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Archive for June, 2018

According to Experts, This Is How Old a Kid Should Be Before Crossing the Street Alone

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In parenting, there is so much information, but so little consensus. Still, whether you helicopter or free range, install blackout shades or blow through naps, serve vegan grain bowls or Coco Krispies, it’s the rare parent who doesn’t adhere to at least some of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines (and by “adhere,” we mean have a passing awareness of them so we know when to feel extra guilty).

And now, in addition to advising us on when we should introduce solids and how many hours of sleep kids need, we’ve learned the AAP has thoughts on how old our kids should be before they try out some independence, like walking to school on their own or even crossing the street solo.

Their conclusion? Age ten at the earliest.

This information comes via a fascinating Wall Street Journal article called “The Overprotected American Child.” The gist, per author Andrea Petersen: “Overzealous parenting can do real harm. Psychologists and educators see it as one factor fueling a surge in the number of children and young adults being diagnosed with anxiety disorders.” The real heartbreaker? “For children who are already anxious, overprotecting them can make it worse. ‘It reinforces to the child that there is something they should be scared of and the world is a dangerous place and I can’t do that for myself,’ says Rebecca Rialon Berry, a clinical psychologist at the NYU Langone Child Study Center.” The antidote, say the experts? More autonomy.

And, to that end, it turns out crossing the street without an adult’s help is a major milestone marker. Still, when it comes to the maturity, danger awareness and traffic savvy it takes to navigate a crosswalk, researchers caution that even some ten-year-olds may not be up to the task.

“Research has found that young children walking to school often don’t look for traffic or stop at the curb before stepping into the street,” writes Petersen. She cites the AAP’s policy statement that parents “are likely to overestimate their children’s ability to safely cross the street.”

Bottom line? You know your kid best. After studying a range of age groups, the AAP concluded: “Development of pedestrian skills was highly variable such that a few of the 5-year-olds did better than some 11-year-olds on the overall pedestrian skills score.” So guidelines aside, it’s still a parent’s job to figure out where on the capability continuum their child sits (or rather, walks).

 

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

6 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

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We all know how to eat healthy — fruits, vegetables, protein — but actually doing it can feel overwhelming. To simplify things, it’s best to keep your kitchen stocked with a few essentials that you can reach for again and again.

While this isn’t a complete list of every healthy food on the planet, it’s a starter list of foods that can help you make simple changes to your meals and add more nutrients. Plus, they won’t require a trip to some top-secret specialty grocery store.

My advice? Take it one ingredient at a time and one meal at a time. So what if you crushed a bowl of cinnamon toast cereal for breakfast? Make a hearty salad for lunch and plan on scrambled eggs with a smoothie on the side for tomorrow’s breakfast.

1. Chickpeas

There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests ditching meat and eating more plant-based foods is critical for warding off disease. The critics then say, “No meat? How do I get my protein?” One answer: Chickpeas! They’re high in protein, packing 39 grams into each cup.

Try making: Skillet Chickpeas and Broccoli

2. Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein, vitamin D and vitamin B12, and one study in the journal Nutrition and Food Science actually found that yolks contain antioxidants, which are good for you as you age. But not all eggs are created equal. What hens eat affects the quality of eggs. For example, Eggland’s Best eggs have twice as much vitamin B12 and omega-3s, six times the amount of vitamin D and 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs, thanks to the all-vegetarian feed it gives its hens.

Try making: Smashed Eggs on Toast with Spring Herbs

3. Greens

Here’s something you’ve probably heard a million times: Eat more salad. True, salad is good — as long as it’s not doused in creamy, sugary dressing or made only with iceberg lettuce. And it’s not that iceberg lettuce is bad for you; it’s just that, well, there’s nothing to it. Instead, keep cabbage or other green-leaf lettuces on hand to chop up and add into premixed bags of salad where iceberg reigns supreme. Cabbage also makes a great, healthy garnish for tacos. And I’m just gonna say it: Kale chips are not the worst.

4. Lemons

Just one lemon has 50 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C. That said, you’re probably not exactly eager to bite into a lemon. Instead, squeeze the juice into hot water or green tea and incorporate the zest into your dinners. (It has flavor perks, too.)

