Welcome to Parenting Answers by Dr. Rene

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Fun Things to Do on Snow Days

Last year we had a full week home with snow days.  Late on day two we made a list.  I hope it helps on your next snow day! Stay in your pajamas with your kids all day Take bubbles baths Bake cookies from scratch Color Paint Any craft kits that have been sitting on the shelf - our favorite … [Read More...]

Encouraging a Sense of Responsibility

Responsibility is best taught in small doses across childhood. Think of gradually increasing expectations, ownership and chores overtime. Responsible for belongings - A way to build a sense of responsibility is to have them gradually be responsible for their belongings. This means teaching them to … [Read More...]

Encouraging Piano Practice

Dear Dr. Rene, My 7 year old son has been taking piano for 6 months. The first several months came easy to him and he was happy to practice. Now that the learning is requiring a bit of effort he grumbles about the practice. How can I encourage him to practice without being all tiger mom? I'd like … [Read More...]

Coaching: Encouraging Behavior Change a Few Minutes at a Time

I teach parenting workshops on positive discipline often. At least weekly I am reviewing the language of I messages, empathy, positive intent, choices and natural and logical consequences. This language is meant to provide parents with a framework for managing children's behaviors in the moment. It … [Read More...]

Northern Virginia Staycation

I made this list when we stayed home for yet another Spring Break. Thought it would be equally helpful to share at the start of summer! There are so many great things to do in the Northern Virginia area. The Smithsonian Our family's favorite museums include the Natural History Museum, the two Air … [Read More...]

It’s Okay for Your Child to be Frustrated

It's okay for your child to be frustrated. It's okay when your child is disappointed. This is not something for you to avoid or fix for them. It is something for you to connect with and to help them move through. A dad of a four year old questioned "We have a routine when we run to the grocery … [Read More...]

Competition: Teaching Kids to be Gracious Winners and Good Sport Losers

I will start here by saying, I want my kids to be competitive. I want them to work hard and play fair, enjoy the process, celebrate the wins and learn from the losses. This goes for their academics and their athletics. Teach cooperation first - As children grow, having a cooperative nature helps … [Read More...]

Calm Parenting: Mantras

Mantras are often cited as a good way to calm down in general. When I am stressed about anything, I repeatedly remind myself to "just breathe, breathe, breathe." Targeted mantras can help in parenting. A mom who had been working on potty training for weeks with her three year old son reminded … [Read More...]


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