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Parenting Feature Articles


Finding balance between latchkey and helicopter parenting benefits parent and child

The term latchkey kid refers to a child who returns from school to an empty home because their parent(s) are away at work or because they are living in a single parent home. Now that latchkey kids are parents themselves, many are over-compensating for their latchkey upbringing by being a helicopter parent...more


Boost early brain development

Research on early brain development suggests the following guidelines to help children build their brain power and healthy patterns for life-long learning...more


What to do if your child worries too much

Children want to be reassured and they want to know they will be safe. Some children, however, will not be calmed by your answers. Children who have these kinds of worries might struggle in many situations. Here are some strategies to help your child gain control over the worries...more


Pay attention to your child’s good behavior

All children will misbehave at times. Parents often try to teach children by spending a lot of time attending to their misbehavior. But when children behave appropriately, parents sometimes miss the opportunity to acknowledge it...more


Why is “NO” your toddler’s favorite word?

Toddlers in this stage are learning to think for themselves and seeing how it feels to make decisions of their own. They try to assert themselves by saying “no.” This is a normal part of child development...more


Help children learn to cope with stress

Stress is a natural response to change, demands or pressures of life. Everyone experiences stress, including children. We can teach children ways of managing stress...more


Tips for preparing children for summer camp

The arrival of summer means time for vacations and camp for some children and families. There is a lot of preparation required for parents to get their kids ready for summer camp...more


Using, not abusing, timeouts for kids

Although a timeout may seem trivial to an adult, it’s remarkably powerful for a child — if managed properly, said a University of Missouri Extension human development specialist...more


Does birth order make a difference?

All children are unique and have different needs. Sometimes these needs can be influenced by a child’s birth order or if he or she is an only child...more


Help children develop a sense of responsibility

Children need to develop a sense of responsibility to be prepared for adult living. Teaching children responsibility can begin when they are young and is one of the best values for children to possess...more


Parents can be positive examples when teaching children honesty

Honesty is an important character trait to teach children. Without honesty, children may find it difficult to build healthy relationships and have a successful future...more


Find meaningful ways to celebrate the holidays

The holidays are a good opportunity to share lessons in kindness, generosity, compassion and faith with children. Here are a few tips to build meaningful holidays with your children...more


Help children explore their curiosity

Curiosity drives children to explore, learn and discover new things. As children explore, their experiences fuel social, physical, emotional and intellectual development. The following are some tips for parents to help spark children’s curiosity...more


Family meals bring big rewards

Although it may not be a grand event, it’s important for families to have meals together. Both young children and teens benefit from shared meals...more


Parents should limit children’s exposure to advertising

In the past, parents were the focus for companies selling children’s products. Today, however, advertising is aimed at children through media, and intense advertising pressure has impacted family spending...more


Social and emotional skills help children succeed in school, life

What does a child need to be successful in both school and life? Although learning numbers, colors and ABCs are essential, it’s also important for children to learn social and emotional development and behavior skills...more


Car seat safety

Child safety seats and booster seats may seem like a hassle, but it’s important to know how to use them properly to protect children...more


Helping children deal with anger

Children learn how to deal with anger by watching the adults in their lives, so it is important to learn how to express anger in appropriate ways. Here are some things parents can do to help children express anger effectively...more


Breastfeeding benefits baby and mother

New mothers should strongly consider breastfeeding their newborns because of the many benefits breast milk provides...more


Helping children cope with a parent's job loss

A change in financial status due to the loss of a job is a difficult crisis for families to experience. How parents handle the situation can influence their children...more


What children think of being raised by their grandparents

Nontraditional families are no longer considered uncommon in our society. One example of a nontraditional family is children being raised by their grandparents...more


How television impacts children

Many parents are concerned about their children’s television habits. This article provides facts about TV as well as suggestions on how to guide children's TV viewing...more


How to help children understand time

Adults spend a lot of time thinking about time. Young children, however, are concrete thinkers and don’t understand the concept of time and what it means...more


