Children (ages 0-5)

Kids and allowances: To give or not to give?

By | 2018-06-26T20:41:21+00:00 June 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+00:00 May 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+00:00 April 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 [...]

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+00:00 February 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. [...]

Win the holidays with cheer: 5 simple tips for a stress-free holiday season

By | 2017-11-25T22:50:41+00:00 November 25th, 2017|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 [...]

4 simple tips for raising grateful kids

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

Go to Sleep Already! 9 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep Fast

By | 2017-11-10T23:23:45+00:00 November 10th, 2017|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- [...]

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

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

It’s Okay For My Child to Fail

By | 2017-10-23T21:33:50+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

  It's Okay For My Child to Fail Failure is hard to accept. I’ve failed...a lot. And I will let my daughter fail as well. Okay, Giada is only 4 months old, so her failures are minimal at this point. Regardless of her age, my wife and I have a pact that Giada will be doing a lot of self-learning, playing alone, and failing. It’s very difficult to let our children fail in any aspect of life. But life’s failures help prepare our children for the realities of life as a self-sufficient adult. Life is not always easy. Life does [...]

Fun & Rewarding Way To Improve Your Child’s Behavior

By | 2017-10-17T16:19:41+00:00 October 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 [...]