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15 reminders from 2015

The holidays have passed. The leftovers have been eaten. The gifts have been opened.

That means it's nearly time to turn the calendar page to 2016. This is the season of resolutions - but it's also a great time to look back.

Throughout the past 12 months, we've supported and encouraged caregivers like you. We've reflected on ways to keep kids safe. And we've shared advice from many local experts to get new perspective on real-life issues.

So before you move into 2016, here are 15 reminders from us. (In other words, the Cliff's Notes version of the blog's most popular posts this year.)

1. You don't have to spend a fortune to spend time with your kids. There are dozens of things to do in the Quad Cities with your family - for free.

2. Facebook lies. A perfect family doesn't actually exist, so don't allow picture-perfect social media personas lead you to believe this myth.

3. Teaching your kids to be honest starts early - and it begins with you.

4. Refugees come to the Quad Cities seeking a better (and safer) life for their families. But many of your parenting concerns and struggles look the same.

5. There are a few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to parenting. (And they aren't what you think.)

6. As caregivers, you are the first to show your kids what love really means. So it's important.

7. Raising kids to be empathetic can actually help them do better in school and make friends more easily. But it's not something that always comes naturally.

8. Half of sexual abuse happens before the age of seven. But talking to your kids about tough topics can help keep them safe.

9. Kindergarten has changed – drastically – since you were a kid.

10. Providing for your kids doesn't just mean money and status. There are a lot of things that caregivers worry about - but kids don't actually care about.

11. Awesome fathers deserve celebrating!

12. Sometimes, you need a priority shift. Because your to-do list is long. But other things matter more - like spending quality time with your kids, asking questions, and focusing on your own health.

13. Tantrums are totally normal. But there are a few things you can do as a parent to stop them in their tracks.

14. When you have kids, you can't forget to care for yourself. Not only will it make you a better parent, but it will also show your kids that it's important to focus on your own physical and mental health.

15. The Internet and technology can be wonderful tools and also come with risks. But you can help keep your kids safe online.

As a parent, you have a tough job.

We hope these small reminders from 2015 help you remember how important your role is. And we hope they help to encourage you to keep loving and keep going.

Because 2016 could become your best year.

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