Promoting Gratitude in Kids: Random Acts of Kindness

gratitude in kids random acts of kindness

Here in the northern hemisphere, many of us are hunkering down on colder days, upping the comfort food, and tentatively peeking out our windows for the first signs of winter. Hibernating sounds like a perfectly reasonable plan. (Good thinkin’, bears.) And with stores everywhere commercializing the upcoming holidays, many of our kiddos are starting to […]

Halloween and Food Allergies: Fostering Childhood Resilience

When my daughter was three years old, I didn’t think anything about fostering childhood resilience when it came to Halloween. For some reason that’s unbeknownst to me, she decided that what people do with Halloween candy is…donate it. Who was I to argue with her thoughtful idea? So, for the past two years, we’ve gathered […]

Counting to Three: A Positive Parenting Version

Many kids have an inherent panic response when Mom or Dad starts counting, “1…2…3…”—the three most fearsome numbers of childhood. Although the consequences differ from household to household, counting is often code for imminent trouble. Peaceful, positive parenting can change that. Rather than counting to three as a threat (suggesting punishment that’s rarely effective anyway), […]

Emotional Intelligence: Conflict Resolution for Kids

Executive Function

Most kids have inherently good negotiation skills. Pull out a chocolate bar and tell kids to divide it up for themselves, and you’ll find quick proof of that. When it comes to conflict resolution and self-regulation, however, many adults wonder whether children possess the emotional intelligence and executive functioning skills to navigate that territory. As […]

What Makes a Child Happy: Four Ways to Connect

How to Make a Child Feel Loved and Valued

“Today is my birthday,” Jenny* whispered in a class I help teach, clearly feeling proud. I asked if it would be alright if the class sang her the “happy birthday” song, and she nodded eagerly. So, wanting to help this child feel happy, loved, and valued everywhere she went that day, we gave her lots of […]

Highly Sensitive Person Parenting Strategies

Empathic and Highly Sensitive Person

The empathic Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) may be relatively new as a namesake, but certainly not as a concept. Some of us are just wired a bit differently than most others, be it from nature or nurture (although in this case, science argues for both). And with nature to thank—not to blame, but to thank—those of […]

The Introverted Child: Supporting with Love

Introverted Child

I was always a highly introverted child. It showed. For instance, when I was in high school, I learned that for my dance group’s upcoming graduation dinner, the other dancers selected me to receive the spoof award for being the “Most Reserved.” Knowing how much I despised being called by a “label” like this one, […]

Sharing and Taking Turns: Supporting Your Kids

Sharing on their own terms works

In the dance class I’ve written about before and that I help teach, the kids sometimes use colorful scarves as props during freestyle dancing. It’s really fun to watch them swirl and twirl, unless you’re watching littlest Julianne*, where you wonder how long it’ll take her to accidentally wrap up her feet and wipe out. The less […]

Family and Holidays: 6 Ways to Find Joy

Holiday Stress and Joy

Trees and lights. Snow and sledding. Family and holidays. For many of us, these are naturally joyful pairs (trees and lights are especially exciting if you’re a toddler or a cat). Of course there’s the other side, too. Some people hold their breath and just hope for the best, especially if they’re spending the holidays with […]

Best Books for Kids to Build Self-Esteem and Confidence

It’s tough being a kid these days. Not that it was easy when we were little–the playground could be a pretty rough place for everyone, and definitely so for a highly sensitive soul like mine. For better or worse, social media didn’t exist yet; therefore, we couldn’t confirm or deny our social status. Compared to […]