parenting skills

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 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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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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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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How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Parenting

Like it or not, our childhood has a lot to do with how we parent. In fact, attachment research has shown that our attachment style with our own parents is the biggest predictor of the attachment style we’ll have with our child. Attachment style refers to the internal “working models” we develop of how relationships function…. Read more »

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Overcoming Two of Parenting’s Greatest Challenges

By Dr. Lisa Firestone and Joyce Catlett   Raising children can be one of the most challenging jobs in life; it certainly is one of the most important. Renowned British pediatrician/ psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott once told a group of parents:  “You are engaged in founding the mental health of the next generation.” Although, as parents,… Read more »

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A Challenge to Mothers Everywhere

The other day, a friend of mine texted me a picture of a sign in a shop window that said, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” She probably knew that with Mother’s Day around the corner, I’d most likely be writing something about motherhood and would get a kick out of the old expression…. Read more »

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