Category: Being Your Best Parent

Parents can't slow down time, but they can make family time count

My parents live in the suburbs and don't get to see our almost one-year-old son as often as they'd like. So my wife and I do our best to email them photos and updates so they can feel like they’re experiencing our boy’s growth each step of the way. Maybe we need to do a better job updating them because one of the first things my mom said about our son during a recent visit was: “He’s changing so much. You probably don’t even realize it.”

It took me a second to respond.

“Yeah, I gues...

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:35 PM by Matt Beardmore

Moms, you're the key to your daughters' positive body image

How do we equip girls with a positive body image? It’s a perennial question that doesn’t seem to fade no matter the advances of women in society. Articles in the press in recent years suggest that girls’ attitudes toward their bodies are most influenced by their mothers. While media messages, stereotypes and peer judgments may contribute to poor body image, mothers are their daughters' primary teacher when it comes to attitudes toward the body and physical appearance.

How do mothers in...

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM by Concentric Counseling

One simple exercise to help your kid with math homework

Your child might know what half a cookie is, but how about 4/8 of a pie, or 2/4 of a pizza? If your child knows that all of these fractions mean the same thing, she's well on her way to understanding equivalent fractions. But if fractions strike fear into your child during homework hour, here’s a hands-on way to help her understand how common fractions can be equivalent.

What you need:

8 ½ x11 plain white paper
Colored pencils
Lined notebook paper

What you do:

Begi...

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Your kid probably won't achieve your unfulfilled sports dreams

“Parents should be supportive. We can’t dictate to him what he can be and what he cannot be. So as a consequence, what we do is we participate with him in golf, and if it was bowling, we would participate with him in bowling. Each and every one of us has our own life to live. And he has a choice to live his life the way he wants to live his life.”

In this “That’s Incredible!” episode from the early ‘80s, the late Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, discussed the role he and his wife, K...

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 8:55 AM by Matt Beardmore

Your child's accomplishments shouldn't end with a Facebook post

*SPONSORED BY KUDOSWALL*

All parents have, at many points throughout their life, looked at their child and thought about all the great things they can become and all the amazing accomplishments they’ll complete. This is a universal sentiment that is incredibly unique to being a parent. There are other times when a different feeling hits you: that feeling of apprehension and uncertainty about the opportunities and resources you can provide. Is it enough? What are other parents doing? ...

Posted on March 30, 2017 at 10:28 AM

Help kids choose kindness and respect | NPNparents.org

It was a Sunday night, and we were settling in as a family to watch a Blackhawks game when the game broke away for a nightly news update. The newscaster mentioned a looming storm, a car accident on the Kennedy and showed a clip of the President-elect behind a podium. My five year old looked at the television, looked at me, and then asked me why the President-elect was yelling. And to be honest, I wasn’t really sure since there was so much yelling going on for months and months in the poli...

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 10:50 AM by Amanda Simkin

Is your child questioning sexuality or gender? | NPNparents.org

If your child starts to become attracted to someone of the same sex or wants to break away from typical gender expressions (e.g., a boy wearing a dress), you're probably wondering, Is this just a phase? Buckle up, because it’s not simple.

The answer is yes and no. Some children have a clear sense whether they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender from an early age and it never changes, while others might question and experiment with those identities only for a period of time. Most p...

Posted on March 07, 2017 at 10:18 AM by Concentric Counseling

Dads shouldn't get credit for showing up | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: sara*/Flickr

Exhausted, sweating, and questioning my travel attire (for some reason I thought jeans and a hooded sweatshirt would make the perfect Caribbean outfit), I just wanted to escape the customs line at Punta Cana International, find a bottled water and our seats on the shuttle, and then finally check in to the resort so the relaxing part of our four-day Dominican Republic vacation could begin.

With our then–8-month-old son taking in the sights from his comfy pe...

Posted on March 02, 2017 at 9:48 AM by Matt Beardmore

Help your boy express all of his emotions | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Morna Crites-Moore/Flickr

The causes or consequences of why boys aren’t seen as emotional would make for a long and lively debate, but for busy parents just looking for practical ways to improve young boys’ emotional IQ, here are some quick tips.

The best kind of care is preventative, and it’s useful to help boys explore emotions by starting with what they know. Look to the people they interact with daily—in person or in fantasy—as a way to discuss feelings. Bring up e...

Posted on January 31, 2017 at 2:26 PM by Concentric Counseling

To the parents addicted to their phones | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Christian Hornick/Flickr

My wife and I have been taking our 8-month-old son to swimming class for the past couple months, and each time we’ve gone, I’ve noticed something about the parents lounging in the deck chairs near the floor-to-roof glass wall that separates them from the pool. Most of them have their eyes locked on their phones instead of watching their kids in the water. It’s crossword puzzles, Gmail, CNN.com, games—you name it. I see it when we’re waiting to ent...

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM by Matt Beardmore