What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

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Weathering Hurricanes with Kids

Hurricane Harvey has barely left the scene, carving a swath of devastation across the Gulf Coast, and now Hurricane Irma — the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded — is headed right for Florida’s east coast. These massive storms can be difficult enough for adults to comprehend; for children, they can cause extreme levels of anxiety. Most of the time, parents are the only adults kids can turn to during times of emergency. That means you need to be a figure of ...

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Daniel Daly, Boys Town Psychologist

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Teens are more stressed and anxious, but they don’t know why. Here’s how parents can help.

Article courtesy of The Washington Post.  The teenage years can be tough, marked with physical and emotional changes, new choices and responsibilities, and evolving relationships with the people who surround us. But a recent report shows that hormones aren’t the only thing troubling the teen years; young people are increasingly showing a general inability to identify the source of their angst and pain. These results have serious implications for those who care for kids. A review of more than 830,000 calls, text messages, ...

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Maggie McGill, Boys Town In Home Family Consultant

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3 Tips for Creating a Parenting Plan with your Co-Parent

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Co-parenting can be difficult because you need to remain consistent with addressing behavior, and you might have different expectations than your child’s other parent. Creating a parenting plan can help parents work together to appropriately and consistently address children’s behaviors. Use the following steps to create a parenting plan of your own. Find a time to sit down and discuss what rules you have for your children. Make a list if needed to help you remember. ...

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Six Discussions to Start the School Year Right

Every school year is your child’s opportunity for new success. If your child was less than successful the previous year, the school year ahead offers a clean slate. If they’ve been doing well throughout the years, then the new school year means a path to continued success, building on the positive skills and habits they’ve acquired. To help start things off on the right foot, it’s a good idea to sit down with your child and discuss the upcoming school year. ...

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Angela Nott, Boys Town Cross Country Coach and Teacher

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2 Easy Tips for Raising an Active Child

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Did you know just one hour a day of activity helps maintain a healthy mind and body? Parents play a key role in their child’s physical fitness. Taking on that role not only has an influence on their childhood, it also influences how children approach physical fitness in the future. The habits we form in our youth make a difference when we get older; kids who are inactive usually remain inactive as adults. Our children look at ...

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Greg Snyder, Ph. D. | Boys Town Staff Psychologist

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Vaping and E-cigarettes – A Healthy Alternative to Smoking?

At first blush, it seems like a positive step: A former cigarette smoker switches to vaping, or using an e-cigarette. It seems good because the person is no longer inhaling the smoke from burning tobacco leaves and the associated additives — something the U.S. Surgeon General (and common sense) tells us is bad. Then consider the fact that cigarette smoking by teens is at an all-time low. So, good news, right? Not necessarily. While teen smoking is indeed at record lows, ...

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Keep Your Kids Healthy this Summer

It used to be that summertime was when kids became healthy almost by default. Spending the days bicycling with friends or swimming at the pool helped shed winter pounds and helped kids stay lean. Unfortunately, these days, the lure of video games, social media and endless streaming options for binge-watching threatens to keep children indoors and inactive over the summer months. Here are some tips for keeping kids healthy and active this summer. Encourage Healthy Eating One thing you can do to ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother or 11-year-old son and 9-and 4-year-old daughters

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10 Milestones You Might Not Find in the Child Development Books

Sure, learning to read and tie their shoes are great accomplishments for kids, but there are others that every parent truly appreciates once their children have mastered them. Like when they learn to feed themselves or when they discover how to play by themselves. Certain crucial achievements are often overlooked, and you might not find them in the traditional lists of developmental milestones. As every parent knows, we should celebrate these milestones for the amazing accomplishments they are. Milestone No. 1 Can ...

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Raising Compassionate Children

Compassion literally means "to suffer together." Emotional researchers describe compassion as the feelings and motivation that arise in us when we are confronted by the suffering of others. Most young children have an innate sense of compassion, but the development of this important feeling must be nurtured if it is to survive into adulthood. This is where parents come in. So, how do you go about raising a compassionate child? The most important way is by allowing your child to routinely experience compassion ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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4 Tips To Help Your Teens Make Good Clothing Choices This Summer

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Hot weather is here! It’s time to dress for informal events like camp, ballgames and visits to the pool, as well as more formal occasions like weddings. Parents often cringe at what their kids choose to wear — and in the summer, there’s no outerwear to cover up a fashion faux pas. Here are some tips for helping your kids dress so they’re happy and you aren’t scandalized every time they walk out the door. 1. ...

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Dr. Connie J. Schnoes, Ph.D. | Staff Psychologist | Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

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The Power of Imaginative Play

Have you ever seen a child pick up a stick in the yard and suddenly wield it as a sword to fight off a band of marauding pirates? Or maybe you’ve seen a youngster build a fantastic airplane from nothing more than a boxful of colored plastic building blocks. This is play fueled by pure imagination. Children have the ability to create worlds of their own, where they can become a hero or a princess or a cowboy or a ballerina. Imagination ...

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Why You Should Take a Back Seat on Your Next Family Outing

Raising confident, independent children who can make decisions on their own is one of the most important tasks you have as a parent. Even if your children are still young enough to play dress-up, they need opportunities to begin exploring and exercising independence. And family outings are a great way to get started. Supervised Independence  When children are allowed to explore outside of their normal environments, they learn how to interact with others and experience the consequences of making decisions. They ...

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Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

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When Children’s Stormy Behavior Threatens, Having a Plan in Place Is a Must

For people across most of the country, stormy weather is just a fact of life at this time of the year. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, damaging winds, hail, heavy rains and flooding can wreak havoc and dramatically disrupt our daily routines. That’s why we are continually encouraged by the weather experts to be prepared and have a plan for safely riding out the storms that come our way. This might include keeping a flashlight, extra batteries, water, nonperishable food and a portable radio stored ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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More Apps Your Kids Should Avoid

We’ve written about so-called “dangerous apps” before. (Read about them here and here.) But as with anything internet-related, apps that can be used for bullying, “hooking up” and other illicit purposes come and go rapidly, so it made sense to update our list. The current list includes apps you are familiar with, but there are a few additions that you should be on the lookout for. And remember, as a parent who pays for your child’s smartphone and/or tablet, you are ...

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Pat Thomas | Boys Town Nebraska Family Helpline

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7 Steps to Help a Child Who Is Cutting

This article was originally published on momaha.com. When a parent discovers their child has been self-harming, their natural response can be panic. Rather than trying to imagine what they are thinking, focus on the behavior and what you can see, hear or measure. It is important to remember the following steps if you find out that your child is cutting. Try using these types of phrases: • “I see a cut on your arm; let me take a look at that.” • “I saw you made ...

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Greg Snyder, Ph. D. | Boys Town Staff Psychologist

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A Toy by Any Other Name Is Still a Toy

Are fidget spinners or other toy-like devices helpful in reducing restlessness, inattention and motor spillover behavior in the classroom setting? My answer is unequivocally, NO. Don’t buy in to the hype. Fidget spinners, fidget cubes and small handheld manipulative devices produced by toy manufacturers and co-opted by advocacy groups and children themselves are not helpful for children — unless they are used solely for enjoyment during free time. Many children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental delays oftentimes present with excessive motor ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Your Summer Vacation Survival Guide

  We’ve all seen the movie. We all know what can happen when you pack Mom, Dad and the kids into the family car or an airplane to head across the country on vacation. So, how can you make the most of this annual tradition while minimizing the chance of catastrophe? We’ve pulled together a variety of articles, videos and tips to help! Set Ground Rules for Gaming These days, it’s natural for teenagers and younger children to want to bring their video ...

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Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

 

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Graduations Are Grand, But Remember to Celebrate What They Really Mean

“Keep your eyes on the prize.” It’s a saying that’s been popularized in a number of ways throughout history. There’s a reference to it in the Bible (Phillipians 3:14). It’s been a rallying cry for the Civil Rights movement. An abbreviated version (“Eyes on the Prize”) even serves as the title of a Bruce Springsteen song. Closer to home, and very appropriate for this time of year, it’s also a great message for high school and college graduates, and their families. In this sense, it means ...

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Jennifer Simpson | Boys Town Family Teacher

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4 Tips for Supporting a Child with Depression

This article was originally shared on momaha.com. Depression affects kids in a variety of ways and can be situational or a constant in their life. There are a few things parents can do to help keep depression at bay and help their kids through this challenging time. Here are a few tips: 1. Implement routine and schedules for your kids throughout the day. For example, try to eat meals and snacks at similar times during the day. If your kids are school-age, implement a ...

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Pam Farmer | Boys Town Foster Parent

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A Mother’s Love, a Lifetime of Inspiration

As Mother's Day approaches, greeting card stores are stocking up for shoppers looking for the perfect card to express their feelings about their mothers. My mother is considered the "Hallmark Queen," a title she earned among our family members for remembering everyone's special events by sending a card. It seems old fashioned now, with texts, emails and Twitter accounts that allow people to keep in touch, but a handwritten note in a beautiful card sends the message that someone went ...

