Communication Tips for Parents and Kids

Communicating with your child is an everyday challenge, but soon it will get easier (yea right).  So for the time being lets break down a few communication tips to strengthen our feelings of self-worth as we develop good relationships in our family and with others.

Communication tips between a child and parent, courtesy of Kid Source:

  • Teach children to listen… gently touch a child before you talk… say their name.
  • Speak in a quiet voice… whisper sometimes so children have to listen… they like this.
  • Look a child in the eyes so you can tell when they understand… bend or sit down… become the child’s size.
  • Practice listening and talking: talk with your family about what you see on TV, hear on the radio or see at the park or store. (Talk with your children about school and their friends.)
  • Respect children and use a courteous tone of voice. If we talk to our children as we would our friends, our youngsters may be more likely to seek us out as confidants.
  • Catch children and teens being good. Praise them for cooperating with you or their siblings, or for doing those little things that are so easy to take for granted.
  • Use door openers that invite children to say more about an incident or their feelings. “I see,” “Oh,” “tell me more,” “No kidding,” “Really,” “Mmmmhmmmmm,” “Say that again, I want to be sure I understand you.”
  • Praise builds a child’s confidence and reinforces communication. Unkind words tear children down and teach them that they just aren’t good enough.
  • Children are never too old to be told they are loved. Saying “I love you” is important. Writing it in a note provides the child with a reminder that he can hold on to.
  • Give your undivided attention when your children want to talk to you. Don’t read, watch TV, fall asleep or make yourself busy with other tasks.
For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Source: Kid Source

Photo Credit:

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Summer Events for Kids in Grand Forks

Summer is officially in full swing, on and off the baseball diamonds. So be sure to get out your calendars and start circling dates because you won’t want to miss these kid-friendly events going on this summer throughout Grand Forks/East Grand Forks.

4th of July 

What: Sertoma Club Festival and Fireworks on the 4th of July

Enjoy this Family Friendly 4th of July Event filled with kids games, kid Hollywood band, kids parade, GF fire department, watermelon feed inflatables, tattoo artists, opening ceremonies, raffles, fireworks and so much more….

When: Friday, July 4 from 6:30am – 10:30pm

See entire list of events and scheduled times here.

Where: Downtown Grand Forks and on the Greenway

Cost: FREE*

*Event is free to the public, however raffles, food and drinks are extra.

Summer Morning Movies

Photo Credit: Frank Theatres

What: Children movies at the theatre

When: Every Friday, Saturday & Wednesday at 10:30am from June 6 – Aug 13

Where: Rivers Cinema 15

211 Demers Ave
East Grand Forks, MN 56721


Cost: $2/per movie

For show listings and more information visit River Cinema 15 in East Grand Forks or call 218-773-1059.

Red Ray Lanes Bowling

What: Free* Bowling for Kids

When: EVERYDAY from June 1  - Sept. 4, 2014

Where: Red Ray Lanes

2105 S. Washington St.
Grand Forks, ND, 58201
(701) 775-0663

Cost: FREE*

*First 2 games are free to all children. Be sure to register to receive your free games!

Movie in the Park 

What: Watch the stars under the stars with outdoor movies shown at various Grand Forks parks. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy family-friendly classics, action, adventure and new releases.



  • June 25:  Frozen at University Park
  • July 15:  Nut Job at Riverside Park
  • July 29:  Little Rascals at University Park
  • Aug. 12:  Lego Movie at Riverside park
  • Aug. 26:  Cloudy w/ Meatballs 2 at Choice Health & Fitness
  • *All shows will begin at sundown

Where: University ParkRiverside Park, and Choice Health & Fitness

Cost: FREE

Family Fun Night 

What: The ultimate neighborhood block party is for all of Grand Forks and is held each year in late July. This fun-filled event includes family games, healthy treats, a parade, face painting, inflated games and more.

