Parenting a Sensitive ChildAlthough many people seem to think a sensitive child is a shy child, this is not always the case. In many cases, a child that is sensitive is a child that sees things in a deeper way and shyness may not be the problem at all. Raising a child that is sensitive is not an easy task, but with good parenting skills, you can raise this child to grow up to be an adult that is insightful and creative. However, the problem occurs when parents are drawn into certain negative reactions that make it more difficult for your child. Children considered sensitive actually have a nervous system that is highly sensitive, and it is important to learn how to best deal with this child so you can help them become a productive adult in the future.

Signs of a Sensitive Child

There are a variety of different traits that a sensitive child will display. While your child may not have all the signs, children who are sensitive usually display several of the following signs for a substantial amount of time. Every child may react in similar ways from time to time, so as you look at the signs, only count it as a sign for your child if it is true for a moderate amount of time in your child's life. Here are several of those signs to watch out for:

– Notices even very slight odors that are unusual

– Prefers play that is quiet

– Learns best with correction that is gentle instead of punishment that is strong

– Feels things in a very deep way

– Has a difficult time with change

– Asks questions that are thought provoking and deep

– Is easily startled

– Shows a lot of intuition

– Notices when others are distressed

– Performs better when there are no strangers around

– Ensures safety before climbing

– Notices things that are very subtle

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Sometimes being a parent isn't easy, whether you're a mom or a dad. There are challenges that occur every day, and there are times when you don't know where to turn. Sometimes you wonder if you're doing the right thing or if you are even a good parent. Every parent goes through that. It's perfectly normal. Maybe you feel that if you could just vent your frustration, have someone to talk to, and get a bit of advice, that parenting would be a bit easier. Today you can find that help through a new parenting resource, known as the Parenting Assistance Line, or PAL. Here is a closer look at this excellent resource for parents and how it can help you.

What is PAL?

First, you may be wondering what exactly PAL is. Well, it is a Parenting Assistance Line that has been developed as a collaboration between the Alabama Children's Trust Fund and the University of Alabama Child Development Resources. The First Lady of Alabama, Patsy Riley helped to create this special resource for parents. There is a special toll free number that can be called by parents, and when you call, a specialist in parenting resources answers the phone. They will listen to your problems or difficulties and they can also offer you some support and information. When you call, you also can ask for free literature that is related to the specific concerns you are dealing with as a parent.

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Teen Line - Teens Helping TeensMany times teens in crisis prefer to talk to someone who understands their feelings and can relate to their issues, another teen. However, numerous teens cannot confide in their friends due to trust issues and a fear of embarrassment. TEEN LINE, an anonymous and free hotline, trains volunteers to listen to their peers’ feelings, educate the caller about options, and encourage positive decisions.

Teens worldwide call in as they struggle with problems involving pregnancy, abuse, depression, drug abuse, relationships, eating disorders, sexual orientation and homelessness. Every year more than 10,000 teens call TEEN LINE and over 30,000 individuals attend TEEN LINE outreach presentations. Elaine Leader, Ph.D., the executive director of TEEN LINE says, "Our program provides a safe, confidential way for teens to talk things out with a peer who can understand and who will listen, but not judge."

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Throughout life there are many thrills and many disappointments. In a child's life failing at something can be very devastating. A child in a soccer game may let the ball get past him or her for the losing shot, or a teen may not make varsity. There might be a big spelling or reading test that out child messes up at.

As parents our job is to help kids learn how to handle disappointments and failures (see our article Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Failure). As Parents, it can but very hard, but at times, we must let our kids fail at things, but be there for them and teach them how to overcome that failure. What we do not want to happen is that our kids get paralyzed from talking risks. Success can many times only be achieved through many many mistakes or failures.

So, if your child is a little down, watch this movie with them about some people who like them, may have failed one or many times. Talk about your own failures and what you learned from them.  Most important of all, talk about what would have happened if these people ended up letting failure defeat them. Our world would have been a much different place.

RISK = LIFE!!

