ARTICLES

Kids don’t come with a manual.

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Want to Nurture Your Children’s Strengths? Start with Your Weaknesses

Opening up about your weaknesses with your kids can be the key to their success and a better relationship with them. by J'Nel Wright If you are looking for directions, don’t ask me. I have a horrible sense of direction. Just recently, my brother finally broke the news to me that my two favorite convenience stores ...
1 week ago
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Mental Illness Diagnosis? It can actually be a chance to grow closer as a family

Our family has learned, by taking time for self-care, offering balanced support, building a support network, considering family therapy, and learning to communicate effectively, the changes that accompany mental illness can bring your family closer together. by Grace Hansen I grew up in a family where half of us experienced major depression, and we all ...
1 week ago
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Peck, Peck, Peck: Managing Fights in Your Household

If a chicken gets a little cut on its leg, the other birds will start pecking at the wound. They’ll peck until the wound gets bigger and bigger. So, what do we do if there's "pecking" going on between our kids? by Jessica Eyre When I was in fourth grade, we got a new student ...
1 week ago
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Apples and Oranges: How to Appreciate and Manage Differences in Your Marriage

By seeking understanding, trying new things together, and learning to recognize solvable issues, you can appreciate the differences you and your spouse have without becoming paralyzed by them. by Isabella Markert When I got the invitation to my recent high school reunion, I hesitated. I texted one of my best friends from high school to ...
1 week ago
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From Mother to Mother-on-Law

How to avoid a tense relationship with your new daughter-in-law.  by Jessica Eyre The mother-in-law in pop culture is a meddling nightmare, someone to be managed or even feared. At best, they’re some nut to be tolerated when you can’t avoid it. “Whenever someone says ‘mother-in-law,’ I don’t know, it just seems mean or something,” ...
1 week ago
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Blending Adults

Tips to help ease tensions when blending two families—even if the kids are grown. by Isabella Markert There were 30 of us staying at that beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We spanned four generations, from an 80-year-old great-grandmother to nine children under the age of five. This was the first time my ...
1 week ago
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How to Get Kids to Own their Consequences without Looking Like the Bad Guy

Strategies for creating and enforcing rules with your kids that work.  by Jessica Eyre The beginning of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is iconic. Harrison Ford spends a good twenty minutes sneaking through a booby-trapped cave, switching a bag of sand for a priceless relic, and high-tailing it out of there ...
2 weeks ago
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The Best Ways to Multitask as a Parent When You’re Behind the Wheel

Here are some great ways you can use all that car time for getting closer to your kids. I’m not a terrible driver. But I’m not a great driver. I’d call myself something like... a conscientious bad driver. I tend to drive too close and too fast (cruise control is my best friend). I’d rather ...
2 weeks ago
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It’s not Easy Eating Green: Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Five ways to get your children to actually eat something healthy.  Any parent will tell you that getting kids to eat salad and other green veggies—or, if I’m talking about my own kids, anything outside of cheese quesadillas and chicken nuggets—is 75 percent of parenting. The other 25 percent is spent dealing with gross things ...
2 weeks ago
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Tactics for Catching a Few More Zs in the Morning When you have Kids

Four strategies for getting more sleep because with kids even 30 minutes more can do wonders.  I kicked my daughter in the face. Not on purpose, mind you. Nor for any reason that would require calling child services. So before you let your imagination run wild, here’s the story: My beautiful, wonderful, four-year-old girl, bless ...
2 weeks ago
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Make Your Next Family Photo Shoot Something to Enjoy, Not Just Survive

If the phrase, "Let's take a photo!" strikes fear into your heart, then here are some methods that just might make family photos actually fun.  Looking through my wedding photos for the first time was thrilling until I made it to the group shots. Maybe a third-party observer wouldn’t notice, but I sure did: my ...
2 weeks ago
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You’re a Liar, but It’s Probably OK

