Let’s Talk about Academic Pressure

Middle and high school students are more stressed and anxious now than in past decades. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, anxiety disorders in children and teens increased by 20 percent from 2007 to 2012. One reason for this troubling rise in anxiety is an increase in academic pressure. While we want…

Student Athlete

The “Perfect” Athlete (Part 2 of 2 on Perfectionism)

Seeming to parallel educational settings, many sports teams and athletic organizations encourage high achievement, rigid standards, and ambitious goals from their participants.  This phenomenon can begin early with coaches and parents telling children that ‘practice makes perfect.’ Furthermore, as an athlete continues to develop and grow competitively in their sport, they are often given the…

Summer

Easing into Summer

Summer is finally here, and kids (and parents) are more than ready for a chance to relax, unwind, and enjoy a much-needed respite from the demands of school. However, for many families, this also means contending with the potential for increased boredom and stress due to being out of the usual routine and navigating significantly…

The “Perfect” Student (Part 1 of 2 on Perfectionism)

The pursuit of excellence can be encouraged in various ways throughout society.  High ambitions are not only validated, but are used to promote individual achievement and societal progress.  In educational settings, academic achievement is commonly viewed as a main indicator of success.  With the increased challenge of college acceptance and the fast-paced, competitive nature of…

Are You an Echoist?

Last week, three long-time friends and I were trying to pick a restaurant for dinner.  The conversation went something like this: Friend 1: Where should we go to dinner?   Friend 2: Anywhere! Me: Yes, anywhere.  What sounds good to people? Friend 1: Well, there’s the Mexican place, or this other Mexican place, or this…

The Season of New Beginnings

Spring is traditionally thought of as the season of new beginnings. The winter barrenness is replaced with leaf and flower buds, animals come out of winter hibernation to enjoy the longer, warmer days, and we humans begin our ‘spring cleaning’ in our homes. The idea of a ‘new beginning’ is inspiring and freeing and tends…

Five Gifts of ADHD

ADHD is not, in and of itself, a gift. It is a disorder that often leads to significant challenges in various aspect of one’s life. And each person with ADHD has a unique profile of symptoms and difficulties. That said, once you’ve received the diagnosis, it is possible to reduce the impact of the challenges…

Mindful Eating for the Holidays

How many times have we looked at the scale after the holidays and cringed? While the holidays often offer a cornucopia of delicious foods, eating with abandon can cause January distress. Is there a way to enjoy the delectable tastes of the holidays while not tipping the scales in the new year? I believe there…

Successful Co-Parenting

I recently saw a picture that at first glance seemed like nothing out of the ordinary until I read the accompanying text related to the picture. The picture depicted four adults and multiple children laughing while unwrapping presents on Christmas morning. However, the text related to the picture revealed that two of the adults were…

The Dark Side of Popularity

While wanting to be liked and needing to fit in tend to be important no matter what your age, these issues are often especially important to adolescents. Teenagers often spend a good deal of time and energy worrying about how they are perceived by their peers – especially in this age of social media and…