Children (ages 0-5)

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

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

3 tips for guaranteed back-to-school success

By | 2017-08-19T22:22:23+00:00 August 19th, 2017|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 [...]

Say the right thing when your child is upset

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

Say No to Bullying: Simple Tips for Strong, Confident Kids

By | 2017-01-14T18:09:21+00:00 January 14th, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Bullying is a serious problem in our nation. According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, approximately one out of every four students (22%) is bullied each school year. What’s more is that 54% of kids who are bullied don’t report it. Bullying can take on many forms- verbal (name calling), physical (aggressive acts), and social-emotional (rumors, social exclusion). Bullying can occur in real life or it can be virtual in the form of cyberbullying. Parents have a natural protective instinct and want to do everything they can to prevent bullying… but if 54% of kids don’t admit to being bullied, [...]

3 things you should never say to your kids

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:54+00:00 October 30th, 2016|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 [...]

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

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:54+00:00 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 [...]

7 sure-fire ways to boost your kiddo’s self-esteem going into the school year

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:54+00:00 July 30th, 2016|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Healthy self-esteem development is essential for the success and well-being of every child. And summer is a perfect time to give your kiddo's self-esteem a powerful boost so he can hit the ground running when school starts this fall. Here are seven sure-fire habits to build into your daily repertoire with the kids this summer (note: I use male pronouns for reading ease throughout this blog post but advice can be applied to children of all genders): 1. PROVIDE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE A lot of parents think too much love or affection will make their children "soft." While you definitely don't [...]

Squash summer sibling rivalry today

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:54+00:00 June 24th, 2016|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

It's summer, it's hot, and the kids are bored. And when kids are bored, they squabble. Like chickens. About anything and everything... from whose turn it is to sit in the front seat of the car to who ate the last popsicle. If you're like the majority of parents, you're sick and tired of the senseless arguments. You may even be beyond yelling at this point, because nothing seems to quiet the masses that are your bickering children. Instead of giving up and pounding your head against a wall, hoping it'll drone out the constant conflict, give these strategies a [...]