Children (ages 0-5)

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+00:00February 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. [...]

4 simple tips for raising grateful kids

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

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

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

Fun & Rewarding Way To Improve Your Child’s Behavior

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

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

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

Nix the nagging with one simple trick

By |2017-06-18T14:37:40+00:00June 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+00:00May 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+00:00January 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, [...]

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

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