Growing up is hard, we all know that. Teens today face more stress and pressure then many of us did at the age. Part of that is our society and the other part is the demands we as parents put on our kids. This means that we need to make sure that we are doing all we can to make sure they are equipped with the tools they need to cope with the stress. Though I often say that it is best to start building a good relationship with them when they are young… it can be done when they are teens. It just may require a little more work and you may be met with a little more resistance. However, teens that have a good relationship with their parents are better able to cope with the stress of being a teenager in the 21st century.

Tip 1: Make Sure you are Available to Talk

Talking to a teenager… yes, this can be tough because they don’t always want to talk to you. This doesn’t mean that you don’t try, and that you don’t let them know you are there for them to talk to. I remember when I was younger that my parents always said that I could talk to them about anything. I also remember my mother going in her bedroom and screaming into a pillow after a few conversations… so I learned not to talk to her about certain topics.

You may not like what you are going to hear. But listen to them without interruption… and try not to scream in a pillow when they can hear or see you.

Tip 2: Show Your Teen Healthy Escapes

When your child was little telling them to color or bang on the pots and pans was a great way to let them de-stress. That probably won’t work with your teen. However there are many options you can give them to help them deal with stress. Encourage them to keep a journal, listen to music that makes them feel better, meditate, exercise something that is good for them and will make them feel better. For me it used to be going out to the garage and hitting the punching bag while listening to loud music.READ More on Teen Stress: Parenting Tips to Help Teens Cope

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A Fathers Day KissFathers Day is a day to celebrate being a Dad. For me the best gift is just spending time with my family. As Fathers our role is very important and studies have shown the more time we spend with our kids the more well adjusted and successful they will be.

Having a great relationship with our kids also has many benefits for us Dads as well. There is no better stress relief after a hard day of work to come home and have your kids run into your arms or be glad to see you.

There is a also a special bond that forms between Father and Son, a bond that starts at birth and lasts a lifetime. As Dads we bring joy to our family and help set role models for our kids. Father's day is a time to remember and thank our own Dads of if we are a Dad, a time to rejoice in our own family.

From all of us here at More4kids, we wish you a Happy Father's Day and thank all Dad's out there for their love and sacrifice.

Here is a very special video the YMCA did of kids telling their Dads how great they are:

Great Father's Day Quotes:

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters. – George Herbert

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. – M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

READ More on Father's Day Wishes

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by Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC

Yelling at Your Kids? Why It Doesn’t Work

You know the drill: Your child is screaming at you, ignoring you, being irresponsible or hurtful. Suddenly, you’re yelling at the top of your lungs, matching him decibel for decibel. Later, you think, “Why did I fly off the handle again? I’m so tired of letting him push my buttons so easily.”

Yelling is a natural response when your kids are rude, not listening, engaging in irresponsible behavior or treating you poorly—or in any other situation that triggers your emotions. Even though you know it would be better if you could stay calm, it’s hard to always do that emotionally. Or you may even argue that yelling and making our kids afraid of us worked when we were growing up, so why shouldn’t we do that today?

Related: How to parent calmly, even when your kids are pushing your buttons.

Yelling or “losing it” transmits the message, “I need you to behave so that I can feel calmer; I don’t know how to be calm and in control of myself unless you are behaving the way I need you to.”

It was good enough for me…

When our parents were raising us, adults used threats, intimidation and fear to scare us into better behavior. The value prized was obedience. Some parents hit and others withdrew love to get their children to submit to authority. And kids were much more obedient than today’s kids—but it came at a price. Although today’s parents value obedience, we also put a high value on long-term connections, fostering independence and self-reliance, building trust and on our kids’ emotional wellbeing. The old way of parenting might help kids fall into line, but it works against some of today’s parents’ values.

So the question becomes, “How do we get our kids to behave without yelling and screaming, while also building a good relationship with them?” It’s important to remember that losing our temper may make us feel better in the moment—it’s a way of managing our distress—but it doesn’t feel better later. It does not enhance the relationship with our kids that we hope to achieve over time or help them to develop successfully into responsible adults.

