Archives for December, 2010


Child Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorders are the number one mental health issue in America today.  Many children go through months and even years of undiagnosed (or improperly diagnosed) anxiety problems.  Since some of the symptoms are behavioral, parents or other adults that don't understand the full range of symptoms can miss a major problem. 
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Getting Ready For Christmas Break

It's time for Christmas break.  Many of you are getting prepared for family celebrations, and maybe even some travel.  Even if you are ready to indulge in the fun of Christmas, you'll have some things to get used to.

Adjustment and crazy schedules can be stressful after a while.  I've prepared a few tips to help you stay relaxed and ready for everything that comes with Christmas break.

Working Parents – Understand What Your Child Needs To Make Smooth Transitions

If you will be working while your kids are out of school, make sure you have your plan in place early.  Depending on your child, you may want to inform them with plenty of advance notice.  Or, you might find it better to tell them much closer to the time the schedule changes.  Just be sure you understand what your child needs to keep them relaxed about it.
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Depression At The Holidays

It's the time for decorations, holiday meals, and wrapped presents.  So what's wrong?  It could be nothing, it could be everything.  Depression is more common than you might think at the holidays.  If you or someone in your family has a history of depression, you might see some of the typical symptoms popping up.

Depression can even affect someone who's never experienced it before.  Why does this happen and what can you do about it?  Let's take a look.
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Telling Your Family Stories

Yesterday was my middle daughter's birthday and I'm reminded of a little ritual we do together.  Every time my kids' birthdays roll around, we start telling stories. Of course, I'm the one who tells the story of the birthday girl's actual birth.  Sometimes the sisters chime in with something they remember about a birthday last year or a story they've heard over and over.  And that's the key - stories they've heard many times before.

That creates the living narrative of each child's family with them as a key character.  Stories like this are meant for bonding.

Help Bring These Memories To Life For Your Kids

Many families do this at Christmas, weddings, and even funerals.  But you don't have to wait for a big even to tell your kids the stories of their lives.  You can start out by saying, "You know what I was just remembering?  That time when we..."  If they were there and remember, you can invite them to add their memories.  If not, you can give a lively account of all the best parts.
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Cyber Bullying – Parents Try To Fight Back

Bullying has been around as long as people have learned to wield power over each other.  It's not news in the fact that we're surprised it happens.  However, with the information age upon us, education and information about bullying doesn't seem to be diminishing the problem.

In fact, electronic communication has simply become a new medium for an old problem.

Bullying - An Old Problem With New Methods

People who want to be powerful sometimes use destructive means to do so.  This includes children and parents who permit it.  That is the most heartbreaking aspect of this.  The parents who permit and even endorse their children's abusive and harmful behavior absolutely blow my mind.  I know this isn't the first time I've railed on this, but it bears repeating.
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Arts and Culture

Trying To Be Fair At Christmas

Life isn't fair, and neither is Christmas.  Some people get big boxes and others get small ones.  As we know, good things can come in small packages.  Or three packages, or five, or ten, but only if everything is on sale so you don't outspend yourself on one person.
Then you might have to make up for it with another gift, and you may have to explain why someone is getting an extra gift.
Are you exhausted yet?  Like I said, Christmas isn't fair.  Sometimes people are tempted to make it comparatively even so do they don't upset anyone.  While it's one thing to be aware of how you are using money and distributing your gifts, it can be a slippery slope if you are prone to anxious feelings or self-conscious thoughts.  That's a path to perfectionism, which goes against the spirit of generosity and love.  Let's see if we can disconnect you from that negativity at the holidays.
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How Soon Do You Start Child Discipline?

I recently meandered through a parenting message board and found a good question.  At what age do you start disciplining your young child? While it may be a simple question, the answer does require some explanation.

Don't Start Too Soon

First, it really depends on the developmental stage of your child.  Between their first birthday and about 18 months, a child can start to understand that their actions have consequences.  Before that, they don't have the ability to make those connections so discipline won't do any good.
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