Tonight, he had to take his temperature, because he felt like he was having a “hot flash” (his words). My son has a voice lesson on Wednesdays between 5:45 and 6:15. He claims he doesn’t dread these lessons, and every week at 6:17 when he slides into the passenger seat, he is full of good cheer and positive anticipation of the songs he is working on. For some reason, however, by...

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Ask Nurturance: What are good toys for ages 2 to 4

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Ask Nurturance, Play, Recent | 0 comments

Ask Nurturance: What are good toys for ages 2 to 4

            Dear M, Do you have any toy recommendations for toddlers and preschoolers? I am tired of the plastic toys and clutter that take up space in my house that is rarely played with. I’d like to give my kids some toy presents this year that they will actually play with and enjoy. Thoughts? From Agnes   Dear Agnes, Oh the clutter of plastic toys! With so many options out there for toy buying, it can seem both overwhelming and discouraging to look for appropriate toys that will encourage imaginative...

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Predictable family routines lead to healthy development

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Recent, Routines, Social Emotional Development | 0 comments

Predictable family routines lead to healthy development

Why do child development experts keep proclaiming that routines are so terribly important? How can it possibly matter what time mealtimes and bedtimes occur? Can a family’s habits make a difference in important outcomes for children? The answer is, yes. Research shows that predictable, stable routines matter, a lot. In the immediate context for children, routines are important because they provide a rhythm to the day and ensure that children are getting the attention, nutrition and rest that they need in order to thrive. When intentional...

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Ask Nurturance: Moving and Resilience

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Ask Nurturance, Recent, Social Emotional Development | 0 comments

Ask Nurturance: Moving and Resilience

            Dear M @Nurturance, My husband was recently offered a job in a different state. This would be a wonderful opportunity for him and while I am so proud of him, I worry about our kids who are in fifth and third grade. They really don’t want to move, and I can understand that. My friends keep telling me that kids are resilient and that they will get over it, but I’m not even sure what that means. For me it comes down to this: which is worse? Transferring them to a new school/neighborhood/state in the...

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