We talk about Santa like we talk about Mickey Mouse. The difference is only one of those is real. Right, kids? My dad broke the news to me when I was almost eight. We were driving along in the snow, next to a golf course, and out of nowhere he leans over and says:   ...
4 weeks ago
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I’m Offended that You’re Offended that People Are Offended

Once upon a time, in 1944, a married couple was hosting a party and wanted to perform something to entertain their guests. So they wrote a song, a duet that musically acted out an evening that was regretfully coming to an end. I'm certain they never imagined the controversy the song would cause 70 years ...
1 month ago
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Whose Is Better? How to Blend Family Traditions as a Newlywed Couple

Traditions can be a touchy subject, especially for newlyweds. When I first married my husband, there was an awkward period of figuring out how to celebrate the holidays together. Most of our family traditions didn’t match, making it a game of deciding whose traditions were better. For example, Valentine’s Day for my family meant wearing ...
1 month ago
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Gift Guide to Foster Conversation Between You and Your Teen

Ways you can give your teen the gift of a stronger family this holiday season and throughout the year.  The Christmas wish lists of teenagers through the ages may not be exactly the same. Today’s teens are likely asking for their own smartphone or headphones and other high-end electronics, while teenagers in past decades might ...
1 month ago
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Who’s Santa?

Celebrating your culture while respecting another’s Just before Thanksgiving, my 4-year-old son said something to me that stopped me in my tracks. “If I’m naughty, Santa won’t come,” he said matter-of-factly. Now, many reading this are probably thinking, what’s so startling about that? But as a Jewish mother raising a Jewish family, this statement was ...
1 month ago
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Conversations: Family Traditions

Families gather to discuss the things that matter most to them, including holiday traditions. Three generations of a Seattle, Washington-based family recently did just that while making plans for the current holiday season. Family matriarch Mable, her son Todd, daughter-in-law Kate and grandson Nathaniel also served up a few funny memories amidst their sprawling meal. ...
1 month ago
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Holiday Traditions Bridging a Painful Divide

A 3,000-mile separation can’t compete with the family rituals keeping together our ten sons and daughters this Christmas. I always knew that traditions could create bridges between generations, but this year I learned they can also bridge difficulty and distance. My wife Lisa and I have never been apart for more than a week since ...
2 months ago
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The Refuge of Holiday Family Traditions

Within the walls of our homes, we can create a sense of belonging that binds family members through tradition and our inevitable nostalgia for it.  Is anyone surprised that the coziest holidays, the ones centered around the hearth and home (and a dinner table supersized with extension leaves) all take place when the outside world ...
2 months ago
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Turning Pint-Sized Protégés into Mentors

Mastering fearlessness begins by teaching it to someone else. When my two sons, then aged eight and ten, sat down with me for our family movie night they had big hopes we’d be watching a superhero movie. Of course, this genre wasn’t yet entirely on the menu for guys their age—many action films are too ...
2 months ago
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Bullies Among Us

It isn’t just schoolyard thugs threatening our kids’ self-esteem and safety. Learning to recognize triggers that create bullies and their targets can help parents manage both. While there are days we’re tempted to enlist bodyguards to protect our children from the mean kid at school, we can actually do more for our sons and daughters ...
2 months ago
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Conversations: Bullying from the kids’ perspective

Families gather in all kinds of communities to talk about things that matter most to them and recently, the three Cortez sisters spoke candidly about bullying. Growing up in Presidio, Texas and now Nogales, Arizona, the sisters are currently in high school (Maria), middle school (Luisa) and elementary (Frida). Maria, 15: I think bullies would ...
2 months ago
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Making Imposter Syndrome Work For You

Turns out it’s easier to be a good parent than to feel like one. But it appears there are benefits to reasonable self-doubt, and some of the most impressive moms and dads know why. At any given moment we’re all fairly certain we’ll be found out—right? That the parenting police will finally reveal just how ...
2 months ago
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FEARless

