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Archive for the 'Advice' Category

PARENT TALKS: ADHD, Toddlers & Tweens

Volunteers (Gary Meader Illustration) “Safe Teen Driving Event”
April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Las Lomas High, Walnut Creek
A California Highway Patrol class for parents and teens to attend together. (Free, but reservations are required.)

“Autism, ADHD & Other Issues”
April 9 at 7 p.m., Danville. Diablo Behavioral Healthcare’s new free, monthly “Ask the Expert” series addresses the more difficult issues in parenting – ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, phobias, anxiety, school refusal, tantrums, autistic spectrum questions and more. (Free, but reservations required. Call 925-648-4800.)

“Childhood Matters: The Triple Bind”
April 11 from 9 to 10 a.m. on Green 960 AM and streamed live on Nurse Rona Renner leads a book club discussion of Stephen Hinshaw’s “The Triple Bind,” a book about teenage girls and the high pressure culture of perfectionism.
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Posted on Monday, April 6th, 2009
Under: Advice, Parenting Issues | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Potties, Teen Drivers and More

Potty training  (Photo by Ron Ennis, KRT) “Beginning Toilet Training”
April 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Meg Zweiback, RN, discusses tips to help parents teach their 18-month to two-year-olds how to use the potty. Free.

“Childhood Matters”
April 4 from 9 to 10 a.m. on Green 960 AM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN and Dr. Chris Stewart, Pediatrics Director at San Francisco General Hospital, and Abigail Stewart-Kahn from the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, discuss how to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.

“Family Life & Spirituality: Family Systems Theory”
April 5 at 4 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Pleasant Hill. Last in a 5-part series of parenting workshops on family life and spirituality in this modern, hectic world. Speaker: Rev. Rosa Lee Harden, Episcopal Priest, Holy Innocents Episcopal Church
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Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009
Under: Advice, Parenting Issues | No Comments »

What keeps you from hurting your children?

I, like maybe many other Bay Area parents, have been following this terrible story about a Tracy boy who was held captive and abused for at least a year, with three adults being held responsible, police say, and neighbors who wondered about him but didn’t intervene.

I am sleepless from laying awake at night trying to make sense of how something like this could happen. And why it seems to happen again and again. I touch my daughter, 7, and son, 4, while they are sleeping, thankful that they are safe. For the moment.

But I have been pushed to the limits of sanity by those two angel faces. Quite routinely in fact. But I would never hurt them. Right???

As the editor responsible for the coverage of this case, I am reaching out to fellow parents and our readers. Please, share your thoughts here. It’s so important that parents openly discuss how they cope when their children push them to the edge. Maybe your comments will help a parent seek help, or maybe you will convince a neighbor who suspects a child is being hurt to call the police.

So try to answer this:

 What separates YOU from a parent or caregiver who does the unthinkable? What do you personally do to cope with a difficult child? Share a story of a specific situation where you avoided a disaster and found a way to save your sanity.

If you don’t feel comfortable posting here, call me at 925-847-2164 or e-mail me at Staying silent only keeps abuse a secret.

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Under: Advice, Health & Safety, Parenting Issues | No Comments »

NEVER SPOKEN Parenting Advice

Late for school (Hector Casanova ill., Kansas City Star, MCT) If you’re like us, you’ve always wondered what preschool teachers and pediatricians would really like to tell you – you know, the harsh, unspoken stuff. Well, the geniuses over at, the Family Circle, American Baby and Parenting mag website, went ahead and asked… and the results are startling. Some we agreed with. Others we found appalling. Take a look and see what you think:

PRESCHOOL TEACHER: If the parent doesn’t obey the teacher’s rules – turns in forms late, for example, or calls instead of e-mailing – chances are the child will be just as disobedient. It “creates an immediate bias against your child,” the anonymous teacher said, “and most teachers feel the same way.”

How do you make the teacher regard you as a “preferred family”? Ask for a classroom wish list, the teacher said: “When you spend maybe $20 on these items, it goes through the grapevine that you are here not just for your kid but for the entire class.” (Um, are we the only folks taken aback?)

Then, the pediatrician said…
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Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
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PARENT TALKS: Dads, Dyslexia and Disasters

Green family (illus. by Lisa Mertins/MCT Direct) “Be the Dad Your Child Needs”
Aug. 6 and 13 at 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
A workshop for dads on time management, communication and child development, led by Eric Reynolds. Free.

