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It's not perfect. It's parenting.

Sometimes you need answers to the little everyday things that parents encounter. And sometimes, you just need someone to encourage you through all of the craziness and challenges of parenthood. Welcome to Parent-ish, a blog from the experts at Children's Mercy.

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Mom and young girl hold holiday gifts.

Teaching kids about helping others

It’s that time of year… when our kids are making their lists and checking them twice. Full of wishes for the best new toy or the coolest new shoes. But it’s also the time of year when many parents begin to think about how to teach kids a compassionate spirit and desire to help others.

Parents biggest concerns with the COVID-19 vaccine, addressed

We know parents want to make the best decisions when it comes to their children. We, as parents, often fear making the wrong decision. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is not one of those wrong decisions. There has been so much disinformation floating around which has understandably caused parents to have questions and concerns with the COVID-19 vaccine. We want to address some of the biggest concerns and rumors for you now.

Young boy drink a soda can using both hands.

How much soda should kids drink?

Every way we turn it seems we are surrounded by sugar-sweetened beverages and overwhelmed with ads for those oh-so-tempting drinks. The truth is sugar-sweetened beverages are consumed way too often and are not so good for children’s health. Here is what you should know about sugary beverages and some healthier alternatives.

Life skills teens want to know

When you are sent off into the world after high school, you are expected to know so much. Not only all the reading, writing and arithmetic that school has taught, but so much more. Here is a list of some of the things our Teen Advisory Board at Children’s Mercy thought all teens should know before they venture out on their own.

La vacuna contra el COVID-19 pendiente para niños

Acabamos de recibir la autorización para que los niños de 5 a 11 años reciban la vacuna COVID-19. Sabemos que probablemente tenga preguntas sobre la vacunación de su hijo. Hemos proporcionado respuestas a algunas de las preguntas que nos han hecho con más frecuencia. Vacunar a los niños ayuda a proteger a todos. Cuantas más personas se vacunen, menor es la transmisión de COVID-19 en nuestra comunidad.

Answering your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids

We just received authorization for children ages 5-11 years old to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We know you probably have questions about your child getting the vaccine. We’ve provided answers to some of the questions we’ve most frequently been asked. Getting kids vaccinated helps protect everyone. The more people vaccinated, the less transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

Teen girl with mobile phone screen glowing while sitting in the dark.

Apps parents should know about: Where cyberbullying can happen

Kids have phones at younger and younger ages these days. Many apps are there to make our lives easier and help us connect, but some may be used in harmful ways. Here are some apps parents should be aware of for risk of cyberbullying.  

Mom sits on couch and listens to toddler talking to her.

Tips to help your toddler communicate

Concerned about your child meeting language milestones? You’re not alone. I often work with children whose parents are really concerned their children are not yet talking. One thing I try and point out is there are often ranges for children in regards to speech-language milestones. Here’s what I mean.

Young patient with back to camera gets hear heart listened to by a doctor in a clinic room.

Helping kids develop a healthy relationship with food – and warning signs for eating disorders

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and teens are more isolated, anxious, stressed and have a sense of loss of control. These factors can add to other potential risk factors for developing eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia and others. Here are some tips, information and warning signs of eating disorders in children.

Mom wears a face mask and leans in close to child wearing a face mask.

Yes, it’s tough right now: tips for parents and COVID-19 regulations

It’s a tough time to be a parent right now. COVID-19 is still in our communities, but it feels like most people are “back to normal.” Except when you have kids. Children under 5 aren’t protected by the COVID-19 vaccine and many parents are struggling to figure out how to keep kids safe while not keeping them isolated from the world. Here are some tips to help you think through your decisions.

Emily Mccarty, husband and two sons stand at their decorated trunk or treat as Wizard of Oz characters for Halloween.

5 great family Halloween costumes to try

Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t always have to be just for the kids. The whole family can enjoy playing dress-up with these fun family group costumes. No matter the size of your family, there’s bound to be a group costume to win you best dressed! Check out these fun ideas submitted by Children’s Mercy employees.

Understanding the teen brain

The teenage years are such an important time in life for teens to learn independence, set a foundation for the future and learn about themselves. It’s also a time the brain is still growing. If you are a caregiver of a teen, here’s some information that can help guide you in your role.

How to promote diversity and inclusion in your child’s life

It’s back-to-school season, and that means getting new school supplies, adjusting to new routines and learning about all kinds of subjects. An important subject that parents can help teach their kids about is diversity and inclusion as they encounter new students in class.

What parents should know about autism

Autism is considered a “spectrum” because it often looks different for different people.  One person’s autism symptoms may even change over time.  This range, or “spectrum,” can lead to misunderstandings. Here’s what you should know. 

Will flu season be different this year?

Last year we saw lower influenza infections than we have in a long time. We can credit things like social distancing, masks and handwashing which helped keep flu infection from spreading. This year has many wondering if flu season will return to high levels.