Posted in Parenting

Navigating Kindergarten: A Guide for Parents

It’s that time of the year again—back to school season! For parents of children stepping into the world of kindergarten, this can be an emotional and transformative experience for both you and your little one. The transition from preschool to kindergarten marks a significant milestone in your child’s development, and as a parent, you play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and successful journey. That’s why we created a guide for parents of children entering Kindergarten.

Preparing for the First Day of Kindergarten:

The first day of kindergarten can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for both parents and children. To make the experience more positive, start preparing your child in advance. Visit the school together, let them explore their new surroundings, and meet their teacher if possible. Talk about what to expect, from the classroom setup to daily routines.

Establishing a Routine:

Kindergarten introduces a structured routine that may differ from what your child is used to. Help them adjust by gradually transitioning into a consistent schedule a few weeks before school starts. This includes setting regular bedtime and wake-up times, as well as meal and playtime routines. A well-established routine can provide comfort and stability during this period of change.

Building Independence:

Kindergarten is all about fostering independence. Encourage your child to complete tasks like putting on their shoes, using the restroom, and packing their backpack on their own. These skills not only boost their confidence but also prepare them for the responsibilities of school life.

Communication is Key:

Maintain open communication with your child’s teacher. Attend school orientations, parent-teacher conferences, and stay in touch throughout the school year. Regular updates on your child’s progress, challenges, and achievements will help you stay informed and actively involved in their education.

Encourage Social Skills in Kindergarten: a Guide for Parents

three toddler eating on white table
Photo by Naomi Shi on

Kindergarten is a wonderful opportunity for children to develop social skills and make new friends. Arrange playdates with classmates before school starts to help your child become familiar with their peers. Teach them how to share, take turns, and communicate effectively to build strong social foundations.

Nurturing a Love for Learning:

Kindergarten is a time for curiosity and exploration. Encourage your child’s natural interests and curiosity by reading together, visiting museums, parks, and engaging in age-appropriate educational activities. A love for learning will set a positive tone for their educational journey.

Managing Separation Anxiety:

black boy screaming in room
Photo by Keira Burton on

It’s natural for both parents and children to experience separation anxiety during this transition. Ease separation anxiety by reassuring your child that you’ll be back to pick them up and that school is a safe and fun place. Establish a goodbye routine that signals the end of your time together each morning.

Healthy Nutrition and Rest:

black boy in denim eating tasty breakfast in plastic container
Photo by Katerina Holmes on

A balanced diet and sufficient sleep are essential for your child’s physical and mental well-being. Provide nutritious meals and snacks, and ensure they get the recommended amount of sleep each night. A well-rested and well-fed child is more likely to be attentive and engaged in their learning.

Celebrate Kindergarten Achievements, Big and Small:

Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, whether it’s learning a new skill, making a friend, or completing a project. Positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and motivation to continue learning and growing.

Stay Patient and Supportive:

Every child adapts to kindergarten at their own pace. Be patient and offer continuous support, encouragement, and understanding. Celebrate their successes and provide comfort during challenges. As your child embarks on this exciting journey of kindergarten, remember that you are an integral part of their growth and development. Cherish these precious moments and watch as they blossom into confident, curious, and capable individuals ready to take on the world. Your involvement and guidance will help lay the foundation for a successful academic career and a lifelong love of learning.

I hope you enjoyed reading about navigating kindergarten: a guide for parents. Check out this kindergarten reading list: Summer Reading list for Kindergarten

Posted in Activity

Push Ups With Dad – Inspired by “Dad Is My Best Friend” by Kerice Robinson

Looking for a fun way to bond with your child? Take a page out of “Dad is My Best Friend” and try doing push-ups with your little one on your back! Check out these adorable highlight reels of fathers and children of all ages working out together. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #DadIsMyBestFriend and #PushupsWithDad to share your own father-child exercise routine!

Just remember, safety first! Keep the exercises age-appropriate and listen to your body to prevent any discomfort or pain.