When: Tuesday, July 29  from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: University Park

Cost: FREE 

Inline Skating Marathon

What: Rollin’ on the River was created by a group of young community professionals seeking to increase awareness of the health benefits offered by inline skating. This event has grown over the last several years, with approximately 230 skaters in the 2011 and 280 skaters participating in the 2012, creating an even stronger presence of skating in the community. The event draws amateurs and international professional skaters putting Grand Forks on the map.

Rollin’ on the River supports not only the promotion of inline skating in our communities, families and children, but is also sharing its proceeds with a greater cause – The Perry Nakonechny Youth Sports Fund, a Grand Forks Parks & Recreation Foundation memorial fund supporting youth programs in Grand Forks.

When: Saturday, August 16th at 7:00 a.m.

Where: Central Valley High School

Cost: See Rollin on the River Website

*Last day to register is Friday, August 15th from 5-8 pm at Choice Health and Fitness, during packet pick-up.

More information can be found here:

*If you have an event going on in the Valley please comment below and share with the community!

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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Kids Safety with Fireworks on the 4th of July

The 4th of July is a great time to gather family and friends for a bbq or campfire as you watch the fireworks blast off, but if you’re also considering lighting the fireworks yourself there are a few safety concerns and risks to be reminded of, such as devastating burns or other injuries, fires, and even death.

Photo Credit: SF Fire

Thousands of people, most often children and teens are injured every year while using consumer fireworks. So it’s always best to be reminded of these precautions to you and your children’s safety.

The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

Fireworks by the numbers
  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 15-24, followed by children under 10.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks  follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!
Source: NFPA’s Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2013
Source: NFPA’s Fireworks Fact Sheet, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2014
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How to Set a Summer Routine for Your Child

Summertime is here and so is summer schedules filled with baseball, swim lessons, barbecue’s and many more late nights. But don’t just fill those meals with junk food or spend those extra hours playing video games, instead create a routine around your child’s summer schedule with these helpful tips.

1. Set a Time For Learning

If your kids received home learning packets from their school, or if you’ve picked out a particular workbook you’d like them to complete, set a regular block of time aside each day when they can work toward completing this project. In addition, plan to explore various topics your kids have shown an interest in. Summer is a great time to tap into their natural curiosity!

2. Set a Time for Reading Every Day

This is something that you can do whether your kids spend their days with you or another caregiver. After lunch is a great time to schedule a regular, daily, reading siesta. If your kids are young, read a story out loud to them at this time. Older children can use this time to read on their own. If you can, try to model the importance of reading by picking up a book for yourself at the same time.

3. Limit Your Kids’ Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages two and older watch no more than two hours of total screen time per day. In order to meet those guidelines, most families have to make a concentrated effort to turn off the TV and limit computer and video games. Talk with your kids about the amount of time that you think is reasonable, and be firm about maintaining those limits.

4. Schedule Chores

Make a list of age-appropriate chores for your kids to do each day during the summer. Combine simple everyday tasks, like making their beds and emptying the dishwasher, with larger, long-term projects like cleaning out their closets. For the bigger jobs, show them how to break the task down into smaller 20-minute chunks.

5. Schedule Your Kids’ Snacks

Of course meals are eaten around a basic schedule, but what about snacks? Personally, I feel like a short-order cook when my kids ask me for snack after snack throughout the day. One way around that issue is to establish two different “Snack Times” in your home. At our house, snacks are served at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. This way, I don’t find myself going back into the kitchen six to seven times (before lunch!) to fill another request. My kids know, too, that they can have apples or carrots any time of the day – and they can get them themselves!

6. Schedule Some Regular, Fun Activities

Sit down with your kids and make a list of all the places you’d like to go this summer and the things you’d like to do. Then make an effort to systematically go through the list, choosing one or two activities per week.

Summer is a time for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s also a time to go crazy and lose control of oneself. Maintaining a consistent routine in your child’s life will help manage their behavior and give them balance this summer, preparing them for next fall.

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!


