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Parenting

Behavior is communication: What your teenager is trying to tell you

Even though their bodies may look mature, a teenager’s brain is not.  They don’t always have the skills or ability to use words to describe what is going on internally.  Their prefrontal cortex isn’t done growing yet.  That’s the part of the brain where we can see long-range consequences, for example—something that teenagers are famously bad at.  But despite the [...]

Feel, Felt, Found

A mom recently shared with me a handy mnemonic that reminds you what to do when your child is having a strong emotional reaction. The process comes from the same philosophies that I follow and teach, but improves upon them by being simple and easy to remember! We know the most important thing to do when our child is [...]

Wallow with them!

credit: J. Sibiga Photography I love the word wallow.  It's fun to say, plus it reminds me of two totally separate things: self-pity, and pigs in mud.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the phrase used without one of those two things attached! Except, I often use the phrase at work in a way that is [...]

Are you going to let her get away with that?

True personal story: When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old, she got over-stimulated and grabbed an adult relative hard enough to cause pain. We pulled her off, apologized, went into another room and helped her calm down. About 20 minutes later, I apologized for my daughter's behavior again to my relative. Her response surprised me. She said: "Are you going to let her get away with that? Shouldn't you give her a little swat on the butt?"

How to deal with a puberty-crazed teen

A reader asks: "How do you deal with a tween or teen that you know is acting badly because of puberty mood-swings? For that matter, how do you even talk to a puberty-crazed teen? They usually don't make any sense." So how do you deal with a puberty-crazed teen? Very, very carefully. ;^) Well, I’m joking there, but it’s a good serious answer, too. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when thinking about or interacting with your teenager or pre-teen:

Divorce: When parents start dating again

As parents move through the divorce process, they will naturally grow apart and be increasingly less able to influence the other. For this reason, it's very important to set up mutual expectations about how to parent around new romantic relationships from the beginning. This article offers questions to ask yourself and your ex.