child development

Parents: Are You Losing Your Identity During Lockdown?

Ever since the pandemic hit and lockdown started, I’ve kept in touch with friends at various stages of parenthood. One was about to give birth, several were raising toddlers, many were taking on homeschooling, and a few were preparing for the last summer they’d spend with their kids before sending them off to college. While… Read more »

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Facing Into the Rough Winds of a Challenging Time

For a sapling to emerge as a stable and sturdy tree, it establishes a deep root system and a thick trunk. From there, growth takes time and support. It must withstand environmental stressors, competition for water, nutrients, winds and other adversities. In the forest, a canopy provided by the more mature trees shelter the small… Read more »

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Is This More Than the Baby Blues?

I have yet to meet a mother, or any parent for that matter, who has described the experience of becoming a parent as easy or exactly what they expected. Bringing a new child into the world, whether it is your first or your fifth, is big adjustment and can bring up feelings that are often… Read more »

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Skiing – A Metaphor for Emotional Regulation

When we enter the world, we transition from an insulated environment to one that is full of challenges.  We must learn how to navigate around both expected and unexpected events. It is a journey that is easier for some and more difficult for others.  As adults, it can be easy to overlook the process our… Read more »

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How Do Adverse Childhood Events Impact Us?

…And can positive childhood events provide protection? In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, a physician from Kaiser Permanente was running an obesity clinic through the Department of Preventive Medicine. After several years, much to Felitti’s puzzlement, more than half of the people participating had dropped out despite successfully losing weight. Determined to find out why,… Read more »

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Defense Mechanisms

“When children are faced with pain and anxiety in their developmental years, they develop defense mechanisms to cut off that pain. But the tragedy is that in cutting off the pain, you also cut deeply into their lives, so that defenses that were basically survival-oriented psychologically also serve as terrible limitations to the self.” ~… Read more »

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Mr. Rogers is Right: Secure Attachment Allows for Growth After Trauma

Childhood is a critical time for discovering and enhancing the secure attachment ideally built in the early years of a parental relationship with a child. Our earliest relationships do a great deal to establish our sense of self and wellbeing. Knowing, “I matter, my needs matter, and my loved ones will help keep me safe”… Read more »

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How to Improve Relationships By Knowing Your Attachment Style

Our first relationships profoundly shape how we connect with others. A baby’s earliest lessons teach whether to depend on an important person for comfort and acceptance, or whether to expect distress, disconnection or shame. An infant begins life learning if important people can be good sources of comfort and safety. A baby may learn that… Read more »

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What Kids Really Need from Their Parents

Being a parent comes with a lot of pressure to do right by our kids. But boiled down to specific, daily decisions, this pursuit also comes with a lot of confusion. It’s easy to get caught up in the checklists of items that we hope will benefit our children: special classes, programs, and parenting methodologies…. Read more »

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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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