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Keeping Your Kids Active with Sports

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

The Center for Disease Control estimates that the obesity rate of children in America is at least three times higher than it was in the 1970’s. This is not hard to understand. The world has become scarier, in that parents no longer let kids leave the house alone on their bike, go on unknown adventures all day, and come back at night. In addition to having less outdoor time, children have a plethora of electronic devices to ensure a sedentary lifestyle that did not exist prior to the 1990’s. In addition, kids are eating more and sleeping less. As parents, it is important to understand the negative impact that obesity and an inactive lifestyle can have on children’s current and future physical and emotional health. While we cannot go back …

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Reclaiming Family Dinners

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Teen addiction is a very real problem. Whether your child is binge drinking with friends, smoking, “vaping”, experimenting with K2, marijuana, or hard drugs, parents should be aware of the short and long-term effects that addiction poses on their children. It is a truly dangerous path to start down at a critical stage of their physical, social, and emotional development. In response to the risks of teen addiction, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse encourages parents to engage and spend time with their children in order to reduce the risks of substance abuse and other self-harming behaviors. Try Reinstating Family Dinners Parents are therefore encouraged to have dinner with their children. This is based on the common sense theory that when children spend more quality time with their …

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Your Childhood Experiences Impact Your Parenting

In Parenting by Carly Baker

Being a parent is hard. Even the best parent finds themselves in situations where they have regrets. Or at the very least, they say or do something to their child and wonder: where on Earth did that come from? For the good and bad we bring into our roles as parents, a big part how we act and react is informed by our childhood experiences. Consider the following aspects of your childhood: Relationships. From the time we are children, we model our interpersonal interactions and relationships on what we see from our parents, from family, from parents of friends, and even on television. Therefore, what we saw can be incredibly powerful, even if we don’t realize it as adults. For example, if we see our parents treat each other with …

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Teenagers and Child Custody

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

Working through the realities of child custody is challenging for any parent. Even with the most thoughtful, well-intentioned parenting plan agreement or child custody order, and co-parents who communicate well, our life circumstances evolve and our children age. In fact, as children of separated parents become teenagers, new custody challenges can arise that will challenge the best of us. Teenagers Have Their Own Lives A natural part of children’s development is that they are less and less dependent as they grow up. Long gone are the days when they were super-attached and always wanted to be around you. Now they have their friends, they start to date, they have school, they have extracurricular activities, and they have hobbies. In other words they are increasingly busy. Because of their social lives, …

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Parenting and Healthy Boundaries

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Family dynamics with your parents and other relatives can be incredibly complex. A lot of the parenting decisions and methods that your parents utilized or that you witnessed of extended family—for better or worse—have impacted who you are as an adult and how you raise your own children. When you have children, it can therefore be confusing as you try to balance your own values of how you want to parent your children, versus the unsolicited advice that you receive from your family and friends. When you are a new parent, you will probably experience the gravitational pull that young children seem to have on your parents, your siblings, and your extended family. This is natural as your kids are adorable. However, with this increased exposure and access to family …

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Appreciating Good Grandparents

In Parenting, Relationships by Carly Baker

Grandparents love their grandkids. Aside from all the spoiling and sugar-filled memories, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be a very meaningful and developmentally important relationship in a child’s life. If a healthy grandparent-grandchild relationship is something you are interested in fostering, consider some the following ways to acknowledge the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Let Them Spend Time Together As your parents age—especially if they retire—they tend to have more free time and an increasing need for help. There is a natural role reversal where you, who was once their dependent child, transition into more of a caretaker role as your parents become seniors. If there is a positive relationship, encourage your children to spend time with your parents. Let your children keep them company and be their helper for household …

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Making the Most of the End of Summer

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

As your children get older, it becomes painfully clear how fast time flies. This rings particularly true if you share custody of your children with their other parent—and therefore have a lot more limited time with them than you would like. And while many parents joke that they can’t wait for their kids to be back in school, most realize that these times are precious. Therefore, as summer comes to a close, it is really important to live in the moment and to make the most of the end of summer. Here are a few friendly suggestions to really make these last weeks count: Have a barbecue with all of your kids’ friends and their parents. Make it a potluck while you supply the meats for grilling. Buy a giant …

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What Say Do You Have Regarding Your Child’s Education?

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Your children’s education provides critical academic knowledge and socialization that really lays a foundation for their future success. As a parent, you take your child’s education very seriously, knowing that it is both an investment and an opportunity. Further, you understand that you have to advocate for your child and to help your child find the motivation to achieve academic success. When parents separate, the issue of education can be a very delicate one. First, parents often fight over who can have physical custody of the child, so the geographic location of the child’s school is a big deal. In addition, if your child has been in a school for a long time, then there is the factor of normalcy for the child and allowing them to stay at a …

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The “Summer Slide” and Proactive Parenting

In Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

The summer with your children can feature a combination of fun events interspersed between long bouts of monotony. Even if you have a daily routine and activities, or if the children are in summer camps, there are still hours of the day when they sit around watching television, playing videogames, or disappearing into their Instagram and social media personas. Simply put, during the summer, children’s minds miss out on the seven hours of school and the level of social interaction they have during the school year. The academic deterioration of what they learned throughout the year is sometimes referred to as the “summer slide”. In fact, research has shown that children’s math and reading skills are particularly hard hit during the summer months. Limiting the Summer Slide As parents, we …

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Blending Your Family: When Your Kids Have Different Moms

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

The tender years doctrine was a century-old legal principal that presumed children should be in their mother’s custody. That doctrine was replaced with the best interest of the child standard, which drops the maternal presumption and gives a trial court a broad scope what evidence it can consider when reaching its findings. As a result, fathers more frequently find themselves on the receiving end of custody or ample overnight visits with their children. It is therefore increasingly common for fathers to have opportunities at a blended family with children from prior relationships and children from their current relationship. These children get the chance to know each other, to grow up together, and to truly develop a sibling bond. As sibling relationships are the longest relationships we have in our lives, …