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How to Have a Successful Summer

Ah, the lazy days of summer. Around my house, summer is a cherished time of year – for both the kids and parents. Routines are more relaxed, the pace is slower, and the "rules" are bent a little. Even though we are all enjoying a little more freedom from the frantic school year, by this time of the summer, everyone is also ready for a little more "normal." What does having a successful...

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More Summer Safety Tips: Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock

More Summer Safety Tips: Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock This article was originally published on the Extension.org Child and Family Blog on July 21, 2014. It has some great tips on how to avoid this tragedy....

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Unplug and Re-Engage in Life

Since Summer is here, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this article about unplugging from our devices and enjoying our surroundings - especially our youth!  Everywhere around us, we see people constantly checking their smartphones. You might w...

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Building Baby's Brain: Attachment Relationships

The University of Illinois Extension has permission through a partnership with University of Georgia Extension to utilize information from the Better Brains for Babies website for educational purposes . What is attachment and why does...

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Unschedule Your Child

Summer break is coming up and parents are busily trying to make arrangements for their children to be safe and occupied during the next few months. Ask yourself - does your child's schedule have more on it than yours? Do you feel more like you...

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Effectively Communicating With Your Teen

Sometimes talking with your teenager can be a real challenge. I feel I have made a major breakthrough if I hear more than "fine" when I ask my teen how his day was. Sound familiar? In reviewing the current literature on the topic of communicating with tee...

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Extracurricluar Activities: How much is too much?

The first question my son asks me each day when I pick him up from school is: "what do we got tonight?" I can see the wheels in his brain turning as I respond- X amount of time for practice/scouts/4H, X amount of time for homework, X amount of time for play time and on as he's planning how his evening will go. Most days, he is excited to attend whatever practice or event we have going on, but t...

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Staying Active with the Whole Family

As New Year's Resolutions start to fade, we hear more and more excuses for why we are not able to complete our goals. "There's not enough time in the day!" "It's too cold outside!" "It's not fun!" "I'm too old!" These are some of th...

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Generations Can Learn From Each Other

When children, teens and younger adults spend time with older adults, there are many benefits to everyone involved. Older adults can be great role models for children, while also passing on family stories, historical information and teaching the rituals and tradition...

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Parenting

Parenting Newlyweds - Tips for the Transition

The day you plan, dream and somewhat dread has arrived…..your child is getting married! It happened to me just last week-end. Every detail in place, my husband walked our daughter down the aisle to begin her new life as a Mrs. First of all, how in the world did I get this old? I mean, just yesterday I was changing her diaper and looking for her retainer in the trash can. The day was bea...

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Talking with Your Teen about School Violence

The primary topic in the media currently, is the mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. This has certainly brought about dialogue about gun control, mental health, and student safety in schools. Despite what has happened recently, t...

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Be an Intentional Family

Most of us say that family is most important to us and that we put them first – but do we? 99% of families have at least one television and a 2012 Nielsen report stated that the average American watches 34 hours of live television per week – along with...

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To Spank or Not to Spank?

I recently read an article on Facebook about a famous celebrity who admitted that she spanked her child when necessary. Knowing how the act of spanking as discipline can be a controversial topic, I proceeded to look at the comments left...

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Be grateful you just might age better, according to science

Many times throughout my life, I have heard and learned about being grateful. It started when I was young. It was a value that my parents hoped to teach me. "Eat your peas," my parents would say and "be grateful you have food to eat, there are starving kids in other parts of the world." I did not know there were hungry kids in my own hometown. I am not sure as I child I understood to be gratefu...

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Find a Healthy Balance with Technology and Your Children

Technology is so prominent in our society today, bringing disadvantages with it along with the benefits. How many times have you seen a toddler or small child given a smartphone, tablet or other similar device to keep them occupied while in public? While this can be helpful...

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Holiday-stress

Ideas for keeping your holiday anxiety in check

We are in the midst of the holiday season, and many of the songs we hear are joyous and happy but this may not be a happy time for all. For some, the holidays are sad due to the absence of a loved one (because of distance or loss), a change in family life due to divorce or unresolved family issues. For others, the demands of the holiday season cause such stress or unrealistic expectations that...

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Making the Most of Holiday Meals

  With the holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to re-share an article published a couple of years ago that was written by Extension colleague Janice McCoy.  She points out the benefits of sharing meals together: Family mealtimes during the holida...

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Fall Into Learning

        Natural Illinois: Leaves Are All Around A tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project You don't have to go to exotic places to find interesting plants and animals to study at home or in the classroom! From violets and bluestem to oak trees and pines, Illinois plants are as close as your local park or schoolyard. Preschoolers can lea...

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Back to school time with your teenager

Back to school time, with your teenager Hey parents of teenagers and pre-teens, I need your attention for the next couple of minutes because I am going to share some important information that can really affect your child's life. I know, we all know that choices we make have impact on our kids' lives, but sometimes as parents, we may feel like we need a survival guide...

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Rewarding School Effort – Good or Bad?

With the school year well underway, my children brought home their mid-term report cards last week. As we reviewed their grades and talked about areas to improve, there was a hint of expectancy in my oldest sons' voice. "Mom, I can't wait to show this to grandpa! He's going to give me lots of money for my good grades." Carrying on a tradition held over from my childhood, my parents reward my so...

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Helping Children Cope With Disasters

Natural disasters, such as the recent hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes can be devastating for everyone. For children just watching the news and listening to parents talk, life's events can seem out of control. This would be much more for children who expe...

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See You Later Alligator - Saying Goodbye at DayCare

This blog post was originally published in April 2015.  With a new school year underway, many of you may find it helpful to see again!   You and your child have spent countless hours together bonding and forming daily routines. It has been wonderful witnessing your child's growth and development. Now it is time to return to work, or you need to leave your child with a caregiver,...

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Additional Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience

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How to Strengthen Your Resilience Capacity

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Reconnect with the world outside for optimal health

After being stuck inside from a bad winter, we often say things like, "I'm suffering from cabin fever", or after being inside all day we might say, "I need some fresh air." As usual, there is some truth to these familiar sayings that we have heard passed down from generation to generation. I hope that with it being summer, we do not find ourselves saying them. Our bodies crave the outdo...

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