Dec ember 2017
The Children_s Trust Parenting Our Children Newsletter Header
Smiling pajama-clad little girl holding a wrapped gift in front of a Christmas tree
Is it Time for a Gratitude Adjustment?
The act of expressing thanks teaches kids more than just manners
Written by Beryl Meyer

Encouraging your child to say "thank you" - whether it's with a card, phone call or other heartfelt gesture - is a critical social skill that will serve them well not just during the holidays, but also throughout their life. In fact, a slew of studies have shown that being thankful can significantly boost your child's happiness and increase their overall state of well-being.

"Research now proves that the happiest and most empathic children are the ones who feel a sense of appreciation for life," reveals Michele Borba, Ph.D., educational psychologist, parenting expert and author of Don't Give Me That Attitude! "Those studies show that because kids feel grateful, they are actually more joyful, determined, optimistic, resilient, less stressed and even healthier."   Read More

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Young boy with his chin in his hand_ sporting a dubious look on his face
Expert Help for Hard-to-Answer Questions 
When to tell your children the truth depends on more than their age
Written by Beryl Meyer

What happens when your child comes home crying because their classmate told them there's no Santa? And how do you answer a 4-year-old who wants to know where babies come from? The truth of the matter is, what your kids are asking isn't always so obvious. It can take some detective work on your part to tease out what they really want to know.

What's Behind Those Big, Scary Questions
If there was a Top 10 list of the most difficult subjects kids ask about, "heading that lineup would be sex, death and religion," says Susan Bartell, Ph.D., psychologist, consultant and author of The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. But topics like these are not so easily discussed when children, especially young ones, lack the language skills to express their true concerns. More often than not, kids have no clue why they're feeling anxious, asserts Allison Edwards, licensed professional counselor and author of Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help.
  Read More
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Extreme close-up of a woman biting her lip
To Tell the Truth... or Not
When is a little white lie okay - and when does it do more damage than good? Is fibbing fine when your child's pet goldfish floats to the top of the tank? Or will a story about Goldie "retiring" to a lake at the park affect the trust your child has in you when they later find out the truth? These do's and don'ts from the experts can set you straight.
DON'T take the easy way out. Telling your child a tiny fib can seem innocent enough when thinking about the short-term effect, especially if the immediate benefit, convenience for instance, far outweighs it. Telling your child that you "lost" the TV remote so bedtime is happening now may buy you more "me time," but imagine what happens if he wakes up later and hears you watching your favorite show. Be warned: Those little falsehoods can quickly pile up and come back to haunt you.   Read More

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Can Your Child Benefit from School Choice?
The right fit can improve their chances of a successful education
Written by Beryl Meyer

Learning has never been a one-size-fits-all experience for children. Between myriad teaching styles and the many ways kids take in and process information, there's endless opportunity for the gap between getting it and not getting it to widen.

But the growing trend in education may be the answer for children struggling in classrooms across the country. School choice - by definition, an extensive range of academic programs offering students and their families options to traditional public school - puts the decision where and how children learn in the hands of parents and kids themselves.  Read More
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