When Your Child Gets Angry: Here’s Your Gameplan

When Your Child Gets Angry: Here’s Your Game plan 

The truth about rage is that it only dissolves when it is really heard and understood, without reservation.” – Carl Rogers

Many parents send an angry child to her room to “calm down.” After all, what else can we do? We certainly can’t reason with her when she’s furious. It’s no time to teach lessons or ask for an apology. She needs to calm down.

If we send our angry child to his room, he will indeed calm down, eventually. He’ll also have gotten some clear messages:

  • No one is listening to what’s upsetting you. 
  • No one is going to help you solve the problem you’re experiencing.
  • Anger is bad. 
  • You’re being bad because you feel angry at us.
  • Your anger scares us. You’re on your own when it comes to managing those big scary feelings in a responsible way–we don’t know how to help you.
  • When you’re angry, the best thing to do is to stuff those feelings. (Of course, that means they’re no longer under your conscious control, and will burst out again soon in unmanageable ways.)

No wonder so many of us develop anger-management issues that last into adulthood, whether that means we yell at our kids, throw tantrums with our partner, or overeat to avoid acknowledging our anger. 

What can we do instead? We can help our children learn to manage their anger responsibly. Most of us have a hard time picturing what that looks like. Quite simply, responsible anger management begins with accepting our anger — but refraining from acting on it by lashing out at others. There’s always a way to express what we need without attacking the other person.

In fact, when we’re willing to stop and notice the deeper feelings under our anger, we find hurt and fear and sadness. If we allow ourselves to feel those emotions, the anger melts away. It was only a reactive defense.  

This is one of the most critical tasks of childhood — learning to tolerate the wounds of everyday life without moving into reactive anger. People who can do this are able to work things out with others and manage themselves to achieve their goals. We call them emotionally intelligent.

Children develop emotional intelligence when we teach them that all their feelings are okay, but they always have a choice about how they act. Here’s how to do that.

When your child gets angry:

1. Keep yourself from moving into “fight or flight” by taking a few deep breaths and reminding yourself that there’s no emergency. This models emotional regulation and helps your child feel safer, so she begins to shift out of “fight or flight.”

2. Listen. Acknowledge why your child is upset. Often, when people don’t feel heard, they escalate. By contrast, when your child feels understood, he’ll begin to feel calmer — even when he doesn’t get his way.

3. Try to see it from his point of view. The more compassionate you can be, the more likely your child will find his way to the tears and fears under the anger: “Oh, Sweetie, I’m sorry this is so hard…You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.” You don’t have to agree, and you don’t have to disagree. Just acknowledge his truth in the moment. Once he feels heard, his truth will shift.

4. Don’t get hooked by rudeness and personal attacks. Parents are often hurt when children yell at them. But your child doesn’t actually hate you, or want a new mom or dad, or whatever she’s yelling. She feels hurt and scared and powerless, so she’s pulling out the most upsetting thing she can think of, so you’ll know how upset she is. Just say “Ouch! You must be so upset to say that to me. Tell me why you’re upset. I’m listening.”

Your child is not “behaving badly” or “winning.” She’s showing you in the best way she can at the moment just how upset she is. As she realizes that she doesn’t have to raise her voice or go on the attack to be heard, and that it’s safe to show you her vulnerable emotions, she’ll develop the capacity to express her feelings more appropriately.

5. Set whatever limits are necessary to keep everyone safe, while acknowledging the anger and staying compassionate. “You’re so mad! You can be as mad as you want, and hitting is still not ok, no matter how upset you are. You can stomp to show me how mad you are. No hitting.”

6. If your child is already in a full meltdown, don’t talk except to empathize and reassure her that she’s safe. Don’t try to teach, reason or explain. When she’s awash in adrenaline and other fight or flight reactions is not the time to explain why she can’t have what she wants, or get her to admit that she actually loves her little sister. Your only job now is to calm the storm. Just acknowledge how upset she is: “You are so upset about this…I’m sorry it’s so hard.”

