Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC In my work with children and their families, I notice that there are more and more grandparents raising their grandchildren. This has become a trend due to very unfortunate circumstances: parents in prison or with mental health problems that render them unable to care for a child, child abuse, substance abuse, financial difficulties, death. When you have to embark in this journey of raising grandchildren, many emotions and feelings come to the surface. Some em...
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Does My Child Need ADHD Testing?

By Eleanor Harrison, PhD I get many phone calls from parents who want ADHD testing for their child. Often, the child is doing poorly in school, displaying behavior problems, or is having difficulty with friendships. Sometimes, a teacher, friend, or relative has suggested the child may have ADHD. A sibling or parent might have recently been diagnosed with ADHD. So when is it a good idea to pursue an ADHD evaluation? ADHD was the diagnosis of the day not long ago. It seemed that many child...
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Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Child

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC In my work with children and their parents, I frequently learn that the parent’s expectations of their children are unrealistic. And not having their expectations met brings parents a lot of disappointment, which translates into consequences for children, turmoil, and breaks in the child/parent relationship. To help you navigate this tricky terrain, I would like to share some thoughts about how to set realistic expectations for your child. I grew up in Roma...
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The Perfect Storm – Perfectionism in Relationships

By Lesley S. Cunningham, MA, LPC We all say, “No one’s perfect!” But there is a subset of people who frankly strive to be and can seem pretty close. Born Perfect We are born as perfect as we will ever be: untainted, un-programmed, and un-manipulated. But soon thereafter, our well-intentioned parents may begin “fulfilling their dreams” through us, consciously and unconsciously. The dreams for their children hopefully will be translated into shaping behaviors that turn boys into success...
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The Importance of Empathy

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC According to the dictionary, empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else's feelings.” In my work with parents and children, I often find that empathy is almost non-existent in certain individuals. They understand that someone is hurt or in pain or grieving but have no ability to put themselves in that person’s shoes. A heart without empathy is like a plant without water – it...
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Preparing Children For Change

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC A few months ago we decided to move to a different town. In addition to requiring negotiating, logistical planning, and lots of sweat work, the move involved preparing our daughter for what was to come. With the excitement of moving also came the fear of the unknown, for both my daughter and me. Tons of questions went through our heads and we knew that we were going to miss our town – our friends, the restaurants, the stores – everything that had been fami...
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Parent Alienation: Manipulating a Child’s Loyalty

By Lesley S. Cunningham, MA, LPC Basic Instincts Children have a basic instinct: to survive. It is the reason for attachment, it is the reason for crying, and it is the reason why divided loyalties can happen. The survival instinct endows children with the innate ability to “read” their parents and, as a result, they are reading us constantly – our words and vocal intonations, but perhaps more importantly, our every move, the smallest facial expression, sigh, or teary eye. Parents al...
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The Helicopter Parent

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC Many of us have heard the term “helicopter parent.” If you’ve heard it and are wondering what it really means, read on... We are naturally wired to take care of our kids and meet their needs on a daily basis. We want to love our kids, feed them nutritious food, dress them nicely, make sure they have what they need when they go to school, and protect them from disappointments and failures. Wanting to do so is very natural and all these instincts kick in onc...
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Conscious Parenting

By Lesley S. Cunningham, MA, LPC I want a do-over! I want to have the wisdom I have now acquired through time, experience, and training and get to re-do being a mother, a wife, a daughter, and friend. If I knew then what I know now, all of my relationships would be beneficiaries of consciousness. For the purpose of this article, I will stick to “Conscious Parenting,” because of all the relationships I wish I had known more about, it is that between my children and me. My son was born ...
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Why I Can’t Say, “Good Job!”

  By Jaime Davila, MA, LPC, NCC Becoming a father can be a great and frightening experience all at the same time. Once the household settles down a bit – well, at least to the new normal, we are quickly physically and emotionally consumed beyond what we previously thought was possible. As we grow into this new role of father and our partner into his or her new role, we witness many enjoyable and challenging life events – from the transition from foods that don’t really resemble food t...
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