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Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking-- Second Edition Underway!

Freeing Your Child from Negative ThinkingIn 2008 I wrote Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking to give parents tools to help their kids learn how to outsmart the negative tricks the mind can play. Fast-forward 10 years and the number of children and teens struggling with negative-thought fueled depression and anxiety is multiplying at an alarming rate. Time for an update. I am embarking on a 2nd edition of Negative Thinking which will be released just in time for the new school year September, 2019. I'd love to hear your thoughts and requests for the Second Edition-- contact@tamarchansky.com, in the meantime, here's a synopsis of the steps and as always-- here's to less worry, and less negativity, all around!

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Anxiety Across the Lifespan on WHYY's "The Pulse"

Anxiety, iStock with Permission PeopleImagesI recently spoke about anxiety in children on a special program about anxiety across the lifespan on "The Pulse," a program on our NPR affiliate, WHYY, right here in Philadelphia. The program includes segments on children, adults, new moms and even senior citizens-- what anxiety feels like on the inside, and the very effective treatments available which can be life changing. I hope you’ll listen to the program and find comfort that you are not alone. Treatment is very effect; you can find a therapist at www.adaa.org. As always, here’s to less worry all around!

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Heading to College? It's OK to be Homesick

Homesick

Close to twenty million students will head off to college this year, about a quarter of those for the very first time. Along with their hopes, dreams, boxes of microwave popcorn, laptop and cozy comforter, they will bring along their fears, and that's normal. Homesickness isn't exactly about missing home, it's about missing what's familiar. Given a little bit of time, college will become familiar and will feel like home. Here are many ideas to help that transition along: first an article I wrote about strategies for managing homesickness, and then a few links on the subject. The bottom line with any transition: trust you'll adjust. You always do. Here's to a great school year for all!

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Ready, Set, College! How to Emotionally (and Practically) Prepare Your Teen

Teen College Readiness © istock djedzura by permissionIs your teen heading to college? If you're wondering whether to give them a free pass for the summer because of how hard they've worked to get to this point, yes congratulations are in order, but please think again! The resilience your student needs to thrive in the transition to college and beyond can best be learned at home, it's not too late. Here are some dos and dont's to guide you through a productive summer for all. While they may grumble through your lessons on laundry and budgeting and setting their own alarms, getting these skills well under way now will mean less stress later... and hey.... clean clothes! Happy summer, graduates!

 

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School's Out! Help for Panicked Parents and Bored Kids

Bored KidsHappy summer! How many parents are already having that "what's wrong with this picture?" feeling as they are juggling job, dishes, laundry, and the insistent "I"m hungry!" followed by "There's nothing good to eat!" proclamations, while their kids are mostly sleeping in, waking only to hunker down to Netflix, Minecraft, or similar. Lack of structure can be our downfall. What's the best order-to-chaos ratio so that summer still feels like fun? Check out these ideas. Your child may not thank you, but if you are a calmer parent this summer, that's a win for all. 

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How to Calm Your Pre-Wedding Jitters: Royal or Otherwise

Wedding JittersAre we excited about the royal wedding? How can we not be? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are easily a fairytale couple, but when you listen to their story you can’t help but be struck by the genuineness of their affection for each other. Remarkably, they didn't know anything about each other and had to get to know each other themselves—wow, kind of like the rest of us! How did Prince Harry propose? Not at the Eiffel tower, or on some exotic exclusive island—but grounded, at home, in the kitchen, while trying to roast a chicken. How lovely is that? They know they need to keep choosing to focus their energy on nurturing their relationship and that is how they, and all of us, make meant to be happen each day. If you are getting jitters anticipating your own wedding coming up—here is a blogpost to help calm your nerves and warm your cold feet. Best wishes to all the happy couples. Here's to love!

 

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Empathy 101: How to Listen Instead of Handing Out a To do List

Gratner/iStock by permissionDon't you love it when your kids teach you things that you thought you already knew... maybe even things that you thought you were already good at? I do actually really love when that happens (especially when I can blog about it!) and such was the case with an impromptu lesson for me, courtesy of my older daughter, on empathy. I hope her tagline: Empathy, period, resonates with you as much as it did with me. Here's to more empathy all around.

