child development

Dealing with Unresolved Trauma

Recently, a friend of mine who suffers from chronic lower back pain came back from yet another visit to the doctor with a bit of unexpected advice. Instead of the usual discussion of shots, medications, physical therapy, or even surgery, his doctor recommended a book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection. The book by… Read more »

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The Wait for the Acceptance Letter: Helping Teens Cope with Stress

The time of year has come when high school seniors are starting to receive letters from colleges. The brief breath of relief of mailing in their final application has given way to the held breath of waiting to hear back from schools. This moment of anticipation is one of the most stressful times in a… Read more »

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Is Being Proud of Your Kids Really about You?

Parents often exclaim that they are so proud of their children. “She got into Harvard.” “He got the highest SAT scores.” “She is the most brilliant musician.” “He is the captain of the football team.” Parents particularly express pride in their kids when they demonstrate a talent or quality that the parent values. And while we all want parents… Read more »

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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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Seeking Sanity During National Eating Disorders Week

Would you rather be sane and satiated or dieting and deprived? The answer seems obvious, but we live in an age of extreme diets and fake foods. We watch television shows called The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover Weight Loss—along with commercials for gooey pizza, hot cheese stretched lavishly to the limits of our food cue… 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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What Inside Out Can Teach us about Loving our Kids

The other day I recommended the movie Inside Out to my friend, Cynthia, as an intervention. Her favorite niece, Emily, is going through puberty. The sweet little girl who used to love shopping and doing craft projects with her aunt, is now moody and not interested in sharing those activities. Cynthia feels hurt about this… Read more »

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7 Tips for Parent’s to Help Their Teen Create a Strong Sense of Self

As we welcome in the New Year we also look at goals and new opportunities to explore in the coming year. A fresh start. As parents, it might be a great time to reflect on how you are supporting your kids in building a stronger sense of self. Sometimes as parents we can get a… Read more »

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