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Susan Stiffelman

I've Had It With My Kids Complaining That They're Bored!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.26.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Children are immensely adaptable, finding ways to adjust to all kinds of circumstances when necessary. Most of us have observed that when the power goes out and they get excited about lighting candles, or when a sibling is sick and they find themselves actually capable of being gentle and kind.

'My Passionate Child Overwhelms Me!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.19.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Many times I've worked with a parent who was brought up being told to keep her feelings to herself -- scolded if she dared to express her thoughts or wishes. Lo and behold, she grows up to find herself parenting a passionate, dramatic son or daughter who makes noise about every injustice that crosses his or her path.

It's Not What We Tell Our Children, It's What We Show Them

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.08.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Yet again, parents are asking the question, "What do I tell my children?" after the tragic deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and five police officers.

15 Year Old Just Wants to Play Video Games

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.05.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Forbidding a youngster from spending time with friends we don't approve of often makes them more appealing; your son may find it tantalizing to sneak around to be with his buddies rather than abide by your wishes.

The DE-structive Effects of "Constructive criticism"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.28.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

My mother insists on giving me what she calls constructive criticism. She thinks it's her job to tell me everything I'm doing wrong. For instance, wh...

Parenting Through Yet Another Tragedy

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.13.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Teach tolerance. Expose your children to people from a variety of walks of life. Visit a temple or church of a different faith, letting your children discover that when you do not share someone's religion, you still maintain curiosity and respect for their beliefs.

Waiting in the Little White Robe

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.08.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Last week, someone walked into a room and uttered three words that prompted me to burst into tears. Thankfully, they were tears of relief, but in the hour or so before they were spoken, something inside of me was rearranged -- something that I hope widens my capacity for recognizing the practical need for support from those in my midst.

My Stepson Is Angry and Aggressive When He's Here!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.31.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Your stepson has been thrown into a situation that I see all too often: one parent says negative things about the other parent or stepparent, creating divided loyalties. The child is faced with an impossible dilemma: Whose side am I supposed to be on?

Can't Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy Snacks?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.17.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

There is a fundamental truth about the parent-child relationship: When we are desperate, our children are often inclined to do the opposite of what we are asking. So the more you push and plead with them to eat the healthy foods you lay before them, the less likely they will do so.

"My Children Don't Listen to Me!"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.10.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Given that most parents confess that the majority of the interactions they have with their children are task-oriented, it's fair to say that our kids assume most of our requests are aimed at reducing their fun. If you look at it from their perspective, it makes sense that they would try to tune us out!

The Optimism of Resilient Mothers

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.03.2016 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Before I became a mother, I had no idea of the challenges and joys that awaited me. Qualities emerged that I hadn't known I had, like unwavering patience, overwhelming love, and a fierce determination to steer my son around at least some of the pitfalls of my own childhood.

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.