How fear can keep us from being happy parents and raising happy children—and the ways we’re managing to reclaim both. Shouldn’t we be happier now that we have kids? According to a growing number of sociological studies, we’re…ummm, we’re not. Wait, what? Don’t we tend to smugly compare ourselves to our childless friends and just ...
2 months ago
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How Perfectly Imperfect People Fit Together in Our Home

If my ex-husband and I can remain close friends, maybe we can teach our boys to do likewise. My sons were in the midst of a typical sibling squabble when I finally voiced my version of every parent’s biggest anxiety. “Treat him better than this! He’ll be around when your dad and I are long gone.” ...
2 months ago
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Inspiring Gratitude

The holidays are a perfect time to teach our kids the power of gratitude and its capacity to make us happier. We’re now in the midst of the gratitude season, the weeks between Thanksgiving and the holidays when so many gifts and kind acts are exchanged. What better time to boost our capacity for gratitude, ...
2 months ago
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Healthy Halloween Hacks

OK, this really is a fun holiday—creative and family-friendly—but it also tests our limits on just how much junk we’re going to let our kids consume in the process. We’ve got your back with a couple of healthy hacks for you and yours. PRE-GAME TACTICS: • Let’s fill up our kids with a big healthy ...
3 months ago
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Conversations: What Keeps You Up at Night as a Parent?

Parents gather in all kinds of communities to talk about things that matter most to them. Here we asked two moms and a dad what keeps them up at night as they think about their families. Jane: My kids, so far, are pretty confident and self-possessed, so my biggest fear isn’t that they’re heading toward ...
3 months ago
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Which Kind of Helicopter Parent Are You?

Helicopter parenting has emerged as a prominent parenting style among the last two generations of parents. Often this parenting pattern comes from an enthusiasm to give our kids the best childhood possible. But with the constant swooping-in-to-save-the-day comes the risk of denying our kids the learning experiences they need to become well-adjusted, independent adults. And ...
3 months ago
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Proven Strategies To Help Your Kids Manage Fear

Helping our children manage their fears can be a complex task. And with every kid being different, no one strategy fits all. We put together this list of 10 strategies and 6 books to get your kids facing and conquering their fears: Strategies • Find examples of kids being brave in books or films and ...
3 months ago
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Cultivating Grit

Parents can turn obstacles into opportunities by teaching their kids to trust them, and themselves, enough to do likewise. My mother taught me to look adversity straight in the eye and give it a wink—and it didn’t happen in a conversation, or through some elaborate plan devised to coach me in resilience. I learned to ...
3 months ago
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Conversations: How Do You Handle Parenting Imposter Syndrome?

Parents gather in all kinds of communities to talk about things that matter most to them. Here, three moms discuss the widespread parenting anxiety of feeling like a fraud. Jessica I’ve heard people use the term “Imposter Syndrome” at work but when we use it for parenting, it seems to be more about pride vs ...
3 months ago
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Grounding Our Inner Helicopter Parent

Our best parenting starts when we stop trying to control our kids and begin to control ourselves. An overabundance of enthusiasm: this is not the worst thing we could ever be accused of as parents. But we are…and in increasing numbers. Much of that zeal helps us become more involved and vigilant in our kids’ ...
3 months ago
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The Great Pretender

Fake it ‘til you make it takes on new meaning when you become a parent. I first felt it on the day I headed down the hospital’s maternity corridor toward the newborns room: saturation-level imposter syndrome. In the two days prior, someone had always ceremoniously handed me my newborn while I lay below florescent lights ...
3 months ago
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Being Brave Together

We all want fearless kids, right? Little people who can jump off high dives, check under their own beds for monsters, and brave their way through Halloween night. So how do we help them build up the resilience they’re going to need to do just that? by Kristina Stewart Ward Developing our kids’ internal compass ...
3 months ago
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Conversations: How have you helped children manage fear?

We reached out to a variety of people and asked them how they have helped children manager fear. Here are a few of their stories. What I learned was to always, always, keep my promises, because broken promises were the markers of their earlier life. Instinctively, I knew that my two foster children would handle ...
3 months ago