4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence in Car Seat Safety

4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence in Car Seat Safety
Nearly two years ago my husband and I were getting ready to bring our newborn baby home from the hospital. As I put my tiny baby in his car seat for the first time I felt nervous and unsure that I was doing everything right, even though I had spent time preparing for this moment. Using a car seat properly can be an overwhelming task for parents, so I'm here to share a few tips with you to help you feel more confident in keeping your child safe in...
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Outdoor play - an easy way to promote health and learning for kids

Outdoor play - an easy way to promote health and learning for kids
Recently, my husband and I took our nearly two-year-old son on a nature walk. We found a quiet stream and sat along the edge. We began tossing pebbles in the stream and our son quickly became interested in doing the same. He was so intrigued with the impact the different sizes of pebbles made on the water and the splashes they produced. It brought me back to my childhood and how simple outdoor activities are some of my favorite memories. This mad...
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6 Phrases for Successful Interactions with Your Child

6 Phrases for Successful Interactions with Your Child
"Why didn't I think of that?" frequently crosses the minds of parents watching other parents handle their children successfully in the grocery store, during a playdate, or out in public. Memorizing some short basic phrases and the situations in which to use them creates confidence even in doubtful parents. 1. Say yes more than you say no . Even when you have to say no it can be done gently. For example, "I know you want a cookie, you can have one...
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How Parents Can Model Social-Emotional Skills

How Parents Can Model Social-Emotional Skills
Nearly all children could benefit from social/emotional coaching. The purpose of social and emotional coaching is to help children learn social skills, emotional intelligence, and behaviors. These abilities can help children relate to their peers and regulate their own emotions. It might sound like a daunting task for parents and caregivers to teach children how to regulate their emotions. However, there are very simple things parents can do as t...
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5 Ways to Encourage Good Behavior While Handling Negative Behaviors

5 Ways to Encourage Good Behavior While Handling Negative Behaviors
I was so excited to meet my nephew and watch him discover what life has to offer. We were enamored by his first words and loved to hear him giggle.. then came the pureed fruit packets. For weeks, his parents sternly told him, "No!" as he would spray the sauce from his mouth on to them. They were trying to change his behavior but were only reinforcing it. It wasn't until they decided to not acknowledge the bad behavior that it began to stop. Wheth...
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5 Tips and Tricks for a Successful Summer Break

5 Tips and Tricks for a Successful Summer Break
Summer can be a fun and exciting time for families! There are so many activities they can do together, it feels like the options are endless. At the same time, summer break can sometimes feel stressful. Changing from a structured school schedule to extra free time can be overwhelming for kids (and parents). With a little bit of planning and a few tips, you can make the transition to summer a smooth one. 1. Keep a schedule Keeping a schedule durin...
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4 Summer Safety Tips for Parents

4 Summer Safety Tips for Parents
Summer is right around the corner and I, for one, could not be more excited to have some fun in the sun. From swimming to evening bike rides, there is so much to look forward to. With all this fun in mind, my thoughts have also turned to what I can do as a parent to keep my son safe during our summer activities. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you are preparing for summer fun with your children: 1. Water Safety Tips According to the...
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Screen Time Series (Part 3): Parents on Screens: How to Model Mindful Use

Screen Time Series (Part 3): Parents on Screens: How to Model Mindful Use
  "More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents. " This statement jogged my memory of a photo I once saw. It was of a couple sitting up in bed, as they were illuminated by the light of their phones in the darkness of the night. Neither of them appeared to be speaking to the other. They each were focused solely on the device they held in their hands. Since then, I have seen other photos that depict ...
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Screen Time Series (2): Alternative Activities & Managing Multiple Kids' Screen Time

Screen Time Series (2): Alternative Activities & Managing Multiple Kids' Screen Time
Imagine that you are at home with your children. You're scrolling through your social media feed while your spouse is working on their laptop. Your toddler and preschooler are watching a children's program on the television and your school-aged child is playing a game on your tablet. Suddenly the power goes out, taking the precious Wi-Fi connection with it. What do you do? How can you keep your family "entertained" without the screens that are re...
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Screens are Here to Stay!

Screens are Here to Stay!
Getting our very first TV was a huge event: my sister and I could watch black-and-white shows, but only around bedtime. Fast forward a few decades, and now screens are everywhere (at work, in school, and at home; even in our bedrooms), available 24/7 and used for an endless variety of purposes. Right before the first lockdowns of 2020, a nationally representative survey found that about half of the parents said whether or not their infant or todd...
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Prioritizing Self-Care: How to Make YOU-time Happen!

