1. Stop Bad Behavior Before It Starts

    The most effective way to stop anything negative is to prevent it from starting in the first place. This is especially true of your child’s behavior. Once poor choices and behaviors become a habit, they are much more difficult to stop, and much more frustrating for you to manage! Follow these tips for “preventative discipline” and teach your child about the rewards associated with good choic…Read More

  2. Why Badmouthing the Other Parent Hurts Your Child

    When you get a divorce, it’s easy to think about all of the mistakes your partner made or the ways her or she may have changed for the worse. And to some extent, your child probably recognizes these problematic areas, as well. However, seeing or knowing that a parent made a poor choice is different than being constantly reminded of it by your other parent. Have you ever wondered about the psycho…Read More

  3. Introducing Stepfamilies the UnBrady Way

    When it comes to stepfamilies, happy-go-lucky Brady’s are hard to come by – the complex nature of blended families typically involves loss, change, confusion, anxiety and distrust – not quite the “bunch” you were hoping for as a new stepfamily! However, there are some ways to make the connection of two families into one a smoother transition. First, only introduce new partners and their …Read More

  4. Helping Your Elementary-Age Child Cope with Loss

    Children ages six to ten will exhibit greater curiosity about death than during previous developmental stages. Some of their questions and words may seem frightening to you as a parent, because they lack the tact of an adult who understands the emotional intricacies associated with loss of a loved one. Developmental Understanding By this age, children typically understand that death is permanent, …Read More

  5. Talking with Your Teen

    Banging your head against a brick wall may feel like a welcome relief after trying to get a response to the question, “How was your day?” from your teenager. While “I dunno,” “fine” and the ever-popular eye-roll-and-sigh-combination may characterize your conversation with your teen right now, there is hope. So what’s the secret to unlocking the inner-workings of your adolescent? Here…Read More

  6. The Language of Play

    Among young children, play is not only a form of entertainment, but a source of expression for feelings and thoughts, a mode of learning, and an important aspect of healthy development. It offers an avenue for you to effectively communicate with your pre-verbal and newly verbal children, as well as building your relationship bonds. When it comes to play, the most important thing to remember is tha…Read More

  7. Common Communication Pitfalls

    We’ve all experienced that moment: Open mouth. Insert foot. “Why did I SAY that?!”. Most of the time, we recognize when we’ve said something hurtful, harsh, or untrue. We are especially vulnerable to such moments when difficult emotions overtake us, such as if we’re feeling frustrated, exasperated, tired, overwhelmed, embarrassed, or angry. The first step in working toward avoiding such …Read More

  8. Responding to Insensitive Adoption Questions

    The adoption experience may lead you to feel like you and your family members are part of an exclusive “club” – one which many people find mysterious and fascinating, and are curious to learn more about. While others’ intentions are typically not malicious, their questions may sound insensitive to the ears of someone who IS in the “club.” Because so many of the people who ask questions…Read More

  9. Talking About Birth Parents and Identity

    Talking with your child about his or her birth parents can be a delicate topic. You may know a lot about your child’s history, or nothing at all. You may feel grateful towards your child’s birth parents, or angry at them for putting your child through a difficult early life. You may experience feelings of insecurity when your child wants to learn more about them, or you may feel comfortable wi…Read More

  10. Talking to Your Child about Adoption

    As an adoptive parent, it may seem intimidating to talk to your child about being adopted. The good news is, your child ISN’T intimidated by this talk, and you don’t have to be either! When it comes to talking about adoption, it shouldn’t be “the conversation” – it should be an open and ongoing process throughout your child’s lifetime. Begin talking about adoption from the moment you…Read More