Our 2017 parenting tips, per the experts

There’s no guide on how to be a perfect parent, but by talking to area professionals, we can at least try to make more educated decisions.

1. Your adorable tot is contentedly sitting on the living room floor, chewing on her favorite rubber giraffe. But beside her sits a crate of toys inhabited by a veritable menagerie of invisible germs. What’s a parent to do? Tina Ceesay, former school employee and current triage nurse at Pediatric Associates of Alexandria, shares her advice.

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? Germs.

2. If you and your child have gotten to the point of needing to call in help, you better make sure you choose wisely. We spoke with Dr. Ralph Perrino, founder of Northern Virginia Tutoring Service and author of Issues Strategies and Concerns in Education Todayto understand the initial questions that should be asked when looking for a tutor and the dynamic that is ideal for a successful working relationship.

How to find the best tutor for your child

3. Coach Sarah Walls, owner of SAPT Strength and Performance Training Inc. and the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, says she has seen an increase in injuries to athletes as young as 11 that are typically only seen in adults: elbow injuries that are causing them to have Tommy John surgeries, repeated ACL tears, shin splints, knee ligament injuries and more. The reason: overuse.

Youth Sports: How much is too much?

4. Kids are using the internet earlier than ever before, but are they prepared to be responsible citizens of the digital world? Below, educators share their favorite resources for teaching kids about internet safety and the dangers of cyberbullying, and here Angie Goff shares some of her top picks.

How to handle internet safety and cyberbullying with kids

5. Another local educator, this one Casey Reif, a fifth-grade teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools, shares her opinion on what parents need to know to capitalize on their conference time.

How to make the most of your child’s parent-teacher conference

6. While we’re talking about school, find an assortment of resources in our 2017 Back to School Guide, where you may learn a thing or two about how to create an effective study space, what you should do if your child gets head lice, how to tackle homework, back-to-school money and sanity savers and for your teens, how to start the conversation about college drinking with your kids.

Back to School Guide

7. Similarly, what is a high-quality preschool? What should parents look for? Jeannette and Chuck Cisney share their experience with Alexandria’s YMCA Future Leader’s Academy while Timothy W. Curby, an associate professor and director of the Applied Developmental Psychology Program at George Mason University whose work focuses on teacher interactions in early education, offers advice on what parents of little ones should look for.

Picking a quality preschool

8. But don’t forget about your own well-being while worrying about how you can be the best mom or dad. Here, Kristy Rodriguez, a Northern Virginia mom, author, and founder of Pure Nurture, shares some of her favorite tips for moms to work self-care into their daily routines.

Northern Virginia mom and author preaches the importance of self-care

9. Children’s National Health System offered us insight into how to navigate the holidays via a pediatrician’s Halloween safety checklist, Thanksgiving tips for parents of diabetic children, and recommendations for traveling with little ones.

When traveling with little ones, consider these expert tips

10.  Kaiser Permanente gave us some advice for your young adults by calling attention to the fact that teenage depression is on the rise (below) and how some teens are walking the fine line between appropriate opioid use and misuse.

More than moody: Recognizing depression in your teenager