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.

Nix the nagging with one simple trick

By |2019-07-02T22:13:10+00:00July 1st, 2019|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 [...]

Saying the right thing when your child is upset

By |2019-05-28T22:01:17+00:00May 24th, 2019|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 [...]

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

By |2019-04-23T19:50:51+00:00April 22nd, 2019|Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Spring break is over but there’s still a month or more 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. Before you know it, you’re scrambling to get your kiddo to complete late work and finish projects before the last bell. This year, be proactive and stay on top of homework with these easy tips:   Structure It Up Structure is super important for kiddos, [...]

The punishment pitfall: Why punishing your child is bound to backfire

By |2019-03-26T20:32:52+00:00March 26th, 2019|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

Kids do some horrendous stuff. Flushing your wedding ring down the toilet, emptying the ENTIRE surplus size container of baby powder onto the new carpet, sneaking into the pantry and eating the whole, previously unopened bag of Pirate’s Booty…. the list is endless. It’s every parent’s first instinct to lay the punishment on thick when something like this happens. However, contrary to popular belief, punishing your child will not stop the bad behavior. Punishment pitfalls go a little something like this: Your daughter hits her younger brother for taking her crayons. You punish your daughter for hitting by yelling, threatening, [...]

Getting it right this year: Failsafe tips for disciplining your kids

By |2019-01-11T21:09:33+00:00January 11th, 2019|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Parenting is undeniable a difficult job. As a child psychologist, one of the main issues I work on with families involves conflict between parents and their children regarding punishments. Kids and teens believe their parents’ punishments are antiquated or too extreme, while parents claim their kids are disrespectful and don’t follow the rules- regardless of the punishments they impose. The primary issue involved in this conflict is the distinction between discipline and punishment. Often times, people believe punishment and discipline are one in the same; however, there are important differences between the two terms. Discipline teaches a child about life [...]

Win the holidays with cheer: 5 simple tips for a stress-free holiday season

By |2018-11-27T20:46:40+00:00November 27th, 2018|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

The holiday season is here. Wahoo! Or is bah-humbug? Although the holiday season brings excitement and cheer for many parents, the added stress of prepping for the holidays can be extremely overwhelming. It's easy to lose your holiday spirit, but with a little planning and focus, you can be jumping up and down with excitement alongside your kiddos. Here are 5 simple tips to minimize your stress this holiday season: 1. Start early and plan. Squeezing in an extra errand a few days a week is less stressful and more realistic than completing all holiday prep a day or two before the [...]

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

By |2018-10-23T22:17:22+00:00October 22nd, 2018|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- [...]

Foolproof tips for tantrums and meltdowns

By |2018-09-21T21:42:47+00:00September 21st, 2018|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

The whining. The crying. The flop to the floor. The screaming and kicking. When my kiddo has a meltdown, I want it to stop ASAP. Here are my foolproof tips for avoiding tantrum behavior and making it stop quickly. Hang these on your fridge. Even though I wrote them, they're posted on my fridge. No one can remember everything in the heat of the moment. Good luck and let me know what you think:   BEFORE THE TANTRUM Connection Having a positive connection with your child is extremely important for healthy attachment. It's also critical to healthy human development and [...]

3 tips for guaranteed back-to-school success

By |2018-07-21T17:11:55+00:00July 21st, 2018|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 [...]

Kids and allowances: To give or not to give?

By |2018-06-26T20:41:21+00:00June 25th, 2018|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Many parents struggle with decisions about how, when, and if to give their children allowances. While there is really no one correct answer to each of these questions, there are some great opinions and research on this topic. As a child psychologist, I support giving children an allowance; it can be a valuable parenting tool if done effectively. Below I explain my reasoning for allowance giving and provide answers to some of the common questions parents often ask me: What's the purpose of giving an allowance? Allowances provide children with valuable educational tools. If your children have access to their "own" [...]