Parents teach children to notice and respond to hunger, cold, and a full bladder. We cheer as they connect the dots to master the skill of walking, climbing stairs, and riding a bicycle. However, achieving these milestones requires noticing and attending to information inside the body and the outside environment to act effectively. These actions… Read more »Learn More
Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
Blogs by Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
When we focus on our kids’ learning process over their final product, we can take steps to help them overcome hurdles. In our daily lives, there is a premium on product or getting things done. Whether it is chores, homework, or getting to places on time, executing tasks is highly prized. In the immediate, there… Read more »Learn More
For parents, there is a better way to handle your own anger before you act. Many moments in parenting prompt us to move into action. We act urgently when there is clear danger: a child running into the street or one child hitting another. However, we often come to regret reactions motivated by an urge… Read more »Learn More
Many parents struggle with repeated conflicts with their kids. One moment may be about getting homework done, and the next may be about picking up clothes off the floor or getting off the computer. While the subject changes, the struggles are the same. Simply put, the topic has changed, but the process repeats. Your child… Read more »Learn More
As parents, we have many goals for our child. Overall, these goals are about managing the challenges in their lives, so they can ultimately be happy and successful. These can sound like: “I want him to turn in his homework.” I want her to clean up her room.” “I want her to have friends.” “I want him… Read more »Learn More
I often hear aggravation from parents about their child’s “disrespect,” “rudeness,” or “cussing” when describing challenges at home. They retell stories of conflicts over technology, homework, or limits, and as their child becomes upset, the “unacceptable” behavior emerges. At the point when the interaction shifts from conversation to argument, parents often get heated and escalate… Read more »Learn More
While it is true life has been disrupted, how do we make sense of it for our kids? Their routines are changed; relationships are now managed with social distancing and pods. We told them tech has its place and now it is where they are getting their schooling. Social unrest is challenging the questions of… Read more »Learn More
Long ago when my daughter was young, we noticed moments when her personality seemed to shift on a dime. She would flip from cooperative to irritable at a speed that left us bewildered. As we tried to make sense of it we became aware that this was occurring between meals and often when we went… Read more »Learn More
In the time of COVID-19, life has changed. Many of us feel simultaneously overwhelmed and bored. I commonly hear how tired folks are when in fact, their lives are being lived in a smaller footprint. Time drags on and melts away as days all blend together, going fast and slow at the same time. It… Read more »Learn More
In the past, staying at home was a privilege, a day off, a stay-cation or just an opportunity to relax. However, we are now in a truly strange time. It is mandatory that we stay home and it doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. Kids who have complained about getting up in… Read more »Learn More