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Kristen Hallstrom | Manager of Boys Town National Hotline

 

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We Need to Talk About ‘13 Reasons Why’

Netflix has added warning cards before three specific episodes of its hugely popular show “13 Reasons Why.” Based on the equally popular 2007 young-adult novel of the same name, the show focuses on the suicide of a teenage girl named Hannah and the cassette tapes she recorded before her death detailing her reasons for taking her life. The subject of suicide is serious and could stir controversy regardless of how it might be handled. Netflix chose to approach the book’s subject ...

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Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

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Knowing Where They Came From Can Help Prepare Youth for Where They’re Going

Genealogy – the study of ancestry and family history – can be a fun and interesting pastime for parents and children. Some families may have a tradition of looking through old photo albums or having an older relative share stories of days past during family gatherings. Others may go even deeper in their search for family history, enlisting the assistance of a professional genealogist or using Internet websites to do their own detective work about their family origins. But exploring one’s heritage ...

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Kristen Hallstrom, Manager of Boys Town National Hotline

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You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

Each year, the Boys Town National Hotline receives hundreds of thousands of calls and online inquiries regarding a host of issues affecting children, teenagers and parents. We recently talked to Kristen Hallstrom, manager of the Boys Town National Hotline, and she provided some insight about common calls, preventive measures parents can take right now and more. We hope this information will help answer some of your questions and assure you that the hotline is here any time of day for ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Practice and Preparing Your Kids for the Big Game – of Life

Both of my kids played sports in high school. My daughter loved volleyball; my son was into football. Over the four years they played, my daughter set, dug and hit thousands of volleyballs and ran through countless drills in practice. My son threw thousands of passes, worked on his drop backs and handoffs every day of the season, and studied formations and all the plays that could be run out of them. Both relied on the constant, consistent teaching of their ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Are Your Teens Ready for Prom?

Little else conjures up as much simultaneous horror and excitement in both teens and their parents as going to prom. It’s an adolescent rite of passage that dates to the late 19th century, and it’s been a social and economic minefield from the very beginning. Thankfully, the parenting experts at Boys Town have a few words of advice on the subject. The ‘Promposal’ This is something that has taken off in recent years, and it can range from cute and fun to ...

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By Father Steven Boes | President and National Executive Director | Boys Town

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Easter, Passover Highlight the Foundation of Faith All Kids Need

No time of the year better reflects the work we do to help hurting children and families than Easter and Passover. Both holidays are celebrations of faith, renewal and redemption, which is what our boys and girls experience every day as they move toward leading productive, purposeful lives. At Boys Town, faith is the foundation on which our boys and girls build hope and healing. Helping children develop a spiritual life is something that sets us apart from many other child ...

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Laura Buddenberg | Manager Training and Community Outreach

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4 Tips to Help Your Raise Tweens

This article was originally featured on momaha.com. Parents of middle schoolers often find they’re challenged by kids who are 13 going on 30. These children act like they’re older than they really are and demand the privileges of high school or college kids (late curfew, dating, driving, cell phone, no adult supervision, etc.), but don’t have the maturity or judgement to handle it. What’s a parent to do? Here are a few tips for life with a tween: 1. Fair doesn’t always mean ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Turn Weather Fear into Fun with a Pirate Treasure Hunt

When severe weather strikes, even the bravest adult can suddenly feel small and vulnerable. Now, imagine being a young child in a similar situation. Fear is caused by the unknown, so putting together an emergency severe-weather kit can help alleviate worry for both children and adults. What happens if we lose power? We have flashlights with fresh batteries and a hand-crank weather radio. What happens if somebody gets hurt? We have a fully stocked first-aid kit. What happens if our house ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Getting Your Kids Back into the School Groove after Spring Break

When you’re a kid, you live for school holidays. After all, there’s nothing like a few weeks — or months — of staying up late, sleeping in and hanging out with friends. The trouble is, as with all good things, spring break eventually come to an end, and you have to go back to school. As a parent, when an extended break ends, you need to help your children get back into the swing of things. Young ones accustomed to sleeping ...

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Bridget Barnes | Director of Common Sense Parenting at Boys Town

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5 Tips to Help Parents Clear Up Instructions

This blog was originally featured on momaha.com. Most parents know they should give children clear instructions, but sometimes this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Below are some helpful hints on how to give kids instructions that will make both you and your child more successful – no matter the circumstances. 1. Get their attention. Go to your child or call them to you. Get down on their level and talk in a normal or calm voice while making eye contact. You ...

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Dr. Reznicek | Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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What Teachers Wish Parents Would Do at Home

When parents and teachers work together to achieve the same goal — the education of the student — success is much easier to achieve. It wasn’t always this way, of course. Not too long ago, parents would send their kids off to school, assuming their job was done. They thought that once their children were in class, it was the teacher’s job — and his/her job alone — to provide their education. Today, we know better. We understand that while teachers ...

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Laura Kelley | Crisis Counselor for the Boys Town National Hotline and the Nebraska Family Helpline

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5 Tips for Dealing with an Aggressive Child

This blog was originally featured on momaha.com.   You may have witnessed it out in public or in your own home. Dealing with an aggressive child can be difficult as you try to remain calm, keep others safe and help your child wind down. Whether it is verbal or physical, aggression can be a learned behavior or a symptom of a mental health or substance abuse issue. Here are some tips on how to help teach your child appropriate ways to handle anger. 1. ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Four Things I Learned Parenting My Anxious Child

Foreword: When to Get Help and What to Expect By: Kristin Abbondate, Pd.D. | Boys Town Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Team As a child psychologist, I spend at least part of my day discussing anxiety with children, adolescents, and their families. Anxiety effects everyone; however, for some people, anxiety can cause significant impairment academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. For those families, seeking professional help can be useful.  Cause for concern? Your child or teen is unable to complete NEEDED or WANTED activities ...

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By Bridget Barnes | Director, Common Sense Parenting®

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Teaching Togetherness in Today’s Reality

We have just experienced one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent memory. Nerves are raw, wounds are fresh, and even younger children are aware that there is tension in the air. If ever there were a time for Americans to show we are one nation, it’s now. Sadly, some have forgotten that it is “unity” that makes us the United States. We must teach our children there is no us or them there is only “We the people”. ...

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Kristen Abbondante, PhD, LP, BCBAPsychologist, Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic

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Teaching Social Tolerance in Today’s Political Climate

The 2016 presidential election has created intense feelings for many people –adolescents included. Those feelings and thoughts have been expressed using social media. While it’s great that young people are engaged in the political process and want to use social media as a way to express those thoughts and feelings, often times adolescents need guidance on how to formulate a digestible opinion. Before they do this, it’s important for parents to see this experience as a teachable moment for helping ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Teaching Tolerance, Acceptance and Respect for the Next Generation

2016 was a year when a number of tragic, attention-getting events further illuminated the great need for tolerance, acceptance, awareness, respect and social justice in our country. Month after month, the stories seemed to be endless: A police officer shoots an unarmed African American person while making an arrest or responding to a call. Protesters take to the streets to condemn the officer’s actions and demand justice for the victim. A police officer is shot during a “routine” traffic stop. Citizens express their ...

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Chris McGinnis, Ph.D., BCBA-D | Clinic Director for Boys Town South Florida’s Behavioral Health Clinic

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Increasing Your Child’s Independence and Initiative

Ever feel like you're doing too much to help your child or teen be successful but with very little success? For example, without sitting down with your child and helping with homework you know it would never get done? And yet your child is getting no more independent with it as time goes on? You may be right. You may be doing too much. In economics, there is a concept called the Laffer curve, and it has to do with getting the federal ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director at Boys Town

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Is Reality TV Good for Kids? Not Really.

Television reality shows are supposed to entertain us by providing an unscripted, unrehearsed look at how people deal with different real-life situations. Oftentimes, the “stars” of the shows are in competition with each other, vying for a cash prize or a chance at even “bigger” fame. In reality, most of these programs are well-planned-out “dramas” where every participant has a role to play. The more outrageous their behavior is, the higher the ratings go. While these shows may be considered harmless ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach

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5 Christmas Tips for Grandparents

This was originally featured on Momaha on December 19, 2016. Navigating the role of grandparent can be tricky this time of year. Here are five tips for grandparents this holiday season. • Avoid a competition. Grandparents should avoid making buying presents for the grandkids a competition. Sets of grandparents sometimes try to outdo each other in the gift department in order to be a grandchild’s “favorite” grandpa or grandma. When buying gifts, it might even be a good idea to talk to the ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Making the Holidays Memorable When You Can Only Afford to Give Them Love

It can be tough during the holidays when you have young children who want a toy or game they see on television or in the hands of friends and schoolmates, and you can’t afford to give it to them. In situations such as these, it’s crucial to teach your children that there are more important things in life than just “things.” Putting ‘Things’ in Perspective To help your children understand this concept, show them that certain activities can make them just as happy ...

