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Why it’s good to have a strong-willed child, and why you should let up on them

Though there are plenty of times when parenting a strong-willed, sometimes disobedient child is a difficult, exhausting endeavor, it turns out there are plenty of benefits to a little bit of naughtiness or disobedience. Research shows that disobedient children earn more as adults and are also more likely to be entrepreneurs. As it turns out, some rather intelligent children who defy authority or challenge the status quo tend to think more outside the box, lending them a certain creative upper hand when it comes to new ideas and starting businesses. Entrepreneurs tend not to play by the rules. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, explains that strong-willed children (those who are described as spirited, headstrong, rambunctious, and even courageous) are usually...

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All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed

For more than fifty years, children's free play time has been continually declining, and it's keeping them from turning into confident adults. What are your memories of playing as a child? Some of us will remember hide and seek, house, tag, and red rover red rover. Others may recall arguing about rules in kickball or stick ball or taking turns at jump rope, or creating imaginary worlds with our dolls, building forts, putting on plays, or dressing-up. From long summer days to a few precious after-school hours, kid-organized play may have filled much of your free time. But what about your children?

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How to talk to your children about tragedy

Don't worry about saying the perfect thing- there is no answer that will make everything ok. It's alright to say you don't know. What children need most is someone to hear their concerns, accept their feelings, and be there for them. Answer their questions honestly, keep your responses simple and appropriate to their developmental level. Provide reassurance. Being silent or avoiding the issue won't protect them from what happened and may prevent them from understanding and learning how to cope with their feelings. Shutting down communication may leave your child with the impression that they can't or shouldn't come to you about the difficult things.

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The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues

My wake-up call was when the preschool teacher came up to me and said, “Your daughter is doing well academically. In fact, I’d say she exceeds expectations in these areas. But she is having trouble with basic social skills like sharing and taking turns.” Not only that, but my daughter was also having trouble controlling her emotions, developed anxiety and sensory issues, and had trouble simply playing by herself!

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