Practical Parenting

http://www.practicalkatie.com

A parenting advice blog written by a Los Angeles based child & adolescent psychotherapist and parenting expert. Practical Parenting provides simple strategies to target everyday parenting concerns.

Katie is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2013

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What's the best parenting advice your mom gave you?

Katie Hurley

The best advice my mom ever gave me was this: "Love your children every second of every day and give them everything you can, but love your husband just as much. Children are the greatest gift, but a loving marriage makes for happy children". While my kids are always my top priority, my marriage is right there with them.
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What's your best tip for not losing your temper?

Katie Hurley

Take three deep breaths, get down low, and empathize with your child. They aren't trying to upset you, they are trying to get their needs met. It's up to us to teach them how to verbalize their feelings and to make them feel heard. Daily exercise doesn't hurt either!
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What do you tell your kids when they start "questioning" Santa Claus?

Katie Hurley

The magic of Christmas is in believing. Sometimes helping a younger sibling continue to believe becomes the magic for the older sibling who has it all figured out.
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What is your definition of an overscheduled child?

Katie Hurley

One that is often tired, cranky, sad, and has sleep problems. One to two after school activities per week is plenty. Kids work hard during the school day. They need downtime and to learn how to relax and slow down.
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How do you get a fidgety or unfocused child to sit and do homework?

Katie Hurley

My kids are still too young for homework, but I can tell you the advice I've given countless clients along the way: Sitting still in school for six hours a day is HARD work! Give at least an hour of unstructured playtime after school. When it's homework time, factor in scheduled homework breaks. For every 20 minutes that a child attends to homework, give him 10 minutes to get up, move around, and decompress. Use timers to make sure that he stays on track. Be involved. When a parent is nearby asking a child to share what's he learning, the homework becomes more interesting to the child.
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Why is the stay-at-home vs. working moms debate so passionate?

Katie Hurley

All parents experience stress for a variety of reasons. Parents reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression is at an all-time high right now. It's not that parenting has changed so much over time, but parents are taking on more an more. Whether we stay at home, work from home, or work in an office, we are all putting everything else first...this breeds stress. Moms need to feel validated in their efforts and have someone to empathize with them. The problem is that we are all under so much pressure right now, that we start comparing problems instead of supporting one another. She who has the most stress wins. Unfortunately, it's the kids who lose when moms compete. The truth is that we are all doing our best on any given day. When we recognize this and support one another through the ups and downs, we are better parents for it.
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What's your favorite family tradition?

Katie Hurley

The pajama walk. We go out for a walk around our little town in our pajamas (all four of us!) and just enjoy the early morning air. It gets us off to a great start and gives us some distraction-free family time together!
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What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would give to a new mom (or mom-to-be)?

Katie Hurley

Sleep as much as possible and teach your baby to sleep. Call the Dr with every little question...that's what they are there for. Ask for help! No one can do it alone!
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