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How to (Best) Handle Criticism

None of us like to be told what we've done wrong, and yet, this is often a great way to learn and grow. How do we handle criticism best? Here are some ideas from my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner on her program, A Better You. 

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Managing Tics and Tourette's: Catch What You Can

kids-tics-torretsIn this blogpost we take a closer look at the experiences of kids who have repetitive, involuntary actions otherwise known as "tics." Many of the children who have anxiety or symptoms of OCD also experiences tics. In fact, studies have found that as many as 50-85% of children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) also meet criteria for OCD. Common tics include eye-blinking, facial grimacing, nose scrunching, touching and clapping. Vocal tics include humming, throat clearing and squeaking. Let's take a look at the experience of tics: the causes, red-flags and solutions.

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Being an Effective Parent: Managing Your Own Feelings

being-an-effective-parentTry as we may to be the best parents we can be and not overreact or underreact to our children's behavior and emotions, we are human and sometimes things don't come out exactly (or even nearly) as we'd like. Here are some ideas about how to take care of our own emotions so we can be there for our kids.

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Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Help for the Pint-Sized Pessimist

pint-sized-pessimistI can't do anything right! Everything is wrong! I'm so stupid! What's the point? Such is the inner monologue (and sometimes outer outburst) that children suffering with negative thinking can have on a regular basis. The trigger is often something as small as dropping a pencil, or making a mistake on a test. How do we help kids think less negatively and more accurately (and not get pulled into the downward spiral ourselves?) Here are some answers!

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Mastering Transitions: Trust That You'll Adjust to the Changes In Your Life

Change is the one constant in life, and yet, when we face it, we feel totally unprepared and want to run the other way. Why is that and what can we do about it (especially considering that changes-- even the ones that aren't so good-- tend to turn out pretty well in the end)? Here's a piece I wrote on Huffington Post about mastering transitions, the bottom line:: trust that you'll adjust, it will help the adjustment happen faster.

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8 Strategies to Complain Your Way Into a Happier Relationship

Could a toilet seat lid start a revolution or a romance in a marriage? Both are possible. The choice is yours. Learning how to work together in a relationship will take you where you want to go. Sometimes you've got to complain that the lid is up, if you want it down, but there are "best practices" in complaining which will help the work, work. Here's a piece I wrote for Huffington Post that takes your relationship beyond toilet seat lids, toothpaste tube squeezing practices and beds (made or unmade)--  to the real deal: honoring and respecting  each other's preferences.

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8 Ways to Strive for Excellence Not Perfection and Live a Better Life!

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I was in my favorite coffee shop recently (I would walk very far for the best iced Americano in town) and the barista was dumping out a latte that just wasn't up to snuff for her. I joked that perfectionism is only important when it comes to making coffee. She laughed and said, no, perfectionism is important everywhere. We got into a whole discussion about whether perfectionism was really sustainable, how it is different from striving for excellence. In the end we agreed to disagree (I think it's just a matter of time, she's young) and I enjoyed my delicious drink. But it got me thinking about how destructive perfectionism can be to a person's well-being, not to mention productivity, so I am reposting this piece I wrote on the topic a bit ago. Here's to striving for excellence (not perfection)!

 

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How to Overcome Apology-Phobia

Given our propensity for hurting each other -- usually inadvertently through our clumsiness or our being inconsiderate -- getting good at apologizing should be standard-issue emotional equipment for membership in the human race. And it is. Any one can do it. Here are six strategies for letting those two most powerful words: I'm sorry, come out of your mouth. 

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Taking the Stress Out of College Finals: National Stress Øut Week

College can be stressful enough, add in exams and this can tip the scales for students. Now, there is a national initiative to change all of that. This week is National Stress Øut Week-- a week of fun activities and education about mental health to keep college students in balance despite the weight of exams. Here's a piece I wrote on Huffington Post.

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Surviving College Rejection Letters: It Can Be Done

Following up on my recent blog post on handling college admission stress, in this post, I get right down to the tough, but necessary business of handling rejection. No one likes it, but given the sharp increase in the number of college applications, and the fact that most, especially the elite, highly competitive schools, have not increased their class size, it's a statistical fact of life: rejection letters will happen. But it's what happens after the rejection that matters most. Here are tips for parents and students to stay on track and not get derailed by misinterpreting the meaning when a college says no.

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How to Survive College Admission Stress

It's that time of year, the daffodils are blooming, the lilacs and cherry trees are preparing to bud, and families with high school seniors are trying hard to not lose their minds. Does the college admission process have to be like this? Here are some ideas for keeping your cool (and helping your child do the same) until all decisions are in.

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It's National Do a Favor for a Grouch Day: Or, How to Have Compassion for Curmudgeons

Yes, there is a holiday for everything. February 16th is National Do a Favor for a Grouch Day. What? The last thing we think to do when we've been hit in the gut by inadvertently walking through some one else's emotional target practice, is, "wow, what can I do for that person?" But, we may just find that the favor we do for a prickly person, is really a favor we are doing for ourselves.  Here is a piece I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer about compassion meditation.

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Freeing Your Marriage from Anxiety

Happy Valentine's Day! Nothing gets in the way of love like worry does. But you don't have to let worry wreak havoc in your relationship. Here's a piece I wrote for Huffington Post: Make Love, Not Worry.  

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