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Jennifer Bell, Manager of Boys Town Reading Center

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Holiday Reading Recommendations for Kids

When your children are home for the holiday break, it’s tough to encourage them to read when there are competing distractions, such as video games, television or just plain old sleeping in past noon. But encourage them you should, because reading stimulates their imaginations and will make them better students when they return to school in January. To that end, Boys Town has compiled a list of recommended books for various age ranges. Pre-K (Emerging Readers) I Saw an Ant on the Railroad ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director of Common Sense Parenting at Boys Town

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Dealing with Loss During the Holidays

This article was originally featured on Momaha on November 24, 2016.  There is no denying that the loss of a love one has a significant impact on a family whether it’s the holidays or not. However, when there is a loss in a family it is normal that a once cherished time of the year can become extremely tough for children and adults to fully enjoy. All around you society is saying you should have a joyful holiday spirit, but you feel ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Teaching Children Gratitude During the Holidays

An arms race is going on right under our noses. It’s a race for toys, conducted by our nation’s children, that reaches fever pitch during the holidays. Of course, not every family can afford to buy the latest pricy video game console or wallet-busting doll. Thus, there is always the risk of one child boasting about his/her Christmas presents, causing another child to become envious or otherwise unhappy. Avarice and envy are natural emotions that we learn to suppress over time. ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Invest in Their Future This Giving Tuesday

Imagine growing up with absent parents, surrounded by gang violence and rampant drug activity. Imagine having to steal food just to survive day to day. Today is your chance to give these children hope by donating on Giving Tuesday. Boys Town works with the kids who have slipped through society’s cracks. Just like all children, they have potential – they just need hope and someone to believe in them. Boys Town provides both to thousands of at-risk children each year. Make ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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How to Raise a Giver

As the holiday shopping season moves into full swing, we’re bombarded with the usual messages to “Buy! Buy! Buy!” As adults, we can tune out a certain amount of this noise, but children aren’t so readily equipped. For them, the constant barrage of commercialism can lead to a selfish urge to acquire the latest toys, games and other shiny objects advertised on screens both big and hand-held. So, how can you help your children focus on giving rather than receiving? Here ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director of Common Sense Parenting at Boys Town

 

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At the Table, Thanksgiving and Beyond

Studies show what parents probably already suspect: When families sit down and eat together at the table, everyone benefits, especially children. Higher self-esteem and better communication are just the beginning. When parents sit down and eat with their children regularly, they get to know them better, which is invaluable when it comes to heading off potential behavioral issues as they enter their teen years. Thanksgiving is a perfect time of year to start a family tradition of breaking bread together because ...

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Your Friends at Boys Town

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Giving Thanks

It’s that time of year when we reflect and give thanks for the good things we have. We’re thankful for family. For friends. For a job that pays the bills and maybe provides some benefits. Whoever we are and whatever our situation, there is always something for which we can give thanks. At Boys Town, thankfulness runs deep. For a resident youth, it may be a Family-Teacher making a hot breakfast. It may be for a shoulder to lean on for ...

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Pat Thomas, Boys Town

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5 Tips for Easing Anxiety in Kids

This article was originally featured on Momaha on Nov 17, 2016. These days, there are a lot of kids dealing with feelings of worry and anxiety. Often, these feelings are the result of struggling with things they don’t understand, or there is a break in the routine, and they are not sure of what is going to happen and when. Studies show that children feel safe when they are in a consistent and predictable environment. Safety is their main concern and ours. Kids are ...

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Jaime Wyant, Momaha Contributor

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All That Election Anger You’re Spewing on Social Media? Time to Tone It Down

This article was originally featured on Momaha on November 14, 2016. This week was full of election chaos. After one of the most surprising upsets in American political history, Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. Whether you are thrilled or terrified with the results of the election, you cannot avoid all of the social media commentary. What is truly upsetting to me is all of the hate plaguing our lives right now. There are people on both ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Skills for Coaches: Praise and Compliment Young Athletes

This article was originally featured on Momaha on August 29th, 2016. Many activities compete for kids’ attention today. Youngsters have lots of options for how to spend their free time – the internet, video and computer games, TV, movies. In a real way, sports are competing for kids’ time and attention. So if we want girls and boys to benefit from all youth sports has to offer, we have to make it appealing. When youth coaches focus on the positives and ...

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Kris Hallstrom, Manager Boys Town National Hotline

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8 Tips to Help Your Child Make Friends

This article was originally featured on Momaha on August 25, 2016. Friends are special people; they are there for the good times, bad times and all the times in between. And having a “best friend” is a wonderful thing. As a parent you want your child to have a group of friends with which to have fun and spend their time. Some kids have an easy time making new friends. Some kids have a very large circle of friends, and others are content ...

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Kristin Bieber, Ph.D., Boys Town Child and Adolescent Psychologist

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Make the Most of Parent–Teacher Conferences

Parent–teacher conferences play an important role in the education of your child. First quarter of the school year typically ends with a 15-minute conference. For many parents, these conferences are the first time they hear that their child is struggling in class or with peers, and there just isn’t much time to discuss the details. In general, communication with your child’s school is important. So, attending parent-teacher conferences is one way to send a message to your child and to teachers ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town President and National Executive Director

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Parenting to Pull the Plug on Bullying Behavior

Recently at one of our local high schools in Omaha, a deaf student was targeted by bullies. In this particular incident, two other students took the deaf student’s backpack and dumped it and its contents, including a tablet and a bank card, in a school toilet. The perpetrators were caught and disciplined by the school. Classmates of the deaf student rallied around him, raising money to replace all of his damaged items. Unfortunately, we hear these stories way too often. How do ...

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Julia Cook, Author & Boys Town Expert

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Raising a Nonjudgmental Child

Children are born without bias. As infants, they don’t care about race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation or cultural identity. As they grow, any prejudice they exhibit regarding others is the result of learning via observation. That means if you wish to raise a nonjudgmental child, you must first take a look in the mirror as well as understand that the key to building relationships and raising a nonjudgmental child is through the development of trust and communication. As ...

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Dr. Reznicek, Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Trauma, Tragedy and Children

An earthquake in China kills thousands. A suicide bomber in Iraq destroys a mosque during Friday prayer. A gunman takes the lives of scores of innocents in a Florida nightclub. On every television, on every device, tragedy is everywhere. Sometimes the tragedy may be closer to home, such as the death of a friend or family member. So, how should you address these situations with children in school? The first thing to understand is that children are exceptionally resilient. They’re often ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Boys Town Expert

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7 Ways to Teach Your Teen How to Disagree Appropriately

This article was originally featured on Momaha.com July 14, 2016. Teens love to argue their viewpoints. In fact, if you’re the parent of a teen, you often may feel like you’re living with a pricey underage attorney or a national debate champ! Meaningless arguments are a bummer for everyone, and there are plenty of issues that shouldn’t be up for negotiation. When our kids were growing up and still at home, my husband and I had the final word on anything physically, morally or ...

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Maggie McGill, Boys Town In Home Family Consultant

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4 Steps to Help Your Kids Avoid Peer Pressure

This article was originally featured on Momaha.com August 4, 2016. Avoiding peer pressure is not easy for kids because they are desperately looking for acceptance and a place to fit in. The best way to help kids avoid peer pressure is to teach them how. Here are four steps to help you teach your child how to avoid peer pressure. 1. Start out by sitting down and talking with your child at a neutral time. Explain to them the difference between positive and negative peer ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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A Parent’s Unrealistic Expectation in Youth Sports Can Lead to Disappointment

This article was originally featured on Momaha.com July 28, 2016. One issue that constantly clouds youth sports is the unrealistic expectations many adults have that younger girls and boys will star in high school sports and earn scholarships to play in college. Many parents even believe their child will go on to become a professional athlete. I hate to burst their bubble, but the facts say otherwise. The National Council of Youth Sports has reported that more than 41 million girls and boys currently ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Let the Games (and Valuable Life Lessons) Begin!

The Summer Olympics are one of the greatest spectacles in sports. For two weeks, some of the best athletes in the world – men and women who have trained, practiced and sacrificed for years – come together to compete against each other and push themselves to the limit. There are unforgettable moments of endurance, triumph and failure, and high drama can unfold in even the most obscure events. This is what makes the Olympics such a great teaching tool for parents. ...

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Julie Mooney, Boys Town Teacher

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It’s All in the Organization!

Would you like your child to be more successful in school? There is one key skill all students can learn that can contribute to their classroom success: Being organized! This may sound simple to someone who is a “naturally” organized person. But for students whose thoughts can often go off in random directions, being organized can be tough. Here are a few tips I use with my students at Boys Town that you can share with your children to help them stay focused ...

