14 Great Classic Books Must-Have for Every Child’s Library

Read Your Children a Story—and Boost Their Brainpower

Bunny My Honey How Bunny loves his mommy in this adorable book! And Mommy adores her little one. But one day Bunny runs too far on his own and gets lost in the deep woods. A sweet, reassuring book by the illustrator of Guess How Much I Love You. Baby Faces Full of crisp, color photographs, Baby Faces captures … Read more about 14 Great Classic Books Must-Have for Every Child’s Library

Tips for Developing Pre-Reading Skills in Young Children

Study: Babies aren’t learning to read, despite parents’ beliefs

The Basics Just as all people must learn to crawl before they can walk, children must attain certain milestones before they can become part of the world of words. Parents can do much to help unlock the magical realm of reading. When your baby is even just days old, there are steps you an take … Read more about Tips for Developing Pre-Reading Skills in Young Children

Mmm, Organic! 3 Smart Toddler Snacks

5 Recipes and Finger Foods for Babies Learning To Self-Feed

Healthy foods that kids will actually eat! Oscar Dip As “guacamole,” author Barnes’ son wasn’t interested in this dip. But once she called it “Oscar Dip” after the green lovable monster from Sesame Street, he was hooked. The lime juice and cilantro give this salsa a sweet instead of spicy flavor. Increase the onion for those … Read more about Mmm, Organic! 3 Smart Toddler Snacks

Which Childcare Is the Best Match for Your Child?

When I was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies as a teenager, I didn’t know anybody else like me. Times were different then. You could send a kid to school with a peanut butter sandwich without fear that a child nearby might have a severe reaction and require emergency care. These days, awareness about allergies has vastly improved, but that doesn’t mean every parent of a child with a serious allergy automatically knows exactly how their child is feeling. So as a mom with severe allergies, I’d like to offer other parents five things kids with food allergies wish their parents knew … 1. We don’t want to be the focus of your conversations. As a mom, I often hear parents talking about their kid’s medical issues as if the child wasn’t even in the room. Parents assume that because they, themselves, are comfortable talking about it, that their child is okay with a conversation centered around their condition. But they might not be. Of course, parents need to advocate for their kid’s health and safety. But if it’s a conversation you don’t need to have at that time, simply don’t. Just let the person know you’ll talk with them about it later, and change the subject. Even better, ask your child how they’d like you to handle it. Simply say, “Sometimes other people are curious about your allergies. What would you like me to say when they ask?” Offer a range of possibilities, but state that you will always need to make sure they are safe. Beyond that, your child can and should dictate how much you talk about them. 2. We don’t want to have food placed in front of us that we cannot eat. When I was first diagnosed, my very well-intentioned mother bought me a regular ice cream cake for my birthday so I could blow out some candles. Back then, access to allergen-free food was extremely limited, and there were no cake mixes or cupcakes we could buy that were safe. She did the best she could, but I remember crying over being able to see and smell the cake, but not eat it. Empower your child to decide for themselves how to solve a problem related to their allergy. If something isn’t available for them, ask what a good substitute might be, or how they would like to see the challenge resolved. Just please don’t put tempting foods in front of them and ask them to resist. 3. Emphasize your child’s abilities over their disabilities. No doubt about it, some severe allergies can be disabling. But your child needs you to see past your fears and concerns so you can truly appreciate the child standing in front of you. This doesn’t mean pretending your kid isn’t allergic, but it means keeping conversations (both with your kids and with others) focused around what your child has accomplished. When people ask how your child is, mention how hard he’s working in his gymnastics class, or that she just earned a new belt in karate. Talk about what good friends your kid has, or how she’s learning multiplication in school. Praise your children regularly for being so awesome at all the things they work hard at, and make sure they know that you see them for who they really are. The allergies make them unique, but their accomplishments and personality are what make them special. 4. Don’t make your child relive trauma. Parents of kids with food allergies have often had their fair share of scary situations: you know what it’s like to watch your child struggle to breathe or to rush them to the emergency room for dehydration. But our kids are not the people with whom we should process our trauma. There are great support groups both online and off for parents who need to talk, and of course you can rely upon your own therapist or group of friends, too. Your child may need some emotional support for the scary experiences they’ve had, and they need you to be the strong one with warm arms and an ear to listen. But if your kid thinks you’re too upset to talk about it or that the conversation is going to become about your experiences instead of their feelings, they might just keep it locked inside. 5. Have treats at the ready. You probably already know this, but no kid wants to sit by and watch others enjoy a treat they can’t have. Prep your kid’s teacher with a box of sweet treats and salty snacks that are allergy-friendly. Ask the teacher to offer your child their special treat in a low-key way so your kid doesn’t feel like the odd one out. And as often as possible, try to give your child a similar treat when you know special occasions are happening. Send an email to parents in your child’s class asking for a heads up before birthdays so you can plan accordingly. A special cupcake at a child’s birthday party or a yummy assortment of candies that are allergy-friendly during Halloween can not only help keep your child safe, but also make them feel like part of the gang.

Learning about your child’s temperament can help you decide. As parents, we want the best care possible for our children. This can make choosing appropriate childcare for your son or daughter time consuming, but rest assured—if you do your homework, you’re likely to find a suitable setting for your little one. Parents often look for a … Read more about Which Childcare Is the Best Match for Your Child?

12 Solutions for Your Shy Child

8 Ways to Get Your Toddler Talking

Children are very different from one another. Some thrive in environments filled with people. They talk to anyone the meet. They tell stories, and they may even sing their latest song for a delighted group of onlookers. Other children, though, are overwhelmed by a room full of new people, let alone one new person who … Read more about 12 Solutions for Your Shy Child

Read Your Children a Story—and Boost Their Brainpower

Read Your Children a Story—and Boost Their Brainpower

Reading Time As I read to my son over the first two years of his life, I often wondered how he interpreted the words, the pictures, and my tone of voice. When he lay on my lap at eight weeks, gazing at a bathrobe and a sandbox in Lucy Cousins’ Maisy’s Colors, how did he process these … Read more about Read Your Children a Story—and Boost Their Brainpower

Play with Your Food! Cooking with Toddlers

Play with Your Food! Cooking with Toddlers

Next time your child plays with his mashed potatoes and peas, he may just be demonstrating his creativity. “Kids express themselves with food,” explains Sandra Nissenberg, a registered dietitian and author of several books on children’s nutrition. Most children show an interest in cooking as young as age two—the key is to find the best … Read more about Play with Your Food! Cooking with Toddlers

Parenting Your Child’s Temperament: Part One

How to teach your child self-hypnosis

Tips on how to understand and accept your child’s temperament. One of my mother’s favorite stories recounts a family trip to Sea World when I was four, and my brother was two and a half. We were walking through the park when suddenly, we were approached by a man dressed in a penguin costume. I … Read more about Parenting Your Child’s Temperament: Part One

Teaching Children Empathy: A Guide to Developing Empathy in Children

Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Prevalent Danger

If we work hard to raise empathetic children, they’ll develop a sense of inner strength that will protect them against outside influences beckoning them away from the proper choices. Empathy and “benevolent selfishness” are two intertwined traits that make up the heart of self-directed children — those who rely on their own inner voices rather … Read more about Teaching Children Empathy: A Guide to Developing Empathy in Children

Playgroups for Toddlers: Learning Through Play

Kids aren’t passive players in their own development

How Kids’ Playgroups Can Benefit You and Your Baby. Playgroups for toddlers help with development and socialization. But they are also beneficial for mom! Sue had her first two children at the same time most of her friends were having babies. She had a strong support system of friends and family with whom she could … Read more about Playgroups for Toddlers: Learning Through Play