Parents, Your Kids Want You To Talk about This!

Family Meal with Teens
You Can Talk about Values with Your Kids!

If parents fear talking with their kids about right and wrong, they make a big mistake. Our expert blogger and expert author, Michael Sabbeth is both a teacher and a lawyer. He will share his classroom discussions and advice from children that will help you today. The following is from his book, The Good, The Bad, and the Difference: How to Talk with Your Children about Values.

Why Parents Avoid Talking about Right and Wrong with Their Children:

"Speaking to our children about right and wrong should be easy. We parents are more experienced, more educated and generally, more verbal than our children. Wise words should flow to angelic children like warmed honey from a jar. Yet, as Gershwin wrote in 'Porgy and Bess,' it ain't necessarily so. Indeed, many parents look forward to talking about this topic with the enthusiasm the tooth has for the drill."

 Kids Want Parents to Guild Them about Right and Wrong:

"Teaching right from wrong is the foundation for teaching children to live virtuously. I've learned that children are hungry for this guidance. They value it. They want to talk about it. They respect the good that their parents do; helping fix a stranger's flat tire, saving a drowing child, volunteering at a batter women's shelter, and they want to be like them.

How Parents Teach Right from Wrong:

Parents teach right from wrong by their actions, of course, and that is probably the most powerful and effective method of teaching. But they also teach by their words.

For example, Sarah, a first grader in my class in 1990, said, with pride piggy-backing on every word:

"You sit down for dinner with your mom and dad and they teach you what is right."

Max, a fifth grader, eloquently echoed Sarah's words when he told me that he loved "learning how to help humanity."

I asked where his love came from."It comes from my parents," he replied, his unscheming eyes glittering. "My parents talk to me if I've done something wrong or if I've made a mistake and they tell me what is right."

I've never met a parent who didn't want to talk with their children about right and wrong.

One mom's comment is typical: It's my job to raise moral children. It's a matter of pride. It gives me satisfaction to know I am doing a good job. My children reflect upon me." pp. 11-12.


Let's give, Michael Sabbeth a BIG HAND for sharing the importance of discussing right and wrong with our children. I look forward to blogging more about his advice with you. Helping kids build character and hearing how they think will be a joy. 

Michael SabbethApplause_18229118

His book, The Good, The Bad, and The Difference: How to Talk to Your Children about Values is available at

Connect with Michael Sabbeth and hear him speak at
Sit back, relax, and share your thoughts about this blog post or your suggestions for talking about right and wrong with your kids. Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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What A Father Wrote to His Son about Blame and Forgiveness

 Father and Son
How a Father and Son Deal with Blame and Forgiveness

If you're a dad and want to talk about blame and forgiveness, read this letter from a father to his son. Our expert author and expert blogger, Jamie Bohnett shares how he recognized a "protruding plank" in his own eye. This is from his book, Letters to My Son.

The Protruding Plank ~ Blaming Others 

Dear Son,

I just wrote on Facebook that, "There are two things that I hate to experience when I am driving:

1. People who tailgate me and

2. When I tailgate people and they slow down.

I'm sure you get the point. It is easy to be critical of others and be completely blind to our own wrong attitude or behavior. I wonder why it is so easy to blame others (whom I can't control) while denying my own responsibility (which I can control).

Sometimes I get upset at how kids today fail to take personal responsibility. But I need to take a look at the log in my own eye.

1. What have I modeled?

2. When I am wrong, do I always humbly ask for forgiveness?

I believe I usually do eventually, but it isn't my first natural response, that's for sure. I believe this is part of our fallen condition, son.

For years I have spoken to men and this is one area where we as men have some poor role models from our fathers. Very few men have fathers who showed them how to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness when they were wrong. It is a generational curse of stubborn pride.

Son, please forgive me for all of the times when I have been your "speck inspector," while ignoring the protruding plank sticking out of my own eye! I know I have done this and I am so sorry.