"Dad Is My Best Friend" by Kerice Robinson
Posted in health, Parenting

10 Fun and Nutritious Recipes to Get Your Kids Excited About Healthy Eating

As a parent, you know how challenging it can be to get your kids to eat healthy foods. It’s not always easy to convince them to choose fruits and vegetables over processed snacks and sugary treats. However, with a little creativity and some fun recipes, you can encourage your children to enjoy a balanced and nutritious diet. Here are ten fun and nutritious recipes that will get your kids excited about healthy eating.

  1. Rainbow Fruit Salad: Cut up a variety of colorful fruits, such as strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, blueberries, and grapes, and mix them together in a bowl. This colorful and tasty snack is packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
  2. Sweet Potato Fries: Cut sweet potatoes into thin slices and bake them in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt. Kids will love the crispy texture and sweet flavor of these healthy fries.
  3. Veggie Pizzas: Use whole-wheat pita bread or English muffins as a base and let your kids top them with their favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Add some low-fat cheese and tomato sauce, and bake them in the oven for a healthy and delicious meal.
  4. Smoothie Bowls: Blend frozen fruits, such as bananas, berries, and mango, with some yogurt and milk to make a thick and creamy smoothie. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top it with fresh fruit, granola, and nuts for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast or snack.
  5. Grilled Chicken Skewers: Cut chicken breast into small pieces and thread them onto skewers with vegetables such as peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Grill them until the chicken is cooked through and serve them with a side of brown rice for a tasty and protein-packed meal.
  6. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich: Spread natural peanut butter on whole-grain bread and top with sliced banana.
  7. Banana Pancakes: Mash up a ripe banana and mix it with some eggs, flour, and baking powder to make healthy and fluffy pancakes. Serve them with fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup for a nutritious and tasty breakfast.
  8. Turkey and Cheese Roll-ups: Spread cream cheese on a slice of turkey breast and roll it up. Slice the roll into bite-sized pieces and serve them as a protein-packed snack or lunch.
  9. Baked Apples: Cut apples in half and remove the core. Fill the center with some cinnamon and honey, and bake them in the oven until they are soft and fragrant. This healthy dessert is a great way to satisfy your kids’ sweet tooth without the added sugar.
  10. Zucchini Noodles: Use a spiralizer to turn zucchini into thin noodles and sauté them in a pan with some garlic and olive oil. Serve them as a low-carb and nutrient-rich alternative to traditional pasta.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Remember to offer a variety of foods and textures to your toddler and be patient as they learn to accept new tastes and flavors. With these fun and nutritious recipes, your kids will be excited to try new foods and develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

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Posted in Parenting, Technology

Digital Parenting 101: Raising Screen-Smart Kids in the Digital Age

The digital world has become an integral part of our lives, and it’s no different for our children. Kids today are growing up in a world where technology is ubiquitous, and they have access to an endless stream of information and entertainment at their fingertips. As parents, it’s important to ensure that our children are navigating the digital world in a healthy and responsible way. Here are some tips and strategies to help you raise screen-smart kids.

  1. Set boundaries and rules

It’s important to set boundaries and rules around your child’s use of technology. This includes limiting the amount of time they spend on devices, as well as setting rules around when and where devices can be used. For example, you may decide that devices are not allowed at the dinner table or after a certain time in the evening. Be clear about your expectations and enforce them consistently.

  1. Teach digital citizenship

Teach your children about digital citizenship, which is the responsible use of technology. This includes being respectful to others online, protecting personal information, and understanding the impact of online behavior. Encourage your children to think critically about what they see online and to question the accuracy of the information they come across.

  1. Use parental controls

Most devices and apps have built-in parental controls that allow you to restrict access to certain content or limit the amount of time your child can spend on a device. Take advantage of these features to ensure that your child is only accessing age-appropriate content.

