During our tenure in the parenting business (believe it not, while you never stop from being your kids parent, you do, hopefully, let go of the parenting role), we are always coaching our children. “Remember to brush your teeth, make your bed, say please, thank you, your welcome, wipe your feet, wash you hands, comb your hair, make your bed, clean up after yourself”—the list is endless. A large part of parenting involves socializing your children into our culture, teaching them the basics, and helping them develop good habits. When they are little, it’s amazing how frequently we have to... Read More
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It’s hard not to go to a restaurant today and see adults and kids sitting around a table, each with a smart phone at the ready. They steal glances at email posts, and respond instantly to the scores of texts that their friends send daily. Some teens are so expert that they can talk, walk, text, and eat at the same time!
When my kids were little, we didn’t have smart phones or tablets. I was a big newspaper reader however. I would sit in my easy chair after dinner reading one of my papers. My youngest daughter would march over to me and knock the newspaper out of my hands and yell—“I... Read More
Why is it so hard to listen to what our kids are telling us? Why is that we want to tell them what to do, how to do it, and what not to do? It just seems so clear to us in the moment. Stop yelling! Stop bothering your little sister! Clean up your mess! Don’t worry about what your friend did! You’re so messy! You’re always tracking mud into the kitchen! We have a long list of “to do’s” and an even longer list of “don’t do’s”.
But all too often, these prescriptions fall on deaf ears. Our kids just don’t get it. How come?
I am always drawn back to the work of Adele Faber and... Read More
This is a guest blog from James Dauer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mr. Dauer sees Behavioral Health patients at our Smokey Point location.
Not being able to help your struggling child is one of the hardest parts about being a parent, and when that struggle is self-inflicted, endless waves of feeling powerless and scared roll in one after another. Not a fun place to be!
Some parents have heard about cutting through various media but to others this subject is about as familiar as intergalactic... Read More
A number of mental health professionals are concerned about the growing percentage of high school students who are diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Earlier this year, the Center for Disease control released the results of a large survey, and found that one in five teenage boys were diagnosed with ADHD! Historically, ADHD was estimated to effect 3-7% of the population. So what gives? How can there be such a huge increase in the number of children with this diagnosis?
An article in the The New York Times (April 27,2013), titled “... Read More
Sometimes, along the way, parents worry whether their youngster’s worries are just a passing dark cloud or something they should act upon.
It can be hard to know. Moms and Dads don’t want to overreact to their child’s emotional state, which can change like the weather in Washington. On the other hand, underreacting can be a mistake too! OMG! What’s a parent to do?
Many childhood concerns are developmental. It’s quite normal for young children (1-4 years old) to have periods where they may become very distressed when their parent leaves, or when they are dropped off somewhere... Read More
A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant. At a nearby table, an enthusiastic Dad was helping his 3-year-old trace the alphabet on colored paper. His son was excited and clearly enjoying all of the attention and praise he received from his father. “Great job, Joey” his father exclaimed as the little boy drew an “e” with his small hands.
I remembered how delightful it was to share in my young children’s desire to learn and understand the world around them.
They are sponges for knowledge. While sometimes their innocent wonderings, repeated over... Read More
Recently, a friend of mine described his 7-year-old daughter’s fit before school. “Don’t come into school with me” she yelled. She didn’t want to be seen with her Dad when she walked into her first grade classroom.
Joey was afraid that his Mom would yell too loud during his soccer game. “Don’t be too noisy” he warned. He hated the idea that the other kids would hear her.
Sarah didn’t want her Mom to hang out at her 9 year old friend’s birthday party for the same reason—she was afraid of being embarrassed.
I remember the same feeling when I was 13 years old. I was... Read More
Ashley, a 5th grader, is a good student, does her homework, and is bright. But on her progress report, as in the past, her teacher noted that she doesn’t participate much in class. Her teacher would like to see her raise her hand more, talk more in group discussion, and share her ideas with others. Her teacher wonders why this smart girl is so reserved.
At her parent-teacher conference, her mom pipes up—“Ashley is shy.” But what does that mean? Is that a problem? Is there some deeper underlying concern? Is she anxious or worried? Has she been bullied? All of these questions arise.... Read More
Fall sports are in high gear once again, after summer’s slower pace. Parents are lining soccer and football fields watching their kids practice and play competitive sports. It’s fun for everyone. It’s great to see kids running up and down the field, instead of sitting in front of an electronic screen playing video games. Team sports can teach children a wide range of skills and abilities that are very useful in adult life.
Parents sometimes wonder what kind of behavior should they praise--effort, participation, performance, attitude, or team spirit? A recent article in The New York... Read More