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Dona Matthews's picture

Help children develop their talents and creativity via play

Dona Matthews, PhD
Psychoeducational Consultant and Author
Cris Rowan's picture

Manage the balance between technology and activity for children

Cris Rowan
Biologist, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, speaker, and author
Lisa Ronco's picture

Advice for packing healthy meals for lunch for your children

Lisa Ronco RD, CDE, CDN, MS
Registered Dietitian
Andrea Umbach's picture

What can I do for my anxious child?

Andrea Umbach, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Limor Baum's picture

Broaden your child's diet and establish healthy eating behaviors

Limor Baum, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and Eating Disorder Specialist
Esther Poler's picture

Expert advice on raising honest children

Esther Poler
School Counselor for Early Childhood-Grade 2
Marci Warhaft-Nadler's picture

How can you raise body-confident kids in an image-obsessed society?

Marci Warhaft-Nadler
Body Image advocate, author and public speaker

Raising Healthy and Happy Kids

As parents, we all yearn to raise emotionally healthy and happy children. We work hard to create close, loving relationships with kids who are smart, successful, strong and self-confident individuals. As parents, we have the power to shape and guide our kids. But what’s the best way to do this? At ExpertBeacon, our parenting experts provide valuable advice and guidance on raising a happy and healthy family.

Help children develop their talents and creativity via play

Over the past few decades, there has been a rise in the number of children experiencing social, emotional and attentional problems. One of the most potent prevention strategies and remedies is within the reach of every family: Unstructured free play.

Dona Matthews, PhDPsychoeducational Consultant and Author

I’ve been teaching, writing, counseling, consulting and conducting research on children’s development since 1985. I’ve written dozens of articles, book chapters, and conference presentations, and am co-author of Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for ...

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Advice for packing healthy meals for lunch for your children

By packing your kids a healthy, nutritious lunch and one they will actually eat can be a challenge. Providing your children with a nutritious lunch each day is an important way to make sure they are getting the nutrients their growing bodies need. With competition from the cafeteria, where the temptations of pizza, vending machines and other unhealthy snacks await, you have to step up your game.

Lisa Ronco RD, CDE, CDN, MSRegistered Dietitian

I have been a Registered Dietitian for over twelve years, the first seven years in a clinical setting the last seven working specifically with the HIV population first in home care and now in an outpatient clinic. I also have a small private pra...

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What can I do for my anxious child?

Are you wondering about how to help your anxious child? Are you unsure about what to do when your child comes to you with fear and nervousness? Do you feel trapped in your child’s anxiety patterns? You are definitely not alone.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns among kids and teens. Since there are a lot of anxious kids, there are also a lot of parents trying to figure out how to help their kids. The following are some basic principles to follow when you are working with your child to conquer their anxiety.

Andrea Umbach, Psy.D.Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Umbach is a licensed psychologist at Southeast Psych, a large group practice in Charlotte, NC. Her areas of specialty include anxiety issues (obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic, social anxiety, phobias, worry, and generalized anxiety), hoa...

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Organize playdates for kids who struggle with social interactions

For many parents and children, playdates are stressful. An experience that is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable becomes a stress-inducing, pass/fail day that often ends in tears. And that’s just the parents. Children often feed off the stress and pressure that many parents feel and end up unintentionally creating an interaction that is doomed before it begins. Here are some basic tips for parents of children who struggle with social interactions.

Kelly Peters, MATherapist

Kelly Peters, MA obtained her Masters in Counseling Psychology at LaSalle University and has been working with young people with autism for almost 10 years. Kelly's early training included work in ABA and PECS devices and focused much of her ear...

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Expert advice on raising honest children

Esther Poler School Counselor for Early Childhood-Grade 2 Scheck Hillel Community School

Honesty is a learned trait. Children learn how and why to be honest from the important people in their lives. It is never too soon for a lesson on the value and importance of honesty. Here are some things parents can do to model, teach, and encourage honesty.