“10 Great Dates”
Fridays through Aug. 29 from 7 to 9:15 Danville’s Community Presbyterian Church
A series designed to energize marriages and strengthen families. Childcare for kids in 1st through 5th grades (babysitting vouchers for younger kids). (One time charge of $15 per couple plus $10 for the book.)

“Childhood Matters: Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties”
Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and 105.1 KOCN-FM
Childhood Matters’ Rona Renner and panelists talk about how to help kids with learning disabilities succeed in school.
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Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2008
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TO SPANK or Not to Spank

Spanking and discipline (Ill. by Marie Guglielmo, MCT)Today on Childhood Matters, host Rona Renner, RN, and her panel of experts tackled the controversial issues of discipline and abuse.

When is it OK to hit your kids?
Where do you draw the line?
And how do you teach right from wrong?

Click “comments” and share your thoughts.

Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Under: Advice | No Comments »

BIG Q: Body Image

?! by Dhiegaum/StockXchngThis question came in over the transom this morning, inspired, we think, by today’s Childhood Matters radio show on body image and preteens. And we’re interested to hear your take. So read the question, then click “comments” and share your thoughts.

“How — and when — do I even begin to broach the topic of body image with my kids? Between that JC Penney ad last week and the pop culture all around us, my kids are bombarded by images of impossibly thin models, actresses and athletes. How do I help them feel OK about their bodies when they look nothing like the images out there?”

(To see previous Q&As, check our advice archives.)

Posted on Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Under: Advice | No Comments »

HELP! My Son is Suddenly a Hitter!

Had a run-in with my boy (just turned 4) and the shy meek out-of-town cousin (a very young 5-year-old girl). Bottom line: She stuffed something into his Easy Bake Oven that tripped his trigger so he hauled off and smacked her.

My sweet angel has been doing the hitting thing recently. Not at school (where he’s the model child), just with his loved ones at home. We are working on it, but please, if you have any suggestions, send them my way. I feel terrible and am doing all the obvious–telling him to use his words; giving him time outs; taking away privileges, etc. etc. But it’s hard.

I feel part of it is just more vigilance on my part…staying alert to his interactions and conflicts to intervene with a “teaching” moment before he hauls off and whacks someone.

I grew up in a family of four girls, so there’s a slight lack on knowledge about the innate testosterone-fueled aggressiveness of boys on my part. I do know from spending time with his friends and classmates that he is certainly not outside the norm compared to his peers.

But I of course want it to stop. Help!! Send advice!!

Posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2008
Under: Advice, Parenting Issues | No Comments »


Radio (Photo by Ann- Kathrin Rehse, StockXchng)Are you a “Childhood Matters” fan? You should be! This local radio show is a treasure trove of great parenting advice from Rona Renner, RN, and her ever-revolving cast of experts. This Sunday, Rona and guest Susan Linn, author of “The Case for Make-Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World” and “Consuming Kids,” talk about ways to nurture creative play. Imaginative play in early childhood is linked, experts believe, to creativity, critical thinking and emotional regulation down the road. In this age of tech-y toys, TV and hyper commercialized toys, are we losing the power of make-believe? How do you put imagination back into your family’s life? Join the discussion at 9 a.m. on KISS-FM, 98.1, and 105.1 FM.

Then come back every Sunday morning for discussions of family travel and summer safety on June 8, the emotional needs of new fathers June 15, community violence on June 22 and helping preteens develop a healthy body image on the 29th.

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 2008
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FAB FIVE: Parenting Survival Tips

Breaking down barriers (illus. by Beto Alvarez) Parenting teen and tween daughters brings its own special joys and challenges. So here, from one of our favorite parenting experts, Ksenija Olmer from the John Muir Women’s Health Center, are five tips to help parents of adolescent girls survive the rollercoaster ride:

1. Remember this too, shall pass. (And when it does, try to be the better person and not drag up the embarrassing moments.)

2. Understand that your daughter saves the worst for you because she knows you will love her despite anything. Your friends and neighbors, her teachers are telling you what a wonderful, polite, helpful girl she is. Don’t say, “Are you sure you didn’t mix her up with someone else?” Smile and glory in the fact that, despite your fears, she is growing up to be a responsible member of our society. She is successful in presenting herself in the best light outside the home, so she can fall apart when she makes it through the door.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
Under: Advice, Kids & Tweens | No Comments »