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    A , Psychology, answered
    Experts find that parents who raise moral kids expect their kids to act morally, even demand that they do. Chances are that the kids will, simply because their parents require that they do. Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, chairman of the Center for Character Development, emphasizes that the best moral expectations are those that are high yet reachable and that are clearly communicated to kids. Once those expectations are set, parents must stick to them and not back down. Here are a few examples of moral expectations that other families count on all members to follow:  Honesty: Everyone in our family is always expected to be honest with one another.  Kindness: In this home, we will always treat one another kindly and act just as we would like to be treated by others.  Peacefulness: In this family, we talk calmly to one another and listen respectfully. We try to solve our conflicts peacefully and honestly.  Respect: We talk to one another respectfully with words that build each other up and don’t put each other down. We also honor and respect each other’s privacy and property.  Responsibility: Each of us shares a responsibility to make our home run smoothly. We all agree to do our chores to the best of our ability, and we finish our work before we play.  Effort: Everyone is expected to always do their personal best.  Perseverance: In this family, we don’t give up!
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Some children are quite resistant to shifts in activity. They become cognitively rigid and have trouble transitioning from one activity to the next. This can result in a tendency to become emotionally overwhelmed and melt down. How can you help your child to experience cognitive flexibility when facing new tasks? Follow the following steps:

    1. Prepare your child for the new task. Tell your child the what, when, how and who of the task. Get her used to the whole idea.

    2. Engage your child in creating the strategies to achieve and manage the new task. Ask your child what she thinks will help her achieve the task. Develop steps for achievement with your child’s ideas in mind.

    3. Review the steps to achieve the new task.

    4. Practice the new task with your child.

    5. Revise your words and actions based on how your child responds.
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    A , Psychology, answered

    The Seven Deadly parenting styles to be avoided are:

    Deadly Parenting Style 1: Helicopter Parenting
    Hovering over your kids, hurrying to smooth every one of life’s bumps.

    Deadly Parenting Style 2: Incubator “Hothouse” Parenting
    Pushing your kids into learning earlier than appropriate for their cognitive age and developmental level.

    Deadly Parenting Style 3: (Quick-Fix) Band-Aid Parenting
    Relying on fast solutions to temporarily fix a problem, instead of aiming for real, lasting change.

    Deadly Parenting Style 4: Buddy Parenting
    Placing popularity with your child above establishing limits, boundaries or saying no.

    Deadly Parenting Style 5: Accessory Parenting
    Measuring your worth and success as a parent based on your child’s accolades.

    Deadly Parenting Style 6: Paranoid Parenting
    Obsessively keeping your child safe from any physical or psychological harm.

    Deadly Parenting Style 7: Secondary Parenting
    Relinquishing your influence such that your children’s world is controlled more by outsiders-including corporations, marketers and the media.

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    A , Psychology, answered

    Teaching children how to communicate effectively is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Few skills increase their confidence, social competence and self-esteem more because kids use these skills in every area of their lives. The good news is that you can improve your child’s communication skills and here are ways to do so:

    Listen more attentively. Attentive listening keeps the lines of communication open so that your children always feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences with you. You discourage your kids from expression themselves when you cut them off, deny their feelings, lecture, order them, roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders, raise your eyebrows, frown, turn away, or shake your head.

    Help your children send and receive nonverbal messages. Sending and receiving nonverbal messages through body language enhances your child’s social and emotional competence. Often kids don’t listen to your words as much as they watch your posture, gestures, and facial expression, and hear the tone of your voice. Help children understand that their body posture, facial expression, and voice tone send messages and that if they don’t interpret or send nonverbal messages correctly, serious misunderstandings occur.

    Teach two critical skills-eyes contact and smiling. Using the skills of eye contact and smiling increases children’s social success. As you talk with your child, use eye contact. Whenever your child displays a great smile, point it out! By reinforcing these skills and modeling them regularly, your child will soon be smiling more and using eye contact. Hint: These two skills are the most commonly used traits of well-liked kids. They are also easy to teach!