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10 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior this Summer

Parenting styles today are a little different than when you were a child, most of us start out parenting the way we were parented and expect our children to react as we did. If the tried-and-true ways of your mother and father don’t cut it with your son and daughter, it’s time to make a change. The ten strategies might help guide you when deciding the best method to improve your child’s behavior.

1. Start with Behavior Analysis

Think of bad behavior as a mystery, a complex whodunnit with clues and motives and red herrings galore. Who’s responsible? What did they do? When, where, and why did it happen? Jumping to the same disciplinary conclusions every time your child misbehaves is like arresting the butler any time there’s a murder to be solved. So become a better parenting detective and find out the real reason behind their behavioral decisions.

2. Use a Behavior Chart

Think your child won’t understand/comply with/care about a behavior chart? If you’re thinking about a traditional chore-for-reward system, you may be right. But with a little creativity, you should be able to come up with a chart or similar motivational scheme that will give your child a reason to be more pleasing’. Tailor to your own challenging child’s needs and wants by creating a customized behavior chart of your child. 

3. Choose Your Battles

“Why does everything have to be such a fight?” That’s something you may have asked your child a time or ten, but it’s a question worth asking yourself, too: Why does everything have to be such a fight? Is every battle you choose worth picking? Focus in on goals that matter and wars you can win and think about which behaviors you can really commit to changing.

4. Count to 10

“One-two-three” may be magic for some kids, but children with special needs may require extra time to do all the strategizing and motor planning it takes to move peacefully from one pasttime to the next. Forcing the issue with a quick three-count will most likely end in crabbiness and bad behavior — and that’s just from you. Try a technique that gives everybody a little breathing room.

5. Keep a Big “Bag of Tricks”

A little distraction is often all it takes to head off bad behavior. Having a constant, and constantly updated, supply of items and ideas to divert your child can make the difference between a whiny, fussy, tantrumy time and a fun, funny, contented one. So start filling your purse or diaper bag with items that reliably captivate or motivate your child. 

6. Set Get-able Goals

It’s not bad to be ambitious for your child, or to have high hopes. But if you’re setting the bar higher on a regular basis than your child can possibly reach, you’re creating a constant experience of failure. Breaking big goals into little ones helps you build on success. Strategize some easy accomplishments to lessen frustration and increase confidence. 

7. Keep Track of Transitions

Transitions are tricky for children with special needs, and for their stressed-out parents, too. Better to think those dangerous changes of activity through beforehand than deal with the inevitable meltdown that occurs after a mismanaged one. Think about allowing extra time, warnings, and compassion as you move your child through his or her day.

8. Say What You Mean

You know your child doesn’t get figures of speech and tone of voice and sarcasm, you’ve advocated for others to be clear in their communication … but when it comes to laying down the law at home, do you sometimes fall into the same traps? Clear communication is more important for you than for anyone. Make sure your expectations are as obvious to your child as they are to you. 

9. Scout Time-Out Spots

Time-out can be an effective tool for kids with special needs, but sending a child to his room when his room is where he wants to be is counterproductive, and not so helpful when you’re at the mall or the store or the park. As with everything else, you’ll need to be creative. Pick one that works for your child or inspires you to brainstorm your own.

10. Keep Looking for a Better Way

If you’ve found a tactic that works for your child, great! Enjoy the feeling of parenting competence while it lasts, because each new developmental change will likely require a new approach. Reading parenting books that deal specifically with special-needs behaviors can bring you a constant supply of fresh ideas and strategies. Get inspirations from experts and parents just like you.

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!
Original article courtesy of
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May is National Water Safety Month


Celebrate National Water Safety Month this May through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and business promotions and the distribution of water-safety-themed materials, aimed primarily at the public. As we prepare for the hot summer months this is a great time to get up to date on all the water safety and tips for adults and children of all ages.

National Water Safety Month gives our community the opportunity to make all Americans more “water aware.” This month specifically encourages you to obtain local proclamations for your city, township, military installation and community associations.

