Tweens (ages 10-12)

It’s Okay For My Child to Fail

By |2018-08-31T21:46:59+00:00August 31st, 2018|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 14 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 [...]

Kids and allowances: To give or not to give?

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

3 things you should never say to your kids

By |2018-04-24T22:25:07+00:00April 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+00:00February 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. [...]

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

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

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 [...]

Say the right thing when your child is upset

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

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 [...]