parent – child relationship

Beyond “Do your best”: Three Ways to Lessen Your Child’s Anxiety about School

Young girl holding a pencil at her desk
Young girl holding a pencil at her desk
Young girl holding a pencil at her desk

A Guest Post from Dr. Kevin L. Gyoerkoe — a licensed psychologist specializing in anxiety and OCD-related disorders at The Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center in Charlotte, NC.

When I first started working with 12 year-old Sarah*, she was the picture of anxiety. Sticking close to her mom, her hair covering her face, she sat in the waiting room as I came out to say hello. She muttered a “hi”, and we walked back to my office.

We talked for a few minutes about movies, then–knowing her parents had brought her to my office because of her anxiety about grades–I asked her about school.

Sarah burst into tears as she described just how anxious she felt.

“I feel like I have to be perfect; I have to make straight A’s”, she told me. “I don’t know when to stop, I study all the time. It takes me so much longer to finish my homework than my friends. And if I get a B or worse, I freak out.” Read More

When Parents Disagree on Discipline: 8 Steps to Harmonious Parenting

Little Girl with Parents Fighting
Little Girl with Parents Fighting
Little Girl with Parents Fighting

You vowed to be together for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, but now you’re in a parenting standoff and can’t seem to agree on A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

You’re tired of yelling at your kids. Your partner is tired of their disrespect. You try to implement consequences. Your partner insists on sending them to time out. You dread mealtime. Your partner dreads bathtime.

The tension is palpable and your kids notice. They know you’re the strict one and your partner is more lenient. They know who will cave under pressure and whose fuse will blow first.

If there is one thing you can ALL agree on, it’s this: Something has to change.

The standoff can’t continue.

Your kids are too important. Your marriage is too important. Your family is way too important to let discipline differences wear everyone down.

So what should you do about it?

First, take a deep breath. Like a REALLY deep breath.

There is hope for you and your family, my friend. Lots of hope.

I’m here to suggest there are 8 tangible steps you and your partner can take TODAY to set a new foundation in your home – a foundation that you can both feel comfortable standing on as you continue your parenting journey. Read More

5 Tips to Help Kids Develop The Kindness Advantage

A Guest Post from Amanda Salzhauer & Dr. Dale Atkins

Do you ever remember hearing a friend or relative complain that their kids are too kind? 

No, neither do we.

Kindness is one of those qualities that we can never have enough of.

There are so many reasons that kindness is important. At its essence, kindness allows us to develop awareness of and sensitivity to others. Having concern for others and being able to show that concern through our thoughts and actions helps us feel connected to the people and world around us.

When we use the word kindness, we are referring to several, specific behaviors. Let’s think of them as the “kindness-ecities”: 
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Playing to Prevent Power Struggles

Kids playing independently!  Parents celebrate when kids will finally play on their own or with a sibling.  Finally – a few minutes of breathing room for mom and dad to get some things done around the house! Independent play is important for your child’s development and should be encouraged, however, playing WITH your kids on a daily basis will do you and your kids a world of good.  It will even fend off some of the most frustrating power struggles.

Playing WITH your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as throwing a ball or role-playing with dolls or action figures.  “Playing” with a teenager can be a game of backgammon, UNO, or a round of Wii Golf.  “Playing” is what ever your CHILD likes to do for fun. Read More

Kids Clamming Up? Try These 3 Strategies

Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get my kids to share ANYTHING! I’ll ask a question and get one word answers or their body language will tell me they’re not at all interested in discussing whatever I’m asking. Sometimes they’re tired or hungry or cranky and just don’t feel like talking. But there are other times when I recognize that my communication style is actually causing them to clam up.

I’ve found that I’m more successful in getting my kids to open up and have a real conversation if I use the following 3 strategies: 

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Simple Words to Avoid Power Struggles

avoid power strugglesDid you know the average child hears 432 negative comments or words per day versus 32 positive ones? (Source: K. Kvols, Redirecting Children’s Behavior)

If there were a hidden camera in your house, how many times per day would you catch yourself saying “No” or “Don’t” to your kids?

NO or DON’T commands create several problems, especially for young kids… Read More