Holiday Shopping Tips: Happy Kids and Healthy Brains

Holiday shopping is once again upon us—as your kids make their lists and write their letters to Santa, could the type of gifts they receive affect their brain development, not to mention how home life will be for everyone in the months ahead?

“Yes”, says Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health Professor of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics. “A child’s brain goes through massive developmental changes throughout childhood and adolescence, and the type and variety of experiences a child has can influence the pathways and connections in the brain”.

Parents should keep this in mind as they set out on the challenge of holiday shopping for their children. The goal: selecting gifts that are fun, enjoyable AND promote healthy brain development.

Read more

Making the Most of the Holidays With Your Children

Making the Most of the Holidays With Your ChildrenAll families have their own unique and often personal way of celebrating the holidays. Whether it is a special meal together, exchanging gifts or a celebration of blessings, the month is filled with a festive spirit. And while there may indeed seem to be a magic to the season, the reality is for some families it can be a difficult and challenging time. Financial struggles, a significant illness, loss of a loved one, or a divorce or separation can have profound effects on a family during a time of year that’s all about celebrations.

If your holiday is going to be different this year, how can you help your children navigate the sometimes difficult feelings that may accompany the changes?

Read more