Super Hero

Feel free to also use the following Free Resources from CPSC’s Pool Safely:

Requirements for Public Pools

Learn more about the P&SS Act—federal legislation mandating new safety standards for public pools and spas. Find out whether the P&SS Act applies to your pool or spa and what updates you might need to make to bring your pool or spa into compliance with federal law. Read more here.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) defines what pools and spas are considered “public” in the United States and covered by the law’s public pool and spa regulations. Find out whether the P&SS Act applies to your public pool or spa here.

Pool & Spa Safety Equipment

Using appropriate safety equipment is critical to ensuring the safety of public swimming pools or spas. By using equipment that is compliant with the P&SSAct, pool operators and owners provide the highest level of protection for the public. Find the right safety equipment here!

Finding Help & Resources

You can also plan your water safety event using these safety tips, planning advice and requirements.

Click on the link provided for more information on National Water Safety Month. 

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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Kids are Encouraged to Participant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

The Grand Forks Public Library (GFPL) has formed a partnership with the Dakota Science Center (DSC) and the University of North Dakota (UND) College of Engineering and Mines in order to provide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities to library patrons.

STEM Modules developed by the DSC are available to the public for in-library use. DSC teachers wrote, reviewed, and edited lesson plans for each module. The lesson plan format includes grade level, instructional time, material list, objectives, teacher’s introduction to the material, student instruction, skills, and vocabulary. The lesson plans accompanying each module allow caregivers to teach the sessions with minimal support from the Dakota Science Center or library staff.

Modules include: Early Simple Machines, Early Structures, Simple Machines, WeDo Robotics, Newton’s Laws, Forces in Motion, Van DeGraaf Generator, How Machines Work, Snap Circuit Jr., Snap Circuit Pro 500, Straw Rocket Launcher, and LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robots. There is no cost.

GFPL provides STEM Kids sessions after school, and during the summer. In order for all of the children to have a hands-on experience with the kits, STEM Kids will be limited to 8 children per session. Because of the limited space, we are requiring parents to sign up their children for the program. Please contact Aaron in the Children’s Department if interested.

The Summer 2014 STEM Kids Schedule is as Follows: (Sign-up required)

June 2-6: Force & Motion (Grades K-2)
June 9-12: Geometry in Art (Grades 3-4)
June 16-20: Light & Color (Grades 5-6)
June 23-27: Aviation (Grades K-2)
July 7-11: Geospatial Education (Grades 3-4)
July 14-18: Renewable Energy (Grades 5-6)
July 21-25: Sound & Music (Grades K-2)
July 28-Aug. 1: Engineering (Grades 3-4)
Aug. 4-8: Geospatial Education (Grades 5-6)
Aug. 11-15: Physics (Grades 6-8)
STEM Kids was made possible by generous grants from IEEE-Chicago (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and the North Dakota State Library. The grant monies were used to purchase print and audiovisual STEM materials, along with STEM kits that will be used for programming. The STEM kits provide hands-on learning opportunities, and will help children excel at school and explore new interests.

To sign up, contact the Grand Forks Public Library at (701) 772-8116 ext. 13.

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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Summer Reading Program at the Grand Forks Library


The Summer Reading Program in Grand Forks is open to children ages 12 and under. Babies, toddlers, and pre-school age children are welcome to join. This program is FREE and open to the public.
2014 Summer Reading Program Events Schedule will take place every Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