7. Remind yourself that tantrums are nature’s way of helping immature brains let off steam. Children don’t yet have the frontal cortex neural pathways to control themselves as we do. (And please note that we don’t always regulate our anger very well, even as adults!)  The best way to help children develop those neural pathways is to offer empathy, while they’re angry and at other times. It’s ok — good, actually — for your child to express those tangled, angry, hurt feelings. After we support kids through a tantrum, they feel closer to us and more trusting. They feel less wound-up inside, so they can be more emotionally generous. They aren’t as rigid and demanding.

8. Remember that anger is a defense against threat. It comes from our “fight, flight or freeze” response. Sometimes the threat is outside us, but usually it isn’t. We often see threats outside us because we’re carrying around old stuffed emotions like hurt, fear or sadness. (In other words, your angry child really is not a threat to your safety or well-being.) Whatever’s happening in the moment triggers those old feelings, and we go into fight mode to try to stuff them down again.

So while your child may be upset about something in the moment, it may also be that he’s lugging around a full emotional backpack, and just needs to express those old tears and fears. A new disappointment can feel like the end of the world to a child, because all those old feelings come up. Kids will do anything to fend off these intolerable feelings, so they rage and lash out.

9. Make it safe for your child to move past anger. If they feel safe expressing their anger, and we meet that anger with compassion, the anger will begin to melt. So while we accept our child’s anger, it isn’t the anger that is healing. It’s the expression of the tears and fears beneath the anger that washes out the hurt and sadness and makes the anger vanish, because once your child shows you those more vulnerable feelings, the anger is no longer necessary as a defense.

10. Stay as close as you can. Your child needs an accepting witness who loves him even when he’s angry. If you need to move away to stay safe, tell him “I won’t let you hurt me, so I’m moving back a bit, but I am right here. Whenever you’re ready for a hug, I’m right here.”

If he yells at you to “Go away!” say “You’re telling me to go away, so I am moving back, ok? I won’t leave you alone with these scary feelings, but I ‘m moving back.”

11. Keep yourself safe. Kids often benefit from pushing against us when they’re upset, so if you can tolerate it and stay compassionate, that’s fine to allow. But if your child is hitting you, move away. If she pursues you, hold her wrist and say “I don’t think I want that angry fist so close to me. I see how angry you are. You can hit the pillow I’m holding, or push against my hands, but no hurting.” Kids don’t really want to hurt us — it scares them and makes them feel guilty. Most of the time, when we move into compassion and they feel heard, kids stop hitting us and start crying.

12. Don’t try to evaluate whether he’s over-reacting. Of course he’s over-reacting! But remember that children experience daily hurts and fears that they can’t verbalize and that we don’t even notice. They store them up and then look for an opportunity to “discharge” them.  So if your kid has a meltdown over the blue cup and you really can’t go right now to get the blue cup out of the car, it’s ok to just lovingly welcome his meltdown. Most of the time, it wasn’t about the cup, or whatever he’s demanding. When children get whiny and impossible to please, they usually just need to cry.  

13. Acknowledging her anger will help her calm down a bit. Then help her get under the anger by softening yourself. If you can really feel compassion for this struggling young person, she’ll feel it and respond. Don’t analyze, just empathize. “You really wanted that; I’m so sorry, Sweetie.” Once you recognize the feelings under the anger, she will probably pause and stop lashing out. You’ll see some vulnerability or even tears. You can help her surface those feelings by focusing on the original trigger: “I’m so sorry you can’t have the _____ you want, Sweetie. I’m sorry this is so hard.” When our loving compassion meets her wound, that’s when she collapses into our arms for a good cry. And all those upset feelings evaporate.