How to help children develop problem-solving skills

For children to learn how to resolve conflict, they must first learn problem-solving skills. Children who learn problem-solving skills will develop and use them throughout their life...more


Being a grand grandparent

Becoming a grandparent for the first time is a wonderful experience. Having raised children, many grandparents may think they know everything; however, things have changed and there are many new things to learn...more


Choosing the Right Toy for Your Child

Because play is often described as the work of children, children need toys just as adults need tools for their particular toys with the child's needs and interests in mind. A well-balanced selection of toys is necessary for the child's total development...more


How to talk with your young child about “good” and “bad” touches

One of the most important skills parents teach their children is that they have control over their own bodies. As parents, it is important to have conversations about good and bad touches and to teach our kids that they always have the right to say “no” to any type of touch that makes them feel uncomfortable...more


School success requires family commitment

According to education experts, a lot of school success depends on attitudes toward education fostered in the home...more


Families should set guidelines to ensure quality studying

Every family needs to set their own guidelines for studying at home. There are several ways to get focused and organized...more


Organization is key to morning routine

Hectic schedules and hurried breakfasts don't have to be part of the morning routine when students start back to school...more


Tips to help children in a world that is critical of body size

Help your children feel good about themselves, gain positive experiences with healthy food, learn how to deal with teasing...more


ADHD in the Family

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a growing concern for families in the United States. With the disorder gaining attention it is important for families to understand more about ADHD and ways in which families can work together to make their child with ADHD more successful...more


Parents should teach kids safety for return to school

As kids head back to school, parents should do some homework of their own to make sure the new school year is safe on several fronts...more


Parents Play Key Role in Decreasing Aggression in Children

There are several things parents can do to insure that their child is neither the bully nor the child who is bullied by another...more


Suggestions for Talking with Children and Teens about Hate and Intolerance

Acknowledge that hate groups exist and that their messages are threatening.
Keep children and teens away from the scene of hate demonstrations or events. Find alternative and safe places to discuss the issues and voice opinions...more


Sugerancias para conversar con Niņos y Adolescentes Sobre Odio e Intolerancia


Discipline: When Children Misbehave

Discipline is always a hot topic with parents. But, when parents separate and/or divorce, the child’s behavior can create great concern...more


Consistency is the Key When Families Separate

How should I discipline my children? According to Kris Jenkins, HES Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension, “Parents are always interested and concerned about discipline issues. This is especially true during and after separation from the other parent.”..more


Parents can help keep kids safe from Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Parents want their children to be safe and disease free, and they do many things to make sure their children stay healthy. Most parents take their children to get their immunizations, they encourage them to wash their hands and when they get sick, they go to take children to the doctor and get medication. However, when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), many parents are not doing enough to make sure their children are safe and healthy...more


Cultural competency for kids (and adults)

Cultural competence is defined as the ability of individuals to work or respond effectively across cultures in a way that acknowledges and respects the culture of another. Culturally-competent youth are respectful of the values, beliefs, traditions and customs of others...more


Making Back To School—COOL!

Making a smooth transition between the summer break and the beginning of school can help children feel good about themselves and help everyone in the family create and maintain a positive outlook about the coming school year. Parents play an important role in helping make this transition a smooth one. Here are some tips to help make this transition more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone...more


Staying Home Alone: Is your child ready for self-care?

Deciding when a child is capable of staying home alone is a difficult one for any parent. At some point in time, most children will need to stay alone before or after school, during the summer break or while a parent runs an errand. Communicating and working with a child can help him prepare for being alone and thrive while parents are away...more


Keeping kids safe from scary happenings

Halloween is supposed to be fun and scary for children, but it is the role of adults to make sure kids are kept safe from truly scary situations. As is true in everyday safety procedures, there are steps parents can take to keep their kids safe on Halloween...more


Fathers today – Balancing work and family

As a father, your active involvement in your family contributes to its strength and stability, as well as to your children’s achievement and behavior. But juggling the demands of maintaining a busy job and spending quality time with family can be a challenge...more