5. Greek yogurt

Love guac and other creamy sauces and dressings? You can almost always sub in greek yogurt and ditch the mayo and sour cream without tasting a difference. Plus, if you’re on the plant-based train, it’s another good source of protein. Good source of protein? Check. Good for your gut? Check. Deserving of a place in your fridge? Definitely.

6. Bananas

Bananas don’t need an introduction for their health benefits, but did you know that low potassium (a star nutrient in the banana) and depression are closely linked? A 2008 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a high-potassium diet can mitigate depression. So, in addition to being a sweet addition to smoothies and having a role as a tasty breakfast side, bananas can help keep your mood stable. Win.

This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best.

 

This article was written by Catherine Conelly from SheKnows and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

How to potty train a child who doesn’t want to be potty trained

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‘Start at two finish at three, start at three and finish at three’.

That’s what they say when it comes to the best age to start potty training, but what happens if your child is rapidly approaching four and still no joy?

Little B will be three and a half this month and point blank refuses to entertain the idea of potty training, despite the fact the majority of his friends at preschool are now dry and he’s quite clearly being left behind.

Of course the arrival of his little sister is a classic cause of potty training regression, and suddenly finding himself the middle child instead of the baby of the family probably has a lot to do with it.

We’ve got THAT potty training book, we’ve got the sticker chart, we’ve got the super duper big boy pants and we’ve got an all-singing, all-dancing potty (quite literally – it plays music when you do you-know-what in it) but it’s still not enough to induce the boy who doesn’t want to be potty trained to potty train.

The saving grace is that being an October baby he’s not due to start school for another year, so we’ve got time on our hands, but even so I’m increasingly subject to the ‘what he’s still in nappies?’ line.

So what can we do about it? I asked some fellow parenting bloggers who have been there, done it and got the T-shirt and do you know what their best advice is? Don’t stress out about it!

How to potty train a child who doesn’t want to be potty trained

1. Go cold turkey. “No pull ups apart from overnight – straight to pants,” says Mandy at Sneaky Veg. “I just accepted that we would have some accidents and we did – lots! But after about three days he suddenly got the hang of it.”

2. Don’t bow to pressure. “I started potty training my son and he just didn’t want to,” says Star at Autism Kids On Tour. “The accidents were stressing him out and making my life harder. I decided I was doing it, not because he was ready, but because I was feeling pressured by his age, social norms and other people comparing if their child was potty trained whilst saying ‘oh! Is he still in nappies?’ to me. So I gave up, not in a resigned, sad sort of way, more because I thought it actually didn’t matter so much if we waited a bit and did it when he was ready. About six months later he woke up one day and said ‘mummy I’m not wearing nappies any more, I’m going to wee on the toilet’ and he did! No stress!”


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3. Persevere. “Always keep a potty within kicking distance, ask him regularly if he needs to go and praise him when he does,” says Sally at The Happy Home. “Also don’t be tempted to put him in a nappy on outings. Line the car seat/pushchair with nappies or a maternity sheet.”

4. Go with the flow. “With my eldest son it was horrendous, so when it came to doing the youngest I ignored the book that I’d used first time round,” says Hayley at Winging It With Two Boys. “We went bare bummed for the first few days, there was lots of tears (from both of us) but then something just clicked with him and he got it.”


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5. Let them choose their own potty. “I let her choose her own potty and made a big thing of it – she chose a seat style one and from that day loved going on the potty,” says Lianne at Anklebiters Adventures.

6. Let them choose their own grown up pants. “I took him to choose his own big boy pants and also got him a brilliant picture book called Pirate Pete’s Potty which he loved, he really wanted to be like Pirate Pete and use the potty!” says Rebecca at The Sparkle Nest. (We have this book too and Little B loves it).


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7. Skip the potty. “I would recommend going straight to a toilet seat with stool as it helps with transitioning later,” says Sarah at Minime and Luxury.

8. Gin, stickers and Zoflora. “Gin for you, zoflora for the floor and stickers for the boy,” says Amy at Pigtails and Polka Dots. “Someone somewhere might wee or/and get a sticker!”


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9. Don’t stress. “My eldest wasn’t fully toilet trained until four and I only started potty training a few months before,” says Georgina at Gee Gardner. “I had tried several times starting from 14 months and she just wasn’t ready. When she finally took to it she was dry almost immediately and we had no accidents.”

