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Getting into the praise mindset

When our kids are driving us crazy it’s easy to get locked into negativity. They’re being terrible, we’re trying to get them to quit being terrible, which often causes us to also act terribly and then we’re all being terrible with and at each... read more

Writer Dan Chaon on being adopted

Last year I read Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon and I made note of this on my Kindle then but am just now going through my stored notes. Here’s what he said about his own experience as an adopted person:  For the most part I am pro-adoption, but for better or... read more

Kids who self-injure tend to be particularly emotionally sensitive and vulnerable and suffer from what Dr. Hollander calls “emotional illiteracy.” They can’t name their feelings, let alone formulate a plan for managing and coping with them. Strategies that work with most kids, such as reassurance, minimizing the severity of difficulties, or offering to help them solve problems, can backfire with kids who self-injure.

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Advice on supporting teenagers who cut

From Why Teenagers Cut, and How to Help... read more

And now for something completely different

When my son was about two and half I no longer knew how to parent him. He went from toddling baby I knew and adored to a stomping, glaring preschooler I didn’t understand. My tried and true techniques quit working and more than once I carried his screaming self... read more

Somatic Symptoms of Child Anxiety

Last night for the Parenting Kids with Anxiety group we discussed the way anxiety can affect our kids’ bodies. Somatic symptoms are often mistaken for something else, which can get in the way of getting appropriate help. The most common somatic symptoms of child... read more

People who mock fat people are terrified of losing control of their temporarily acceptable lives. They fear dependency and loss of control, of being an object of pity instead of envy. To these human barracuda, being fat is the most visible symbol that you have “failed” at something — health, femininity, upward mobility. And they attack.

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Advice to shut down fat-shamers

From the Boston... read more

On feeling like too much

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to get the message that whatever we are, we are not enough. Or we are way too much. I think about this as a parent because I sometimes become overwhelmed when my kids are especially needy (and aren’t they always... read more

Ask for what you want and need

So many of us have internalized the idea that if we want something or if we need something it is, by definition, unnecessary. If we want it, it must be superfluous, right? Or maybe we are trying to win points (with who? our partner? our kids? the universe?) for... read more

Remembering those tired years

“But in fact at the time she took those photographs Rebecca had just been tired, tired in that way a woman with a child and a husband and a house and a job and a life gets tired, so that it feels like a mild chronic illness.”

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Because it’s not the media or skinny, out-of-proportion Barbie dolls or even peer pressure that is the No. 1 cause of body issues for young girls.

It’s their mothers.

“Moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image,” said Dr. Leslie Sim, clinical director of Mayo Clinic’s eating disorders program and a child psychologist. “Even if a mom says to the daughter, ‘You look so beautiful, but I’m so fat,’ it can be detrimental.”

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Your Self Esteem Matters to Your Kid

From Mom has biggest impact on girls’ body... read more

The truth about manipulative kids

First of all I want to be clear that manipulative kids are not bad kids. They are children who have learned inappropriate behavior to get the things that they want and need. I just plugged “manipulate” into Google and the defintion I got was this:... read more

Parenting an Anxious Child

After last week’s information workshop about Kids & Anxiety, the parents expressed interest in an ongoing, drop-in group for parenting the anxious child. I think this is a great idea for several reasons: Parenting an anxious child or teen is stressful. Peer... read more

Upcoming Community Events

I wanted to share some events that are coming up around the community. From the Coalition of Adoptive Families: Rejection and Grief: Feelings Unspoken It is common for adoptees to experience feelings of rejection and grief but sometimes the connection is not made to... read more

What Kids Understand

Parents can get stuck when it comes to talking to kids about difficult subjects. Sex, divorce, adoption — parents come to me wanting to know what to say and when. I’ve been thinking about this lately because there aren’t easy answers. Like I always... read more

Five Nights at Freddy’s: What it is

Five Nights at Freddy’s may be what’s happening now but the challenge is not Five Nights at Freddy’s. The challenge is helping our kids be critical thinkers, to manage their anxiety, to figure out how to curate their own internet experiences and to stand up to people out to scare them.

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Before Kids Will Listen: Relationship Required

Sometimes when I’m working with a family we need to confront this fact: you have to earn the right to discipline a child. This can be frustrating to adults who are used to thinking that kids should listen to adults because grown ups are grown ups and therefore... read more

Growing Healthy Kids: Voices of Ohio’s Children

I recently got word that my proposal for the 2015 Kids Health Conference for Voices of Ohio’s Children was accepted. My session, Growing Healthy Kids: Looking Beyond Weight as a Measure of Health will share research about supporting kids’ health without relying on anti-obesity rhetoric.

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Summer Counseling Groups

I’ve been gearing up for summer by preparing several counseling groups for kids and teens. These programs are all enrolling now, please contact me to learn more or to sign your child up. Click through on the group’s name to learn more: Girls Power Up:... read more

Is it all my fault?

“Did I do something wrong?” parents ask me. “Did I create these issues? Is it all my fault?” My answer to this is probably going to feel frustrating: I don’t know and what’s more, I don’t think it matters.

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Make the Friday the 13th lucky

I love this song and the video makes it even better. It’ll make any bad day instantly brighter. “Chaiyya Chaiyya” is the song that they’re playing over the opening scene in Inside Man (although that’s a different mix). Crank up your... read more