Thumb sucking, nail biting may combat allergies

Does your child suck her thumb or bite her nails? A long-term study suggests these “bad” habits might actually have a plus side: lasting protection from common allergies. Researchers followed a group of more than 1,000 children in New Zealand from birth through age 32. They asked the parents to report their children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. Then they tested the children for allergic reactions using a skin-prick test at age 13, and again in adulthood at age 32.

8 Signs Of a Sensitive Kid and Why It's Actually a Good Thing

Many parents can relate to tears and hurt feelings during childhood but for those with a sensitive child, they are likely presented with these strong feelings much more often. Parents of sensitive children observe their little ones worrying more deeply about what others around them think and being more emotionally reactive. However, these kiddos also tend to make amazing friends because they are so intuitive and are able to easily empathize with others.

Why I’m Not Accepting Your 9-Year-Old’s Friend Request

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in which she divulged to me that her 10-year-old son has an Instagram account. Because she and I usually see eye to eye on most parenting decisions, I was surprised. When I asked her about it, she explained that, for her son, she has rules and privacy settings in place to protect him. She told me she’s had conversations about appropriate photos and internet safety. She said she trusts him and wants him to develop good judgment online.

Play and Learn: 4 Ways to Deal with A Curious Toddler in the House

It never fails: You take just a two-minute bathroom break, and by the time you’re done your toddler has emptied his toy box across the living-room floor, ripped your magazines to shreds, and somehow gotten into the crisper drawer of the fridge. “Toddlers learn by exploring their environment with all five senses,” says Alexis Clyde, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. Kids this age are particularly fascinated by how an object works and what happens when they bend, drop, or throw it. While your child’s inquiries are normal, it’s no fun having your house constantly look like a wreck. We’ll help you contain the chaos by controlling his behavior without suppressing his inquisitiveness.

Navigating Your Identity as a Parent and an Educator

Tips for Parent-Educators: These are the top things I wish someone had said to me as I offered my first born to his first school.

1. Be a parent, first and foremost. That's what your kid needs most from you.
2. Proactively build a relationship with your child's teacher at the beginning of the year. Don't wait until there's a problem to sit down with them.
3. If a teacher doesn't ask about your child's strengths and interests, share those.
4. Also share anything you think the teacher should know about your kid that would help them be effective, such as that your kid is an introvert and won't often participate in whole-class discussions. (Again, hopefully they ask this question, but if not, share it.)
5. If your child complains about being bored, class being too hard, not being treated well by peers or adults, listen to your child. Don't hope it'll get better. Go to school and talk to people. Observe classes.
6. Don't be afraid of talking to the principal. Don't be afraid of making requests. You can do this kindly and thoughtfully, but your job, again, is to advocate for your kid.

Work-Life Balance: It's Possible

Good work-life balance - what does it really look like?

Its contours are vague, definitions different.

"What constitutes a healthy work-life balance will vary substantially between individuals and families. Some people may be able to tolerate more demanding working conditions than others," says Dr Jonathan Ramsay, a lecturer at the Human Resource Management Programme at SIM University.

He offers a working definition.

"For most parents with office jobs - especially those with young children - a work-life balance would involve being able to spend the majority of their evenings and weekends with their children," he says.