Month

March 2016

Verbal beatings hurt as much as sexual abuse

Sticks and stones may break my bones, But names will never hurt me. … That often repeated children’s rhyme is wrong, according to Harvard University psychiatrists. Scolding, swearing, yelling, blaming, insulting, threatening, ridiculing, demeaning, and criticizing can be as harmful as physical abuse, sexual abuse outside the home, or witnessing physical abuse at home, notes a report in the April issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

What’s the Hardest Stage of Parenting?

At every age, children present parenting challenges. With infants, parents have to cope with physical exhaustion from sleep deprivation and the non-stop cycle of feeding, burping, cleaning, and comforting a fussy baby. During the toddler years, parent...

7 Ways to Get Kids to Leave a Place They Don’t Want to Leave

It's great fun to take young kids to fun places such as the pool, the park, the children’s museum, or a whole gym full of bouncy houses. But what about when they don’t want to leave? We don’t want to raise our voices after we’ve just had the time of our lives. We don’t want to end on a bad note. However, when kids are having a truly great time, the transition away from an activity can be a real challenge. Here are 7 ideas to help make the endings of a fun time just as sweet as the beginnings. ...

15 Everyday Ways to Help Kids Believe in Themselves

When young people believe in themselves, you can hear self-belief in the words they speak and see it through their body language. Nonverbal cues like a "thumbs up" means "I've got this covered. I can handle this." This sense of confidence and motivati...

When Dad Struggles After the Baby Arrives

After the birth of my third daughter, people repeatedly asked me how things were going. "Good," I'd say. "We're getting by." This was the official statement, what I posted on social media, and the line I fed my friends. But in reality, I was a complet...

The Mental Health of Dads Matters

By Charles Schaeffer, PhD In the last few years, we have taken a big leap in understanding and supporting maternal mental health and family well-being. But when it comes to supporting new fathers, we remain in the Dark Ages. Support for the changes an...

What Makes for Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce?

The following principles are offered in the spirit that parents have the strengths, capacities and abilities to help children through the difficult transitions attendant to divorce, and will be able do the best for their children with concrete, practical support. It is the responsibility of service providers and support networks to support parents in their quest to address their children’s needs during and after divorce. What we expect of others, they endeavor to provide: if we expect divorcing parents to be responsible and act in their children’s best interests, and provide the supports to enable them to do so, they ...

10 Ways To Stop The Homework Wars

When it comes to homework, parents get burnt out hearing these hollow and suspicious words: "I did it at school," "They didn't give homework today," "It hardly counts for my grade," "My teacher never looks at my homework anyway," "That assignment was ...

How Does Your Parenting Style Affect Your Kids?

Parenting style has a big impact on how children develop into adults, and there are important implications for their future success. Here are the four main parenting styles and their implications for rearing successful children and leaders. Parenting ...

3 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Kids Bully Them

Just then, your child begins to whine and carry on. He wants a slice of chocolate cake before dinner. You tell him no. "You promised!" he demands. "You said I could have it when you got home." You tell him to wait until after dinner. He stands in fron...

Should We Hide Our Feelings from Our Kids?

The other night, while driving with my 8-year-old daughter, I explained to her that I was having a particularly overwhelming day, and that the song we were listening to was making me sad. "If you want to cry while we drive," she said, "I won't feel in...

Why Parents Need Emotional Intelligence

Having just read Lisa Firestone's "Why We Need to Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence"I'm moved to underscore one of her ideas (link). That idea is that when we"emotionally mess up" around our children we don't ignore it or pretend it never happened...b...

Spoiled? Not My Kid

Some professionals argue there's no such thing as a spoiled child. I beg to differ. A child whines for gum in the supermarket aisle and Mom takes down a packet from the rack to avoid a tantrum or "scene." Your teenage son "must have" the electronic gizmo his friend just got and your preteen daughter claims she's not too young to go to a concert with her friends without adult supervision. Never mind the cost of the tickets; the band is the hottest or so say the messages your daughter receives from Internet advertising, TV commercials, and on her cell ...

Equal Parenting and the Quality of Parent-Child Attachments

Although the term, "shared parenting" is usually used to describe arrangements where parents share child care responsibilities following divorce as much as possible, the notion of "equal parenting" refers to parenting arrangements after divorce where ...

Sibling Abuse and Bullying, Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, I laid out some alarming statistics about how common aggression between siblings is. When that aggression is severe, it can cross the line to become bullying. In this part, we'll take a look at some practical ways that parents ...

How to Tell If Your Child Has Oppositional Defiant Disorder

All kids display defiant behavior from time to time, but it's possible that your child has a condition called oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Don't be intimidated by the term ODD, which may sound ominous and clinical to parents. ODD symptoms incl...

Counseling Can Improve Family’s Physical Activity & Diet

A recent Finnish study showed that individualized and family-based lifestyle counseling helps young children increase their physical activity levels and improve their diet. In the study, researchers found the counseling helped 6-8-year-old children in...

How to Take Charge When Your Child Gets Bossy

"Only mom can put me to bed!" "Only dad can make my sandwich!" "I am not eating that for dinner!" What is more outrageous than kids making these demands? That parents follow them. Don't worry. I've been one of them. We have all had that aha moment when we find ourselves searching in the closet for an elusive shin guard while our child taps their feet impatiently, like an imperious supervisor, disappointed in our performance. Aren't we the ones who are supposed to be in charge?