14. AFTER he’s calmed down, you can talk.  Resist the urge to lecture. Tell a story to help him put this big wave of emotion in context. “Those were some big feelings…everyone needs to cry sometimes…You wanted….I said no…You were very disappointed…You got so angry….You were sad and disappointed….Thank you for showing me how you felt….”  If he just wants to change the subject, let him. You can circle back to bring closure later in the day or at bedtime, while you’re snuggling. But most young children WANT to hear the story of how they got mad and cried, as long as it’s a story, not a lecture. It helps them understand themselves, and makes them feel heard.  

15. What about teaching? You don’t have to do as much as you think. Your child knows what she did was wrong. It was those big feelings that made her feel like it was an emergency, and necessary to break the rule about being kind. By helping her with the emotions, you’re making a repeat infraction less likely.

Wait until after the emotional closure, and then keep it simple. Recognize that part of her wants to make a better choice next time, and align with that part. Be sure to give her a chance to practice a better solution to her problem. “When we get really angry, like you were angry at your sister, we forget how much we love the other person. They look like they’re our enemy. Right? You were so very mad at her. We all get mad like that and when we are very mad, we feel like hitting. But if we do, later we’re sorry that we hurt someone. We wish we could have used our words. I wonder what else you could you have said or done, instead of hitting?”

Accepting emotions like this is the beginning of resilience. Gradually, your child will internalize the ability to weather disappointment, and learn that while he can’t always get what he wants, he can always get something better — someone who loves and accepts all of him, including the yucky parts like disappointment and anger. He’ll have learned that emotions aren’t dangerous — they can be tolerated without acting on them, and they pass. Gradually, he’ll learn to verbalize his feelings and needs without attacking the other person — even when he’s furious. 

You’ll have taught him how to manage his emotions. And you’ll have strengthened, rather than eroded, your bond with him. All by taking a deep breath and staying compassionate in the face of rage. Sounds saintly, I know, and you won’t always be able to pull it off.  But every time you do, you’ll be helping your child grow the neural pathways for a more emotionally intelligent brain. And you’ll be gifting yourself a lot less drama — and a lot more love.

Courtesy: Aha! Parenting.com

 

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

All of us that have children have too many toys scattered throughout the house. No matter how diligent we are at keeping them at bay, it seems to be a constant fight. It’s especially hard when special days come and we want to give gifts to our children, or grandparents want to give gifts.

Gifts are good things!

But, too much of anything isn’t good.

A great way to combat too many toys is to shift all the gifts to non-toy items.