The message you send when you “lose it.”

There are many ways to influence your child’s behavior, but yelling is not effective. The message that it transmits to our kids is often, “I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do to get you to act the way I want you to act. I feel out of control.” Of course, the message we want our children to pick up is, “I’m in control of myself; I know what to do and you do not control me.” Yelling or “losing it” also transmits the message, “I need you to behave so that I can feel calmer—I don’t know how to be calm and in control of myself unless you are behaving the way I need you to.” What happens is that your child feels that he is in charge of your emotional wellbeing—and that’s not a good position to put him in.

READ More on Why Yelling at Kids Does Not Work

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Eight Sleeping Solutions to Help Tired Tots and Their Parents Get Some Rest

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT


Toddler Sleeping SolutionsIf you have a young child at home, chances are good that you aren’t getting quite as much sleep as you used to. But what if your little one is missing out on much needed Z’s? Lack of sleep can lead to bad behavior and what you can do to help create better nights for the both of you!

As most parents of small children know, it’s the Holy Grail. Having a child who sleep well means having a child who is more likely to be even-tempered, easier to please, and more compliant. And a mom and dad who are rested, refreshed, and ready to face the day with their energetic bundle of joy. But let her skip naptime one time and your typically happy-go-lucky toddler can quickly turn into a tantrum-throwing, argumentative, meltdown prone monster. There’s a good reason and there are solutions out there to help lull your little one into better naps and nighttimes.

In my new book, The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children I discuss how we can better equip ourselves for the most challenging parenting moments; i.e. getting a child to sleep! Children who nap and sleep well at night have fewer behavior problems. Overly tired children can’t appropriately balance their physical and emotional world, causing them to act out and behave badly.

READ More on Getting Back to Good Nights (and Days!)

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Granddaughter and Grandfather at a WWII Memorial

For many kids today, the real meaning behind Memorial Day is lost. They know that they get a three day weekend, they may know about all the huge sales going on during this time, and they also know that school is about over when this holiday rolls around. However, Memorial Day is a lot more than just a day off from school and kids need to be taught about this day and the meaning behind it. Finding ways to teach kids about the significant of Memorial Day and how important it is to honor those who have protected the freedom of this country is important. Here is a look at some great suggestions that will help you teach your kids about this important holiday.

Teach Your Child the History of Memorial Day

The first thing you should do is teach your child about the history of Memorial Day. Many kids do not know the history behind the day, and you may even be rusty on the history that led to this day becoming a national holiday.

The history of Memorial Day goes all the way back to 1866, right after the nation was recovering from the Civil war. Both the North and the South saw soldiers coming home with serious injuries and many towns had lost friends and loved ones to this store. In Waterloo, New York, a drugstore owner named Henry Welles came up with the idea that on one day all the shops would close down to honor those who had been killed during the war. It was May 5th that everyone in the town went to the graves of those in the local cemetery and put out flowers and crosses on their graves. A similar ceremony was planned by Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan, which was for soldiers that had survived the Civil War. He took veterans through town to decorate the graves of comrades with flags. It was a memorial, not a celebration, and it was called Decoration Day.

Decoration Day was proclaimed by Logan to be a day for decorating the graves of those who had died defending the country. These two ceremonies were joined together to be one in 1868. ON these days songs were sung, veterans would wear their uniforms and medals, veterans would go to cemeteries to remember the fallen, and town people would decorate graves with flags, flowers, and photos.

It was not until 1882 that the name Memorial Day was actually used and the day was made to be a remembrance to all soldiers who had died fighting for this country. President Nixon would then declare it a federal holiday in 1971, to be on the very last Monday in the month of May. Still today though, Waterloo, New York is considered to be the birthplace of this holiday.READ More on Teaching Children About Memorial Day

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Many Veterans will be away from their Families this Memorial Day. Lets not forget any of them, past or present.

