gentle parenting

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), …

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positive parenting

What Is Gentle Parenting — and What Isn’t It?

I’ve had it with gentle parenting. To clarify, I’m still giving children love, respect, and a whole lot of grace as they learn to navigate this thing called life. More than ever, I see the value of positive parenting not only in my own child, but also in those with whom I interact regularly. I’m …

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Who Plants the Flowers?

Ever since I learned to stand on my own two feet, I’ve been walking up and down a particular hill in the city where I was born. This hill, which happens to be on a university campus, is one of my special places in life. I now live thousands of miles from it, but anytime …

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Reframing the Terrible Twos

The “terrible twos” have a reputation, even among non-parents. The moniker has become so commonplace that at just the very mention of a second birthday, well-meaning friends reference the possibility of impending doom, as if the milestone is going to summon something akin to a year-long root canal. Is it warranted, though? As a positive …

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Bedtime routine

Bedtime Stories & How I Accidentally Made our Bedtime Routine Easier

Bedtime stories: and how I accidentally made our bedtime routine easier. Some of the best things were invented accidentally: chocolate chip cookies, the Slinky, and even pacemakers, for example. (Wow!) One special night during our standard bedtime routine, I accidentally invented a magical pillowcase. My then- four-year-old child was nestling down after her bedtime story, …

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Positive parenting

When Positive Parenting Works: The Power of a Hug

In positive parenting, the power of a hug is some of the best preventative medicine that exists for the adult-child relationship, even with children who aren’t our own. * A girl I’ll call Juniper, who was then two and a half years old, was standing with my child and me in the doorway just before …

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Executive Function

Emotional Intelligence: Conflict Resolution for Kids

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 …

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Sick Kid Survival Kit

Home Remedies for the Sick Kid: Our Survival Kit

After a week of my sick kid having what I thought was the common cold, I finally took her to the doctor to be sure it wasn’t strep throat or something more serious. She’d had a sore throat and a fever along with lots of other cold symptoms. She’d been happy enough to chill out …

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How to Make a Child Feel Loved and Valued

What Makes a Child Happy: Four Ways to Connect

“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 …

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Empathic and Highly Sensitive Person

Highly Sensitive Person Parenting Strategies

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 …

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