Esther PolerSchool Counselor for Early Childhood-Grade 2

Esther Poler is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and is Scheck Hillel Community School's school counselor for Early Childhood-Grade 2. Prior to Scheck Hillel, she provided therapy and counseling to children and families at a public agency. Thr...

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Expert advice for parents trying to raise emotionally-healthy twins

Young twins often hide their feelings of resentment over being treated as half of a whole. However, older twins can become markedly defensive about their twin status and long to be recognized as a single entity. Twins need ongoing help to understand and articulate their feelings toward one another. This article presents strategies to help parents support their twins in exploring these difficult feelings and offers advice on how to treat twins as two unique children who happen to be born at the same time.

Joan A. Friedman, PhDPsychotherapist

Dr. Joan Friedman is an identical twin, mother of five including adult fraternal twins, and a psychotherapist specializing in twin issues. She is the author of Emotionally Healthy Twins, a comprehensive guide on how to raise twins who are self...

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How can parents help their children minimize unnecessary stress?

The loss of childhood is a serious and complex problem facing many families in America. It is clear that our kids are growing up very quickly in a generation full of electronics, never experienced by their parents.

Mary Jo Rapini LPCLicensed Professional Counselor

Mary Jo Rapini is a licensed certified intimacy/sex relationship psychotherapist in private practice. Mary Jo serves as an intimacy/sex therapist for hospitals and clinics and evaluates patients for bariatric surgery in the Houston area. She wa...

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Teach your anxious child better ways to cope and manage behaviors

While some anxiety in childhood is common, research has shown a large increase in anxiety in children today. In fact, ten percent of children display excessive fears and anxieties that usually lead to an anxiety disorder later in life. What’s a parent to do when their children display anxious behaviors? The following are some guidelines to help you parent your anxious child and help them learn better ways of thinking and coping.

Zach Rawlings, MA, LPCChild, Individual, & Family Therapist

Zach holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor who primarily works with survivors of trauma and abuse in his private practice. In addition to practicing therapy, Zach is an adjunct f...

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Parents can help kids make a difference in the lives of others

Liz Scott Co-Executive Director Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Teaching your children about philanthropy is vital. More than anything, it is important to show children early on that they can have a positive impact on the lives of others. And the benefits that kids get from volunteering, such as empowerment and believing in themselves, are truly amazing and life changing. Parents can help their children think of philanthropic ideas and the many ways they can help others.

Liz ScottCo-Executive Director

Liz Scott is the Co-Executive Director of the Foundation, but she is most proud of her title of "Mom" to her three sons, (Patrick, Eddie, and Joey) and her daughter Alex (our founder). When Alex decided to hold a lemonade stand to help other chi...

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Family meals foster healthy eating habits and close connections

Family dinners and special occasions go together like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. However, according to a new survey, birthdays and holidays may be among the few times that families actually sit down together to eat.

Jodi Krumholz, RD, LDNDirector of Nutrition

Since 1997, Krumholz has been with The Renfrew Center, the nation’s first residential and largest network of eating disorder treatment facilities. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, where she participated in a ...

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How you can boost your children’s self-worth and self-esteem

A child’ self-worth and overall confidence can have a great impact on his progression throughout the various stages of development and maturation. As clinicians, parents, and teachers, it is essential to realize how much of a role we actually play in shaping the thriving of our youths. Our precious children are constantly listening, paying attention and soaking up adult dialogue like a sponge and internalizing what is being transmitted to them. The words used toward children can either facilitate or impede their progress into adults.

Marcella Talignani, LCSWLicensed Psychotherapist

Marcella Talignani is a psychotherapist practicing in Brooklyn, New York. She has her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is an MSW, LMSW, LCSW. She specializes in treating a very diverse population of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. She is a...

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Creating healthy and happy mealtimes for children and parents

Because all parents want to feel good about the food they prepare for their kids at mealtime, they are are constantly searching for nutritious options. Feeling good about the foods you serve to your family is important, but it is also just as important to create rituals that will build a sense of togetherness and family during mealtimes for years to come.

