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Susan Stiffelman

'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.

Perfectionism Makes Raising a Toddler Very Challenging

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.19.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Despite all those yummy baby kisses and cozy snuggles, children push our ability to tolerate disorder to its absolute limits. Parenting is hard... and it's messy! Even those of us who aren't perfectionistic often struggle with the chaos.

The Reach: That Involuntary Tug Our Cell Phone Delivers

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.13.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

You know what I mean -- that involuntary extension of your arm in the direction of your cell phone when you're anxious to see what emails/ text messages/ calls/ tweets/ Facebook posts have come in since you last checked. (Note: This urge can occur in as little as three minutes of non-phone access.)

'I'm Too Tired to Enjoy My Kids!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.03.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I wanted badly to be a mother and I love my children to pieces, but I am so exhausted that I wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead. I know all the magazine articles talk about taking care of ourselves, but I laugh when I think about getting a massage.

"Mommy, I WANT THE iPAD!"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I am concerned that we're robbing our children of some of the essential ingredients that make up a happy childhood: Creating art, building forts, or watching a hummingbird in flight-- things that cannot happen if we hand over a digital device.

After Divorce: Can You and Daddy Please Be Nice to Each Other?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.23.2015 | Divorce
Susan Stiffelman

Divorce is an indication that our dreams of a loving spouse who accepts our mistakes have fallen apart. We may find ourselves on the other end of our once-beloved partner's rage. When children are caught in the midst of these interactions, it compounds their pain, and our own.

Thank You, Elizabeth Gilbert, for Encouraging the Hummingbirds!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.15.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Please share this story with your daughter, and encourage her to approach life with wide-eyes and an open heart, following whatever bread crumbs capture her interest without trying to manufacture a calling.

How Can I Get My Kids to Read?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.07.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

There's simply is nothing like getting lost in a book, and as you as you have rightly pointed out, more and more kids are turning away from the printed page in favor of tweets, posts, snippets, video shorts and sound bites. Here are my thoughts.

Teenage Girls, Mothers, and Aunties

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.31.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Until very recently, raising children almost always included the support of extended family and friends. These days, parents often feel terribly isolated as they attempt to meet the needs of their children, whether they are raising them on their own or with a partner.

When Your Husband Disagrees on Screen Time Limits

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.24.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Few parents are crystal clear about how much is too much when it comes to giving their kids access to technology. It hardly surprises me that two adults from different backgrounds and with different sensibilities don't see eye to eye on how much screen time their children should have. Here are my thoughts

Stacking the Odds for a Good New School Year

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.20.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

One of the strongest factors in determining a child's success and enjoyment of school is the connection they have with their teacher or teachers. If at all possible, I recommend that parents of timid children do whatever they can to visit school before it begins and stop by to say "Hi" to their new teacher and get a bit oriented to the new classroom.

Help! Our Toddler Has Terrible Tantrums!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.11.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Our job as parents is to do our best to avoid sailing into the rough waters that can cause our little ones to lose their footing and fall apart. But no matter how hard we try to prevent our children from having tantrums, there may still be times when they cannot cope with whatever demand has been placed on them. Perhaps they're tired or hungry, or they could be feeling overly jealous or hurt.