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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: Teen

4 Summer job ideas for kids

While many kids are looking forward to the summer break as a chance to relax and have fun, some might want to earn some play money. Summer jobs are usually thought of as lawn mowing and lifeguarding, but I have some other things your teen may want to try.

Young child touches mom's pregnant belly while sitting next to her and dad on the couch.

Are you ready to talk about the birds and the bees? A parent's guide to the sex talk

There is no easy way to say this - it's probably time to have the talk. The sooner you start preparing for it, the better. “The talk” is a rite of passage for most parents, but it can be uncomfortable. I get it. So, just how do you talk about sex in a clear, meaningful way with kids? Let’s break it down.

Young teen looks at a pill bottle while in front of a mirror.

6 Ways to keep kids safe around medications

You might be pretty good at home security. Many people have doorbell cameras, security alarm systems, door locks, window locks and child locks. But have you ever thought about medication storage? Medications are often left in places where curious children can find them, like bathroom cabinets, purses and nightstands. It helps to have a strategy to prevent kids from accessing medications.

Young girls looks at arm while a nurse is giving her a vaccine and using a ShotBlocker.

Ways to comfort children for vaccine appointments

If you’ve ever wished for a way to help your child not feel pain, you’re not alone. We’ve all had vaccines or drawn blood and know it does come with some discomfort. The Child Life team at Children’s Mercy works every day to comfort children before needle procedures like routine vaccines or blood work and they’re sharing ways parents can help prepare kids—and even help kids cope with pain.

Ways to help teens get more sleep

Teens can have difficulty sleeping because they often face a perfect storm of biological and social factors that disrupt sleep. Teens need an average of 9 hours of sleep each night and with a little help, it can be possible

Mom hugs her preteen daughter and looks at a cell phone.

Preparing your child for social media

Allowing your child to join social media is a heavy decision many parents must make. It can feel like every kid has a phone, and almost every kid is on some type of social media. If you’ve ever asked yourself if you should let your child have social media accounts, here’s where to start.

Bigger kids, bigger parenting

If you were under the impression that older kids are adults and you’re done parenting when they turn 18, let me pop that bubble for you and give you some tips from a mom going through it.

Mom consoles daughter as she has her hands to her mouth looking distraught.

How to talk to your kids about their first heartbreak

Our first love can be a highly emotional experience and the same goes for first heartbreak. It’s never easy to see your child hurting, but you can ease their struggle by remaining open and available to listen.

Young boy holds hand to throat and winces in pain.

All about strep throat

Along with all the other infectious diseases in our community right now, one we typically see in children is strep throat. Strep throat can feel awful and impact your energy and eating. Here’s what symptoms to be on the lookout for and ways to feel better.

Teaching healthy body image tips for kids

The weight loss industry is lucrative, and to make that money, its messages are everywhere. It’s hard to look anywhere without seeing recommendations about weight loss, the perfect look and ways to achieve your dream body. For kids (and adults), those messages can have a serious impact on body image.

Ways to help teen athletes through mistakes and losses

Sports and athletics expose our kids to great things like teamwork, discipline, an active lifestyle and many other positives. But, our young athletes are also going to experience mistakes and losses. Those can be a little scary.

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.

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.