Tip of the Week

Eating Together

December 20, 2023

As the holidays approach us, try sharing the science around shared meals with families. Research shows that eating together as a family - and engaging in conversation and connection - at least 4 times per week can: Encourage healthier eating habits and reduce obesity Support improved academic performance Increase self-esteem for children

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Intrinsic Motivation

December 13, 2023

When children are intrinsically motivated, it means they are eager to do and perform based on their own pleasure in accomplishment, rather than the appeal of external rewards. Here are key tips to support intrinsic motivation: Explain to caregivers that rewards - like stickers - are best for behaviors that kids just need practice at, like toilet training or getting dressed independently. Caregivers want to try and avoid rewards around behaviors like kindness, telling the truth, or working hard - qualities that require intrinsic motivation. Ask patients if they feel proud of themselves for accomplishments, instead of expressing your own pride. For example, you may say, “Wow, are you feeling proud of how well you’ve been doing in school?” or, “How are you feeling about how well you’ve been taking your medicine?” Express confidence in your patient's ability to do hard things. You may say something like, “I know it feels hard, but you know how to do hard things.”

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The Importance of Toddlerproofing

December 6, 2023

With toddlers on the move in a whole new way, it’s time for families to address new dangers in their homes. Here are 3 tips to share with parents at your next visit:Creating a safe space in the home can help children to practice their independence and support development.Babyproofing can reduce the number of times caregivers have to yell “NO!” throughout the day.Curiosity and exploration are normal parts of toddler development. Toddlers are not trying to be “naughty,” but instead learning about how the world works through their experiences.

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Modeling Ways to Learn from Children

November 29, 2023

A new study published in the journal of Developmental Psychology highlights the importance of encouraging parents to learn from their children, instead of focusing on teaching them. When teaching, parents can become intrusive, limiting natural exploration and controlling play. ‍In your next visit, model following a child’s lead or interest in the room, asking questions directly to children to empower their voice, and showing curiosity in their perspective or understanding.

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The Importance of Responsibility

November 22, 2023

Giving children age-appropriate jobs and chores, not only helps them to feel a sense of confidence and independence, but also builds important connections within their family and community. Responsibilities can also impart family values, and build a sense of belonging that bolsters self-esteem.

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Multilingual Homes

November 15, 2023

Though many parents worry about confusion or delays related to multiple languages being used in the home, you can reassure them of the many benefits. These include strengthening children’s executive function skills, and helping them to make emotional connections with caregivers in their native language.

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