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PARENTING

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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