Whose Homework Is It?

By Sarina Behar Natkin



Homework

What's the definition of homework? An eight letter word that can make almost everyone cringe, adults and kids alike. One of the most common complaints I hear from parents of school age children is that frequent homework battles are driving them nuts!

We just don't get why it's such a problem. Is it that big of a deal?
We lived through our own school days, we understood the value of homework, we did it with no complaints to the best of our abilities, and we did it all with a smile. Of course, we walked three miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways too, right? NOT.
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Bedtime Whack-A-Mole

By Sarina Behar Natkin

PJ Boy2

Every parent dreads the nights where bedtime seems to last forever. We go through our bedtime routine, read books, snuggle, and say goodnight and within minutes they are back up. The list of bedtime requests can be seemingly endless, from a drink of water to a missing snuggle to a suddenly discovered splinter. I believe one time our daughter asked if we could make the birds stop chirping. Sometimes, you can even watch them ponder what they should ask for next. Read More...
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It's Not Fair!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Angry Girls

It’s Not Fair! Ever heard those words from your child? Remember saying them yourself? With two children in the home, I have the opportunity to hear that whiny jingle quite frequently. If you have missed this opportunity, park yourself outside an ice cream shop and count how many times you hear that phrase as children pass by.

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Video: How To Help Your Child Pick
An Appropriate Halloween Costume

By Sarina Behar Natkin


Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 10.17.03 AM
Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Sarina Behar Natkin on King 5 Morning News as she talks about Cultural Quotient and how to raise culturally aware children. Read More...
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Should I Stay or Should I Go:
Ending Drop off Drama

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Drop Off

As each school year starts, I watch parents and children struggle with morning drop offs. Children are in tears; parents shift rapidly between both anger and guilt. Parents are ready to start their own day and after the first few days of challenging drop offs, are beginning to lose patience. At the same time, they are often feeling guilty about leaving their children when they are upset.
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Sticker Shock:
The Dangers of Sticker Charts For Kids!

By Melissa Benaroya

sticker chart samuel jackson


The most dangerous stickers out there are the ones you see on sticker charts. Yep, you heard that right. Sticker charts can actually do more harm than good if you can believe it. Why you might ask? Well, if you read Beyond Praise a few weeks back about the negative effects of praise you might have some insight as to why stickers might be the reason your kids aren’t doing what you want them to.

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Beyond Praise: Building Self Esteem Through Encouragement

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Have you ever noticed how quick we are to say, “good job” or “you are so smart” to our children? For most parents, it has almost become a tic to heap praise on every thing our children do. Our natural instinct is to let our children know how much we love them and how proud we are of their growth and accomplishments. How we express these feelings makes a huge difference in how our children feel about themselves now and as adults. Read More...
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Three Keys To Summer Sanity:
Sleep, Structure and Regulating Sugar Intake!

By Melissa Benaroya



iStock_000015180242XSmall
Summer is in full swing and everyone is embracing the sunshine and the warm weather. With all the fun summer activities, parents tend to get a little more relaxed in their parenting. Being a bit more flexible and go with the flow can be wonderful and liberating, unless you are undoing everything you worked so hard to maintain in your parenting the rest of the year. Keeping your parenting consistent with your values during the summer months can definitely be more challenging when everyone is focused on having a fun time. Below are three things to be mindful of this summer to keep your parenting on track and ensure everyone is staying healthy and enjoying themselves.
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Preschool Potty Problems

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, 
GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding potty training their three year old.


Toilet paper girl

Dear GROW Parenting,

We are really struggling with potty training our three-year-old daughter. After using the potty for a while, she has now pretty much decided not to use the toilet. She will have an accident and then say next time she will use the potty, but then does not.

I have tried some different angles to convince her using the potty is a good idea since unfortunately, she is not too concerned with poopy underwear or wet pants. When she has accidents, I let her know I am disappointed, ask why she didn't use the potty when she was on just minutes before her accident, or remind her that her friends all use the potty.

Is there something I am missing? Should we go back to diapers for now? She does still wear a diaper to bed. Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated!
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You’re Not The Boss of Me!

By Melissa Benaroya


madboy

I was recently reading a piece that a business management expert wrote about being a good leader and boss. As I read this short bite in insight, I realized that all of the principals and ideas that he presented apply to success in parenting.

In working with clients over the years on navigating challenges at home with their children I cannot count the number of times a mom or dad has said to me, “I do all of these things in the work place and am very successful at it. But for some reason I did not connect the way I communicate with my employees/boss as the same way I might speak to my children.” This blog post is a twist on what Lex Sisney wrote about on
“How to Give an Order” on his website Organizational Physics.
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Clowning Around:
Helping Our Kids Manage Behavior

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding a child who loves to entertain and needs some guidance around when he can do that.

Class Clown

Dear GROW Parenting,

Well, it turns out I've raised a Class Clown! My 2nd grader is more interested in entertaining his friends than paying attention in class, in gymnastics, and in after-school activities.

There are worse problems to have of course, but it's becoming an issue more and more often. It's not so much what he's doing, but the fact that he doesn't know when to quit.
Any good exercises for self-control or paying attention to what's going on around you?
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Liar, Liar Pants On Fire: Making Kids Say Sorry When They Dont Actually Mean It

By Melissa Benaroya

dad say sorry

Yes, we all do it. We make them say, “I am sorry” even when they are not.  Or maybe they just don’t understand what there is to be sorry for. Regardless, over and over I hear parents tell their kids to say, “I’m Sorry”. And when kids just parrot “I'm Sorry” like they are told many times, the next request is to “say it like you mean it”.  Are we just asking them to be better liars?  Why do we do it?  Read More...
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Video: Avoiding Threats and Bribes

Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Fox News as she talks about avoiding threats and bribes!
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 8.33.57 PM

For a full article on the topic, check out our
blog post. Read More...
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Routine Charts Part Deux: Banishing Breakfast Battles

By Sarina Behar Natkin

In our last post, Melissa shared the amazing power of routine charts and the secret to making them work. This week, we kick it up a notch by sharing how this tool can be used in new ways to solve recurring challenges in the home.

Breakfast Chart

Once upon a time, we were a well functioning team each morning. It was surprising, given that I was not and am still not a morning person. We had one child, and daddy delighted in helping our toddler kick off the day. We had a lovely routine chart that helped us move through getting dressed and brushing teeth. My part was to press snooze, imagining that somehow that extra seven minutes of sleep was going to make a difference. I was eternally grateful for my husband's willingness to take the lead in the morning so I could grumpily move from sleep to wakefulness and put on my happy face before joining them 15 minutes later. Our little one was free to choose what she wanted for breakfast when they arrived downstairs. Read More...
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Is It Time For Your Family To Hit The Charts?
(And we are not talkin’ Top 40)

By Melissa Benaroya


Routine Chart
Incorporating more routine and consistency can help decrease power struggles and increase cooperation and fun in your home!

Every parent at one time or another has either thought about or made a chart for their child. It seems like there is never enough time to get out the door in the morning or get kids to bed without power struggles, no matter how much time you have. The type of charts that we suggest using are not reward charts, because there are no stickers or prizes that your child identifies or earns. Yet, there are valuable gifts that are received such as valuable life skills and responsibility! Now who doesn’t feel great about helping their child develop confidence, independence, and responsibility?
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Rebel Without A Raincoat
& Other Clothing Conflicts

By Sarina Behar Natkin

iStock_000010661967XSmall

With some families, fashion frustration starts quite young. I know many parents who at one time during infancy were shocked with what their partner dressed their baby in. I think my own husband delighted in dressing our first child in the craziest outfits possible just to watch my blood pressure rise. Alas, the days of my control over my daughter’s clothing choices were short lived. Somewhere around age two, my daughter was ready to debut her own sense of style and who was I to stand in the way?
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Threats & Bribes: Two Sides Of The Same Coin!

By Melissa Benaroya

Bribery

At
GROW Parenting we work with many parents of school age children. We frequently hear from parents that they feel like their children are trying to “manipulate” them. Parents are reporting this behavior as early as the ripe old age of two! And yes, these children can and do become very skilled manipulators or negotiators. However, this only happens when someone has been modeling and teaching these skills. Read More...
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Technology Time: Setting Limits That Work

By Melissa Benaroya

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding setting limits on technology use.

Tech Post2

Dear GROW Parenting,

We have a 5-year old boy who has been exposed to iPhone and iPad games and stories, some educational and some not so educational (ahem, angry birds). On a daily basis, he asks if he can have our iPhone or iPad to play a game. Often it seems like my exhaustion level is what dictates whether or not he gets to have it. Yes, we have a time frame of no more than 1 hour total between pre-recorded TV shows and games. Some days are just full of play and friends so no games. Even when I set a timer so he knows when it is time to stop, it still ends in a battle or tears. I'm just so struck by how insistent he can get in arguing with me about getting a chance to play the games. What do you suggest to achieve a good balance while maintaining a good relationship with your child, especially boys?
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Talking Time Outs:
What GROW Parenting had to say on the local news!

Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Fox News as she talks about time outs!
Click here to watch video.
For a full article on Time Outs, check out our
blog post. Read More...
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Time Out: Friend or Foe?

