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New Year, New Reads

All children need to see both themselves and their peers in stories for healthy child development. Diversity in storytelling can include more than race or religion. Stories capture and share the experience of children with different abilities, socio-economical statuses, learning differences, and cultures. Reading diverse books teaches children a valuable skill, empathy.

We selected four outstanding middle grade novels that share an experience that maybe your child will resonate with or allows them to see the world from a different perspective. 

Shelter by Christie Matheson

Perfect for grades 4-6

Maya, her younger sister, Gabby, and her parents use to live in a quaint cottage in the city. Her dad use to be a writer and would cook them delicious homemade meals. Maya use to have sleepovers with her best friend, Abby. Maya's mom use to be an art teacher. But all of that changed when her father was in an accident. 

After her dad was struck by a car on his bike, her...

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8 Tips to Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem

A child can never have too much self-esteem. On the other hand, the outcomes for children with low self-esteem can be quite poor. As a parent, your child’s level of self-esteem is largely your responsibility. There is much you can do to make your child feel confident and competent.

Children are sensitive and have a peer group that can be quite harsh, so what you do at home matters. It’s vital that your child have a reserve of self-esteem that can survive the unpleasantness of other kids.

Give your child the best chance to be happy and successful.

Use these strategies to help your child feel good about themselves:

Love your child unconditionally. Every child should believe they are loved unconditionally. Every child should believe that no matter what mistake they makes or failure they suffer that they are still loved.

Consider the impact it has on a child’s self-esteem when she believes she’s only loved when she behaves a certain way or achieves a certain...

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Help Your Kids Deal with Disappointment

Disappointment is a normal part of life, and the lockdowns due to COVID-19 caused some major disappointments while disrupting lives everywhere. It’s enough to make anyone feel a little sad and discouraged. But disappointments don't only pop up during global pandemics, they are mixed in with all the joy and excitement life can bring. 

It’s also natural for parents to want to shield children from such unpleasant situations. However, dealing with losses can be a beneficial experience. Otherwise, your sons and daughters may struggle when they run into bigger letdowns as adults.

How can you guide your children without taking over? Try these ideas for helping your kids to deal with disappointment.

Talking with Your Kids about Disappointment

There are major differences between dwelling on disappointments, trying to suppress them, and dealing with them constructively. Your child will probably find it easier to move on if they can talk about their feelings.

Try these...

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Remove Your Labels….Then Teach Your Kid the Same

When you were growing up you probably had someone around who taught you the colors of the rainbow, how to tie your shoes so they won’t slip off or sang the ABC song to help you remember the alphabet. Now that you either have your own kids or, like me, borrow your friend’s kids to enjoy and lovingly give them back, you try to teach them the basics, as well as values like sharing and being polite.  

We teach children by explaining, showing and doing. We give concrete items a label. This is a CRAYON. That is a DOG. This CHAIR is BLUE. 

We attach labels to everything; we even begin to attach labels to humans. You are FUNNY. She is MEAN. He is such a LOSER. Those type of statements start to show up early in life and we just keep sticking these labels to each other (and sometimes even ourselves)It becomes a problem when we believe that label is...

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