sanity if you have a child with mental health needs

Allergies and Stress: There Is a Connection

Achoo… cough….snort…! The sounds of allergies are everywhere, it seems. Many of us cannot escape allergies this time of year. According to the American College of Allergy and Immunology, ragweed pollen usually reaches peak levels in mid-September, impacting up to 23 million Americans with allergy symptoms, roughly translating to 20-30 percent of people. But what […]


Driving into Sunset

Flashbacks Are More Common than You May Think

Flashbacks are experienced when people relive or remember something very frightening. Flashbacks are often experienced with increased physical and psychological arousal. Physically, the person may sweat, their heart rate increases, and breathing may become shallow and rapid. Subjectively, it can be described as “panic,” or “terror.” Some people report feeling “frozen,” or like they are “flinching.”


Separation anxiety can be difficult for children AND their parents

Helping Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety is common, yet can be very frustrating and upsetting for children (and their parents). Oftentimes, children have difficulties separating, and can experience panic in these situations. They may feel sick, and feel worried or guilty about not being with their families. Often children wonder what their parents or loved ones are doing and whether something terrible has happened to them, like death, a car accident, or a shooting. As a result, they have great reluctance or refusal to separate from their parents. They may have difficulty sleeping in their own room or different parts of the house. When they come home from school or camp, they may be irritable, tired, and upset, as it takes a lot of energy to hold that level of stress/anxiety in all day. Oftentimes, a loved one will make a simple request, and then the child will yell, cry, or tantrum.


Why Mindset is More Important than Achievement for Your Child’s Success

Most parents want nothing more for their children than to be happy and to succeed in life. Parents often spend a lot of time and money to help children in school become strong students. Teachers and schools emphasize grades and test scores as indices of how your child is doing, and even your child’s potential. Many people feel that children need to be intelligent or have good grades to become successful in life. The truth is, however, that there may be something more important than academics that we should be teaching our children.


7 Ways to Help Your Child’s Anxiety in Standardized Testing

Bottom-line: It seems like standardized tests are here to stay. But the key to our children doing their best on them is NOT adding pressure or fear to the situation. Instead, it is teaching our children tools to manage their fears and thoughts. It is supporting them in their individuality, and helping them find the good things in their present world. And it’s helping them remember that some of the best things in life are not measured, but rather are experienced with kindness, love, and support.


Girl with Sunflower

Helping Your Child to Respond to a Traumatic Incident

When community tragedies happen, they can feel downright terrifying, especially so close to home. Traumas can have lasting effects for communities, children, and families. They increase our fears, and decrease our feelings of safety. These effects are particularly pronounced if we were present or directly involved with the victims.


What Parents Should Know About Anxiety in Children

If you are reading this, you or your child (or both of you) probably has some anxiety. You may be surprised to know that everyone has some stress, anxiety, or fear. It is part of the human condition. Our biology wires us to recognize and perceive danger. These are survival instincts, and actually quite miraculous. Anxiety allows us to stop, rather than walk out into traffic. It allows us an opportunity to question whether we should make decisions involving safety or taking risks. Anxiety can help us consider the feelings of others when we make decisions.


Shy Girl Behind Book

How to Help a Shy Teen Make Friends

New longitudinal research, published by the University of Michigan, based on students from 1991-2012, found that students have smaller groups of peers than they did a generation ago. However, the data also suggests that due to increased contact through electronics and on-line exchanges, relationships tend to be closer than they were 20 years ago. Other research has also found that as teens rely more on electronics, they tend to become less interested and less skilled at direct, face-to-face social interactions


hamster on a wheel

How to Manage Obsessive Thinking

Anxiety is a condition where people worry. Most people have worries from time to time. We may worry about making a good impression, or how we will do on a test or an assignment. Sometimes people worry about the weather, loved ones, or illness. When worry happens so much that it starts to make our […]


Test anxiety

The Power of Positive Thinking for Anxious Children

“In a new study, one group of researchers (Hogendoorn et al, 2014) attempted to find what parts of cognitive behavioral therapy were most helpful for anxious youth. Their findings were somewhat surprising. The children in their study benefited the most from the therapist coaching positive thinking skills (“I can do it,” “It’s not so bad,” etc.), rather than the therapist trying to decrease negative thinking patterns (“I don’t want to go.” “They’ll be mean.”) “


Weathering Life’s Adversities

“Each of us is a flower growing in life’s garden. Each of us is a flower. We need the sun and rain.” The above song has been sung by both my children in elementary school. As I attended my youngest son’s music performance this week, I listened to the words. I found myself wondering if […]