Heather StoufferFounder and CEO

After facing the challenge of trying to find healthy, store-bought alternatives to a home-cooked family dinner, Heather Stouffer launched Mom Made Foods, an organic-foods company in Alexandria, Va., in 2006. Mom Made Foods offers convenient meal...

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Finding a happy medium when enrolling kids in afterschool activities

Parents are often caught in a dilemma regarding the quantity and quality of their children’s afterschool activities. On the one hand, parents are legitimately concerned about kids spending their free time watching TV, playing video games or surfing Internet chat rooms. In addition to the well-documented “couch potato effect” of obesity, high cholesterol and passivity that results from physically unengaging leisure activities, there is also evidence linking violent behavior, lack of empathy and smoking with excessive TV viewing and video game playing.

Dr. Richard C. HorowitzFounder of Family Centered Parenting

Dr. Richard C. Horowitz has been working with children, schools and families for over 35 years. As a professional educator and agency provider he has filled a variety of roles including teacher, school administrator and CEO of a case management ...

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Help guide your child’s path to effectively coping with anxiety

Anxiety is not good or bad--it is an emotional state that all people experience on a routine basis. In fact, we need anxiety to survive in our world.

While anxiety can help motivate you to study for a test or complete a project out of fear of failure, it also can lead to considerable distress or life problems when it becomes too great. Children are not immune to anxiety, as they often struggle with it on a daily basis. The following guidelines may help you jumpstart your child’s path to more effectively coping with anxiety.

Gregory S. Chasson, Ph.D.

Dr. Chasson completed pre- and post-doctoral fellowships through Harvard Medical School at McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston, and his B.A. in ...

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Being proactive can help emotionally traumatized kids to heal

Today’s children are exposed to many factors that can result in trauma, such as bullying, violence or threats. In spite of the best efforts by parents and caregivers, traumatization may still occur. Therefore, we must be prepared to respond in a manner that helps these children deal with the event and heal afterwards. By being proactive and responding appropriately, we can reduce the risk of retraumatization.

Elizabeth S. Marsal, PhD, LCAS, CCJPAssociate Professor

Elizabeth S. Marsal, PhD, LSAC, CCJP is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Criminal Justice at North Carolina Wesleyan College. She has over 14 years in higher education as well as experience in substance abuse, juvenile justic...

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Optimizing brain enrichment through positive digital screen time

Sherry Maysonave Children’s eBook Author: EggMania: Where’s the Egg in Exactly? ManiaTales / Empowerment Productions

Today’s kids are riveted by digital devices. Far beyond mere electronic pacifiers, digital media offers unique opportunities for kids to learn, while also having fun.

Sherry MaysonaveChildren’s eBook Author: EggMania: Where’s the Egg in Exactly?

With a B.S. in Education, Sherry Maysonave began her career teaching fifth and third grades. An accomplished motivational speaker and author of the category best-seller, Casual Power and most recently, the new-generation eBook, EggMania, Sherry ...

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Manage the balance between technology and activity for children

Cris Rowan Biologist, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, speaker, and author Zone’in Programs Inc.

Children now spend an average of 7.5 hours per day plugged into some form of technology. While technology holds promise, there are perils associated with over usage of technology on child development, behavior and the ability to learn. There is an urgent need for parents, teachers and therapists to reflect on the recommendations for restricted technology use, particularly for young children.

Cris RowanBiologist, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, speaker, and author

Cris Rowan is a well-known speaker and author to teachers, parents and therapists throughout North America in the field of sensory integration, learning, attention, fine motor skills and the impact of technology on children’s neurological develo...

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Balance a child’s developmental needs with the lure of technology

Most young children are experts on tablets and love to watch television. In fact, according to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, 64 percent of children between the ages 1 and 2 watch television and videos for slightly more than 2 hours a day. And estimates of how much time preschoolers use screen media is between 2.2 hours to 4.6 hours a day. Consequently, it is extremely important for parents to understand how screens affect their children and their children’s development.

