Screen rules that stick

In many homes, getting kids to turn off their cell phones, shut down the video games, or log off of Facebook can incite a rev…

  • by Julie Pippert

    Health is an important issue to all parents: we want our kids to be healthy. But we also all know that we can't always be there making the choices for our kids; we have to enable them to succeed in making healthy choices on their own. And if your kids are anything like my kids, I know I have a much better chance of success if the kids think it is their idea.

    So I figured out what really concerned me: diet, hygiene, and exercise. Then I plotted a strategy. Here's five baby steps to get you thinking about the best strategy (or workaround) for you and your family.

    1. "Carrots are for eyes"

    My kids love to know the how and why. I actually haven't yet met a kid who didn't. When my kids know the purpose of food - beyond "it's good for you" - they get really into it and love to choose the food they think their body needs. Knowing that carrots are good for eyes, blueberries are good for brains, yogurt is good for intestines, spinach and beans are good for your h

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  • By GalTime Teen Parenting Expert, Barbara Greenberg, PhD

    Childhood friendships make for happy adults!

    Childhood friendships make for happy adults!

    the effect of peer relationships on healthy adulthood

    Yep, I feel reassured. I have always been a strong advocate of encouraging children and teens to form good and strong interpersonal connections, to make friends, and to enjoy playing.

    And, here to support my point of view are the results of an Australian study published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Related: 6 Signs That Predict Bullying Behavior

    This Australian study conducted by Craig Olsson, an associate professor in developmental psychology at Deakin University and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, followed more than 800 individuals over a 32 year period beginning at age 3.

    Olsson and his research team found that for both children and teens -- a sense of social connectedness during those years was associated with greater happiness in adulthood.

    The takeaway messages from the study are:

    1. If you want to raise happ

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  • Most parents these days face a brand-new type of parenting struggle in regards to how to control their child's time online. The Internet can be a useful, entertaining, educational resource, but has also become an extension of many of our social lives for adults and children alike, and that comes with its own set of problems. (Any parent who has struggled to control their tween or teen's computer usage may have had a sympathetic wince for Tommy Jordan, the dad who became famous for shooting his daughter's laptop over something she'd posted on her Facebook page.)

    Internet companies, however, have an incentive to make sure kids can use the web in a safe, healthy way-that doesn't drive their parents to pick-up a firearm. To this end Google, Facebook, Verizon, yours truly at Yahoo! and others have gotten together to support a new initiative, "A Platform for Good," that seeks to educate teens, parents, and teachers about safe, productive ways for kids to use the web.

    "This isn't a l

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  • Are you struggling to discipline your child?

    I recently had a parent in my office who was interested in trying a new way of dealing with her son. She was feeling good about the whole process, until she asked, "So how long until he changes his behavior?"

    I paused for a moment and then said, "One day longer than he thinks you will give up." She said, "I was afraid you'd say that. He knows I'll try something, and that I can get pretty impatient. Sometimes it seems like he's waiting me out!" Also Read: 5 Effective Alternatives To Spanking Your Kids

    She was having the same problem many of us deal with: giving up on a new parenting idea too early. Recent books and articles have focused on the fact that it takes weeks to turn a new behavior into a habit. It takes just as long for our kids to adjust to our new behavior.

    The biggest challenge, at this point, is holding the line - not giving up too soon. The "I tried that … It didn't work" thoughts can bubble up very quickly. Also Read: 2 Types Of Parents: Which One Are You?

    How long s

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  • Off to College

    Lots to talk about before Mini-Me leaves for college. Even though she's heard the speech, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't say it, yet again. I cringe as the words come out of my mouth, knowing what's coming, "Mom, you don't have to tell me this. I'm not stupid." But, I say it anyway.

    We have "The Talk." You know, the one about the birds and the bees, alcohol, drugs, parties, the buddy system at parties, boys, boys & safety, safety in numbers, safety in general, grades, classes, friends, roommates, and laundry. (Click here for my Health & Safety Tip Post List:What Every Freshman & Parent Should Read Before College) How do you go from holding your baby in your arms that you've loved, nurtured and protected to dropping them off, ALONE?! It feels unnatural to let go, but I must. It's just the worry I can't let go of.

    You want to make sure they remember every piece of advice you ever gave them. No matter how big or small. (Look both ways before crossing the street, do

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