  • June 5 – Kick-off Party
  • June 12 – Music Day
  • June 19 – Art Day
  • June 26– Stomp Rockets
  • July 3 – Alka-seltzer Rockets
  • July 10 – Kids in the Kitchen with Noelle Myers
  • July 17 – Michael Gallo’s Imagination Theatre
  • July 24 - Robotics Day
  • July 31 – Final Party
  • August 7 – Children’s Garden Club Harvest Party
Learn More
For questions or more information on activities and participation, please read the Summer Reading Program brochure. You can also contact the Grand Forks Public Library at (701) 772-8116 ext. 13.For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!A special Thank Youto all of the sponsors of the 2013 Grand Forks Public Library Summer Reading Program, including: Alerus Financial, Altru Health System, Bev and Casey Ryan, Bremer Bank, Burger King, Burgraff’s Ace Hardware, Canad Inns, Culver’s, Dakota Science Center, Deitz Business Promotions, Dr. Curtis Tanabe, Dr. Mark Siegel, Drees, Riskey, & Vallager, Gate City Bank, Lunseth Plumbing & Heating, Optimist Club, Perkins, Prime Steel Car Club, Scheels, Ski & Bike Shop, Subway, SunRisers Kiwanis, Target, Texas Roadhouse, US Foodservice, Wall’s Medicine Center, and Walmart. 



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Mother’s Day Brunch & Dining Deals in Grand Forks

Looking for somewhere special to dine with your mom this Mother’s Day? Spoil her this Sunday at one of the Greater-Grand Forks restaurants, offering great deals and delicious menu’s to choose from:

Green Mill -

Give Mom a break! Join the Green Mill for a special brunch and let them help you show her how much you appreciate her! The Green Mill Mother’s Day Brunch features Fresh Homemade Caramel Rolls, Pecan Craisin Spinach Salad, Spinach Dip, Thick Sliced Apple Smoked Bacon, Jumbo Sausage Links, Seasonal Fresh Berries, Four-Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Parmesan Hash Browns and many more delicious items!

Reservations strongly recommended. Call 701-780-9000

Grand Forks Country Club -

Join the Country Club in a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch filled with Peppered Bacon, French Toast Bites, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Zested Cod, Herb Baked Turkey Breast, Honey Glazed Ham and so much more! Buffet also comes with complimentary Juice, Coffee, and Milk.

They will be serving brunch from 10am – 2pm and taking reservations between 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM. Spots are filling quickly so call (701) 772-4831 and make your reservation!


Enjoy a free family-sized cake (in rich double chocolate chip or sweet lemon) with the purchase of a 10-piece meal or larger.


Buy one, get one free Teavana Oprah Chai.

Let your mom have the day off from cooking by treating her to a great meal this Sunday. Show your appreciation for the great mom she’s been and always will be by dining at one of the delicious restaurants in Grand Forks.

If you know of a great Mother’s Day deal or restaurant to dine at this Sunday please share in the comment section below!


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5 Ways to Make the Last Days of School Go by Fast

As the countdown to summer begins our final school days drag on, however there is a way to plan for the summer and still maintain those daily anxious feelings. Focus on some other important thing going on or tell your child to just try and have fun while at school by using the following five ways to plan for the summer.

1. Say “hi” to everyone you see. Act like you’re on top of the world! The last day of school comes only once a year, and it can be happy and sad, too. Invite friends over that you haven’t talked to in weeks and enjoy these final days together.

2. Pack your favourite lunch to school, filled with desserts and good foods! Allow your child to pack 1 treat each day and as the bell rings they can celebrate one day closer to summer by enjoying something delicious.

3. Make a memory book filled with pictures and writing of all the fun times and bad times, too, even. Sit down with your child and find out their highs and lows of their school year. Making a collage of their friends and school projects can be a good keepsake for you too!

4. Bring a camera – Ask your child’s teacher if it’s ok for your child to take a disposable camera to class. Taking tons of pictures during free time will express children and the good times they had in the 3rd grade.

5. Realize is that it is your child’s last day, so you can think of what you and the family will do during the summer and plan out everything.

  • Make a list of must-see movies during the summer and a list of how many you want to see.
  • Make a list of all the places you want to go during the summer and think of that.
  • Try to get everybody’s phone number from your child’s class. If you don’t have a vacation planned, the summer can get boring.
  • If you are going on a trip ask if you can bring a friend along.

Summer is approaching and what better way to make these final school days pass than to plan for a fun finale. As you enjoy the countdown also plan for a summer to remember.

For more information on PIC and child education in Grand Forks contact PIC at 787-4216 and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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