Marcia Eckerd, Ph.D.Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Eckerd is a licensed psychologist in practice since 1985. She specializes in working with individuals individuals dealing with cognitive rigidity, anxiety, and poor emotional control, social understanding or social skills. She trained extens...

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Parents: Get creative and encourage your children to be physical

Did you know grade-schoolers need at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily? Exercising drastically reduces the chances of developing serious health problems such as type-two diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In addition, active kids tend to have better test scores and higher self-esteem than their inactive peers.

Jim BaughFounder

Jim Baugh is a sporting goods industry veteran with almost 40 years of experience in the field. Focused on leading with an entrepreneurial approach, Jim has played a pivotal role in national and local initiatives to “Get America Moving.” Most re...

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Broaden your child's diet and establish healthy eating behaviors

All young children have periods of picky eating. What they eat one day, they won't eat the next. They eat a lot one day and little the next. They are suspicious of new foods and refuse to try them no matter how hard you try.

Limor Baum, MS, RDNRegistered Dietitian Nutritionist, and Eating Disorder Specialist

Limor is a registered dietitian and an eating disorder specialist in private practice in NYC. She works with individuals and families using motivational interviewing, CBT, Maudsley approach, and mindfulness. In her past work she served as the ...

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How can you raise body-confident kids in an image-obsessed society?

We live in a society where how we look has become more important than who we are. Kids as young as 5 years old are struggling with body image, and parents feel powerless. But it does not have to be this way. This article provides some tips on how to encourage healthy body image in children of all ages.

Marci Warhaft-NadlerBody Image advocate, author and public speaker

Twenty years as a fitness professional, mother of two, author of “The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive”...

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Parents can teach children to recognize and label their emotions

If young children are unable to act empathetic toward their siblings, friends and classmates, it is not necessarily because they do not feel empathy. Rather, this behavior can result from not having the correct vocabulary to communicate their emotions. As a result, they sometimes act out these emotions in very physical and inappropriate ways. It is important for parents to teach their children emotional vocabulary, which is a key component of conflict education at a young age.

Susan Gingras Fitzell, M.Ed., CSPEducational Consultant

Susan Gingras Fitzell, M. Ed, CSP specializes in transforming teaching from whole class instruction that teaches to the middle to instruction that structures and enhances lessons to reach every student, whether gifted or struggling. She's a dyna...

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Helping girls love their bodies and cultivate healthy self-esteem

Research shows that 9 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with their bodies. It is common for many girls and women to have trouble looking in the mirror. Their eyes dart across the reflection to judge their “flaws” and criticize the parts that are not magazine cover-worthy. They feel insecure and judge themselves because they have not learned how to love themselves yet.

Brigitte Kouba a.k.a Gigi YoginiYoga Teacher and Writer

Brigitte Kouba, M.A., also known as Gigi Yogini, inspires women of every age, shape and size to love their bodies. Listed as one of Origin Magazine’s “Most beautiful women portraying strength, passion and vision,” Gigi is a champion for healthy ...

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Help your children develop confidence and a healthy body image

From the earliest ages, you must teach your children how to navigate the Girl and Boy World—a world that will try to convince your children that they are not good enough, unless they conform to a rigid belief system of how they should look and how they should act.

As much as parents want to protect their kids, it is almost impossible to completely shield your children from the influence of these worlds.

Rosalind WisemanTeacher, Thought Leader, and Author

Rosalind Wiseman has had only one job since graduating from college—to help communities shift the way we think about children and teens’ emotional and physical wellbeing. As a teacher, thought leader, author, and media spokesperson on bullying,...

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Advice for motivating your kids and supporting their successes

Children love life. Before self-consciousness sets in, every child acts spontaneously with total abandon and full involvement. Everything interests them. Have you ever watched a toddler? They whirl until they are dizzy. Run until they fall. Sing at the top of their lungs.

Maggie StevensParentFix

Maggie, author of ParentFix, graduated from Brigham Young University with degrees in Sociology and Youth Leadership. Professionally, Maggie works with youth groups, parent groups and educators offering parenting help in today’s world. The health...