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Spring Cleaning Your Relationship: Making More Room for Love

Magnolia in Bloom/ ©2018 Mireilla Stern used with permissionHappy spring! While we are in the midst of cleaning up our closets, our cars, our desks (well, some of us anyway, but that's another story-- please see previous blogpost about who isn't doing that)-- let's not forget about the care and attention of our relationships with our significant others! Here are some ideas for sprucing up and clearing away the clutter with those most important people in our lives.

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Spring Cleaning Your Mind: Clearing Away the Clutter of Negative Thoughts

DaffodilsHello all, welcome to spring! In the time that I started and finished these next two blog posts-- the first about spring cleaning for your mind, the second about spring cleaning your relationship-- the weather went from snow, to the balmy 70's, and now back to pulling out the coats and hats. If nothing else, all of these changes are helping us work on our flexibility! And this is really what our well being within ourselves and in our relationships is all about. Happy spring cleaning!

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Yes, Your Teen is Going to College, But Are They Ready?

Acceptance

What a very exciting time for families of high school seniors. College decisions are being finalized and the future is looking bright. After the arduous journey of the last several years which has brought you to this moment, it is understandable that families will be breathing a deserved sigh of relief and ready to coast until August. My advice to parents? Coast not. Catch your breath, but then take this opportunity to help your student prepare emotionally for the transition. Hint: this may involve doing less laundry and dishes for them.... 

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How to (Lovingly) Teach Your Bossy Child Some New Lines

Bossy Child/ShutterstockHave you ever-- like 5 minutes ago when your child seated in front of his hamburger, demanded "Ketchup!" as if no other explanation were required-- felt that there is something wrong with the hierarchy in your family? Aren't parents supposed to be in charge? Don't worry, EVERY parent feels this way sometimes, no matter how well behaved their child is, nor whether their day job is a therapist talking to families about these issues all the time...  In this blog post I take on the challenge of the bossy child. Spoiler alert: It's all good news, and the solution is at least a two-person job. So roll up your sleeves and enjoy.

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How to Stay Connected When Valentine's Day is a Family Affair

Kissing coupleHappy Valentine's Day! Yes, we are all a bit weary of the hype, but when it comes down to it, what a great opportunity to pause and appreciate the wonder of love in your life! For parents it can be challenging to stay connected when kids are in the mix, but there is one very important way you can do this. Today and every day. Check it out!

 

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New Year's Resolution for Your Relationship: More Kissing

Smiling couple

You may be wondering what kissing has to do with anxiety, and why I am writing a blogpost about it. I think we would all agree that the best antidote to anxiety-- that sense of threat and fear-- is connection. Sometimes the stresses of daily life interfere with our ability to connect and that disconnect can ripple out into the family. But connection and stability are contagious, too and children thrive in a family built on harmony and love. So, this new year's, resolve to bring more love and meaning into your home every day-- a simple kiss is a great way to start. Happy, healthy new year to all!

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Parents Aren't Perfect: What to Do When the Wrong Words Come Out of Your Mouth

ParentShould we hate it when our kids catch us with a double-standard, or should we be proud? Should we be embarrassed, or relieved to know that our kids have been listening to what we've been saying (well enough to know when we're not following our own rules), even if they're not necessarily following the rules themselves? This blog post was inspired by a moment when our older daughter "caught me" name calling when I accused her of being "closed minded." Yes, that's name-calling. That counts. So here is what I've learned since that moment, or at least what I'm trying to learn! Enjoy.

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How to Help Your Child Succeed in School: Don't Do Their Homework for Them

Homework picture

We want our kids to succeed in life, but what's our role? Often the dilemma comes-- do we go ahead and finish that homework assignment for them? Check the homework portal for tests? Neaten up their backpack each week? The most important lesson we can teach our children is how to do their homework for themsleves. Instead of micromanaging or doing for, we can teach them good work habits that will last a lifetime. So take a deep breath and step back; here comes your child!

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What Parents Can Learn from Disney/Pixar's Inside Out

Inside Out

I don't think I've ever talked about a movie with patients as much as I have about Disney/Pixar's Inside Out. It is truly a one-size-fits-all film which can help any of us-- adults and kids alike-- understand and feel empowered to make choices about what goes on with the emotions in our minds. My new favorite intervention in session to help patients get a new perspective is to say, "Let's 'Inside-Out' this one. Who is in charge of the control panel in your mind? Who do you want to be taking over the wheel?" This strategy is not limited to the therapy room-- you could try it at your dinner table, or even at your next staff meeting and don't be surprised if you see the wheels of flexibility start to turn.

