How to Build Self-Esteem in Kids

Every morning I wake up with the intention to start my day with some kind of mindfulness practice. Whether it is a meditation, or some gentle stretches, I have learned the importance of not denying myself this time to quiet my mind and body.

Without fail, if I ignore my self-care, my conscious responses are diminished and my reactionary behavior gets kicked into high-gear.

But what makes or breaks a day? What motivates us to begin the day with self-care?

What It Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids

What was your childhood like? 
Do you remember feeling loved and happy?
Or was it a time filled with fear and loneliness?

Maybe it was a combination of both. What I struggled with most growing up was not knowing how to deal with feelings of unworthiness and being ostracized. I did not trust anyone enough to share those feelings.

The most devastating experience for me as a child was being rejected - whether by peers or parents.

How do we ensure that our children have the skills to master their emotions and take charge of their lives?

Bring More Love, Fun & Calm Into Your Family

Have you noticed that it is during our most taxing and tumultuous times that our kids show us just how tolerant we really are?

When my daughter's resistance is recurring, I know it is imperative for me to take a look at how often I choose to demonstrate love, fun and a calm presence.

Do you feel like you are always begging, pleading or insisting? Has your day-to-day lost all sense of play and lightheartedness that should accompany life?

Are You Making One of These Common Parenting Mistakes?

If you were to ask my daughter, "What is one habit your mom should work on stopping?" she'd probably tell you, "She shouldn't be mean or yell so much."

Sometimes my tone is less than inviting (mean), and my child is so sensitive that she resists and shuts-down at the first sign of threatening (yelling) control.

What Messages Are You Sending? How to Raise Confident, Capable Kids!

Kids are listening, making meaning out of memories. What messages about the world and life are they receiving?

Today, after many inner journeys, healing therapies and quieting my mind through the practice of mindfulness, I have shifted my belief about the world, and it is no longer something to be feared, but it didn't start that way.

My old beliefs influenced the way I responded to everything in my life - fear, threat and change. It wasn't always pretty.

Manage Difficult Behaviors With Three Magic Words

Do your kids nag, complain, or whine about rules and limits that they KNOW are unchanging?

Do they attempt to negotiate or outright beg for more TV, candy, toys or playtime despite repeated warnings that the issue is "not up for discussion?"

Do you interpret these behaviors to mean that your kids aren't "listening" to you, and feel you have to set firmer limits but don't know how?  

I've got a solution for you.

Why Kids Tattle and What To Do About It

She took my headband.
He touched my painting.
She touched my iPod.
He won't stop bothering us.
She won't stop hitting us.
Those boys spit on us.

Those are just a few of the "tattle-tales" I've recently heard from my daughter. 

Tattling is developmentally typical in young children. They are still piecing together how the world works. Like any behavior, it represents a need, and kids learn how to meet their needs through our reactions and interactions.

When You Don't Agree With Your Partner's Parenting

If you're married, parenting with a partner or co-parenting with an ex, how often do you agree or feel like you're on the same page?

Are you skilled at communicating without others feeling attacked or criticized?

Even if you AGREE on basic parenting principles, it doesn't mean that you'll see eye-to-eye on everything, and how you express your feelings about your differences will send your children important messages about how to respond to conflict.

#1 Way to Keep From Losing Your Cool

Many parents write in asking me just ONE question, "How do I keep from losing my cool?"

If you were to ask me to choose the challenge that plagues me most, I would have to agree. 

Single Best Strategy for Gaining Your Child's Respect

There I was standing outside the door she slammed shut.
The eight-year-old was demanding privacy.

What just happened? We were enjoying lunch, I mentioned her dance class starting - and BAM, she turned on a dime.

Six Ways to Master Communicating With Kids

I believe children have the right to live freely. 

Sometimes we provide a lot of commentary around our kid’s actions. We interject where we don’t need to, providing solutions when we should just be there as a spotter is for a gymnast

In conscious parenting, our aim is to allow kids
as much freedom as possible within a reasonable set of supportive limits rather than applying rigid rules and restrictions enforced without flexibility or consideration of other factors.

You Can Stop Raising Your Voice: Conscious Communication Strategies - Part One

I've been taking time this month to process the many deep emotions swirling in my head and heart, along with the collective pain, loss, judgment, hate, and violence that the world is experiencing.

Racial Tension

These experiences bring sadness, pain, and a lot of opinions.

There are strategies you can use to turn defensive reactions into responsiveness - in both you AND your kids.

Making Transitions Tolerable - New Ideas for New People & Places

It's that time of year again (for some of us) when we leave behind the beach blankets and summer sun for school books and crisp fall days.

