Parenting solo? Give yourself a break!

Raising kids can be tough, especially if you’re going it alone. If you are a single parent, it can be helpful to take a break from your child once in a while. Ask family members or friends to pitch in while you go shopping, take a walk or spend a few hours enjoying a good book. You love your child, so if you take[…]

Parent Questions & Answers

Q: I assume my child is working on her social studies reading assignment, but it turns out she’s just doodling and daydreaming. This happens whenever she has to read for homework. I end up frustrated, and she ends up in tears. What should we do? A: Long after children can sound out all the words on a page, they may[…]

Parents: Curb carelessness now before it leads to irresponsibility later

Your child left his backpack on the bus—again. Or he forgot to turn in his homework—again. Chances are, he’s been stricken with a common childhood malady: carelessness. It’s important to help him overcome careless habits now before they turn into irresponsible behavior as he gets older. Here are some tips: • Make it easier for him to remember. Is his[…]

Parents: Discipline dilemma – Lying

Your child may think she has a “good reason” for lying, but that doesn’t make it okay. If your child lies to you, here’s how to deal with the situation: • Figure out why she lies. If lying results in your giving her your undivided attention, that could be what your child is seeking. The solution may be to spend more one-on-one time together. • Let her[…]

Parents: Open the lines of communication

When you speak with your child, how well do you actually communicate? To make sure you communicate effectively: • Speak your child’s language. Use words she understands. • Stay calm. Even if you’re angry, try not to yell at her. • Watch your body language. When it comes to communicating with your child, nonverbal cues can speak volumes.

Parents: Your adolescent’s brain is still ‘under construction’

Once upon a time, Mom and Dad had all the answers. But now, tell your middle schooler that the grass is green, and he’ll deny it. Ask whether he’s too hot or too cold, and he’ll whine at you for offering only two choices. Ah, adolescence. Your maturing child is beginning to look like an adult, but he’s not ready[…]

Parents: Sportsmanship—not just for sports

It’s important to teach your child to be a good sport, but don’t limit it to athletics. Good sportsmanship is also important in life. And you play a key role in helping build this respectful behavior at home so your child can be successful in school. To encourage sportsmanship on and off the field: • Emphasize respect for others—family[…]

Parents: Build flexibility into students’ daily routines

Consistency is the key to successful discipline, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also be flexible. If your child’s bedtime routine includes lights out at 8:30 p.m. sharp and you never, ever veer from it—even on special, once-in-a-blue-moon occasions—your routine may be too rigid. It’s important to build in a little flexibility. For example, has your child been studying hard for a test? Why[…]

Parents: Responsible behavior begins at home

You want your child to be a responsible student. Giving him chores at home is an important way to help develop a sense of responsibility that will transfer to responsible behavior at school. Here are some tips: • Make sure he has the knowledge and supplies he needs. If he’s learning to make his bed, for example, practice together until[…]

Parents: Discipline goals are surprisingly simple

Although disciplining children can be a tough job, it can be summarized in three simple steps: Be firm, be fair and be consistent. Consider what this might look like: 1. Be firm. Your rule is: No TV before homework is finished. Your child has put off her studies and now she doesn’t have time for her favorite show. She[…]