Parenting Articles

How to Make Smart Media Choices for Your Child

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C. Media is pervasive and prevalent in our society. Our job as parents and caregivers is to not only steer children away from topics and content that may not be age appropriate, but to also actively teach our children to be wise consumers of media. What your child can and should watch, and where they watch, depends a great deal on their age and maturity level, but there are some good guidelines you can follow at just about any age. WHAT TO AVOID No media in a child’s bedroom – keep media use to open family …

How to Make Smart Media Choices for Your Child Read More »

Encouraging Interactive Play for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Tips for Parents

by Loretta Gallo-Lopez, MA, LMHC The American Academy of Pediatrics has indicated that “… play is healthy and in fact essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.” Interactive play has been shown to enhance social communication and connection. Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties spontaneously engaging in interactive or social play. The following tips will help to encourage and support this type of play for children with ASD. Make every effort to play with your child several times each day for 15 …

Encouraging Interactive Play for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Tips for Parents Read More »

Spoiled or Secure? Meeting baby’s needs, without going overboard

Spoiled or Secure?  How to meet your baby’s needs – without going overboard By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed. C.H.C. From the very first moment a baby is placed in the arms of a parent, the opening steps to establishing a sense of safety and security begins. As with all things parenting, there are many schools of thought on how you should best respond to your infant. However, as Susan Spieker, the director of the Center on Infant and Mental Health Development notes, “This is a dance back and forth. Every family works it out different…The key is to give babies a secure enough base …

Spoiled or Secure? Meeting baby’s needs, without going overboard Read More »

Talking to Children About Traumatic Events

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed. The events in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15th began to feel too familiar. A few posts about “something” on Facebook, a few minutes later the picture beginning to become clear. Knowing within such a short time that real horror had happened. Spending the rest of the day purposely shielding my six year old son from all available live media even while I scrolled frantically on my phone for updates, and to check in with loved ones who might be in harms way. Everyone in our nation has had to grapple with …

Talking to Children About Traumatic Events Read More »

Proud To Be Me! Teaching Body Awareness Using Signing Time

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed. Children have a lot of natural curiosity about the world around them. From the question of why the dog has a tail, to how the car works, to those sometimes hard to field questions about the difference between boys and girls, there seems to be an endless amount of things in our world for our curious little ones to ask about and explore. Perhaps one of the most important set of questions to address are those related to bodies. One only needs to look as far as the nearest billboard or the TV commercial currently on …

Proud To Be Me! Teaching Body Awareness Using Signing Time Read More »

5 Easy Ways to Teach Responsibility

                              By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed. We all want to raise our children to become responsible people. The kind of children who will do their homework and be kind to their friends, the kind of teenagers who will respect the rules and return the car on time, and the kind of adults who will keep a good job and visit you in your old age. But how in the world do you start to teach responsibility to those wiggly little wide-eyed hurricanes in your care right now? …

5 Easy Ways to Teach Responsibility Read More »

Bully-Proof your Preschooler – Part 2: EMPATHY

Bully-Proof your Preschooler – Part 2: EMPATHY In our last article, Bully-Proof Your Preschooler, we featured tips and signs for helping young children deal with aggressors. Today we’ll take a look at empathy and its role in prevention.  Why empathy matters Empathy is the ability to understand and identify with another person’s feelings. It includes regulating one’s own emotions and is central to success in social relationships. Children who are empathic are less likely to use aggression. Empathy has to be taught  Although there is evidence that the human brain may be pre-wired for empathy, just ask a group of toddlers to share …

Bully-Proof your Preschooler – Part 2: EMPATHY Read More »

How to Bully-Proof Your Preschooler

  “We used to think bullying started at around third grade, but now we know it starts in preschool,” says Joel Haber, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good. Bullying is a source of stress, fear, and anxiety in young children, but there are some simple and powerful things parents and teachers can do to help toddlers and preschoolers take charge. One of the best ways to prevent children from being bullied is to show them how to establish and control their own space with language: body language, …

How to Bully-Proof Your Preschooler Read More »

Three Things Your Child Needs To Hear You Say

1. You did it!  Nurture your child’s confidence by celebrating everyday accomplishments. Give out hugs or do the happy dance together. Help your child track progress toward a goal over time with charts and stickers. Print a certificate for a big milestone such as potty training. Or tell your child how proud your are with a song. Our favorites are Let’s Celebrate or Proud to Be Me. 2. Accidents happen. When accidents happen, tell your child: “It’s all right. Keep trying because you will get it someday!” Use songs like Uh Oh! It’s an Accident and Itsy Bitsy Spider/Never Give Up to help you inspire your …

Three Things Your Child Needs To Hear You Say Read More »

Scroll to Top