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

  1. Classes. Music, dance, riding, drawing, classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy.
  2. Memberships. Zoo, science museum, children’s museum, YMCA membership, etc. These are particularly great for family gifts! Many young families want to enjoy day outings, but affording them can be a challenge, so give them the gift of a yearly membership.
  3. Subscriptions. Kids enjoy getting things int he mail. Why not encourage their reading by getting them a magazine subscription for something they are interested in!
  4. Events. Movie tickets, tickets to a play, concert or sports event are really exciting! Having an event to look forward to makes the rest of life more enjoyable.
  5. Activities. Mini golf, bowling, skating rink. These are so much fun! And a big part of the fun is going together. Children love spending time with the adults in their lives, they want to see you enjoying your time as well as enjoying them.
  6. Recipe and Ingredients. Kids love cooking with their parents. Baking something special or cooking dinner is an ideal time to spend together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together.
  7. Crafting/Coloring Date. Our daughter loves making crafts. I do too, I really do enjoy the creative aspect. But I rarely take time out to do it with her. These crafting dates mean the world to our creative little girl. Keep a basket of craft supplies and get out a book for inspiration. We like this book. If you enjoy coloring books, how about sitting down with your child and color together? Show them how to use their imagination and create their own patterns with a basic foundation piece, like these simple animals. Working on projects together is a perfect time to enjoy conversation.
  8. Arts and Craft supplies. If your craft box is running low, stock up a little on things you need. Add in something fun the kids haven’t used before. A gift of art and craft supplies often brings on the imagination and kids can’t wait to get to work!
  9. Coupons. An envelope of coupons that they can “spend” at any time: I’ll do one chore- no questions asked, movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie!, 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child’s interest is in), sit and read a book with me, Stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime
  10. Restaurant Gift Card. Dinner, ice cream, coffee, cupcake- whatever suits their fancy! Give them the freedom of inviting whoever they wish: it may be mom or dad, it may be a grandparent, aunt or even teacher that they would like to spend more time with.
  11. Dress Up Clothes. These do need to be limited, but  2 dresses and couple play silks can get hours and hours of play!
  12. Books. We get a lot of books from the library, but there are some that I just can’t find there, or it takes us longer to read through. We have read through the entire Little House series, Narnia and are working our way through Shel Silverstein’s books. Be sure to pass the books on when you are done, so they don’t clutter up your home.
  13. Clothes. When kids only have a certain amount of clothes, they often enjoy getting clothes. Make it a point to get something that fits their style. That may mean western clothes, super-hero, fancy dresses, etc.
  14. Snacks. If your child is a foodie, they will love this! Some homemade granola or cookies made just for them is a special treat!
  15. Outdoor Supplies. If you are an outdoorsy family, giving kids their own fishing tackle or gardening equipment can be a big deal. It’s also something that gets left on the shelf in the garage, so you always know right where to find it.
  16. Telling Time. The average child these days doesn’t know how to read analog or finds it takes too long to think about it, so they search for a digital watch. Getting them a cool watch makes them want to be able to tell time on it. Boys, girls, and even teenagers can be excited about this.
  17. Games and Puzzles. Games and puzzles are great activities for when kids have to be indoors. It’s a good practice to have individual quiet times during the day, and having a puzzle to sit and work on by themselves helps brain development and problem-solving skills. Games teach a lot too! My kids talk about how they passed geography, just because we played Risk when they were little. Monopoly and PayDay have been popular and help cement math skills. Memory games are great for younger children.
  18. Calendar. Many children like to know what is going on, what day it is, how many days until ____. These kids are the ones that want to know what the plan is for the day, in what order things will happen, what time friends are expected over, etc. They struggle with spur-of-the-moment and can be frustrating if you are a spontaneous parent. But celebrate it! These children have many strengths and make our world run smoother. 🙂 Embrace their inner schedule and get them their own calendar. They can write down their own classes, appointments, play dates, etc. And if they ask you, send them to their calendar so they can get used to being in control of their own schedule. You can even schedule “spontaneous days”, so they know that something different will happen that day. Trust me, it will help them enjoy the spontaneous outings!

Is My Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Many children go through their days sleep-deprived. When children do not get enough sleep their actions can be wrongly classified as “behavior problems.” Due to lack of sleep, they may have trouble controlling their emotions. This happens because the part of the brain that helps us regulate our responses and actions is greatly affected by the amount of sleep we get.

Parents are sometimes unsure of actually how much sleep a child needs. The chart below was created using data from the University of Michigan Health System. It shows you a ballpark amount of sleep a child needs.

Age and Total Hours of Sleep Needed

  • Infant: 16 hours, including naps
  • Toddler: 14 hours, including 1 or 2 naps
  • Preschool: 12 hours, including a nap
  • Elementary: 11 hours a night
  • Middle School: 10 hours a night

The chart lists the average amount of sleep for each age group. Some children need a bit more sleep or are able to do well with a little less sleep. The goal is to ensure that your child is getting the right amount for him/her. Ask yourself these questions to determine if your child is sleep-deprived:

  • Can my child fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes?
  • Does he wake easily from his sleep?
  • Is she awake and alert throughout the day?
  • Does my child often fall asleep in the car?
  • Does he seem irritable, very emotional, aggressive or hyperactive during the day?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your child may be sleep-deprived. Here are some tips that can help your child get that much-needed rest:

  • Pick a natural bedtime when your child gets physically tired and begins to slow down.
  • Create a consistent, simple bedtime ritual. Include quiet activities such as a song, a story, a bath and calm, quiet cuddling. End the routine with turning the lights down and saying, “goodnight.”
  • Allow only two comfort items for sleeping – any more could be distracting.
  • Be consistent and firm about the purpose of bedtime. Bedtime is for lying in the bed and falling asleep.
  • Use bedtime as an enjoyable, resting, cuddling and sleeping time, never as punishment.
  • Use dim lights for sleeping times and brighter lights during awake times.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine throughout the day.

