Answers to Some Tough Parenting Questions, by Joan Stein Jenkins, Esq.

Answers to Some Tough Parenting Questions, by Joan Stein Jenkins, Esq.

The first thing every parent needs to remember is that none of us is perfect. These questions are hard and none of us is always spot on. But I think that there are a few critical ground rules to bear in mind that can help us with these difficult conversations. Why these rules? Well, they are the same principles I apply every time I meet someone really in need, and, after decades of practice, I’ve found them to be pretty effective.

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Improving Mental Health Through Spreading Kindness, Part I

Improving Mental Health Through Spreading Kindness, Part I

Can kindness really make a difference? The experts believe it can. According to NAMI, kindness promotes compassion, empathy, closeness, gratitude and a sense of community—which are all qualities needed to help combat mental health disorders. Psychotherapy and medications are also necessary but therapists advocate for positive environments with a strong support system in order to be successful in recovery.

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The Families Connected Parent Chat: Supporting Us so We Can Help Our Youth Thrive

The Families Connected Parent Chat: Supporting Us so We Can Help Our Youth Thrive

Now two years in, the Parent Chat is going strong with an average of 10 - 16 parents and caregivers joining us each week. Topics range from sharing concerns and strategies around helping our kids manage screen time, to supporting kids struggling with anxiety, or depression, or substance use… It’s a long list. No matter what the topic, we strive to ensure that everyone is heard and supported. And that they are not alone.

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Stumbling but Determined: Talking with My Own Boys About Sexual Health & Consent, Kelly Hendrickson, R.N.

Stumbling but Determined: Talking with My Own Boys About Sexual Health & Consent, Kelly Hendrickson, R.N.

As a health care provider working in reproductive health for 23 years, I am surprised at how difficult it is for me to discuss sexual health and sexuality with my boys. Even with access to current research, professional mentors, clinical practice and Google, I find myself floundering to adopt the right approach.

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It's Time for a Cyber Safety Tune-Up, by Clayton Cranford

It's Time for a Cyber Safety Tune-Up, by Clayton Cranford

Kids are back in school. Maybe your child, or their classmates, have a brand new phone. At the beginning of every school year, there tends to be a lot of bullying and other problematic behavior happening online. For this reason, at the beginning of every school year, I suggest parents do a cyber safety tune-up of their child's digital safety. Whether you have already done some of the suggestions below, or you are new to your child's digital world, cyber safety is an on-going conversation and these issues deserve our attention. As parents, we need to stay engaged in our children's lives and the digital world is a big part of it.

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Vaping - Facts for Teens, by Laura Short McIntire

Vaping - Facts for Teens, by Laura Short McIntire

How can parents and schools combat this trend? For one thing, we can connect our students with the real facts about the chemicals and nicotine that are in most e-cigarettes and in JUULs, a popular stealth vape device. Edutopia reported that a recent survey by the Truth Initiative found that 63 percent of 15- to 24-year-old previous 30-day users surveyed did not know that vapor pods, which come in hundreds of kid-friendly flavors like gummy worms, cotton candy, and unicorn puke, contain highly addictive nicotine—a single pod containing 200 puffs can have just as much as a pack of Marlboros or Camels. 

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Summer: Time to Unplug and Reconnect, by Laura Short McIntire

Summer: Time to Unplug and Reconnect, by Laura Short McIntire

As parents or caregivers, we all want to enjoy a meaningful connection with our kids. Interestingly, research now provides proof that maintaining and nurturing this bond is one of the most significant protective factors when it comes to our children's long-term social and emotional wellness. According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, “The single most common factor for children who develop resilience (the ability to overcome serious hardship) is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.”

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The Power of Relationships, by Jennifer Elledge (Barber), MPH, CHES

The Power of Relationships, by Jennifer Elledge (Barber), MPH, CHES

Growing up is getting harder and harder these days, and it’s happening a lot sooner than it once did. Parents want and need to talk to their kids about life topics like self-esteem and confidence, friendship, safety, peer pressure, sex, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and healthy relationships. We need to be sure to have meaningful conversations like these often and spend quality time together. As parents know, this is easier said than done. Below are some specific evidence-based reasons to try to establish a positive connection and meaningful communication with your teen, and strategies that will help you succeed. 

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