Helping Children with Anger

Everyone feels and expresses their anger from time to time. It’s natural to feel angry or frustrated. Anger is an intense emotion that can be difficult for children, as well as many adults, to deal with. Sometimes anger becomes overwhelming, making us feel like our emotions are out of our control. Therefore, it’s not surprising that anger is a challenging emotion for children. Does your child struggle to manage anger in healthy ways? Does he or she get angered easily or frequently feel frustrated? Here are some strategies to help you support your child with anger…

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Using Mindfulness to Pay Attention

Nowadays, there are many things fighting for our attention at once. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous—where there’s an excess of digital and interpersonal stimuli that pulls us from what we’re currently doing. With so many distractions, our attention is often split between multiple things at once. When our attention is divided, we’re not as focused in the moment. How do we focus on what’s right in front of us and avoid distractions? We can use mindfulness to cultivate our attention and enhance our experiences. Let’s explore how to go about this…

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How to IMPROVE the Moment

Let’s face it—life is full of curveballs. Things may be going smoothly one minute, and the next, something turns your day upside down. There’s a mix of good and bad surprises every day. How do you deal with daily challenges? Generally, people act impulsively—meaning that they put their emotions before their logic when they face unexpected and overwhelming situations. But sometimes, this is not the best option. Do you need a better way to keep your cool during surprising or frustrating circumstances? A dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill called IMPROVE the Moment can help you manage difficult emotions during stressful situations. By reducing the intensity of emotion, you can feel more in-control when life throws you a curveball. Here’s how it works…

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Helping your Child Overcome School Refusal

For some parents, getting your children to school can be a major struggle. If your child often throws a tantrum or has a meltdown before school, it is possible that he or she has school avoidance, or school refusal. It is more than nagging your kid to get ready for the day; school refusal is a serious emotional problem that is very distressing for both children and parents. School refusal can be attributed to stress inducing situations like bullying, peer pressure, or academic concerns, unhealthy attachments to the parents, or underlying mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. Therefore, it’s important to begin to understand your child’s school refusal and help him or her overcome it. If your son or daughter is struggling to get to school, or you are starting to see some unhealthy patterns developing, here are some helpful suggestions…

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Giving Yourself Credit

It’s a super busy and stressful time of year for everyone. There are many ways to deal with distressing situations. Often times, your mindset is crucial to managing stress effectively. Do you criticize yourself for not getting enough done at the end of the day? Or are you hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned? No matter what your goal is, a negative state of mind—one that’s pessimistic, self-critical, or discouraging—won’t do you any good. There’s a great DBT skill that you can apply to improve your mindset, feel less stressed, and reach your goals: “Give Myself Credit.” Let’s learn more about how it works…

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5 Ways for Moms to Unwind

Do you sometimes feel like the days are so hectic, that they are starting to blend together? When you have kids, (especially small children) you likely find yourself doing everything for them—from feeding, to bathing, to carpooling and more. No matter what you do, it may seem like it’s never enough. You also may notice that it’s increasingly difficult to find time for yourself. Whether you are a mom to a newborn or a mom of three, stress can easily build up. Are you looking for some tips to relax and finally have some time to yourself? Here are 5 ways for moms to unwind…

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How to Ground Yourself

When you feel stressed or like life is out of control, what do you do? One way to reduce distress is through grounding yourself. The technique of “grounding” oneself is a coping strategy used to calm your state of being. When you ground yourself, you connect to the present moment, to the Earth, and to your body; it allows you to feel centered and balanced no matter what is going on around you. Here are a few ways to ground yourself…

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The Importance of Playing with your Child

How often do you play with your child? Do you make enough time to be silly and creative with your kids? If you haven’t been doing so lately, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Play time between parents and their children has decreased in recent years. As parents, we’re so busy with work, getting our kids to school and to activities, and running errands, among other things, that there sometimes isn’t enough time in a day to play. Though it may seem silly, playing with your child has many benefits. Let’s explore the importance of play and how you can engage with your child more often…

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Reducing Conflicts with the THINK Skill

Do you find it difficult to work things out with others, but you’re not sure why? Often times, when we are interacting with others—particularly when we are disagreeing or arguing with someone else—we approach the situation with a negative mindset. Our brains naturally interpret the other person’s words and actions as negative or threatening. As a result, we jump to conclusions, quickly lash out, and become hostile or defensive. Our emotions (like anger and frustration) can take control of our actions during these situations. This clearly is not acting in an effective manner, especially if your goal is to improve your relationships and communicate in a more healthy way with others. Luckily, there’s a DBT skill which you can employ to reduce disagreements. Use the THINK skill to move from an Emotion Minded place into Wise Mind, where you are able to solve conflicts more effectively. Here’s how it works…

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Quick and Simple Self-Care Strategies

When life gets hectic, how do you practice self-care? Do you feel like there's not enough time in the day to do so? It may feel like you can't take time to de-stress because of all of the “to-do's” of the day or week. But when you neglect practicing self-care, you may feel run down or burnt out. It can certainly impact your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some easy ways to practice self-care in order to feel more refreshed, present, and productive.