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kids-holding-hands.jpgSometimes it amazes me the demands that are placed on children these days. While as parents we can all say that we had it “harder” then our kids do now because we had to be creative and play with our imagination where as now there are video games and computers. Let’s face it, the pressure that is put on our children today to grow up fast is really out of control.

We have them in multiple sports, we push them to join different clubs, their peers put pressure on them to look more grown up and dress more grown up and the media encourages this. Take a look at the toys we want our little girls to play with, Bratz and Barbie… or have a look at the style of clothes that are available, do those toys look innocent to you?

Life passes us by quick enough as it is. Let your child be a child, regardless of how old they are. To help make sure your child isn’t robbed of their youth, here are several tips you can follow, one for each day of the week to think about.

Mondays Parenting Tip: Set limits but be realistic!READ More on Weekly Parenting Tips: Let Kids be Kids

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Father and Teen SonImproving Communication with Your Kids

There are times when you sense that something is bothering one of your children, but it can be difficult to get kids to open up. This becomes frustrating and can make you feel helpless as a parent. In some cases, you may even push your child in the wrong way, making them clam up even more. Communicating with your kids is an important parenting skill – it helps you find out how you can help them and also enables your child to learn how to talk through problems, an important life skill. If you want to find out how to get your kids to open up to you, here are some excellent tips for improving communication with your kids.

Tips for Communicating with Younger Children

When it comes to communicating with younger children, it's all about learning to get on their level. Kids age 10 and under communicate in different ways and as a parent, you need to learn how to get them to open up. Here are a few tips that can help when you are trying to communicate with younger kids.

Tip #1 – Draw Them Out By Talking About Their Favorite Things – Most kids think about things like their favorite toys, foods, games, or movies. You can draw younger kids out by talking about their favorite things, which will get them talking.

Tip #2 – Build a Connection – Find a way to build a connection. Sometimes something as simple as playing a little game, like asking them to guess which hand you have a treat in, can establish a connection between the two of you.

Tip #3 – Get on Their Level – You need to physically get on the level of your children. Instead of talking from above them, sit down with them so you are on their level. This makes you seem less intimidating.

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Mom and Son TakingBeing a parent isn't easy. You want your child to be happy and successful through life. Of course, this means we worry about our kids, the friends they have, their grades in school, and even their safety. Although it is natural to be protective of our children, sometimes we can go a bit overboard. In fact, there is a point where we are going to have to start trusting our children to make positive choices. You can help to empower our children while they are still kids to be secure, safe, and sensible so they will grow up to make the right choices and enjoy success. Enabling kids and really to disable them in the long run. The key is to stop enabling your children and to learn how to empower them so they will develop into individuals that are competent and confident. Here is a look at some helpful information and tips that will help you avoid enabling your child and some great ways that you can empower your child.

Enabling – What is It?

First, you need to understanding what enabling is. Enabling happens to be a process that occurs when parents that are well meaning allow or even encourage behavior that is destructive and irresponsible from their children. This is done by shielding kids from the consequences that are a result of their actions. However, this is something that is done unintentionally by parents. Basically enabling occurs when we help to rescue kids from their own problems instead of letting them deal with the consequences. It can also include taking over their tasks, bailing them out when they get into trouble, or allowing them to get away with things instead of making them be accountable for the actions that they take.

Maybe you need examples. One example is giving your child more money when they spend all their allowance so they can have money to go out with friends. Another example is doing homework for your child so they don't deal with bad grades. Yet another example is giving into your child's every desire and whim because you can't stand seeing them upset. While you probably feel like you are doing the right thing to help your child, you are actually enabling your child instead of empowering them to be successful and responsible children, and later, adults.

Stop Enabling Your Child with These Tips

Maybe the enabling side sounds familiar to you. Perhaps you have realized that you are enabling your child with your actions. In fact, you may be so used to stepping in and taking care of things for your child that you don't even realize what is going on anymore. It's time that you stop enabling your child, and here are a few tips to help.

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