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CHILDREN

How Can I Get My Children to Listen and Obey?

4.26.18

View original article published in Psych Central– When children misbehave and disobey, it can be difficult to stay calm, especially if the negative behavior has become routine. Parents can often feel agitated, stressed, and helpless. There can be so many reasons for a child’s disobedience. Both the parent and child may feel stuck, as if on an uphill treadmill and unable to get off. The parent-child relationship also suffers and a void is created. Parents may yearn for the good old days when their children behaved nicely and there was peace in the home. Other parents may say, “We don’t even know what that’s like!” Being a parent is one of the most difficult roles humans experience in their lives. Despite the challenges, there is one activity

Learning to Live in the Moment

4.10.18

A six-year-old girl was at the park with her siblings. She had fun at the playground and then explored the park with her family. She noticed an old tree trunk by a pond and sat on it. When her siblings went back to the playground, she chose to stay there to enjoy her surroundings. She commented on the snow-capped mountains, the pine trees, the grass, the seemingly dead bushes, the ducks quacking sounds, and the tadpoles swimming in the pond. After about 10 minutes, she was invited to join the rest of her family. She asked if she could stay a little longer. She sat at the same spot for 30 minutes noticing the world around her and literally soaking it all in. She instinctively connected with what was happening right then without any cares abo

How to Cope When the Anxious Child Has a Meltdown

1.22.18

View original article published in Psych Central– When our children exhibit disruptive behavior and appear to be out of control, we can feel helpless and sometimes hopeless. When we realize that their actions are no longer isolated events but have become part of a distressing routine, our mind may come up with myriad of solutions. When our children have anxiety and we know that this a contributing factor, our amazing problem-solving machine — the mind, might also say to us, “You are a terrible parent. It’s your fault.” This is a thought that our mind is providing to help us make sense of the situation. It is only trying to find a solution to match our distress and our child’s behavior. Those thoughts may match the situation, but it is not h

Give Your Kids the Best Christmas Ever—No Gifts Required by Siobhan Colgan – SPARTAN LIFE

12.24.17

Published at SPARTAN LIFE–  Blame Santa. Christmas is a time for giving, but you’d never know it listening in on one of Kringle’s conversations. For this reason, many kids see December 25 as a day to top up their toy box. And parents encourage it. Holiday sales account for 20 percent of all annual retail spending, with Americans generally shelling out over $600 billion on the festive season. That’s a problem, says Annabella Hagen, a psychotherapist and clinical director at Mindset Family Therapy in Provo, Utah—but not an insurmountable one. “In this era, it can be nearly impossible to create a family culture that does not include giving gifts to our children,” she says. “However, how it’s done makes all the difference.” Here’s your four-st

How to Help Anxious Kids Adapt to Change

11.15.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Nico loved having the same routine every day of the week. When his routine changed, he would get upset. His emotional meltdowns and rigidity were trying on him and his family. When changes occurred and he was tired, hungry or stressed, his ability to cope was absent. Nico’s parents began to notice that his behavior was also affecting his younger sister. She had begun to show rigidity and unwillingness to try new things as well. All parents do their best to help their children feel happy, learn about life, and cope with change. However, there are some children who may show less flexibility because of anxiety or other mental and emotional difficulties. Some children are not able to self-sooth

One Sure Way To Help Your Child Become Fearless

10.18.17

A dad takes his six-year-old daughter to play at a playground. The monkey bars have been a challenge for her. She had tried many times in the past, and on the second or third bar, she typically fell. This time, she tries to hang on, but her hands get slippery and on the 4th bar, she falls. She gets discouraged and decides to quit. At that very moment, her dad remembers an experience from a few weeks before. Tina was trying something that was difficult. She wasn’t able to do it, but she persisted with hard work and her dad praised her effort. They both decided to come up with an animal nickname for her that would represent physical and emotional strength –being fearless, so as to help her see herself in a different way. She became Tiger Tina

Just Right: OCD and Kids

10.10.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Landon was a bright intelligent child. He had excelled academically and also enjoyed sports. However, OCD appeared to be getting in the way of his life. There were times when he could not get out of bed because the thought of having to get dressed overwhelmed him. His socks needed to feel just right as well as his shirt and pants. He would repeat the behaviors until he felt just right about it. He seemed to be late to school every day. Things in his room had to be just so. He would be angry and become aggressive when he noticed someone had been in his room. New belongings were challenging as well. When his parents bought him new items such as a backpack, shoes, or clothes, he refused to use

What Can Help Children Reach Their Potential? –Answers from Researchers

8.25.17

The article published by Inc. is titled: “According to Science, This 1 Thing Predicts a Student’s Success More Than Any Other” If you didn’t read the article, the answer is “Grit.” What does it mean? Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania defines grit as: “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  Duckworth’s research shows that grit is more important than anything else, including talent. Her studies indicate that we all can do a

5 WAYS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE BRAVE by Siobhan Colgan - SPARTAN LIFE

8.1.17

Published at SPARTAN LIFE – Siobhan, a writer for Spartan reached out to me after reading Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave! She asked me to contribute to the following article. No parent wants their kids’ lives to be difficult. But we also know that part of our job is to prepare our kids for the hard knocks and tough breaks they’re sure to encounter. How do we set them up for success in today’s competitive world if they never learn to get up when they fall, to face misfortune and mess-ups with courage and resolve? We can’t. While helicopter parents won’t want to hear it, our kids can’t learn to be brave unless we’re willing to let them fall, and sometimes fall hard. Here are five ways to encourage your kids to become courageous and self-r

When Your Kid Is an Athlete and a Perfectionist

6.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central Joe loved playing soccer and if he had a choice, he would spend all his waking hours playing the sport. He was also a high achiever in other areas of his life. He was proud of the A’s he received in all his classes. He was multi-talented and his parents were pleased with his efforts. However, by the time he entered 10th grade, his parents noticed he had started to become highly critical of himself whenever his team lost. It was difficult for him to get over his own mistakes. He’d punish himself by increasing his practice time and avoid hanging out with his friends. One day, he told his dad that he would like to play soccer at a prestigious university in the future. His dad responded that that

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