Published in Indy’s Child Newsletter
Okay parents, time to get serious about reinforcing our children’s positive body image. Recent studies indicate that over 90% of women and girls are currently dissatisfied with their body shape and size. Forty to 60% of men and boys reported dissatisfaction as well. These studies included children as young as 5 years old! For kids, body dissatisfaction can be a predictor of low confidence, self-esteem issues, and disordered eating as they become teenagers. But parents, we are not helpless here, there are steps you can take to create and reinforce a positive body image in your child.
Published in Indy’s Child Newsletter
Last year, the LEGO Foundation released its “Play Well Report”, a survey of over 12,000 adults and children exploring the link between happiness and time spent playing together as a family. The results revealed a strong link between the number of hours a family spends playing together and an overall sense of family happiness. For children, play is essential to healthy physical and emotional development. It teaches them how to interact with others, how to think critically, and problem solve effectively. Play offers them an opportunity to establish their sense of self, expand their imaginations and foster creativity, as well as learn to cope with difficult emotions in situations they can control. For adults, play helps to relieve stress, stimulate creativity, and improve cooperation, among other things. And, for families, play fundamental for good communication skills, teaching empathy and compassion, and building trust.
Published in Indy’s Child Newsletter
Dear Fellow Parents,
If you’re anything like me, you may need a lighter perspective following the first week of our strange, new, COVID-19 reality. So, hear you go: Congratulations! I mean it. This past week was one of the most difficult, slow-moving, parenting experiences I’ve had so far. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my children, I love spending time with them, but there is nothing like the task of facilitating e-learning with absolutely no option of escape to make you question your ability to be a quality parent. And this of course is the best-case scenario, one in which you are not personally or directly affected by the actual illness. So, here’s the thing to know, you are a great parent, and now, more than ever, I want to make sure you hear me when I say, we are all doing the very best that we can right now. And, it is good enough! Enough is the important word here, enough. We do not have to be homeschooling super stars or master the art of cooking a week’s worth of kid-friendly meals from whatever you currently have in your pantry – we just have to be good enough. Lower your expectations of yourself, settle into the moment, and give yourself a high-five if you can currently locate all of your children.
Many couples who come to see me for marital counseling say “we can’t communicate”, or “we argue about everything.” In fact, it’s not unusual for them to say both! Whether it’s what to do on the weekend, who does what chores, or how one partner looks at someone of the opposite sex, conflicts seem to spring up all over the place, never resolved. While conflict is normal in marriages, it can also lead to much pain if not handled in a healthy way.
Do you want to participate in New Years’ Eve parties and family gatherings during the holidays, but the thought of being yourself around other people stresses you out? Do you clam up or feel unsure of what to say during social situations? Do your negative thoughts about yourself and how you are perceived run wild? Or–perhaps this is a familiar scenario: you go to family gatherings and friend get-togethers, but feel as if you have to put on a false front in order to fit in. At the end of the day, you are exhausted and you don’t feel any more connected to the people you just spent time with. You feel as if you are on the outside looking in. Everyone else but you seems to connect. For those of us who struggle in the social realm, the holidays have a way of highlighting this perceived deficiency. In fact, social anxiety is the highest diagnosed form of anxiety disorders, so there are probably many of us walking around feeling socially defective at this time of year.
Thankfully, the dawning of the new year can also spark hope. At this time of year, we are driven to reflect on our past and make resolutions for a better future. Perhaps you have not been as involved as you have wanted to be in your social life. Or perhaps you have not wanted to be involved socially, but something in your life seems to be amiss. If you are looking for a New Years’ Resolution, here are the top 5 ways to tackle social exclusion and anxiety in 2020:
This article originally appear in the November issue of Indy’s Child.
Oh joy: Here come the holidays! And along with all the merriment and holiday happiness, ‘tis the season for feeling rushed, overscheduled, overwhelmed and just all around stressed out. Sadly, adults are not the only ones feeling the pain. Kids also feel the burden of anxiety and stress around the holidays. So, let’s not allow this year to be a repeat of last year’s holiday craze; instead, make space for a real sense of peace, calm and family togetherness. Now that is something to look forward to!
Ever google something like “therapists in my area” to discover more choices exist than you can possibly review? The increasing number of private practice therapists out there is growing, and this is great news in terms of increasing accessibility to therapy. However, without knowing who exactly you are looking for, the choices can be daunting. And let me be very clear, finding the right therapist for you is critical to achieve positive outcomes in therapy. I usually offer the same advice to anyone asking me how to go about finding a therapist…book at least 2 intake appointments – 3 is optimal. If you attend 3 intake sessions with 3 different therapist and you still don’t feel like you’ve found the right one, then it is probably a “you” problem and not a therapist “fit” problem – as in, you are probably not really ready for therapy.
Simply put, “schemas” can be referred to as “life traps”. Life traps are self-defeating patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that keep us stuck. Do we all have life traps? Yes, and here is why: none of us get out of childhood unscathed. Try as they may have, none of our parents ever peaked at perfection. We have all experienced trauma in our lives, believe it or not. Whether that be “trauma” with a lowercase “t”, “Trauma” with a capital “T”, or all caps “TRAUMA”, we have all had our needs neglected at some point or another, or terrible things have happened to us in varying degrees. The bottom line is, life traps are unfortunately easy to develop.
We all feel stressed at times. You’ve been meaning to find a way to manage your overall stress levels. You’re going to start a meditation practice…soon. Or, you plan to make physical activity a more regular part of your busy schedule. But, what can you do when you’re running late for work, your kid spills juice on you, and then you get stuck in traffic? Here are 5 tips that can help you decrease stress in the moment.
Dealing with your emotions after an affair can feel somewhat like riding a roller coaster. You can expect to feel moments of sadness, depression, anger, moments of disorientation like your world is spinning.
While having a strong support system and learning different stress-reduction techniques can help you deal with your emotions, there’s a different technique you may want to try that can soothe your rawest emotions quickly – writing.
Writing for just 15 to 20 minutes a day for only four days – according to therapeutic writing expert, Dr. James Pennebaker – can soothe turbulent emotions and have long-term beneficial impact on both emotional and physical health.
You don’t have to be an avid, talented writer in order for this technique to help you in dealing with your emotions. Grab a pen, take a deep breath, be mindful of your feelings, and put those thoughts to paper.