10. Don’t force them. “There is no point forcing a child that’s not ready,” says Claire at This Mummy Rocks. “It will just bring anxiety and stress to the situation and hold off any progress. Leave a potty lying around and make it an everyday thing.”

The post How to potty train a child who doesn’t want to be potty trained appeared first on Confessions Of A Crummy Mummy.

 

This article was written by crummymummy1 from Confessions of a Crummy Mummy and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

DIY Finger Paint

 

You Will Need 

  • Large Bowl 
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour 
  • 2 Cups Cold Water 
  • Food Coloring 
  • Small Muffin Tin or Small Bowls  
  • Stirrers (One for each color) 
  • Spatula, Spoon or Whisk 

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Start with the large bowl, two cups of cold water and two cups of flour. 

 

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Pour the two cups of cold water into the large bowl. 

Gradually add flour and stir constantly until the flour is fully incorporated and totally smooth. 

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Divide the flour mixture into the muffin tins (or small bowls). 

 

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Add a few drops of food coloring to each muffin tin. 

 

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Stir each mixture, adding more food coloring if needed, until you achieve the colors you want. 

 

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Encourage your little one to get messy and have fun creating original works of art! 

 

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Getting Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth Appropriately

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Even though this article was originally written with working mothers in mind, this is great information for all parents!

As a working mother, how many battles do you face with your kids over brushing teeth? Maintaining the oral hygiene and care is very important for both your kids and you. As a mom, you need to take care of yourself and at the same time, set an example to follow. Seeing you brushing your teeth, your kids will follow healthy and hygienic activities. Make it a point to brush your teeth twice a day, after getting up in the morning and before going to bed.

Some more tips to ensure that both the mom and kids have healthy teeth and gums are:

Change brushes regularly: You should not keep a toothbrush for too long. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every three to four months. So, as a mother it is your duty to make a resolution to change the toothbrush of the whole family with every season. Check your children’s toothbrushes, if these have broken and frayed bristles, then time to let go. When purchasing the toothbrushes, look for the ones with the ADA seal of acceptance.

Brush for two minutes: Make brushing a fun-time for your family. You can share the washroom with your kids and set a time for two minutes. A study says, the average time the working moms spend on brushing is 45 seconds. So, distract the 45-second rush by brushing together with your kids for two minutes, twice in a day.

Be gentle with the teeth: Do not brush too hard otherwise it might damage the gums. A gentle brush to remove the leftover food that bacteria loves to eat is enough. Practice proper brushing technique: You should first place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes. Then, brush the outer surface, inner surface, and the chewing surface of the teeth. Lastly, clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth then tilt the brush vertically and do quite a few up and down strokes.

Store the brush properly: Make it a habit to store the toothbrushes upright. You can buy a toothbrush holder for the family and let the brush dry in the open air. You should not keep your brush in a closed container, where there is more opportunity for the germs to grow.

Do not brush right after you eat: If you feel like cleaning your teeth after drinking or eating, then you should wait at least for an hour before brushing. While you are waiting to brush, you can drink water or chew ADA approved sugarless gum.

Following these tips, you can ensure dental health for both your kids and you. Clean and healthy teeth give you the radiant smile, which keep you going both in the workplace and at home. This can even save money as dental work can be extremely expensive. Do not put yourself in a poor financial situation due to lack of personal hygiene with both your children as well as yourself.

 

This article was written by Natalie Bracco from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Save Time and Keep Your Family Healthy with These Quick Tips

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Most moms are aware of the need to keep their children healthy to ensure proper growth and development. However, when the demands of the day limit your time, sometimes being healthy isn’t as convenient. When you’re at work all day, it can be easy to develop poor habits just to ease the stress. Things like preparing healthy meals, making sure the kids stay active, and even keeping up with doctor’s appointments do require a bit of time and effort, but are important. If time prevents you from being able to keep your family healthy, consider these time-saving tips below.

Pick One Day of the Week for Meal Prep

Any mom would agree that when you’re pressed for time, one of the most time-consuming tasks is preparing meals for the family. Bogged down by demands from work, household chores, and perhaps running the kids around to their after-school activities, it’s much easier to order takeout or grab a kids meal from a fast food restaurant and keep moving.