  1. Monitor your child’s activity

While it’s important to respect your child’s privacy, it’s also important to monitor their online activity. Keep an eye on what your child is doing online and who they are communicating with. Make sure that they are not engaging in any inappropriate or dangerous behavior.

  1. Model healthy technology use

Children learn by example, so it’s important to model healthy technology use yourself. This includes setting aside designated times for technology use, limiting the amount of time you spend on devices, and being mindful of your own online behavior.

  1. Encourage offline activities

Encourage your child to engage in offline activities such as sports, and arts, and spend time with friends and family. Help your child find a balance between their online and offline lives.

  1. Have open and honest conversations

Finally, have open and honest conversations with your child about the digital world. Encourage them to ask questions and share their concerns. Be supportive and understanding, and work together to find solutions to any problems that arise.

In conclusion, the digital world can be a wonderful place for children to learn and explore, but it’s important to ensure they do so healthily and responsibly. By setting boundaries, teaching digital citizenship, using parental controls, monitoring your child’s activity, modeling healthy technology use, encouraging offline activities, and having open and honest conversations, you can help your child navigate the digital world with confidence and safety.

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Posted in Parenting, Social Emotional

Teaching Kids about Diversity and Inclusion: 7 Tips for Parents and Educators

Importance of Teaching Kids About Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are critical aspects of our society, and they play an essential role in creating a harmonious and equitable world. Children who grow up in a diverse and inclusive environment are more likely to be empathetic, respectful, and understanding of people from different backgrounds, races, religions, and cultures.

Furthermore, learning about diversity and inclusion is crucial for children’s personal growth and development. It helps them build a positive self-image, increases their self-confidence, and teaches them to appreciate their own culture while respecting and appreciating other cultures.

Diversity and inclusion education also helps children develop critical thinking skills, the ability to see things from different perspectives, and the capacity to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. These skills are essential for navigating a complex and diverse world and developing inclusive and respectful relationships with others.

Practical Strategies for Teaching Kids About Diversity and Inclusion

  1. Start with Yourself

Parents and educators must lead by example when it comes to teaching children about diversity and inclusion. Take the time to examine your own attitudes and beliefs, and work on any biases or prejudices you may have. Educate yourself about different cultures, religions, and lifestyles, and model the behavior you want your children to emulate.

  1. Emphasize Similarities and Differences

Teach children that although people may look different, have different beliefs or speak different languages, we all share common emotions and experiences. Focus on similarities and celebrate differences in cultures, food, and traditions, and use these differences as an opportunity to learn and appreciate other cultures.

  1. Use Literature and Media

Books, movies, and television programs can be powerful tools for teaching children about diversity and inclusion. Choose age-appropriate books and media that feature characters from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Use these stories as a starting point for conversations about different cultures and experiences.

  1. Encourage Diversity in Friends

Encourage children to make friends with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences will help children learn about different cultures and develop empathy and understanding.

  1. Celebrate Diversity

Celebrate diversity through cultural events, festivals, and food. Attend cultural events in your community, try new foods from different cultures, and learn about the history and traditions of different cultures.

  1. Address Stereotypes

When children hear stereotypes, it’s essential to address them and explain why they are harmful. Encourage children to speak up if they hear someone making hurtful comments, and provide them with the tools to challenge stereotypes and prejudice.

  1. Foster Inclusive Environments

Parents and educators must create inclusive environments that promote diversity and inclusion. This includes ensuring that all children feel welcome and valued, regardless of their background, and fostering an environment where children can express themselves freely without fear of judgment or discrimination.


Teaching children about diversity and inclusion is essential for creating a more inclusive and respectful society. Parents and educators play a crucial role in teaching children about diversity and inclusion, and the strategies outlined above can help make this education a reality. By starting early and leading by example, we can help create a world where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background. With patience, persistence, and compassion, we can help children develop empathy, respect, and understanding for people from different cultures, religions, races, and backgrounds.

