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Character traits

Do As I Do, Not As I Say!

by on May.19, 2016, under Adolescents, Behavior, Character traits, Communication, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Parent modeling, Parenting

“I’m going to punish you” admonished the 4 year old “mommy” to her 4 year old “daughter,” both children at play in the “Housekeeping Center” of their preschool classroom. That is my favorite place to observe kids at work, reenacting scenes from their lives. “Playing” out their real... Read more...
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Politicians Behaving Badly: Talking to Kids About the Election

by on Apr.13, 2016, under Adolescents, Behavior, Character traits, Communication, Elementary School Children, Learning, Parenting, Public Behavior

Kids of all ages are getting a whiff of election politics at its worst. It’s unavoidable. I'll bet you think I am going to say, “Shelter them! Turn off the radio, TV, computer.” Not this time. This 2016 presidential election (which seems interminable) is an opportunity. It is... Read more...
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Redirecting the Holiday Gimmes

by on Dec.18, 2014, under Brat-Proofing, Character traits, Communication, Expectations, Holidays, Parenting, Toddlers

Sugar Plum fairies and fa la la la la are not the only things that come with the winter holidays. So does a parent’s worst fear that she has raised the spoiled child she swore she would never have. At no other time of year do the... Read more...
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Empathy is a Two Way Street

by on Feb.10, 2014, under Adolescents, Behavior, Brat-Proofing, Character traits, Child development, Communication, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Expectations, Parent modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Toddlers

Cultivating empathy is a hot topic in the parenting world.  Current research has demonstrated that children under a year not only have the capacity for empathy but actually exhibit empathy. (Regarding infants:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/empathy-appears-in-infancy-varies-age-and-gender   Regarding toddlers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6krHsZA_w .) But parents, usually not educated to recognize and encourage this trait... Read more...
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Grandparents and Gift Giving: An Unspoken December Dilemma

by on Nov.19, 2013, under Behavior, Character traits, Child development, Communication, Elementary School Children, Holidays, Parent modeling, Parenting, Relationships

There is a dilemma that accompanies the winter holiday season that is rarely discussed out loud. It certainly is a topic that is dominating my parenting groups this month. That is, how do parents deal with grandparents who want to do as they please with their grandchildren... Read more...
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Knowing Your Child

by on Jun.01, 2013, under Behavior, Character traits, Child development, Elementary School Children, Expectations, Learning, Parenting

It isn’t usually until the fall that I begin to hear chatter about parents wanting their kids to find their passion, who are eager to enroll their kids in specialized, extra curricular classes.  I have already weighed in on this topic, kids finding passion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/betsy-brown-braun/finding-their-passion-rea_b_991621.html.   Eye roll. But... Read more...
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Circle the Wagons. How children learn to express empathy.

by on Apr.29, 2013, under Adolescents, Behavior, Character traits, Child development, Communication, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Expectations, Learning, Parent modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Sensitive Topics, Toddlers

Current research on the topic of empathy in children points to likelihood that infants as young as 6 months have the ability to demonstrate empathy.  Whether or how empathy develops as the child grows is a whole different story. Here we go again, nature vs nurture. A... Read more...
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How Will Your Kids Remember You?

by on Mar.11, 2013, under Adolescents, Attachment, Character traits, Communication, Elementary School Children, Parent modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Sensitive Topics

I’ve just returned from a funeral. A friend’s husband, father of five, died way before his time was up.   And it was a five Kleenex affair. My mirror neurons, the ones that make you match the emotions of others, were hard at work. (You know when someone yawns,... Read more...
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You Are Who You Are When No One is Looking

by on Sep.09, 2012, under Behavior, Character traits, Child development, Communication, Environmental influences, Expectations, Holidays, Learning, Parent modeling, Parenting, Toddlers

The mother unwrapped the straw, poked it into the little box, and handed the drink to her toddler as they walked out of the grocery store. The sliver of straw paper slipped from the mother’s hand. I doubt that she even noticed it. Rolling my grocery cart back... Read more...
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The Odd Life of Parents Who Laugh at Their Children

by on Aug.27, 2012, under Character traits, Child development, Communication, Environmental influences, Parent modeling, Parenting, Sensitive Topics

The viral video of the two boys emoting after seeing The Odd Life of Timothy Green made my blood boil. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aFV1r45sAQ  In the video two boys, perhaps 7 and 9 years old, are crying as they try to discuss the movie they had just seen, and the... Read more...
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