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Susan Stiffelman

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.

Helping a Friend Cope With Miscarriage

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.05.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

What touched me about Mr. Zuckerberg's post was his willingness to speak honestly about the miscarriages he and his wife have gone through. I have borne witness to this loss from clients and friends, many who have kept the pregnancy a secret from those they see every day, if it was still early.

Husband and I Disagree on Having Son Try Soccer

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

it's important that we gently expose our kids to a few activities they might not have thought of. It's not necessary to force children to participate in an activity

An Unplugged Sigh of Relief

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.21.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Breathe in the sounds, the smells, and the peace of a summer day or evening with your kids. Let the beeps beep, the pings ping and the alerts land on deaf ears. Turn away from your screen, and toward your children. You won't regret it.

My Daughter Acts Out When Step-Sister Visits

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.16.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

With time, and plenty of opportunity to move through difficult feelings, your children should find their way toward building lifelong bonds. Meanwhile, slow things down, expect hiccups, and make room for the big feelings that come as tender hearts adjust to changes in life's routines.

My 6-Year-Old Blames Others When Things Go Wrong

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.30.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Avoid finger pointing. When you make a mistake, admit it -- without trying to say it was because of what someone did or didn't do. When we show our children what it looks like to take full responsibility for our actions, they are much more likely to freely admit when they've made a mistake.

Am I Shortchanging My Kids By Not Enrolling Them in Summer Activities?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.17.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Kids need space in their day to wander aimlessly, finding ways to entertain themselves in a way that doesn't involve a battery or a plug. Healthy development is fostered by climbing trees, tapping out songs on the piano, building forts or simply lying in the grass and watching the clouds go by.

Kids Sharing a Room: Blessing or Curse?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.10.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Allow your daughters to express their feelings about the new arrangement. While some kids adjust to sharing a room without a fuss, others struggle to adapt to new situations, regardless of how hard we try to make things good for them.

Negative 9-Year-Old Won't 'Go With the Flow!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.02.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Help your daughter become more aware of any insecurity or anxiety that might fuel her desire to be controlling. Check your judgments at the door.

The Work of Byron Katie, Parenting and Chores

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.26.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I have tried everything to get my kids to do their chores, but it is a constant battle. Why can't they just do what I ask? Are all kids as lazy as mine?