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Positive parenting: Harmful parenting tools we need to unlearn

We recently stumbled upon the Instagram feed @BigLifeJournal and what a treasure trove of fantastic insights and advice for parents. We especially liked this post on the Four Pillars of positive parenting:  Harmful parenting tools we need to unlearn: Unlearn punishing emotions: “Why are you crying over such a small thing? Go to your room.” Instead, relearn setting boundaries on behavior: “I know you are so angry at your brother but hitting is not OK.” Unlearn Shame-based strategies: “You’re so ungrateful. Why didn’t you say thnk you?” Relearn skill-building approaches: “How can you show your gratitude for that gift? Do you want to write a note?” Unlearn making kids feel bad to encourage positive behavior: “Don’t b...

Boulder’s Junkyard Social Club: Win tickets to Adventure Playground for Kids and Adults

Win 3 months membership for a family of 4, a $120 value below.  It’s “easy like Sunday morning” at Junkyard Social Club in Boulder. Parents and kids sip coffee and cocoas in the cafe while a local musician strums a guitar and sings family favorites. Some parents are sitting solo, reading the newspaper or working on laptops, while kids bounce back and forth between the cafe and the outdoor “Junkyard,” where there is climbing, creating, digging and dancing. As the kids burn off energy in the Boulder sunshine, a Junkyard employee sits in a lifeguard chair, keeping watch, whistling at the ready.  It’s just another day at Junkyard Social Club.  Boulder’s Junkyard Social Club bills itself as an “adventure playground and rebel museum” – and the name fits. With an emphasis on ...

Ask the Experts: How Can I Ensure my Baby is Getting Safe Sleep?

Sleep is critical to a baby’s growth and development, but it can also come with some unexpected dangers. Learning about creating the proper sleep environment can help keep your little one safe. Below, Children’s Hospital Colorado pediatricians and neonatologists Stephanie Bourque, MD, Sunah Hwang, MD, PhD, and Aniekan Udoko, MD, share their answers to a few of the most common safe sleep questions they hear from parents and caregivers. Courtesy of the Safe to Sleep® campaign; https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/.    How do I reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death? While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of sudden unexpected infant death, creating a safe sleep environment for your baby significantly lowers the risk. This includes placing your infant...

How can I teach my child to share?

Does your child struggle with sharing? The tug of war, the kicking, the shoving, we’ve all seen the perils of children fighting over a toy. Sharing is HARD, especially for little ones who don’t have a full understanding of the concept. This is a normal part of the development process.  The growing child develops attachments to things as well as persons. This ability to form strong attachments is important to being an emotionally healthy person. The one-year-old has difficulty sharing her mommy; the two-year-old has difficulty sharing her teddy bear. Some children get so attached to a toy that the raggedy old doll becomes part of the child’s self According to Dr. Sears, true sharing implies empathy, the ability to get into another’s mind and see things from their viewpoint. Children ar...

How to end your toxic relationship with food and body image

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and respect your body? If you’re like the majority of Americans, those health-conscious resolutions have fallen to the wayside and you’ve returned to your bad habits. But how do you get on a  healthier track that isn’t so much about food but rather, eliminating your toxic relationship with your body and food? Today, our health expert talks about how Intuitive Eating and what happened when she stopped obsessing about food.  === This year I ended a very negative relationship and started a beautiful one.  I dropped my love-hate, ‘food is the enemy,’ constant battle with diet, weight and body image and made peace with food instead.  I decided that since we’re in this together we might...

Why Kids Lie and How to Handle It

We’ve all experienced it. That moment when our innocent and obedient child looks us square in the eye and lies to us for the first time. I remember it well. I was snuggled next to my twelve-year-old daughter, Jordan, watching Frozen for the fifty-seventh time. Suddenly, right as Prince Hans was about to reveal that he was not a handsome Prince at all, but a psychopath with sideburns, Jordan yawned and excused herself, saying she was “really tired.” I didn’t think anything of it and continued to watch with rapt attention, when my husband who has Spidey senses came over to me and whispered, “She took her phone up to her room.” We checked the charging station to find that the phone was gone, we discussed our plan of action, then went up to her room to confront her. As I peeked int...

