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Positive Conversations with Teens

written by Laurie Lafortune

As children enter the teen years, a lot can change. Bewildered parents may feel that they are living with a distant acquaintance – a confused, self-absorbed, impulsive, and over-sensitive houseguest. So how can you get along better with your teen?

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Encouraging Independence

Written by Laurie Lafortune

Most parents have felt frustrated by their preschool child saying, (often in a whiny voice),
“I can’t do it!” when we know they are perfectly able to do the task of putting a toy away, placing their shoes by the door, or hanging a jacket on a hook -all reasonable requests of a three or four year old.  Then, you’ll see the same child at preschool easily and cooperatively doing all those things.

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Should your teen have a part time or summer job?

Written by Laurie Lafortune

Most kids will have earned some money by babysitting, cutting the lawn, or doing some major chore that you may pay them for. But a huge milestone in life is the first job.  This usually happens at or after age 16 and is part time. In some parts of North America, kids can get a part time job at an even younger age. Continue reading

Is my kid alright?

Written by Laurie Lafortune

When your child participates in a group setting for the first time, be it child care, preschool or kindergarten, that’s often when you notice other children’s skills and abilities and can’t help but think about how your own child compares. In kindergarten, you may notice that some children have very large vocabularies, while others seem less developed in their speech. Some children can talk clearly, while other kids’ words are very hard to understand. Some children will be printing letters and drawing and colouring detailed pictures, while others are holding a pencil in a fist-like grip and do not attempt to draw or print. Some children will seem physically talented, and can throw and kick a ball, balance well and climb on playground equipment with ease. Others seem less coordinated in their movements. Some will be able to put on their own jackets and boots, while others struggle. Continue reading

Helping Your Teens to be Realistic about Money

Written by Laurie Lafortune

Only a small percentage of people are wealthy, and every adult except the very rich has to make choices about spending and saving that involve doing without some things we want.  What adults earn  frames our choices around what home to live in, what car we drive, what vacations we take, what clothes we buy, how much we can support a charity…and on and on. Living within your means is an essential concept and one that parents need to help their children to understand. This can be one of the most difficult things to realize for teenagers, especially if you, as a parent, have tried to provide everything they want. At the heart of living within your means is an understanding of needs and wants.

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Kids and Allowances

Written by Laurie Lafortune

Most of us got an allowance when we were younger. I can remember comparing what I got with what friends received and some of them got a lot more than I did! (I have to admit that some kids got less and some didn’t get an allowance at all). Each week, my father gave us kids some cash.  If we ran out of spending money, we had to wait for the next week. It seemed pretty straightforward, but from a parent’s perspective, figuring out allowances for kids is a bit more complicated than it seems at first. Here are some things to think about… Continue reading

Helping Young Children When Natural Disasters Strike

Written by Laurie Lafortune

When a terrible event such as a tornado, wildfire, flood, or other natural disaster happens, it’s extremely traumatic for everyone affected. For children, such events can be especially difficult to cope with. Even after the event is over, and they are physically safe, children may have difficulties, (although each child is different and there is no one typical way of responding). Children may be more irritable, less cooperative, have tantrums, or regress from milestones such as being potty trained or sleeping alone.  There might be bed wetting, They might become very demanding and seem angry all the time. They might cling to you and be unable to let you out of their sight. Frequent crying, unable to sleep, and general loss of interest in activities or play can also occur.

What can parents do to help children through these times?

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What is School Success to You?

written by Laurie Lafortune

We all want our teens to succeed at school but let’s consider what we mean by success. Do we want our teen to be a straight A student, star athlete, respected and liked by teachers? Do we hope our teen will be popular, or a leader in student council and on committees? Or do we hope that our teen will be kind, helpful and supportive to others.

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Helping Your Teens to be Realistic about Money

Written by Laurie Lafortune

Only a small percentage of people are wealthy, and every adult except the very rich has to make choices about spending and saving that involve doing without some things we want.  What adults earn frames our choices around what home to live in, what car we drive, what vacations we take, what clothes we buy, how much we can support a charity…and on and on. Living within your means is an essential concept and one that parents need to help their children to understand. This can be one of the most difficult things to realize for teenagers, especially if you, as a parent, have tried to provide everything they want. At the heart of living within your means is an understanding of needs and wants.

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Understanding Your Child’s Temperament

written by Laurie Lafortune

I remember a friend telling me that if her third baby had been her first, she might not have had more than one child. That rueful statement was related to temperament of her third child, which was much more challenging than the calm, easy-going temperaments of the first two.  It can be a surprise to parents how different siblings can be in temperament.

For parents who are trying to use active parenting strategies to be the best parents they can, it’s crucial to understand your child’s temperament.  Temperament describes a child’s typical way of responding to the world. It appears that temperament is genetically based, but of course is then modified by the environment including the type of parenting.

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The Building Blocks of Reading-How Parents Can Help Build Literacy Skills

written by Laurie Lafortune

 

Studies have shown that children who are behind in reading in school by Grade 3 continue to fall behind and are four times less likely to graduate high school than other children.  The first three grades of school are very important in learning to read, but the foundation for reading is laid at home, long before formal schooling begins.  Successful parents play a key role in helping their children be successful in school before school begins, not by teaching them to read, but by supporting the development of literacy. Parents should start as early and as frequently as possible with simple communication activities.

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Shopping and Financial Literacy for Kids

written by Laurie Lafortune

Financial literacy refers to the skills and knowledge that allows a person to make informed decisions about money and other financial resources. Financial literacy for kids? That sounds kind of complex, and over their heads.  But your children will have money at their disposal from quite a young age. Birthday presents of cash, gifts of money or store cards from grandparents will start coming their way. Kids as young as 3 can understand buying and spending, and saving.

We don’t want our kids to reach adulthood and suddenly be thrown into the real world of budgeting. We all can tell stories about many young adults (and older adults) who struggle with financial decisions and are unable to manage their income and expenses. Money worries are one of the biggest causes of family breakdown. And a lot of the money worries come from spending beyond income.

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