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Jo Ann Flaxbeard, Boys Town National Training Consultant

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New Grades Bring Big Transitions

With the new school year just around the corner, now is a great time to discuss how children can best transition from one school to another. After all, kindergarten, grade school, middle school, high school and college are distinctly different social and academic stages that mark a youth’s progression from childhood to maturity. And the transition between each requires a new and unique set of skills. If your child will be going through a transition year, the following social skills may ...

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Steph Jensen, MS, LPC, Boys Town National Training

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What’s in a Label? – Moving Beyond Behavior Labels

Disrespectful, rude, defiant, lazy, inappropriate, irresponsible and out-of-control are all common labels we may be quick to assign to children exhibiting challenging behaviors. While these labels may be correct in describing our perceptions of their difficult behaviors, they are rarely an accurate assessment of the child who is engaging in them. Childhood, by definition, is a time of change, challenges and growth. Children are experiencing many physical, mental and emotional changes as they progress through their natural growth and development. ...

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Samantha Whaley, MPA, Boys Town Expert

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Avoid ‘Summer Slide’ and Make Learning Fun

Now that the school year has ended, what are your kids up to? If they’re like most, they’re sleeping late and spending extra time watching television and playing video games. Maybe they’re spending some time with their friends. Chances are, they’re not doing a whole lot of learning, though, and this contributes to summer learning loss, also called “summer slide.” Did you know that the equivalent of one month of overall learning is typically lost after summer vacation? Here are some ...

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By Terry Hyland,  Boys Town Writing Team Director, Marketing & Communications

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It’s Summertime, and Here Come the Grandkids!

I have a photo of me and my three grandkids – ages 6, 5, and 16 months – on my office desk. There’s a caption, and it reads: “Grandpa & Me, You are a friend I will never outgrow.” I love my grandkids with all my heart. But as much as I want to be a friend who sometimes spoils them with one too many cookies or a giggle-inducing piggyback ride right before bedtime, I also have to be one of ...

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By Connie J. Schnoes, Boys Town Psychologist and Behavioral Expert

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Sleep Problems in Anxious or Worried Teens

Any event that causes a person to feel that their safety or their life or the lives of others are at serious risk is considered a traumatic event. The resulting response manifests in many ways — emotionally, psychologically and/or physically. Teenagers are already experiencing a wide range of emotions, so if your teen experiences a traumatic event, his/her response may seem overwhelming to both of you. Anxiety, depression and anger are common reactions to trauma, and for teenagers, any or all ...

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Dan Daly, Executive Vice President, Director of Youth Care, Boys Town

 

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Kids and Crisis: Tragedies in Orlando

This has been a truly terrible week for the people of Orlando, Florida, and for the nation as a whole. Our hearts go out to those affected by the recent tragic events. For parents of young children, times like these — when you can’t seem to turn on a TV or open a web browser without seeing scenes of violence and tragedy — can be extremely difficult. It is impossible to shield your kids from all media. As a result, kids ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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School’s Out, Rules Out? Not with Our Summer Contract!

It’s that time of year again that kids dream of and parents sometimes dread —summer break. And that means that houses all across America will be filled with kids who think that just because they’re no longer in school, they’re able to act however they want, free from any rules and constraints. Sleep ‘till noon? Sure! Play video games for 12 hours straight? Sounds good! Stay out until 2:00 a.m. with your friends? Awesome! Ignore your chores? Of course! So how does ...

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by

Father Steven Boes, President and Executive Director, Boys Town

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Steering Your Teen Toward Safe Driving

Most parents see it as a blessing when their teen can finally start driving. They love the thought of not having to play chauffeur anymore, and welcome the convenience of having someone who can drive to the store for a few groceries or give a younger sibling a ride to school. What parents must realize, however, is that the biggest threat to the safety of a teen with a driver’s license is sitting right in their own driveway. Consider these sobering statistics: In ...

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Scott Butler, Director of the Boys Town Day School

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6 Summer Activities to Promote Learning

This article was previously featured on Momaha.  One of my fondest childhood memories is the incredible feeling of freedom I experienced each May on the last day of school. I walked out of the school building carrying the remains of my school year, a back pack full of half-used pencils, broken crayons and used up notebooks. The entire summer was in front of me. My child eyes refused to focus far enough ahead to see the next grade looming in August. In ...

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Boys Town Contributor 

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Getting Your Parenting Skills on Track

Ever have one of those days? You know, when it seems as if you’ve failed as a parent. You’re not alone. Raising kids is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet, and whether you’re dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler or an “I know everything” teen, you are occasionally going to need support. Everyone does. Luckily, the child behavior experts at Boys Town have seen some of the most difficult parenting situations imaginable. They’ve worked with virtually every issue in ...

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Corren Kopp – Boys Town National Training

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The Little Things That Matter – Showing Appreciation for School Staff

For many of us who have children, the month of May has come to be known as the time to honor and appreciate our educators. While we often celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day or even Teacher Appreciation Week, it might be a good idea to spread our appreciation to include other school staff members such as counselors, janitors, cafeteria workers, administrative assistants and other employees who interact regularly with our students. Six Ways Your Appreciation Benefits Your School Letting your school staff members ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Setting Rules to Survive Your Stay-at-Home Teen

Your teenager is graduating from high school! What a great accomplishment! As a parent, you’re feeling pride and happiness – and maybe a little bit of apprehension about your teen’s plans for the upcoming summer. If your adolescent child will be living at home until college starts in the fall or until he or she begins a job and moves out, that apprehension level might be somewhere between nervous and panicky. Here’s the rub:  How do you parent a child who is still ...

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 Boys Town Contributor 

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The S.A.N.E. Approach to Disciplining Your Child

For decades, the parenting experts at Boys Town have become uniquely experienced in allocating discipline for an infinite variety of misbehaviors in adolescents. It is through experience that teaches a certain way to approach discipline that is more effective than simply reacting in the moment out of anger or emotion. We call it the S.A.N.E. approach: Small consequences are better. Avoid punishing yourself (e.g. taking away your teen’s car privileges only to have to drive him or her everywhere for two weeks). Never abuse ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of four-year-old and two-year-old daughters

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Parenting Tools That Work

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but it’s those ‘ah-ha’ moments that are the currency of the adventure. I am one of those people who will read every article, blog and book out there on parenting, but I find that true learning comes from putting what you read in to practice.  Case in point: I recently discovered an awesome resource to help me put that knowledge in to action with the Parenting Tools provided by Boys ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Perils of the “Perfect” Prom

Prom season is right around the corner, and there’s nothing quite like a high school formal to send everyone into hysterics as they search for perfection—the perfect dress, the perfect date, the perfect hair, the perfect shoes, the perfect ride, the perfect dinner, the perfect after party, etc. Girls can obsess (for months) over finding a one-of-a-kind dress, with accessories to match everything from their hair to their heels. Boys can work hard to find dates, and once found, worry how they’re ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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This “Promposal” Thing is Getting Out of Hand

Remember when prom was just a dance? Sure, it was an important school activity and it was a big deal to muster up the courage to ask someone to be your date. Maybe you didn’t ask anyone and went stag or with a group of friends. Or maybe you just didn’t go at all. Regardless, it was still just a dance. These days, getting asked to the prom has become the social media event of the season, with outlandish “promposal” videos ...

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Kristin E. Bieber, Ph.D., a staff psychologist with Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

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Self-Harm: Signs, Prevention and How to Talk to Children, Adolescents About It

This post was first published on Momaha.com. Self-harm can sometimes first occur at the transition between childhood to adolescence. It's around this time that adolescents begin to think more about their feelings, pay more attention to peers’ behaviors and place more of an emphasis on fitting in. Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health shares information to help prevent and respond to self-harm. How is self-harm prevented? The first step in addressing self-harm is educating parents. Upon discovering their adolescent is self-harming, parents may become ...

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Dr. Amanda Whaley NMD is a board-licensed, naturopathic physician in Arizona and the mother of one 14-month-old busy boy.

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Self-Harm: Her Experience and Advice to Parents

I think it started small.  I would retreat to the bathroom for a session of “poking” myself with a pin. Why? I couldn’t tell you.  It just felt good.  That started after my parents divorced and my mom and I moved out of the house I was growing up in. Their divorce wasn’t particularly eventful.  They didn’t even yell at each other.  Even at age 14, I could tell they didn’t love each other.  After my dad told me he was ...

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Laura Kelley, Crisis Counselor for the Boys Town National Hotline and the Nebraska Family Helpline, Mother of three boys

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Lying: How to break the habit in children

This post was first published on Momaha.com. Are you tired of calling your child out for lying? Does he or she lie with ease? Lying usually starts at a very young age. Even a 2-year-old can be guilty of it. A simple question of “Do you need to go potty?” will be answered with a “no” if the last time she was whisked off to the bathroom left her without her toys for a few minutes. Children are constantly testing what they can ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Are You Seeing Someone Inclusively? You Should Be!

