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Covid-19 Resources for Families

In Resources by debbieconley

Quarantine is a crazy time! We’re going to be in our homes with our families for another month, but we’re doing it for the good of society. Until we can figure out a way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this new disease, we have to take actions that change the normal flows of our lives. But what actions do we take to stay sane in this insane time? What should we do when our ‘normal lives’ aren’t normal? What if something major happens in our personal lives? I’ve made a list of websites that I found that are filled with resources specifically for dealing with life’s ups and downs during this Corona pandemic. They stretch from helping kids adjust to the new normal to the new school …

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Parenting During the Coronavirus Outbreak

In Family by debbieconley

The Coronavirus is causing stress, panic and uncertainty for many adults around the world. Think of how overwhelming this is for children. Kids thrive on routine, structure and predictability. We have anything but that right now. You only have to turn on any television station, view your social media headlines on your phone or walk into a grocery store to figure out we are in unchartered territory. School and all extra-curricular events are cancelled for all our kids and they are repeatedly being asked to wash their hands and not get too close to their friends. This is a lot for kids to deal with and especially difficult for kids who have underlying anxiety. The following are some ideas for parents and caregivers to help their kids during this uncertain …

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Anxiety in Children

In Anxiety by debbieconley

Anxiety in children is on the rise. According to The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, there was a 20 percent increase in the diagnosis of anxiety in children between 2007 and 2012. Every day at my practice, I see kids who struggle with anxiety. Anxiety in children is associated with feelings of not being safe or protected. In his book, Modular Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety Disorders, Bruce E. Chorpita, PhD, discusses several factors that are present in children who have anxiety. Why all this increase in anxiety?  There are many factors that come into play.  We have an environment where kids worry about safety. Safety is a basic need of all human beings. We have kids hearing about and seeing mass shootings on an almost weekly basis …

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What Will Your Children Remember of the Holidays?

In Family by debbieconley

Another holiday season is here.  We are bombarded with marketing tactics to buy the latest gadget or search for the lowest price or sprint for the new “IT TOY” this season.  Holiday madness or Holiday gladness?  Which one will you choose? Memories are very powerful.  They are encoded in our brains and strongly influence our lives.  When our children look back on their childhood holiday memories, what do we want them to remember? Despite our efforts to get the perfect toy or video game, etc. for our children, most can’t even remember what it was that they received last year for the holidays. I remember years of taking so much time to send out holiday cards, get matching wrapping paper and bows and the latest decorations.  I HAD to make …

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And We’re Off!!!

In Schedules & Routines, School Issues by debbieconley

For many of us, school started today.  Some kids were already back last week.  This brings a myriad of emotions for both parents and kids, although vastly different ones to be sure!!  How can we make this year successful for our kids?  For the lucky ones, repeat what was done last year.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  For some of us, we may have to tweak a few things.  For others, a complete overhaul may be needed. I have spent the last month in my practice helping kids and parents gear up for a successful school year.  I thought it would be helpful to share some things that can make a positive impact. There are many other suggestions that can make the school year a success.  There are always …

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Unfinished Stories

In Therapy by debbieconley

Given the tragic suicides of two celebrities this week, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I felt it necessary to address the topic of suicide. In my practice, I see many children who are depressed as well as many depressed parents. The statistics are sobering. Suicide is on the rise in all racial and ethnic groups, in both men and women, in rural and city areas. The increase is in all age groups except those over 75. Since 1999, the suicide rate is up 30 % according to the Center for disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is the second largest cause of death in college age youth and kids 12-18. The suicide rate among young children 10-14 years old doubled from 2007 to 2014, according to the CDC. What’s Going On? …

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Parental Expectations, Childhood Anxiety and Self Esteem: What is the Connection?

In Therapy by debbieconley

It seems to be that no matter what age children are, parental expectations come into play. When children are infants we expect them to sleep through the night at some point!  When they are around 1 years old, we expect them to begin to walk , later on toilet train and God forbid they are not reading by Kindergarten!  The list goes on and on.  Parental Expectations.  There is nothing wrong with them.  We expect our children to be polite, share, do homework, help around the house etc… What if these expectations are not developmentally appropriate?  What is the expectations are unrealistic?  What if they cause undue stress?  Sometimes as parents, we may not even know we are creating this stress.  Think back to your own childhood.  What expectations were …

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Helping Children Cope with Death

In Therapy by debbieconley

Recently, in the midst of this beautiful summer, there have been several families that have been coping with the loss of young family members. None of us live forever, but most of us expect to live a long life. When or if we have the opportunity to discuss death with our children, we usually say something like, “When people get old and their bodies don’t work well anymore, they die”. But what if this is not what happens? We are all thrown off kilter when life throws us a curve ball and doesn’t follow the normal sequence. It is difficult enough for adults to deal with the loss of a young person, but is more difficult for children. How do we deal with our own grief and help them as …

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Consistency: What’s the Big Deal?

In Therapy by debbieconley

I’ll admit it. It’s the end of the school year. We are all running out of steam, kids, parents, and I’m sure we can add teachers to the mix as well. Do we really have to finish strong? Let me be clear. There is a difference in being flexible and being consistent. Sometimes we just can’t get to school on time, or miss a homework assignment. Life happens. That is different from being inconsistent and all over the place. Why is consistency so important to kids? Kids thrive on predictability. They like to know what comes next. They need to know what is expected of them. Kids also need to know we as parents and caregivers will do what we say. Kids don’t act like they want or need limits …

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What Can Parents Expect When They Bring Their Child to Therapy?

In Therapy by debbieconley

One topic I have been eager to educate parents about is what parents can expect when they bring their child to therapy. Every therapist has their own style and practices differently and has their own unique style. I can only speak for how I have chosen to practice. First, I made the choice to only see children 13 and under. (Occasionally I will see kids up to 16). In my practice, I meet with the child’s parents without the child for the first session. I want to hear from them what brought them here, why now, and what are they hoping to accomplish by bringing their child for therapy. I make them aware that they will be a big part of their child succeeding in therapy. I see their child …