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CHILDREN

Helping Kids Overcome Their OCD Fears – Some DOs and DON’Ts

10.13.14

Any parent who witnesses their children’s excruciating fear will instinctively react to protect, help, and comfort them.  That is the expected and the right thing to do.  However, when children experience fear due to OCD and anxiety, parents can learn the right skills. They can intervene in a positive way to help their children overcome their challenges and avoid overprotecting them. Grug Crood from the film The Croods comes to mind.  Grug was an overprotective father and his favorite words were: “Never not be afraid!”  His number one goal was to keep his family free from danger.  Of course that advice proved to be ineffective.  His belief was that other families had been destroyed because they had not been afraid enough!  It turned out tha

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCD

8.21.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Roger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination fears. His parents were on edge and wanted to be ready. Parents whose children struggle with OCD wish for them to succeed academically, but when OCD gets in the way, they feel lost and helpless. They may not be sure if the school needs to be aware of the issue. Parents may fear that telling the teacher will single their child out and exacerbate the situation. Deciding when to talk to school staff. There are various types of OCD and severity will

Parenting “Supplies” That Last Forever!

8.14.14

[View original article published in Parenting.answers.com  here] Whether excited or unsure as to how the year will turn out, parents also need back-to-school “supplies.” This list will help every parent stay on the right track. Every year as summer winds down, most parents and children are ready for the new school year to start. Some parents may also be apprehensive if there were struggles and challenges with their children the year before. Whether excited or unsure as to how the year will turn out, parents also need back-to-school “supplies.” This list will help every parent stay on the right track. 1. MIRROR – Reflective listening and Validation. When children are happy, parents acknowledge their childre

What Can Parents Do When OCD Sneaks In?

7.8.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Megan felt miserable. She and her family had relocated in the middle of the school year to another city. She was missing her friends and changes were difficult for her. It seemed the problems began one morning when she was getting ready for school. While washing her hair, she thought she had swallowed some of the shampoo. She wondered if it was toxic. She worried she’d get sick and die. She rinsed her mouth incessantly until she felt safe. “Is it poisonous?” she would ask her mom, every day before taking a shower. Her mom would reassure her that it was harmless. But Megan wasn’t satisfied with the answer. She couldn’t take a chance and took safety measures each time. Soon, her worries

Tim Howard, Soccer, and Tourette Syndrome

7.4.14

Tim Howard has been the talk of the town in the past few days.  His amazing talent defending the US goal against Belgium has earned him that honor.  Even though, the US lost, it was an exhilarating game and Howard showed his athletic abilities.  Even if you are not a soccer fan, you can be inspired by his story. He is a great goal keeper and also has not let Tourette Syndrome get in the way of his passion, goals, and vision in life. What is Tourette Syndrome? This is a neurobehavioral disorder that involves repetitive, stereotypical, and involuntary motor and vocal tics.  The tics may occur many times a day every day or intermittently throughout a period of more than a year.  The onset is before age 18.  It is a disorder with symptoms that

Teaching Children to Do Hard Things

6.16.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] A child and his grandfather are at the playground. There is a high teepee set up with ropes and it looks challenging for the 3-year-old boy. His grandfather invites him to climb it. As he takes the first step toward the top, he hesitates and feels scared. His grandfather encourages him and tells him, “Sam, I know this is hard, but you can do hard things!” The young boy answers, “No! My daddy says I can only do easy things!” His grandfather smiles because he knows his son would never say that. He then encourages the young boy to climb the ropes one step at a time. When he gets to the top, his grandfather says to him, “See, Sam, you can do hard things!” Sam exclaims, “I can do hard thin

Unlocking the castle doors: Raise happy teens through trusting guidance

4.11.14

[View original article published in the Daily Herald here] “There are two lasting bequests that we can give our children. One is roots, the other is wings.” Hodding Carter, Jr. All parents remember the emotions experienced when their first child was born. Besides boundless joy we also experienced an overwhelming sense of responsibility.  We realized we needed to make adjustments. For instance, when a young friend became a father for the first time, he and his wife were worried about leaving the hospital with their little girl. The hospital was about 15 minutes away from their house if they traveled on the highway. They chose to go the slower — but safer — route through the city streets out of concern for their little

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

4.1.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Four-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he was seven, the demands on himself and others were still troubling him and his family. His parents were frustrated. Are your children inflexible? Do they set high standards that overwhelm them? Do they complain of not having friends and feeling isolated? Do they procrastinate often? Do they go from one extreme to the other with certain behaviors, such as being studious and responsible academically to not caring at all? Do they beat themselves up and feel like a failure whe

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

3.28.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but something was amiss. As we talked, I discovered that his perfectionism was getting in the way. He was feeling depressed and exhausted. He couldn’t keep up with the demands he had set for himself. He said, “My teachers think I’m gifted. They have no idea how much time I spend on each of my assignments. Now, I have to keep up with those expectations. I don’t think I can do this anymore!” Sometimes parents are unable to recognize the signs and later lament themselves. They wish they had noticed t

A 3-piece puzzle to fostering life skills

3.6.14

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here] If you were to compile a list of life skills you believe your children need to succeed in their lives, what would they be? Vision, confidence and heart are three life skills that work together like pieces of a puzzle. You may want to add them to your list and make them part of your family culture. Vision “Dream it, believe it, achieve it.” We have all heard this quote. Here is a story of a young man who made this quote a reality:  Anthony Robles was born with one leg. None of the doctors could explain why. Growing up, his mother taught him that “God made you this way for a reason,” and she made him believe it. In junior high he joined the wrestling team at his sc

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