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Articles & Resources

OCD Logic

Have you ever encountered a child with obsessive compulsive disorder? Bobby (a fictional character) is typical. His day is governed by rituals. His alarm goes off at 5 a.m. He shuts off the alarm twice; even numbers are good. He puts his left foot on the floor, then his right foot. Left is always first; …Read More

Seasonal Compromises

When thinking about the holidays, most people focus on family. Family outings, gatherings and traditions are a large part of the holiday season for many people. For a stepfamily, the “family” aspect of the holidays can bring added stress and pressure. Differing traditions and priorities can collide to make the holidays an especially difficult time …Read More

Free Time

Children need to play—for social, physical and emotional development, and for mental health. As a matter of fact, play is so important for children it is listed as a right by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Unstructured, child-driven play is the primary way children learn about their environment. It provides opportunities to …Read More

Wanting to Learn

By Cary and Tonja Rector A number of years ago we had the opportunity to visit an alternative school that individualized curriculum to meet specific interests of students and foster intrinsic motivation. We talked with an 11-year-old who for the past four months had been working on his chosen project of “How Birds Fly.” His …Read More

Becoming a Dad

By Cary and Tonja Rector Becoming a parent for the first time is amazing. Most parents will tell you it was a pivotal moment, changing them in unexpected ways. While there is lots of information available for expecting or new mothers, information for first-time fathers can be harder to find. This coupled with the fact …Read More

Loyalty Binds

When a child feels conflicted about a stepparent By Cary and Tonja Rector In our work with stepfamilies we often hear about children’s behavior toward a stepparent: “My husband’s daughter doesn’t like me! She is rude and he does nothing about it,” says a woman who sits with her arms crossed during a therapy session. …Read More

The Snooze of the Day

Healthy routines and plenty of prep lead to sleep for all By Cary and Tonja Rector   Ahh—sleep. It’s what every parent wants for her child and herself. Helping parents establish a good nighttime routine for their children is a regular topic in our work with families. Understanding why sleep is so important and what …Read More

Something Wrong at School?

Help your child address learning difficulties By Cary and Tonja Rector As the reading aloud portion of instruction begins, David squirms in his seat and talks to his neighbor. When the teacher asks him to read from the assignment, he calls the teacher a name and gets sent to the principal’s office. School is the …Read More

Addressing Teen Dating Violence

Parents can help sons and daughters in unhealthy relationships By Cary and Tonja Rector   “We are very concerned about her relationship with her boyfriend,” she tells the therapist after her daughter has left. “We think he may have pushed her during a recent argument. He seems to be jealous of her other friends and …Read More

Getting That Feeling

Developing empathy is an extended process By Cary and Tonja Rector.   When 3-year-old Emily sees her older brother has cut his finger, she grabs her own finger and winces. This “mirroring” effect, where we experience “secondhand” pain, is something we have all felt. Research is demonstrating there is a neurological link between our own …Read More