Many Veterans will be away from their Families this Memorial Day. Lets not forget any of them, past or present.

For many of use, Memorial Day comes and goes, we have a barbecue, shop a few sales, and enjoy the beginning of summer, while forgetting the importance of this holiday. Memorial Day was created as a day to remember fallen troops and to honor troops serving today. The last thing we want to teach our children is to take freedom and the death of American patriots for granted. This year why not take this day and spend it with your family, honoring our troops. If you are not sure what you can do with your kids to honor our troops, here are some excellent suggestions.

As a Family Observe the National Moment of Remembrance

On Memorial Day each year, there is a National Moment of Remembrance. This occurs at 3pm your local time and lasts for one minute. Observe this as a family by saying a prayer or simply having a moment of silence.

Teach Children to Display a Flag Properly

Fly the flag at your home on Memorial Day to honor the troops. This is a great time to teach your child how to display a flag properly. Teach them how they should handle a flag when raising it and lowering it.

Make Thank You Cards for Veterans

Another great idea is to make thank you cards for veterans. Check with the Veteran's Administration for some information on finding local veterans. Make up these cards to say thank you, and then send them to veterans in your area.READ More on Memorial Day: Ways To Help Kids Honor Our Troops

by Dr. Sue Cornbluth

Another unexpected tragedy.  Another devastating Loss. Yesterday, Oklahoma City suffered one of the worst tornado's the country has seen. CNN reported that The vicious tornado that ripped across central Oklahoma on Monday killed at least 51 people — with about 40 more bodies expected to arrive at the Oklahoma state medical examiner's office, Amy Elliott of the coroner's office said Tuesday. Roughly half of the expected bodies are children. The official death toll will gradually rise from 51 as each of the bodies is processed, Elliott said.

Despite the woeful news, rescue workers clung to the hope of finding more survivors and scoured mountains of rubble where houses and schools once stood.

Tornado survivor: I just want to cry

At least 20 of those killed were children, including seven from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore — the site of a frantic search Tuesday morning.  CNN Reference

At one point, an estimated 24 children were missing from the school, but some later turned up at nearby churches. It's unclear how many may still be trapped in the wreckage, and how many are dead or alive.

A father of a third-grader still missing sat quietly on a stool outside. Tears cascaded from his face as he waited for any news.

Even parents of survivors couldn't wrap their minds around the tragedy.
"I'm speechless. How did this happen? Why did this happen?" Norma Bautista asked. "How do we explain this to the kids? … In an instant, everything's gone." from CNN Article

Parents whose children are still missing, are most likely feeling emense anxiety and fear. There are no words that can comfort a parent in this time of shear disbelief. Numbness and hope take over.  As one parent asked, "How do we explain this to our kids?" The answer can be defined in terms of being honest and open with your children. When a tragedy such as this strikes, a parent cannot be expected to have all the answers. This is when parents need to turn to professionals for help. A natural disaster is as much a tragedy for a parent as a child.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers tips for parents and caregivers to help kids cope with the emotional toll of hurricanes and other natural disasters:

1) Try to remain calm and monitor adult conversations to minimize children's distress.

2) Shield children from viewing serious injuries and damage as much as possible, including media coverage.

3) Tell children about what adults are doing to help the community recover from the storm.

4) Be sympathetic to children's sense of loss over pets and special toys.

5) Let children help in the response, in age-appropriate ways, to boost their sense of control.

6) Repeatedly reassure children that they are safe.

7 ) Maintain daily routines and expectations for children as much as possible.

8 ) Spend more time with children at bedtime, when they may be more anxious about separation and the unknown.

9) Finally.  Be patient with children when they return to school. They may be distracted and have difficulty concentrating.

Dr. Sue is a clinical psychologist , professor of psychology at Temple University and a National expert in foster care and child abuse. She began her career in the field of foster care. It was there that  Dr. Sue learned how to connect with abused children through building a safe, trusting relationship with each child she counseled. Visit her website or find her on Twitter –>

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