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  I have three kids, so getting time alone with each one of them is really tough. That’s why this Valentine’s Day, my husband and I not only spent time with each other, but also had much-needed one-on-one time with each of our children. What I’ve realized ...

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 Boys Town Contributor

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4 More Bully-Prone Apps Your Kids Should Avoid

Portions of content found at foreverymom.com A while back, we listed eight computer and mobile apps that pose potential dangers for kids because they can be used for bullying or stalking.  These apps are still potential threats when it comes to the safety of your kids. But as is so common with everything Internet-related, new apps spring up all the time. That’s why it is so important that parents remain vigilant and keep abreast of all the latest social media platforms being used ...

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Dr. Tanya Martin, Director of Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town High School

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What Did You Just Say?

Have you ever been riding in the car and had your children utter words or phrases that make you think, “What did they just say?” Every generation has its vocabulary of slang; it’s one of those things that sets the youngsters apart from their parents. Tweens and teens enjoy the secrecy of their own “private” slang language, thinking that parents and adults are too “uncool” to understand what the kids are talking about. So if you feel you have been left behind ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son

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What Parent Doesn’t Want Their Child to Be Grateful?

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. What parent doesn’t want their child to be grateful? From a very young age, we have taught our children their please and thank you’s, before they could speak they were signing the words. We wanted our kids to have manners and ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

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Surviving The First Holiday Without Santa

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. The majority of parents dread the year that their kids finally outgrow Santa. Well, in our home, that year is this year. Our oldest is nearly 10, and the 2015 Holiday Season comes with a slightly different feel. The excitement of ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Raising a Child With Integrity

You have many jobs as a parent. You must keep your children safe from harm. You must clothe, feed and shelter them. You must see to their education and their health. You must nurture and support them as they grow, both physically and mentally. And you must teach them – both by example and by instruction – the many virtues that make up the notion of integrity. So what is integrity? It’s a combination of many things: honesty, empathy, compassion, fairness… ...

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Mara Paradis, M.D., Boys Town Pediatrician

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Catch Them Being Good: Elf on the Shelf Edition

This article was authored by Mara Paradis, M.D. and originally posted by Boys Town Pediatrics. During the holiday season, growing excitement and exhausting festivities can take a toll on a child’s behavior and a parent’s state-of-mind, but it is important to be consistent in regards to what is expected from both parents and children. Praising children at appropriate times is one of the most important things a parent can do. It will nourish your child's mind and self-esteem. It will also reward ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Holiday Hints for Families

Regardless of whether you observe Christmas or Hanukkah or any other winter celebration, there’s no denying that the Holidays are all about family. But what constitutes a family? After all, these days there are all kinds of families beyond the traditional Mom, Dad, two kids and a dog. There are single-parent families. There are co-parent families. There are families in which kids are being raised by grandparents. There are blended families with kids from two separate marriages. No matter the situation, ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Importance of Talking to Your Kids About Addiction

Starting the conversation early is very important when it comes to drugs and alcohol. These days, kids are exposed to these vices at an ever-younger age, which means that it’s crucial to educate them now on how to handle situations that may come up. Try to find “teachable moments” during your interactions with your kids. If your child is a little younger, consider these two examples: • If your child sees someone who is acting drunk, you can explain to him or ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Instead of Black Friday, Make it Fun Friday!

Let’s face it; Black Friday is getting old. So let everyone else get up at the crack of dawn and fight each other for those "door-buster" deals. After all, if you’re like most moms and dads, you spent much of the days before cleaning the house and preparing a huge meal for your extended family. Wouldn't you rather sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast or brunch with your kids? Besides, there are plenty of fun family activities that you can ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 0 comments

How to Convey What Bullying Is to Young Kids

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. As co-leader of my daughter’s Girl Scout brownie troop I wanted to focus on bullying for our October meeting. As a parent, the idea of my child being bullied terrifies me. I also want to make sure my kids know that ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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What If Your Child Were Bullied? Would You Be Able to Help?

It’s any parent’s worst nightmare. Your child comes home from school in tears and heads straight to his room. He won’t tell you what happened because he’s terrified you’ll call the school or, worse, call the parents of the classmate whose torment has brought him to this state. Your heart is breaking and you feel helpless. Add in the fact that you keep seeing stories in the news about kids just like him who ended up taking their own lives—bullied ...

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By Father Steven Boes, National Executive Director, Boys Town  

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Protecting Your Child, in Good Faith, from the Media Minefield

It used to be that a parent’s greatest fear was sending his or her child out into the world, where they might face all sorts of potential dangers. Now parents are even more frightened by the prospect of technology bringing the dangers of the world directly into their child’s life. As social media has become increasingly more predatory and more threatening, kids have become more vulnerable to harmful activities like cyberbullying and harassment. Today, it’s easy for teens and even younger children ...

by

Coach Kevin Kush,
Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Respect Officials at Sporting Events

What appeared to be an intentional attack against an official during a high school football game in Texas last month that was captured on video is causing high school sports administrators around the country to remind coaches, players, and parents about the importance of treating officials with respect. Two defensive football players from San Antonio John Jay High School blindsided a back judge, one running into him at full speed from behind and another diving into him while he was on ...

by

Erin Dittman, Supervisor, Boys Town In-Home Family Services

with 0 comments

7 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Follow Your Instructions

This article was originally posted on Momaha on August 27th, 2015. Could the way you give your children instructions be setting them up for failure – and you up for frustration? I once heard that an average 10-year-old follows instructions 63 percent of the time. Maybe you’re thinking that seems really high – or maybe really low. I know we all get frustrated by our kids not following instructions. So even if "average" is about two-thirds of the time, how can we ...

by

Alesia Montgomery, Boys Town National Training

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Dating Teen Safe

This article first appeared on Boys Town National Training in February 2015.   We have all seen the giddy teenage girl at the mall with her boyfriend with hearts floating above her head. Unfortunately, this is just as common as seeing a brooding young man who thinks his life is over because things didn’t work out. Dating relationships can be a great experience for teens, allowing them to learn skills to stay healthy in a relationship. As adults it is important that we teach kids how to ...

by

Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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Is My Child Ready for a Cell Phone?

With the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus coming out this weekend, smartphones will definitely be on the mind of kids and adults alike. So let’s run down the pros and cons of cell phone use for young kids. On the pro side, a phone will allow your child to contact you whenever he or she needs to and vice versa. And if it’s a smartphone, you can even use it to track your child’s whereabouts. As for cons, there are a ...

by

Kerry Stewart, Director of Family Home Program

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The 4 to 1 Principle of Praise: Prompting Positive Behavior

As parents, we’re conditioned to notice when something is out of order with our kids – that’s nature working. So when they’re at the kitchen table doing their homework or in the bathroom brushing their teeth before bed, everything is normal and we go about our regular business. Unfortunately this means that many of us have a tendency to interact with our kids more often when they’re being bad than when they’re being good. After all, bad gets noticed, so ...

by

Boys Town Contributor
Mother of six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son

with 0 comments

My Youngest Starts School. Wait, am I Supposed to be Sad?

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. My baby started Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. He is my second and last to go off to school. As I was leaving the school after drop off on the first day, I encountered other moms in the hallway fighting ...

by

Father Boes, President & National Executive Director of Boys Town

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When Kids Can’t Make Sense of the World, Sensitive Parenting Is a Must

Recently in the news, we saw the heart-breaking photos of a little boy whose body had washed up on a beach after he drowned during his family’s attempt to flee their war-torn homeland of Syria. The family was part of a group of refugees who were desperately trying to cross the sea from Turkey to Greece in an inflatable boat. The boat capsized and the little boy, his brother and mother were among the 12 people who did not survive. Parents often ...

by

Terry Hyland,
Boys Town Press Book Co-Author,
Father and Grandfather

with 0 comments

Finding Positive Behaviors to Praise – Even When They’re Hard to See

It’s easy to criticize your kids when they’re being bad. After all, when they’re bad, you notice (which may be why they’re doing it in the first place). But research shows that they’ll improve their behavior quicker – and will be less likely to tune you out – if you “catch them being good” and praise them four times for every one time you criticize. The trick is, of course, how to catch them being good, because unlike obvious bad behavior, ...

by

Terry Hyland,
Boys Town Press Book Co-Author,
Father and Grandfather

with 0 comments

The Power of Praise: All ‘4-to-1’ and One for All

In the restaurant business, there’s something called the “3:11 rule.” It means that if diners have a good meal and a positive dining experience, they are likely to tell three people about it. However, if their dining experience is sub-par or unpleasant (bad food, bad service), they’ll share their complaints with 11 people. It’s just human nature for us to focus more on the negatives than the positives and to look for things to criticize rather than things to praise. For parents, ...

by

Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

with 0 comments

How to Communicate With a Coach Without Overstepping

If you have a son or daughter participating in youth sports, sooner or later you’re probably going to want to talk to a coach about something – likely an issue on which you and the coach disagree. More often than not, the issue is playing time – as in, “Coach Kush, my son sat on the bench for most of last Friday’s game. He’s much better than the other kid; why don’t you let him play more?” But sometimes you get ...

by

Erin Dittman, Supervisor, Boys Town In-Home Family Services

with 0 comments

4 Steps to Help Keep Kids Calm

This post was originally published on Momaha.com on July 23rd, 2015. Everyone gets upset sometimes, kids are no different. Staying calm is an essential skill for success at home, at school and throughout life in general. As parents, we can help our kids learn to stay calm in difficult situations. Follow these four steps to help your child learn to control their outbursts. 1. Keep your own emotions in check. One of the most important things parents can do to help their children ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Mental Mantra for Parents with Young Athletes

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Sports can be competitive. The competitiveness is what drives athletes and spectators to enjoy the game. But at what age should an athlete be subjected to the pressures of the tough mental grind that co-exists with the world of sports? And ...

by

Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 0 comments

Can I Ever Get out of the House on Time?

