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Susan Stiffelman

Bath Time Always Leads to Power Struggles!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.27.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I fervently believe that parents should respect their children as fellow human beings worthy of great respect and kindness. But nature designed the parent-child relationship to be hierarchical, with parents in charge and children dependent on them.

Are Parents Training Their Kids to 'Pose and Post'?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.18.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

These days a growing number of people are choosing to make changes in their social media habits: living their lives with less documentation -- or none at all. Many are finding that without the constant presence of a smart phone camera, they feel more at ease and able to enjoy the moment.

I've Had it With My Sassy 9-Year Old!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.11.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Isn't it strange how children seem to operate from two different rule books? One tells them how to behave when they're out in public, and the other lets them know what they can get away with at home.

Parents: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.07.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Despite needing rest, many parents push through fatigue to watch one more episode of their favorite show, or to scroll through a few more Facebook posts. Our children follow our lead, postponing shut-eye in whatever clever ways they can.

Teen's Drinking Has Me Worried

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.28.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Although there are stacks of books with advice for talking with teens about worrisome drinking and/or partying, they all assume one thing: that teens will take to heart what their parents have to say.

Single Parents: Please Ask for Help

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.15.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Even parents with a partner living under the same roof know that the probability of patiently meeting every need is impossible. But for those men and women who are going it alone -- by choice, or through circumstances they might never have imagined -- the realities of being the sole parent either full or part time is challenging at best.

5 Tips for Calming an Angry Child

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.09.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

In my office, I always have a squishy ball for children to squeeze when their feelings are getting stirred up. I also encourage kids to stomp their feet when they're mad, with some optional noise-making, as well. Anger is an energy, one that can be better handled if we can shout or stomp through it!

'You Are the Boss of Your Hands'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.01.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

All of us are subject to impulses that can propel us into saying and doing things we shouldn't -- even long after we've turned 25! But children have far less ability to control their whims and urges, even if we've lectured them repeatedly about how they should behave.

The Joys and Challenges of Parenting in a World of Screens (or, 'Just Five More Minutes!')

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.22.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Across the globe, at this very moment, children on iPads, cell phones, video games and computers are begging their parents for "just five more minutes." It's no surprise. Screens offer incomparable fun and social connectivity.

Screenagers, and Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.15.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Parents need to establish clear guidelines, so our children's relationship with their devices doesn't take over their lives, or sabotage their capacity for human interaction and empathy.

Tech-Savvy Kids Forgetting How to Make Conversation

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.09.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Our children learn far more from watching us than from our scoldings or lectures. Is your phone on the table at meal time? Do you carry it with you when you go for a walk? Show your kids what it looks like to disconnect from your devices to make sure all of you is in-the-room when it's family time.

'It's Not Fair! Why Does My Sister Get To... ?'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.03.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Siblings who are raised by parents who understand and normalize their feelings of jealousy get a head start in developing healthy relationships as adults. It may be difficult to deal with those endless complaints in the moment, but very much worth it.

13 Year Old Skipping Gym Class Every Day!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.24.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

If we want to provide our youngsters with advice they will actually listen to, we have to make sure their ears, minds and hearts are open. The more she knows you are on her side, the more honest she'll be.

Parenting Is Easier When We Carve Out 'Soul Time'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.20.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Do you know the adage, When mom's happy, everyone's happy? It's not always true, but there is something to the fact that when parents are not taking care of themselves, they will find it harder to look after anyone else.

Mom Tired of Battling Tired Teen to Get Up in the Morning!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.12.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Your son is moving rapidly toward adulthood. Rather than trying to control his bedtime -- which at 16 is not likely -- fortify your connection with him so he is willing to work with you to find a solution to his morning sluggishness.

Can't Unplug Kids From Video Games!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Video games are really fun. They stimulate youngsters in ways that ordinary life cannot, flooding their brains with feel-good neurotransmitters that make hitting the Off switch very unappealing.

Resetting Kids' Expectations About Christmas

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.19.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Congratulations for recognizing that what brings the greatest joy to children isn't something you can wrap in a box. What children want and need most is a loving connection with their parents--and time together. May your holidays be filled with joy, and enjoyment!

Grandparents Break All Our Parenting Rules!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.15.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Many grandparents feel it is their right or even their duty to become co-conspirators in breaking mom and dad's rules. While it can seem charming, parents often find it extremely upsetting. Not only are their children doing things they don't approve of, but they may find themselves revisiting childhood frustrations around not feeling heard.

How Can I Get Child to Behave Nicely at Home? She's Perfect at School!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.07.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Instead of trying to control your daughter with ultimatums or gimmicks that sound good on paper but don't work in real life, look at what leads up to her outbursts. Is there a pattern?

Micro-Rejections Impact Children's Self Esteem

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.01.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

As parents, we often fail to consider the subtle messages we send our children. A sarcastic tone when we answer a question about what we're having for dinner can leave a child feeling diminished.

Child Cries When It's Time to Stay With Daddy

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.25.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Be clear. If you appear uncertain about whether it's a good idea for your son to spend time with his father, he will pick up on your lack of confidence in the arrangement.

How To Talk With Children And Teens About The Paris Attacks

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.17.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

We are all agonizing over the tragic events in Paris. Something horrific has taken place that makes no sense at all. How do we possibly explain what happened in France to our children, when we ourselves cannot begin to comprehend it?

Why Is My Daughter Aggressive At Home And An Angel Everywhere Else?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.17.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

When parents help their frustrated kids simply feel their sadness or disappointment, they move from aggression toward acceptance.

To Reach (for the Cell Phone) or Not to Reach, That Is the Question

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.04.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

If you are finding it increasingly difficult to remain genuinely present with your child when you hear your digital device beckons, you are not alone. Like Pavlov's dogs, we are gradually being trained to create a compelling association between a bell and a response. And our children are being affected in significant ways.

7 Kids and Their Rooms Are a Mess!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Children don't want to do what they don't want to do. Whether it's tidying their room, taking out the trash, or putting on their pajamas, if a child doesn't see the need to get a task checked off of your list -- or they simply don't feel like it -- she will do her best to avoid it.