parenting advice

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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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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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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The Myth of a Perfect Mother

This Mother’s Day was the 40th one that I have celebrated as a mother. And it has occurred to me that I have earned the right to answer the question: “What piece of advice would you offer about being a mother?”  I used to think that only perfect mothers were qualified to speak on this… 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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Substance Abuse and the Teenage Mind

Adolescence arrives with a surge of energy. It pushes many young people to try new things, make new friends, depend less on parents, and live more passionately. But as an adult, your role is still important. Adolescence is also a time when some explore alcohol or drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription medicine,… Read more »

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Why It Is So Important For Parents to Validate Their Children

Validation is a way of letting someone know we understand him or her.  Being understood is an essential ingredient to feeling connected and supported.  When someone important to us understands us, their hearing us helps us to tune into ourselves and accept our emotions as real and meaningful.  This ultimately supports the growth of self-compassion… 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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The mad monster made me do it!

When we are little, our needs get expressed through our strong emotions.  A baby doesn’t have the capacity to get food when hungry, a blanket when cold or a change of a wet diaper.  Instead, they fuss!  They muster the voice of the “mad monster” to get the attention they need, whaling and whimpering.  This… Read more »

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How to Parent Strong-Willed Kids

When people are asked what they most value and cherish, the overwhelming majority say the same thing: their family. Parents are deeply committed to doing what is best for their children but, at the same time, may lack the knowledge or skills to do so. This can be particularly challenging when parenting bright, spirited, strong-willed… Read more »

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