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

By |2016-10-31T01:23:03+00:00February 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 |2016-10-31T01:23:03+00:00January 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 [...]

Emotional eating: Get your cravings in check today

By |2016-10-31T01:23:04+00:00November 18th, 2013|Adults, Teens|

The holiday season is right around the corner. While the holidays are a joyful time for most, holidays can be extremely stressful. Stressful events often lead to unhealthy ways of coping, such as emotional eating. Emotional eating is eating as a method of soothing or coping with negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger, boredom, loneliness, and depression. Emotional eating can be triggered by small daily stressors (work drama, a poor night's sleep, minor illness), as well as major life changes (unemployment, financial concerns, divorce, death). While we're all subject to emotional eating from time to time (who doesn't love comfort food!), emotional [...]

10 simple ways to boost your kiddo’s self-esteem

By |2016-10-31T01:23:04+00:00November 11th, 2013|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Self-esteem is defined as one’s perception of oneself. Healthy self-esteem is crucial in life. Why? Because it dictates how we relate to others, achieve at school, and perform on the job. As a parent, you strive to raise your child as an individual who believes he is capable, resourceful, and deserving of love. Lack of healthy self-esteem often leads to behavioral issues and mental health concerns, so here are 10 simple ways to boost your kiddo’s self-esteem every day: 1. PROVIDE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Let your kiddo know you'll love him no matter what. This doesn't mean you have to condone [...]

Today’s Tweens: Too sexy too fast

By |2016-10-31T01:23:04+00:00November 4th, 2013|Adults, Teens|

Kids these days seem to be growing up faster than ever. I've seen kindergarteners with iPhones and 10-year-old girls donning lipstick and eyeshadow in fourth grade classrooms. While today's youth may look mature, that doesn't necessarily mean they know how to act like young adults. Often times, children's brains are ill-equipped to handle the grown-up situations that com along with wearing skimpy "fashionable" apparel or having internet access 24-7. Tween girls are a population of particular concern, as scantily clad pop stars and provocative tween idols can pretty much wreck havoc on the fragile self-images of young girls. The topic is [...]

“You’re weird, Luisa!” Bullying prevention 101

By |2016-10-31T01:23:04+00:00October 21st, 2013|Adults, Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Earlier this month, I attended a play therapy conference for psychology geeks. Now that I'm an adult, I'm ok with being called a geek, and I don't mind it when people say to me, "Wow, Luisa, you're weird." But when I was growing up, it was a different story. Being called weird hurt my feelings and made me question my already-fragile sense of self. Each and every day, millions of kids suffer the effects of verbal bullying. We, as adults, can help prevent bullying by getting involved with our kids. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say and do, [...]

5 effortless tips for raising smart, successful children

By |2016-10-31T01:23:04+00:00October 14th, 2013|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

There are many different kinds of intelligence: book smarts, street smarts, and "emotional IQ," just to name a few. As a parent, you obviously want your kids to have it all. Luckily, character building begins at home, so you can start prepping your children to be savvy adults from an early age. Here are a few simple ways to bolster your children's positive attributes and lead them down the road to success: EXPAND THEIR COMFORT ZONES Encourage your children to do something they're slightly afraid of, whether it's climbing a tree or jumping off the high dive. This type of [...]

Three simple secrets for the perfect compliment

By |2016-10-31T01:23:05+00:00September 30th, 2013|Adults|

Receiving a genuine compliment feels pretty darn good. Not the off-the-cuff, "Your hair looks great today," but a compliment that truly warms your soul and makes you grin from ear to ear. Giving a stellar compliment feels just about as good as receiving one. Not to mention, giving a quality compliment can do wonders for your relationship with your spouse, child, or co-worker. That's because people are attracted to others who make them feel good about themselves. Compliments, when done right, can change a person's life for the better. Here are a few easy tips on how to give a [...]

Part 2: Three Reasons to Stop Spanking Kids

By |2016-10-31T01:23:08+00:00September 23rd, 2013|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9)|

This post is written in an effort to clarify some of the questions and concerns raised in my recent blog featured on Mamapedia titled Three Reasons to Stop Spanking Kids. Below are a few of the more common, constructive misconceptions: 1. NO SPANKING DOES NOT EQUAL NO DISCIPLINE. When I suggested not spanking your children, I did not mean to imply you should simply let them run amuck and turn into "spoiled brats." Children most certainly thrive in structured environments where there are clear expectations, rules, and consequences. Spanking is a form of punishment, and there are many alternatives to spanking [...]

Keep your head above water and don’t drown: How to talk to your kids about our nation’s recent disasters

By |2016-10-31T01:23:08+00:00September 16th, 2013|Adults, Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

It's been a rough few days. First came the anniversary of 9/11. Then the Jersey boardwalk fire on 9/13. Over the weekend, the Colorado floods raged. And this morning, I awoke to the news about the Navy Yard shooting. Not that watching the news has ever really lifted my spirits, but the past few days have been pretty overwhelming and chalk-full of disaster and tragedy. I live in Denver so naturally all of the local news channels have been broadcasting nonstop about the floods. Last Thursday, when the flooding began, newscasters were quick to give out safety advice to all those possibly affected. [...]