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Overcoming School Phobia

Has getting your kids to school in the morning become a constant battle? Do they refuse to go to school, or do their absolute best to avoid it? Are you at a loss for how to address this problem? Don't worry—you're not alone. Many parents face a similar struggle, to varying extents. Some children don't like getting up early, while others are dealing with school phobia. You may be wondering, what is school phobia? Let’s explore what school phobia entails and how you can help your child overcome his or her anxieties…

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Learning About DBT

Have you ever heard of DBT? DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based therapy that integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Eastern mindfulness practices. DBT is proven effective in helping people develop coping skills, reduce self-harm behaviors and improve negative patterns of thinking. It is validating and empowering as it helps people learn and apply skills to manage strong emotions and urges. Discover more about DBT here…

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How to Avoid Being Reactive

Does your teen feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained? Does your child feel like he or she doesn't have control over his or her life? One key strategy to combat these feelings is to avoid being reactive. When we are reactive, we allow events and other people to dictate how we react. We passively respond to what's going on and we struggle to keep up with life's demands. Whether it’s anger, anxiety, or sadness, our emotions can sometimes manage our actions without us even realizing it. Therefore, we must take responsibility for our actions. We must take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one. By taking ownership of how we act, we decide what we will do—not the other way around. Here’s how you can be proactive, not reactive…

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How to Manage Social Media Anxiety

Are Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter making your teen feel anxious or depressed? Your son or daughter is not alone. Recent studies and surveys reveal that social media is one contributing factor towards rising mental health issues among teens.  Teens who use social media for hours each day tend to feel more anxious, more insecure, and more alone. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to parenting a teenager with social media related anxiety. Just like teens use social media in various ways for different purposes, there are numerous ways for parents to support their children. Here are some helpful strategies to consider:

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Cultivating Meaningful Relationships

How many friends do you have? Now, think about the quality of those friendships. How many of your friendships are invaluable to you? It's not always easy to make meaningful friendships. For teens especially, it's tricky to cultivate quality relationships when everyone's changing and figuring out who they are. As people change, friendships evolve too. There's a difference between hanging out with a group of people while feeling lonely, and hanging out with a few friends while feeling genuinely happy. Everyone wants to spend time with people who we enjoy being around. But how do we foster those kinds of relationships? Here are some tips to help you develop valuable and worthwhile friendships…

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How to Take a Brief Vacation

Life always pushes and pulls us in many directions. Between work, school, kids, friends, family, obligations to the community, etc, it’s hard to find the time to slow down in both body and mind. Do you ever feel so distressed that you have to leave the environment that’s making you stressed? By briefly removing yourself from an overwhelming environment or activity, you tend to feel better. You may not realize it, but you’re employing a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skill called “brief vacation.” Let’s explore how it works…

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Setting Healthy Boundaries

We all have boundaries, or limits that we establish for ourselves. Setting boundaries is the way we communicate what is okay and what is not okay in our relationships and friendships. Knowing what your boundaries are and what you are comfortable with in your life is very important for your safety and your self-respect. If you know what you are okay with, then you know to speak your mind when you don’t want to engage in something or with someone that creates uncertainty. You can assert your boundaries in a number of different ways. Here are a few examples…

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Practicing Kindness

Have you heard of the saying "A little bit of kindness goes a long way"? It's more than just an expression—it's actually true! Science proves that performing acts of kindness is beneficial for all of the people involved. It reduces anxiety, makes you feel calmer, and increases happiness too. Why not do your part to be kindhearted towards others? Try performing one random act of kindness each day. It can be something big or small—whatever you choose. Are you ready to take this challenge? We’ve got some suggestions to get you started…

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The Signs of School-Related Anxiety in Teens

School is a main source of anxiety and stress in a teen’s daily life. Homework, tests, and social demands can make teens feel anxious and at times, overwhelmed. Parents often overlook lesser-known signs of school related anxiety, either because they are looking for the more “well known” symptoms, or because a parent mistakenly attributes it to another problem that may be present. It’s important to recognize this kind of anxiety in order to help your teen cope with it. Here are some lesser-known symptoms of school-related anxiety in teenagers that you should be aware of…

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The Importance of Mobile Manners

It goes without saying—manners are very important. Every day, we try to instill proper manners into our children, so that they will be polite to others. Yet kids and teens often think that because they are writing from behind a screen, they have the power to say things that they would never say in person. They may be ruder or meaner online, simply because they are not talking to someone else face-to-face. It’s crucial to remind your children that having a phone or tablet is not an excuse to forget about manners. Here are some great ways to enforce mobile manners…

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