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Mothers today juggle more tasks, work longer hours, and sleep less than their own mothers did. Yet the self-healing revolution has overlooked the most significant issue in the lives of some twenty million women: how to cope with the relentless, sometimes overwhelming, stresses of raising young children in the twenty-first century.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D and Jan Hanson, L.Ac. , have written many column to help a mom take care of herself while she takes care of her family. Be sure to visit often as this area will be expanding to offer more than 100 column that will be searchable by keyword for easy navigation.

Parenting Tips: Children, Hyperactivity, and Nutrition

  • When Kids Are Distractible or "Hyper"
    Our preschooler's teacher has been hinting that he might be "hyperactive." She says it's hard for him to sit still, he talks a lot without raising his hand, and he's distracted by any little thing. At home, I have to constantly remind him to do things; he says he just forgets. He can play Nintendo for hours, but if he is supposed to practice his letters with me, it seems like it is torture for him to sit in the chair. Everyone is distractible, restless, or impulsive some of the time. And for a preschooler in particular, it's normal to be sometimes forgetful, lost in the clouds, wild, jumpy, disinterested in routines, super-playful, silly, or fidgety. The question is, are these behaviors a problem for the child or for people around him or her?

  • Caring for Inattention, Restlessness, and Impulsive Behavior"
    Our third-grader"s teacher has been hinting that he might be "hyperactive." She says it's hard for him to sit still, he talks a lot without raising his hand, and he's distracted by any little thing. At home, I have to constantly remind him to do things; he says he just forgets. He can play Nintendo for hours, but if he is supposed to write something for school, it seems like it is torture for him to sit in the chair.

  • Working with Challenging Child Temperaments
    Some kids are naturally easy-going, adaptable, and cheerful. Sure, they'll still cry if the ice cream falls off their cone, but in general, they have the sort of temperament that makes a parent's job considerably easier: they trot into preschool with no clinging to mom or dad at the door, and if their favorite sweatshirt is in the wash, it's no big deal to put on a different one. They can sit quietly for fairly long periods and settle down quickly if they get excited or mad, and if they can't build their block structure just right, they don't knock it over out of frustration..

Parenting Tips: Skills and Health For Children and Teens

  • Teaching Kids Psychological Skills
    In our last column, we discussed how to create a nurturing and structured environment for spirited or cautious/rigid children. In this column, we're broadening our focus to explore how to teach basic, essential psychological skills that all children need, like being able to let go of upsetting experiences or take in positive ones.

  • Optimizing a Child's Health
    In our last column, we discussed how to teach several fundamental psychological skills to children, including letting go of upsetting experiences and taking in positive ones. These skills will help anyone, but they're especially useful for spirited or cautious/rigid children. In this column, we'll explore how to optimize a child's health - certainly worth doing in its own right, but also a real aid to any child with a challenging temperament. We'll also discuss getting support.

Parenting Tips: Raising Teenagers

  • Our oldest is just in fifth grade, but we're already worried about middle school and the "terrible teens." Some of his friends already have earrings, and he kids us (sometimes I'm not sure he's joking) about getting green hair. We're scared about drugs and alcohol, who his friends will be, and whether he will stay on track with school and his life. Right now we can still talk together, but how long will that last?

  • Our twelve-year-old daughter is still talking to us, but we're worried how long that's going to last. Her friends all seem to hate their own parents. They talk about them like they are overbearing idiots, to be avoided at all costs, barely worth a glance, let alone a conversation. The contempt these kids have for adults is mind-boggling. We've always been able to talk about things with Jesse, and I'd hate to see that go.

  • Our fourteen-year-old son either sits in his room listening to violent rap music or slouching toward school with his slacker buddies. He was a good student until 7th grade, and then it's been all downhill. He just doesn't care any more. He either ignores me or sneers when I ask what he wants to do with his life: his latest comment is that we're all going to be dead of genetically engineered viruses by the time he's twenty-five, so why bother? From his point of view, he might as well do drugs and cut school because it's the best thing he can do with life right now. Yikes! There's no light in his eyes.

  • In this column we will explore how parents can solve problems, resolve conflicts and stay out of unnecessary fights with their teenagers. That is a large subject, so what follows is a brief summary of ideas that have worked with other families which you should adapt to your own unique situation and values.

Parenting Tips: Skillful Responding to the Wants of a Child

Parenting Tips: Stress, Moods, and Anger

  • The Real Gift of Parenting
    Last year, the holidays were crazy! I seemed to spend most of my time standing in line or carrying bags. We spent a small fortune on assorted complicated gizmos -- which got opened and then ignored as my daughter and son spent most of the day playing with $2.99 worth of stickers. We got stressed out in order to relax and suffered in order to have fun. My husband and I stared at each other across the the flotsam and jetsam of wrapping paper and various pieces of who-knows-what, and you could see the look in each of our eyes: Say what?!

  • Dealing with Summertime Stress
    Summertime means long, sunny days, no school, lazy weekends, family vacations - and lot's more time with the kids.

  • What To Do So Your Kids Don't Stress You Out
    We've got a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and I love them to pieces, but they're always getting into things or having tantrums or squabbling with each other or getting sick or throwing a ruckus when my husband and I are trying to talk to each other. Or all the above! It's probably normal, but it's a chaotic swirl day to day that I can't seem to see a clear way out of . . . .

  • Dealing With Your Anger
    Sometimes I get so mad at my kids! Yes, they were misbehaving but I feel bad about getting angry with them.

  • Self-Awareness for Kids and Grownups
    Sometimes I'm with my kids (or driving in traffic or talking to my husband or . . . ) and suddenly I'll start feeling angry or frustrated or sad -- and I don't understand where that came from. Other times, our preschooler will just start lashing out but he can't say what's bothering him. Any ideas?

  • Reducing Sibling Rivalry
    If our two-year-old sees me hugging her four-year-old big brother, she'll rush over - saying loudly, "No! My mommy! Go away!" - and try to push him away. He's getting more and more frustrated with her and starting to push back pretty hard. Their squabbles are already probably the biggest single source of stress in my life -- and it's getting worse.

  • Helping "Moody" Kids
    Sometimes our 3-year-old is cheerful, but little things can always set him off, and then he seems grumpy and "blue" for longer than it seems like he should. Not to get paranoid, but depression runs in my husband's family, and I'm already starting to wonder about our son.