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Is it even possible to get out of the house on time with kids? It is certainly a frequent discussion between my fellow mom friends and myself. My mornings have changed drastically over the last year. I used to find ...

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Cicely Faulkner Truitt, Boys Town Training Consultant

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Road Trip like a Rock Star!

This article was originally published on Momaha.com on June 29th, 2015 It is summertime and fun in the sun awaits! If you are anything like me, you have been planning a trip for months. If the dread of having your children travel with you is putting a damper on your summertime shine; perhaps, it’s time that you attempt to travel like a rock star! Get your entourage: Rock stars rarely travel alone and if you are a single mom to an only child ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

with 0 comments

Civility Wars: Helping Your Child Battle Rudeness and Learn Positive People Skills

Rudeness damages others by creating stress, eroding self-worth, creating relationship problems and making life difficult. When we are treated rudely by others, we often become vulnerable and self-doubting. Teaching children to be polite is not an all-or-nothing proposition, but instead is a continuum that starts at birth and continues throughout life. Teaching a child just one single strategy toward politeness will better that child! The most important skill we can teach our children to help them succeed in life is the ...

by

Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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That’s Just RUDE!

According to The Washington Post,  a recent research study indicates that children who scored well on social competence indicators were four times more likely to get a college degree by age 25 than children who scored poorly. The study goes on to state that children who interact well as kindergartners are more likely to make friends and get positive feedback from teachers, and therefore are more likely to like and stay in school. Teaching children at a very young age how to ...

by

Boys Town Contributor
Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Why Cell Phones are Ruining Our Families

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Ok, the title of this may be a little over-dramatized, but there is a lot of truth to the harm that they are doing. For Christmas my husband and I were due for upgrades on our phones, so we packaged up ...

by

Boys Town Contributor

with 1 comment

Study Offers Solution for Parents to Get Their Kids to Stay in Bed

If you have kids between the ages of three and ten, you’re probably used to some sort of post-bedtime violation. “I need a glass of water!” is a common one. Or maybe it’s the three-year-old sneaking under mom and dad’s bed covers for a late-night snuggle. For all sorts of reasons, kids often don’t like the idea of going to sleep. But this can be understandable. After all, in a child’s mind, sleep means saying goodbye to everyone he or she ...

by

Boys Town Contributor, Mother of one year-old son

with 0 comments

Take Back the Night

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. It was at the six-month well-baby check for our son that our pediatrician uttered four life-changing words. Like any other routine appointment she asked about his sleep patterns and like any other tired parent I completely unloaded about all of the ...

by

Bryan Smith,

Father, Coach, School Counselor

with 0 comments

Teaching a Balance Between Good Sportsmanship and Winning Is a Win-Win for Kids and Parents

This summer, my family enjoyed watching the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament. As the games went on, my son asked more and more questions. One stood out: “Dad, what’s a yellow card?” I was able to explain to him that a player is given a yellow card when she does something that is not allowed, like pushing or tripping a player from the other team. I told him that breaking those kinds of rules it’s like cheating to help your ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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Sib Wars: Tips for Keeping the Peace in Your Home

“Give it back!” “Stop that!” “He won’t share!” “I had it first!” “She kicked me!” “That’s not fair!” Sound familiar? Oh, when your kids just can’t seem to get along… GRRRRRR! I vividly remember fighting with my older sister over who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who got the last pudding cup and what show we were going to watch on TV. She always felt it was her job to tell me what to do, what to say and, especially, how to ...

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Boys Town Contributor,
Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Stranger Danger – Keep Them Safe and Kind

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.   The other day I was in an elevator and a nice little boy looked up to me and said, “Hi.” He was about five years old and with his father. I said, “Hello, how is your day going?” He then ...

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Kristen Hallstrom, Manager of Boys Town National Hotline

with 0 comments

Teens and Self-Harm

At the hotline we deal with victims of self-harm every day. The majority of adults we speak to think the idea of deliberately hurting yourself to achieve relief from guilt or stress is unthinkable. But to a teen, self-harm is easy. It’s fast. It’s always available. And for a young person dealing with the pressures of everyday teenage life in 21st century America, it can be a tempting solution. As one 13-year-old explains, “Why sit, and wait, and dwell on ...

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Pat Thomas, Boys Town’s Nebraska Family Helpline

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4 Packing Tips For Kids To Make Vacation Less Stressful For Parents

This article was first published on Momaha on May 28, 2015. http://www.omaha.com/momaha/packing-tips-for-kids-to-make-vacation-less-stressful-for/article_90393e8a-00ae-11e5-af0f-2fc059762855.html Nothing screams “summer” like taking a family vacation that is sure to leave lasting memories and plenty of photos to laugh at for years to come. When the kids are out of school, families take advantage of the warm weather to hit national parks, the beach or a new city to explore. While family vacations teach us fanny packs should never come back in style and that TVs in cars and ...

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Boys Town Contributor, mother of 7-Year-Old Daughter and 5-Year-Old Son

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Summer Movie Review: Inside Out

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.    I couldn’t wait for the release of the new Pixar movie Inside Out, I love a good kid movie. In fact, most of my family finds joy in the simple pleasure of most cartoon flicks. So, last weekend my husband, myself, ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Father of two teenage daughters and two tweens: one girl and one boy

with 0 comments

The Father’s Day Gift

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Ties. Socks. Electric razors. Grill tools. T-shirts with funny sayings. Ball caps with funny sayings. ‘Day Off’ coupons. Cologne. All are good Father’s Day gifts. But, in the long run, the items above have come and gone. The Father’s Day gifts ...

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Julie Mooney, Boys Town High School Teacher

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Summer Reading Part One

Reading is a lifelong skill that benefits students of all ages. As a teacher, I have seen that a student who is a good reader will be more successful in almost every subject in school. This is one learning area that children can continue to work on all summer. And it can be fun! The goal is to encourage your children to read and improve their comprehension as well. You can help with this easily. Here are some tips on how ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Calming A Worrisome Child

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. To say that I have a worrisome child would be an understatement. After the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, he refused to flush the toilet for six months for fear it would flood our house. Now, at age nine, we ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Let Them Know What’s Expected of Them This Summer (They’ll Thank You for It Later)

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Summer is here. And while your kids are likely looking forward to sleeping in and lounging around, you’re probably greeting the thought with some trepidation. After all, unless you’re a teacher, summer doesn’t really change your daily life. You don’t get ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

At the Picnic Table This Memorial Day

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. At the Picnic Table This Memorial Day Summer gets busy for families with barbecues, pool parties and sporting events. Especially over Memorial Day weekend. This Memorial Day, carve out some time with just your immediate family for a nice meal at ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

with 0 comments

4 Tips to Help You – and Your Senior – Survive Graduation

This article was first published on Momaha on May 21, 2015. http://www.omaha.com/momaha/tips-to-help-you-and-your-senior-survive-graduation/article_81501410-fd99-11e4-8059-0b9233b66128.html It’s graduation time! Everywhere, parents of high school seniors are in high preparation mode, getting ready for ceremonies, parties and visits from family members. High school graduation is a big accomplishment and rite of passage (for kids and parents alike!) – and well worth celebrating. Here are some tips for maintaining your sanity (and your graduating senior’s safety) during this season. Communicate! 1. Get in touch with your child’s school and do one ...

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Boys Town Contributor, father of twins

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Newly Independent College Kids Returning Home for Summer Break

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. College is where kids explore their new-found freedom. But when they come back home, the old house rules still apply… This past year, we packed up both our kids for college. It was a major undertaking of both timing and logistics ...