    Make an emotion scrapbook. Collect pictures of facial expression in a scrapbook. Include the six basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, afraid, and disgusted. Now make a game of naming the emotions by asking, “How is this person feeling?” Help your child predict the body language and voice tone that would accompany each expression.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Thinking of having your child fly alone to visit someone or going off to camp this summer?
    I know from personal experience that there are hundreds of kids who fly alone and really do land in the right city. The parenting solution for this dilemma involves these five quick tests to help assess whether your kid is really ready to fly alone in the friendly skies.
    • Airline Test: Are you clear about the airline policy about unaccompanied minors? Do you know exactly what they will or won’t do for your child? Never make assumptions! (I’d still take a marking pen and boldly print my child’s destination on that hanging ticket pouch).
    • Responsibility Test: Is your kid responsible enough to fly without you? Can he or she spend a night away without a problem? Can he carry his backpack, cell phone and spending money on a field trip, play-date, or sleepover without losing them? Does he listen and follow directions? Your child’s age here isn’t nearly as important as his maturity level. I’ve met seven year olds who are far more responsible than many fourteen year olds.
    • Independence Test. Can he entertain himself for a few hours? Can he stay seated for the duration of a flight? Is he capable of asking an adult for help or to use the restroom? Can he be left alone the length of the flight time? Is he assertive enough to speak up and say he getting on is on the wrong plane? Does he feel secure about taking this jaunt?
    • Phone Test. It so happens I’m writing this blog as I’m flying home so I used the four hours as an opportunity to get the flight attendants’ perspective about unaccompanied minors. Their advice: Make sure your child has a cell phone with him, knows how to contact you or his designated pickup and use it in an emergency. Does your child have that skill down pat?
    • Gate Test. Can your child read his destination and gate number on an airline ticket? Can he also read the monitor that lists departures and arrivals and match those to his ticket?
    Even if you say, “Yes” to all five tests, your child still should have flown in your company until he feels comfortable flying. When changing planes is required, the scale of each of these five tests goes up a notch.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    There are dozens of ways to rethink the holidays so our kids can learn that the real spirit of the holidays is about giving not receiving.

    Start a family holiday journal. What about starting a family holiday journal? Just purchase a journal that is for writing down the family memories of the holiday season. Then bring out the journal each year to display and jot down memories.

    Once kids are tuned into the tradition they may begin to remind you to "add a memory" to the book. Encourage each child to sum up their best memory of the holiday by drawing, writing or pasting in a photo of the event. The key is to stress memories of the heart that they experienced -- not the gifts from the store that they received.

    Get grandparents on board. Pass on your "gimme less-family memories more" policy to grandparents. Suggest they give presents that will nurture their relationship with their grandkids such as a trip together, a digital camera to exchange pictures, or if they really want to splurge a computer loaded with Skype so they can set an appointment each week and talk.

    Nurture a child's strength, hobby or skill. Instead of giving a dozen items that end up in the closet, think of gifts that could nurture your child's strength or talent like a musical instrument, art materials, or horse-back riding lessons. Maybe your daughter wants to take up knitting -- then a basket with needles, yarn and a note from you or Grandma promising to teach her how to knit is a perfect gift. Maybe your son is interested in guitar -- then give a coupon for a few lessons.

    Be a charitable family -- reach out! Find a needy family your kids can "adopt" for the season and buy presents for; bake an extra batch of cookies for the lonely neighbor next door; or go caroling to a nursing home. Hands-on experiences in giving help kids discover a sense of compassion and caring. It can also become a fabulous family holiday tradition.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    The most powerful impact technology overuse has is on interpersonal relationships.