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How can parents raise happy children with balanced priorities?

As parents, there are so many things we want for our children: Opportunity, safety, a top-notch education, success and, of course, happiness. But raising happy kids is easier said than done. Not only is teaching your youngster the fundamentals of a fulfilling life more complicated than teaching the ABCs, but you also may have a skewed definition of what happiness actually is.

Todd PatkinAuthor, Speaker, and Happiness Coach

Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, Twelve Weeks to Finding Happiness: Boot Camp for Building Happier People, and Destination: Happiness (coming 2014), grew up...

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Helping the entire family achieve a stress-free holiday season

Angela C. Santomero Creator and Executive Producer, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC

While the holiday season is very exciting, fun and stimulating, it is easy to forget how much it can affect our kids. The holidays can translate into a great deal of stress for little ones and adults – from changes in the daily routine to sibling squabbles. How can parents prevent their children from offending the aunt who bought mittens instead of a much-desired toy? What’s the best way to get your kids to sit still during a long, family dinner? What can you do to help make the holidays as stress-free as possible for the entire family?

Angela C. SantomeroCreator and Executive Producer, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Angela C. Santomero is a Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC, overseeing the creative development and research for the company’s projects with a mission and vision to bring educational entertainment to ...

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Advice for raising emotionally happy and healthy twins and triplets

With the increased use of fertility drugs, it is not uncommon for parents to have twins and triplets in today’s world. However, it can be stressful to raise multiples.

Dr. Barbara Klein EDD PHDChild psychologist, educational consultant, author

Dr. Klein has a doctorate in child development and clinical psychology. She is an identical twin and the author of 8 books in the fields of psychology and education with 3 of those books on twin relationship. She has worked with families of gift...

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Parents should influence their children to eat healthy and exercise

Kelly Jones Clinic Director at Medithin Weight Loss Clinics Medithin Weight Loss Clinics

For the first time in our history, children are on track to live shorter lives than their parents. Children today are sick more often and have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke as adults. Here is some expert advice for parents that can help them influence their children to eat healthy and be good role models when it comes to exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Kelly JonesClinic Director at Medithin Weight Loss Clinics

Kelly Jones has over 11 years of experience in the healthcare and fitness field with a strong focus on personal training and healthy eating. In her role as Clinic Director at Medithin Weight Loss Clinics, Kelly has taken her experience to offer ...

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Proper nutrition can improve kids' learning and behavior problems

Can a proper diet and good nutrition improve learning and behavior problems in children? The answer is yes. Numerous studies have shown that kids diagnosed with hyperactivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and other behavioral and learning problems have been able to improve their behavior and learning performance with a simple change in diet. While encouraging and providing a healthy diet can create a big challenge for busy parents, it is very important and can have extremely positive effects for kids.

Carolyn Dean, MD, NDMedical Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND is a medical doctor and nutrition expert, author of “The Magnesium Miracle” and "Homeopathic Remedies for Children’s Common Ailments." Dr. Dean is a health pioneer with over 25 years of experience with children’s health, ...

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De-stressing doctor visits fosters a lifetime of health for kids

Regular doctor visits are a very important part of your child’s health. Whether the visit is a routine wellness exam, a before-school-resumes appointment, a pre-winter visit, or simply because your child is already sick, doctor visits can cause extreme stress for many kids. The following advice will help you ease the pain of a doctor’s visit and encourage a lifetime of health and wellness for your family.

Nicole FonovichPresident

Nicole is a highly successful professional turned entrepreneur. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Advocacy from Kendall College in Evanston, IL, and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Policy and L...

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Helping kids feel comfortable and safe in the water is key

Taking your child to an outdoor or indoor pool to learn to swim is a common experience for many parents. It is important to help children feel comfortable and safe in the water, while also giving them the confidence to handle new experiences. Here are a few tips to help make a child’s first pool experience a happy one for them--and for you.

Nicole FonovichPresident

Nicole is a highly successful professional turned entrepreneur. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Advocacy from Kendall College in Evanston, IL, and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Policy and L...

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