Sleep deprivation can cause behavior-related problems that affect your child’s daily interactions with others. Children who get enough sleep are better prepared to regulate their emotions, think clearer and enjoy their day.

10 Things to Know About Parent-Child Relationships

The parent-child relationship is different from all others

 

 

“…the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away.” Paul Simon

Paul Simon was right about the mother and child reunion being a very close bond. The parent-child relationship is qualitatively different than all of our other relationships. Parent-child relationships develop over time, influenced by child characteristics, parent characteristics, and the contexts in which families operate. These factors mix together in unique ways to create incredible diversity in the qualities of those relationships.

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We know that our role as parents is a critical one, in terms of child development. But what exactly can we and should we be doing to raise mentally healthy children or at the very least, to minimize the impact of mental disorders? Obviously, the answer is complex but here are a few tips 

1) There are great benefits of effective parenting to child development under normal circumstances, and even greater benefits in the face of risk. There are certain risk factors that are unique to parent-child relationships. The relationship processes involved may depend on where the risk resides … in the child (e.g. developmental disability, prematurity, behavior problems), the parent (e.g. psychopathology), or the family context (e.g. economic hardship, minority status). Child developmental delay, child diagnosis of ADHD/ODD, and low family income are associated with lower positive parenting scores, a measure of a “resilient parent.” Maternal education acts as a protective buffer to improve resilient parenting for younger children (aged 3-5) while maternal health is protective for 5 year olds. One of the greatest protective factors is maternal optimism, which is effective for children ages 3 to 8.

2) Children with developmental delays are more likely to have behavioral issues. The extent of a child’s behavior problems is a strong contributor to parenting stress, more so than the child’s cognitive delay.

3) Parental warmth and controlling, in a positive way are the two most important parental attributes that help to create positive effects. In research terms this is parental affect and sensitivity. Positive emotional reactivity and self-regulation are important parental factors in developing healthy children’s temperament.

4) Mothers and fathers share some childrearing attributes and effects, but also differ in important ways that create unique relationship qualities. Both mothers and fathers of children with borderline intellectual functioning have more negative controlling parenting (child age 5-6) than did parents of typically developing children. In turn, those children with borderline intellectual functioning showed more difficult behavior. It is interesting that negative paternal behavior is predicted by earlier child behavior while negative maternal behavior predicts child difficulties.

5) Emotion, in all its facets, plays an important role in the development and trajectory of parent-child relationships. It’s a two-way street; children’s emotions affecting parental behaviors and parental emotions affecting children’s development and behaviors. The regulation of emotion is especially critical in parent-child relationships, for parents as models, and for children as a core developmental competence.

6) Attunement is an important factor in parent-child relationships. This involves the dynamic and complex patterns of sensitive mutual understandings and interactions between children and their parents. Attunement is characterized by correspondences in biological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral domains. As Dr. Bornstein notes, “when interactions with caregivers fall out of attunement by becoming mistimed or mismatched, children and parents both experience distress”

7) One parent’s hostility might disrupt the other parent’s ability to maintain a positive relationship with his or her children. The father-child relationship appears to be especially vulnerable to parental hostility.

8) Stress is ubiquitous and reflected in many different contexts that can affect the quality of parent-child relationships. In particular, stress-effects associated with parenting (challenging child behavior and parenting tasks) may be greater than the effects of general life stress on families).

