10 Ways to Raise a Thankful Kid

When my favorite uncle first met my daughter, then age three, he enthusiastically hugged her and gave her a toy he’d brought all the way from Uganda. My daughter wouldn’t even hold it, let alone say “Thank you.” I was mortified. My daughter is now 17, and looking back, I realize that many factors could have contributed to her behavior: being unprepared for such...
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Readiness: Not a State of Knowledge, but a State of Mind

People used to think children were ready for kindergarten if they could say the ABC’s, count, identify colors, and write their first name. Readiness was always more complicated than that, and new brain research is helping us understand what readiness really is. Readiness doesn’t mean just knowing the academic basics. It means a child has a willing attitude and confidence in the process of...
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How to Support Children’s Approaches to Learning? Play with Them!

As a parent, you want your children to learn all that they can—to grasp math concepts, to be curious about exploring the world, and to learn to read and write. Did you know that you can help your son or daughter academically by playing with them? Play and learning go together! What kind of play helps children learn the best? Play that really engages children—play that they will focus on and...
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Observation: The Key to Understanding Your Child

Young children sometimes behave in challenging or confusing ways. You may occasionally have thoughts like: “Why does she keep pinching her brother’s nose?” “Why does he put his snack in his hair?” “Why does she cry when it’s time to put shoes on?” At first glance, young children’s behaviors can be downright baffling! Preschool teachers are taught that all behavior is communication and we are...
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Self-Control: How to Help Three-Year-Olds Make Good Choices

Part of growing up is learning how to manage our emotions and exercise self-control so that we can treat ourselves and others with respect. Sometimes that means resisting what we want to do in the moment (like throwing something when we’re mad) and making a more thoughtful choice instead. Three-year-olds can begin to view situations from another person’s perspective ― a useful tool in helping...
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