The skinny on autism: The top 7 things you really need to know

 Autism has been a hot topic for the past several years. Like any other topic in the spotlight of the media, there is a ton of information out there about autism- some of which is great (and when I say great, I mean valid) and some of which is not so great (Ahem… untrue)....more

Too much praise... Is there such a thing?

We’ve all heard the warnings about how too much praise can go to a child’s head. And we live in a day and age when children are given ribbons for participation and awards for “best effort.” Many people claim too much praise breeds narcissism, haughtiness, and an unrealistic sense of self. If a child is constantly showered with compliments and never provided with constructive criticism, that child’s ego IS likely to suffer....more

The punishment pitfall: Why punishing your child is bound to backfire

Kids do some horrendous stuff. Flushing your wedding ring down the toilet, emptying the ENTIRE surplus size container of baby powder onto the new carpet, sneaking into the pantry and eating the whole, previously unopened bag of Pirate’s Booty…. the list is endless. It’s every parent’s first instinct to lay the punishment on thick when something like this happens....more

What to say (and what to avoid saying) when a friend is suffering

Early last week I received some harrowing news. An old friend of mine lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. He was young. He was healthy. And they had a family. I grappled with how to respond. What do I do? What should I say? How should I say it? It took me awhile to wrap my head around the situation and get my own emotions in check. When I did, I wrote a message and later in the week, I sent a card....more

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

Homework. Just mentioning the word makes me cringe and brings back horrors from my own youth. The fights, the worry, the late nights. The hours spent thinking up excuses to explain why those pesky math problems didn’t get finished....more

3 things you should never say to your kids

We all experience anger. Sometimes it’s directed at our co-workers, bosses, spouses, our friends, or even the family pet. Anger is a healthy emotion. It lets us know when we don’t like what’s happening, and that we want what’s happening to change or stop. A lot of times, our angry feelings escalate quickly, causing us to become overwhelmed with emotions and act without thinking rationally....more

Nix nagging today with one simple trick

Tired of asking the kids repeatedly to clean their rooms, empty the dishwasher, or do that summer homework they've been avoiding? I hear ya. But do your kids? Does nagging actually work? Nagging is not the least bit enjoyable for the nagger or the naggee, and in my experience, it usually ends with yelling and tears....more

7 sure-fire ways to boost your kiddo’s self-esteem this summer

Healthy self-esteem development is essential for the success and well-being of every child. And summer is a perfect time to give your kiddo's self-esteem a powerful boost so he can hit the ground running when school starts this fall. Here are seven sure-fire habits to build into your daily repertoire with the kids this summer:1. PROVIDE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE...more

No, I will NOT take a deep breath!

Ever have a situation that really makes you fume? I’m talking about the kind of thing that makes you go from irritated to furious in .25 seconds? When you feel as though you could literally start having a 2-year-old tantrum while clenching your fists and screaming at the top of your lungs out of pure frustration? If you’ve never felt this way, I applaud you, and would really like to know how you pull off that inner calm....more

A case of the grumpies or childhood depression: How to figure it out in just a few easy steps

People often think childhood depression is a myth. I mean, what could a kid possibly be depressed about? A lot, as it turns out… school difficulties, problems with friends, family conflict, health concerns; the list is endless. But the majority of kids experience at least some stress at one time or another, and not every child is depressed. So how does it happen? Good question....more