Parents should take active role in their teens’ summer employment decisions 

With school out for the summer, many young teens will be taking summer jobs — some for the first time — and parents should be involved in their children’s employment decisions, said a University of Missouri safety specialist...more


Cultural differences in school expectations by Latino parents

Missouri is part of the great national expansion of Hispanic/Latino populations. According to the University of Missouri Office of Social and Economic Analyses regional profiles, the Hispanic population in Missouri nearly doubled from 60,000 to 119,000 between 1990 and 2000...more


Spring cleaning with young children

Spring is the time of year for cleaning. Your young children can help with cleaning tasks, especially when they are members of a team that works together. Such activities help children focus on a task, talk about what needs to be done, and follow through until completion...more


Help your family grow stronger

How can family members be strong as a family? Here are some ideas of how you can do this...more


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Trends and Concerns

Most grandparents that I know, think that their grandchildren are really “grand”. Grandparents have the freedom to love the child and then the child goes back to the parent for discipline and care. However, their has been a trend of more grandparents raising their grandchildren. According to the 2000 Census, over 2.4 million grandparents were the primary caregiver of the grandchild. ...more


Minimize stress and maximize the gifts of the season

During the holidays, parents who are already stressed in their daily lives are subject to additional stressors. It is important to make time each day for you and your loved ones so that all of you will experience the benefits of the holiday season. Here are lists of things to avoid and things to do to decrease stress and increase the joy of the season...more


Controlling spill over from work to home

When working parents are tired and over stressed from work the spill over can influence their interactions with their family. Children are very sensitive to their parents’ moods. Children know when we are upset. They do not understand why and will often assume that they are the problem. Here are some tips to leave the stress at work and avoid spill over...more


Managing a home when everyone works

We all work hard today! With commuting and demands of the job nobody has time or energy for housework. Many couples who share a home have a hard time sharing the tasks required to keep a home running smoothly. Many parents aren’t sure what chores are appropriate for children or how to get children to help out around the house...more


Managing Work and Kids: Discipline for Kids

Research shows that parents who use authoritative parenting along with warmth have children who get along better with their peers, achieve more at school, and act out less than children whose parents are permissive or are authoritarian in their parenting styles...more


The Gift of Time

“The best thing parents can spend on their children is time, not money" –Anonymous. Anonymous is credited with a great deal of wisdom. This bit of information is backed by current research. A report in the journal Child Development about research conducted with two and three year old children which shows that the quality of time a parent (especially fathers) spends with their children predicts the quality of the child’s language and cognitive development...more


Raising Teenagers: How to Solve Problems with Your Teens

Parents and teens usually don’t see eye-to-eye about everything. Conflict is a normal part of life, but it can be hard for parents and teens to discuss problems. These discussions can be angry and frustrating for both parents and kids. How can parents communicate with teens about problems? ...more


Raising Teenagers: Adolescent Development, or “Is this Normal?”

Is your teenager rebellious and moody? Are you two getting into more fights? Does your teen sleep away the entire morning? These are common changes during the teenage years. One way to understand what’s going on with your teen is to recognize the many changes he or she is going through physically, mentally, and emotionally...more


Raising Teenagers: How to Listen to your Teens

A great way to learn about what is going on with your teenager is to carefully listen to him or her. Although it sounds easy to just listen, effective listening can be a very active process. When teenagers feel that they are really being listened to, they are more likely to communicate their thoughts and feelings...more


Children and Grief

Children are affected when a family member dies or a public tragedy occurs. As much as adults would like to shield children from loss we cannot. Adults need to understand children and child development to be able to help children cope with their grief...more


Growing Toward Self Discipline

A formula that answers all of the parenting questions about child discipline does not exist. Children are unique and so are their families. As a result, a discipline strategy that might work with one child may not work with another...more


Raising Siblings: How to Avoid Giving Your Children Labels

Your children are so different – they each have very different talents, skills, and personalities so it can seem natural to give them labels. For example, one child may be the “smart one” or the “artist” or the “troublemaker”. Although it is easy to give your kids labels, they can be hard for children. ...more


Raising Siblings: How Can I Treat My Kids The Same When They Are So Different?

