Parenting

What to Expect the First Days of School from Your Kinder to Second Grader

What to Expect the First Days of School from Your Kinder to Second Grader

Schools around the corner or maybe you have already begun.  You have been buying supplies and preparing for school.  You probably have been reading books and talking about school to your soon to be little ones these past few weeks.  You've done it because you understand that if you predict for your child then they will be ready when the REAL thing happens.

What about you?  How are you preparing for the school year?

The Importance of Young Children Having the Opportunity to Socialize

The Importance of Young Children Having the Opportunity to Socialize

Many parents have questions about how their kids can learn to socialize. The following questions come up frequently at our center:

Q: WHY DOES MY CHILD HIDE AND SHOW FEAR WHEN ADULTS ENTER HER CLASSROOM?

Methods and Techniques for Disciplining Young Children

Methods and Techniques for Disciplining Young Children

What is the best method for disciplining our kids?

  • Always focus first on their goal/objective and their emotional state before establishing a boundary. It is best to lower yourself to the child’s level and in the most tranquil form possible describe what the child is feeling, what you expect of them and express that you are certain that next time, they will do it properly.

What You and First Lady Michelle Obama Share When it Comes to Parenting

What You and First Lady Michelle Obama Share When it  Comes to Parenting

At the end of the day, the crowd broke into an uproar when we heard Oprah Winfrey proclaim, "Hi, everybody!"  We had all been anxiously awaiting the Q&A of Oprah with Michelle Obama, the hostess of our summit.

Michelle Obama spoke of many things:  self-value, self-worth, defining ourselves and handling criticism.  She described how she chose her priorities and what she values most.  But of all she described and shared, one line stuck with me. After Oprah asked her  what she would be leaving the White House most proud of, she stated

How Society Can Break Our Girls

How Society Can Break Our Girls

I watched my daughter’s eyes swell up with tears and thought, “here it is, here is the day I have been dreading.” We spoke while I brushed her hair about an incident she had in her classroom.  The students in her class have begun to point out how intelligent she is.  They react to her with jokes spiced with sarcasm saying, “What’s the magic recipe for getting all the answers right?” This is not bullying.  These are just kids reacting, noticing, moving through the markers of development.  The ones speaking to her this way are defending themselves from embarrassment and fear of my daughter judging their mistakes or their perceived lack of knowledge compared to her.  My daughter has begun to balance with how to be her authentic self:  intelligent, curious, an avid reader and friend, with her need to remain in relationship with those around her.

How Understanding ME, YOU and US Makes for Better Parenting

How Understanding ME, YOU and US Makes for Better Parenting

This process made me analyze and process something that most of us psychotherapists take for granted.  The ability to self-reflect is one that will help all relationships.  It is particularly crucial in parenting, but unfortunately it is something very few parents tend to do.  


Self-reflection takes time to learn and practice.  In development, it should be a marker we reach in varying degrees through the age groups but should master at the end of adolescence.  As Dan Siegel discusses in both of his books, Brainstorm and Mindsight, we need to be able to understand, ME, YOU and US, to make the best decisions as it pertains to relationship.  In parenting this is how I see this breakdown

Disney Pixar's Inside Out Challenges All Of Us To Feel

Disney Pixar's Inside Out Challenges All Of Us To Feel

Outside of my office door I hear a little voice talking to her daddy saying, “This one is joy, then disgust, yuk! And that one’s anger.r”  I know this little one does not like to talk about her feelings, but today she is excited and certain, describing the characters from the new Disney Pixar movie Inside Out.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude hearing her use emotional language and thrilled that director Pete Docter and Disney Pixar have taken on the task of bringing to life the amazing world of feelings and the workings of the mind.  As a mental health professional, the debut of this movie has been on the top of my to do list since I saw the trailer.  I am happy to say...

Top 3 Tips to Get Into Your Tween's Head Using Disney Pixar's "Inside Out"

Top 3 Tips to Get Into Your Tween's Head Using Disney Pixar's "Inside Out"

Director Pete Docter takes on the world of the mind and emotions and creates a visually beautiful film.  The movie engages you from the very start.  I watched in awe as everything I know about a tween’s social and emotional development was presented with entertaining banter and wit.  In the first ten minutes the film introduces each feeling, defines them and what they do for Riley, the 11 year old star of the film, at this point Inside Out had my heart.  At that moment I understood that a parent can use this film in any age group but in particular for a tween to speak and explain the world of choices, loss and emotions.  Here are my suggestions on how to use the movie to begin a conversation with your tween about the world inside their minds: