Sunday, November 27, 2016

Holiday Survival Guide for Busy Parents

Holiday Survival Guide for Busy Parents

The holidays are upon us and with so much shopping, wrapping, planning, baking, traveling, cleaning and whatever else it is you do to get ready for can be just plain exhausting. There are lots of issues that can crop up around the holidays with behavior and kids can even feel your stress.

Our recommendations call for connection to each other, managing stress, making memories, having fun and teaching appropriate social skills {we share some below from the guy in the big red suit}! Below is an assortment of articles that can help with some of those holiday take you into the next year a little more well-rested and ready to face the new year. It's a virtual platter of holiday cheer for your eyes. Feast your eyes on these:

Simply click on the red-highlighted links to read more about each topic below:

Help kids manage holiday stress - Kids can get stressed just like adults. They even feel your stress. Here are some tips to help your kids (and yourself) cope with holiday stress.

Getting rid of the 'gimmies' - Materialism, conspicuous consumption and greed. What do kids really need to be happy. The research tells us, and here we break it down into an easily digestible read.

The Santa Rules for Social SkillsBefore the BIG guy got too busy with the season...I had a chance to sit down with him and gather up his tips on social skills. They are simple. They aren't all gussied up with technical jargon. Just pared down, doable ideas that are within the reach of all of us! And when we can do it, we can teach it to our kids!

Snow day activities for kids! - The kids are jumping for joy. It's a snow day! Now, what to do with them all day? Here are some great ideas!

Sing Your Stress Away - Hum, sing or harmonize. Singing helps reduce stress. Have a family sing-a-long or go caroling. Need inspiration? Follow the link for a Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long Songbook. You can read about why singing is good for your child's brain HERE.

Making a Naughty and Nice List? Here's why you might want to reconsider.

'Presence' for the holidays - Your child called. He said he wants more "presence" from you for the holidays. S~L~O~W down, play a game, read a book or just BREATHE with your child. Give a gift your child will ALWAYS remember.

Bake with Your Kids - Make it more relaxing with these 9 tips!

Snowballs (cookies) for everyone! - No matter what climate your child lives in, she can still have snowballs! Melt in your mouth, not in your hand variety!

Activities Galore to keep the Kiddos Busy - You'll find more than 275 Christmas Activities and Ideas through this post.

Oh, and let us know what you think. Do you have any other ideas to simplify and survive the holidays? We'd love to hear about it! Just comment below.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Eight Great Ways to Be Thankful for Kids of All Ages

Image shared with the permission of the artist/creator, Michael Kline. Click image.
When the image pops up in the new screen, click it again and you'll get the PDF version!

Eight Great Ways to Be Thankful for Kids of All Ages

I love stumbling upon cool things and helping kids become more thankful has been our topic du jour as of late around here. This awesome graphic, ahem...infotoon... is perfect, in my eyes, so I knew I had to share it with all of you! I saw it on twitter this morning.

Share and Share Alike!

I reached out to the author, Michael Kline, who graciously allowed me to share! This work originally appeared in Kids Discover Magazine. My kids used to read the magazine when they were younger. (One is graduating with honors with a degree in Biochemistry this spring...wonder if there is any relation?) Good stuff, indeed! And so is this graphic!

Put it Into Action!

Cozy up with your kiddos and peruse these eight ideas...then challenge your kids and yourself to pick one area to focus on for the next several weeks! Make gratitude last all year long. Here's what the researchers have to say about why it's so important!

While these ideas are created for kids, I think we can all agree, they're great things to do for kids of ANY age (just as the author suggests)!

Which is Your Favorite?

I love them all, but #8 is one that is vitally important for all of us! I do it all day long in my office and when I'm consulting. Don't let me lead you astray...I love to talk, too....but...listening is where the magic happens! 

Just this past week, I suggested #3 
to a family with which I work 
and guess changed 

Try them all! And see what kinds of changes take place around YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Thankful Freebies

Gobble, gobble! That time of year has come again! 

Thank you for being the kind of parent, educator 
or caregiver who supports 
social emotional development in all kids. 

You'll find two separate sets of free printables below,
plus our seasonal resources that help kids
with gratitude and conflict.

You can download our thankful printable HERE!

Here's another set of freebies from last year:

You can grab the above freebies HERE.

If you are looking for activities that 
help promote gratitude,you can find 
three unique resources below 
by clicking on the images
All resources pictured are 40% OFF:

Find this resource HERE, or click on images above.

Here's another resource. It works for kids AND teens
and may be used throughout the year! 
It's really like 3 resources in one!

Find this resource HERE, or click on image above.

And, how about some Talkin' Turkey 
to help children learn how to handle conflict?

Go HERE to find this resource, 
or click on the image above.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

3 Reasons to Encourage Gratitude in Your Kids

Gratitude is something we're better off cultivating every day of the year. Teaching our kids to do the same is a wise parenting practice, for a number of reasons. It goes way deeper than just having good manners. Having gratitude provides some built-in benefits, three of which we'll share below.

3 Reasons to Encourage Gratitude in Your Kids:

1. They'll Feel Better.  Gratitude has been shown to have both immediate and long-term effects on positive psychological functioning. (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008) 

2. They'll Be Less Greedy. People with gratitude tended to be less tied to materialism. (Lambert, Fincham, Stillman, & Dean, 2009)

3. They'll Be Happier.  Gratitude was associated with happiness among older children. It behooves parents to help their children develop this character strength. (Park & Peterson, 2006)

Teach Your Children Well

We know that telling kids to be grateful has much less of an impact than actually showing them. We need to demonstrate it, encourage it and intentionally teach it.

If you're looking for a way to drive home lessons about being thankful with your kids, we think you'll love these resources:


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Read all about it HERE.

And...if you are looking for a product that can be used
over the Thanksgiving holidays, but also can be used
throughout the year, check out this resource:

Find this resource HERE.

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

In closing, may I just tell you how thankful I am for all of YOU? Indeed, it is true. We have the kindest community on the planet...and it warms my heart knowing how hard you all work to raise and edcuate compassionate, kind, altruistic children and teens!

What are you thankful for?


Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology46(2), 213–233. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2007.03.005

Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., Stillman, T. F., & Dean, L. R. (2009). More gratitude, less materialism: The mediating role of life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology4(1), 32–42. doi:10.1080/17439760802216311

Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006). Character strengths and happiness among young children: Content analysis of parental descriptions. Journal of Happiness Studies7(3), 323–341. doi:10.1007/s10902-005-3648-6

Activities that Foster Gratitude

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Activities that Foster Gratitude

We need to give more than lip-service to the idea of gratitude when it comes to kids. We need teach this life skill intentionally and we need to demonstrate it ourselves. "Activities that Foster Gratitude" is a fabulous way to help kids keep thankfulness front of mind. 

And helping kids learn to be grateful seems to improve their lives in several ways. Read all about that HERE.

With fun activities that encourage thinking about gratitude, kids will begin to become more cognizant of it. See below for a sneak-peek inside this instant download product. You'll find more than seven activities inside.

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Here's a close-up of the contents:

Here's a completed activity below:

{as shared on Instagram}

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Help Kids Think Positive

Teaching Kids to Think Positive

Teaching kids to think positive may be more important than you imagine. Not only does it directly correlate to leading a more successful life and contribute to one's overall happiness, it also has a direct impact on both emotional and physical health. 

Here are just some of the benefits of positive thinking:

Increased Life Span
Lower Rates of Depression
Lower Levels of Distress
Greater resistance to the common cold
Better psychological and physical well-being
Reduced death from cardiovascular disease
Better coping skill when dealing with stress and hardships

What's So Bad About Negative Thoughts?

Some time ago, I wrote a post about what teens need to know about negative thinking. Truth is, these facts apply to kids and adults, as well. Here they are:

  1. They multiply.  Negative thoughts seem to take on a life of their own.  They almost become larger than life.  Once you get in a pattern of negative thinking, it can become difficult to break free!
  1. They keep you from being your best self.  Negative thoughts hold you back in every way.  They rob you of your confidence and stop you in your tracks.
  1. They stand in the way of your success.  When your thoughts make you feel down and out, you are less likely to branch out and try new things, or set higher goals for yourself.
  1. They make you feel lousy.  Confidence and self-esteem take a dive when negative thoughts are on the scene.
  1. They CAN be changed! You can change those negative thoughts into positive ones!  It takes time and practice, but over time, a huge difference can be made in how you feel and how well you do in all areas of your life.
Helping kids think positively is as important of a skill of helping them learn how to brush their teeth, look both ways before crossing the street and buckling a seat belt when riding in a vehicle. It serves as protection for a healthy, happy life!

How Do We Teach Positive Thinking Skills? 

It's a big question and the truth is, we teach these skills in two different ways:

1. Directly - we teach positive thinking skills directly when we emotion coach kids and walk them through the mental processes inherent in keeping their thoughts balanced.

2. Indirectly - we teach these skills indirectly by demonstrating them ourselves. It's important for us to "think out loud" sometimes, to show kids that we use the very process we are trying to teach them when it comes to thinking positively. If we walk around with a "woe is me" stance, and count our downfalls and foibles instead of blessings, how will our kids tend to think? If you guessed negatively, you are spot on! We have to watch our own thoughts and "practice what we preach", if we wish to raise positive kids with a "can do" attitude!

Here's Help! 

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Penelope Pig's Tips for Positive Thinking for Kids

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Help Kids Think Positive

Thinking positive is a skill that never goes out of style and it's never too early to teach it to our kids. Want to know all the reasons this is so? Check out the post that outlines its importance right HERE.

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This instant download resource will 
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Whether you use this resource as a 
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in no particular order, you'll have directions 
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Here's what's included in the resource:

More than 10 activities
Black & White inside for lower cost printing
2 full color posters/also in B & W
A bulletin board idea
An idea to expand the learning
Interactive Activities
Individual Activities
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Coping Candy: Help kids with Sadness, Anger, Disappointment & More

Help Kids Cope

Looking to help kids cope with BIG feelings like sadness, anger, disappointment & more? Now you can do it in a fun and memorable way that helps coping skills become like second nature. 

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You'll get directions that help kids discover coping skills
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and coping skills, so you can customize to any child or group.

You'll get directions for use with individual children and for groups or classroom use!

We think you're going to adore it! We've been using it with kids all week and so far,
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