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Chores: Realistic Expectations for Parents

Posted on: May 1st, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

Chores are a complicated subject. Should you insist your children do them? What chores are appropriate for their age? When do you start giving them chores? How many chores are too many? What consequences do you set if the chores aren’t done?

Should children get money for doing chores or are they something that should be done without compensation?  Is it a good idea to have children do the same chore repeatedly, whether it’s daily or weekly? Or is it better to mix up the chores?

There are so many questions that swirl around in the minds of parents when it comes to chores that it can be quite confusing. There isn’t a tried and true user’s manual when it comes to this subject. If you consult with ten different experts, you’ll probably get ten different answers.

It isn’t that nine of these . . .


laughing boy and dog

Watching the News: Keeping Hope Alive Despite the Negativity

Posted on: April 24th, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

As a parent, you naturally want to believe that your children are growing up in a decent world. How define “good and decent” may vary, but in general, most hope for peace, prosperity, and a healthy environment.

You don’t want to see your children become fearful of the future as their schools regularly schedule duck-and-cover drills like schools did during the Cold War.

Likewise, you may dream that they don’t have to struggle to put food on the table or find safe housing. You want to see them enjoying clean air and having fun outdoors with their families.

These are wonderful things to hope for and it can be a struggle when you pay attention to what the news outlets are saying.

You’re bombarded with news that centers on negative events and predictions. If you allow it to happen, you can absorb all the . . .


boxing gloves

Burnout Risk: Is Your Teen Burning the Candle at Both Ends?

Posted on: April 17th, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

There is a common idea that teenagers are lazy. More often than that, I hear of teens who are constantly on the go, running from school to numerous extracurricular activities and to jobs. These kids short themselves on sleep and catch meals when they can. Their parents contact me, worried their kids are at risk of a major burnout because they’re burning the candle at both ends.

These fears are valid. Kids who work this hard are at risk of burning out, falling ill, or even being in an accident.

So what can you do to protect your over-achieving child?

First, you have to face the fact that this is a choice your teen is making. You can’t force them to give up activities or to slow down. Attempting to do that might just backfire on you. Even if they did give up something . . .


kids fight cartoon

Life Skill Lessons for Kids: Learning to Fight Fair

Posted on: April 10th, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

As much as you’d love to believe that kids can get along all the time, the reality is that they’ll fight. This goes for adults, too, of course. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be wars in the world, but unfortunately, people have the tendency to clash from time to time.

One of the best things about being human are the abilities to think and feel. Add to that, each individual is unique. Everyone brings their own personality, style, preferences, and experiences to every new event and discussion.

When you think about people that way, it’s easy to understand why there might be disagreements at least once in a while.

It’s important to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with another person. Sometimes the best ideas and solutions to problems come about specifically because there are different opinions in any given situation.

Most people . . .


cartool athlete

American Ninja Warrior Athlete: Inspiring Kids to Persevere When Dreams Seem Impossible

Posted on: April 3rd, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

Kids have lots of dreams and aspirations. Sometimes it seems like turning these goals into reality is impossible and that can be very discouraging. It could even result in some kids giving up on their dreams prematurely. For this reason, you can help your kids to persevere when their hopes begin to dim by finding inspiring examples of how sticking with something pays off.

Consider what your children’s goals are when coming up with examples. If your son or daughter is an athlete, then American Ninja Warrior may be just the ticket.

This year was the 7th season of the television show, which features an incredible series of obstacle courses.

Thousands of athletes from around the country try to finish the obstacle course and the overall contest starts with tough events staged in cities across the US before progressing to regional finals.

After that, . . .



Surviving the End of Summer Love

Posted on: March 28th, 2016 by Sharon Ballantine

It happens to most teenagers at some point in their lives — they meet someone from another school or town over the summer, love blooms, and then the inevitable happens — the end of summer love arrives.

Whether this is deep love of a high school student, puppy love of a younger child, or a new best friend at any age, this summer love is strong. It’s so powerful largely in part to the relationship being brief. More than likely, there wasn’t any time to have a major disagreement.

Another contributing factor was the newness of the “other.” The new boy or girl was from a different town, school, or neighborhood, so they might as well have been “foreign” as far as your son or daughter was concerned and was therefore exotic and exciting.

Most often, those in the thrall of summer love . . .


© 2016. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.