When Someone You Love Is Disabled

Alison & Barry

    I confess. I was one of those people who never thought much about disabilities. Although I have had health problems through the years, none has left me unable to do the things I wanted to do. So my focus on disabilities was more about placards on cars and signs in parking lots. Then 16 months ago my husband had a stroke. It left him unable to use his left arm or leg, but we were lucky that his mind was fine and his speech, initially a little garbled, recovered quickly. Suddenly, things … [Read more...]

Just Let Them Play

Child with leaves

  While this is not new information, it bears repeating.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have time for play.  What do we mean by play?  It means time to create their own games with parents or other children, time to be outside in an unstructured way, time to be creative in the house with crafts, playing with blocks or other toys that allow for creativity and fun.  Play is a way to spend time that is unbounded and unscheduled, to develop curiosity and discover new … [Read more...]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) or How to Change the Myths about Sleeplessness

AASM

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has declared that Monday, March 12, 2018, is Insomnia Awareness Day. Each night millions of people in the U.S. struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. For some, this is only a brief problem. But for others, insomnia can become a severe, ongoing struggle. The statistics vary depending on where you look. Some say one-in-three people suffer from insomnia. Others put the number of sleepless people at 60 million. Regardless of the total, it is estimated … [Read more...]

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

asking-questions

“What is the matter with you!” Judy says to her friend Brittney. “I take you to Red Bank for lunch with some friends from school and you don’t say a word all afternoon. I feel like whenever I go out with you if other people are around I have to be the one to make all of the conversation. “   Judy may sound angry, but in fact, she is worried about her friend. They are entering high school and Judy wants to widen her social circle but does not want to leave Brittney behind. But no matter who it … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolutions that Lead to Happier Parents and Children

3 generations of family

Often, I meet with parents who are struggling with their children’s misbehavior and with feelings of failure as a parent. I point out to them that their own schooling did not teach parenting skills. Most parents do the best they can with the skills that they have. They often model these skills on what they have learned from their parents. So what can you do to make the year ahead a better one for you and for your children?   • Be aware of your own feelings and if they are negative, … [Read more...]

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

New Year resolutions

As I thought about New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that they often derive from some negative way that we see ourselves. I spend too much money; therefore, my resolution is that I will save more. I am 10 pounds overweight; thus, I will exercise more and eat healthy. I work too much, so I resolve to spend more time with my family.   The problem with these resolutions is not only that they come from some judgmental part of our self-image, but that they are hard to keep. We all have … [Read more...]

Caregiving & Isolation

Caregiving

Three months ago, my husband had a stroke. Doctors told us we were lucky it was not worse: he could speak, find words, and only needed to learn to walk and use his left arm again. The process of rehabilitation began, and I was so proud of him for his motivation and how hard he worked. But I realized that I was struggling with feelings that had little to do with his stroke specifically and more to do with how it had impacted our life as a couple, as well as my life individually. I limited my … [Read more...]

Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety

School looks

     Many children experience anxiety prior to the start of the school year, and for some of them, it continues well into the first marking period.  This anxiety is not limited to elementary school children; it can affect middle school and even high school students. Your child’s anxiety can lead to resistance and lateness in the mornings, arguments about having to go to school, tears or emotional withdrawal.  You want to help your child but what should you do? Here are some ideas … [Read more...]

Learning from Loss

Death of a Pet

I recently read a wonderful story in the New York Times  "Things I Wish I had Known when my Dog Died" called What Emily’s Death Taught Me by Jen A. Miller.  It talks about what a person experiences and learns from the death of a beloved pet.  In this case, the author is a freelance writer who works at home and is single, so her pet dog Emily was perhaps even more of a beloved companion. The author learned many things following Emily’s death: - Most people will say the wrong thing.  They … [Read more...]

Conquering Procrastination in 2017

procrastination_full_155952698

Want to change one thing in the New Year? For many of us, the most valuable would be to stop procrastinating.  Whether you are a student struggling with the conflict between school work and video gaming, a mom who has a list that never ends, a woman who still has not put her winter clothes in the closet, or a manager who cannot seem to complete those deliverables until the last minute, conquering procrastination can help all of us in many areas of life. People procrastinate for a lot of … [Read more...]