Are my child’s struggles my fault?

woman hugging boy on her lap

It’s the therapy stereotype, right? It’s always the parents’ fault! No wonder then that many of the parents I see in my therapy office come in feeling defensive or feeling guilty. “Did I do something wrong?” they ask me. “Did I create these issues? Is it all my fault?” My answer to this is probably […]

Nobody does anything they don’t want to do

boy in gray crew neck shirt

A long, long time ago in my parenting (not professional) life, I got in a friendly argument with another mom about whether or not kids should be “made” to do something they didn’t want to do. My friend said, yes, of course, because we all have to learn to do things that we don’t want […]

When the news is overwhelming

person in blue denim jeans holding white magazine

When I brought my newborn baby son home from the hospital we had a broken TV; it took at least 30 minutes to warm up. I was sleeping out on the futon in the living room of our tiny one bedroom apartment and I was leaving the television on all night, muted, so that when the […]

When You Don’t Like Your Kids

woman in black crew neck shirt

If you’ve got kids, I bet there have been times when you don’t like them very much. Maybe you feel guilty about that but you know I’m an anti-guilt crusader so I’m here to tell you that I haven’t met a parent yet (and I’ve met a lot of parents) who likes their children 100% […]

The Everyday Losses of Growing Up

selective focus photography of bubbles

Growing up is wonderful; it’s miraculous. New words. New accomplishments and abilities. But it’s also hard and scary and sometimes it’s sad. It’s not just the goldfish that don’t last a week or the blankies that get lost, there are the everyday losses of not being little anymore. “I can sit under the dining-room table […]

Why You Should Let Your Child Have the Last Word

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

Sometimes when you’ve won an argument you can help the person who lost save face by letting them get the last word in. I think this can be particularly helpful with kids. You can help move things along by letting a kid stomp away mumbling. This seems counterintuitive and I know it’s tempting to holler, “What’s that? […]

Fretting over candy

green-red-beige-and-white lollipop

It’s that time of year again. October leads the march for the next three months when sweets become one of the central issues for many families. Everywhere you turn there are suckers, cupcakes, frosted cookies and mini chocolate bars. In my local community, Trick or Treat is still happening (with plenty of safety recommendations in […]

To the parent feeling like a bad mother

person crying beside bed

I see you over there, avoiding friends, avoiding Facebook (or staying up late reading Facebook like a punishment, because you think you deserve to feel bad about yourself). I see you at the grocery store with the tantruming 3-year old, trying not to cry or scream or completely lose it yourself. I see you at […]

Parenting is a Process

man in white t shirt and brown pants painting cardboard house

Children are always changing; it’s what they’re supposed to do. Just when you think you have this parenting thing figured out, they’ll change.

You Can’t Rush Development

baby holding white wooden stool

Babies are gonna learn to walk when they’re ready to walk. Preschoolers are gonna learn to use the potty when they’re ready to use the potty. Kids are gonna learn to read when they’re ready to read. Teenagers are gonna learn to make responsible choices when they’re ready to make responsible choices. Every single stage […]