Archives for Parenting

Adolescents

Fat-Shaming, Skinny-Shaming: What Every Mother Should Know

And it's not bad for dads to read this, either! But Moms, I'm going to be talking to you specifically.

The reason is: In most cases, body shame begins at home. While our culture undoubtedly plays a role in how our children see themselves and their bodies, the first culture any of us experience is our family's.

And when I talk to teen girls in my therapy office who have body, eating, and/or self-esteem issues, what I often hear is that the first role model they ever had--their moms--had some of those issues themselves (though those mothers often believe they've kept them hidden, they tend to eke out in small ways that I'll describe below.) Or those mothers weren't aware of the way judgmental comments they make about others impact their own children.

(Interestingly, I've actually never heard this from a young girl: "My father was always saying he was too fat." There's something cultural in that as well.  But that's for another blog.)

Here are some thoughts on how you can make your family culture a healthy one. It's never too early (or too late) to start.
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Adolescents

Preventing Mental Disorders in Children and Teens

As parents, we're trying to do a million things to promote the well-being of our children.  Mental health, though, often gets short shrift.

Not all mental health disorders can be avoided (genetics do play a role here.)  But their impact can be lessened, and in some cases, prevented altogether.

If you're thinking, Oh, no, not one more thing I need to do, on top of making them do their homework, driving them to activities, etc.--good news.  These tips aren't time consuming, and they fit right in with the rest of your life. 
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Attachment

How to Stay Calm When Your Toddler’s Melting Down

I've got some pretty recent experience with this one, as my almost three-year-old has been alternating between intensely delightful and intensely--well, intense.

This can apply to your toddler's tantrums (which tend to be brief) or meltdowns (which are protracted bouts of screaming and oppositional behavior that can go on for minutes to--worst case scenarios--more than an hour.)  What's key is focusing not on what they're doing, but on what you should be doing yourself.

Challenging, I know, but here  are some ideas to get you on a better path.
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