In humble need of your forgiveness,


Jamie Bohnett

Let's APPLAUDJamie Bohnett for sharing his letter and how to ask forgiveness when we need to. You'll find his book, Letters To My Son on

     Cover Letters to my sonApplause_18229118


Sit back, relax, then share your thoughts about this blog post or your suggestions for a letter you might like to write to your child. Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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10 Signs: Does Your Child Have a Learning Disorder?

 Boy studying
 Could Your Child Having a Learning Disorder?

Parents, if your child has a learning disorder, you need to recognize the signs. Expert blogger, Carol Watson, is sharing 10 Early Signs Your Child May Have a Learning Disorder. Does your child display these signs?

"In most cases learning disabilities won’t be identified in children until after they’ve been attending school for several years. Even then, the indications aren’t always obvious and consequently don’t present themselves clearly apart from formal training. Nevertheless there are some signs that parents can look for if they suspect that their child does indeed suffer from a learning disorder. Here is a list of ten such signs:

  1. Family History – For starters, a parent can identify risk based on heredity. Has there been a history of learning disabilities or congenital diseases which can lead or contribute to a learning disability?
  2. Substance Abuse by Parents – If either of the parents has had in the past or currently has a substance abuse problem, there is a higher risk of a learning disability in the child, particularly if the mother’s abuse continued through her pregnancy.
  3. Motor Skills – If a child shows slow development of gross motor skills (such as walking or standing), or small motor skills (like toes or fingers), this can be a precursor to a learning disability. Watch for these indicators during the first 6 months, particularly in combination with other developmental delays such as …
  4. Cognitive Skills – A child’s ability to recognize faces and retain information, such as repeating a phrase that he or she may have learned once already. An inability to learn skills typical for the child’s age may suggest an LD.
  5. Speech/Language – A child may display some difficulty expressing herself, or have a hard time understanding or recognizing letters or numbers. A doctor exam can isolate many of these cognitive difficulties and eliminate other possibilities such as hearing or vision problems.
  6. Poor Concentration – Although it is a separate issue entirely, ADD often is accompanied by a learning disorder and must be diagnosed separately. Yet a child who is dealing with a learning disability will frequently become distracted out of frustration.
  7. Delayed Speech – On the one hand, the child may begin speaking at a later age than should be expected; then there is delayed or faltering speech, in which the child struggles with correct pronunciation and the ability to express a thought clearly.
  8. Poor Retention – The child, for instance, may be able to follow along with a bedtime fairy tale reading quite well, but then not be able to discuss it in much depth afterward. Inability to recall information that was recently taught or shared is another potential warning sign.
  9. Difficulty Following Direction – A child with an LD might not be able to take simple instructions to complete a task. Bear in mind that most children with an LD have average or above average IQ’s, but simply lack the ability to readily apply it for some reason.
  10. Reading Comprehension– It is often difficult for a child with a learning disability to discern words, characters or be able to read effectively. Depending on the age of the child and the amount of schooling he’s received, reading ability can be a determining sign of an LD.

It’s important to point out that no one indicator is definitive proof that a child is suffering from a learning disorder. There are any number of other possibilities to consider as well. Only through careful observation and professional examination can a child be accurately diagnosed with a learning disability."


We appreciate Carol Watson for bringing us this post. Connect with her at: National Nannies.

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for understanding  whether children have learning disorders? Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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10 Strategies: Teaching Kids To Be Grateful or Else!

Ungrateful Child

10 Strategies for Teaching Kids to Be Grateful

If you’d like 10 strategies for teaching kids to be grateful when they’re not, read these suggestions from Roxanne Porter. As our expert blogger, she’s sharing the article, “10 Ways to Handle an Ungrateful Child.” Which strategies do you like the best? Are there some you disagree with?

“10 Ways to Handle an Ungrateful Child”

“Jimmy Kimmel had his viewers give their kids yucky gifts and get video of their responses. The results were hilarious! Some children seem to have some pretty lofty expectations when it comes to getting gifts and can be less than gracious when they don’t get what they want.

