Stress Less:
Three Tips to Finding Zen This Holiday Season!

At Grow Parenting we know how stressful the holidays can be with all the celebrations, shopping, meals, traveling and gift giving that takes place. There is so much to enjoy during the holidays, but if we don’t keep perspective on what really matters, our precious holidays can turn out to be a serious disaster. We hope that you will be able to use these three tips to get more of what you want from your holidays together. Read More...
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Video: Talking To Kids About Connecticut Tragedy


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Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Sarina Behar Natkin on King 5 News as she shares tips for talking to children about traumatic events.
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Why You SHOULD Talk To Your Kids
About Death

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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As a parent educator, I rarely use the word should. Matter of fact, I cringe at the idea of giving parents one more SHOULD; almost as much as many parents cringe at the idea of talking to their kids about death. After a spate of violence and random death in Seattle, I realized how few parents discuss the topic of death with their children before they are forced to. This is where the SHOULD comes in. We should because it will help our children and ourselves move through the pain of loss just a little bit easier. For those of us who have lost loved ones, even the tiniest bit easier is worth it. Read More...
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Technology Time: Setting Limits That Work

By Melissa Benaroya

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding setting limits on technology use.

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Dear GROW Parenting,

We have a 5-year old boy who has been exposed to iPhone and iPad games and stories, some educational and some not so educational (ahem, angry birds). On a daily basis, he asks if he can have our iPhone or iPad to play a game. Often it seems like my exhaustion level is what dictates whether or not he gets to have it. Yes, we have a time frame of no more than 1 hour total between pre-recorded TV shows and games. Some days are just full of play and friends so no games. Even when I set a timer so he knows when it is time to stop, it still ends in a battle or tears. I'm just so struck by how insistent he can get in arguing with me about getting a chance to play the games. What do you suggest to achieve a good balance while maintaining a good relationship with your child, especially boys?
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The Business of Parenting:
Great Leaders in the Home

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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How many of you feel confident in the workplace only to melt in to a pile of frustration and fear when in comes to parenting? Why do high functioning managers who lead successful teams come home and turn into autocrats or doormats to their children? Read More...
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Keep Halloween Happy by Planning Ahead!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Halloween

We are just two days away from Halloween! Have you made a plan with your children for helping them celebrate without turning in to monsters? Often our best parenting comes when we think ahead and involve our children in the discussion. GROW Parenting has three tips to help your family enjoy the day: Read More...
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Talking Time Outs:
What GROW Parenting had to say on the local news!

Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Fox News as she talks about time outs!
Click here to watch video.
For a full article on Time Outs, check out our
blog post. Read More...
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Time Out: Friend or Foe?

By Melissa Benaroya, LICSW & Sarina Behar Natkin, LICSW

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The use of time outs is a hot and touchy topic! We at GROW Parenting are not afraid to talk about it AND we are committed to helping parents find new and better ways to use time outs in their parenting. Read More...
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Why We Love PEPS-
Program for Early Parent Support!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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Seattle area families are fortunate to have an amazing parent support program that starts when your baby arrives! Ask parents in the area what they should do to get ready for baby, and many will immediately say, "Call PEPS!" Read More...
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Technology & Kids: GROW Parenting on Local News

Watch GROW Parenting Co-founder Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Fox News as she talks about children and technology use!
Click here to watch video. Read More...
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Compassion Starts With You:
Five Ways to Model Compassion in Daily Life

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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We just finished our first full week of the school year, and like many families, the transition has not been smooth. No matter how much we stick to routines during the summer, keep early bedtimes, and discuss and plan for the new year, we often find ourselves hanging on for the wild ride that ensues during these early weeks. By Friday night, I felt as if I deserved a medal for just surviving, and flipping my lid just a wee bit less than I might have.
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3 Ways to Conquer Chaos & Ease Your Family Back Into School

By Melissa Benaroya
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Transitions can be stressful, and one of the major transitions families face is in the fall when kids head back to school and schedules change. Although parents might feel like no one's chaos could possibly be more chaotic than their own, in reality families face many of the same difficulties when it comes to keeping a schedule on track. Here are three of them, with some simple tips that will return order and efficiency to your family's life.
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Saying Sorry

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question about how to get her child to apologize.
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Dear GROW Parenting,
My 6 year old threw a fit at camp last week for a variety of reasons. We have figured it out what caused it. However, during the fit she was VERY rude to her counselor. She refuses to say sorry or write a note or even draw a picture. She is embarrassed. I'm embarrassed. Any thoughts?
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When A Parent Is Diagnosed With An Illness

By Melissa Benaroya

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Being the parent of a 5- and 7-year-old, I am shocked at the number of families we know that have a parent with a life-threatening illness. When I was growing up, I don’t remember hearing of friends or classmates who had to handle these types of family challenges or stresses.

