14 Tips to Avoid Overindulging Children

greedy child in supermarket cart with mom scolding her
As parents, we want what's best for our kids. Often we do what we can to make them happy. We don't want them to experience struggle, turmoil or disappointment, so we try hard to satisfy their wishes. While we may have the best of intentions, sometimes it goes too far. Overindulgence happens when we satisfy the child's wishes to an extreme extent. Kids who are overindulged may begin to think that the way they're growing up is how the world works. They start to expect that they can buy anything they want when they want it. Stress can cause parents to at times be more indulgent. For example, when [...]

15 Ideas for Getting Your Child to Sleep

Father reads his daughter a bedtime story
Kids are like angels when they're asleep, but sometimes it can be a devil to get them to drift off to dreamland. Getting children to bed at a regular time is very important because it helps them thrive, grow, and avoid excessive daytime sleepiness. “Sleep, like diet and exercise, is important for our minds and bodies to function normally,” according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. When you choose a bedtime and remain consistent, your child will develop a regular sleep pattern. It may take some work to get this pattern established, but in the long run, it will decrease many of [...]

Helping Kids Cope with Anxiety

child with anxiety hugging mom
Fear. Worry. Anger or irritation. Insomnia. Anxiety can have many faces. Sometimes, it’s the face of your child. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue of childhood and adolescence, the Child Mind Institute reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.4% of kids ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, and reports show it’s on the rise. We asked Christina Smestad, MS, LMFT, a counselor at The Village’s Moorhead office, to share her insights about kids, anxiety, and how parents can help. Q&A: Kids and Anxiety Who does anxiety typically affect [...]

Divorce Do’s and Don’ts

Divorce can be hard on children but parents can take certain actions to be better co-parents
Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family. The process can bring out the worst in people, and when separated parents struggle to get along, it can be especially hard on the kids. Younger children may display behaviors such as excessive crying, clinginess, or difficulty with transitions. It’s important for divorced or separated parents to be able to communicate effectively and resolve conflict. Here are some tips for things to do – and not to do – that are in the best interest of your children when a marriage or relationship is ending. What to do after a divorce Allow your child to love [...]

7 Books That Celebrate Adoption

Graphic of 7 Adoption book covers
Adoption can be complicated, beautiful, challenging, rewarding, consuming, humbling, and above all, life-changing. Adoption can help fulfill a family’s dream of raising a child and another family’s dream of giving their child more. Adoption can cause uncertainty and can be painful for all as the process is built on people’s experiences of loss. Questions often arise from all three parties of the adoption. Birth mothers wonder if they have done the right thing and worry about others’ perception of them. Adoptive parents wonder about how parenting is different by adoption than by birth. As [...]

At What Age Should I Allow My Child to Play Alone Outside?

Child playing alone outside
The answer to this question depends on so many variables, so it's not possible to determine an overall age for when a child should be allowed to play outside alone. Consider the following factors as a guideline when you are deciding when it’s safe to let your child play outside alone. 4 Factors to Consider Environment Is your yard fenced in? If your yard is fenced in, then 5 to 6 years old is an appropriate age to allow your child to play outside alone for a few minutes at a time. If your yard is not fenced in, consider waiting until your child is around 8 years old before you allow them to be [...]

How Parents Can Respond in the Wake of Violence

Mom holds her son's hand
In today's world, when we see violent events unfold in both metropolitan and rural communities, it reminds us that they can happen at any place and any time. Parents can help their children cope with traumatic events when they occur, whether close to home or far. 5 Suggestions to Help Kids Cope 1. Talk to your children Try to explain what has happened in order to help ease their fears. Reassure them that, although these are horrible events, many people are working to keep them safe. Encourage your children to ask questions. Explain that emergencies can happen in different ways and that schools [...]