Helping Kids “Stretch” Their Brains

Imagine that you are on your way to the airport for a much-needed vacation. Although you arrive early, you are informed upon your arrival that your flight has been cancelled and that you have been moved to a different flight.  In the morning rush you did not see the email notifying you of the change,…

Mental Toughness: Do You Have What It Takes?

Why do some people fail to reach their potential, while others go on to achieve greatness?  How do people persist when faced with tremendous obstacles and challenges?  What makes it possible to center our focus, rebound from failure, and handle enormous pressure?  In the field of sport psychology many professionals have attempted to answer these…

When Your Teen with ADHD Starts Driving

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death of young people from ages 16 to 24 in the United States.  Teenagers with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely than their neurotypical peers to have a car accident, get a speeding ticket, drive drunk, drive without a seatbelt, and drive without a valid…

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…

Live Longer by Improving Your Outlook

If you sift through the noise and fury that dominates our daily news cycles, you may have noticed a recently published study that suggests optimists live longer than pessimists. A paper published in last month’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America examined data from long-term studies of data…

Stress

Managing the Stress of a New School Year

As we move from the lazy, hazy days of summer to the hectic, jam-packed days of a new school year, I thought it might be helpful to review some ways to manage the inevitable stress that comes with this transition. Stress is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset…

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…

Preventing Suicide in Teens

Reports of suicide among famous people, in our communities, and in our schools have become all too common.  Suicide rates have increased by close to 25% over the last 15 years, and suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 in 2015.  What can we do…

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…