Unfortunately, commercial advertising has greatly contributed to these high expectations especially during the Christmas season. How do parents deal with a kid who doesn’t appreciate the gifts they receive? Here are 10 ways to handle an ungrateful child.

1. Define gift – The first step a parent should consider is to define the meaning of gift to the child. Let him/her know that a present is not something they’re entitled to receive, but rather something given freely without expectation of reward. Explain that showing gratitude and hiding any disappointment is the least he/she could do.

2. Lesson in manners – This would be a good time for a teachable moment. Children need to learn what is and isn’t sociably acceptable behavior. A little lesson in proper manners would be in order by explaining what the proper response to receiving a gift should be.

3. Give gifts to charity – If your child is ungrateful for his/her gifts, go ahead and give them to your local charity. Make sure to take the child along when you do this and explain that there are plenty of less fortunate kids who would appreciate them.

4. Ignore it – If this is the first time this happens, especially if the gift is less than thrilling, you may just want to ignore the situation. Young children don’t have the ability to hide their feelings until they have the maturity to learn what is expected of them.

5. Return gifts – Of course, if your child really doesn’t like the present, you can just take it back. If you are the one who gave the gift, just keep the money or put it in the child’s saving account.

6. Exchange gifts – If it really was a disappointing gift, perhaps you can have the child exchange it for something else they like. Since this is common practice for adults, kids may as well learn how the process works.

7. Guilt – If this ingratitude becomes a repetitive problem, maybe a little guilt trip would be in order. Kids need to know that there are other children who are far less fortunate than they are who don’t get any gifts at all.

8. Shame – If guilt doesn’t work perhaps a little shame would be in order. Ask your child how he/she would feel if you didn’t like something they gave to you or someone else. Putting the shoe on the other foot may help them realize why ingratitude is not acceptable.

9. Threaten – If all else fails, you can always threaten to withhold any gifts on the next occasion. Remember, this will only work if you follow through. It may be a difficult thing to do, but empty threats won’t work.

10. Laugh– On the other hand, you can take a cue from the Jimmy Kimmel videos and just laugh. It’s not the end of the world if kids are unappreciative. You only need to be concerned if this behavior becomes a pattern or if your child has unrealistic expectations.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into a trap and let your kids make you feel guilty yourself. Parents can get themselves into financial trouble trying to fulfill their children’s unrealistic expectations. Kids need to know that they can’t expect to get everything they want. Even if you can afford it, it’s not healthy for children to expect their every wish to be fulfilled. There are always disappointments in life and children need to learn to deal with it eventually. A level headed approach plus a little humor can help diffuse an unpleasant situation and help your child learn the real meaning of giving.”


Let's THANK Roxanne Porter for sharing this fine article.

Please connect with Roxanne Porter at


What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for raising grateful children? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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10 Methods for Teaching Your Children to Argue with Logic


Brother and Sister
 Teaching Kids to Argue with Logic

If you’d like 10 methods to help your children think and argue with logic, you must read this. Maureen Denard, our expert blogger, brought us 10 Ways to Teach Your Child to Argue Logically. Which ones have you already taught? Are their some methods you’d rather not teach? Read and find out.

“10 Ways to Teach Your Child to Argue Logically”

“Developmentally children of a younger age will never be able to argue logically.  However, kids will learn what works and what doesn’t.  Trying to teach them how to argue logically will help them in school debate as well as every other public office where they might have to argue their point.  It will probably even save you a few gray hairs in the process.  Check out 10 ways to teach your child to argue logically.

1. Explain what logic means

Start out by explaining what it means to be logical.  Give examples where you say, “I want chocolate cake for breakfast because it looks good”.  Or a more logical argument would be to say, “Chocolate cake is a great breakfast food item because it contains eggs that are protein and milk that’s dairy.” 

