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.

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" [...]

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

By |2018-05-29T17:05:21+00:00May 28th, 2018|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, [...]

3 things you should never say to your kids

By |2018-04-24T22:25:07+00:00April 24th, 2018|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

We all experience anger. Sometimes it’s directed at our co-workers, bosses, spouses, our friends, or even the family pet. Anger is a healthy emotion. It lets us know when we don’t like what’s happening, and that we want what’s happening to change or stop. A lot of times, our angry feelings escalate quickly, causing us to become overwhelmed with emotions and act without thinking rationally. This is not so healthy, as reacting impulsively out of anger often causes us to say or do things we later regret, such as pressing “send” on a flippant email response to the boss, driving [...]

Worrying: is it helpful or harmful? Figure it out with a few simple tricks:

By |2018-03-20T20:20:23+00:00March 19th, 2018|Adults|

I’m a worrier and I always have been. I’m not sure if it’s my genetics, being the oldest child in my family, or the way I was raised, but in any case, I’ve had worry lines on my forehead since I was ten years old. I remember my parents always saying to me “Luisa, just relax!” But as any chronic worrier knows, this is easier said than done. In fact, when people told me to relax, I felt even more anxious because I then believed that the way I was feeling was silly and inaccurate. Eventually, I went to therapy [...]

A case of the grumpies or childhood depression: How to figure it out in just a few easy steps

By |2018-03-20T16:35:32+00:00February 28th, 2018|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

People often think childhood depression is a myth. I mean, what could a kid possibly be depressed about? A lot, as it turns out... school difficulties, problems with friends, family conflict, health concerns; the list is endless. But the majority of kids experience at least some stress at one time or another, and not every child is depressed. So how does it happen? Good question. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of kids have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. However, depending on who you talk to, the causes of childhood depression are varied. [...]