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Top 10 parenting tips from 2014

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Top 10 parenting tips from 2014

620x413_iStock-000004109625Small1374180591 From school struggles to sleep issues, we share our must-read expert advice from the past year. 1. Raise a bounce-back kid “We’re a very goal- and achievement focused society, but kids need recognition that they are trying. The moment a child starts trying to walk, we encourage them. We lose that approach as kids get older and, instead, focus on outcomes. We need to praise their tenacity.” —David Worling, registered psychologist and director of the Westcoast Child Development Group 2. Get your kids moving “Kids should be running, chasing the dog, playing hopscotch in the driveway, shooting hoops, shooting pucks—all those things they can do with no coach, no uniform, no score clock, no minivan.” —Mark Tremblay, director of healthy active living and obesity research, CHEO Research Institute 3. Win over a picky eater Invite a non-picky buddy over for lunch or dinner. "Eating with peers gives some kids a little nudge to try different foods.” —Shannon Crocker, registered dietitian 4. Get your baby to sleep Watch for cues (yawns, eye rubs). “Some parents try to keep babies up late, hoping they'll exhaust them or that they'll wake up later, but it usually works to your disadvantage. Overtired babies are harder to get to sleep, and are more likely to wake in the night.” —Tracey Ruiz, sleep doula 5. Host a successful playdate “The point when you think, ‘Oh, this playdate is going really well,’ is usually when you should end it.” —Jennifer Kolari, child and family therapist 6. Help your child manage test anxiety “Prevention is always the best solution.” Ask teachers for a general outline of an upcoming test and conduct sample questions with your child, which can take a good degree of the uncertainty out of the test. Dr. Raymond Shred, child psychologist 7. Stay connected with your tween “Create space for conversations at the dinner table or in the car on the way to school or hockey practice. Often, shoulder-to-shoulder conversations are easier than face-to-face.” —Julie Freedman Smith, parenting coach 8. Raise an eager reader “Read aloud. I think that this is one of the most important things a parent can do to foster a love of reading in their child. It is a different experience than reading on their own and it can be such a wonderful bonding experience." —Wendy Wayling, children's librarian at Westmount Public Library   9. Spark your child’s imagination “Unlike games with rules and expectations, make-believe allows kids to be in charge, to try out ideas and new ways of looking at the world. Don’t start directing the child or set rules that you think make sense.” Kathy Lynn , parenting author and speaker 10. Stay safe on vacation “Insist in seatbelt use, age-appropriate car seats, lifejackets in and around water and helmets for sports such as cycling and skiing. Every time. It can be tempting to make exceptions to these rules when on vacation because we aren’t functioning within our usual systems. Don’t.” —Dr. Danielle Martin, family physician                      
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Top 10 parenting tips from 2014

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