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.

Tag Archives: Connecting with Kids

Home » Posts tagged "Connecting with Kids"

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

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Acceptance and Equality Must Be Part of Every Child’s Life Lessons

Father Edward J. Flanagan was far ahead of his time, sometimes dangerously so. When he founded his home for boys (later to become known as Boys Town) 100 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska, he welcomed youngsters of all races, religions and cultural backgrounds, and he provided care for all of them under one roof. This approach was unheard of in the early 1900s, and even though many local citizens supported Father Flanagan’s work, there were those who disapproved and even made threats ...

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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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Boys Town Contributor

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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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Boys Town Contributor

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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

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Boys Town and One of its Oldest Alums Will Turn 100 Together

It’s a happy coincidence that Boys Town alum Joe Renteria will be celebrating his 100th birthday this summer at Boys Town, right in the middle of the Home’s Centennial celebration. Renteria will return to the Village where he grew up for the Boys Town Alumni Association’s Biennial Reunion, slated for July 11-16. His birthday is on July 17, and will be observed during the reunion festivities. Nearing his own impressive milestone, Renteria serves as a link to Boys Town’s past and a ...

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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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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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Boys Town Contributor

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Here’s to the Difference-Makers

Boys Town has always been and will always be a nonprofit organization, which means our existence depends on the generosity and assistance of others. Our supporters include individual donors and corporations around the country who not only help further Boys Town’s mission financially but also donate goods or services to at-risk children and families. One company making a real difference is Fat Brain Toys. Founded in 2000 in Elkhorn, Nebraska, Fat Brain manufactures and sells educational games and toys that help ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Monthly Career Days Prepare Teens for Life After Boys Town

Planning for the future may seem like a far-off task for most teens. Boys Town recognizes the pivotal turning point from adolescence to adulthood and provides the necessary education for youth to succeed in life. As part of an ongoing effort, James Hill, BTNY’s development director, recently worked with the Young Leader Council's volunteer committee to set up a monthly career day for youth. Since starting the project, Hill has hosted a career day every month, including an assortment of guest ...

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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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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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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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Dr. Reznicek | Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Thoughts on Christmas at Boys Town

  The holiday season here at Boys Town is big — really big. The first thing you must understand is that for many of these kids, this is the first time they’re truly getting to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. They often come to us from distressed families in at-risk urban, suburban or rural neighborhoods, where students are sometimes lucky just to make it through the day without being shot, robbed or arrested. Many consider themselves fortunate just to have ...

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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 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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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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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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More to Pokémon Go than Meets the Eye

I recently attended a birthday party for the children of my dear friends, Tim and Pam, at their home. I’ve known Tim and Pam for many years and presided over their wedding. As the party was winding down, the couple’s 16-year-old daughter Elly asked permission to go out and play Pokémon Go. I had heard about the game and asked Elly to explain how it works. As she spoke, I realized that many of the skills and attitudes required for success ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Star NFL Cornerback Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman Visits Boys Town

Charles Tillman’s day job is all about taking — primarily footballs intended for opposing receivers. But when he’s not harassing NFL offenses, Charles focuses on giving back to the community. In 2008, Charles’ daughter was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that usually leads to heart failure and death. Fortunately, his daughter was the recipient of a heart transplant, and today she is a vibrant, active young girl with a bright future. As a result of this experience, Charles and his wife Jackie ...

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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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Paul Blomenkamp, Boys Town High School Associate Principal and Athletic Director

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Boys Town, Allstate Team Up Again to Compete with Character

Most of the boys and girls who come to Boys Town have known only failure. Many have done poorly in school, struggling to keep up academically or facing suspensions or expulsion. Few have played sports, so they’ve never had anyone cheer for them or experienced the thrill of victory. At Boys Town, these kids get their first real opportunity to learn social skills, succeed in the classroom, and participate in athletics as part of a team. In everything they do as ...

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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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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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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director 

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Teaching Citizenship to Kids in an Era of Attack Ads

I am so tired of seeing attack ads from politicians. Between all the name calling and unsupported claims, what are we modeling to our kids? That if you tear a person down enough, people will like you more? I don’t think so, and I know most parents don’t either. At Boys Town we instead find ways of teaching youth citizenship through class elections. Each year since 1935, the youth of Boys Town elect a Mayor and Vice Mayor from the upcoming ...

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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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Submitted  by Janet Goodman, print buyer and mentor at Boys Town

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Mentor Gets ‘Incredible Feeling’ Helping to Improve Children’s Lives

This article was originally posted in the Omaha World Herald.  I absolutely love mentoring because it’s a one-on-one opportunity to show these kids that someone cares. Everyone needs help once in a while and I want these kids to know that it’s okay to need help and ask for help, and that someone (maybe even a stranger) will be there to offer it to them. These are just kids, after all. How they got here really doesn’t matter. Whether they’ve made mistakes in ...

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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 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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Pat Heys, Boys Town Mentor

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Mentor Finds ‘Pretty Special’ Moments While Helping Local Children Grow

This article was originally published by the Omaha World Herald on January 28th, 2016. I have always enjoyed working with kids. The story of how I started mentoring at Boys Town actually began at Dowd Chapel on the Boys Town campus. I frequently attend Mass there, so I was aware of Father Flanagan’s story, his rich legacy and the mission of Boys Town. When I retired, I hoped I could volunteer and be a small part of that mission. I stopped Father ...

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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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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 ...

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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 ...

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

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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, ...

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

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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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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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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 ...

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

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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 ...

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

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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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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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Jennifer Bell, Manager of Boys Town Reading Center

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Summer Reading: What Should My Kids Read?

Keeping our children reading throughout the summer is important. We recently looked at ways you can encourage your children to read, but you may now be wondering what exactly your children should be reading. As the Manager of the Reading Center at Boys Town High School and a parent myself, I have compiled a list of book your kids (no matter their age) are sure to love reading this summer, along with descriptions. Don’t forget to come back and let us ...

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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

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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

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

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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, ...