2. Catch them being illogical

The kids are fighting in the backseat of the car because your youngest son thinks his older brother is hogging the backseat.  You ask your younger son to try to persuade his brother to move over.  He says, “I can’t he’s just a hog”.  So you then say, “So your argument is that you deserve more space in the backseat because your brother is a hog?”  Once you show them what they are saying they will start to see how they aren’t being logical.

3. Teach by showing

During an argument listen to what they are saying and then ask them to make their case.  Repeat what they are saying and point out the holes in their logic.  Then show them how they could make a stronger argument.

4. Define the difference between fighting and arguing

When you ‘fight’ you make contact with the other person be it with your body or with some sort of weapon.  Tell them you will not tolerate fighting, but arguing is okay.  If you argue you need to keep your voice down and make logical points as to why you are right and the other person is wrong.

5. Show them how persuasion plays a role

When arguing your point you need to be persuasive.  To be persuasive you have to be conscious of the person’s point of view and explain why you believe your way to be better while not insulting the other person’s view point.  Point out facts that will logically show your way is superior to their way.

6. Be sympathetic

Let your child know that sympathy is always a great tool to use in an argument.  Making statements like, “I understand you like to watch Sponge Bob and I enjoy him too, but the season finale of Witches of Waverly Place is on and it’s not a re-run.”  Using instances like this that they will understand will help to further their learning process.

7. Explain what it means to win an argument

Some children will just use force to get their way.  Tell your child that winning an argument means that they have successfully changed their opponent’s mind so that now they agree with them.  If they get their way by hitting their opponent ask them if they think they changed that person’s mind.  If the answer is no, then they didn’t win the argument.

8. Reward them when they are logical

Once your child learns how to argue logically you need to let them win on occasion.  If your child comes to you and explains that they would like to have a dog because owning a dog will teach them to be more responsible, give them exercise by walking the dog and will save you from having to entertain them because they will play with the dog, they have made a very good argument.  It’s persuasive, it’s logical, and it shows sympathy for your time spent entertaining them.  If you can’t do a dog try to let them have another pet that will achieve the same results.

9. Dock them when they aren’t logical

There will still be times when they come crying to you or they start yelling at their sibling.  When you need to play referee, you need to side with the child that isn’t breaking the rules of good arguing.  Make sure you let them know that they didn’t get to have their way because they yelled, hit, or drug up some nasty drama from the past.  You can call it ‘hitting below the belt’ or ‘strikes’ or ‘fouls’.  Whatever you decide to use will be fine.

10. Help them see the big picture

If you are watching something on TV you can ask the kids to point out whether that argument is persuasive or not.  Did that commercial convince you that you need to buy that toy? 

You’ll be surprised how good your kids get at being persuasive and arguing logically.  While it will help them throughout their lives keep in mind that it will also mean that you will probably lose more arguments than you win.  And that’s okay.”


Let's THANK Maureen Denard for bringing this article to us.

Connect with Maureen Denard at Find a Nanny


What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for teach your kids to argue logically? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Strong Discipline: 10 Benefits for Kids

Mom disciplining
  Strong Discipline Has Benefits for Kids

Strong Discipline doesn’t mean abusive discipline. It means something that great parents already do. Our guest blogger, Carol Watson, shares 10 Reasons Strong Discipline Is Important for Kids. When you find out her reasons and you'll see why great parents already follow them.

“10 Reasons Strong Discipline Is Important for Kids"

"To be clear when I refer to strong discipline I do not mean any type of corporal punishment.  Kids when I was growing up could be disciplined by any adult that saw them doing something wrong. 

If you were bad at school you were sent to the principal to get a spanking.  And they usually used a paddle to do the spanking.  If your neighbor saw you and your brother fighting outside they could come and grab you both by the ear and give you a stern talking to. 

