Why Breathing Doesn't Work (and what does)
We all do it. When faced with a panicky child we say Take a breath. And then one of two things happens...
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Keeping Socks On and Other Sensory Challenges
Do you have a child who rips off his socks, turns them inside out, and rips them off again? A child who reacts to any hint of a label, and cannot wear jeans? Some kids have sensory sensitivities. Things in the environment bother them. A lot...
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One Stone: Extinguishing Negative Behaviors
Go to the craft store and buy a bag of clear blue stones. Or go to the beach and find 30 smooth pebbles. Put them in a jar. These pebbles will be the start of a surprisingly effective behavioral system...
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All that Glitters: Designing Effective Reward Systems
Behavior that is rewarded increases. It's as simple as that, as long as you make it clear, make it fast, and link your system to the behavior you want to reward...
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Why Reassurance Doesn't Work (and what does)
You'll be fine! How many times have you said that to your child? One hundred times? One thousand? I promise I'll be there to get you. You're not going to throw up. It isn't going to rain. There won't be any dogs. Just call me if you need me...
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Picturing Success: See It, Do It
It's the rallying cry of anxious children: What if...? What if you aren't there after school? What if that noise was a bad guy? What if I miss you? I strike out? Feel scared? Get sick? Terrible outcomes cascade through the minds of anxious children, some so awful, so utterly catastrophic that the mere mention of going to school, going upstairs, going to a friend's house causes panic...
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Lions and Tigers and Bees, Oh My
It's that season. Long summer days. Water wherever you can find it. Popsicles. Bees. If the latter spoils all of the former, chances are good you have a bee-phobic kid.
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Homework. Help!
A quiet spot. No TV. A snack and perhaps a bit of down time first. You know the drill and are following it whenever you can. So why is homework still such a hassle?
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Growing Gratitude
You know how it goes. You drive your child to school, send him off with a kiss and the lunch you dutifully packed. You host a play date after school, help with homework, refrain from putting zucchini on his plate. You let him hang out in the bathtub, have a warm towel ready, are all set to read his favorite book, and yet when he asks for his DS before bed and you say no, he loses it: You never let me do anything! You don't want me to have any fun at all.
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Food Fight
Have you seen them: the plump pineapples, bright red radishes, compact Brussel sprouts, heady variety of apples? The produce aisle is bursting with healthy, delicious fare. Delicious, that is, for the over-30 crowd, less so for the under-10's whose favorite orange food is mac and cheese. Why is it that so many children refuse healthy fare, clamoring for processed, starchy, high-sugar, high-fat foods instead? Why do we need to plead with our kids to take one more bite? Whatever happened to pleasant family dinners?
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Last Minute Prep for School
You sprang for the sparkly pencils, the must-have lunch box, the multi-pocket folders. You bought the colored jeans, the cool-kid socks, the character tees. You stocked up on mini-muffins, mini carrots, mini yogurts. You moved bedtime up an hour (despite your child's protests), went to the meet-and-greet (never letting go of your child's hand), talked enthusiastically about 2nd grade or 5th grade or whatever grade your child is entering. You did everything you could possibly do to get your child ready and yet you know, deep in your gut, that first morning is likely to be disastrous.
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Fears and False Alarms
Buttons, balloons, characters, dogs, spiders, crowds, loud noises, the dark, bad guys, Bloody Mary, throwing up, being thrown up on, being left behind, contamination, germs, heights, choking, storms, bees, shots...
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Enough With the Dinosaurs Already!
Yes, you can get too much of a good thing, and so can your kids. Some children get swept up by their interests or consumed by the need to know something. They talk about dinosaurs (or horses or the latest video game or what they are going to be for Halloween) ALL THE TIME.
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Ending Time Out
Ending Time Out. Not stopping the practice but ending it – quite literally – a single instance of Time Out. But first, a quick review of beginnings.
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The H-word
We've all heard it. I hate Jenna! I hate this shirt! I hate string beans (carrots, broccoli, all forms of meat, and anything even remotely healthy)! Many parents bristle at the H-word,
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Busting Boredom
For children with unlimited access to electronics, boredom is rarely an issue. Devices flash and ping and pull children in, providing hours of – dare I say – entertainment
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Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Not
Does your child compulsively line up her stuffies? Need to be kissed 3 times before bed? Is she obsessed with horses? Or what her friend said earlier that day? We use the words obsessive and compulsive pretty broadly ...
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Slow Time for Worries
Summer seems to be a slow time for worries. More sleep; more play; more hanging out with mom and dad. Why not use this time to give your child a leg-up on worry-fighting for the fall?
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Summer Tips for Anxious Kids
We're in the final stretch. Another school year come and (almost) gone. Huge sigh of relief for parents of anxious kids. For many kids, worries shrink as summer approaches ...
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Tattling
For those of us on the eastern seaboard, Nor'easter Nemo brought life as we know it to a screeching halt. Home-bound days with nowhere to go (even the post office is closed). The pristine beauty of 3 feet of snow, the hush of a world covered in crystalline white broken only by: "Mommm! He hit me."
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Zigger-Zagger
My computer crashed! That's a major zigger-zagger. Zigger-zagger ... you know, when things don't go according to plan.
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Baby Talk
Does your child engage in annoying baby talk? Especially at times of transition (for example, the start of a new school year), this common habit pops up ... right when we want them to be their biggest and best selves, many children do the opposite, regressing into a puddle of need. What to do?
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