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Helping Kids Feel Safe

During challenging times or periods of uncertainty in our lives, children—even as young as infants—can pick up on our stress levels. They worry along with us as we hear unsettling reports on the news or overhear conversations about being able to pay rent this month or worry about a relative who is ill. It’s important …

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Emotion Coaching Through the Holidays

The holidays are an exciting time for both parents and kids. We set our expectations high, filling our calendar with trips to the pumpkin patch, sledding, holiday parties, and more—all in the name of giving our children a rich holiday experience. In all the excitement, parents sometimes forget that changes to routines (like bedtime and …

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Self-Regulation Techniques for Parents

As parents, our focus tends to be on teaching our children healthy ways to manage (or regulate) their “big” feelings. We teach them ways to calm their breathing, slow down their thoughts, and release explosive feelings in positive outlets, such as drawing or talking a walk. But when’s the last time you checked in with …

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Avoiding After-School Meltdowns

Karen loves picking up her daughter, Lupa, from preschool. Lupa greets her with a big hug and shows her mom the art she made at school. But when they get home, Lupa goes into meltdown mode, becoming irritable and easily frustrated by everyday things that on a non-school day wouldn’t upset her. Lupa’s mom wonders …

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Helping Children Manage Big Emotions with Everyday Conversations

When my daughter started preschool, we prepared for the transition. We visited the open house and played games at home with toys who we pretended were going to school for the first time. I took the morning of her first day off so that I could stay if needed. When we arrived, my daughter sat …

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“I’m Happy AND I’m Sad”: Toddlers and “Mixed-Together” Feelings

    Down comes 2 1/2 year old Sasha’s foot in the mud puddle. She squeals in delight as the water splashes up her leg. Sasha repeats this over and over, only stopping when she excitedly notices a worm in another puddle. A most magical aspect of caring for my children as toddlers (and later …

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Your Unique Toddler

Toddlers are explosive bundles of personality and energy. One minute they are charming you with their rendition of “Shake It Off.” The next, they are in emotional meltdown mode over their milk being too “milky.” From one minute to the next, you never know what to expect with a toddler. But that’s part of the …

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