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Environmental influences

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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5 Tips for Powering Up Your Parenting in the New Year

by on Dec.22, 2013, under Behavior, Communication, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Parent modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Toddlers

As the big hand creeps its way toward midnight, most people give at least a fleeting thought to New Year resolutions.  Those usually have to do with eating or exercise or a nagging behavior ripe for modification. And we all know how long those last: Not very. ... Read more...
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Kids in Restaurants, Part 2: Lousy Local Conditions

by on Jul.22, 2013, under Behavior, Brat-Proofing, Child development, Environmental influences, Expectations, Learning, Parent modeling, Parenting, Public Behavior, Toddlers

Kids in Restaurants, Part 2: Lousy Local Conditions On Friday I lunched with a colleague at a “grown up” restaurant. The atmosphere was quiet and refined.  Seated right next to us was a family of three—mother, father, and, in-between them, their adorable 18 month old child. We wouldn’t even... Read more...
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Kids in Restaurants?

by on Jul.17, 2013, under Behavior, Brat-Proofing, Child development, Communication, Discipline, Environmental influences, Expectations, Parent modeling, Parenting, Public Behavior, Toddlers

Our dinner at a local sushi restaurant was a bit earlier than we usually dine.  So I casually mentioned to my husband that we might overlap “family time” at the eatery.  But we decided that it wouldn’t be a problem; we both love kids.  Little did we... Read more...
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Fathering is Interactive

by on Jun.10, 2013, under Adolescents, Attachment, Communication, Environmental influences, Expectations, Learning, Parenting, Relationships

On a recent Saturday morning, my husband and I found ourselves at the local park, right in the middle of Little League play offs. Déjà vu!  It was thrilling to relive our now grown kids’ baseball days in the park—cheers echoing across the field, coaches calling out... Read more...
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Being Neighborly

by on May.15, 2013, under Communication, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Parenting, Public Behavior, Relationships, Safety, Sensitive Topics, Toddlers

Keeping your child safe, (also the name of a seminar I offer), is every parent’s top priority. And each time the internet explodes with news of another abuse to a child, parents are shaken to the core. Fear reverberates across the county, and we ask, “How did... 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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Talking to Kids (or NOT) About What Happened in Connecticut

by on Dec.15, 2012, under Adolescents, Communication, Environmental influences, Parent modeling, Parenting, Safety, School, Sensitive Topics

There are no good words to explain to anyone—let alone to kids—what happened at the elementary school in Connecticut this morning. The horrific incident is every parent’s worst nightmare, unfathomable and unspeakable. The air is heavy with the horror. The president of our country wept during his... Read more...
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Time Release Gifts

by on Dec.02, 2012, under Adolescents, Child development, Elementary School Children, Environmental influences, Expectations, Holidays, Parenting, Relationships, Toddlers

Chanukah is around the corner, and there are just three weeks until Christmas. The world is kicking into high gear for the holidays. It’s inescapable. The media, advertisers, merchants are targeting our children and us, pointing us towards their ultimate goal:  buy buy buy. It’s no wonder... 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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