Heading back-to-school means homework, rules, transitions, social anxieties, new people and places, and everyone making decisions about how your kids will spend their time (except them)

The weeks leading up to this annual return can reveal hidden despair, anxieties, doubt and worry that can negatively affect your child's resourcefulness and capacity to make a smooth transition.

It's no secret that today's academic experiences are not always accommodating to individual needs and unique temperaments. 

That is another conversation for another day. 

Today, as we shift out of the lazy days of summer and back into the scheduled days of school, I am digging into the archives to share my TOP 4 BACK-TO-SCHOOL POSTS.

Whether you and your child are --

- today's Back-to-School compilation of TEACHable Moments will help you ease your child's back-to-school jitters.

Watch now!

Braving the Back-to-School Blues
Braving the Back-to-School Blues
Dealing With the Mean Girls
End Homework Battles
Navigating Punitive School Discipline

I'd love to hear from you about your children's transitions and how you help them manage, so leave me a note in the comments and share your story!

Have a great week!


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Struggling with Self-Care? What You Need to Do First

Guest Post by Christopher White, MD Founder of Essential Parenting and co-author of Mindful Discipline.  - See more at:
Guest Post by Jessica Felix, Parent Coach. Follow her Facebook page Early Endeavors.
Guest Post by Christopher White, MD Founder of Essential Parenting and co-author of Mindful Discipline.  - See more at:

© Alina Shilzhyavichyute |

Maybe you’ve heard the term “self-care” over and over again as you’ve sought parenting, wellness or life balance advice. You try to fit it in – feeling more guilt for missing it than for feeding your kids fast food or sugary cereal!

Self-care seems to be this elusive ideal.

Like if you really had it together as a parent, you’d be able to weave self-care smoothly into your daily routine and, everything would be easier and more satisfying.

The problem is that when we focus on self-care first we are putting on blinders to the real need that we have as parents.
It isn’t enough for us to strive for self-care and wellness.

I know – you don’t need one more thing to do!

But hear me out. This one tip will make that elusive balance issue practically obsolete. We need to focus on our own acceptance of -

4 Tips for Helping Toddlers Who Scream

Today's Q&A topic is one that I know most parents of young children will relate to - Toddlers Who Scream.

Toddler conflicts can cause you to experience a pressure-cooker-like environment at times, and believe me, your kids feel it too!

The emotional energy of your home has a tremendous effect on the way your children's brains deal with incoming stimuli.

Check in with your family. 

No More Baby Talk Please

It shouldn't hurt to ask for what we want, but what about when it does?

When kids don't immediately accept limits, it can feel frustrating. However, when we blame our emotional state on our children, they learn that it isn't safe to speak up or express how they feel.

Your frustration is valid. Don't deny it - but don't displace it, either.

Own it.

4 Strategies for Making Your Child's Sensory Sensitivities Less Painful

Do you have a sensory sensitive child? 

I am a highly sensitive person. I experience a range of hyper-reactions to everyday stimuli.

When I was growing up, my parents didn't know about sensory processing challenges, but my mom always talked about how I refused (or complained) about every kind of clothing -- too stiff, bothersome seams, choking collars or suffocating tight fabrics. 

They all "itched." 

4 Easy Ways to Communicate With Kids Without Even Thinking About It

Kids don't always "think" before they "express" because feelings are their first guide. Embracing our emotions to bring us to a new understanding of ourselves is the first step on the path to maturity.

As adults, have we fallen too far to the side of "thinking" and forgotten about our internal guide >> our feelings?

I think so.

5 Proven Ways to Encourage Responsible Behavior in Your Kids

"How can I be sure that I am encouraging responsible behavior in my child and not letting her "get away with things." - Tina, Mom of 3

This is a common and natural fear that most parents have at one time or another.  

As kids grow past the preschool years, we typically expect them to display better behaviors and more responsible actions.

But, what about those kids who don't seem to move past the meltdowns, or can't seem to stop and think before they act?

(Child under 5? Click here for 5 essential rules for communicating with young children)

What's missing?

How is it possible to parent your children the same, and yet, have one who seems emotionally mature and on target, and another who appears to be stuck in juvenile behavior, unable to control her impulses?

5 Essential Rules for Communicating With Young Children

Do you have a hard time not taking your children's behavior personally or getting upset when they refuse, protest or tantrum about the limits you set?

Does your toddler or preschooler become inconsolable when he doesn't get what he wants?

The first five years of life are a remarkable time, and quite challenging as young children grow from being helpless and dependent, to being autonomous with budding independence.

Communicating with young children, who can now control their bodies and choose to say "NO" when it feels right, can be exhausting.

I want to share a little secret with you... 

Create more peace in your home with these FOUR KEYS

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