Thoughtful Parenting columns

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


Thoughtful Parenting: Setting boundaries for teens

It is nothing new for teens to test limits; pushing their parents’ boundaries is practically a given during the teen years and part of learning how to be independent. However, it is extremely important that teens do have set parameters, that they know they are responsible for their actions, and that those actions have consequences.

Thoughtful Parenting: Protect children's dental health

DentaQuest and the Colorado Medicaid Dental Program think your child’s oral health is important.

Thoughtful Parenting: Keeping kids safe in Colorado

It’s important to children 5 to 7 years old that they feel that they are helpful members of their families. Their eagerness to tag along with their parents and learn makes these years an ideal time for parents to teach children new skills and the importance of safety.

Thoughtful Parenting: Adolescence and beyond

Whether their teen decides to attend college, technical school or explore the job market, parents often wonder if they have done enough to prepare their youth for all that lies ahead.

Thoughtful Parenting: Helping teens with ADHD get organized

The life of teenagers is a lot more complex these days as they are inundated with tasks that need their constant attention. The concept of time for a person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be difficult to grasp.

Thoughtful Parenting: Remembering brain development during meltdowns

In their book, "No Drama Discipline," mental health experts, Drs. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, describe how the brain works, especially when kids feel intense emotions. They emphasize three things to keep in mind when your child is having a difficult time.

Thoughtful Parenting: Help wanted: Infant and toddler care in Routt County

Approximately 68 percent of Routt County families with children younger than five have both parents in the workforce, according to date from the 2010 U.S. Census. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs projects Routt County’s birth to age five population to grow by 70 percent between 2015 and 2030. No matter how you look at it, the availability of licensed care for our youngest citizens is distressingly inadequate.

Thoughtful Parenting: Preventing child abuse

Due to the prevalence of child sexual abuse, parents should educate themselves on strategies to protect their child.

Thoughtful Parenting: Advice for entering middle school

Kids grow up fast, and every child, parent and family is different. Just being there for your child to listen during these transitional times is the most important thing you can do.

Thoughtful Parenting: Encourage children to drink water

A cold drink of water tastes amazing on a hot summer day. Water is one of the most natural, healthy beverages children can drink. Encouraging children to quench their thirst with water will help them develop a taste for it, an important step toward life-long health.

Thoughtful Parenting: Avoiding the "summer slide"

The importance of keeping children engaged throughout the summer is cited in numerous research studies. The fact is, if students don’t practice the skills they have gained throughout the school year, they lose them. This is commonly known as the “summer slide.”

Thoughtful Parenting: Gatekeeping

Parental gatekeeping occurs when one parent sees the other parent as less than competent when it comes to caring for a child and feels the need to control or restrict the child’s interaction with the other parent. This can occur whether parents are living together or apart. More often than not, it is mothers who tend to be gatekeepers, but fathers can be as well.

Thoughtful Parenting: Combatting underage alcohol use

Underage drinking is a problem, particularly during the summer months, but there are steps parents can take to curb this trend.

Thoughtful Parenting: Engaging kids, preventing learning loss this summer

For many families, summertime involves a delicate balance between allowing kids free time to rest while still engaging a more structured sense of creativity and play.

Thoughtful Parenting: Preventing the summer slide

There are resources available for parents to help ensure children don't lose educational ground over the summer break.