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. [...]

Finding the Ugly Beautiful: Why this New Year’s Resolution is Worth Committing to

By |2017-12-31T23:18:54+00:00December 31st, 2017|Adults|

I typically think New Year’s resolutions are overrated. Likely because when I make them, I usually don’t stick with them. But 2017 was different. On January 1, 2017, I made a New Year’s resolution and I stuck with it all year(for the most part). Making this resolution all started after I’d experienced some particularly negative life events. Due to these events, I realized my thoughts and perceptions were becoming more and more ugly. I was constantly falling into what we term in psychology as “cognitive pitfalls”. For example, I’d catastrophize a situation. If I ran into traffic on the way [...]

4 simple tips for raising grateful kids

By |2017-11-14T23:11:26+00:00November 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 [...]

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

By |2017-11-03T18:15:44+00:00November 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 [...]

You’re procrastinating. Here’s how to stop and start being productive.

By |2017-10-19T18:49:16+00:00October 19th, 2017|Adults, Teens|

You’re procrastinating. Here’s how to stop and start being productive. I think my wife is telling me something... she just emailed me a research article on procrastination. Really, it’s a an appropriate share, as I’m a recovering master procrastinator. Despite implementing some tactics to cope with my habit, I still struggle with procrastination. I struggle most when it comes to projects or deliverables that lack a timetable or deadline. The kicker is that I’m an entrepreneur and small business owner, which means I often set my own timetables and deadlines. Without urgency, the great modern procrastination machines attack...internet browsing, email, [...]

Fun & Rewarding Way To Improve Your Child’s Behavior

By |2017-10-17T16:19:41+00:00October 16th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Fun & Rewarding Way to Improve Your Child’s Behavior As a parent, behavior challenges are never easy to deal with. From not doing chores to acting out in public, changing bad behavior is tough. Dr. Luisa is the absolute best at changing kids’ behaviors! (okay, I’m biased, I’m her husband) One of the most successful methods she implements with her families is the Token Economy. This is when a child is given the opportunity to earn tokens when they execute specific desired behaviors. As your child earns tokens they redeem them for rewards. It’s a win-win for all involved. Check [...]

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

By |2017-09-23T23:29:12+00:00September 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 [...]

Say the right thing when your child is upset

By |2017-07-13T15:43:37+00:00July 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+00:00June 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+00:00May 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 [...]