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What to do when your child starts mouthing off

©Veer.com, used by permission

Don't you hate those "gotcha" moments, when (often in public, but audience not required) your child flings some words at you like-- this is lame, or, this dinner stinks, or, this vacation is boring-- and it takes all your strength not to fling some equally undesirable words back? Well, me too. Here are some ideas to get you out of the gotcha moment and make it a win-win situation for all. 

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School's Out, Structure's In: How to Plan Your Child's Summer "Work Week"

©2015 Corbis/Veer, used by permission

Please tell me I'm not alone, but every year when school lets out for summer, I worry (yes, I do) what are the kids going to do with all of that free time? So practicing what I preach, I know it's better to use my time planning than worrying, here's a plan to introduce a little structure into your child's summer vacation. Not too much, but just enough. It could help end the fights over screen time and make a better summer for everyone in your home. Happy summer all!

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Don't Save the Wisdom of Failure Until Graduation

Corbis Images by permission

Graduation speeches encouraging students to be resilient in the face of failure (because therein lies the path to success) are becoming a staple in American culture. But why save that great advice until the 11th hour? Imagine how different things might be if our children learned how to approach and manage risk and uncertainty from the very beginning of their education. Here are some simple ideas that we can start using today to make resilient risk-taking part of everyday life for our children, and ourselves, too!

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When Tragedy Feels Near, But Is Very Far

single tree

Last month a tragedy happened in my hometown of Philadelphia when an Amtrak train derailed killing eight people and seriously injuring many, many more. The day after the crash my husband and I had long ago planned to meet with our lawyer to update our will. The juxtaposition of these events gave me a lot to think about, especially, how hard it is to be resilient, even when you are an anxiety therapist. And how, as parents, we need to be-- for our children, and ourselves.

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How to Correct Your Anxious Child

Veer/Corbis used with permission

Should you correct a child who is always worried about making mistakes, being in trouble, and having people mad at them? This is the question that parents of anxious children ask me every day. The answer is yes. In fact, the best place for anxious children to learn that being corrected or having someone mad at them is temporary, survivable, and much more rare than they fear, is at home where they are loved and cared for. Check out this post on how to practice resiliency-promoting discipline in your home, and lower the anxiety level for all.

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How to Manage College Admission Stress

©Veer, Used by permission

March madness. If you have a high school senior that expression takes on a whole new meaning as you wait for the college admission results to come in. Is your child's entire future dependent on what comes in the mail (or these days, email)? Is there really life beyond the thin envelope? At the moment of impact, the answer is no. But after the brief flatline, when it feels like the horizon of your child's future has dropped out of sight for both you and your child, there is a resounding -- yes. In this article, parents and teachers can learn how to help kids to put this moment in perspective and see that no matter what happens come April 15th, they have their whole life ahead of them.  

 

 

 

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What to Do When Your Child is Afraid to Go to Bed

©Corbis/Veer, by permission

When I was a little girl, I couldn't sleep for weeks after seeing The Wizard of Oz-- how could I when those flying monkeys were stuck in my head? Monsters, zombies, bad dreams, the wind rustling in the trees-- all children go through times when their fears get the better of them-- and one of the best times for fears to sneak in and take over is in the quiet and darkness of bedtime. Here are some fun and effective solutions to help your child take charge of their bedtime fears and get a good night's sleep!

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To Fall in Love Again, and Again, Ask Questions!

couple23

Hello dear readers! A few weeks ago I started to write a post about what to do with the habits of your partner that well, aren't your favorite (enthusiastic chewing, unfortunate puns, socks just outside the hamper, you get the idea) perfect for Valentine's Day, right? But then I came across this wonderful love story in the New York Times Modern Love column by Mandy Len Catron-- "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This"-- and it inspired me to write this post instead about enlisting our curiousity rather than our anxiety when it comes to our most important relationships. I promise I'll finish the other post, too-- worry not! Happy Valentine's Day, all!

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What to do when you're afraid of throwing up

throw up fear

Happy new year, readers! This may seem a strange way to start off the year, but this is an opportunity for change, and for millions of Emetophobia sufferers, they'd love to not bring their disabling fear of throwing up into the new year. Maybe you know someone like this-- or you are someone like this! Here are many ideas for understanding how this phobia works, how to take charge of it, maybe even have some fun with it, and importantly, how to overcome it.

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