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Overcoming Test Anxiety

April 10th, 2014
According to Wikipedia, “test anxiety is a combination of perceived physiological overarousal, feelings of worry and dread, self-deprecating thoughts, tension, and somatic symptoms that occur during test situations. It is a physiological condition in which people experience extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort during and/or before ...

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

Six Ways to Help your Perfectionist Child Find BalanceFour-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he ...

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding PerfectionistI once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but ...

Boys Need Help with Self-Esteem, Too

Boys Need Help with Self-Esteem, TooI’ve been writing an advice column for years. Lately, I’ve been receiving more and more letters from boys who feel bad about themselves, who are depressed that the only friends they have are online, and who feel directionless. Some aren’t doing ...

Helping Your Anxious Child Become More Assertive

Helping Your Anxious Child Become More AssertiveThe other day, I heard a grandfather talk about a phone call he received from his daughter. She told him how his elementary school-aged grandson had been teased and bullied at his local church when he wore glasses for the ...

Protecting Teens from the Spread of Suicide

Protecting Teens from the Spread of SuicideWhen teen suicide strikes close to home, communities are heartbroken and frightened as they realize many teens' pain and suffering. Sudden tragedy shocks us into vigilant awareness of danger and loss. Although we don’t usually think of suicide as contagious, one ...

Meet the Parents: Navigating the Holiday Dinner without the Stress

Meet the Parents: Navigating Holiday Dinner without the StressWith holidays approaching, my son-in-law reminisced about the first time he came for a holiday meal. He and my daughter had only been dating for awhile. They each weren’t sure if they had met “The One” but were ...

The Paradox of Pushing Kids to Succeed

The Paradox of Pushing Kids to SucceedOur teens are embedded in a culture driven by competition and perfectionism, where success is defined by status, performance and appearance. These values are transmitted to our children nonverbally through our emotional state and through what we notice, are impressed ...

Talking to Your Teen About Alcohol

Talking to Your Teen About AlcoholPartying. Everyone is doing it. Drinking on weekends and getting a buzz on is what being young is all about, right? Wrong. It’s much more complicated than that. It’s true that 75 percent of American teens have given alcohol a try by ...

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?Feelings of loss and anxiety about change when the last child leaves home are normal. But it often has been pathologized in popular culture as a disorder, disease or condition that needs treatment. Usually it’s not and it doesn’t. In fact, ...

Becoming a Nontraditional Student

Becoming a Nontraditional StudentNeisha, a divorced mom who lives with her 5-year-old son and her new boyfriend, came into my office and flopped into a chair. “So,” she says. “Today I waved goodbye to my son as he rode away on the school bus to start ...

Behind the Mask: Adolescents in Hiding

BOOK REVIEW.
Adolescents often struggle with intense emotional situations, yet find themselves unsure of how to process it all. In Behind the Mask: Adolescents in Hiding, Dennis Rozema explains that the way a teenager deals with pain either facilitates emotional wellness or creates a mask for them to hide behind. This mask helps protect them and helps them ...

Effective Classroom Turnaround: Practice Makes Permanent

BOOK REVIEW.
I homeschool my children and regularly teach history and science classes for other home-schooled kids. I’m an okay teacher. The students don’t fall asleep and they seem to retain stuff. But I’d like to be a better teacher. I want all the kids to have fun, to learn, to remember, and to develop a life-long ...

ADHD Among African-Americans

ADHD Among African-AmericansAwareness about and diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in minority populations in the United States has increased over the past decade. The higher numbers diagnosed likely are the result of more widespread attention to signs, symptoms, and diagnosis. As a result, ADHD has ...

Together Alone: Computers, Technology & Kids

Together Alone: Computers, Technology & KidsWhat’s happening in the ad world these days? One TV ad running in my area is of a mother who, the narrator chirps, is a master multitasker. She is on a cell phone while making her kids breakfast and sending them off ...

ADHD Coaching: Look to the Willow Tree

ADHD Coaching: Look to the Willow TreePartnering with a coach of any kind can lead to rewarding self-discovery. Whether specified as executive, life or career coach, these people are essentially teachers at their core. And as progressive educator/ ...

Listening to Our Loved Ones with OCD

Listening to Our Loved Ones with OCDAfter my son Dan was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I was determined to do whatever I could to help him. Always a believer in mother’s instincts, I followed mine, and did whatever ...

Prevent the Summer Academic Backslide

Prevent the Summer Academic BackslideIt's a fact. Kids lose academic ground during the summer months. Come September, even the best students are several weeks behind where they were in June. Struggling students can lose up to two months. This is especially true in math and ...

Advocating for Your Child within the School System

Advocating for Your Child within the School System“I’ve had it.” The parent on the phone is incensed. “The teacher just won’t listen to me. My child needs more individual attention. She isn’t a bad kid. She just needs more help. She’s on an education plan ...

5 Warning Signs of Tipping Points in an ADHD Life

5 Warning Signs of Tipping Points in an ADHD LifeRecently, I’ve noticed a pattern in my clients that I call the “tipping point.” The tipping point is basically a time in people’s lives when, for various reasons, the strategies they have been ...

Getting Unhooked from Pain & Choosing Happiness

Getting Unhooked from Pain and Choosing Happiness Even teens who are popular and appear to be doing well may feel secretly isolated emotionally, harboring distress that seeks expression through self-destructive behavior. Neurobiology of Breaking Habits Self-destructive behavior patterns, such as addictions, are ...

Spring Break Cautions & Tips

Spring Break Cautions & TipsIt’s spring. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. adjourn for a week-long vacation sometime in the months of March and April. Originally intended as a mid-semester break from studies, it has evolved for many students into a ...

The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom

BOOK REVIEW.
“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” That’s the anonymous quote introducing the infant brain in The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom  by Louis Cozolino. As a mother and grandmother, I’ve found that the idea has been resonating deeply ever ...