How to Get Toddlers and Kids to Clean up Toys in Six Easy Steps
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How to Get Toddlers and Kids to Clean up Toys in Six Easy Steps

Cleaning up toys after play is a perfect opportunity for toddlers and kids to learn responsibility. Here’s how to get your child to help without a struggle. Toddlers and young children are like human tornadoes — all it takes is a moment with your back turned to discover that your child’s bedroom (and the hallway,…

8 Ways to Raise an Independent Child While Still Maintaining a Strong Bond
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8 Ways to Raise an Independent Child While Still Maintaining a Strong Bond

Raising an independent child not only defies conventional parenting advice, it also leads to a more peaceful and positive parent-child relationship. Ask parents what character traits they’d most like to see in their kids and independence and responsibility top the list. But what most parents don’t realize is that in order to raise kids with…

Have a Disobedient Child? Four Steps to Address Your Child’s Behavior
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Have a Disobedient Child? Four Steps to Address Your Child’s Behavior

Having a disobedient child can be frustrating, to say the least. Inside are four steps you can take to help address your child’s misbehavior and turn that behavior around. Having a disobedient child is one of the most aggravating, irritating, stressful, and downright frustrating parenting experiences. Especially if it seems our child is chronically disobedient:…

Why Logical Consequences Aren’t Working to Change Your Child’s Misbehavior (and What Will)
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Why Logical Consequences Aren’t Working to Change Your Child’s Misbehavior (and What Will)

Many parents try to use consequences to change their child’s misbehavior but find they’re ineffective. Here’s why that happens, how to determine when a consequence will be effective, and seven alternative parenting tools that often work better. Your daughter has been playing with Magnatiles for the past hour. You love that she’s so engaged in…

How to Discipline Kids While Reaching Their Hearts at the Same Time
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How to Discipline Kids While Reaching Their Hearts at the Same Time

Kind but firm parenting involves setting clear limits for kids while also maintaining a strong, healthy relationship. Here’s how to do it. With a big smile on his face, your five-year-old takes a handful of sand, stands up, and gleefully throws it into the air. He’s in awe over the way the grains scatter in…

These 5 Family Rules are Essential for Raising Well-Adjusted Kids
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These 5 Family Rules are Essential for Raising Well-Adjusted Kids

Established family rules help everyone know what’s expected of them. Here’s your guide to best practices for developing and establishing your family’s rules. Plus, five rules every family should have. “No one told me I had to clean up!” my daughter exclaimed after I asked her to put away her paint, paper, and brushes strewn…

Why Your Misbehaving Child Won’t Stop and What to Do About It
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Why Your Misbehaving Child Won’t Stop and What to Do About It

Misbehaving children can be baffling to parents. But understanding why your child misbehaves can lead to positive solutions to change the bad behavior for good. Every evening it happens — the bedtime struggle.  “Time to put on your pajamas,” you say in as gentle a voice as possible. “No!” your son exclaims while simultaneously running…

How to Encourage Imaginary Play (and Why it’s so Important)
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How to Encourage Imaginary Play (and Why it’s so Important)

Inside: Imaginary play (also known as pretend play) helps kids’ cognition, emotions, and promotes problem-solving and creativity. Here are five ideas to help encourage your child’s imaginary play. “We’re playing Abby’s birthday,” my six-year-old daughter told me.  “These are her presents!” my three-year-old son chimed in. He pointed to a pile of toys – all…

6 Ways Kids Routines Encourage Independence and Bring More Sanity to Your Life
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6 Ways Kids Routines Encourage Independence and Bring More Sanity to Your Life

Kids routines provide children with cues throughout the day that encourage self-reliance and independence. Below are six ways kids and parents benefit from routines. But I don’t want to be tied down to a schedule! I thought to myself as I read about the benefits kids and parents receive from following a routine every day. The…

10 of the Best Educational Subscription Boxes for Toddlers and Preschoolers
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10 of the Best Educational Subscription Boxes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Educational subscription boxes for toddlers and preschoolers provide learning activities, craft projects, and children’s books delivered to your house every month. Toddlers and preschoolers like to stay busy! (The biggest understatement of the year.) But if you’re craft-challenged like me, or are simply looking for more books and activities for your child, the subscription boxes…