This year alone, at my children’s school, three mothers in one grade level received breast cancer diagnoses. I know this is not a statistic per se, but the sheer fact that it is now so “common” is harrowing.
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Working Moms and Maternity Leave

Check out GROW Parenting's co-founder, Melissa Benaroya on Q13 Evening News discussing working moms and maternity leave! Read More...
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How Old Do Your Children Have To Be To Stay Home Alone?

GROW Parenting was recently featured on Q13 Evening News. Watch for great tips from Melissa Benaroya on when your children may be ready to stay home alone. Read More...
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Big Sister/Brother Boot Camp:
Preparing Your Child for a New Baby 10 Tips To Prepare Your Child For A New Sibling

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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Is baby number two, three or four on the way? While this is exciting news, many parents wonder how their existing child or children will adjust to the changes ahead. With some thought and planning, we can ease this transition for the whole family. Here are ten tips for helping your current kiddos get ready for their starring role as big brother or sister. Read More...
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Maintaining Sleep Schedules in the Summer: More Rest = More Fun!

By Melissa Benaroya
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Even though the sun is out later during the summer months, long past bed times, it is important to maintain your sleep routines and schedules. You will have more fun with your child during the day if evening rituals and bedtimes are kept sacred. Read More...
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Help! My Preschooler is Hitting!

By Sarina Behar Natkin

On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a parent’s question regarding preschoolers and hitting.
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Reader Question
We have been struggling for some time with our three year old hitting and kicking others. It is happening both and school and at home. He has an older brother who is six, and is generally a happy, easygoing child. He is very articulate and can express himself quite well, so this behavior is surprising to us.

It's particularly upsetting for us because he acts so happy and smiles when he hits, so it seems kind of deviant; yet my head tells me he's just looking for attention or testing for safety. We know it’s not going to help the situation to think of him as hitter. Instead, we want to understand the need, from his perspective, to hit, push, or kick others. We would love some ideas for how to deal with this issue.
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Caring for mom FIRST: A Truly Unselfish Act!

By Melissa Benaroya

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On the airplane, we are instructed to put our oxygen mask on before we assist our child with their mask. The same is true in our daily lives. If you are not taken care of, you cannot fully care for the people in your life. Self care is not only a gift to yourself, but more importantly a gift to everyone in your life.  You cannot show up as your best self as a parent, partner, employee, daughter, or sister without being fully fueled and cared for. 
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A Parenting Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters

By Sarina Behar Natkin

This article originally appeared as a guest post on
Herbivoracious.

Girl Eating

“What’s for dinner?” “Ugh, I hate green beans!” “Can I have dessert yet?” “I’m not hungry (but I will be as soon as you clear the table)”…the list of mealtime complaints can go on and on. Not to mention the mayhem that may ensue before your little one can even talk. Not many parents can forget the frustration of thrown food, the mess of the yogurt in the hair, or the game of “watch mommy pick up my bagel over and over again.”

Food is a huge part of human life and most parents I meet cannot wait to dive in to the world of food with their babies. As the wife of a
food blogger and chef, we must have spent weeks talking about what our first food would be! Little did we know we were in store for a whole lot more than the idyllic family meals of The Cosby Show.
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Preschool Search Starts Now, With You!

GROW Parenting is thrilled to have education coach Anoo Padte as our guest blogger today. GROW Parenting is a proud co-sponsor of Anoo's upcoming lecture on April 9, 2012, entitled "Choosing the Right Preschool." We hope you will join us!

