Playing to Build Social Skills in Young Children

Even for toddlers and preschool children, friendships are key. Research suggests that early social development and peer relationships are critical for later academic success, social adjustment, and the ability to handle challenges and adversity. Friendships in early childhood also provide opportunities for children to develop the skills that they will need for social interactions in […]

When You Judge Another, You Do Not Define Them, You Define Yourself

Recently, I was asked about what it means to remain nonjudgmental within the therapy room and whether it is truly possible not to judge others. The idea of maintaining a nonjudgmental attitude is most often associated with Carl Rogers who focused on each client as an individual and the idea that for people to truly […]

5 Tips for Fostering Gratitude and Generosity this Holiday Season

There is a reason that we have the saying that it is important to “count your blessings.” Research has long shown that gratitude plays a major role in an adult’s well-being and success, and more recent research has supported this same finding with regard to children. For example, gratitude in children as been linked to […]

Helping Your Teenager Build Strong Relationships

Adolescence is a time of change, changes in one’s body, in one’s mood, and in one’s relationships.  Helping teenagers form and maintain healthy relationships, especially with peers, is critically important because research has shown that teens who do not have good peer relationships tend to do worse in school and are at risk for behavior […]

Beating the Bully Blues

Unfortunately, bullying is a common occurrence in US schools. An estimated thirteen million children are going to be bullied this year. 40% of teachers consider bullying a moderate or major problem in their schools. An estimated 32% of students ages 12-18 report experiencing bullying, and 88% of children have observed it. Thus, the far majority […]

A New Look at Self-Esteem

Everybody knows the importance of having a good sense of self-esteem: it protects us from depression and anxiety, it helps us make choices that are good for us, it helps children and teens be less susceptible to peer pressure, and a host of other benefits we want for ourselves and for our children. But how […]

Bringing Confidence to the Start of a New School Year

As parents, we want our children to believe in themselves. A sense of appropriate confidence or self efficacy, the belief that one can handle what might come his or her way, makes navigating life’s inevitable challenges not only easier, but more fun and exciting. On the other hand, a lack of confidence or a poor […]

Draw Your Lines in the Sand

Find it hard to say no? You’re not alone. At one time or another, we all fall victim to our own ill-defined limits. Whether it is something small, such as lending something that is not returned right away, or something more serious, such as inappropriate remarks from a peer, asserting boundaries can be tricky. That […]

It’s the Holidays- Time for “No” Thank You Notes

Take a minute to remember how it felt the last time that you were told “no.” • “No tables left on the deck, but we can seat you in the corner inside.” • “No, we actually don’t have your size and aren’t getting any more in.” • “No, we have no more rooms available.” When […]