9) Maternal social factors and infant temperament can significantly influence the development of infant neurobiology. Maternal social factors may either promote or strain parent-infant adaptation over time. Prenatal psychosocial stressors significantly affect infant health and development. Prenatal maternal depression and lack of social support predicted higher cortisol among infants with more temperamental negativity. In addition, mothers with negatively temperamental infants were more likely to show maternal distress and less social support from prenatal to 12 weeks postpartum.

10) Father-son relationship is the most susceptible to crossover effects of parental hostility (affected by hostility from the other parent), while the father-daughter relationship seems to be more protected in the early years.

 

Back To School Info For Parents, Too!

Fall is just around the corner, and, with it, back to school!  Getting your kids ready is one thing, but are you ready?  Here are 55 articles compiled by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD (see original article here) for you guys — PARENTS!

This popular list of back-to-school articles is updated each year. It contains some of the latest thinking and research on learning, achievement, family well-being, parent engagement, special needs children, youth sports, media, technology, discipline, homework, bullying — all the things parents think about at back-to-school time. These articles also support the development of core abilities every child should have — curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy (The Compass Advantage). The list is divided by parenting topic, with a short summary of what you will find in each article.

For “big picture” thinking about education and child development, check out my free eBook Reframing Success: Helping Children & Teens Grow from the Inside Out. It shows how grades and test scores are only one aspect of success and how we all nurture vital skills and abilities in young people. For the beginning of the 2016 school year, we’ve added a new section of RESOURCES and free downloads at Roots of Action,including the very popular Parenting Promise, and a handout on the Compass Advantage framework, showing how parents and schools impact eight core abilities in youth.

Please read the articles below that pique your interest now and bookmark others for later. And if you like particular authors, be sure to follow their articles throughout the school year by signing up for their newsletters. I’ve also included links to their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to make following your favorites easy.

I guarantee you’ll find some meaningful food for thought here – whether it’s back-to-school time or anytime! You’ll also meet some great people who support children’s positive growth and well-being. Happy reading!

Back-to-School Basics: Learning & Achievement

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

  1. Learning to Be Human by Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic. Why the humanities are in decline and why they’re more vital than ever. Twitter

2. Educating an Original Thinker by Jessica Lahey in The Atlantic. How teachers and parents can identify and cultivate children who think creatively and unconventionally. Twitter; Facebook

3. Teaching Beyond the Transmission of Knowledge by Miguel Angel Escotet, Ph.D. A call to action for teachers: Why teaching to the test inflicts a cost on students. Twitter

4. The Developmental Psychologists’ Back-to-School Shopping List by Gabrielle Principe, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Five ways to improve children’s learning at all ages, grounded in scientific research.

5. The Key to Success in Within Your Child’s Developing Mind by Michele Borba, Ed.D., at Roots of Action. Changing the way your child thinks about empathy positively affects their life long relationships and success. Twitter; Facebook

6. A Link Between Relatedness and Academic Achievement by Ugo Uche, LPC, at Psychology Today. The key to student success relies not just with the teacher’s attitude toward the student, but also with the student’s attitude towards the teacher. Parents help develop these attitudes! Twitter

7. Parents & Teachers: 6 Ways to Inspire the Teen Brain by Sandra Bond Chapman Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Get tips to stimulate the teen brain from findings in neuroscience. Twitter

8. Seven Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers by Steve Reifman, M.Ed.  A teacher’s strategies can turn your child from a reluctant to a willing reader. Try them out! Twitter; Facebook

9. The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in The Atlantic. Will your children become good critical thinkers? A look at the trend to protect children from feeling uncomfortable. Gregg’s Twitter; Jonathan’s Twitter

10. The Success Myth by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Rethink your ideas of what makes us succeed, then apply them to your parenting. Twitter

Family Well-Being

11. Positive Parenting: Six Tips for Channeling Calm So You Don’t Yell at Your Kids by Rebecca Eanes at Positive Parenting. Controlling anger is important work for parents. Learn your triggers before you react. Twitter; Facebook