Though a treat every now and again won’t do the kids any harm, often time the quickest meal solutions are the unhealthiest for them. To cut back on time and the number of processed foods and saturated fats your family is consuming, why not pick one day to prep meals? Choose a day where you have the most time and cook all your meals. You can then place them in plastic containers and freeze them for the week.

Schedule Appointments Together

Visiting the doctor periodically – especially during school-age is imperative for children. Annual physicals, vaccines, and shots, as well as other medical services, allow doctors to provide you with the best child development & nutrition resources to ensure your child is developing properly. Doctors can also recommend adjustments in nutrition, supplements, and ways to help your child grow in confidence, like giving your child Healthy Height’s nutritional shakes that promote growth in height. Be that as it may, most working mothers are plagued with minimal time off from work. Not to mention, a scheduled doctor’s appointment tends to last longer than anticipated, which can cause conflict.

If you work in an environment where time isn’t flexible, try to kill a few birds with one stone. Take off one day instead of trying to break it up into hours. Schedule the entire family’s appointments for the same day. While it will mean sitting in waiting rooms all day, it eliminates the need to take off several hours every few months.

Work Out Together

It can be tempting to let the kids sit in front of the television or on the computer all day while you tend to the household chores (or take a break), however, too much screen time is detrimental to your child’s health. It is important for all of you to get active to remain healthy. If time prevents you from being able to get the kids out, consider working out together. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym together or sit in front of the television doing exercise video moves either. There are a lot of fun activities you could try indoors or outdoors to get active. Whether you go outside and play basketball or stay in the house and rock out to your favorite dance simulation game, you’re moving, sweating, and working out. Not to mention, you’re creating fun memories with your family.

Unfortunately, time isn’t something we can make more of. All you can do is learn how to make the most of the time you have. If you’ve been trying to prioritize your family’s health, but find time to always get in the way, utilize the above-mentioned tips. They are all convenient solutions that not only save you time but allow you to ensure your family is as healthy as they can be.

 

This article was written by Natalie Bracco from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

The Healthiest Kid’s Meals at Fast Food Chains

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McDonald’s announced they’re removing cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from their Happy Meals. They’re just the latest fast food restaurant offering surprisingly healthy options: Here’s what to order.

Though many of us grew up happily eating, uh, Happy Meals, the rise in childhood obesity has caused parents to rethink stopping through the drive-through to pick up a kid’s meal from McDonalds on the way home. Though fast food restaurants have spent the better half of the last decade pushing healthier choices in hopes that families will decide to come back as regular customers, applesauce and low-fat milk haven’t really enticed mom and dad. But that all might change as McDonald’s announced today that strict Happy Meal changes would be coming this summer. How many calories will be in a Happy Meal come June? Fewer than 600. All kids meals will also contain only 650 milligrams of salt. Other big changes include less-sugary chocolate milk, slimmer kids fries, and no cheeseburgers.
But though McDonald’s changing Happy Meals might be today’s news, they’re not the only fast food restaurants with surprisingly healthy kids meals. In light of the big changes at McDonald’s, we researched the healthiest kid options now on the menu at every top chain. Here, what you should order the kids when the fast food counter is your best option to eat:

Healthiest Kid’s Meal at Subway

In a 2016 The Daily Meal ranking of all the fast food kid’s meals on the market, Subway took the top spot with the overall healthiest meal: a Veggie Delite sandwich with a side of apples and low-fat milk. Though the veggie-based sandwich is the most healthful option, the turkey breast sandwich is also a good option for those looking to add protein.

Healthiest Kid’s Meal at Burger King

CNN reports that a Chicken Nuggets King Jr. meal (4 pieces) with ketchup, applesauce, and fat-free milk offers the lowest option in calories, saturated fat, and sugar.

Healthiest Kid’s Meal at Wendy’s

With 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and only 270 calories, the Grilled Chicken Wrap is the healthiest entrée on Wendy’s kids’ menu. Pair it with apple slices and a bottle of water, and your child will be eating a pretty well-rounded meal that just happens to be fast food. Just try to say no to a Frosty (and if you can’t, just make sure it’s a junior!)

Healthiest Kid’s Meal at Dairy Queen

According to a 2013 study from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Dairy Queen had the fewest amount of options for healthy kids meals that meet expert recommendations for elementary school students. However, they’ve since cleaned up their act with a kids Livewell option (which meets nutrition standards as set by the National Restaurant Association) that features a kid’s grilled chicken wrap, a banana, and a bottle of water.