Times have changed and it has gone in the opposite direction.  Now parents are afraid to punish their child for fear someone will turn them in for abuse.  A teacher wouldn’t dare lay a finger on your child for fear you’d sue them.  Kids are getting away with everything these days and we’re not doing them any favors by letting them run roughshod over us.  Check out 10 reasons strong discipline is important for kids.

1. Kids Need Limits

It’s part of growing up to push the limits.  If there are no limits to push then the kid just goes crazy. While the child may not realize that they need limits they do.  They need to know what time they are supposed to be home, when they are supposed to go to bed, and how much they should be snacking.  Without limits kids are just adrift.

2. Disciplined Kids Grow Up To Do Better in School 

There will be certain expectations put on your child when they go to school.  If your child has had little to no discipline at home then it will come as quite a shock to them when they are expected to sit in a room and learn all day.  Kids that already know discipline will be better able to adapt and they will do better in school.

3. It Lets Them Know You Care

If you are too busy doing your own thing to discipline your child what makes you think they will have any respect for you?  Will they feel like you don’t care about them because you can’t be bothered to show up and act like a parent.  If disciplining is done in a positive loving manner kids will know that you care about them when you discipline.

4. Allows Kids to Know They Have Control Over Their Actions

When there are limits set and consequences for their actions then kids will have the tools to make decisions that affect their lives.  They will have control over whether they get in trouble or not.  When you discipline it’s important to be consistent so kids can count on what will happen if they do something wrong.

5. Teaches Cause and Effect  

When kids know that there will be consequences for their actions this teaches them that they decide what happens.  If they don’t do their homework then they will lose privileges to play with their friends or to play on the computer.  They choose their behavior and therefore they choose their punishment.

6. Responsibility

Kids will be more responsible if there are clear expectations.  When you let your child know how you expect them to behave then that is passing along wisdom from you.  Knowing how to follow the rules will make them more responsible adults.

7. Accountability

When your child is held accountable for their actions then that makes them be more accountable in life.  If you aren’t giving 100% on the soccer field and you find yourself on the bench, you will learn that you need to be accountable to yourself and to your team.  If not, then you will find yourself sitting out of the fun.

8. Sets boundaries

All discipline sets boundaries of what kids should and should not do.  Should you hit your sister in the head with a bat because she said something that made you mad?  No, and if you do you will be punished. 

If something was said then it needs to be discussed in a cool and rational manner.  No violence needs to ensue.  You do not go into the street because you could get run over.  Boundaries can be physical, monetary or emotional.  If you set boundaries for them they will be able to set them for themselves in the future.

9. Mutual Respect

If you are clear in what you expect from your child and you are clear about what the penalty will be for not obeying then you are showing respect for your child.  That child will also respect you in the long run.

10. Strong Moral Compass

Your child will develop a strong moral compass as long as you share your morals with them.  Let them know what is right and wrong and how you expect them to act and behave.  When they know that and then do it they will develop character and strong morals.”

Let's APPLAUD Carol Watson for sharing this well-thought out post. To be a great parent, we now know what to do about discipline.


To connect with Carol Watson go to National Nannies

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for disciplining children? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Character Problems: 10 Signs Your Kids Are Poor Sports

 Help Your Poor Sport Become a  Good Sport!

If your child is a poor loser, this could be a signal that he's developing a character problem you'll need to turn around.  You'll know for sure when you read what Abby Nelson, our expert blogger, says in the post, 10 Ways to Tell Your Child Is a Poor Loser. Let's find out what she lists.

10 Signs Your Child Is a Poor Sport

Part of growing up is learning how to deal with adversity. It happens and, like it or not, we can’t always give out trophies to each of life’s participants. How a child handles losing is related to how they view competition, themselves and their peers. When too much emphasis is placed on winning, and self-esteem is too closely linked to whether they win or lose, a child can have difficulty accepting defeat.

The following are ten ways to tell if your child is a poor loser:

1. Sulking: She will sulk or storm off if things don’t go her way. Losing is not something that she handles in stride. She may stay upset or sulky the rest of the day, or even longer. Giving into this behavior is the first step to a spoiled child.

