Dr. Luisa

About Dr. Luisa

Dr. Luisa brings 11 years of therapy experience into your home. Her expertise and experience far surpasses that of unlicensed "parent coaches" and self-proclaimed internet-experts. With Dr. Luisa you receive professional guidance of a licensed clinical psychologist who has specialized in children and families her entire career.

4 simple tips for raising grateful kids

By | 2017-11-14T23:11:26+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's likely us adults are thinking about thankfulness and gratitude a little more than usual. But for kids, Thanksgiving usually means the start of endless Christmas lists to Santa, pleas for new toys at every commercial break, and dreaded shopping trips to the mall with your child begging for all things in sight. Every parent hopes to raise gracious, humble children, yet in today's day and age, this can prove to be a difficult task. For kids, gratitude can be a hard concept to understand beyond "I'm thankful for my new Transformers." Gratitude, like many of life's lessons, must be [...]

Go to Sleep Already! 9 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep Fast

By | 2017-11-10T23:23:45+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

I’m convinced whoever invented Daylight saving time didn’t have parents in mind. It’s every parent’s nightmare, wreaking havoc on routines and throwing off everyone’s circadian rhythm. While there’s really nothing to be said or done to actually change Daylight saving time, 9 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Sleep really does a nice job of outlining some simple, realistic tips for helping to get the kids to sleep at bedtime. The article highlights the following: Establish a consistent bedtime routine Unplug from electronics at least one hour before bed (I would personally recommend two hours) Get rid of any monsters- [...]

Avoiding the Awkwardness: How to Talk to Your Kiddo About Sex

By | 2017-11-03T18:15:44+00:00 November 3rd, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

“The talk”.... Or so it’s called. But the topic of sex should be more of an ongoing dialogue as our kids grow and develop. In my years of child and family therapy, I’ve found this ongoing approach to be the most productive for healthy sexual development. However, this isn’t at all how I was raised. I grew up in a strict Catholic household where sex was a covert, very “hush hush” topic. I was one of those teens who secretly started shaving her legs and wearing a bra to school without my mom knowing. She acted so weird and uncomfortable [...]

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

By | 2017-09-23T23:29:12+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Homework. Just mentioning the word makes me cringe and brings back horrors from my own youth. The fights, the worry, the late nights. The hours spent thinking up excuses to explain why those pesky math problems didn't get finished. Eventually, I learned what was behind my own personal struggle with homework: the perception that my work had to be perfect, which led to me feeling completely overwhelmed, anxious, and aided me in becoming the world's greatest procrastinator. If only my parents and I had figured this out in the third grade, those countless battles of hurtful words, tears, and doors [...]

3 tips for guaranteed back-to-school success

By | 2017-08-19T22:22:23+00:00 August 19th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens|

As adults, we've had years of practice transitioning through change. Yet we still often handle it poorly, procrastinate, and don’t prepare adequately for successful life transitons. Unlike adults, children haven’t had years to practice successful change. A child’s developing brain prefers and responds best to routines- as much as your kiddo may try to fight it by begging for late bedtimes and ice cream for dinner. Routines help children to feel safe and grounded and can aid tremendously in taking the ambiguity and stress out of new situations. What’s more is that children tend to have less anxiety when they [...]

Say the right thing when your child is upset

By | 2017-07-13T15:43:37+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

When you're upset, has anyone ever told you to "just stop crying" or "don't be sad"? Is it helpful? Is it that easy just to automatically stop crying or to feel differently (aka better) at a moment when you are really down? Unless you have super powers, it's near impossible to change how you feel at the drop of a hat. Usually comments that instruct you how to feel make you feel worse because they dismiss your emotional experience. And yet, even though these types of comments make us feel terrible, we continue to say these things to kids. Why? Because we're human and [...]

Nix the nagging with one simple trick

By | 2017-06-18T14:37:40+00:00 June 18th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

Tired of asking the kids repeatedly to clean their rooms, empty the dishwasher, or do that summer homework they've been avoiding? I hear ya. But do your kids? Does nagging actually work? Nagging is not the least bit enjoyable for the nagger or the naggee, and in my experience, it usually ends with yelling and tears. Yet we continue to do it… repeating a request over and over again in hopes that by some miracle, our request will be completed. The fact is, nagging is aversive and actually DECREASES the chance that the desired behavior will happen. So every time you [...]

Too much praise… Is there such a thing?

By | 2017-05-20T01:34:54+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

We’ve all heard the warnings about how too much praise can go to a child’s head. And we live in a day and age when children are given ribbons for participation and awards for “best effort.” Many people claim too much praise breeds narcissism, haughtiness, and an unrealistic sense of self. If a child is constantly showered with compliments and never provided with constructive criticism, that child’s ego IS likely to suffer. However, praise, when offered effectively, can not only contribute positively to a child’s self-esteem, but it can also increase good behavior. Praise is one of the most effective [...]

Stop that end of school year slump! Easy-peasy tips for keeping your kiddo on track

By | 2017-03-24T23:22:05+00:00 March 24th, 2017|Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Spring break is nearly over but there’s still a few months of the school year to trudge through. Keeping kids motivated at the end of the school year can certainly be a challenge. With the weather getting nicer and spring sports and activities in full swing, it’s easy to lose sight of grades and homework, and before you know it, you’re scrambling to get your kiddo to complete late work and boost his or her GPA before the last bell. This year, be proactive and stay on top of homework with these easy tips: Structure It Up Structure is super [...]

My kid is a bully…. Now what?

By | 2017-02-18T22:03:48+00:00 February 18th, 2017|Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Last month’s blog post focused on helping your child weather the social and emotional tolls of being bullied. This month’s focus is on kids who engage in bullying others. The big question involves why kids bully. It’s easy for kids of all types to get caught up in bullying. Nice kids bully. Intelligent kids bully. Kids who have been bullied sometimes bully others. Kids who bully others are often searching for affirmation in the form of power, dominance and control- all things children tend to lack just by nature of being a kid. When kids bully others, it can also [...]