Do you ever find it hard to treat your children exactly the same? You’re not alone. “It’s not fair!” is a phrase many parents hear when they treat their children differently. ...more


Raising Siblings: How to Avoid Comparing your Children

Do you worry about your kids fighting? One way parents can work to lessen sibling rivalry and jealousy is to focus on each child’s behavior without comparing him or her to a brother or sister. It can be difficult to avoid comparing children, but it’s worth the effort and is an important step to successfully parenting siblings. ...more


Raising Siblings: How to Help Your Child Become a Big Brother or Sister

Imagine if your husband or wife brought another spouse home and said “Honey, I love you so much, you are so wonderful, that I want to have another spouse just like you to come live with us!” and then was surprised that you were upset. This is sort of how your firstborn child feels when you have a new child...more


Raising Siblings: Common Reactions to Becoming a Big Brother or Sister

By the time you have a second child you already see yourself as a parent. For your firstborn child, however, it is a big change because all of the sudden he or she becomes a big brother or sister! This change can be very difficult for children and many become angry and upset. However, most children also have very positive, warm, and loving feelings about their new brothers and sisters. ...more


Effective and Successful Parenting

Research on successful parenting suggests that being a successful parent means being effective, consistent, active and attentive...more


Baby talk promotes language skills

Enhancing communication and language skills is a very important role for the parent/caregiver, and is really quite simple to do. Here are some helpful hints to use with your child during the first two years of life...more


Summer Water Safety

Where do we all want to be on a hot, sunny day but in the water? Children especially love the water this time of year. Adults are responsible for the safety of children. The National Safe Kids Coalition reports that 16% of all deaths in children under the age of 14 are from drowning. ...more


Traveling With Children

All of us have heard the familiar phrase, "Are we there yet?" from children who are bored from sitting for what they perceive as an endless amount of time in a vehicle, or are so excited about their destination they just can't wait...more


Helping Children Resolve Conflicts

Children, like adults, have disagreements with others from time to time. These conflicts happen with playmates, friends, brothers and sisters...more


Television and the family

Family is the most important influence in a child's life, but television is not far behind. Depending on how it is used, television can have positive or negative effects on children...more


Large and Small Motor Development During Early Childhood

During early childhood, children's body fat decreases, the torso gets larger to accommodate organs and the spine straightens, allowing for posture and balance to improve.... The sequence of these achievements is similar in groups of children, the rate of growth and development is what varies by individual....more

Large and Small Motor Development in the First Two Years

During the first 2 years of life, babies grow and develop in many ways. ...The sequence of these achievements is similar in groups of children, the rate of growth and development is what varies by individual....more

Managing Anger

Everyday we are faced with trying situations. Sometimes these situations make us angry. One study found that some people got mad an average of six times a day and another study of parents found that two-thirds of the group shouted or screamed at their children an average of five times a week...more


What Makes a Family Strong?

Researchers believe that a combination of traits makes a family strong rather than just one single characteristic. Strengths come from how family members interact with each other, how they treat one another, and what families do as a group and as individuals to support the adults and children in the family...more


What Can a Parent Do?

Many parents are concerned about teaching their children responsibility. Children learn best by example. The following actions set good examples to learn by...more


If I Had Parenting to Do Over Again

How would I parent my children, if I could have a fresh start? Diane Loomans' famous poem brings lots of ideas to mind, "more hikes and kites, more hugging and less tugging, and model the power of love"...more


Homework: Too Much or Not Enough

The mothers in my office do not look forward to the starting of school because of the busy balance of homework, music lessons, other after-school activities, and sports activities. But as students head back to school it is definitely time to think about homework...more


