Parenting

Helping Children Thrive: How I Spoke Up for One Little Girl

When I first met Rikki in the parking lot of a Motel 6, she effortlessly captured my heart. I had actually started to care about her even before that first meeting. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer preparing for my first case, I had read Rikki’s file. I knew she was 10, she… Read more »

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Why Your Child Curses

‘Poopy Butt’, ‘Jerk’, ‘Meanie’ are a few of the names I hear from my own clients when they talk to their parents or even describe their parents to me. But, for this blog, I am specifically talking about curse words. You know the one’s I am talking about. Many, many, many children and teens curse,… Read more »

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How to Talk With Your Adolescent About Their Drug or Alcohol Use

One of the most frightening experiences for any parent is the moment you realize that your child may have a substance abuse problem. You are scared to death about what they may be taking, the late nights, the change in sleeping habits, the poor grades, or the awful distance growing between you and the person… Read more »

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How Your Personality Type Molds Your Parenting Style

Parenting can be the most difficult job in the world. Not only is every decision you make on behalf of that other person going to shape who they become, but it’s the only job where being filled with doubt is normal. If your mechanic approached you and said he fixed your brakes and he just… Read more »

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Negative Feelings, Essential Signals on the Road of Life: Supporting our Children on their Path

While bearing our own suffering is bad enough, watching our children struggle can be almost unbearable! It’s natural to want to avoid things that are uncomfortable and unpleasant, and especially to protect our children from experiencing them.  And clearly, suffering for extended periods of time is unacceptable. But the truth is, life is not without… Read more »

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The One Thing We All Should Do to Become Better Parents

Nothing feels more like a fresh start more than becoming a parent. When a child is born, the future is one vast, clean slate riding on a sea of our finest hopes, dreams, and intentions. Yet, pretty much every parent quickly learns that the sea is much rockier than anticipated. This is not just because of… Read more »

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What to Do When Your Teen Pushes You Away

8 ways to respond when your teen wants space All parents reach that point when they hang their head in their hands and lament, “My kid hates me.” For most parents, this moment either happens for the first time or a lot more often when their child reaches adolescence. Adolescents and teens have a natural… Read more »

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Why We Need to Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence

For years, I’ve taught a weekly psychology class to students ranging from 7 to 14 years-old. In this class, I encourage self-reflection, asking kids to identify and express what they think and feel and to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. The results are often surprising. Strong, self-aware statements come out of their mouths… Read more »

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The Psychology Behind Strained Father Son Relationships

Over the years of working with men in therapy, I discovered that the issues that so often come up about careers or relationships could often be traced back, sooner or later, to the lack of relationship with their fathers. A man in therapy who I’ll call “John” describes his experiences with his father as follows,… Read more »

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What’s Up with Boredom?

In my office I have encountered clients who report “boredom” as an almost unbearable state.  My young clients find they are “bored” at school, doing chores, having to even engage in conversations.  It is a painful state they feel they need to escape from which often leads to distracted behavior in class, conflicts at home… Read more »

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