2. No winners: As a form of the old taking-my-marbles-and going-home pattern, he will leave when losing, taking the ball (or other key game object) with him. The message here is “If I can’t win, then no one else can either”.

3. Fits: Your child cries or throws tantrums when faced with losing. Up to a certain age, it’s understandable for a toddler to express disappointment in such ways; but if it goes on too long, Houston, we’ve got a problem.

4. Avoid: The child has a general tendency to avoid admitting mistakes. It may be that she’s gotten the message that being wrong, or failing, means being a failure. It is important for children to learn how to learn from their mistakes, not deny that they make any.

5. Cheat: A child for whom losing is not a viable option may be willing to cheat in order to avoid it. Going out of turn, changing the rules mid-game, etc. If the child continues to play unfairly, they will soon be playing alone.

6. Excuses: Excuse making is another trait common among children who can’t accept failure. Claims of unfairness or favoritism are often part of the mix. Children should be taught not to blame others for failure.

7. Gloating: Gloating or ridiculing others when she wins is often the flip side of poor losing skills. Winning with aplomb is as important as losing gracefully. Remind the child to treat others as they would want to be treated.

8. Shame: Another manifestation of poor losing is shame. When a child believes that their worth as a person is determined by whether they win or lose, then losing means having less worth. Assure your children that losing doesn’t change how you, or others, feel about them.

9. Anger: Aggressive behavior, even outright violence, is exhibited by children who can’t deal with losing. A win-at-all-costs mentality drives the child to extreme behavior. Make sure the child knows that this is unacceptable and teach them more constructive ways of dealing with failure.

10. Change: A child might repetitively switch activities, ostensibly in search of some recreational pursuit in which they can claim victory every time; or conversely, they may shy from all competitive pursuits, to avoid the trauma of losing altogether.

No matter what tactic the child chooses, they need to be taught how to deal with failure just as much as they are taught how to deal with success. No one is perfect, and we all fail at times. Learning from your mistakes is one of the cornerstones of maturity. Help children realize that failure is just another learning experience.

Let's THANK Abby Nelson for bringing this information to us. If kids grow up being poor losers, they may develop a character problem that's difficult to turn around. That's why parents must work with children to make positive changes.

Connect with Abby Nelson 


Parents, it's your turn to take the microphone:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping parents deal with kids who are poor losers? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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10 Causes of Hyperactivity in Your Kids

Girl in lining with funny face
  Hyperactivity in Children Gets Attention!

If you have hyper active kids you'll want to read what our guest blogger has to say. It's from her article 10 Reasons Your Child is Always Hyper. Find out if your child is hyper so you can decide what to do about it. 

Learn 10 Causes of Hyperactivity

Do you have hyperactive kids?  Sometimes kids are just being kids and people are too quick to label them as hyper or having ADD or ADHD.  There’s a lot more to the ADD and ADHD than being hyper.  There are many reasons why kids can become hyper.  Check out 10 reasons your child is always hyper.

1. Food dyes:  There’s been a recent study in the UK where food dyes in drinks and snacks have been linked to a higher likelihood of hyperactivity.  Specific dyes mentions were FD&C Blue 1 and 2, FD&C Green 3, Orange B, FD&C Red 3, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Yellow 5 and 6.  Avoiding artificial colors in your child’s foods may decrease the occurrences of hyperactivity.

2. Preservatives:  Food preservatives were looked at in combination with the artificial colors so studies say it’s hard to determine if preservatives alone cause hyperactivity in children, but recommendations have been made to reduce or try to eliminate preservatives from your child’s diet if they are always hyper.

3. Sugar: While studies cannot confirm a solid link between the consumption of sugar and hyperactivity the average teacher can.  If kids are given sugary snacks in the morning to celebrate a birthday they are louder and less focused for the rest of the day. The body turns sugars into carbs which fuel the body and give us energy.  Certain kids are more sensitive to the effects of sugar than others.

