Parenting Articles

3 Tips for Talking to Children about Traumatic Events

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

3 Tips for Talking to Children about Traumatic EventsIt is almost impossible to shield children from negative world events. In our ever-connected society, breaking news stories reach far beyond the evening news. All too often, these tragic stories involving mass casualties are in the news for days and become the topic of conversation for many.

We see this with any major domestic or international story. As adults, these heartbreaking stories often take an emotional toll on us. Some make us cry; others evoke anger or frustration. For children, however, these reactions can be far more complex.

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a Therapist

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a TherapistKnowing when a child needs to see a therapist can be tricky. Naturally, young kids don’t have the emotional or communication skills to verbalize what they need and how they’re feeling.

Therapy can be incredibly helpful for kids. It teaches children healthy coping skills. It teaches them how to understand, articulate and express their feelings instead of acting out behaviorally, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

What to Know about Children’s Nighttime Bedwetting

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

What to Know about Children's Nighttime BedwettingToilet training can be a stressful process. This is particularly the case for children who achieve daytime dryness but continue to wet themselves — and the bed — overnight. It may leave you wondering what’s normal and what you can do to help your child.

Nighttime wetting is one of the most common urologic conditions in childhood. The vast majority of cases are not related to a physical cause. Most commonly, nighttime wetting happens in children who are very deep sleepers; their brains and bladders aren’t communicating as they should while they sleep. It is not your child’s fault.

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your TeenParenting teens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics.

This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

Of course, discipline is important for teens. It provides structure and boundaries, writes Duffy. But he distinguishes effective discipline from punishment. Punishment triggers arguments and cuts communication. Effective discipline, however, “comes from a calm, centered, loving place.”

Encouraging Males to Embrace Safe, Platonic Touch

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

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Touch. It’s a delicate subject. I just read an article that discussed the idea of gentle, platonic touch between men. It made the case that men are often isolated from touch at an early age by both parents, and that the lack of gentle, platonic touch is a killer. The author decided he would try a different approach, and never give up hugging his son or holding his hand when the opportunity presented itself.

As I read the author’s words, this notion of touch between men felt sort of radical, and I started to wonder why. I found myself agreeing that, for the most part, this physical form of isolation seems true for most men, though not all of us. Many of us get cut off from touch at a relatively early age.

Busting Summertime Depression

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The Four Horsemen of the ApocalpyseThe mark of summer is upon us. The kids are out of school, it’s hot, and it’s the season in which everyone expects to feel good. Except you don’t.

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of summertime depression.

Young Adults and Suicide

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Young Adults and SuicideSuicide is a mental health problem affecting the lives of young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites suicide to be the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. In order to prevent suicide of young adults, families need to talk about it.

Suicide is a choice that can be hard to understand and approach without judgment, and discussing the risk of suicide with young adults may feel uncomfortable. Since young adults tend to bottle up their feelings and avoid expressive conversations, parents may be unaware of the risk of suicide or unsure of how to communicate with their son or daughter regarding mental wellness.

ADHD and Kids: 5 Tips for Setting Appropriate Rules

Monday, July 7th, 2014

ADHD and Kids: 5 Tips for Setting Appropriate RulesParenting a child with ADHD can present various challenges because of the disorder’s symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

Kids with ADHD may have every intention of respecting a rule, said Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, ACC, an educator and parenting coach. But they may break it — often “by accident than on purpose.”

Taylor-Klaus makes a key distinction between “naughty” and “neurological” (having difficulty following a rule because of ADHD symptoms).

Introducing Reflections from a Children’s Therapist

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Introducing Reflections from a Children's Therapist

There are a lot of interesting developments in the world of children’s psychology and childhood development. Being a children’s therapist brings a lot of challenges — but a lot of insights that can be beneficial outside of the office too.

What are good, effective child therapy practices in today’s world? What’s new in the world of play therapy and what new interesting research is coming out?

What are some of the most effective treatment techniques that may help you with your child clients?

Introducing Mental Momma

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Introducing Mental Momma

Most parents know they already have their hands full with their first child. Even if a second child adds to the family, parenting in today’s modern world of distraction and technology has never been more challenging.

What if you add mental illness into the mix? As a parent, dealing with the challenges of mental illness and being a parent can be doubling challenging.

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, we mourn. We are angry. Why is this happening in our country? What is going on? And yet, as I flip on my television — what do I see? It’s certainly not anything about gun control or raising children properly, but alas, mental illness.

No one is disputing that our mental health system is a wreck. I know from firsthand experience that it is a travesty. I must admit, however, that the media’s portrayal of these shooters is uncomfortable and offensive.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

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