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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: Tough topics

Lying to your child: Is it ever OK?

If you’ve ever stretched the truth to get your kids to behave, you’re in good company. According to a study published in the International Journal of Psychology, 84% of American parents they surveyed reported lying to their kids to get them to stop unwanted behavior or encourage good behavior. It’s safe to say that lying to children is common. Still, it could come with some guilt and you may wonder whether it does any harm.

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.

Getting teens to talk

If you have a teenager in your family, chances are they are less chatty with you than when they were little. Before, they used to tell you every detail of their day whether you wanted it or not, but now you ask about their day and they say it’s, “Fine.” A normal part of kids growing up is that they create some distance from their parents or caregivers, but that doesn’t mean it feels good to experience the distance. If you miss talking to your teen, don’t worry, there are things you can do to make conversation more likely.

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.

Put your oxygen mask on first: a letter to parents after tragedies

It's OK (and maybe even expected) to not be OK this week and beyond. We, like you, are a twisted mix of anger, sorrow, relief and guilt. We are broken, confused and called to action yet unable to move.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When is the time to talk about puberty?

Puberty. We all go through it. It was a strange time for most of us and it’s still a strange time for most kids today. We can help our kids feel empowered with the knowledge to make this strange period of time, less confusing.

Close up of two torsos with arms hugging around a person.

Why teaching personal boundaries is important for kids

Sadly, 1 in 10 children will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. We all want to keep kids safe from this kind of trauma. One way to keep kids safe is to teach them a few things to feel empowered to stop abuse before it even starts. Here’s what I mean.

A parent’s guide to discussing white privilege

The process of evaluation and education related to white privilege is an important part of the journey to addressing racism and working toward a world where all children are safe and healthy.

The Importance of teaching kids about systemic racism

Institutional racism, or what is sometimes called structural or systemic racism, is what Solid Ground defines as “the distribution of resources, power, and opportunity in our society to the benefit of people who are white and the exclusion of people of color.” In that definition, every single person, even kids, is affected by systemic racism.