12. Managing Screen Time Increases Family Joy by Rachel Macy Stafford at Roots of Action. Modeling the healthy use of technology can increase the well-being of your entire family. This article describes six small changes that have big impacts! Twitter; Facebook

13. Beginning Family Meetings by Jody McVittie, M.D., at SoundDiscipline. Back-to-school time is perfect for planning regular family meetings. TwitterFacebook

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD14. 11 Ways to Raise a Child Who is Entitled and Rudeby Christine Carter, Ph.D. at Positively Positive. A great list of what NOT to do with your children! TwitterFacebook

15. The Benefits of Play are “Oh, so Big!” by Katie Hurley at Roots of Action. Why parents should make time for lots of unstructured play time at home. TwitterFacebook

16. Relationships are the Key to Performance not Ability by Rick Ackerly at the Genius in Children. Learn why family and school relationships have the most impact in helping  kids develop well-being and learning to succeed in life. Twitter

17. Positive Parenting: How to Follow Through With Limits by Ariadne Brill at Positive Parenting Connection. Excellent advice on why and how parents should set limits, particularly with young children. TwitterFacebook

18. 4 Surprising Ways to Support a Child’s Self-Regulation & Avoid Melt Down by Lindsey Lieneck. A great article on mindful strategies that brings kids’ awareness to their bodies and help them manage their emotions. Twitter; Facebook

19. It Isn’t Easy Being a Parent by the Search Institute. Nine strategies every parent should know based on fostering developmental assets in children. Twitter; Facebook

20. Healthy Parenting after the Marriage Ends by Kevin D. Arnold, Ph.D., at Psychology Today.  How to support your children’s social, emotional and intellectual health after divorce. Twitter

21. Sibling Rivalry: Helping Children Learn to Work Through Conflicts by Laura Markham, PhD, at Roots of Action. Should parents intervene when siblings fight with one another? What’s the best way to help kids learn to work things out for themselves? Twitter; Facebook

Parent-Readiness and Engagement

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

22. Parent Involvement: The Missing Key to Student Achievement by James Norwood, Ph.D., at Teaching in the Middle. Learn why developing a partnership with school is one of the most important things you can do to help your child. Twitter

23. 9 Tips for Parents if Your Child is Changing Schools by Meryl Ain, Ed.D., at Your Education Doctor. Must-read tips for parents to help children get comfortable in a new school.  Twitter; Facebook

24. The Unique Power of Afterschool Learning by Leah Levy at Edudemic. Learn how afterschool programs impacts child development and what to look for in programs that “get it right.” Twitter

25. The Case for Dedicated Dads by Jessica Lahey at The Atlantic. Research shows that fathers play a critical role in their children’s education. Twitter

26. Developing Belief Systems About Education: It Takes a Village by Nicole Rivera, Ed.D., at Psychology Today. Children develop beliefs about education through what their parents believe.

27. Top 10 Pinterest Boards for Parents by Cathy James at the NurtureStore. If you are looking for educational projects to do with preschool and elementary school-age children at home, Pinterest is the place to be! TwitterFacebook

Back-to-School Anxiety

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD28. Back-To-School Worries by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How to help children cope with starting a new school year. Twitter; Facebook

29. Ease Back-to-School Stress by Christine McLaughlin at SchoolFamily. How to help your child switch from the laid-back fun of summer to homework and routine. TwitterFacebook

Children with Special Needs, Abilities & Personalities

30. Escaping the Disability Trap by Alia Wong at The Atlantic. A compelling read on how to prepare special needs students for the workforce. Twitter

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD31. Parenting Children with ADHD by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., at Roots of Action. Good advice on how to help children focus more, be better organized, and curb their impulsive behavior.  TwitterFacebook

32. Five Ways to Help Your Child Transition Back to School by Chynna Laird at Special-Ism. Mom of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) talks about creating a transition plan for supporting special needs children. Twitter; Facebook

