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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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Category: All ages

Siblings Helping Siblings Thrive

A sibling is often called a built-in best friend. The hope for parents is that the bond will continue with your children through all phases of life. But a new addition to the family also means a new role for your oldest child.  The oldest is there to show them ropes and the youngest is there to follow along and learn. However, in some families, that isn’t always the case.

End the dinner table battles: How to help your picky eater

It's not uncommon for toddlers and preschoolers to resist trying new foods. Even children who were adventurous foodies as infants can go through a picky phase. If your child puts up a fight at meal times, try to remember it's a normal occurrence for many kids and, most of the time, it doesn't mean anything is wrong. That said, we'd like to give you some tried and true tips to make feeding your kid more enjoyable for everyone involved.

nurse helps young girl with hurt arm

When to go: Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

The inevitable has happened - your child came down with an unforeseen illness or injury. And of course, it always happens when your doctor’s office is closed. So, the dilemma every parent faces …do you go to the Emergency Room (ER) or Urgent Care?

Burn awareness tips for the whole household

Whether it’s in the kitchen or another part of your home, follow these tips to keep your children safe from potential burns. 

Safe sleep tips so the whole family can get good zzz’s

When expecting a new baby, you’re prepared to get less sleep. But be sure to also prepare a safe sleep environment for baby – so when they are sleeping soundly, you can too. Safe sleep goes beyond the newborn stage, with standards to follow for toddlers and “big kids,” too.

Did they really just say that? Parents share their cringeworthy kid stories

If there’s one thing parents can know for sure…it’s that kids WILL say the darndest things. And, it’ll probably be in public, so there is an optimal chance for embarrassment. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Our Parent-ish readers shared their cringeworthy stories so we can all share a laugh and commiserate about our embarrassment. 

Kids sick again? What to do about those pesky bugs going around

If it feels like the kiddos in your life are constantly coming down with something, it’s probably not your imagination. In the first 2 years of life, it is common for kids in daycare to be sick with respiratory illnesses 10 to 12 times per year. Nobody wants their children to be under the weather that much, but it is normal and generally not cause for worry. That said, we would like to put parents’ minds at ease with a few tips and tricks to deal with those pesky colds, flus and other common illnesses. 

Resolutions from real kids

The saying goes "new year, new me" and for many, the beginning of a new year can be the start of changes they want to include in their life. Whether 2024 is a time for re-invention, learning a new skill, striving toward a new goal or knocking a few things off of your bucket list, there is no age limit for creating a New Year's resolution. 

How school breaks affect kids’ mental health

There’s a lot for kids and teens to look forward to on a break from school. No homework, for one. But breaks are not without their challenges. Young people can exhibit increased mental and behavioral health symptoms when adjusting to a new day-to-day routine outside of school. Luckily, parents and caregivers can make a big difference in helping kids adjust and cope. Use a few tried-and-true tips to make upcoming breaks less stressful for your family. 

7 tips for less stress this holiday season

The holiday season is here! While it’s an exciting time of year filled with traditions, treats and fun, this time of year can also cause stress and anxiety. The shopping, cleaning and planning can feel endless, and, while we want to celebrate with all of our friends and family, sometimes schedules and budgets won’t allow it. If you are struggling with making holiday decisions and talking about them with family, we hope you find these tips helpful. 

Make holiday meals safe and fun for everyone! Tips for families with food allergies

No matter what holidays your family celebrates, chances are good that many of your gatherings involve special foods. While most of us look forward to these seasonal delights, for families of kids with food allergies, holiday gatherings can add pressure and anxiety to what’s meant to be a fun and festive time of year.

Antibiotic FAQs – What parents need to know

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also bring about a not so fun season of illnesses. Knowing whether your child’s illness needs an antibiotic to get better can be hard during this time of colds and “Flu.” We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below, and your child’s primary care provider (PCP) is a wonderful resource if you have questions or concerns about your child’s illness.

Preparation for successful sitters

Being a good babysitter starts with being prepared. While the babysitter themselves is responsible for some of the preparation, there are several important steps parents can take to set the babysitter up for success. Experts from Charlie’s House have outlined a few topic areas you should go over with each babysitter you hire.

Raise "champions" of giving this holiday season

While children spend time sifting through catalogs and making wish lists during the holiday season, this special time of year is also perfect to begin teaching children the importance of giving back.

When your child’s ‘winter blues’ become something more serious

As much as so many of us complain about daylight saving time, it’s always a shock to the system when it ends. This year, we’ll turn the clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 5, and we’ll start preparing ourselves for shorter days, leaving work when it’s already dark and just that feeling that, yes, winter is coming.