Tuesday, November 8, 2016

“Tween” Coping Skills

Preteen “Tween” years can be very stressful and overwhelming for many of our youngsters.  

The stress of entering puberty and handling this new rush of hormones along with the navigation through friendships, peer “drama” and developing social skills can really take a toll.  

Not to mention, many of our children are trying to manage the academic pressures of testing and high school admittance. 

Sometimes, tweens may find it difficult to generate “coping skills” when already emotional or stressed out. Therefore, it is helpful to have a “tool box” of coping skills that can be beneficial in times of need, whether it is to help them stay calm or even just have a distraction. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is an approach that, historically, has been used by many clinicians to help people relax, focus, and center themselves so they can manage their emotions and behaviors and have healthy relationships. Over the years, it has gained more and more attention for its effectiveness and parents are learning to incorporate these techniques into their own lives and help their children do the same.  

However, DBT has many components to it and to really “master” it, one must spend a great deal of time learning, practicing and basically eating/sleeping/breathing it.  So, I thought I would give you the "cliff notes" and some quick and easy ways you can help yourself and your child incorporate it into everyday life. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Co-parenting: When Your Child Returns

The beginning of your child’s return to your home can be challenging and may need some adjustment time. Try the following to help your child adjust:

Keep things low-key.
When your child first enters your home, try to have some down time together—read a book or do some other quiet activity.

Double up.
To make packing easier and your children feel more comfortable, make sure that each home provides the general basics—toothbrush, hairbrush, pajamas.

Allow your child to have space.
Children often need some time to adjust to the transition. If they seem to need space, do something nearby, but allow them to take the time they need to adjust back to your home life routines.

Establish a special routine.
Play a game or have the same special meal each time your child returns. Children thrive on routine—if they know exactly what to expect when they return to you, it can help to create a positive transition.

Posted by Isa Salvador, LCSW, IMH-E(III)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Co-parenting: When Your Child Leaves

It is important to remember that the move from one household to another, whether it is every few days or just on weekends, can be a difficult transition for children. 

Each reunion with one parent is also a separation with the other. In most joint custody agreements, transition time is inevitable, but there are things you can do to help make parenting time exchanges easier, both when your children leave and return.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Co-parenting: Important Issues

All major decisions need to be made by both you and your ex. Being open, honest, and straightforward regarding the following 3 important issues is essential to your relationship with your ex and your children’s well-being.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Co-parenting: Disagreements

As a co-parent team, you and your ex will likely disagree over certain issues. Try to keep the following in mind as you work towards finding a compromise with your ex.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Buzz Words

UrbanDictionary.com is officially my new best friend.  Working with tweens and teenagers all day, I have come to know it well (and officially added it to the “Favorites" tab on my internet browser).  

There is a big trend right now among young people with “code words”.  Teenagers have developed their own language and form of communication, so “us adults” can’t figure out what they’re talking about (mainly because it’s probably not appropriate, ESPECIALLY in a school setting).  

However, when a student calls someone a “thot” (aka hoe) or continues to repeats the word “milk” (the tastiest s#@t ever) in their conversation and there's no milk in sight or you know this kid has a dairy allergy (lol!), it starts getting suspicious.

Friday, September 30, 2016

IEP Meetings: The In’s and Out’s

You may have heard of an IEP, heard parents or teachers talking about it, or maybe your child has one/is in the process of getting one. They can sometimes be confusing and even a bit overwhelming to understand. But it is best to go into this meeting prepared and knowledgeable so you can be your child’s best advocate.
IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. A student/child may receive an IEP when additional services, provided within the school, are determined to be needed to better support a student with a disability or who is having trouble learning. This may be a diagnosed learning disability (dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, etc.), emotional disability (anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc.), a child on the autism spectrum, or a child struggle in certain areas of learning such as math, reading, etc. 

Normally (and I can speak on my own experiences), a team of teachers, administrators, and related service providers (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, counselors, etc.) collaborate to develop the best possible learning plan for the student so they can be successful in the school setting. The most important aspect of this plan development is both parent and student involvement.
Normally, a full IEP can be quite lengthy.  So here are just a FEW things you should expect to be discussed during an IEP meeting and noted in a child's plan:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Executive Functioning Skills and Children

What are Executive Functioning Skills and What Do They Have to Do with My Child?

You may have heard the term "executive functioning deficits," whether from a teacher at school, a therapist, or in trending articles. It is a term used often in a number of settings to describe one's skills that help to manage day to day tasks. It is beneficial to understand this term and how it plays a part in your child's day to day life and, more importantly, how emotions can greatly affect one's executive functioning skills. Read more...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cooperative Co-parenting: Parenting As A Team

Parenting is full of decisions you will have to make with your ex, whether you like each another or not. Cooperating and communicating makes decision-making easier on everyone. If you aim for consistency and teamwork with your ex, child-rearing decisions tend to fall into place. Here's how...