Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2019

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2019 Carolyn Fulton of New Paltz engages in similar talks with her 4-year- old daughter. "Just today, we talked about how you can be really angry at someone you love, but that doesn't mean you've stopped loving them," Fulton explains. "It's such a hard point to drive home to a 4-year-old, as they live completely in the present moment!" Last week, Sophia came home from school quite upset. Apparently, she had told a classmate, "you're my best friend," and in response, her classmate turned away and ignored her. Now I will admit, as Sophia climbed onto my lap and blurted out through tears, "She wouldn't even let me give her a hug!" my heart ached for my sad little girl. However, while I consoled and cuddled her, I also took advantage of the moment. "Sometimes," I say, "a friend doesn't want a hug. Maybe she just wanted to be left alone, like you do sometimes. Right?" Sophia nods. I beam. She's getting it! "If your friend doesn't want you to hug her," I continue, "You can't hug her. Just leave her alone, and try talking to her again tomorrow." 3. Consent The talk I had with Sophia about hugging her classmate incorporated not only the topic of peer conflict, but also the all-important notion of consent. For Karen Teig-Morris of Walden, who has a 1. Your happiness is important Sacrificing one's personal needs in order to make others happy can be a wonderful thing once in a while. We teach our daughters to be generous and selfless, but it is important that they realize their wants shouldn't be ignored. Laura Bagnarol, Stormville resident and founder of Be Big Be Brave, noticed her two daughters, ages 6 and 10, habitually putting their own desires aside in order to avoid fights with their 8-year- old brother. "It didn't sit right with me," Bagnarol explains. In response to her daughter's behavior, Bagnarol frequently reminds them, "While it's good to be selfless, you deserve happiness, too!" 2. How to deal with mean girls Girl drama is real, and that's the hard truth. As a result, I have always felt that teaching my daughters ways to appropriately handle peer drama and mean girls should definitely be an ongoing conversation. In the case of my 12-year-old daughter Saige, I feel our discussions centering on avoiding, shutting down, or reporting social drama have been an incredibly worthwhile endeavor. I've noticed a difference in her stress level (way down!) and happiness quotient (way up!) from what it was when she started school. I have recently attempted to teach my 4-year-old daughter Sophia a concept quite difficult for the egocentric preschooler to understand. I want her to learn that sometimes, a person isn't going to give you the reaction you want, and you cannot force them to do so. By JILL VALENTINO A s parents of two daughters, my husband and I have hopes for an open, honest and healthy lifelong relationship with our girls. As they grow up, we continue to assure them that they can come to us to discuss anything, at any time. According to Naama Bloom, author of HelloFlo: The Guide, Period, the trick to raising girls who are comfortable and confident in their skin is starting the dialogue yourself rather than waiting for your daughter to take the lead. 4 conversations to have with your daughter before she reaches puberty Raise happy, confident daughters Katie Illardi teaches her children the correct names for body parts to build a sense of normalcy and comfort about that body part and the words. Marnie McKnight-Favell (left) encourages her daughter to see her body as strong and capable along her journey to womanhood.

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