What a tiny gratitude can do

What are you grateful for this holiday season? Family, friends, health, life? Think smaller. Like about this very moment. Right now, in this moment, might you be grateful that your shirt feels smooth instead of scratchy against your skin? Or that your home is warm? Or that your mom still makes green-bean casserole for dinner? If you notice and […]

How can I get my child to play independently?

Q. My daughter (age 2 1/2) is very ‘full on’ for want of a better term. I’m a stay-at-home mum, and from the moment we get up till the moment she goes to bed, she demands constant attention all day. She doesn’t play by herself and always asks me to play with her … which of course […]

How do I let go and let my toddler make a mess?

Q. I grew up in a home where I was never allowed to be messy. My grandmother or mother always quickly cleaned up everything in anger. I don’t want to be that kind of parent! I don’t want my child constantly caught up in my anxiety. My daughter is 14 months. She loves to rearrange things […]

Will I create a spoiled kid if I give in to the tantrum?

Raise your hand if you can relate to this question from K.G.! Oh, everyone? Excellent. Q. I made grilled chicken breasts and cut it up for my nearly 3-year-old — who then had a fit because he wanted a big piece. And this trivial little thing made me really uncertain about what to do. Do I refuse to […]

4 ways to handle minor toddler falls

Last week my 3-year-old fell off the swing and face-planted on the ground. She laid there for a second, and I got down next to her. She wasn’t crying, so I said, “What do you see?” “My necklace,” she replied, and she got rather interested in checking out its detail. “Interesting blades of grass there, too,” […]

When your kid hits another kid (what to say in the moment)

It’s the worst feeling: your kid hits another kid (or bites or embeds fingernails in or otherwise mauls another kid) during a play date. You make sure the other kid is OK, and now you turn to yours. The pressure’s on: the kid’s parent is looking at you, or pretending not to look at you. You […]

Grandma’s brain benefits from babysitting

Does grandma get to see your baby regularly? Grandmothers who take care of their grandchildren once a week, a small study showed, may be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Why? Consider a story in Atul Gawande’s excellent book Being Mortal. He tells of seniors shuffling the halls in a nursing home, looking lifeless–until an idealistic director breaks the rules and brings […]

How to get your kids to listen to you

Have you ever felt like you’re talking and talking, saying the same thing over and over, and just being flat-out ignored? This happened to me recently. My daughter’s shorts got muddy (we were camping), and I’d encouraged her to wash them in the water spigot (an object of immense fascination). As she began, I could tell she needed to […]

This is how you truly listen to an angry kid

My preschooler came out of her room and stomped once. I carried her back to bed. As I turned to leave, she called out: “When we were camping, C wanted to be alone and I kept at him, and he hurt me. He hit me first. I hit him second. Next time we go camping, I’m […]

Could you live without your TV?

The TV is gone from our living room. And it was my husband’s idea. He is a sports fan, so we’ll see how this goes. The plan is that he’ll walk down the street to a neighborhood bar to watch the occasional game. Or go at a friend’s house. That’s always sounded nicer to me than watching at home–more social, […]

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