Helpful Tips

  • This page will be a place for me to post helpful tips for dealing with everyday situations.  Hopefully, you will find something useful.  If you have any particular topic you would like me to address, please contact me and I'll be happy to give it a try.  Currently, I have many entries so be sure to scroll down and read them all.
    Here is a website called The Child Mind Institute.  This is a great resource for parents and caregivers.  Click on the blue logo below to go to their website.  There are also some links to some other videos.  Here is a quote from their page: 
    "Transforming Children’s Mental Health"

    "The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving them the help they need to thrive.

    We’re the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health, operating three Mission Areas that work together for greater impact: Care, Education and Science."

    Child mind
    5 Things Not To Say To Your ADHD Child
    Here is a short article that helps teach us things not to say to our ADHD kids.  Click the green link to go to the article.
    Here is a calendar full of ideas for 'Finding Joy in January' (the year doesn't matter)
    Here is a year-long calendar full of ideas from the CALM app people.  It is a 2020 calendar, but these ideas can be used every year.
    Here is a May calendar of mindfulness ideas.  The ideas could be used in any month...or every month.  Click on this link to get a printable copy.
    Mindful May
    Here is a link to the Sesame Street Caring for Each Other website.  It has a lot of fun things for both parents and kids.  Go check it out!
    This link has a lot of ideas for adults and kids, parents and teachers, to help deal with self-care.  Go check it out and remember, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others.
    I know that parenting can be very stressful.  Here is a visual with ideas of how to control our emotions before we react to our children.
    Helpful tips for parents



    If your kids have started arguing with each other or have become very competitive, you may want to check out this website for ways to deal with sibling rivalry.

    As you know, kids these days do not know how to regulate their emotions in appropriate ways.  The following link has 50 ideas listed that kids can easily do...most of them can even be done in the classroom with minimal distractions.  Consider going over it with your children and hanging it up somewhere so that the kids (and you) can read the list and try a few of the ideas the next time they (you) are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or feel like they are getting angry.  I know the list says it's for school, but many of these ideas can be used at home too.

    Time out Corner vs. Calm Down Corner


    Many parents choose to put their children in time out when they have made a bad choice.  This is usually a chair or stool that is located in a place away from all the fun stuff (tv, computer, toys) and is sometimes in a corner.  There is nothing wrong with this form of "thinking time" as long as the duration is not excessive...for example, don't make the child sit there for an hour. 

    Sometimes this method works and sometimes it doesn't.  I would like to offer a second choice called the Calm Down Corner.

    The calm down corner is also a place away from all of the fun stuff, but instead of the child sitting there with nothing to do, there is a basket of items that can help the child calm down and think about his choices and the consequences of those choices.  These items should vary depending on the child's age.  Hopefully, the child can learn to calm themselves down and learn how to come up with a better choice to make when faced with that same situation again.  You can also send your child to the calm down corner when you see them begin to get frustrated or angry and it can help them calm down before they make a bad choice or break a rule.  You might even be surprised that, once they understand the concept of and reason for the calm down corner,  the children will go to the calm down corner by themselves when they begin to feel upset.

    Some things you might want to include in your calm down bucket are:

    • Different kinds of timers so the child can see how much time is left.
    • Squishy "stress" ball
    • Small bottles of water (for drinking)
    • Glitter ball or glitter jar (it is calming to shake it up and then watch the glitter settle to the bottom)
    • Emotional feelings sheet to help identify and record emotions
    • Mirror to help identify emotions
    • Blank paper, pens, and crayons, markers to write a letter, or to reflect on strategies used in the calming corner
    • Hoberman breathing sphere (breathe in as you expand the ball and breathe out as the ball collapses)
    • Soft, small blanket or even a weighted blanket for sensory reasons
    • Soft rug
    • Relaxation CD and player
    • Headphones
    • Books about feelings (anger, jealousy, fear, lying, etc)



    I just wanted to share some information.  Last year, students in Texas had to have a class that includes watching this video on how to behave at a routine traffic stop in order to graduate.  I think it is also the intent for it to be addressed in driver's ed classes as well.  I would assume they are still required to watch it.
    I have watched the video and it has great info that everyone could benefit from...not just high school kids.
    Click on the link below to read the article and watch the video.  




    Childnet International: Kidsmart

    With laptops, tablets, smartphones, and many other devices, the Internet is not just a tool for our kids. It’s a way of life. Many times, however, children do not understand the dangers that can be lurking online. This interactive site offers videos, tips, activities, and ideas that teach kids to be smart and be safe online. Categories such as file sharing, social networking, games, chat, safe searching, digital footprints, and competitions allow kids to learn more about the areas they use most often.



    This link will get you to a video of a local news broadcast.  The topic is safety when posting pictures.  According to the news reporter, if you are using a smart phone to take and post photos, anyone can track you and find out exactly where you are (or were at the time of the photo).  It is a simple thing to fix, but most people don't know about it.  It is especially disturbing to think of people out there who may be stalking children.  I have not been able to verify (or disprove) any of this on Snopes, but it looks legitimate.