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Coach Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Tom Brady & the Pats: Not Competing With Character

On January 18 of this year, the New England Patriots faced off against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game. By the time the final whistle blew, the Patriots had overwhelmed the Colts 45-7. Of course we now know that for the first half at least, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was playing with slightly underinflated balls. The prevailing thought being that this was done intentionally to make the balls easier to catch in the bitter cold of open-air Gillette Stadium. Whether ...

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Laura Kelley, Crisis Counselor for the Boys Town National Hotline and the Nebraska Family Helpline,

Mother of three boys

with 1 comment

Toddlers and Spring Cleaning

This post was first published on Momaha.com. On your mark, get set, go! That’s right, you are at the starting line for the “Annual Spring Cleaning Race” project. Whether you have a two-page or a 10-page “to do” list, some deep cleaning is in order, and that usually takes longer than your regular weekly chores. It’s that time of year when you get down on your knees and wipe the floor boards that have been splashed with Nebraska’s snowy, salty grime from your ...

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Boys Town Contributor

with 0 comments

8 Bully-Prone Apps Your Kids Should Avoid

Bullying has been around as long as there have been kids. And not just the hold-you-upside-down-for-your-lunch-money kind of bullying, either. Whispers in the hallways. Notes passed from desk to desk. Psychological bullying has been around from the beginning too. Unfortunately, along with the explosion in social media, this type of emotional torture has also increased exponentially in recent years. And since most kids have smartphones and tablets these days, their avenues for receiving and dishing out mental torment have increased too. So ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

with 0 comments

A Royalty Complex and Dirty Socks

I can only imagine the work it takes to balance out the life of a baby royal, ensuring that an overwhelming sense of entitlement doesn’t permeate the precarious childhood of the most watched children in Britain. My son thinks it’s my job to pick up his dirty socks, and that little stinker is far from being royalty. Cute? Yes. An heir to the throne, born with his own crew of caretakers in waiting? No. I can’t imagine that Prince William and ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

with 0 comments

Nepal Quake, Texas Tornadoes and Kids’ Fears

With the media’s 24-hour news cycle and insatiable appetite for sensational stories, wall-to-wall coverage of natural disasters is always going to dominate the airways, online news services, newspapers and magazines. This week, several such events have been front-and-center, including the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the massive storms with tornadoes and baseball-sized hail closer to home in Texas. The imagery and language used to present both of these stories are frightening enough for adults; for little ones, they can be absolutely ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Father of four teenagers: ages 13,15,17 and 18

with 0 comments

My View from the Passenger Seat – Teaching My Teen to Drive

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Ask any adult about their most vivid memories of being fifteen years old, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about their first day of high school; their first love (and inevitable first heartbreak)… and the first time they sat in ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director
Common Sense Parenting, Mother of two

with 0 comments

Is It Okay to Discipline Other People’s Kids?

The Breakfast Club.  Not long ago, I was in a situation when I had to ask myself, “Is it okay to discipline other people’s children?” We were on vacation, staying at a hotel that provided a complimentary breakfast. One morning, I went down to take advantage of this free perk. If I’d known what was going to happen, I might have stayed in bed. The restaurant was crowded with people that morning. I decided to order a meal from the ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

with 0 comments

Managing Prom Expectations

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com Prom season is right around the corner. Nothing can create a rift between parents and their daughters quite like that annual rite of passage. There’s nothing like a high school formal to push every possible teenage dating issue to the forefront, sending everyone into hysterics as they search for perfection — the perfect dress, the perfect date, the perfect hair, the perfect shoes, the perfect ride, the perfect dinner, the perfect after ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

with 0 comments

Getting Kids to Help around the House

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com.  This morning I stumbled upon a strange pile of pajama pants, lotion and deodorant in the middle of my living room floor that my son knows should not be there. He is like most kids, he understands that there are chores that he is required to do around the house. He also knows that if he sits quietly enough, I will likely forget to tell him to do them. However, he has no clue ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 1 comment

Making Memories at Mealtime

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  Family dinners have always been important to me. I grew up in a home where family mealtime was a priority. My parents always encouraged me to invite my friends to family dinners when I entered high school and extended family gatherings included a ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of two-year-old daughter, seven-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son

with 0 comments

Why Turning off the TV at Dinner Is a Must

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.   “How was your day?” “Fine.” “What did you do at school?” “Huh?” “What did you do at school?” “I don’t know.” “Who did you sit with at lunch?” “What?” “Who did you sit with at lunch?” “Huh?” “Who did you sit with at lunch!!!!????!!” “I don’t know? Same people.”   Sound familiar? My kids LOVE to ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director
Common Sense Parenting, Mother of two

with 0 comments

4 Easy Ways to Make ‘Family Dinner Time’ a Reality

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com. Families aren’t having family dinner as much as they were maybe 20 years ago. It was an automatic in my house that you were going to sit down to a family meal almost every night — definitely on the weekend, and probably at your grandmother’s house. But today, life is faster and parents need some innovative ways to bring everyone to the dining room table. Step 1: Plan ahead. Get the kids involved in choosing the ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director
Common Sense Parenting, Mother of two

with 0 comments

Cinderella Movie Can Inspire Real-Life Happy Moments for Your Children

Younger children love fairy tales about beautiful princesses and handsome princes. Through storybooks and movies, they can imagine themselves as the hero or heroine who overcomes adversity, shows kindness toward others and acts with independence and courage. Kids also enjoy playing dress-up and acting out their favorite scenes, or using their imagination to make up their own stories. With the recent release of a new, live-action Cinderella movie, you have a wonderful opportunity to encourage these behaviors in your child and create ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son

with 0 comments

Self-Harm is Something You Should Know About

March is Self-Harm Awareness Month. Approximately one in eight people engages in some form of self-harm behavior, and the problem currently is more widespread than it has been for decades. Fortunately, I have not had any direct exposure to or first-hand experience with self-harm. I never had a friend in school who hurt himself or herself and I don’t have friends with kids who have hurt themselves, so it’s something that is fairly foreign to me. However, I do have two ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Are You Seeing Someone Inclusively? You Should Be!

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  I have three kids, so getting time alone with each one of them is really tough. That’s why this Valentine’s Day, my husband and I not only spent time with each other, but also had much-needed one-on-one time with each of our children. What I’ve realized ...

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Mariana Santa-Maria of Boys Town’s Common Sense Parenting

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Managing Toddlers at the Table

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com. Many parents struggle with getting their little ones to sit at the table and eat the nutritious food on their plate. The situation can become frustrating for all involved. Little Megan is pouting because she doesn’t want to eat vegetables and you are tired of making a second meal multiple times a day. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it’s a great time to work on healthy eating habits and table ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Father of two teenage daughters and two tweens: one girl and one boy

with 0 comments

What Is a “Date” Anyway?

When Your Teen Goes Out, Demand a Plan I grew up before the time of cell phones, email and instant communication. So if I wanted to ask a girl out, I would have to call her house on a regular phone. And if she said “Yes,” a date went something like this... Pick her up at home and probably meet her parents. Go to dinner and a movie. If you hit it off, call her again... and maybe go out with another couple on ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Confessions of an ‘Activity Addict’ Parent

I will admit I was one of those parents who overloaded my children with activities. And with three kids… we were very busy. Yet, about a year ago, I had an epiphany! My son plays select basketball, which accounts for three nights a week during basketball season. He was approached to play select soccer, and I said, “Sure, let’s try it.” I didn’t want him to miss out on anything. To which my son replied, “Mom, don’t you think that ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Helicopter Parenting: How Not to Hover while Letting Your Kids Soar!

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  I will admit I’ve been called a helicopter parent before. It was in a joking manner, so I’ll assume it was unfounded. But I have read quite a bit on the subject matter and I think there are a few guidelines we can ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 0 comments

Kids & Technology

This holiday season our family took their first big vacation! With a four- and six-year-old I was incredibly nervous about, not one, but two fairly lengthy plane rides, so I stocked up on the technology. I downloaded several movies and lots of new games on two iPads in hopes that my kids would be happily entertained during the flights. It worked! They were glued to the screen and content the entire time. It worked like a gem, until we got ...