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Posted in Parenting

The Power of Play: Why Kids Need Time to Play and Explore

Play is an essential part of childhood and is crucial to a child’s development. Play allows children to explore the world around them, learn new skills, and develop their social and emotional intelligence. As a parent, it is important to understand the significance of play and to encourage your child’s play and exploration. In this blog post, we will discuss why play is essential for children’s development and offer tips for parents to encourage play and exploration.

Why Play is Essential for Children’s Development?

Play is an essential part of a child’s development. Children learn through play, and it helps them develop a variety of skills, including:

  1. Physical Development: Play allows children to develop their gross and fine motor skills. It helps them develop their strength, balance, and coordination.
  2. Social Development: Play helps children learn how to interact with others, cooperate, and negotiate. It allows them to develop their social skills and learn how to communicate effectively.
  3. Emotional Development: Play helps children learn how to regulate their emotions, develop empathy, and express themselves.
  4. Cognitive Development: Play allows children to explore the world around them, develop problem-solving skills, and enhance their creativity.

Tips for Parents to Encourage Play and Exploration:

  1. Provide Opportunities for Play: As a parent, it is important to provide your child with opportunities for play. Create a safe and engaging environment where your child can explore and play freely.
  2. Encourage Imaginative Play: Encourage your child to engage in imaginative play. Provide them with toys that allow them to use their imagination and creativity.
  3. Play with Your Child: Play with your child and engage in their play. This allows you to bond with your child and provides them with a positive role model for play.
  4. Encourage Outdoor Play: Encourage your child to play outside. Outdoor play allows children to explore nature, develop their physical skills, and learn about their environment.
  5. Limit Screen Time: Limit the amount of time your child spends watching TV or using electronic devices. Too much screen time can limit your child’s opportunities for play and exploration.
  6. Provide Variety: Provide your child with a variety of toys and games to play with. This allows them to explore different interests and develop a variety of skills.

In conclusion, play is essential for a child’s development. It allows children to explore the world around them, learn new skills, and develop their social and emotional intelligence. As a parent, it is important to provide your child with opportunities for play and to encourage their exploration. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help your child develop into a happy and well-rounded individual.

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Posted in Parenting

Supporting Children’s Mental Health: 7 Strategies for Parents and Caregivers

As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child, and this includes good mental health and emotional well-being. Promoting positive mental health and emotional well-being in children is important as it sets the foundation for a healthy and happy life. Here are some tips and strategies for promoting good mental health and emotional well-being in your children.

  1. Encourage open communication: Encouraging open communication with your child can help them feel safe and comfortable expressing their feelings and emotions. Create a safe space for your child to talk about their day, their worries, and their fears. Listen actively and show empathy, and avoid interrupting or dismissing their feelings.
  2. Foster positive relationships: Good relationships with family members, peers, and teachers can help your child feel loved, supported, and valued. Encourage positive interactions with others and provide opportunities for your child to make friends and build positive relationships.
  3. Promote physical activity: Physical activity is not only good for the body but also for the mind. Encourage your child to engage in regular physical activity, such as sports, dancing, or cycling. Exercise releases endorphins, which can boost mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  4. Teach mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help your child manage stress and anxiety. Encourage your child to practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help your child feel calm, centered, and grounded.
  5. Model positive behavior: Children learn by example, so it’s important to model positive behavior. Show your child how to manage stress, deal with conflict, and maintain a positive attitude. When you demonstrate positive behavior, your child is more likely to adopt these behaviors too.
  6. Encourage creativity and self-expression: Creativity and self-expression can help your child process their emotions and thoughts. Encourage your child to engage in creative activities, such as drawing, painting, or writing. Provide opportunities for your child to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.
  7. Set boundaries and routines: Setting boundaries and routines can help your child feel safe, secure, and in control. Establish clear rules and expectations, and stick to a consistent routine for meals, bedtime, and other activities. This can help your child feel more organized and reduce anxiety.

