Children and Teens Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Confrontations vs. Conversations

January 23rd, 2015
A 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 ...

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

BOOK REVIEW.
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

BOOK REVIEW.
“To the thousands of kids out there who are a little bit different, a little bit scared, a little bit unpopular: this one’s for you.” So writes Jodi Picoult in the acknowledgments section of Nineteen Minutes, a novel that thoroughly dissects a school shooting. In the book, Picoult surfaces empathy in unexpected places — empathy for the shooter and empathy ...

What is the Prescription for Raising Entitled Kids?

mother cellphone childseat bigstA 10-year-old girl stomped out of the bathroom when her mom told her she would need to clean the mess she had made after her shower. She told her mom, ”You’re the mom. It’s your job!” A 6-year-old boy went to the grocery store ...

When It’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on Christmas

When it’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on ChristmasA dear friend of mine just couldn’t stand it when it was her ex’s turn to have their girls on Christmas. She’d spend the whole day on the couch, wrapped in a blanket with the shades ...

No Longer Suffering in Silence

Defusing ShameMy name is Chiquitta. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My parents came from Guyana, South America to Canada for a better life; acid attacks were occurring in their homeland. My father is 13 years older than my mother. My mother was a housewife and ...

5 Habits of Happy Families

5 Habits of Happy FamiliesWhen asked what they want most of their children, most parents reply that they just want them to be happy. It seems like a modest enough wish. But we all know that for some people, happiness is hard to find. One way to ...

Teaching Children Gift Etiquette

christmas tree bigstJocey, one of the parents in my parent group, was mortified. Her mother-in-law had given her 8-year-old son a toy fire truck. Instead of saying “thank you,” the boy looked at it and said something like, “That’s for babies. I don’t like trucks” and ...

Are We Touching Each Other Enough?

Are We Touching Each Other Enough?Are you touching each other enough? No, not during sex. I'm talking about touching when we feel lonely, long to connect, and want to open. Yet, afraid of rejection, we hold back. Over 30 years, and hundreds of couples, I see that words ...

5 New Mom Myths

secure_attachment_to_babyThe letters keep coming to our advice column on PsychCentral. New moms wonder if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t over the moon about their little one every minute of every day. Others worry that they aren’t doing it right or that the ...

Children, Rituals, and OCD

Children, Rituals, and OCDWhen my older daughter was about 2 or 3 years old, she had a bedtime ritual where she lined up 10 of her dolls and stuffed animals on the floor. They had to be in the right order, at the right angle, touching or ...

Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams & Nightmares of Childhood

BOOK REVIEW.
My younger brother and I are in the back seat of our family’s van, parked on a steep hill. At the base of the hill is a lake or some other body of water. The ocean? My mother has stepped out of the car and she is at the top of the hill. She is ...

Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption & Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
We make a lot of fuss over book covers, don’t we. Whether they look cheesy or slick. Whether the publisher is trying to get us to purchase something old repackaged as something new. And, of course, whether we should judge by them or not. About titles, though, there’s less discussion. Which is why I was surprised that ...

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT & the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

BOOK REVIEW.
Say "shock therapy" to most people and what comes to mind? For many, it is some version of Jack Nicholson’s experience in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a patient writhing on the table as a crazed doctor sends waves of electricity through his brain, all with disastrous consequences. Even during my psychiatry clerkship as a ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?“Mommy, I don’t know what love is.” Many parents who have children with Asperger’s Syndrome experience devastating moments like this and are uncertain as to how to reply. Love seems such a natural part of our lives. ...

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life Story

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life StoryWe grow up with certain beliefs about ourselves and our lives and expectations that things should work out a certain way. Then, we change, our lives change, and we start to realize that things aren't going as we had expected. This ...

When You Don’t Like Your Teen’s Friends

When You Don't Like Your Teen's FriendsWhen I was in high school, I found a friend my parents couldn’t stand. Shy, introverted, studious, and fashion-impaired, I found someone as opposite to myself as my folks could imagine. My new best friend knew the fashion trends, wore her sweaters ...