Children and Teens Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Finding the Space Between Trauma and Beauty

March 25th, 2015
A while back I had a consultation with life/career coach, Teresa Mossinger, in Susanville, Calif. I had seen Teresa two years earlier when I was transitioning from a full-time job to freelancing. Now I was making some more changes and ...

Attachment-Based Teaching: Creating a Tribal Classroom

BOOK REVIEW.
I spend a lot of time in classrooms working with troubled kids — so I also spend time thinking about what’s missing in our schools. Louis Cozolino’s Attachment-Based Teaching: Creating a Tribal Classroom hits the nail on the head: What’s missing is a sense of connection, attachment, or belonging. Having completed my masters thesis on attachment and emotional regulation, I ...

Book Review: Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up

BOOK REVIEW.
Think back to middle school. Can you remember a classmate who often sat daydreaming in the back of the room, seemingly unengaged with the rest of the class’s activities? Consider the frustration that student might have felt when faced with the fast-paced interactions of teachers and peers, and then again at home with exasperated family ...

The Teacher’s Guide to Student Mental Health

BOOK REVIEW.
As a special education teacher with over fifteen years’ experience, I know that educators affect thousands of students throughout their careers. Of those thousands, one in five kids lives with a mental health disorder, and one in twenty has severe emotional disabilities. As Hiam Ginott wrote several decades ago in his book Teacher and Child, the teacher is “the decisive element in the ...

Book Review: A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
You know an excellent book when it generously delivers on both the title and the subtitle’s promises. A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive, by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, and James McPartland, is one that truly follows through. The book is outstanding when it comes ...

Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom

BOOK REVIEW.
Plato wrote that the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life. But what is education in our modern world? School, as we know it now, is a place where the teacher attempts to teach to the average student, using a standardized curriculum. It is a place where teachers too often concentrate on content standards, ...

Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy: Theory & Practice

BOOK REVIEW.
With an influx of research on mindfulness and self-awareness, even schools are beginning to notice. They, too, are learning the benefits of having students meditate and practice yoga. As a social worker who has worked with young students myself, I was interested in Dottie Higgins-Klein’s Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy. In it, she sets out to help children heal from emotional suffering and ...

When Experts Miss Trauma in Children

Children with Fibromyalgia Benefit from CBTIt has been estimated that each year, over one million children in the United States are misdiagnosed with a mental illness that could be better explained by trauma. That's a lot of children inaccurately being labeled with a mental illness. The ...

Part 2: Protecting Teens from Danger: Tips and Advice for Parents

Teens Reason WellBut Not Always With Emotional MaturityPart 1 in this series "Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset" can be found here. It’s scary to think about how vulnerable teens are to danger. The teenage brain has been compared to a car with a powerful ...

Part 1: Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset

Teenage Girl Holding Glass Of SpiritsThe teenage years pose the highest risk of any age group for behaviors leading to fatal or permanent injuries. Accidents are the leading cause of death of youth between ages 12-24. The top dangers, according to CDC surveys are: regular alcohol ...

Cooking Up a Family of Love

dinner family parents bigstI was recently taken to task by a reader who took exception to my suggestion: that a sullen teen be paid to watch younger children for a while on Thanksgiving. That would give the adults some time to talk without interruption. In the ...

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos & Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

BOOK REVIEW.
Parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and anyone else in frequent contact with kids can all stand to learn more about how to stay calm. No-Drama Discipline offers example-backed tools to help us discipline children in a supportive and lasting way. This is not the first book that Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have written together. Their earlier book was the ...

Book Review: Visual/Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling & Movement

BOOK REVIEW.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, the prevalence of autism in the States was about one in sixty-eight, with numbers increasing steadily since 2000. Among the treatments recognized by the CDC for autism spectrum disorders is the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based Approach, or DIR for short. DIR is also known as floortime, since parents ...

Single Parenting Isn’t Second-Rate

Single Parenting isn’t Second-RateMiranda broke down in tears while talking to me. She’d suffered months of abuse by her husband following the birth of her son. He was going out all the time, didn’t show any interest in their son and spent what time he ...

The Benefits of Play

PT Domestic Drama Prickly PéreOne of the most important gifts we can give our kids is time to play, both as a family and on their own. Finding time to play with kids can be a challenge if you are working, managing a household and meeting ...

Nerdy, Shy & Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life

BOOK REVIEW.
After reading Cynthia Kim’s account of growing up on the autism spectrum without knowing it, I would add “painfully honest” to the subtitle of her book. Which, I might further add, makes her story even better. As a child Kim knew she was different from other kids. She waited to grow out of the shyness and awkwardness, but those traits never dissipated. What ...

Feeling Invisible in the Asperger World

parenting an ADHD childOne very striking result of growing up with one Asperger parent and one neurotypical (NT) parent is that children develop the sense of psychological invisibility. They feel ignored, unappreciated and unloved, because their context-blind Aspie family member(s) is so poor at empathic reciprocity. ...

Confrontations vs. Conversations

marriage_communication5A reader asks: "I think my wife is cheating on me. She comes home from her office hours later than usual. She checks her phone constantly. Should I confront her?" Another writes: "My husband is just home from Afghanistan. He has huge anger issues. In the last ...

What is Toxic Shame?

What is Toxic Shame?When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but when it’s severe, it can be extremely painful. Strong feelings of shame stimulate the ...

How Parents Can Help Teens Under Academic Pressure

Overcoming Test AnxietyWhen grades are slipping and teens don’t seem to be taking action, it’s easy to react from from frustration and helplessness. Under pressure, parents can fall into common traps without realizing it. Doing so unintentionally adds to kids’ anxiety and discouragement, which saps motivation ...

Parents Who Have OCD

Parents Who Have OCDBecause my son Dan has obsessive-compulsive disorder, my articles often focus on a parent’s perspective. But what if you are the child, and your parent is the one struggling with the disorder? Of course, the issues children and their families face will differ depending ...

Why You Shouldn’t Undermine Your Partner’s Parenting

Why You Shouldn't Undermine Your Partner's ParentingWhile writing my upcoming book on divorce, I have reviewed a lot of research on the terrible effects of parental alienation (described there by Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from ...

How Do Smartphones Affect Childhood Psychology?

How Do Smartphones Affect Childhood Psychology?Have you noticed what seems like an epidemic of people who are glued to their smartphone’s soft glow? Unfortunately, you are not alone. Over 1.8 billion people own smartphones and use their devices on a daily basis. Some studies estimate that an ...