Parenting Articles

Teaching Children About Charity

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   ‘Tis the season! We work our way through Thanksgiving very shortly here, and then the full-on holiday giving season arrives. It can be so much fun to shop for the perfect gift, wrap it beautifully, and anticipate the opening. And of course there’s the fun of getting all those gifts.   But as we rush about filling our lists and checking them twice, the season also gives us a perfect opportunity to begin to teach our children about the concept of charity.   We’ve been braving tough economic times, and families continue to feel …

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Rachel and the TreeSchoolers Activity Guides

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   The release of episodes two and three of Rachel & the TreeSchoolers is not too far off! We hope you are getting as excited as we are (with thanks to our amazing Kickstarter backers!)   One really unique thing about these DVDs is that, along with education-packed content, great songs, and engaging characters, you will get a downloadable Activity Guide.  Spanning approximately 50 pages, this guide is filled with activities that further the learning your child is doing with Rachel & the TreeSchoolers. Essentially, the guides double as content-rich lesson plans, perfect for preschools, …

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Helping Children Show Gratitude

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   We recently wrote about teaching children the concept of gratitude. While much of that article centered on what you can do to model and encourage the concept of gratitude, we turn now to helping your children express the gratitude they are learning to notice and feel.   Here are some ideas to get you started!   1) Write thank-you notes: This is the old fashioned skill that never goes out of style.  Whether it is birthdays, holidays, or just the occasional nice gesture your child can be thankful for, encourage them to write and …

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Teaching Children Gratitude

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   In honor of Thanksgiving, let’s talk about what the day is really all about. Amongst the family gatherings, amazing food, and the cute handprint turkey drawing on your fridge, a much bigger concept takes center stage. It is the fact that Thanksgiving is a day when we express our thanks, or in other words our gratitude, for all that is good in our lives. The important thing to remember is that developing and showing gratitude are not traits children are born with. They are learned. While it can be easy to expect our little …

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An Unexpected Journey

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C.   Life has a way of coming at you fast, doesn’t it? One minute you’re planning a future in a certain way, and in the next you find a completely different path before you. And sometimes there are no U-turns or do-overs. You just have to keep moving forward, finding the sunshine on a new journey.   Such was the case for Mary Ann Christo and her husband, Eric Waksmunski. Pregnant with twins, the couple looked forward to expanding their family – times two.  But when Shane and Wyatt were born early in critical condition, …

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“Ew, Mommy, I Don’t Want This!”: Win the Picky Eater Battle (And raise a healthier kid!)

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   One of the biggest concerns from parents that I hear as a health coach is the challenge of the picky eater. Mainly, “How do I get my kids to eat right when they just refuse?”   Well, I believe that there are three things in life you can’t truly force kids to do. These are: sleep when they don’t want to, potty train before they’re ready, and eat the way you want them to all the time!   Sometimes you may need to lay down the law and say, “This is what our family …

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“Noooo! Peanut Butter and Jelly AGAIN?”: Back-to-School Healthy Lunch Ideas!

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   One of the many hats I wear is that of a certified holistic health coach. I work to support happy kids and healthy families, and this includes working with busy stressed out parents to streamline the process of feeding their family well.   With Fall here (when did that happen?), our thoughts invariably turn to back-to-school time, and the next 180 or so days of lunches that have to be produced.   It can be a challenge to pack balanced healthy lunches that your kids will actually eat. While there are pre-packaged options, many …

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“I Want to Help!” Tips for Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   Kids are often fascinated by the cooking process, from wanting a hand in dumping and stirring ingredients, to needing a peek in the oven to see what’s cooking. This is a great thing to harness in the journey of teaching your children to eat well! Take advantage of a kid’s natural curiosity and invite them into the process. Here are some tips to get you started.   Cooking Time is…   1) Learning Time: Cooking is one part math, one part science, and one part deliciousness, so have some fun with it and your …

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Helping A Child Cope with the Loss of a Pet

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   One of the most difficult times a child can face is the loss of a beloved pet. The bond between pet and their young human can be incredibly strong. Whether the child was born into a household with pets and grew up with a special one, or they had a pet of their very own to care for and love, when the time comes for that pet to pass on, some special support is likely going to be needed. Here are some tips to help get you through:   Be honest: As hard as …

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My Friend is Sick: Helping Your Child Cope with the Critical Illness of a Friend

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C We expect and hope that childhood will be a time of life that is carefree and uninhibited by very adult-like cares, such as handling a major illness. However, for some children, the time comes when they must face a major illness of their own, or try to understand the illness of a playmate. If your child has a friend who has become very ill, some support may be needed in learning how to cope and re-relate to their friend. These tips can help.   1. Talk to the parents of the child: This one is …

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