Healthiest Meal at Taco Bell

After ditching kids’ meals entirely in 2013, parents have had to decipher the regular menu for healthy options for their little ones. According to a 2018 article by Shape, nutritionists recommend ordering off the “power menu,” for high-protein options—just make sure you skip the rice. A mini quesadilla with chicken or beef aren’t too bad, either, if the kids are being picky.

 

This article was written by Liz Steelman from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

How to Become an Expert Photo Organizer

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Whether you’ve got boxes of printed pics or you’re at full storage capacity with digital photos, these organizing tricks will help you keep track of your precious memories.

Printed Photos

Start by gathering, sorting, and identifying your photos, says Cathi Nelson, founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers and author of Photo Organizing Made Easy: Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed. Make one pile for album-worthy photos, one pile for art projects, and another for irreplaceable photos that will go in a photo-safe box. Use the 20/80 rule when sifting through photos: Keep 20 percent (the ones that tug at your heartstrings or help tell the story of your or the subject’s life) and toss the rest. Get rid of duplicates, blurry images, and most scenery shots. On the back of the photos, note the date, location, and people with a pencil (try Stabilo All pencils, which won’t bleed through). Then decide if you want to organize chronologically or thematically (birthdays, holidays, vacations) and what type of photo storage you’re going to use (archival photo box or binder). To hedge against damage or loss, scan your prints—services like Fotobridge can do it for you (up to 10,000 images at once) in about three weeks.

Digital Photos

Your most beloved images—scans of prints and ones you took digitally—should be stored in three places (think a flash drive, a computer, and a form of cloud storage). If you’re overwhelmed by zillions of digital photos, use Google Photos, which lets you search images by person, date, and place, so you can find what you need instantly without creating albums if you don’t want to. Make sure to set aside about 30 minutes every month to clear out clutter on your phone’s camera roll and complete a backup. When you’re done, pick some recent favorites to actually do something with: Post a video montage of your vacation on social media or print a few recent photos of your kids to send to older relatives who aren’t online.

 

This article was written by Tamara Kraus from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

When It Is And Isn’t OK To Let Your Kids Quit

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Here, experts weigh in on when to push perseverance, and how to know when to quit.

As moms we’ve all been there. You sign your kid up for swimming or Little League or tap dance, and they refuse to walk onto the field, lose it in the locker room or seem game the whole time — then voice their hatred of the horrible class on the ride home (and at bedtime, and at breakfast the next morning). It’s a teachable moment, to be sure, but what’s the lesson? That their feelings are valid, and you’ve got their back? Or that stick-to-itiveness is everything?

When it comes to playing musical instruments in particular, experts describe a “honeymoon period” that ends when the novelty of, say, getting to bang on their drum set wears off. “Musical children are not born — they are raised,” according to USC music ed professor Robert Cutietta. “From the beginning, parents need to prepare for the time when their child is no longer in love with the instrument” by setting achievable goals and routine practice times. As for sports, a good rule of thumb is to stay on for the full season — after they’ve pushed through tough practices and gotten to know their teammates — then reevaluate.

They’ve hit a wall

Nobody likes losing, but for some kids, the prospect of not coming out on top can be reason enough to want to throw in the towel. “Children who tend to be quitters in general when life just doesn’t go their way should be encouraged stick it out,” writes Pearlman. “Some kids struggle with losing or not being the best or most valuable player. Their inclination may be to pooh-pooh the league, coach or other players right before begging to drop out. These kids need to be pushed to persevere through less than ideal circumstances. That’s when growth happens.”

They’re super competitive

Writes family coach Dr. Catherine Pearlman: “For some children, starting something new brings on a tsunami of fear and anxiety. It doesn’t matter how much they want to do it or if it was their own idea. The anxiety of a new social situation or of the requirements of the activity can be overwhelming… Quitting for the anxious child can become a way of life if she is never taught how to manage distress… Provide support during the class as needed. With each successful stressful situation the child conquers, strength and resiliency are bolstered for the future.”

