parenting advice

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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Should I Spank My Child?

The majority of psychologists, researchers and parenting experts have come to the same conclusion: spanking and other forms of physical discipline can pose serious risks to children. The American Psychological Association discourages any form of physical punishment, seeing it as both harmful and unnecessary. Thirty countries in the world have banned physical punishment of children,… 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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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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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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