How can I expand my picky eater’s palate?

Dear Mama Drama: My two-year-old won’t eat anything, but macaroni and cheese. I’m afraid to give him other things because if he doesn’t eat it he’ll be hungry. I see other children, even younger than him, eating a wide variety of foods. I am amazed that they will eat things like tofu and vegetables. How can I get my son to eat a wider variety of foods? ~Scared of starving Dear Scared: Many children have difficulty expanding their food choices once they have found a favorite food. Macaroni and cheese, PB & J, and mashed potatoes are common favorites. They may like the texture, smell, or associate a positive experience with that food. However, we have to offer them other foods on a regular basis if we want them to make other choices. Our job as parents is to provide healthy options for o...

My husband’s affair: How I’m doing seven years later

In 2018, I turned 40. For my birthday, I hiked myself to the top of Courthouse Peak. I paddled Silver Jack Reservoir. I took myself out to dinner and then I camped in my truck near Yankee Boy Basin. The next day, I joined several friends for an adventurous hike to the Opus Hut. We ended up lost, scrambled down a scree slope and collapsed at the hut with wine and birthday celebrations. I just knew that 40 was going to be freaking fantastic. I am now on the cusp of turning 43. I can attest that every year of my 40s, not just the first one, has been freaking fantastic. My 40s have been full of adventure and career changes and leaps of faith. Mostly though, as cheesy as this sounds, my 40s have been full of gratitude. From 2014, when I discovered my husband’s affair until 2017, when I finally ...

4 Tips to Help Denver Children Cope with Hard Things

The prolonged nature of the pandemic and hard things has brought chronic levels of stress and anxiety to many families. Though there appears to be an end in sight, we have a long way to go before things are back to normal. In these confusing times, we must be cognizant of how heightened stress and loss can impact the children in our lives. As the Program Director for the Kempe Center’s Trauma-Responsive Implementation and Practice, I have spent much of my career helping children, families and childcare professionals respond to these sorts of high-stress, traumatic situations.  Helping Kids Cope with Hard Things If your child is impacted by this adversity, here are some tips on how you should support and respond to your child’s needs in these difficult times:  Be calm and speak ca...

Do different parenting styles cause problems? What you can do to help your relationship

  Disagreements and parenting – two things that seem to hit just about every parent. The question is does it have to cripple your relationship? Does believing in time-out vs. sticker chore chart really need to be something that after years of not being resolved causes divorce?    Nope. It doesn’t. Let’s talk about why disagreements in parenting style happen in the first place. As parents from totally separate families, the first thing that happens is we get raised by our parent’s values, their discipline styles, and their temperaments which then in turn shape us. If it worked for us….we tend to duplicate it. If it didn’t we tend to avoid it.  Another thing that impacts our parenting styles is our own temperament. Can you listen to your toddler sc...

Conflicts Over Parenting Styles? How to keep your differences from hurting your kids

At some point, most couples are going to differ on how to approach parenting. “I think in almost every family you’re going to find some disagreements,” says Dr. Alan Ravitz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. “In my own family I know there were times when I thought my wife was too harsh and there were times when she thought I was too easy.” The important thing is to present a united front. “You shouldn’t disagree in front of the child,” he says. “You should disagree behind closed doors.” This becomes especially challenging when parents develop extreme differences in their approaches to parenting-particularly when the child or children are struggling with a psychiatric diagnosis or a learning disability and treatment decisions need to be made. In these situations, the parents’ ability—or ...

The Top 14 Parenting Violations from a highway dancing Colorado mom

In a recent Colorado snowstorm, my kids and I found ourselves stuck in traffic for almost five hours due to a horrible blizzard that left many motorists stranded.  My poor son, Nathan, was completely stressed out and my daughter Jordan, was bored out of her gourd, so I decided to lift their spirits. We hadn’t moved in over four hours and so spontaneously I seized the once in a lifetime chance to dance on the interstate. I cranked up the radio which just happened to be playing “Everybody! Rock Your Body” by the Back-Street Boys. Within a few days of posting the video on Facebook, friends from all over the nation were telling me they had seen us on the news, and within three days we were making news stations around the world! “Inside Edition” “The Today Show” and even Nick Carter from t...