OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?

OCD

Jenny stops by Amanda’s locker to borrow a pencil before the homeroom bell. “Ugh,” Jenny scoffs, eyeing Amanda’s perfectly stacked books and variety of office supplies, all arranged by size and color. “You’re sooo OCD.” Unlike many mental illnesses, which still carry some degree of social stigma, OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — has gained such popular acceptance that it is often dropped casually into conversation to punch up a joke or as a pithy synonym for “neat freak.” Pop culture … [Read more...]

The Real Lessons for the School Year

back-to-school

It’s that time of year again. You are buying clothes and school supplies for your children. You are thinking about how you are going to juggle different school schedules with your commitments to work or charitable organizations. You are wondering how you will ever have dinner together again as a family when each of your children plays a different sport and has a different schedule. You are trying to figure out what guidelines to give your child in terms of the grades you expect from him or her … [Read more...]

My Child Is So Worried, What Should I DO?

crying child

* Johnny cries and resists going to school every morning. * Suzie is afraid of throwing up and won’t go into any supermarket, because the first time she was in a food store, she vomited. * Liam doesn’t sleep well because he becomes so worried the night before a test. * Janine is afraid of speaking up in front of her friends for fear that they will make fun of her, so she goes along with whatever they want to do and never expresses her own opinion. All four of these children struggle with … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Perfect: Letting Go of Perfectionism for Good

Woman cutting Grass

Part 3 of my "Letting Go of Perfect" series. Well, we are not even into Spring and I would bet that most of us have either thrown our New Year’s resolutions in the trash, given up on them, or didn’t even bother to make any. Part of the reason we do that is that they are too big, too hard, and set the bar too high. In many ways our resolutions are a lot like the things we say to ourselves about being perfect. We may try so hard to be perfect, to do things perfectly, to aspire to perfection, … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Perfect: How Perfectionism Hurts Children

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 9.20.01 AM

This blog is Part Two of a three-part series on perfectionism. Most parents would feel proud if they thought they had the “perfect” child. But few look at the downside of perfectionism and how striving for it can hurt children. In today’s competitive environment, children cannot just be perfect on paper, amassing a large digital resume good grades and extracurricular activities. They need to have real skills to navigate the ups and down of teacher demands, changing friendships, emotional … [Read more...]