In conclusion, promoting good mental health and emotional well-being in children is important for their overall health and happiness. Encourage open communication, foster positive relationships, promote physical activity, teach mindfulness and relaxation techniques, model positive behavior, encourage creativity and self-expression, and set boundaries and routines. These strategies can help your child build resilience, manage stress, and develop a positive outlook on life.

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Posted in Parenting

Tired of Toddler Tantrums? Use the Brain to Stop Temper Tantrums!

This is a Guest Post Written by Felice Martin  |   Originally posted on August 27, 2018

Let’s be real. Dealing with a tantrum in the middle of the grocery is never easy. Remember the last time your child had a temper tantrum. Was your stress level high? Did you feel helpless?

Most parents I talk to agree that these anger explosions happen mainly when a child is told “NO.” So, what’s a parent to do? I’ve found that adults respond out of anger and guilt. Parents also, struggle to manage the voice of guilt which makes them feel like a “failure” and helpless.

Toddler girl crying

Here are five brain-based tools that my clients have used to stop temper tantrums fast!

  1. Emotion Regulation-It’s important for kids to know that they are in control of their feelings and emotions. They must also understand that they have the power to make choices on how they will respond to frustration, disappoints, etc.
  2. Help Child Know Their Triggers-Parenting always offers opportunities to teach your child on different levels. Many parents don’t realize the benefits of understanding how the brain impacts behavior. Parents who can teach their child how to recognize his or her amygdala-based threats and respond appropriately will help move their child to a higher level of thinking and responding to threats.
  3. Model Expected Behavior-Were you aware that children do what you do and not what you say? One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is being a positive role model. For example, if you want your child to treat others with respect, you must model the same behavior.
  4. Connect with Felling’s-If a person feels stuck, he or she will do whatever is necessary to get unstuck. In many cases, children lack the vocabulary to express how they feel. This makes it critical that parents help children put words to feelings. Parents can say things like “you seem really happy; you seem very disappointed, you look excited, etc.” The goal is for parents to put words to the emotion the child is expressing.
  5. Teach Healthy Conflict Resolution-The goal is for children to identify their emotions and learn to control how they express their emotions. Feelings are a part of the human experience. Parents need to let children know that they have a right to their feelings. At the same time, they must control what they do to express those feelings. Specifically, when children are experiencing conflict, they need choices. Parents can say “yelling isn’t working, here are two things you can do.” When children have a clear choice, they are better able to focus, calm down, and follow through. Choices also allow the opportunity to teach personal responsibility.

A message from Felice Martin “Clients who work with me have created a peaceful atmosphere at home and school using my easy-to-follow temper tantrum-stopping system. If you are tired of yelling and feeling helpless, download the worksheet today.

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Posted in Parenting

Back to School (COVID Safe)

Kids Are Going Back to School. How Do We Keep Them Safe?

As the Delta variant rages across the world and vaccination rates remain low in many parts, worried parents have two pressing questions: Should I send my child back to school? Will they be safe in school during a pandemic?

Parents have become frustrated at the lack of advice for families, particularly those with children under 12 years old, who are not yet eligible for a COVID vaccine. On social media and at school-board meetings, parents say they face an impossible choice: send kids to school and risk a COVID-19 infection, or keep kids home and jeopardize their mental health and educational development.

Children wearing face mask in school. Picture found on "back to school (covid safe)" blog
Photo by Muneer ahmed ok on Unsplash

While public health officials generally offer reassurance about the safety of children headed back to school, the advice varies depending on the conditions in your state. Please pay attention to your state or countries COVID guidelines.

Many parents are choosing to homeschool their children, even if the school district will no longer offer virtual classes. These parents must make a plan to not break any adolescent education laws and to provide their children with the best academic experience at home.

What can parents do to lower the risk of their child contracting COVID-19?

Getting a COVID vaccine may lower the risk of a child being infected at home and protect family members if a child brings the virus home from school. In addition, everyone in the family should consider getting flu shots this fall.

