Preparing Your Toddler to Become a Sibling

For over two and a half years, my son Lukas was the center of our world. From the moment we became new parents, he brought so much love to our lives and we adored our new role (even with all of parenting’s ups and downs). We knew that one day we would want to give Lukas a sibling, so we were thrilled to find out last winter that we were expecting another baby. My husband and I couldn’t wait to…

The Joys of Grandparenthood

We’re celebrating National Grandparents Day with our own Dr. Gloria Julius, vice president of education – and grandmother of Jordyn.   As my friends began having grandchildren, they all said, “Just wait, nothing in life compares to being a grandparent.” I really didn’t understand that magic and emotion until 10 p.m. on July 10, 2012 when I walked into the hospital maternity room and saw Jordyn locking eyes with her daddy as he held their new precious bundle in his…

Family-Friendly Flying this Summer

As someone who spends a lot of time in airports and on airplanes, I have been reminded in recent weeks that summer is clearly the time for family travel. Based on my own experiences and recent airport observations, I think it’s safe to say that family travel is an adventure that involves an entirely different skill set than traveling solo; and it involves quite a bit of planning! With so many of us taking to the family-friendly skies this summer,…

Hand Jive: Baby Sign Language at Home

For most kids, summertime is an excuse for intellectual sloth. Not for Bennett: He has been learning all summer long. Neuroscience tells us that young children are natural-born learners. In fact, something like 90% of our brain development occurs from birth to age five. School-aged children, by contrast, have to work at learning, which explains why they love summer break. Right now, Bennett's brain is developing at break-neck speed. It seems like he's doing something new every day. Case in…

Young Children and Touch Screens

The first five years of life are a time of remarkable growth for a child’s brain. Brain cells are forming connections–called synapses–more rapidly than at any other time in life. Synapses form when a child has new and repeated experiences. From the moment a child is born, he begins to explore his environment through his senses, constructing meaning about how things work and how people act. So it is not surprising that the environment in which a child grows up…

The Power of Play: Enhancing Parent-Child Relationships

Early childhood development experts call the span between ages 2-5 “The Play Years” for a very good reason. Play is essential to a young child’s mental, emotional and social development. Playing helps children explore and develop their sense of who they are in the world. It can also be a wonderful agent for enriching the parent-child relationship. For parents, play-time is a chance to observe and notice what's foremost in their child's heart and mind. By allowing for some playful time…

Potty Training Tales

I’ll have to go ahead and apologize if you were hoping this was going to be a “how to” or best practices for potty training your toddler, because this is not that article. I really wish it was, and that was my intention last December when I was planning out my articles for this year. My thought process was something like this: Lukas will be 2 and a half in May (totally old enough to potty train, right?). His little…

The Importance of Bike Helmets

Summer happens to be one of my favorite seasons–not just because it means plenty of time for sun, swimming, and long-anticipated vacations with the family, but because it’s a time when families seem to enjoy healthier lifestyles. If you’re like many families, you’ve found yourself spending more time out and about, enjoying the great outdoors with your family and becoming more physically active. And when it comes to getting active in the summertime, more often than not, bicycles are involved.…

Fostering the Seeds of Healthy Independence

There is nothing that makes me cringe more than when I hear a child say “I do it”, to which the parent replies “no let me do it for you”. Maybe this “fingernails on a chalkboard” response comes from living with five children—survival in my household requires some independence and initiative on everyone’s part! But, I get it. Watching your child struggle to accomplish the simplest of tasks can be excruciatingly painful, especially when you are pressed for time. I…
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