Thoughtful Parenting columns

This weekly column about parenting issues is written by area child care professionals. It publishes on Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today.

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Thoughtful Parenting: Forming healthy digital habits

Recently, there has been a rash of articles in the news about the use of screens with children. The opinions range anywhere from banning all screens for children younger than 12 to handing babies a tablet to use independently. With all of this competing information, how is a parent supposed to decide what’s best for their child?

Thoughtful Parenting: Baby chicks — cute but risky

When children have opportunities to see real animals and learn in the outdoors engaging all their senses, they are even better learners and are excited to keep learning. Many parents recall their own wide-eyed wonderment watching a baby chick hatch or holding a little chick in their hands. They would like their own child to experience touching the soft downy feathers of a little chick or duckling.

Thoughtful Parenting: MALT can help keep kids drug-free

Parents have more influence over their child than friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities. Hard to believe, right? But it’s true.

Thoughtful Parenting: Teaching assertive, kinder words

Part of being a kid is learning how to communicate what you like, want and prefer in a way that others can hear. “You’re not the boss of me!” gets your attention, but it is distracting. Kids can use unkind words to get what they want.

Thoughtful Parenting: Helping your teen with ADD/ADHD

People with attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder generally have deficits in executive functioning skills: the ability to think and plan ahead, organize, control impulses and complete tasks. That means the daily demands of school can be daunting and often leave them feeling unsuccessful.

Thoughtful Parenting: Some ideas to foster happy families and successful kids

There is an incredible amount of information we have on raising kids now. Maybe it’s too much, but there are a couple of things that research shows to be significant predictors of how well a child will do in life.

Thoughtful Parenting: 1st birthday means dental checkup

In another town, in another decade, it was nap time at the child care center. The center was respected by the community as a safe, healthy early learning environment, staffed with trained caregivers.

Thoughtful Parenting: Why kids should not get rewards for participation

Nowadays, you walk into many kid bedrooms and their shelves are lined with trophies, medals, ribbons and rewards. Basically, if the parents write a check, the kid gets a trophy. I worry about how this impacts our children's motivation to participate in the first place.

Thoughtful Parenting: Fears, worries and anxieties

Fears, worries, and anxieties are part of being human. These emotions tell us something about our situation. From there, we make decisions about what actions to take.

Thoughtful Parenting: Reducing stress in your family's lives

We are in the midst of what I call generation stress, a generation of stressed out parents who are raising a generation of stressed out kids.

Thoughtful Parenting: Take the stress out of winter travel by being prepared

Parents of young children are some of the best-prepared people for travel. Not counting the old crumbs in the seat of the car, parents are the experts in packing snacks, along with water, milk and spare clothing.

Thoughtful Parenting: Benefits of fluoride

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by being a natural cavity fighter.

Thoughtful Parenting: Keeping kids safe from items contaminated with lead

Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.

Thoughtful Parenting: Preparing for the life-changing experience of having a baby

Medical providers as well as women of reproductive age can thoughtfully and positively discuss different aspects of getting ready for pregnancy.

Thoughtful Parenting: Perpetuating gratitude

A couple of weeks ago, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My parents joined us as did some close friends, and I even got to ski with my family. And then perhaps best of all, at dinner was the sharing of gratefulness that took place around our table. With thoughtful insights from the youngest to the oldest, we enjoyed laughter as well as tears as we clinked our glasses together.

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