Archives for January 2012

Listen and Learn: Early Childhood Development Podcast Series

For those of us who gather useful information by listening, there are great podcast resources to check out for tips on parenting. Podcasts are nice because you can listen while doing something else, like cooking, nursing or folding laundry. With the right technology, we can even listen to a podcast in the car.

With this is mind, I have found a great podcast series that “addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers, such as: helping a baby learn to sleep through the night; dealing with a picky eater; and learning to set limits on children’s behavior.” The podcast series titled Little Kids, Big Minds is hosted by “Ann Pleshette Murphy, a past contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America Parenting Segment and Vice President of the ZERO TO THREE Board of Directors. Each podcast features an interview with an expert that focuses on how to apply the research of early childhood development to your daily interactions with your baby or toddler. ”

So next time you have a few minutes to listen to an informative and useful parenting podcast, check out the link above brought to you by Zero to Three.


Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem–A Parent’s Role

Self-esteem can be defined as feeling good about oneself. In other words self-esteem has more to do with how we feel about what we can do rather than what we actually can do. The ability to see oneself in high regard grows in childhood as a child experiences that s/he is valued.

In the Parenting Tip of the Week titled Instilling and Preserving Self-Esteem in Children, author Shari Steelsmith explains that “self-esteem is connected to two separate areas within a child. One is an inner core of trust that a baby develops by having her needs met routinely–a strong feeling of self-worth originates here. The second area is the child’s competency–when she is old enough, she becomes aware of herself as a person and judges her own abilities. Self-esteem is deeply entwined with her sense of self-worth and her sense of competency; both are critical to healthy self-esteem.” This is where parents come in.  “Parents can instill and encourage good self-esteem in their children by meeting their needs and by setting realistic expectations for their behavior.”  As parents there are things we can to to instill and nurture self esteem in our children from birth to adulthood. For age-appropriate self-esteem building guidelines that you can implement into your parenting style check out the article Instilling and Preserving Self-Esteem in Children, brought to you Parenting Press. “Copyright Parenting Press,, reprint by permission.”


Let’s Talk About Drinking

Traditionally, programs designed to help prevent underage drinking have advised us to talk with our children at specific ages or moments in their lives. But children of all ages can benefit from on-going honest discussions about alcohol. To have meaning, these conversations have to be relevant, and relevance can’t be scheduled.
In our lives as parents, there are windows of opportunity we can use to help strengthen our influence. Sometimes these windows open predictably, such as right after a school assembly about underage drinking. Sometimes they open when we least expect them. Perhaps we’re driving home after a holiday party at a relative’s house at which an aunt or uncle had too much to drink. Or there’s a story about alcohol on the news. Or our son or daughter is invited to his or her first party.

In these moments, when our children’s minds are thrown open, our guidance and advice can blow in naturally, without resistance. To preserve our influence, we have to be on the lookout for these opportunities, and when we spot them, we should seize the moment.

When that moment presents itself it is important to be there for our children to discuss issues around drinking and guide them toward making healthy decisions for themselves when the time comes. The Labatt website titled Family Talk About Drinking does a wonderful job supporting parents when it comes to discussing drinking with our children. The website introduces the 3 stages of parenting (parents as teachers, parents as facilitators, and parents as coaches) and how they each relate to our interactions with our children when it comes to issues of drinking. Additionally, the website provides short video vignettes that give concrete examples of conversations we can have with our children about drinking at each parenting stage.

To learn more about the role of parents at each stage and tips for talking with your child about drinking at each stage, check out the links below, brought to you by Labatt Family Talk.

*Parent as Teacher (ages 1-11)

*Parent as Facilitator (ages 12-17)

*Parent as Coach (ages 18-21)



Get Acquainted with Your Child’s Temperament

Temperament describes how a child approaches and reacts to the world. It is her personal “style.” In this blog post  you will find a link to information and tools for tuning in to children’s temperament, a key factor in understanding their behavior and the way they interact with others. Generally, there are five characteristics that describe an individual’s temperament:

  • Emotional intensity
  • Activity level
  • Frustration tolerance
  • Reaction to new people
  • Reaction to change

To read more about how to understand your child’s temperament and use that understanding to guide and support your child’s growth and development check out the online casino link to the casino article “Tips on Temperament” brought to you by Zero to Three.


Resolve to Build a Stronger Family in 2012

Before 2012 becomes too hectic for you and your family, take some time to reflect on the special things you do as a family unit. Are there things that you would like make more time for? Are there things that you would like to do differently? Are you looking for ways to enhance your family bonding? If so, then read on because your family is worth it.

The family is the basic social unit of society. It is in the family that we first learn to play, to share, to help and to love. Some families effectively prepare family members to be strong, contributing members of society; others do not.

All families have challenges and weaknesses. But some families use key strengths to grow and prosper. What makes some families effective and others ineffective? Years of research have found that strong families cultivate six characteristics.

1. have commitment

2. express appreciation

3.  spend time together

4. develop spirituality together

5. deal effectively with conflict,  stress, and crisis

6. have a rhythm

All families have room for improvement. All families have some strengths. By adding strengths to those you already have, you can make your family even stronger. For more details about the six characteristics of strong families and some great ideas for strengthening your family check out the link to the article: Family Life, The Family Journey, Characteristics of Strong Families brought to you by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Services.