They’re generally anxious about starting anything new

Kids should stick it out when…

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It’s OK to quit when… 

They’ve given it their all

“If a child is begging to quit an activity that he previously devoted a good deal of time and effort to but is no longer interested in, let it go,” advises Pearlman. After all, they’ve fully experienced the activity, and initial nerves are no longer at play. “There is no value in demanding a child continue with piano or Taekwondo just because you’ve invested seven years.”

They are consistently miserable

Protesting before gymnastics every third week when she knows her buddies will be at the playground is one thing. Having predictable night-before meltdowns about it is another. “Sometimes being on the team [or in the class] causes undue stress on the child or family,” writes Pearlman. “When the strain outweighs the joy, drop out.”

It’s not the right fit

Some kids were not built to swim the butterfly stroke, but kick butt at chess. When the child and the activity are out of sync, there is self-knowledge to be gained by bowing out gracefully. “The notion that persistence is essential for success and happiness is deeply embedded in popular and scientific writings,” write researchers in a study for Psychological Science. “However, when people are faced with situations in which they cannot realize a key life goal, the most adaptive response for mental and physical health may be to disengage from that goal… In some contexts, persistence may actually undermine well-being and good health.” Parents’ Renee Bacher asks a simple, clarifying question: “Does the activity seem to build your child’s self-confidence — or does it tear it down?”

 

 

This article was written by PureWow from Huffington Post and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

4 Ways to Raise Siblings Who Love Each Other

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Siblings who fight a lot gain surprising advantages, from thicker skins to sharper negotiating skills. Plus, “Savvy parents know that a conflict-free relationship between siblings is not the same as a close-knit relationship,” writes Chicago Tribune parenting columnist Heidi Stevens. The goal is to have kids who love as hard as they battle. Here, four tips for raising lifelong best friends who share everything—including you.

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Fight smart in front of them

When parents handle conflict and anger with each other in a healthy, respectful way, they are modeling how their kids should face off. If you slam doors, hurl insults or, um, actual household items, it’s a safe bet they’ll mimic you the next time someone pushes their buttons. Added incentive to hit above the (emotional) belt? Kids cannot keep secrets. Ask anyone who’s died a little inside while her kid told the dentist how Mommy threw her egg sandwich at Daddy.

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When in doubt, let them work it out

Unless your kids’ fights are about to enter the realm of bloodshed or bullying, or they’re stuck in a pattern where an older child seems to always dominate a younger one, give them a minute before you get involved. Per experts, siblings’ fights are valuable opportunities for growth. Hair-trigger intervention only perpetuates their reliance on you as a referee. Also, stepping in may mean taking sides—a surefire way to stir up sibling rivalry. “It can be more difficult to hang back and observe emotional situations than to try to solve problems for your kids on the spot,” writes parenting expert Michelle Woo, citing research on how kids in Germany and Japan become self-reliant by problem-solving amongst themselves. “[What kids] need is consistent guidance, a place to explore their feelings, a model of kindness. What they probably don’t need is a referee monitoring every single play.” As Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, told NPR: “One of the most profound effects siblings have on you is that area of conflict resolution skills, that area of relationship formation and maintenance.” 

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Or don’t! Try this instead

A growing number of psychologists and educators swears by a conflict resolution method called Restorative Circles. You step in at the start of a fight and ask your kids to take a deep breath and sit down with you calmly in a circle. (Obviously, for screaming banshee fights, separation and soothing come first.) For just a few minutes, each child gets a chance to speak their grievance (You ask: “What do you want your brother to know?”), and the other child(ren) is asked to interpret what they’ve just heard (“What did you hear your sister saying?”). Then you go back to the first child (“Is that what you meant?”) until a mutual understanding is reached/all kids feel heard. Then everyone brainstorms ideas to find an agreeable solution.

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The family that plays together, stays together

Even—especially—if your kids are like oil and water, or more than a few years apart, it can be tempting to let them lead separate lives. Try not to. Choose toys that appeal to all age groups (Marry us, Bristle Blocks!), group activities on weekends or family vacations, and require them to show up for each other’s games or recitals. No matter how much they fight, research shows reason to be optimistic. “About 10, 15 percent of sibling relationships truly are so toxic that they’re irreparable,” says Kluger. “But 85 percent are anywhere from fixable to terrific.” After all, he notes: “Our parents leave us too soon, our spouses and our kids come along too late…Siblings are the longest relationships we’ll ever have in our lives.”

 

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.