Essential Reads

"Is Adolescence Really Necessary?"

Surprised by early adolescence, parents wonder if their child's changes need be.

Here is a Powerful Acronym to Help Your Child Manage Stress!

Giving your child essential skills to succeed in life.

Why Are Little Girls' Halloween Costumes Still So Sexy?

The Hot-and-Sexy trend for girls' Halloween costumes and why it's concerning

WOSPs, Fear, and Unstructured Play

Finding a balance of fear and exploration by allowing more unstructured play.

Recent Posts on Parenting

How Allowing Children to Fail Helps Them Succeed

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 Singletons
In our highly competitive parenting environment how do you learn to back off and let your children stumble, struggle, even fail? Here, why you should and how you can.

Four Signs Your College Student Could Be Abusing Substances

For young adults, the first time away from parental control can be quite a transition, a change in which sometimes too much partying can play a role in poor academic performance.

What Children Experience Going Back to School

School should be as much about the work of mastery as it is about growth, neither one of which comes particularly easily.

Believing in Your Child's Success

As a parent, watching your child struggle at something can be difficult. Seeing him or her fail can be devastating. Optimism allows you, as a parent, to find the positives in struggle and failure.

Back to school dread: Beyond first day jitters

There are some kids for whom the idea of going back to school can create sheer panic and overwhelmingly angst. These tweens typically revel in the relief associated with summer. As the first day of school gets closer they become more anxious. This often results in increased irritability, agitation and sometimes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Parent From the Same Page

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 Your Wise Brain
Minor differences in parenting style are okay. But children get confused when there are major differences in their parents’ approaches, and become more likely to play one parent against the other. Here are five ways to work effectively with your partner and get the best possible results.

Co-Parent Problems

When two parents divorce, they become co-parents. Co-parents have big problems. This blog examines the topics and distress associated with those problems and discusses why so much of it is understandable if not unavoidable.

Want a Memorable Life? Live One.

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 Singletons
Some not-so-obvious benefits of time off—from improved sleep and sex life to stronger family bonds and reduced risk of dying from a heart attack.

How Detachment Changes Both Adolescent and Parents

Adolescence alters the child, the parent in response, and the relationship between them. Adolescence changes everyone.

When Does "It" Become a Person?

Human life does begin at conception; however, personhood does not.

Preventing and Addressing Unhappy Family-First Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 09, 2015 How To Do Life
A surprising number of people who prioritized family over career came to regret it.

Mama's Baby, Papa's, MAYBE: Baby Names & Fathers' Anxieties

Can a child’s name ease the anxiety of new fathers? Naming children after their fathers may be an intentional strategy used by mothers to foster stronger bonds between children and their fathers.

Unstructured Play and Children's Development

What does less-structured time in children's daily lives predict?

The Bracing, Empty Self versus the Open, Heart-Minded Self

The anthropologist, Colin Turnbull, contrasted his British upbringing with African Mbuti children, a non-industrialized foraging society whom he studied. Upon reaching adolescence. Mbuti children brimmed with skills and confidence whereas in contrast, he had felt empty and uncertain, ripe for bullying by teachers and peers.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Coping: Imitate Anna (not Elsa)

Society continues to get it wrong. All the accolades, attention, and toy products emphasize Elsa over Anna. But, which character in Frozen can teach you about healthy coping with problems? Unhealthy coping? Who would you like your child to emulate? Learn about the various ways Elsa and Anna cope in the most popular animated film of all time.

Why Parents Really Get Angry at Their Kids

Your reaction to the child's behavior depends completely on how you feel about yourself.

Technology, Turing and Child Development

What happens when you go with kids to the Tech Museum of Innovation? You start thinking about kids, technology, and learning machines.

Peace in Ourselves, Peace in the World: Body-Mind Altering

Our body-mind connection can bring more energy and peace into our lives.

The Underrated Importance of Being Playful

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 06, 2015 On Having Fun
What if playfulness were a survival skill?

When Old School Just Isn't Cool

When growing up, do you remember when an adult would say something like, "I remember when I was your age..." and then the price of a loaf of bread, or a gallon of milk or gas would come up? Remember thinking how ancient they must have been if bread only cost 25 cents?

I am a Sourpuss and I Deserve to Be!

Often, we use challenging real-life circumstances to justify undesirable thoughts, behavior and emotional states. This is not in our best interest. We can choose to change our perspective to focus on the positive. At the end of the day, it is a choice —and your choice will affect your life fulfillment and happiness.

Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

It's natural to wonder if what you are feeling may be a symptom of something more serious. And considering 20 percent of women do experience postpartum depression or anxiety, it's also important to know when to seek professional help to feel better.

Beware of First Impressions

Alienation can be counter-intuitive, even for mental health professionals

Before Blending Families, Consider All of This

By Wendy Paris on August 04, 2015 Splitopia
Expecting your blended family to be one big Brady Bunch-like good time can lead to some serious disappointment. Psychologist Anne Brennan Malec recommends managing your expectations and taking steps to help all family members adjust.

6 Reasons Teens Won't Tell Parents Their Violent Thoughts

What struck me from reading about rampage killers was how common it was for caring parents to not know about the dark suicidal and violent impulses that lived within their teenage sons (nearly all the rampage killers have been male).

Tweens, Teens, and Video Screens

Parents complain that they can’t tear their kids away from video games when it is time to start their homework and that kids are texting when they are supposed to be sleeping.

Life and the Essence of Adolescence

During a summer vacation on a lake in Wisconsin, I look at my son and daughter, my nieces and nephews, and soak it all in. Life is a passing of these moments, I know, ones we cannot hold onto. A startling discovery of exploring this important adolescent period of life is that the ESSENCE of adolescence is also the key way to keep our brains vital and growing.

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are pediatric psychologists with expertise in treating children and adolescents with chronic pain. This blog is for parents who want to help their child better manage chronic pain.

Refill Your Cupboard

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 Your Wise Brain
Stress builds up over time, so it's important to do small things throughout the day to keep the stress meter in the "green zone." There are many ways to lower the sense of stress in your mind or body, even in the middle of a busy day.