Children (ages 0-5)

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

By | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 [...]

Kids and allowances: To give or not to give?

By | February 27th, 2016|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" [...]

I’m sorry for my ADHD, Mom; Let’s have a better life

By | January 24th, 2016|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

I think we sometimes forget that kids who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) don't chose the problems they have. Whether it's talking too much, bouncing off the walls, or having the attention span of a gnat, kids with ADHD often truly cannot control their behavior. They are many times labeled as annoying, socially immature, self-centered, out-of-control, and rude. While these labels certainly do describe typical ADHD behaviors, they certainly don't help us to understand and intervene with kids who struggle with ADHD. In my work as a child psychologist, I help several kids and families with ADHD. The ways in which [...]

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

By | November 22nd, 2015|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 [...]

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 [...]

Say the right thing when your child is upset

By | September 21st, 2015|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 [...]