Children and Teens

Life Lessons Children Learn When They’re Not Happy All the Time


You and your child don’t have to agree on everything.

Everybody wants to make their children happy. But trying to make your children happy ALL the time is a bust. Nobody is happy all the time. You don’t want to teach your child that they must feel happy all the time. It’s easy to make that mistake.

You want your child to have all of the things you didn’t have growing up, but this will give them a false sense of security and will backfire.
Continue Reading

Caregivers

Pediatric OCD and Its Effects on Family

A study published in the March 17, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concludes that pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder negatively affects not only the children who suffer from it, but also their parents.

At the risk of sounding snarky, anyone who has a child with OCD could've told you that.

Still, well-conducted studies, as opposed to anecdotal evidence, are important. If nothing else, they give clinicians and researchers concrete information to reference, study and build upon in their quest to understand OCD and how to best help those whose lives are affected by it.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

You Can Be Their Parent — And Their Friend

Many of us have heard (or even said) the old line we heard when we were kids: “I’m your parent, not your friend.”

Kristina Kuzmic’s popular vlog on the subject -- “I'm not your friend, kid! (Because I love you.)” – clearly strikes a chord. It has been viewed nearly a million times. In it she says “All three of my kids are mad at me right now … and you know what? I don’t care. … You know why? Because I am not their buddy. I am their parent.”

Although we might mean well when we express this sentiment, our children unfortunately can hear an unintended message that is quite negative. Here are three things to consider before saying, “I’m your parent, not your friend,” to the kids again.
Continue Reading

Anger

Is Your Partner Jealous of Your Child?

When you met your partner and fell in love you probably dreamed and eventually planned out a life together. For many this plan included the possibility of children. Fast-forward to having one or more children and all is perfect, right? Maybe not.

Life has a way of taking you through unexpected twists and turns and rarely, if ever, does it turn out the way you anticipated. What if one of those unexpected twists however, is your partner’s jealousy of your children?
Continue Reading

Family

The Art of Talking

I met my husband, Steve, in 1994.

We went out to dinner on a blind date. Strangely enough, I had the feeling when I met him that I was going to marry him. We wed three years later. This year we’re celebrating our 20-year wedding anniversary.

Back in 2003, when we were trying to adopt a baby, a social worker told us that we needed to learn how to communicate better with each other. My husband was quiet by nature, and I didn’t want to make him talk if he didn’t want to speak; consequently, a lot went unsaid.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Doctor Explains Symptoms of Empathic Children


How to determine if your child is an empath.

Empathic children have nervous systems which react more quickly and strongly to external stimuli including stress.

In The Empath’s Survival Guide, I emphasize that empath children feel too much but don’t know how to manage the sensory overload. They see more, hear more, smell more, intuit more, and experience emotions more.

Continue Reading

Family

Seeking Perfection—Even Though We Know It’s Impossible


A teenage boy is an exceptional baseball player. Every time he pitches a perfect game, his parents praise him. Every time he doesn’t, his parents lecture him on what he did wrong (and he berates himself). They encourage him to train long hours.

A young woman is convinced she’s too big. Her mother and grandmother regularly shame others for their weight. And they shame her, too. The young woman’s mom sticks to a strict number of calories and only eats “clean” foods. Soon the young woman starts doing the same. She and her mom “bond” over counting calories. Her mom praises her for adhering to a rigid diet and doing endless cardio. She praises her for losing weight. The young woman is terrified of stopping the diet and exercise.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Growing Up Too Fast: Early Exposure to Sex

Children are naturally exploratory beings. As we develop, we engage with the world around us using all our senses. Imagine yourself at 2 or 3, crawling around in a grassy field on a summer day. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle breeze blowing through your hair, you breathe in the aroma of the fresh green grass, perhaps even pluck a piece and sample it. A puddle from a recent rain storm beckons you and you splash about in it, drenching yourself. An ice cream cone is offered to you and you savor the sweetness and stickiness as it drips down your chin and onto your clothes.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: July 1, 2017


I'm super pumped, friends. This weekend, I'll be traveling to a city I've never visited to see a band I've never seen live (and never thought I would).

I love going to concerts. I go to multiple shows each year and I thrive on the anticipation before the show, the energy during the show, and the sense of "I just experienced something truly amazing" after the show, and guess what? All these concerts are benefiting the crap out of my mental health. Specifically, they reduce stress and boost my spirits, provide a sense of connection with the community (especially when it's a local concert), helps me reflect on life.

Continue Reading

Anger

Introspection for Blamers and Shamers

Some people in this world are expert blamers and shamers. Perhaps you know one. It begins with the need to blame: You did something bad. How could you have done this? Then it easily slides into the need to shame: You are something bad. What is the matter with you?

When something goes wrong, it can never be an accident, a random act of nature, a simple mistake, a lack of judgment, or a moment of inattentiveness. It cannot even be a misdemeanor. No, no, no, no, no! It’s got to be a felony.

Accidents are not allowed to happen. You heard me. No accidents. Somebody has to be blamed. And, amazingly enough, the finger is always pointed outwards.
Continue Reading