Prioritizing Self-Care: How to Make YOU-time Happen!
  Have you ever been on an airplane? Before the plane takes off the flight attendant reminds the passengers where the safety exits are located and how to access the overhead oxygen mask. Importantly, they instruct the passengers to put on their masks before helping another person. Why is it important to put your oxygen on first? Simply put, if you don't have oxygen you are unable to help the person next to you. It seems intuitive, but moms a...
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Learning About Autism for Autism Appreciation Month

Learning About Autism for Autism Appreciation Month
The month of April is Autism Appreciation Month! According to the CDC, 1 in 44 children are autistic, so it is very likely that your child will interact with or know someone with autism. This month is a great opportunity for you and your child to learn more about empathy. Here are a few ways to do so! Read Books Together There are so many great picture books that can help kids learn about autism, and autistic people. Here is a list of 10 books th...
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How to Prevent a Public Temper Tantrum

How to Prevent a Public Temper Tantrum
Every parent has witnessed a temper tantrum at one time or another. Your child is screaming while you stand there trying to decide what to do. It can be even more daunting when you have an audience watching. Public temper tantrums can be difficult, but below you will find some positive parenting strategies to ease the stress when there's a crowd watching. Setting Your Child up for Success : One of the best ways to avoid a temper tantrum is to giv...
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Strong Happy Families: The Strengthening Families Approach

Strong Happy Families: The Strengthening Families Approach
In 2001, The Center for the Study of Social Policy ( CSSP ) began studying how education programs and early child care across the country could prevent child abuse and neglect and build healthy, happy families. They came up with an approach called Strengthening Families . Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. The foundat...
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Talking to Your Child About Sex

Talking to Your Child About Sex
Not many topics frighten parents more than talking to their child about sex. However, I hope to convince you if you start early, you can talk about sex bit by bit and create an even closer relationship with your child. Suggestion 1 Start early. Begin by referring to your child's body parts (genitalia included) using the correct terms. A penis is a penis, not some silly nickname. The vulva is the vulva, not "your nether regions" or "down there." W...
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Happy Birthday Help Me Grow Utah

Happy Birthday Help Me Grow Utah
It has been another year of adjustment and growth at Help Me Grow. We are grateful for the support from our donors, partners, and families like you ! Let's take a look at how we've grown over the last year.   98% of families have reported that Help Me Grow Utah has been equally helpful or more helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic the past year 1,235 community referrals were made 1,301 new families joined Help Me Grow Utah We engaged 1,318 pe...
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The Power of Proximity- Teaching Children to Regulate Big Emotions

The Power of Proximity- Teaching Children to Regulate Big Emotions
I recently sat down with a mom who told me her story about parenting a child who has experienced living in an orphanage, foster care, and being adopted at two different times in his life. I was moved by her strength and the lessons she has learned as she strives to become a person of stability in this young boy's life. She described using ideas from the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) therapy model that have helped her reach her child ...
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How to Overcome Feeding Challenges

How to Overcome Feeding Challenges
  Feeding a child can cause the most anxiety-inducing moments of the day... OR it can be an enjoyable experience that brings parent and child closer together. The following guidelines can empower your family to start out on the right foot when feeding your baby, or if you have a picky eater , to take steps toward positive feeding moments. Mealtime peace The foundation to success in eating and feeding is creating peaceful mealtimes. If your c...
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How to Support Your Child as a Single Parent

How to Support Your Child as a Single Parent
Being raised by a single parent is special but far from easy. I grew up in a single-parent household along with my younger brother. As a single mother, my mom did everything in her power to make sure my brother and I were happy and gave us the best life possible. As a child, I never once felt unsupported in any way, despite having a single mom. If you are a single parent reading this today, I want to let you know that your child/children can be j...
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How Fathers Can Bond with Their Babies

How Fathers Can Bond with Their Babies
A few weeks ago, I was watching my husband play with our 6 month old son, tossing him lightly into the air, and I felt my heart drop from where I sat. My heart couldn't handle the fear as I saw the potential for him to fall and get hurt, but at the same time, I loved the sound of the giggles and laughter from the two of them. I was terrified, but they were having the time of their lives! I know I play and laugh with my son, but it's so different ...
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