Tovah Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive.
Topic: What parents can do for kids ages 2-5 to plant the seeds of lifelong success.
Issues: Who are toddlers? why they do the things they do; teaching self-regulation; why they pull you close, then push you away; the importance of learning to think like a toddler; solutions for common toddler issues like tantrums, toilet training; sleep; sharing, and playing.
Dear Mr. Dad, My wife and I are extremely frustrated that we are always seem to be reminding our children, ages 10 and 14, to do their chores. They know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, but they’re constantly “forgetting”—even if it’s something they’ve done three times a week for the last six months. We’ve discussed this with some of our friends who have kids about the same age, and they all have the same problem. Is there some way to get kids to do their chores without having to nag them over and over?
A: Kids have been “forgetting” to do their chores since the beginning of time—and parents have been nagging just as long. I’m sure Ma and Pa Cro-Magnon got sick and tired of reminding their cubs to put their spears away or take the sabertooth out for a walk. No question, kids sometimes “forget” their chores as a way of getting out of doing them (an approach that’s often successful). But sometimes they really do forget—even after being reminded 174 times. Unfortunately, there’s no sure-fire cure for this kind of selective memory loss, but there are a few strategies that may help.
Justin Patchin, co-author of Words Wound.
Topic: Delete cyberbullying and make kindness go viral.
Issues: What is cyberbullying and how common is it? bullying in person vs. online? the consequences of cyberbullying; what to do if you’re being cyberbullied; how to start standing up instead of standing by; building a culture of kindness.
Dear Mr. Dad: We’re a pretty busy family. Our two kids are in lots of extracurricular activities (Scouts, sports, drama) and we also do a lot of things together as a family. Lately, both kids have seemed more run down than usual. I’m feeling a little guilty because I suspect that it’s because they’ve got so many things going on. How do you tell when your kids are doing too much?
A: Sounds to me like your kids’ lack of energy is the result of burnout, and I agree with you: the likely culprit is trying to cram too many activities in to too little time. But don’t beat yourself up too badly. Childhood burnout is incredibly common these days and with pressure coming in from friends, family, the community, and the kids themselves—it’s hard to say who’s responsible.