By Melissa Benaroya, LICSW & Sarina Behar Natkin, LICSW

discipline-child-using-spanking-method-800X800 (1)

The use of time outs is a hot and touchy topic! We at GROW Parenting are not afraid to talk about it AND we are committed to helping parents find new and better ways to use time outs in their parenting. Read More...
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Technology & Kids: GROW Parenting on Local News

Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Fox News as she talks about children and technology use!
Click here to watch video. Read More...
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Saying Sorry

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question about how to get her child to apologize.
Angry girl


Dear GROW Parenting,
My 6 year old threw a fit at camp last week for a variety of reasons. We have figured it out what caused it. However, during the fit she was VERY rude to her counselor. She refuses to say sorry or write a note or even draw a picture. She is embarrassed. I'm embarrassed. Any thoughts?
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Help! My Preschooler is Hitting!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding preschoolers and hitting.
mad girl

Reader Question
We have been struggling for some time with our three year old hitting and kicking others. It is happening both and school and at home. He has an older brother who is six, and is generally a happy, easygoing child. He is very articulate and can express himself quite well, so this behavior is surprising to us.

It's particularly upsetting for us because he acts so happy and smiles when he hits, so it seems kind of deviant; yet my head tells me he's just looking for attention or testing for safety. We know it’s not going to help the situation to think of him as hitter. Instead, we want to understand the need, from his perspective, to hit, push, or kick others. We would love some ideas for how to deal with this issue.
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A Parenting Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters

By Sarina Behar Natkin

This article originally appeared as a guest post on
Herbivoracious.

Girl Eating

“What’s for dinner?” “Ugh, I hate green beans!” “Can I have dessert yet?” “I’m not hungry (but I will be as soon as you clear the table)”…the list of mealtime complaints can go on and on. Not to mention the mayhem that may ensue before your little one can even talk. Not many parents can forget the frustration of thrown food, the mess of the yogurt in the hair, or the game of “watch mommy pick up my bagel over and over again.”

Food is a huge part of human life and most parents I meet cannot wait to dive in to the world of food with their babies. As the wife of a
food blogger and chef, we must have spent weeks talking about what our first food would be! Little did we know we were in store for a whole lot more than the idyllic family meals of The Cosby Show.
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Daddy Do It! What To Do When Our Kids Play Favorites

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Pointing Girl Crop
On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a reader’s question about their little one preferring one parent over the other.

Reader Question
My daughter tends to gravitate toward me (Papa), who is home with her more frequently. If I am home, she refuses to let her Dad help her with anything, give her a bath, or give her affection. Last night it came to a head when after when she didn’t want him to hug and kiss her goodnight. It was understandably quite upsetting to him. In the back of my mind I'm certain this is normal, but I also feel as though I need to do something.
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Are You An "Emotion Coaching" Parent?

By Melissa Benaroya

emotion coaching
Emotion Coaching is not just a parenting style. It is also a tool developed by John Gottman to not only help and teach our children to handle challenges, but also as a means of developing a relationship with our children based on trust and mutual respect. Read More...
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Toy Troubles: My Toddler Won’t Help Clean Up!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

You and your child have had a blast building a tower of blocks. Clean up time comes and you ask for some help putting the blocks away. Next thing you know, your calm cutie is gearing up for a major melt down. Sound familiar?

Encouraging clean up is a common struggle in many families. Whose job is it? If you clean them up are you letting them get away with something? Is it worth the struggle to make them do it? Lets take a look at these common questions.
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Crazy Time: A Solution For Bedtimes Gone Wild!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Its bedtime, you have followed your routine; your little one is settled in bed and its time to snuggle. Snuggling turns in to tickling, followed by laughter and before you know it your little one is very wound up instead of winding down for sleep.

This happens to many of us. I wrote about the mismatch of needs at bedtime in a previous post entitled,
The Bed Time Dance. The particular mismatch we were having in our house was that the parent working out of the house didn’t have much time to get silly with our then two year old during the work week. We would get all settled in bed and next thing you know, dad and tot would be roaring with laughter and bouncing off the walls. Read More...
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The Bedtime Dance

By Sarina Behar Natkin

We all know the drill. It’s been a long day, everyone is tired and it’s time for the kids to go to bed. Every step of the process feels like herding cats. Once there is more than one child in the home, the steps to this dance become even more complex. It makes tired parents want to hop up on a horse and lasso those kiddos right in to bed!
As I have witnessed our bedtime successes and struggles over the years, I have a theory on why this time of day is so hard: There is a mismatch in what parents and children want at that time of day. Parents are tired. We have made it through dinner and know that clean up, lunch packing, our own chores are all still waiting for us. If we can just get the kids to bed, we may even get a chance to relax before it’s time for us to go to bed.
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