October through January is the busiest time of year for parents seeking admission at all grade levels from preschool through college at independent and public schools. In those hectic months, parents try to identify schools, visit them, apply and get interviewed. That’s a lot of ground to cover in four months and it misses one crucial beginning step. A good part of choosing the right school relies on knowing what matters to your child and your family.
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The Road to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

By Melissa Benaroya

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Why is it so darn hard to feel like you are a great parent and that your responses to your children are not only respectful but also effective? After working with children and their families for nearly fifteen years I had a moment of clarity this week. Becoming the parent you want to be is really a three part process:

1) Greater understanding

2) Learning or honing skills

3) Choosing to practice skills until they become natural
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Daddy Do It! What To Do When Our Kids Play Favorites

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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On occasion, GROW Parenting will answer reader questions on our blog. We choose questions based on the issues we frequently hear about from families we work with. In today’s post, I answer a reader’s question about their little one preferring one parent over the other.

Reader Question
My daughter tends to gravitate toward me (Papa), who is home with her more frequently. If I am home, she refuses to let her Dad help her with anything, give her a bath, or give her affection. Last night it came to a head when after when she didn’t want him to hug and kiss her goodnight. It was understandably quite upsetting to him. In the back of my mind I'm certain this is normal, but I also feel as though I need to do something.
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Are You An "Emotion Coaching" Parent?

By Melissa Benaroya

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Emotion Coaching is not just a parenting style. It is also a tool developed by John Gottman to not only help and teach our children to handle challenges, but also as a means of developing a relationship with our children based on trust and mutual respect. Read More...
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Long-term Parenting: Destination Ahead

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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Today’s post is the third in a three part series on long-term parenting. The first post explored the idea of long-term parenting and the second post offered tools for widening your parenting lens. Today’s post offers specific tools to help move your family toward your goals.

Changing our habits can be challenging but here’s a great way to get started. Look at your list of characteristics and life skills that you want your children to have. Select the three values that matter most to your and your family and make those your focus for 2012. This is a great activity to do with your partner! Doing this together will get you on the same page as you work toward making positive changes in your family. Read More...
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Long-term Parenting: Discover Your Road Map

By Sarina Behar Natkin

Last week, I began a three part series on long-term parenting. The previous post explored the idea of long-term parenting. This post offers some tools to help you widen your parenting lens.

Here’s a great activity from
Positive Discipline for helping you get clear on what your own bigger picture looks like. Sit down by yourself or with your co-parent and make a list of the current challenges you have with our kids. The day-to-day stuff that makes you want to scream. The idea behind this list is not to label these problems/behaviors we need to get rid of in our kids. The goal is just to get them out there. Read More...
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Long-Term Parenting: Broaden Your Horizon

By Sarina Behar Natkin

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Facing the challenges of daily life, we often get stuck in whatever our current parenting struggle is. It can be quite overwhelming to face some of wtheacky behaviors our little cuties present us with. We think to ourselves that if we don't handle this issue perfectly and right away, we are going to screw our kids up, we are failures as parents, their behavior is our fault, they are going to have a meltdown, and so am I!

When we adopt a wider lens, it gets us out of the immediate power struggle, frees us up not to be "perfect" parents, and allows us more time to slow down and really think before acting. When we slow down, we can usually find more options for how to deal with the current stressor. We also gain the ability to respond with greater empathy, which usually leads to quicker changes in behavior than when we respond from a place of fear and frustration.
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Three Parenting Tips to Childproof Parenting

By Melissa Benaroya



Parenting is a tough job and requires lots of on the job training. We only become better parents when we take care our ourselves, stay open to learning, and practice parenting tools that are in alignment with our values. There are lots of things we can do to be the parents that we want to be. But it is usually best to only focus on two or three areas of improvement at a time. Here are a few reminders that will not only help make parenting feel less stressful, but also make parenting your kiddos more enjoyable. Read More...
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Cabin Fever!

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If you are in the Seattle area, you have most likely been home all week with the kiddos. You may have had a brief break on Tuesday when school started two hours late and ended two hours early, but besides that, most of us have been home since the snow came on Sunday. I have been reflecting lately on how the sheer joy of a snow day as a child can turn us in to grumpy parents, wondering when life can get back to normal. So four days in to our Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon or whatever you want to call it, lets help each other out. Here's 5 indoor activities using things many of us have in the house to help entertain the wee ones. Then it's your turn!
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