Family Table Talk Tip

Try three tips when talking about drugs and alcohol

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Some parents find it difficult to talk with their teens about drug and alcohol use. Here are three tips to make it easier: 1. Listen. Be prepared to hear what your teen has to say. If you find yourself getting upset, take a five-minute break. 2. Look. Read your teen’s facial expressions and body language. …Read More


Teens may graduate, but they still need you

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For many high school seniors, life will change after graduation. They will begin to lead more independent lives. But don’t give up on the special things that make you a family. Remind your teen of happy times together. Continue family traditions, like Sunday dinners, or always making homemade greeting cards. They show love and give …Read More


Counter violent influences with caring and kindness

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How can you teach your teen to be thoughtful and caring in a world that can seem violent and unforgiving? Experts say the most important thing is to be kind to him. You can also talk to him about the cruel or selfish behavior he sees on TV or in the news. Ask him what …Read More


Show your teen how to consider both sides

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Some teens can’t admit they are wrong, even when they are. But being able to reconsider will help them in school, and make discipline easier at home. Set an example for your teen. When you two argue, stop and say, “It’s clear you have strong opinions. I do, too. Let’s consider both opinions before reaching …Read More


Make this summer a page-turner for your teen

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Your teen may see summer vacation as a time to forget about school, but don’t let him forget about reading. Reading all summer can build his speed and comprehension, and make it easier for him to readjust to school in the fall. Encourage your teen to compare a book with its movie version, or try …Read More


Encourage your teen’s questions. They lead to active thinking

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The changes your teen is going through aren’t only physical. They are intellectual, too. She is now able to think in a more abstract way. Strengthen her thinking skills by encouraging her to ask questions about the world and pursue the answers. Expect her to find facts to support her opinions. When she asks you …Read More


Keep your child off the ‘summer slide’

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The summer slide isn’t a new piece of playground equipment. It’s the loss of skills that happens when kids don’t have opportunities to practice what they’ve learned during the school year. Look for ways to keep your child learning this summer. You might ask him to keep a journal. Or estimate and measure water volume …Read More


Get your child involved in reading, all around the house

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Here are a few easy things you can do this summer to help your child become a strong reader. Start by keeping a variety of interesting reading materials all over your home. When you read together, stop and ask questions about the story. Be sure to give your child time to answer, and listen and …Read More


Kids who steal pay a high price in consequences

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Your child arrives home with a new video game. But you know he didn’t have the money to buy it. After asking questions, you learn that he and his friends have taken things from stores on more than one occasion. You are not the first parent to discover this hard truth. Groups of children can …Read More


Learning is great when it’s part of having fun

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Your child worked hard all year, and you want her to retain what she’s learned. But you also want summer to be relaxing. To combine learning and fun:   Have a family spelling bee. Give your child words that match her skills. Older players should have words that are right for them. Read together and …Read More


Encourage your children

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Today’s #TableTalk tip from the Parent-Teacher Resource Center: Writing a note should never be taken lightly. Encourage your children to write thank you notes or simply a note to indicate they are thinking of another. Letter, cards and friendly notes are ways for young people to express their creativity. Never have your child write as …Read More


Become good at listening

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Today’s #TableTalk tip from the Parent-Teacher Resource Center: Release any judgment or negativity you might show toward youth. If you want to be heard, you must first become good at listening. The best alternative to punishing your child is to problem-solve with them.


Family mealtime

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Here’s today’s #TableTalk tip from the Parent-Teacher Resource Center of Chesterfield County Public Schools: Whenever possible, build family mealtime into your routine. Breaking bread with family and friends fosters fellowship. Family dinners are a great time to connect and discuss school life and activities.


Happily ever after

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Here’s today’s #TableTalk tip from the Parent-Teacher Resource Center of Chesterfield County Public Schools: “They lived happily ever after” can seem like something that exists only in fairy tales. But having a happy family is not make believe. The key to a happy family centers on our ability to enjoy one another. Make time with …Read More


Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving

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Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving. Children and parents are happier and healthier when gratitude becomes a part of everyday life, research finds. Why not nurture it? www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/gratitude-activities-beyond-holidays/. #TableTalk


21,000 words a day

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Some children hear about 21,000 words a day, others hear 6,000 or fewer. By age 3, that difference becomes a substantial word gap that predicts future success. Bridge the word gap by speaking 21,000 words to your preschooler daily. Here’s the information you need: www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/word-gap-speak-more-words-to-your-preschooler-daily/. #TableTalk


Learning styles and organization

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Here’s information about learning styles and organization: #TableTalk


Goals for the year

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Have your child set goals for the year. This process helps children think about what they want to achieve (such as getting a lead in the school musical) or issues that need to be addressed (such as handing in homework on time). Research says goal setting is most effective when it involves self-improvement vs. competing …Read More


Avoid cabin fever!

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Avoid cabin fever! Several ideas for family fun are available at http://tinyurl.com/qz3n3cg. One suggestion is to play word-building charades. Your child has probably noticed that some letters reach above the middle space on her lined paper, some stay inside it and some dip below it. In this game, you translate the way letters look into …Read More


Creating strong readers

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Try these simple strategies for creating strong readers: Invite a child to read with you every day. When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says …Read More


Deter the display of inadequacy

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Deter the display of inadequacy. Your child may have given up. She feels inadequate or less than, and she communicates this by displaying an I-can’t-do-it attitude. If you feel hopeless and notice yourself enabling your child, then this might be the goal of her misbehavior. Stop trying so hard to convince your child that she is …Read More


Power struggle

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Thwart the power struggle. If your child’s behavior makes you feel angry or even threatened, you are probably engaged in a power struggle. Your response may be to punish, fight back or just give in. If your child continues to defy you or he does what you ask but slowly or in a sloppy manner, his …Read More


Cabin fever

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If too much togetherness is creating cabin fever, then why not have a scavenger hunt? Come up with a list of hard-to-find or hidden things in your house and give it to your child. Searching for the items can help keep her body and brain moving. Just be sure you match the quest with her age and abilities. …Read More


Tackle the winter blues

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Here are Richmond Family Magazine tips to tackle the winter blues: Exercise daily. Bask in the sunshine, at least 30 minutes a day. If sunshine is not an option, use light therapy. Limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Veggies, especially leafy greens, go far in reducing cravings. Spend time with friends. Journal five points of gratitude …Read More


The National PTA

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The National PTA offers this advice in Parents’ Guides to Student Success: At the beginning of high school, sit down with your child’s teachers, counselor or other adviser to discuss what it will take for your child to graduate, your child’s goals and your child’s plans after high school. Create a plan together to help …Read More