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?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Four Things You Need to Know to Help Your Toddler with New Activities

Ever wonder why your child keeps coming back and checking on you when he/she is playing or doing activities in pre-school? Are you starting to wonder if your child is afraid of something, or just being clingy? This post will help you understand what this behavior means and how to navigate this phase with your child.

Friday, August 28, 2015

TV Reporter and Camera Man Shot on Live TV: How to Talk with Your Kids

If you are wondering how to talk with your kids about the TV reporter and camera man who were shot on live TV in Virginia yesterday, please read this post for some of our thoughts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Young Adults with Autism Entering the Work Force

Therapist's Editorial: Young Adults with Autism Entering the Work Force

I recently came across a very interesting article while on vacation.  Well, actually my husband did when reading his INC. Magazine.  Normally those types of articles are not “up my alley” as I prefer Better Homes & Gardens, but this was something that sparked my interest as well as a passion of mine.  The article was called “Making It Work” and it was about the growing population of people with Asperger’s (those on the Autism Spectrum Disorder) now transitioning into adulthood, entering the work force, and the struggles that are faced. Knowing this is not only in my career field but a strong interest of mine, my husband chose to pass the magazine over to me.  Despite it being more from a “business model” standpoint, I was able to relate as a therapist on different levels (my husband, the accountant, interestingly pulled very different points from it, which I always find amusing).  I thought I would share my “take-aways” as it is such a crucial part in our society that we must be able to grow with, or as the article title said, “make it work”.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yoga and Kids: New Ways to Connect with Your Children

Building Connections through Yoga Games

Toddlers and preschoolers naturally live in the moment and love to play! They are also beginning to encounter emotional, social, and physical challenges or conflicts. Yoga games and activities can help to support your child’s development of self esteem, confidence and self regulation. By incorporating some of the basics of yoga into play, you can positively support your child in navigating and building connections with themselves and others…and have some fun together! Below is a yoga game to try with your child at home. You do not need any yoga experience to play this game.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Connecting with Kids with Special Needs through Toys and Play

 By Child Therapy Chicago's guest blogger from Lekotek

“Inclusion” is a popular word used around children with special needs. It reflects the emotional need of every human being to be included and the desire to share experiences, and there is, perhaps, no better place to put the concept of inclusion to work than through toys and play. Hot categories of toys this year are electronics, plush, arts and crafts and sports, so let’s explore what’s new in these areas and how they can bring kids together.