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Articles & Resources

Encouragement

ENCOURAGEMENT (self-esteem) Of the numerous adults in a child’s life, parents are in the best position to offer their child encouragement and promote positive self-esteem – and it’s really not difficult. In our psychotherapy practices parents sometimes express concern that their child is critical of their own talents and abilities, easily frustrated, and frequently blaming …Read More

Role Reversal

Sitting in our office for the first time are a 12-year-old boy and his parents. “Bobby is not working up to his potential in school. Getting him to do homework is an argument every night!” his father says. As his parents express their worries about his academic future, Bobby stares out the office window and …Read More

Parenting After a Divorce

Divorce is stressful for both parents and children. In large part the stress for parents is wondering how their child will cope with the divorce. The good news is parents can do several things to make the changes easier on kids, leading to better adjustment. Every family is unique, as are the circumstances surrounding separation …Read More

Defusing the Explosive Child

An inflexible, easily frustrated and explosive child makes life very difficult for both the child and those around him. It has a dramatic effect on family life and can make parenting an exhausting and sometimes painful experience. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, offers a unique way of conceptualizing why some children are easily …Read More

The Evolution of a Stepfamily

Stepfamilies are a common family structure yet information about what is typical and expected at different stages can be difficult to find. We often work with stepfamilies and find this lack of information contributes to feelings of confusion and discouragement for all family members. Stepfamilies are a common family structure yet information about what is …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

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

Facing Adolescence Together

Prepare your relationship to withstand the teen years By Cary and Tonja Rector   Mark Twain once said, “When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.” Parenting teenagers is challenging. Adolescence can strain parents’ relationship with their teen …Read More