The Difficulties of Disciplining a Child with ADHD

This topic has been on my mind for several weeks now. Disciplining a child who has ADHD is no easy feat, and it’s one I’ve seen my sister struggle with for over five years. Her son has ADHD. I remember a couple of years ago when my sister brought her kids to visit one time. Her son and my daughter are almost the exact same age so when they started to fight with each other, I thought they could be disciplined the same.

Does My Child Have an Eating Disorder?

Whether your child is 11 years-old or 17 years-old, watching as she sits at the dinner table and refuses to eat what used to be her favorite foods, hearing him throwing up in the bathroom after meals, witnessing as he or she transforms from a robust thriving young person into an increasingly empty shell … these are some of the scariest things that can happen for a parent. The dread. The fear. The panic. Oh no, it’s happening. I think my child might have an eating disorder.

Help Your Child or Teenager Move Toward Happy Productivity

Confidence and happy productivity are built on competence, on grappling with the challenges that lead to expertise. If your child or teenager can’t seem to connect with any enthusiasms or interests, and doesn’t engage in challenging learning opportunities at school or elsewhere, you may want to consider helping them with a productivity make-over.

Kids Expect Parents to Follow Technology Rules Too

Children often do not realize the challenges parents may face when setting household rules on technology use. Issues surrounding fairness and equity are difficult for non-digitally native parents and kids to see eye-to-eye on. In an attempt to bridge ...

Adolescent Lying: What it costs and what to do.

When their child enters adolescence and begins acting more evasively to get more room to grow, parents may begin to wonder: "Whatever happened to the truth?" Not that their little girl or boy was always honest, but their teenager seems more prone to l...

Adolescent Lying: What it costs and what to do.

When their child enters adolescence and begins acting more evasively to get more room to grow, parents may begin to wonder: "Whatever happened to the truth?" Not that their little girl or boy was always honest, but their teenager seems more prone to l...

7 Consequences of Having an Emotionally Detached Parent

Do you know an emotionally avoidant and detached parent/guardian? If so, what makes that person so emotionally unavailable? Is it a mental illness, personality disorder, or something else such as a job, career goal, or educational endeavor? Whatever i...

3 Ways to Put Joy Back into Little Kids’ Chores

The word has a terrible connotation. Chores are often thought of as tiring and tedious. They are seen as the duties one must complete before doing something that's actually fun, relaxing on the couch, or getting privileges or an allowance. It's not th...

3 Ways to Put Joy Back into Little Kids’ Chores

The word has a terrible connotation. Chores are often thought of as tiring and tedious. They are seen as the duties one must complete before doing something that's actually fun, relaxing on the couch, or getting privileges or an allowance. It's not th...

20 Reasons Why Your Teens Get Mad at You

Just when you think your teens are happy with you they start rolling their eyes and serving up a dose of unexpected anger. We can all relate to this,right? Well, as a clinical psychologist who has been working with teens for over 2 decades, as a mothe...

20 Reasons Why Your Teens Get Mad at You

Just when you think your teens are happy with you they start rolling their eyes and serving up a dose of unexpected anger. We can all relate to this,right? Well, as a clinical psychologist who has been working with teens for over 2 decades, as a mothe...

Moody Teen? Three Strategies That Help

Although adolescents do change mood much more rapidly than younger children or adults, it is unlikely to be due to hormones.  Yes, their hormones are changing.  Yes, that has an indirect effect on their mood (see below).  But they are not HIGHER than adult hormone levels, they are lower than they will be during young adulthood. And although hormones do have a diurnal rhythem, they peak at 3AM, on average.  Hormones are not what makes them grumpy mid-afternoon.

Do Today’s Parents Give Kids Too Much Say, or Not Enough?

As parents, we tell our children what to do. It is our job to set limits and boundaries, and teach them how to behave and be respectful. I would imagine I bark orders at my kids at least 20 times a day. Be nice to your sister." "Get dressed." "Sit up....

Do Today’s Parents Give Kids Too Much Say, or Not Enough?

As parents, we tell our children what to do. It is our job to set limits and boundaries, and teach them how to behave and be respectful. I would imagine I bark orders at my kids at least 20 times a day. Be nice to your sister." "Get dressed." "Sit up....

7 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Child’s Education

By Estelle Erasmus I’m in the process of doing some at-home-ad hoc empirical studies with my daughter, which I will report back to you in a later column. In the meantime, I asked a few savvy women what is the most educational thing they did for their children, and found that the research supports the best choices we can make for our kids. Reading is Fundamental: "The one most educational thing I do with my boys is make reading a way of life, says Tiffany.

7 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Child’s Education

By Estelle Erasmus I’m in the process of doing some at-home-ad hoc empirical studies with my daughter, which I will report back to you in a later column. In the meantime, I asked a few savvy women what is the most educational thing they did for their children, and found that the research supports the best choices we can make for our kids. Reading is Fundamental: "The one most educational thing I do with my boys is make reading a way of life, says Tiffany.

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