Children and Teens

Parenting: The Importance of Expectations

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you parenting is not for wimps. It requires courage to face the terrifying uncertainty of caring for a helpless infant; the uncontrollable tantrums of an oppositional toddler; the tears of the older child when limits are set; to the rage of the adolescent when their independence is challenged, and whose criticisms cut like a sharp knife to the heart. Through it all, love and discipline must hold steady and strong.
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Anxiety and Panic

Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave!

Besides being loving and patient, parents need to be brave when their children are anxious. This may be one of the most difficult things you do when you see your kids struggle. In the long run, your courage will be one of the crucial elements in helping your children overcome their anxiety. Listed below are the When, Why, and How of becoming a valiant parent everyday.

WHEN do you need to be brave?


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Children and Teens

Are You an Overprotective Parent?

Do you try to protect your child from both physical and emotional pain? Do you try to shield them from sadness and disappointment? Do you try to prevent them from making mistakes or taking risks? Do you do their homework or projects for them? When your child has an argument with a friend, do you call the friend’s parents to resolve it?

If you do, you’re probably an overprotective parent.
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Anger

Fatherhood: Optional

“We have a personality clash,” my father would flippantly remark before storming off. This was his throwaway line.

I stood there dumbfounded. A sensitive teenager, the words wounded. There was a cold dismissiveness in his voice.

“What have I ever done to you?” I wondered.

The answer: Nothing. But that doesn’t stop the lingering hurt. In 1997, 2007, and, yes, 2017.
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Children and Teens

‘Help Me Figure Myself Out’: The Paved Road to the Adolescent Mind

“What do I do? I don’t know what to do with him anymore!” This is one of the many scenarios of a frantic parent knocking on the therapist’s door. Teenage years are tough, let’s not kid ourselves. We have been there, we remember.

In my practice I’ve consulted numerous parents on teens’ presenting problems such as: indifference, apathy, resistance, verbal/physical aggressiveness, destructive behavior, mood swings and a complete emotional shutdown expressed by their teenage sons and daughters.
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Children and Teens

Mindfulness and the New ABC of Managing Difficult Feelings — for Kids

I did an experiment with my children tonight and a new favorite practice was born.

Let me explain how it came about.

I have been working with a short, soothing practice with my adult clients that is easy to remember and do "in the moment" as we go through our busy days. (I would love you to try it and post your feedback here. It takes between 2 minutes -- and however long is helpful for you. The more you do it, the more it will become your automatic "go to” practice with difficult emotions.)
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Children and Teens

What Is More Important: Will or Skill?

“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” - Muhammad Ali
Recently, I was in conversation with the mother of a 20-something daughter who was finding it challenging to help her fly the nest and take responsibility for her own independence. The young woman has a part time job but doesn’t make enough money to enable her to move out. Rather than seeking additional employment, she spends much of her off time sequestered in her room on her phone, watching videos or talking with friends. Not much of an in-person social life.
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General

Everything Is an Opportunity to Grow

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” – Wayne Dyer
Looking at life and its daily challenges can get, well, somewhat challenging. There are goals, of course, some of them lofty and seemingly unattainable, and immediate tasks that must be tended to. There are also many hurdles that pop up at random and others that you know are there to begin with. When faced with an obstacle or thinking about a goal you desire, what’s your approach? Do you go forward or give up?
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