Adults

5 simple tips for easy-peasy holiday travel

By | December 11th, 2016|Adults, Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Holiday travel can often be a total disaster. Flight delays, horrendous traffic, and nasty wintertime flu can leave you feeling worse than Mr. Scrooge. Add traveling with kids into the mix and your patience, poise, and rule to "never yell in public" is sure to be tested. However, holiday travel doesn't have to involve bah humbugs and emotional meltdowns. With a little extra planning and a few quick mental tricks, your holiday travel can be easy-peasy.  Check out these simple tips for navigating holiday travel successfully: 1. PREPARE FOR THE WORST Expect a few glitches in your travel plans. That way [...]

Boogers, Bubbles, and Zits … Therapy with Kids is Great

By | August 22nd, 2016|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

I love kids. I think they're incredibly unique and insightful. Just when I think I know what I'm doing, a kid puts me in my place ... and I'm immediately humbled all over again. And kids are absolutely hilarious. The other day I was thinking about the reasons I love working with kids, and I decided to compile a list to share with you all. So here it is (in no particular order): Kids have no judgments. Kids are not afraid to tell it like it is. One time I was testing a 7-year-old boy and he told me he couldn't [...]

On becoming a grandparent: The unexpected joys of the “golden years”

By | May 4th, 2016|Adults|

In honor of Mother's Day, this month's blog features a special guest writer, Darlene Martin. Darlene is an accomplished mother of three and grandmother of five. Her writings offer a personal view on the subject of grandparenting and just how she's become an expert: On becoming a grandparent: The unexpected joys of the "golden years" By: Darlene Martin I remember being a sleepless young parent back in the 1980s, rocking my babies in the middle of the night, dreaming of what it would be like as they grew. At that time, my mind often skipped along the milestones that were [...]

Toying with guns: Is play with toy guns okay?

By | October 18th, 2015|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

Back in the day, no one batted an eye at children running around playing cops and robbers with toy pistols. But in today's day and age, toy gunplay isn't viewed so innocently; now we’re busy searching for answers to the multitude of recent school shootings and other tragedies involving gun violence in our nation. Today parents are more cautious than ever when it comes to allowing children to play with toy guns. A study published in Pediatrics found that of 830 parents surveyed, 67% believed it was never "ok for a child to play with toy guns" and 66% reported never allowing their [...]

Get your worry in check with this one simple trick

By | August 30th, 2015|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 anyone who worries knows, this is easier said than done. In fact, when people told me to relax, I felt even more anxious and angry… because I believed my worry was invalid and that the way I was feeling was somehow incorrect. [...]

How to make the perfect excuse with these 3 simple tips

By | May 9th, 2015|Adults|

Making excuses: we all do it. Why? Because it makes us feel better, right? If you can justify why you forgot to pick up dinner... why you didn't meet that deadline at work... or why you made that nasty comment to your spouse in front of the kids, the crime seems a little less deadly. Excuses get us off the hook, deflect responsibility, and make us feel less guilty about our wrongdoings. But the problem is, excuses can also make us appear careless, self-centered, and unreliable. Excuses can work in everyone's favor... if delivered effectively. Here are 3 tips to keep [...]

What to say (and what to avoid saying) when a friend is suffering

By | January 11th, 2015|Adults, Teens|

Early last week I received some harrowing news. An old friend of mine lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. He was young. He was healthy. And they had a family. I grappled with how to respond. What do I do? What should I say? How should I say it? It took me awhile to wrap my head around the situation and get my own emotions in check. When I did, I wrote a message and later in the week, I sent a card. As I carefully chose my words, I reflected on my training as a psychologist in coping with [...]

No, I will NOT take a deep breath!

By | April 20th, 2014|Adults, Teens|

Ever have a situation that really makes you fume? I'm talking about the kind of thing that makes you go from irritated to furious in .25 seconds? When you feel as though you could literally start having a 2-year-old tantrum while clenching your fists and screaming at the top of your lungs out of pure frustration? If you've never felt this way, I applaud you, and would really like to know how you pull off that inner calm. I may be a psychologist, but that doesn't mean I've mastered emotional control 100 percent of each and every day. In fact, [...]

Enough already! Get rid of whining today… once and for all

By | February 16th, 2014|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

Whining. It makes you want to cringe. Or scream. Or put your hands over your ears. Like a high-pitched, constant drilling or a broken fire alarm that just won't quit, a child's whine makes you want to run for the hills. Children whine for a variety of reasons; they could be hungry, tired, too hot, too cold, lacking attention, or most commonly, they want something. Whining, from a child's point of view, is actually very effective. Why? Because it usually works. Take this scenario: Lucas (child): “Mommy, mommy! Can I have a cookie?” Mom:  “Wait just a little bit honey, [...]

Let your children lose; their mental health depends on it

By | January 18th, 2014|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

Have you ever fudged the rules of Candy Land, just so your kiddo wouldn't lose? Or perhaps you've intentionally slowed down when racing your child across the backyard, just to see her cross the finish line first? As a parent, seeing your child experience the joy of winning is priceless. And protecting her from losing shields her from experiencing the sadness, anger, and disappointment that come with defeat.  However, learning how to lose with grace is healthy for children. It's a lifelong skill necessary for developing empathy and self-control. If your child never learns to lose, she'll fail to develop [...]