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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

What chores are suitable for children by age?

As children grow up, it’s important for them to feel a part of the household and learn life skills. One way to do this is to assign them chores. Which, for a lot of us, comes with so much confusion. What chores are appropriate for them at certain ages? Should they be expected to do them, or should chores earn them an allowance? It’s sometimes a battle, but here are some things that can help.

What you should know about elderberry remedies

Families commonly ask about ways to help keep their children well and ward off infections such as the flu. Many parents are looking for natural remedies and some may even grow their own elderberry to use as medication. Unfortunately, many products are often unregulated, lack safety and efficacy information and can be unsafe when given with other medications.

7 great classic family friendly holiday movies

The holiday season brings along many of our favorite traditions. One we all can love is watching a classic holiday movie with the whole family. So, cuddle up with your warmest blanket, hot chocolate and the entire family for one of these great classics.

What every parent should know about preventing child trafficking

As nurses at Children’s Mercy, we see children in vulnerable circumstances every day, whether they are facing an illness, an injury or some other personal challenge that is preventing them from being healthy, happy-go-lucky kids. Sometimes, nothing can be done to keep a child from getting sick or hurt. Other times, prevention is possible, and it is the best way to keep kids safe and healthy.

How to talk about holiday gatherings this year

The holiday season is here and, this year, holiday stress has a whole new meaning. Decisions about whether and how to gather together are on everyone’s minds. We all want our loved ones to be safe and we all want to enjoy the holidays at the end of a difficult year. The way we go about it will look different for each family.

Family on FaceTime

7 ideas to host a rocking virtual holiday party

Many families are choosing to not have extended family and friends over for the holidays this year because of COVID-19. But, that doesn’t mean the holidays can’t be fun. Here are a few ideas to get that holiday party popping – virtually!

Mom working at home

3 Ideas for working moms and companies to reduce the pressure of managing it all

As a working mom, I'm tired. I’ll just say it. The to-do list grows and grows and most days I add more than I subtract from this list. The line between the workday and home life has become blurred or erased all together. The pandemic has expanded the demands on women in the workplace, creating a situation that is unsustainable.

Make the season bright: KC area holiday displays

This season, many families are looking for ways to celebrate the season while social distancing. Outdoor events and driving to look at holiday lights is a tradition that doesn’t have to change. Here are some of the Kansas City area’s best light shows you won’t want to miss.

Mom carving a turkey at a meal

Tips for celebrating the holidays safely during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been very challenging and isolating for many people. The holidays are generally a time for people to reconnect with family and friends, but it is important to remember you can spread the virus that causes COVID-19, even when you feel healthy, and others may spread it to you. Many communities, including Kansas City, are currently experiencing high rates of community transmission of COVID-19. Getting the flu vaccine before your holiday celebration is a great way to protect yourself and others against other viruses that we see this time of year. Below are some suggestions for modifying your holiday plans to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to help keep everyone safe.

mom working at home and two children doing schoolwork next to her

Parenting in a pandemic: tips for managing stress and balance

Family stress is at an all-time high - school schedules are modified, parents have altered work situations, childcare options are limited, and time outside of the home is decreased. For others, caregivers are out of work, family members may be ill, and the financial burden is mounting. During this coronavirus pandemic, expectations of normal family life are not always sustainable or realistic. So, if you haven’t heard it yet, here’s your pass to break from the norm and just focus on surviving for a bit.

sisters watching tv on laptop

Strategies for smart screen time during COVID

With kids’ virtual learning and activities, remote work from home and video chats with family and friends, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed with screen time gone overboard. Data is showing that kids ages 6 to 12 years old in the United States are spending about 50% more time in front of screens than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Traffic to kids’ digital apps and services have increased 70% during the same period of time. And with an increase in screen usage comes an increase in guilty feelings for parents and caregivers. But we’d like to help ease the guilt with some information and practical tips for families.

How to stay safe this Halloween

Halloween is a great time of year for many children. Like many other activities, Halloween will look different this year during the COVID-19 pandemic as we all work to keep our families and community safe. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe this spooky season.

9 truths about eating disorders and tips for parents

ANYONE can develop an eating disorder, any age, race, nationality, socioeconomic status; eating disorders do not discriminate. Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses. There are several types of eating disorders. These can include: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and others. The quicker the behaviors are addressed, the more likely there is to be a positive outcome. There are many misconceptions about eating disorders. Below are nine TRUTHS about eating disorders to help anyone who might be facing one. If you think you or someone you love may have an eating disorder please visit for more information.

Healthy ways to talk to children about race

Recent events have brought racism to the forefront, increasing the need to have open and honest discussions with children of all ages. But how and when do we talk to our children about racism? First, we have to understand race and what it means to be anti-racist.

Dad and grandpa smiling while holding newborn

Dads in the labor and delivery room

Giving birth began exactly how I always imagined it to be: Rushing to the hospital in the early morning hours, pushed in a wheelchair by my husband and feeling painful contractions that left me breathless. As instructed, we checked into the emergency department before heading up to the labor and delivery unit.