Children (ages 0-5)

Kids and allowances: To give or not to give?

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:54+00:00 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 | 2016-10-31T01:22:57+00:00 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 | 2016-10-31T01:22:57+00:00 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 | 2016-10-31T01:22:57+00:00 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 [...]

The skinny on autism: The top 7 things you really need to know

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:58+00:00 April 11th, 2015|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Tweens (ages 10-12)|

Autism has been a hot topic for the past several years. Like any other topic in the spotlight of the media, there is a ton of information out there about autism- some of which is great (and when I say great, I mean valid) and some of which is not so great (Ahem... untrue). Because April is autism awareness month, I thought I'd write a brief post highlighting what I consider to be the most important facts about autism. So here goes: 1. ASD: The full name for autism is now Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In 2013 when the new [...]

The punishment pitfall: Why punishing your child is bound to backfire

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:58+00:00 February 8th, 2015|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, [...]

6 amazing gift ideas that won’t cost you a cent

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:59+00:00 December 20th, 2014|Children (ages 0-5), Children (ages 6-9), Teens, Tweens (ages 10-12)|

The holiday season can certainly be stressful. Party planning, cookie making, gift giving, traveling, dealing with financial guilt... and the list goes on. It's very easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and forget what the holidays are truly about- family, friends, gratitude, spreading good cheer, and the celebration of mankind. Teaching your children about the significance of gift giving is important, but sometimes it's hard to remember that it really is the thought that counts. We'd like to share a few gift options below that don't cost a cent because having a handy list of gifts that [...]

4 simple tips for raising grateful kids

By | 2016-10-31T01:22:59+00:00 November 23rd, 2014|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 [...]

A case of the grumpies or childhood depression: How to figure it out in just a few easy steps

By | 2016-10-31T01:23:03+00:00 March 15th, 2014|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. [...]

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

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