Raising Grateful Kids: Why Giving Thanks Is Good for the Soul

Gratitude is good for you — and for your kids. Psychologist Martin Seligman, who has conducted studies on benefits of expressing thanks, writes, “Gratitude can make your life happier and more satisfying. When we feel gratitude, we benefit from the pleasant memory of a positive event in our life. Also, when we express our gratitude…

Choosing Honesty: Tips for Raising Trustworthy Kids

Recently, I heard toddler screams emanating from the living room. When I went to check on my kids, I found a distraught two-year-old and a four-year-old who seemed to be holding something behind her back. Naturally, this prompted to a few questions:Me: Do you know why your brother is mad?Daughter: Oh yes! He wants his…

Pressing Pause: How Mindfulness Helps Kids

When it comes to parenting, some mornings are easier than others. Last week, my son broke into defiant tears and shouts more than once as I rushed him out the door to get to preschool on time. He didn’t want to put on his shoes, he didn’t want to brush his teeth, and he most…

A Tale of Two Temperaments: Same Parents, Different Kids

Originally published in the Washington Post on May 20, 2016. When my daughter got home from school yesterday, she made a cozy nest of pillows, pulled out her crayons and started to draw. “Mommy,” she complained, “the music is too loud. I need to focus.” To which her little brother predictably replied, “I want too…

“Let’s Find Out!”: Three Tips for Raising Curious Kids

Young children are naturally curious. They have an itch to explore their world and figure out how things work. And parents have compelling reasons to foster this inherent inquisitiveness. Curiosity is tied to academic achievement, with research showing “unequivocally that when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better.” According to one study,…

How Caring for Living Things Helps Kids Build Empathy

Before leaving for preschool this morning, my four-year-old checked on her jar of ladybug larvae, watered her little flower garden and shared a bagel with her little brother.  She may not know the term, but she was practicing empathy. Empathy is a skill – one that we can cultivate and strengthen with practice. It requires us…

Creative Play: The Real Work of Childhood

Ever notice how kids often have more fun playing with an empty box than with what was inside of it? That’s their imagination at work, and as parents, we should not underestimate how vital it is to nurture this creative spirit. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson explains that creativity is “the process of having original…