Croll: Your Child’s Friend-Making Skills May Matter More Than You Think

We all know a good friend can lift our spirits when we are down, but did you know that strong social connections can also help you live longer? Studies show that feeling isolated from others not only elevates blood pressure, increases depression and disrupts sleep but new research suggests that a lack of social connections can be deadlier than smoking cigarettes. Don’t believe me? Ask Dr. Google.

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Croll: Choosing Humility Over Perfection for Our Children

I believe these lyrics describe the crux of the issue around the spiking levels of anxiety we are seeing in children today. Many parents demand perfection from their kids—in academics, sports, hobbies and behavior. A lot of us over-monitor, over-program and over-protect our children. It’s hard to watch kids fail or experience the discomfort of defeat. Yet at the same time, we set the bar for them at “perfection” and we accept nothing less. We hope high expectations will motivate our children but, instead, our unrealistic expectations can make children feel like they can’t measure up.

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Croll: Public Schooling Isn’t for Everyone; Consider Some Alternatives

We are fortunate here in Loudoun County to have one of the best school districts in the state (ranked #2 by Niche.com). If your child is thriving in public school—learning, socializing, enjoying the experience—you probably never considered an alternative education model. But if you have a child who isn’t doing well in public school, for whatever reason, you might consider one of the myriad unconventional education programs offered in our area.

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Croll: Beyond the Bell Curve, The Challenges of Raising Twice-Exceptional Children

Did you know a child could be both gifted and autistic? A percentage of children, some estimates are as high as 5-10 percent, have more than one exceptionality such as being intellectually advanced (gifted) plus having a physical, neurological, emotional, processing or developmental challenge. These “twice exceptional,” or 2e, children may score very high on intelligence tests while also having ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, sensory processing disorders, autism or another learning disability.

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Croll: Have Fun with Your Kids Over Winter Break

For most of Loudoun’s students, winter break is in full swing. Our kids will be out of school a total of 18 days (or about 425 hours … not that anyone is counting). This is a long time to spend with our little cherubs, especially when we are also juggling out-of-town relatives, shopping for gifts, travel, cooking, baking, cleaning, wrapping, filling advents and overseeing an elf that flies around our house at night.

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