    Interpersonal skills may deteriorate during childhood and adolescence if children are not given the opportunity to develop and practice these skills with others. Children learn how to interact with others, monitor reactions from peers and alter their behavior from their social experiences. Feedback from face-to-face engagement largely comes in the form of nonverbal cues (facial expressions, posture). In the online world children do not have those cues to help them determine which of their actions are productive (leads to more friendships and genuine connections) or unproductive (which leads difficulty making friends and connecting with others).

    Common interpersonal relationship problems include:
    • Poor communication skills
    • Focus on online friends versus offline friends
    • Disintegration of friendships
    • Inability to disengage from technology
    • Withdrawal from family
    • Increased time spent alone
    • Social awkwardness
    Excerpted from the iBook Unplug: Raising Kids In a Technology Addicted World by Lisa K. Strohman, J.D., Ph.D. Copyright © 2015 Lisa Strohman, J.D., Ph.D., Melissa Westendorf, J.D., Ph.D. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Here are some parenting practices that help teach your child empathy:
    • To teach kids empathy, you must show kids empathy.
    • Show the impact empathy has on others so your child understands it's important.
    • If you want your child to feel for others demand your child to feel for others.
    • Provide opportunities for your child to experience different perspectives and views.
    • Experiencing different perspectives helps enable children to empathize with the needs and views of others.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    A certain type of parenting is key to the success of unschooling. I’m convinced that in the end, the success of unschooling usually depends more on the parents than on the kids. Here are a few parent reality checks to determine if unschooling will work for your child and family.
    • Financial check. Unschooling is an expense and will cut into some of your income. Can you afford the extra expenses that are required to be solely responsible for your child’s education? Also, do you have access to the type of resources needed to unschool your child (museums, mentors, libraries, trade centers, networks, etc.)?
    • Kid check. Do you know your child well enough to understand his unique learning styles, interests, talents and weaknesses? Is this the type of learning environment your child needs to thrive? Does unschooling create the more self-reliant, inner-motivated, creative child or the more entitled me-operating child? 
    • Self-check. Are you competent and confident you will succeed in unschooling? Are you willing to put in an enormous amount of work and commitment? Do you have the personality to pull this off? Can you be a facilitator instead of a teacher? If you have any doubts, you may want to begin with a less radical approach -- homeschooling -- or do a trial run of unschooling with your family during the summer.
    • Belief check. Unschooling involves giving your child freedom to learn what he wants to learn at his own pace. Do you agree with that belief and could you do so without micromanaging your child? Have you checked with other parents who unschool? Can you let go of developmental milestones and educational guidelines and not compare your child’s performance and ability to other kids? Might unschooling limit your child’s education so he ends up knowing a lot about dinosaurs and Roman history but misses the Civil War and Jane Eyre? Will the unschooling approach close a door that could have led to an exciting endeavor in science, medicine or technology but because he wasn’t exposed he’s not aware?
    • Family Check. Large chunks of time and personal resources are involved in unschooling. Is your family (spouse, siblings) ready for this full-time learning venture? Are you comfortable spending enormous amounts of time on this cooperative learning venture with your child? Do you have a stable family or community support to help your kids flourish? Do you have enormous patience to be with your kids day in and day out?
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    You’ll want to start getting them adjusted to the new sleep schedule early, so they’re not shocked on the first day. It can be tough to just force them to go to bed earlier, so focus on the mornings at first. Wake them up 15 to 30 minutes earlier every morning for several days until they’re used to their school-day wake-up time. They’ll be sleepy at night, and this will help them accept the earlier bedtime.
    To make bedtime easier, establish a good, consistent sleep routine:
    • Depending on the child’s age, this could include a bath, reading a story and then lights out, for example.
    • Turn off movies and TV before the bedtime routine, and keep all kinds of screens (TV, computer, tablet, phone) out of your child’s bedroom.
    • And make sure they get plenty of physical activity during the day. 
    Children’s sleep needs depend on their age. For elementary-school kids, the recommendation is 10 to 11 hours each night. Tweens need about 9 to 10 hours, and teens 8 to 9.