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Tanya Martin, Director
Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town

with 0 comments

Getting Your Teen’s Second Semester off to a Great Start

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. After a long Christmas break, high schoolers are heading back to the classroom. Second semester is an opportunity to make resolutions and start fresh. There are many ways you can help your child to do well and make adjustments that come with starting a new semester. HELP YOUR TEEN MAKE HOMEWORK A PRIORITY Teens might be involved in daily sports practices, music or theater rehearsals, and any number of other extracurricular activities, and social requirements. It’s sometimes ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

with 0 comments

What Are Your Parenting Resolutions? One Omaha Mom Shares Hers

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Many people have started their list of resolutions for the new year. This year I challenge you to decide on a parenting resolution for 2015. Whether you want to bring back the “joy of being a parent”, (minus the sarcasm) or you want to cut down on your list of ‘activities’ to find more family time, listing your goals is the first step. As with any challenge offered, I will go first. 1. Listen more By 6 a.m. I ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt, Training Consultant
Mother of 9-year-old son

with 0 comments

3 Crafty Ways to Entertain Your Kids to Avoid the Winter Blues

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com. With winters cold arrival and daylights quick retreat, our children are starting to shift the focus of their fun from playgrounds, fields and basketball hoops, to basements, hallways and family rooms. Our children have endless stockpiles of energy, both mental and physical, that we cannot pause simply because it’s cold outside. What is a parent to do to maintain sanity? Join in the fun! It is during play that our children learn. Here are ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Do We Get Too Much Pleasure out of Terrifying Our Children? Probably.

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  Social media sites are filled with photos of children hysterically crying on Santa’s lap. That’s what Christmas is all about, right? That awkward wait in line where you over exaggerate the excitement of what’s going to happen. You talk in such a high ...

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by

Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

with 2 comments

Teaching Your Kids to Be Thankful for What They Have

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo from Momaha.com.  It can be a challenge to get your kids to appreciate the things they have when they are eager for Christmas to arrive with all of the shiny new things. Parents can help their kids learn and practice gratitude in two main ways:  1. Spend uninterrupted time together; and 2. Focus on serving others. The method you use for teaching children gratitude depends on the child’s age.   Parents of Tykes Reward Your Child with Time ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Top 10 Things I Never Thought I Would Say Until I Was A Mother

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  As a parent, I’ve been amazed over the years of some of the things that have come out of my mouth. Sometimes I’m shocked by what I will say in a moment of pure frustration or moments where I have just totally given ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 1 comment

Family Activities – Holiday Friendly and FREE

Last year Boys Town put out some tips for Holiday fun that are cheap and easy and help kids keep their focus away from the presents and commercialization of Christmas and focus more on the family. I did these with my kids and they loved them! We started after thanksgiving and picked out our favorites then made it our Sunday night activity each week leading up to Christmas. Their favorite, of course was the kids cuisine. Lets just say it ...

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by

Tanya Martin,

Director of Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town High School

with 0 comments

Help! My Child Is a Bully!

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. It can be hard to admit that your child is bullying others. But when you recognize this type of behavior in your child, it’s important to take action right away. Who are the bullies? Bullies want to control people, and they quickly learn that violence or the fear of violence will allow them to do that. Bullying takes many forms, including threats, violence, intimidation, destruction of property and theft. Why does my child choose to be a bully? A bully ...

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by

Kris Hallstrom, Manager of the Boys Town National Hotline

with 0 comments

How Do I Know if My Child Is Being Bullied?

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Kids don’t always share what is going on in their life. When they do talk, you want to help find solutions. Unfortunately when it comes to bullying and its effects, there are no easy fixes. Statistics from the 2011 School Crime Supplement show that an adult was notified in less than half of bullying cases. Kids don’t tell adults for many reasons: Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to ...

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by

Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Building a ‘Non-Bully’ with Young Children

Last Monday, I dropped off my almost 2-year-old at the child care center of my gym for the first time. I was afraid she would cry, throw a fit, or show some kind of emotion that said I was still her everything and that she couldn’t bear to be apart from me. She smiled and walked right in. If that wasn’t enough to take the wind out of my sails, I found out when I picked her up that she got into ...

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Boys Town Contributor,

Mother of 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son

with 0 comments

How to Start the Conversation About Bullying

Bullying is every parent’s worst nightmare. As parents, it is natural for us to want to protect our babies from the outside world. You don’t want their feelings to get hurt, you don’t want people to say mean things to them and you certainly don’t want them to say mean things to other people. But the reality is that kids will be kids and bullying is everywhere. We have to prepare our kids and teach them how they should respond ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son, and six and one-year-old daughters

with 0 comments

Josh Temple Talks Parenting

As the host of several popular home improvement reality shows, Josh Temple is a familiar face on television these days. But did you know that in addition to his day job, Josh also is a parent. When he needs help and advice with his kids on anything from discipline to household chores, he trusts the parenting experts at Boys Town. Here are a few of his favorite Boys Town parenting articles. 2-Year-Old Getting Kids to Sleep Using a Bedtime Routine Eight Ways to End ...

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by

Terry Hyland, Boys Town

Father and Grandfather

with 0 comments

Why Spanking Is a Swat at Positive Parenting

Spanking as a form of discipline continues to be a hot topic of debate, both among parents and in the public forum. Is it right? Is it wrong? Does it have lasting effects? Is it considered okay in certain situations? Is it an effective form of discipline? From a parenting standpoint, we believe spanking is not, under any circumstances, an effective form of discipline. Here’s why: First, when physical punishment occurs, both the child and the parent are typically in a heated ...

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Coach Kevin Kush,

Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

with 0 comments

To Select or Not Select “Select Sports?”

When I was 9 years old, my father took me to sign-up for Little League baseball. A few days after sign-ups, I received a call from the coach who told me what team I was on and when our first practice would be. That was it! No tryouts. No research by my parents on who my teammates would be and how competitive that team would be. No questions concerning how many out-of-town games we would play or whether playing on this team ...

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by

Laura Buddenberg, Manager, Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

with 1 comment

7 Steps to Parenting Your Teen through a Great Homecoming Experience

The school year (or, as many parents know it, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”) is here. For high school kids, that means Homecoming is just around the corner. Kids love Homecoming – the fun activities of Homecoming Week, the football game AND the dance. It’s the first big social event of the new school year and a great time to show school spirit, enjoy friends, dress up, go out and make some memories. As parents, we want our ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director Common Sense Parenting, Mother of two

with 0 comments

Back-to-School Strategies for Special Needs Kids

Many parents do the “back-to-school” cheer once the summer is over, their youngsters are on their way back to the classroom and family life is back on schedule. But for parents of children with special needs, the transition back to school might not be such a cheerful thought. I am a mom of a child with special needs. At the end of summer, I often would begin to get those back-to-school blues.  It was unsettling to think about what the school ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 1 comment

Take it to the Table – Using the Kitchen Table to Connect With Your Kids

Dinnertime is one of my favorite times at home. I grew up in a house where we always had dinner as a family and that tradition has carried in to my family today. It has become a place where we can hear about everyone’s day, talk about upcoming events and even teach table manners. It has become a place to teach my kids how to communicate with others, how to be patient and listen. It allows me, as the parent, ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

with 2 comments

Why Your Smart Phone is Ruining Your Parenting

I admit I am slightly addicted to Facebook. I find myself in any 30-second break (at a red light, waiting in line at the grocery store, during TV commercials) I pull out my phone and open up the app to see the latest status updates. Half the time I actually find myself bored with what I see but it has become such a habit. My 6-year old daughter has started playing pretend phone. The other night during story time, in the ...

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by

Boys Town’s Fr. Boes

with 0 comments

Guest Blog: The Pressure to Be a Perfect Parent

A woman stopped by my office earlier this week. She had just come from another meeting with the school principal about her child and her shoulders sagged under the burden of responsibility. She needed help. As we talked, her worries and fears rushed out. She was convinced that she was to blame for her child’s troubles. I told her, “It’s not your fault.” She looked up at me, startled. Again, I said, “It’s not your fault. You are a wonderful mother.” As those words started ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Little Minds That Don’t Mind

I struggle with behavior and discipline with my children, as I’m sure most parents do. I read a lot about correcting misbehavior and the best ways to deal with discipline and I found the following to be very interesting. There are significant differences between our brain and our child’s brain. First of all, young children have a very poor concept of time. The longer you wait to react to their behavior, the less effective it will be. In fact, if you wait ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Are You an Empty Threat Parenter?

Recently I told my oldest child to do something and they respond with, “or what?” Eek! That is a bad thing to hear as a parent. That is when I thought I might be an empty threat parenter. Its so easy to tell a child that they will have to go to bed at 5:30 if they don’t eat some of their dinner, but am I really going to send them to bed that early? Lets face it, I probably ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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When Your Children Don’t Do What You Ask… Its Probably Your Fault

As a parent, we play so many different roles in the home that getting our kids to listen and follow instructions might not always take the forefront in our list of responsibilities that it should. Picture this…the other morning I’m getting the kids ready for school, I walk downstairs and ask them both to put their shoes on when I noticed that my toddlers sippy cup is leaking milk all over her and all over the floor.  They say ok as ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Catch Them Being Good

Boys Town parenting puts a great deal of focus on positive consequences vs. negative consequences. The idea is if you catch them being good and recognize this, you will head off the negative behavior and not have to give negative consequences. I have been trying at home over the past few weeks with a serious focus on catching them being good and making good decisions and rewarding them for the behavior. While at times, catching them being good might seem ...