Parenting Articles

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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Someone I Love is Sick: Helping a Child Cope With The Illness of a Family Member

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C   When a loved one is critically ill, your child may have a lot of questions, or need some extra support around understanding what is going on. Be it a parent, sibling, grandparent, or extended family member, chances are high that your child is going to have some worries and fears that may need to be addressed. How you discuss the illness of a family member with your child depends a great deal on how old the child is and what they are ready to handle from a developmental or maturity standpoint. There are a …

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Helping Children Embrace Change: First Time At School

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.HC. For some of you, the first day of school is just around the corner! Whether it be pre-school, or kindergarten, that big transition can leave both parent and child a little uncertain. Here are some tips to ease the transition on the big day! 1. Create a story Tell the story of what will happen on the first day of school, keep it simple and concrete, such as: “You will wake up and get dressed and have breakfast. Then I will drive you to school. We will hang up your backpack, I will give you …

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Who is Colleen Brunetti?

Colleen Brunetti is an amazing woman, wife, mother, and more. In April 2010, we first met Colleen when she joined the Signing Time Academy and certified as a Master Instructor. At the same time, she started her business Little Hands, Big Ideas, which entails both sign language and holistic health coaching. In Fall of 2010 Colleen collaborated on the Homeschool Guide and the Down Syndrome Guide. In October of 2011, Colleen became our Potty Time Specialist, writing and overseeing the Potty Time blog as well as the Potty Time Facebook and Twitter accounts. In 2012, Colleen started writing for the …

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The Power of the Spoken Word: Why Talking With Your Baby Sets the Stage for Language Success

By Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C. As your baby grows, their receptive language (what they can understand) will develop more quickly than their expressive language (what they can express with words or signs). It is in these early months that you really want to start capitalizing on the engagement that comes with receptive language. Words communicated to baby are crucial to language development. Studies have shown that it is vitally important that babies hear a vast array of spoken language, even from day one.  In fact, breakthrough work in one study, resulted in a book entitled Meaningful Differences: Children of the …

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