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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: Mental health

Conversations about weight: A focus on overall health

Talking about your child’s weight may feel uncomfortable or challenging to bring up for a variety of reasons. But what if “weight” wasn’t the main focus of the conversation? While weight and height are important numbers to measure as your child grows, there are many factors that contribute to overall health. As a parent, you can be your child’s greatest advocate and help them form healthy habits at an early age.

Tips for surviving toddler behavior

The toddler stage (1-3 years old) is filled with joy, challenges and everything in between. Difficult behaviors often emerge during this time, including the dreaded “meltdowns” or as my old supervisor used to call it, kids “going boneless” during a tantrum at the grocery store. Here are some practical ways to think about and respond to challenging toddler behaviors.

Wellness days for kids: taboo or to do?

Parents can take a deep breath: It’s healthy for kids to take a break from day-to-day life to rest and restore. One way to achieve this is to allow your child a wellness day. What is a wellness day? A wellness day, or mental health day, is taking a break from normal, daily activities to refresh and destress. The strain of academics, social lives and intense schedules can build up; children may need time at home to just be a kid.

Mother comforting her sad teenage son

Ways to support LGBTQ children experiencing discrimination

Wanting your child to feel included, loved and supported is one of the top hopes for any parent. When children are discriminated against, it can leave both the family and the child feeling targeted and worried. Here are some ways to help a child feel supported if they are facing discrimination.

Parent Resources About School Tragedies

In response to the recent school shooting in our community, the Developmental & Behavioral Medicine team at Children’s Mercy Kansas City have compiled some resources to help families.

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.  

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.

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.

Woman's feet on gymnastic balance beam

Sports and mental health: What we can learn from Simone Biles

USA gymnast, Simone Biles, withdrew from the Olympic team final competition on July 27 due to a medical reason that was later clarified as a mental health issue. This decision has brought mental health in sports to the forefront of the world stage, yet again, and it is sparking conversations, which is a good thing and much needed.

A mom’s story: Finding my son mental health help

As a behavioral health professional and a mom of a teenager with Autism and Tourette Syndrome, I thought I was equipped to manage my son’s mental and behavioral health challenges. We were already on a waitlist to get him the help he needed and were participating in many services, but then the pandemic happened.

Young boy wearing a dark blue shirt sits on the floor next to a woman in a light blue shirt. They are playing with a toy on the ground.

Myths about seeking mental health treatment

We spend a lot of time as parents doing what we can to protect our children. Whether that is checking that they wear a seatbelt, making sure they put sunscreen on often enough or getting the right amount of exercise. It’s also important we think about their mental health, along with their physical health.

Addressing suicide risk as a parent

The thought of losing your child is one many caregivers try to avoid. And yet, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens across the nation and in Kansas City. We want to help change this trend. Here are some ways to start.

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.

Mom hugging scared daughter

Today’s forecast: Springtime storms and possible anxiety

April showers bring May flowers. But they can also bring bouts of anxiety. It’s normal for storms to be a little scary, but when does that become something to be concerned about?

Teen and mom in kitchen cleaning

Anxiety and depression red flags while social distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to repeatedly hear the words – quarantine, isolation and social distancing. Although social distancing tactics show the highest rate of success against the coronavirus, these measures can also impact the mental health of our children.