4. Overstimulation: In babies we know that overstimulation may cause them to cry inconsolably.  In older children overstimulation comes out in tantrums, aggressive behavior toward others and hyperactivity.  Hyperactive children tend to get into more fights with their peers and have trouble coping with situations on the playground.

5. Excessive television watching: It seems like television watching gets blamed for everything.  Teens go on killing rampages because they watched too much violence on TV; we have a generation of overweight kids now because of too much television, etc.  Now hyperactivity is also being linked.  Watching TV is a sedentary activity and children that are prone to hyperactivity should have an active lifestyle in order to help get rid of their extra energy.  Watching TV is not active and therefore should be limited to an hour a day according to experts for those children that are prone to hyperactivity.

6. High thyroid levels:  The thyroid controls your metabolism by producing hormones.  If you have hyperthyroidism that means your thyroid is producing too many of these hormones and your metabolism is going faster than it should.  People with this condition often have trouble with being too thin.  I’m sure many of us wish we had this problem, but it can be quite serious in children.  One side effect of hyperthyroidism is hyperactivity.

7. Lead poisoning: The effects of lead on the brain have been studied for years.  Lead poisoning is the leading environmental hazard threatening children today.  Low levels of lead poisoning can cause hyperactivity, low IQ, learning disabilities and aggressive behavior.

8. Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant and can have the effect of making a child hyper or the opposite effect of making them sleepy.  In kids with ADD caffeine has actually been shown to help calm the kids and make them more focused.  However, if your child has not been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD the stimulants will likely result in a more energetic and squirmy child.  It is important to note that caffeine does not affect some children at all.

9. Food allergies: Not all children respond to food allergies with hyperactivity, but some have been recorded.  Food allergies that have been noted to cause hyperactivity are eggs, milk, wheat, soy and fish.  To truly know, your child must be diagnosed by a professional, but hyperactivity may be a symptom of something as easy to solve as diet.

 10. Stress:  High stress situations for kids can cause them to freak out and want to move around.  It’s a common response for kids.  It’s kind of the fight or flight response to a stressful situation.  They don’t know what to do to ease the stress and they just want to get away from it.  They will get up and move around and fidget in their seats.  These actions are indicative of a hyper child, but they are really triggered by stress.  If you can determine what is stressing that student out and help them through it the hyper behavior should take care of itself without further treatment.

Let's give THANKS to Nanny Flower for researching and writing this helpful article. May it help you to understand if your child is hyper and what to do about it.

Please connect with Nanny Flower.

Parents, it's your turn to take the microphone:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping parents of hyperactive kids? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting Advice: Helping Children with Grief from an Expert Therapist!

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      Parents Can Help a Child Grieve

If you need parenting advice about helping your child deal with grief, stay right here. Our guest blogger, Carolyn Healy, is both a therapist and a writer. Let's learn from her wisdom in her article, Helping Your Child Grieve.

"Some basics of helping children to grieve are well-understood:

Let them see you cry, and tell them that it is normal.

It gives them permission to express emotion when they need to. And it lets them know that they don’t need to hold theirs in to help you.

Communicate clear and realistic messages.

“Grandma died.” “Her body stopped working.”  “It cannot be fixed.”

Avoid confusing statements like “She’s gone away,” or “She’s sleeping,” or “She’s gone on a trip far away.” Children are concrete thinkers and will misunderstand those references.

Watch how you portray God.

Instead of implicating God in the disappearance of a loved one, as in “God needed her so he called her home,” promote him as a source of comfort and help, if you so believe.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your child, and encourage him to do the same.

Find out what your child knows about death, and about the terms you are using to explain the death.

Your conversations may need to be repeated again and again as your child grows in understanding. You may still be talking about this periodically for years, as kids need to reprocess their grief as they move through developmental stages.

Others are less well-known:

Kids are masters of intermittent grieving.