33. The Need to Believe in the Ability of Disability by Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. and Kevin McGrew at HuffPost Education. How our beliefs help or hinder children with disabilities. Twitter

34. The 200 Best Special Education Apps by Eric Sailers at Edudemic. Great apps for teachers and parents who work with special needs children. Twitter

35. From Perfection to Personal Bests: 7 Ways to Nurture Your Gifted Child by Signe Whitson at HuffPost Parents. How to develop a growth mindset in your high-ability child. Twitter; Facebook

Homework: A Back-to-School Reality

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD36. Reducing Homework Stress by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids. Back-to-school and homework go together. Here are 10 tips to help parents, teens, and children with the daily homework routine. Twitter; Facebook

37. Who Takes Responsibility for Homework? What is the Parent’s Role? By Rick Ackerly at The Genius in Children.Helping kids understand the consequences and rewards of homework. Twitter; Facebook

38. Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized by Nancy Darling, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How to help kids develop organizational skills and relieve the homework struggle. Twitter

Youth Sports

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD39. Soccer, Baseball or Karate? Top 10 Reasons to Involve Your Kids in Sports by Signe Whitson at Psychology Today. Reasons why being a sports chauffer can pay big rewards. Twitter; Facebook

40. Emphasize the Internal Rewards by Jeffrey Rhoads at Inside Youth Sports. How to help your child experience the internal rewards of playing sports. TwitterFacebook

41. How to Help Kids Be “Winning” Losers in Youth Sports by Patrick Cohn, Ph.D., at The Ultimate Sports Parent Blog. Learn how losing in sports develops internal skills like perseverance, determination, and the ability to adapt to adversity. Twitter; Facebook

42. Heads Up Concussion In Youth Sports by Shannon Henrici at Stress Free Kids. Learn about concussions and what you can do as a parent. Twitter; Facebook

Bullying

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD43. Mean Girls: Why Teenage Girls Can Be So Cruel by Chris Hudson at Understanding Teenagers. Learn how gender influences adolescent behavior in friendship groups and why girls have a natural tendency toward social aggression. Twitter; Facebook

44. Bully Proof Your Child by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids. What parents can do to protect children from bullying. Twitter; Facebook

45. How to Protect Kids from Cyber-Bullying by Michele Borba, Ed.D. How to keep an electronic leash on your child! Twitter; Facebook

46. Bullying Runs Deep: Breaking the Code of Silence that Protects Bullies by Michelle Baker at HuffPost Education. A poignant and personal story with deep insights for parents. Twitter

Media & Technology

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

47. Parenting: Who is More Powerful: Technology or Parents? By Jim Jaylor, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How are you flexing your parenting muscles against the strength of today’s media? Twitter; Facebook

48. How Much Television is Too Much? Science Weighs In by Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Science vs. common-sense parenting. Twitter

49. Effect of Video Games on Child Development by Danielle Dai and Amanda Fry at Vanderbilt University. The positives and negatives of video games, according to research.

50. Teen Sexting: What messages should we be sending our teens about sexting? by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., at Psychology Today. Learn about sexting and how to protect your teen. Twitter; Facebook

Discipline

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD51. Is It Ever Okay to Spank a Child? by Andrea Nair at The Atlantic. Spanking is always a controversial subject. What’s your opinion? Twitter

52. What is in Your Discipline Toolbox? By Jody McVittie, M.D., at WAFCET. How to use kindness and firmness when disciplining children. TwitterFacebook

53. Why Punishment Does Not Make Good Neurological Sense by Meredith White-McMahon, Ed.D., at Development in the Digital Age. How punishment differs from discipline. Twitter

54. Connection before Correction by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., at Positive Discipline. How positive discipline creates respectful connections with children. TwitterFacebook

55. The Trouble with Time-Outs by Deborah MacNamara, PhD. While time outs have become a popular disciplinary practice, they are not without critics. Learn why time out’s work and why they don’t. Twitter;Facebook