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PARENTING

Some Quick Parenting Lessons for the Duchess of Cambridge

8.29.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I imagine that even Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge in England’s monarchy) will experience her son, Prince George, throwing temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way or is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do. The prince, despite his royal heritage and training in comportment, might even be bossy with other children his age. Do you sometimes feel like you’ve tried everything, and aren’t sure if your child will ever attain self-control? Being a parent is challenging; when you have a strong-willed child it can be a source of serious stress and conflict. Here are some suggestions to help: Awareness. It’s been said that before you can change a behavior, you must first be

7 Ways to Help Your Anxious Child

8.27.13

When children are afraid about the unknown (new school, new grade, new house, etc), how do you handle it?  Do you reassure them and say, “it’ll be okay, don’t worry about it” or do you try to help them process their thoughts and feelings?  Our children need to know we understand how they feel.  Don’t try to fix the worry or dismiss it; instead, validate their feelings and empathize with them.  Here are additional ideas to help you with this process. 1.  Read: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to get your child thinking about caterpillars and butterflies. 2.   Invite your child to draw a caterpillar, a cocoon, and a butterfly. 3.  The other day I was helping one of my young clients with her fears.  I decided to use my caterpillar/butterfly puppe

My Top 10 Most Recommended Books

4.8.13

When my young clients’ parents and adult clients wish to go the extra mile, they ask for book recommendations.  Here is my list: Children’s Books: 1.      Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. This book has been one of my client’s favorites  Wemberly is a little mouse that worries about everything.  My client adults, teens and children smile as they read it because they can totally identify with Wemberly.  2.      My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. I use this book to introduce the topic of feelings.  Children know Dr. Seuss books and enjoy seeing the pictures of various animals illustrating different feelings.  This is a great book to emphasize it’s normal to have different feelings.  3.     I Love You

“Will I Ever See the End of My Rainbow?”

3.11.13

[See original article published here.] Mom said: “I’m struggling with my son. He teases his sister so much! He also yanks toys from his baby brother and runs away. The baby starts screaming and I tell Joseph to stop. The other day I told him: ‘I don’t want to see you do that again!’ Then I left the room. But I decided to stay behind the door and wait to see what he’d do. Sure enough, he pushed the baby down. I came in and told him, ‘Joseph, you need to stop hurting your little brother.’ He responded: ‘But mom, I didn’t see you!’” Mom reported her relationship with her son had suffered as she was constantly saying, “No Joseph, stop that! Don’t do that!” Besides doing play therapy with Joseph, I also spent time talking to his parents reviewi

When you love too much…

2.15.13

The Science Daily recently reported on a study conducted at the University of Mary Washington.  The research showed that children whose parents were overly involved in their lives when they were young were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and less satisfaction as they got older.  When children are micromanaged, they are unable to handle stressors because they feel less confident in their abilities. Make adjustments The study showed that many parents are unable to adapt their parenting styles.  They continue to hover over their children as if they were still young.  They are overly involved and this inhibits their children’s emotional and social development. College students in the study disclosed that even though their paren

Are You Feeling All ‘Stwessed’ Out?

11.18.12

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here.] Are you feeling all ‘stwessed’ out? The other day, a friend took her 3-year-old daughter to the playground. After getting a big push on the swing, her daughter giggled nervously and said, “That makes me stwessed out, Mommy.” My friend smiled and said to herself, “Oh, to have the problems of a 3-year-old.” This is a cute instance of a young child possibly imitating Mom’s words. It also is possible that this young child is already recognizing her body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response when something is not quite right. This young girl most likely felt a slight stomach ache as she swung, and she was able to verbalize how she

When Once Is Not Enough

8.28.12

[View original article published in Psych Central here] “Say good-night mommy, say good-night,” pleaded Johnny every night. It wasn’t as if he had not already read several books, been tucked in, and kissed good night. Johnny’s pleas continued every night. After the third or fourth nagging requests, she would get irritated and say, “I am done! This is the last one. Good night!” Johnny would cry and ask for more “good nights.” Mom didn’t know it at the time, but she was reinforcing Johnny’s need for reassurance. One “goodnight” was not enough, but neither were ten. Ritualized hand-washing or other grooming compulsions were absent. There didn’t seem to be any checking compulsions. If there had been, Johnny’s parents probably would have sough

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