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

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...]

Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety

     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...]

OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?

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

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?

* 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...]