father and son playing outside

Avoiding Power Struggles

“You can’t make me!” screams your expressive child. Your breath quickens, heart rate elevates, blood pressure rises and a throb starts at the temples. At times you may feel like you “have to” make your child do things against her will. Tasks as simple as being asked to brush her teeth, take a bath or …

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frustrated young girl

Dealing with Differing Parenting Styles

Although parenting can be difficult and challenging, it can also be the most amazing and fun experience. There are many different parenting dynamics including single, married, divorced, grandparents, foster, adoptive or same-sex. Regardless of demographics, it is not uncommon for parenting styles to differ because all people have their own set of beliefs, views and …

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child sitting on toilet from the feet down

Toilet Training – Signs of Readiness

Toilet or potty training is a topic that causes many parents a great deal of anxiety. Now imagine toilet training a child with Special Needs. Maybe the child is non-verbal and unable to communicate his needs. Or maybe the child has cognitive delays and cannot grasp the concept. For children with sensory aversions, the feeling …

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sad young girl being bullied

How to Deal with Bullying

Bullying, the act of willfully causing harm to others through verbal harassment (teasing and name-calling), physical assault (hitting, kicking, and biting) or social exclusion (intentionally rejecting a child from a group) used to be an issue parents didn’t encounter until the “tween” years (between the ages of 10-12). Unfortunately, bullying is now becoming a growing …

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woman kissing cheek of a baby

30 Ways to Show Your Child Love

Telling your child you love her is one thing, but showing her is another. It can be a lot easier said than done but children thrive on knowing they are loved just as we all do. Showing your child you love her does not mean spending money on her, but rather focusing on those simple …

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Easy DIY Toys to Make at Home

Do-It-Yourself or DIY projects are a growing trend in households everywhere. There are books, blogs and websites (such as the ever famous Pinterest) dedicated to the subject.  It even has its own TV network.  Aside from the trend, the DIY movement is focused on bringing people back to the basics of living simply in a …

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woman feeding baby with a spoon

Nutrition for Kids With Special Needs

For children with special needs it is possible to have a variety of conditions that vary in severity and prognosis. A highly functioning child with autism, for example, may have one set of unique nutritional problems while a child with severe cerebral palsy will have a very different set of nutritional needs. Consultation with a …

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woman and toddler girl playing with a ball

Setting Boundaries for Kids

When parents work with their children to set and enforce appropriate limits, they are teaching them skills for a productive future. If parents set and maintain limits, their children will learn from positive discipline and develop their own healthy sense of right versus wrong and self-discipline. Sometimes parents may want to spoil children as a …

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illustration of a yellow and blue ribbon with the words Down Syndrome Awareness

Preferred Language in Reference to Down Syndrome

It is important for people to use appropriate language when referring to Down syndrome.  Proper communication about individuals with Down syndrome with both positive and accurate language is important in education and advocacy and can help individuals avoid choosing words that may be hurtful or offensive in the Down syndrome community.   Down syndrome is a …

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young boy working with physical therapist

Understanding School-Based and Medically-Based Therapies

Medically-based therapies are looked at much differently in Birth-to-Three programming than programming for school-age children.  Early Intervention is a system of coordinated services that promotes the child’s growth and development and supports families during the critical early years.  In the United States, Early Intervention services for eligible children and families are federally mandated through the …

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smiling toddler boy playing with toys on the floor

Establishing Routines for Home, Bedtime and the Classroom

Routines give children a sense of security and help them develop self-discipline. As adults, we don’t realize the number of times per day our children’s routines are disrupted and how that can affect them. Every day, children experience developmental change without much upheaval, but environmental changes in routine need to be acknowledged. This is especially important …

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young boy eating watermelon with a fork

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Although it’s easy to grab a prepackaged snack for your child, processed snacks lack proper nutritional value and are often high in sugar. But by devoting time to making healthy snacks easily accessible, good food can be within arm’s reach for your child.  Preparing healthy snacks with your kids will get them more excited about …

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smiling girl playing outside

Healthy Choices for Toddlers

Amy Bontempo, Family Programs Coordinator at Penfield Children’s Center Teaching good nutrition starts early in life.  Set by example.  A parent who chooses to live a healthy lifestyle will teach his/her child to do the same.  Offer food choices from every food group, a collection of foods that share similar nutritional properties.  How dinner is …

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