They may seem in the depths one minute, and then ready to dash out to play the next. It is as if they have a circuit breaker that saves them from overload. Be assured that this is normal. 

Kids will often believe that they are responsible for the death of a loved one.

Since they naturally believe that they are the center of the universe, they overestimate their power, and their responsibility. They can imagine that anything they did wrong could be the reason for a loved one’s death.

Grief is not one-size-fits-all. For children as well as adults, there are wide ranges of emotion, as well as different styles of grieving.

Everyone has an individual grief footprint. Avoid imposing outside constructs like stages of grief or expectations about timing. Expect siblings to grieve differently from each other.

It is important to involve children in story-telling about the deceased, and in rituals of remembrance.  

But judge carefully how and when to carry this out. There is no rule about whether a child should attend a wake or funeral. Let other rituals emerge over time.


Let's applaud Carolyn Healey for her deep knowledge and excellent advice about childhood grieving.

Carolyn Healy           Applause_18229118
Carolyn Healy, MSW

Please connect with Carolyn at  Waves of Grief   Read her 10 secrets of grieving on her website. So helpful!


Parents, it's your turn to take the microphone:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your child grieve?  Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my FREE Parenting Newsletter and receive 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids and 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate.

****** If you liked this article, please send it to your social media sites below.

Rock Climbing for Kids: Building Character, Confidence,and Self-Esteem

  Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing Builds Character, Confidence, and Self-Esteem

 Character, confidence and self-esteem are what we all want for all our kids. But I bet you didn’t think that rock climbing could be a key. Our guest blogger today, Jess Spate, is a former climbing instructor and a dedicated outdoor enthusiast. She knows what rock climbing can do for kids. Maybe she’ll convince you to put your kids on the wall.

What Physical Activity Suits Your Child?

Every parent wants their children to be fit and active but team sports aren't for everyone. Some kids love football, basketball, and baseball and others don't- sometimes it's very easy for less confident kids to feel out of place or pressured on sports teams. However, that doesn't mean they can't find a physical activity that suits them.

Why You Might Consider Rock Climbing

Indoor rock climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Most major cities now have at least one climbing gym, and some have a dozen or more. Almost all welcome kids as young as five and offer expert instruction to beginners. Despite being a little scary at first, indoor climbing is actually a very safe sport. There is always a rope ready to support a beginner climber. They're incredibly strong (you could suspend a small car with a standard 10mm climbing rope) and a little bit stretchy so even the tiniest fall is cushioned.

How Rock Climbing Brings a Sense of Achievement

Indoor climbing can be more than just a healthy workout. When you start out, the improvement rate is terrific. But the end of their first session almost all beginners start to see that they are capable of things that seemed impossible just a couple of hours ago. Every climb brings a sense of achievement even if you only got a little higher than you did last time.

How Instructors Deal with Nervous Kids

Most qualified indoor climbing instructors are well used to dealing with nervous children (and nervous adults!). They won't pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do. Instead, you'll start off easy and low, and gradually expand your comfort zone.

How Beginner Rock Climbing Parents Encourage Their Children

Being afraid is part of the package but it's not such a bad thing. In fact, climbing with your kids gives you the chance to provide a fantastic example. They'll see that you're nervous but having a go anyway. If you can laugh at yourself when you don't succeed, have a rest, and try again, you'll be showing them something incredibly important.

How the Family Encourages Character, Confidence, and Self-Esteem

Climbing is also a great activity for families with kids of different ages. It's cool enough to get any teenager interested, and while one person climbs the rest of the family can encourage them on. For the young and shy there is nothing quite encouragement from older brothers and sisters, and it never takes long for the cheering to start in a family group. Older kids will see that doing things with their little siblings can be really exciting.


Let's give a BIG HAND to Jesse Spate for her great post. She writes for Appalachian Outdoors when not climbing either indoors or outside on real rock.


Appalachian Outdoors   for your sports equipment!


Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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