Surviving Terror and Grief

My two daughters are graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – Class of 2008 and Class of 2012. As a result, the news surrounding the terrible shooting there a few weeks ago has had a resonance for me even beyond the shock, sadness, fear, and anger experienced by all of us…

Building Resilience in Our Children: Parent First Know Thyself

Resilience, or the capacity to recover or adjust from difficulties, is a vital characteristic to nurture for coping in our complex, ever-changing world.  Children can experience stressors at school with teachers, academics, and peers, with extra-curricular activities such as sports, and within the family with parents and siblings. The newest research on resilience indicates that…

Understanding Executive Functioning: An Overview and Helpful Resources

The term “executive functioning skills” is a stand-in for a range of thinking and problem-solving skills that help us to manage our day-to-day lives.  They are mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Executive functioning skills can be broken down into 3 inter-related cognitive processes: 1.…

Harnessing the Power of Your Thoughts

You are not your thoughts.  Thoughts are just electrical impulses that are rapidly transmitted between neurons in the brain.  It is our actions, not our thoughts, that define us.  That being said, the way we think has an enormous impact on how we feel; this can have both positive and negative implications. Before our brains…

Helping Anxious Kids Launch Back to School After Winter Break

Hopefully this holiday season was filled with fun, laughter, downtime, and served as a mini break from the daily routine of running and stress. With the winter holiday coming to an end, many parents and their children have mixed emotions about school starting again. While getting back to a routine is healthy, having enjoyed a…

Preparing for Winter Break

As winter break quickly approaches, many children and their families are eager for a chance to relax, unwind, and enjoy some much-needed time away from the demands of school. However, for many children, this time of year can also be a source of significant stress. In particular, children with developmental delays, AD/HD, anxiety disorders, and…

20 Tips for Getting Through the Holidays After a Loss

Holiday season is just about here. While most of us look forward to this festive and sparkly time of year, many of us experience complicated feelings during the winter holidays. It’s a time we reflect back on the year…and the years. For some folks, this inevitably means reflecting on loss of loved ones. With that…

Helping Teens Get Better Sleep

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the three lifestyle factors that are most associated with mental health. Teens need between eight and ten hours of sleep per night, with most teens needing about nine hours of sleep. Unfortunately, studies have shown that most teens are not getting the sleep they need. In fact, the average teen…

Is It Helpful or Harmful to Reward Kids for Good Behavior?

How can I raise my child to be a person who behaves responsibly, kindly, and generously? This question has led to seemingly endless discussions, disagreements, and disputes among parents, and among experts. One of the central points of disagreement has been whether to use rewards: are the short-term gains in good behavior real, or are…

Live a Healthier Life: Cultivate Compassion and Kindness

Living in our fast-paced often self-involved society, one might think the adage “it’s a dog-eat-dog world” holds true. Such a belief, however, would not be confirmed by research. Charles Darwin taught us that survival belongs to the fittest, and social psychologist, Dacher Keltner, in his book, Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful…