Back to top

Tips of the Month for Families are regular tips for building strong relationships and healthy families. If you would like to sign up to receive these tips, scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up.

Honesty is often less Scary than Kids’ Imaginations

Remember Hansel and Gretel? Since 1812, children have been engaged by this familiar story from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Pressured by their stepmother, a father abandons his children in a faraway forest and leaves them to die. The children are kidnapped by a witch who plans to devour them for her dinner. With themes of child abandonment, kidnapping and a near death experience, today’s parents might consider Hansel and Gretel dangerously dark and frightening for youth’s “fragile”…

Sparking Gratitude & Naming Losses

A swatch of silver lining during the coronavirus pandemic: To Have (sparking gratitude) and Have Not (naming losses) conversations with the children. There’s much they can learn — lessons for a lifetime of emotional health and well-being — by guiding them through these tough times in an emotionally intelligent way.

Skillful Listening Tips for Parents

Many of us have it backwards. With our kids, we emphasize talking rather than listening. We believe that good parenting means explaining, reminding, correcting, admonishing, instructing — it’s no wonder a lot more words come out of our mouths than theirs. In time, all our gab tends to turn them off. By adolescence, many have tuned us out.

Teaching Kids to Repair

Few parents are emotionally honest with kids when they speak unkindly. “You’re such a miserable mother,” snaps a teenage daughter, and we sharply retort with “Don’t talk to me that way!” Or a pre-school age son shouts, “You’re stupid!” and we say, “What did I tell you about language like that?” The story we tell ourselves may be that our son is overtired from a very long day, or our daughter is stressed out with too much homework. Essentially, we give their misbehavior a…

Teaching Kids About Healthy Eating Decisions

Turning somersaults, offering bribes, slathering peanut butter over celery — how to get children to eat their veggies? Kids rarely resonate to the concept of “healthy” eating. But recent research suggests two unique approaches — one for the younger kids, one for the teens — that may help parents promote healthier food choices. 

Accommodating Anxiety

Reports of a youth anxiety epidemic are highly exaggerated, according to research. But in the face of much media coverage, we are understandably alarmed when our children exhibit or even utter the word anxiety. In this era of “I just want my kids to be happy,” we rush to rescue and shield, fending off whatever seems to unsettle our little (and not-so-little) ones. That may be the epidemic.

How (not) to post your kids' lives on social media

Do you freely post pictures of your children on social media? After capturing them blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, walking down the aisle at their eighth grade graduation, or stylishly setting off to the high school prom, do you indulge the pleasure of uploading the photos of their beaming smiles to Facebook, Instagram, or the social media site du jour? You may want to think twice about what you're doing.

How to Nurture Your Kids' Relationship with Their Grandparents

If you find yourself sandwiched between two generations — your children and your aging parents — do all that you can to nurture their connection.1 With some exceptions, grandparents can deliver to grand-kids the unconditional love — and more — that can make an important contribution to a child's life. Particularly during times of family upheaval such as divorce, remarriage or illness, or when faced with their own challenging personal experiences, kids may find it easier to…