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...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cooperative Co-parenting: Communicating With Your Ex

Working towards peaceful, consistent, and purposeful communication with your ex is absolutely essential to the success of co-parenting—even when it seems impossible. It begins with your mindset. Think about communication with your ex as having the highest purpose: your child’s well-being. Before contact with your ex, ask yourself how your talk will affect your child. Make your child the focal point of every discussion you and your ex have together.

The goal is to establish conflict-free communication, so see which type of contact works best for you. Whether talking via email, phone, or in person, the following methods can help you initiate and maintain effective communication:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cooperative Co-Parenting: Setting Your Emotions Aside

The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only. This can be very difficult! 

It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must be placed aside in order to attend to the needs of your children. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex, but rather about your child’s happiness and well-being.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cooperative Co-Parenting

Co-parenting isn’t easy, but it's the best way to make sure your children’s needs are met and they are able to maintain close relationships with both parents.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to Help Prevent Child Tantrums

How Play Can Decrease Acting Out Behavior

As a parent to a toddler or pre-schooler, there have likely been many times when you've wondered why and how your child’s mood can change so suddenly. One minute they seem fine - calm, content, engaged in play and then suddenly - bam! - yelling, screaming, throwing, crying. What the heck happened?

These 'tantrums' or acting out behavior can seem out of the blue and difficult to manage. They can be downright frustrating at times; frustrating for you and the child. In previous posts, we've talked about how to react as well as how to try and consider the meaning behind the behavior in order to help your child work through those big feelings. Here, we want to focus on how play can serve as a preventative measure and help children develop the regulatory skills needed to better manage their emotions.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to Get Your Kids to Do Their Chores!

The Importance of Teaching Your Child Independent Living Skills (aka do those chores!)

Over the years, I've come to realize more and more the importance of both children and adolescents developing a solid set of daily living skills. Having worked in a high school for a number of years, it has become a growing concern that many teens getting ready to transition into the real world do not have an appropriate set of independent skills for simple daily life tasks.  Schools are now taking a more active approach to teaching these skills since many teens require an extensive amount of training in this area. Preparing the next generation, not only academically, but in life skills as well, is becoming a necessity.  Researchers are linking children who do chores at a younger age to professional success as adults.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Snapchat and Facebook: Why the App and Website are So Popular Among High School and College Students

Snapchat and Facebook: Why the App and Website are So Popular Among High School and College Students

The following post is from the perspective of young people themselves....enjoy!

            Since its popularity surge with teenagers in the 2000s, Facebook has steadily been a popular website for social use among high school and college students. Nowadays, with the rise of smart phones and the abundance of apps to download, Snapchat seems to have made its way to one of the most used and most popular smart phone apps among teenagers and young adults. Together, Facebook and Snapchat dominate the way young adults socialize and behave among each other.
            Child Therapy Chicago conducted an informal survey of the websites and apps high school and college students prefer to use in their free time. Students from a local Chicago high school as well as students from a Chicago university were surveyed. These students were asked a variety of questions ranging from what their favorite website and app is to explaining why they prefer these social media platforms.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Maynia: Teen Behavior Changes in Spring

Ever wonder why some teens diagnosed with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (i.e., extreme fluctuations in mood) go through a manic (i.e., excessive hyperactivity) state in the Spring? Is it just so we can have a clever play on words like "Maynia"? Or is there really something behind it?

Being a clinical therapist in a school, I prepare myself every spring for a spike in mania running rampant through the halls. As a parent, friend, or teacher of a teen with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, you may also observe similar behaviors intensifying as the weather becomes a bit nicer. It happens like clockwork for some in the final months of the school year and this is why. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Behavior Problems in Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

We get calls from parents all the time asking if their preschool or kindergartener's acting out behaviors are "normal." Today, we are going to share some tips for helping to calm disruptive behavior.

Most young children have "behavior" problems. It is their job. They are growing and developing by leaps and bounds. There are new expectations of them and the rate at which they are learning new skills, new rules, how to socialize, etc. can be pretty stressful and confusing sometimes. They are still figuring out how to handle their emotions and still need the help and support of their parents. When young children feel overwhelmed, those feelings come out in their behaviors.

Young children's moods can run hot and cold and go from happy and content to rageful and distraught and back in a matter of minutes. When they are upset, it is not uncommon to see yelling, screaming, hitting, kicking, throwing, etc. So, what can you do to help?