Reduce the risk for your whole family by avoiding crowds. Paying attention to the community transmission rates, vaccination rates, teaching children to wash their hands, and wearing masks in risky settings are great preventative measures.


What should parents do if their child’s school does not require masks?

Children in school. Picture found on "back to school (covid safe)" blog
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Even in schools with mask mandates, compliance by children is never 100 percent. And masks are only one of many possible precautions schools can take. Parents in school districts without mask mandates should learn what other steps are being taken, including regular testing, social distancing, and air ventilation measures. Parents can ask their own children to wear masks in schools, but keep in mind masking is far less effective if most kids aren’t doing it.

If you chose to send your kids with a face mask, it is important to send them with one that fits their face. Purchase Children’s Mask on Amazon.

"The school I teach at opened in-person September 2020 at about half capacity. A plan was made to clean the school several times during the day, with help of janitorial and teaching staff. The desk in the classroom and cafeteria were separated 3 to 6 feet apart. Distancing depended on the size of the room and the amount of students who would need to fit in the class.  UV-c lights were used in each classroom afterschool. The HVAC units were updated. The school district believed we were ready. When school started, children were in pods for most of the day but they ate lunch in the cafeteria, had recess, and specials with children from other grades and pods. School ran on a half-day schedule but a large percentage of the student body stayed full day for a free aftercare program that was offered for working parents. We had several outbreaks throughout the 2020-21 school year. Many teachers began to believe the the school administration did not take the health of staff and students seriously. Parents in the community had to go back to work, so school was open. Several teachers were extremely sick from COVID in February 2021. From October to May the several schools in the district had to close for 2 week quarantines due to staff exposure. The school administration made a great effort to get staff vaccinated. A large percentage of staff members and their families were able to be fully vaccinated by May 2021. My fellow teachers and I, hope that the plan for the next school year will be followed much more effectively. We truly love the children and want them in school and learning, but not at the risk of their health or our own."

- Kindergarten Teacher, USA 

In some pre-kindergarten special education or autism classroom mask wearing is not required due to the children’s ability to understand, behavior, or other needs of the child. If you have a child in a classroom wear mask are not required or are required but not worn by students, it is up-to you to contact school officials to address the problem. If you are uncomfortable with children in a classroom not wearing mask: ask for your child to change classrooms due to safety or ask for a virtual class.

If you have a young child who is intolerant to wearing a mask, please make the school administration and teacher aware of this. Practice mask wearing at home for short periods of time. Start with having your child touch the mask. Point out that others are wearing mask. Have the child wear the mask for 15 seconds at a time, then 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minutes, 5 minutes in different locations, 10 minutes in different locations, and 30 minutes in different locations. This method takes some time but it will help young children who are mask intolerant build up the stamina to wear a mask in school.


Can your kids visit grandma and grandpa during the school year?

We must take into consideration the health risk to elderly community members. Are they vaccinated? Are the children going to school in an area with high COVID-19 transmission rates? Are the grandparents in good health? The answer to whether a child visits their grandparents during the school year depends on your answers to this question. 

When everyone is vaccinated, families may feel more comfortable spending time together. If younger children are unvaccinated in a fully-vaccinated family group, some families might want to take additional precautions, like spending time together outdoors, wearing masks indoors, or getting tested before family gatherings to confirm that no one in the family is infectious.

Home testing is also an option, although it can get costly at about $15 per test. Regular testing of school-aged children, at bi-weekly intervals or before a family visit, can give parents peace of mind when families spend time with people outside their households.


Is in-person instruction safe for kids with medical needs?

Parents of children at very high risk for complications from Covid-19, including children with sickle cell anemia or those recovering from cancer, may need to do additional research before sending children back to school in fall 2021. The decision should be made based on advice from the child’s pediatrician and specialists, factoring in local conditions and the precautions being taken at the school.