How Quiet Time Can Fuel Your Child’s Creativity (And Help Your Sanity)
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How Quiet Time Can Fuel Your Child’s Creativity (And Help Your Sanity)

Research shows that quiet time can help boost mindfulness, attitude, and your child’s creativity. Here’s how to get started. “Mom, look! A garage!”  My almost 3-year-old had taken a set of Magnatiles and built them into a tower of cubes where he parked his cars and trucks. He had created it on his own, in…

“I can do it myself!” – How to Parent (and Survive) the Independent Toddler Stage
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“I can do it myself!” – How to Parent (and Survive) the Independent Toddler Stage

Parenting toddlers through their “I can do it myself!” stage can be tricky. Here are a few ways you can support their independence without losing your mind. “I want my socks off!” my almost-three-year-old cried in desperation as tears began welling up in her eyes. “Socks off!” We’d just come home from preschool and in…

How to Help Your Young Child Get Dressed Independently
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How to Help Your Young Child Get Dressed Independently

Help your child get dressed independently with these tips. “Never do for a child what he can do for himself.” – Maria Montessori You may have heard this quote before and laughed to yourself while struggling to wrestle a hoodie on your toddler. Great in theory, but not always in practice – especially when getting…

10 Parenting Practices That Pay Big Dividends When Kids Are Older
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10 Parenting Practices That Pay Big Dividends When Kids Are Older

Start these child-rearing practices when your kids are young to make life with adolescents and teens easier. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?  As a new mother, I had no idea what kind of parenting would pay off in the long run.  Like most parents, I read and received a lot of advice. But, I wondered,…

How I Raised Kids Who (Willingly) Eat Vegetables, Adore Fruit, and Make Healthy Food Choices on Their Own

How I Raised Kids Who (Willingly) Eat Vegetables, Adore Fruit, and Make Healthy Food Choices on Their Own

Inside: You don’t have to be a dietitian to raise kids who make healthy food choices. Here are a few of the things I did that I believe made a difference. “Can I have more salad?” my eleven-year-old daughter asked as we were nearing the end of dinner. She had just taken the last bite…

Why Your Child’s Most Annoying Habit is Their Best Chance at Success
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Why Your Child’s Most Annoying Habit is Their Best Chance at Success

There are few parenting experiences more aggravating than kids repeatedly asking “why?”. Here’s the why behind the whys…and the best way to respond to kids asking why all day long.  (This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to…

A Gentle, Empowering Approach to Handling Children’s Separation Anxiety

A Gentle, Empowering Approach to Handling Children’s Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety in children can be a heart-wrenching challenge for parents. Here’s how to handle your child’s anxiety in a positive, caring way.  Drop-off time at my daughter’s classroom is currently so stressful. It’s full of tears and sobbing. Often she needs to be peeled from my legs before I can leave the classroom. Once…

How to Raise Kids Who Are Motivated to Work Hard on Their Own
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How to Raise Kids Who Are Motivated to Work Hard on Their Own

Each child is born with strong internal motivation. The question is, why do some kids retain it while others don’t? And what can parents do to protect it? Somewhere along the way, often by kindergarten, this intrinsic motivation disappears in many kids, but it doesn’t have to.

Giving Our Kids The Gift of Doing Nothing
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Giving Our Kids The Gift of Doing Nothing

In our busy, hyperactive lives giving our kids the space to do nothing can be the most precious gift we give them.  Last May I made a list. It’s something I do every spring. You see, summers in New England are short – meaning, we count the warm days by weeks, not months. And yet…

9 Ways to Encourage Self-Sufficiency in Young Kids
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9 Ways to Encourage Self-Sufficiency in Young Kids

Are you eager to have your young kids do more for themselves? Here are nine ways to encourage and raise self-sufficient kids. Is there anything more agonizing than running late for work and watching your 4-year-old try to tie his shoes? One lace slips out of his hand as he S-L-O-W-L-Y tries to loop the…