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 […]

Shopping with Kids: Supporting a Growth Mindset Among the Shiny Objects

Knowing her grandparents will soon be asking for gift ideas for our daughter, my husband and I decided to take our five year old window shopping today. As usual and as I’ve written about before, we began with the caveat that although we wouldn’t buy anything, we’d take pictures of what she likes so that […]

For Rules’ Sake: The Freedom in Letting Go

Although I was on the other side of the playground when it started, I suspect the conversation began something like this: “Hey, let’s see if you can throw the football so hard that it gets stuck in the tree!” Perhaps having never experienced the frustration of getting a ball stuck up high, this young boy […]

Understanding Children’s Behavior: One Simple Idea

Every week, I help teach a dance class. And every week for the past three months, six-year-old Lexi (not her real name) has had to be first in line when the children await their dance props (scarves and whatnot). When it’s time to line up, she’ll push other kids out of the way to get the prime spot. […]