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How Not to Be a Stressed Parent & Not Raise a Stressed Kid

Were you aware? Mindfulness is the theme of 2014, according to TIME Magazine and The Huffington Post.

Colorado mom Kristen Race, PhD, has been practicing mindfulness since well before that. Being a student of mindfulness myself, I first came across Kristen in 2012 at her Train-the -Teacher seminar, which helps Colorado K-12 educators bring principles of mindfulness into their classroom so kids can better “pay attention.”

mindful parenting bookNow, Kristen’s new book is available, and it’s a must-read for any parent who wishes to raise a child capable of calm and rational thought in the midst of chaos. I recently

Reading Corner: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety (& Activity)

Many people suffer from worry and anxiety…moms and dads as well as kids. But the question is: what are some of the symptoms or signs of anxiety in your child?

  • worrying constantly about things that might happen
  • restlessness, defiance, tantrums, aggression
  • physical complaints such as stomach-ache, headache and fatigue
  • avoiding or refusing to go places or do things

What can a mom or dad do to help a child who is struggling with anxiety?

Back to School Best Books

Twenty minutes a day.

It’s the standard homework assignment.  With good reason — practice makes “better.”

Only, it’s not a happy time at my house.

My daughter (A.) has not inherited my passion for books. Since I began reading, I have read for fun, pleasure, escape, and learning.  A. not so much.

And, the irritating thing is that I’ve done all the “right things” – read to her at bedtime, during the day, standing on my head, and all around town. We’ve made weekly library visits, checking out bags full of books. We have books everywhere — collected from yard sales, used book stores, and new book stores. I read myself – which is good modeling for her. Right?

But, I digress. This post is about books – and a picture books to help kids like mine who struggle with reading, or teasing, or separation anxiety.  Here are some of my (our) favorites.  Good examples are always helpful.

Hooray for Reading Day by Margery Cuyler (Jessica Worries series)

Poor Jessica, a first grader, worries about messing up when she reads out loud in class. What’s worse, she’ll have to read in front of the parents on Readers’ Theater Day. It helps to learn that her mom was slow to read. Jessica decides to practice.   She reads every day to her pet dog. It’s a wonderful story about perseverance.

Simon’s Hook; A Story About Teases and Put-Downs by Karen Gedig Burnett

This is my favorite book to help children learn specific strategies when dealing with unkindness.  Simon’s grandma uses the analogy of a fish biting a hook or not biting the hook when dealing with teasing or put-downs. The strategies for not biting include: making a joke about it, agreeing with it, ignoring it, and so forth. Simon learns the strategies and goes back to school, handles the teasing with a strategy, and feels great.

Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch

Our heroine, Stephanie, decides to style her hair unlike the other kids – in various ponytail arrangements. Initiall , the other children make fun of her hair. But, then they copy her. This is a hilarious story about doing your own thing and what happens when you follow the group – with a surprise ending.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

This book made me cry when I first read it. It’s a sweet story about a child’s firsts experience going to school. His mother reassures him that even though she’s not with him, he has the kiss from her right in his hand.

A Thesaurus

This is the BEST for writers. Teachers emphasize that good writers choose wonderful words. Even the best writers use a thesaurus to help find fabulous words.  It’s our best help during writing journal melt-downs.  I highly recommend it.

What other books have helped your child with school related issues?