Ordinary Magic: Families that Beat the Odds

What makes one family recover from great tragedy and another come apart? What strengths does a parent find that cares for a disabled child and nurtures her abilities? Why do some children living in dangerous neighborhoods thrive in school while others are drawn to hopelessness...more


Children and Internet Safety

In a recent report it was estimated that about 17 million children and teens between 12-17 years of age were on the Internet. This represents about 75% of all the young people in the United States. With so many young people online it is important to think about some of the safety issues. Here are some frequently asked questions...more


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Many people think of grandparenting as visiting with grandchildren, doing fun things with grandchildren, and providing temporary childcare for grandchildren. Most adults do not anticipate taking on the role of primary caregiver for their grandchildren. However, a growing number of grandparents have primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren...more


Summer fun

During the summer months, children have lots of unstructured time and parents or grandparents may have more time with children. Adults can enhance children's development while building a store of great memories by planning fun and stimulating summer activities. Here are a few ideas that don't cost much money...more


Guiding Children's Behavior

Guiding children involves many tasks. Parents are responsible for identifying and enforcing reasonable limits, while gradually giving freedom to children by encouraging them to be responsible for themselves. A positive approach helps teach young children coping skills and self-control while discouraging inappropriate behavior...more


Encouraging curiosity is key to active learning

As parents, we want our children to do well in school. But how can we help make this happen? One of the best ways is to turn your children into active learners...more


Raising kind children

Encouraging kindness in children is an important responsibility for all adults who care for children. You can help children show kindness toward others and experience the positive feelings that grow out of kind and caring behavior...more

Understanding Your Child

A child is born with a unique set of personality traits that are consistent throughout life. Parents are responsible for understanding these traits. Understanding a child helps parents guide and nurture the child as he/she grows...more

Are You Spoiling Your Child?

Is it necessary to buy popular or famous brands of dresses, shoes, toys, etc. for your children?... more

What to do about Biting

Many young children go through a biting phase that is troubling to parents. Time usually solves the problem, although there are things parents can do to help prevent and solve this problem...more

Avoiding mealtime hassles

Mealtimes can quickly become battlegrounds. Eating is one of the few areas where young children feel they have control, and their budding independence can easily lead to unpleasant power struggles...more

Toilet Learning

Learning to use the potty is a big event in the lives of preschool children. Learning is a full-time job for children at this age, and learning to use the potty may not be as important as learning to climb, jump, run, and talk. Children learn this new skill at individual times of readiness...more


Physical Development: Infancy through Preschool

Physical development takes place quickly in the lives of children. The infant who was once immobile turns into the toddler who seems to be always on the move. Children differ in how quickly they develop large motor skills. This development occurs in stages, each one building upon the previous ones...more


Helping children get along with friends

Friends are important to children. They make life more interesting and fun. They are playmates, and they help children feel that they belong. Children who have friends are less lonely and depressed. They are also more likely to feel confident and good about themselves. For many reasons, it is important for adults to help children learn to be good friends and to have good friends...more


Helping children learn about kindness

Learning to help is important for building strong friendships. Children who have strong friendships with other children care about how they feel. They stick up for them when others tease them, and they try to make them feel better when they are hurt or sad...more


Helping Children Build Self-Esteem

Children's self-esteem may be thought of as a collection of pictures they carry with them that reflects how they feel about themselves. Children begin developing this collection early in life, and parents have a great influence on how they come to view themselves. Children who grow up with a healthy self-esteem have parents who believe in them and give them opportunities to succeed...more

Book Review:
The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Gottman's book, The Heart of Parenting, offers valuable guidance and research-based information to adults who parent, care for, and educate children...more


How Are Children Affected By Living in Violent Homes?

The single strongest way to predict child abuse is to find out if there is domestic violence in a home. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the rate of child abuse is six to fifteen times higher in families where there is adult domestic violence compared the families where there is no domestic violence. Anytime a parent is involved in domestic violence, the children in the home are affected in both obvious and subtle ways because they anticipate, see, hear, fear, and sense the violence...more



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Last update: Wednesday, August 16, 2017