Back to School

Back to School: Helpful Links from Therapists Across the Country

We are just over three weeks from the start of the new school year for children who reside in the school district where my office is located.    What is your family experiencing as you prepare to send your children back to school?  Are you anticipating any struggles this year?

You may have read some of my most recent posts (links below) addressing tips for helping children head back to school with less stress, but I also wanted to share tips from my colleagues.   I reached out to therapists across the country inviting them to contribute a post to be included in my list of links and was happy with the response I received.  I hope you will find this list to be as helpful as I think it is.   There is a little something for everyone contained in this list. Continue reading Back to School: Helpful Links from Therapists Across the Country

Communicating with your teen

Communicating with Your Teen (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this series, I shared some helpful tips for communicating with your teen.   In this post, I will be sharing some reflection questions based off of the first post to help come up with a new strategy or approach to use in communicating with your teen about a challenging subject.   The purpose of this exercise is to be more mindful about how we communicate with the teens in our lives.   The result will hopefully be a more effective conversation with your teen, but I do not pretend this approach will make every conversation perfect. Continue reading Communicating with Your Teen (Part 2 of 2)

Communicating with your teen

Communicating With Your Teen (Part 1 of 2)

As their children start to move into adolescence, parents often report that their child appears to have changed overnight and the way that they used to approach communicating with their child no longer seems to work.   As a therapist who works with children of all ages, I also find that I need to approach my communication with a child differently once they enter their pre-teen and teen years.  Because communicating with your teen can be a challenge, this series of posts will focus on communication strategies to help you communicate more effectively with your child. Continue reading Communicating With Your Teen (Part 1 of 2)

Children & Emotions

Children & Emotions

We all experience emotions.   If you reflect back on your interactions with your child today, you can likely identify many feelings that you and your child experienced .  Talking to our children about emotions from a young age is so important.   Being able to identify, share and cope with their feelings are essential skills for our children to be successful in their relationships, at school and eventually in the workplace.

The earlier we can help our children feel comfortable with their emotions the better!  I always say it is never too early to start talking about feelings with a child, but it is also never too late.     Children tend to feel their emotions very intensely and our reactions to them can really impact their perceptions of emotions and how they cope as they move into adulthood.

When I am invited to speak to groups of parents, this is by far the most requested topic because like me, many of you recognize the value of teaching our children about their feelings at an early age.

However, many of you may not live near the Eagan, Minnesota area, so the opportunity to connect with me in person about this topic may not be an option.   I have compiled many of my thoughts about children and emotions into a variety of posts on this blog.   Below you will find a list of everything I have written so far on this subject.


Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions about these posts or  there are additional topics that you’d like to see me address in upcoming posts related to the topic of children and feelings.



Deep breathing for children

Deep Breathing & Children

Deep breathing is a skill that we can all (children and adults) benefit from having when we cope with intense emotion.   I specifically work with children in my therapy office on understanding what a deep breath is and how it can be used to help calm their bodies.    This post will help you think of ways that you can support your child in  practicing their breathing outside of the therapy setting.   The tips contained in this post have the added benefit of being helpful for adults, too Continue reading Deep Breathing & Children

Beginning of the school year

Children & Stressors: Beginning of the School Year

The beginning of the school year can bring a variety of emotions for both children and parents. In my therapy office, I have the opportunity to hear about a lot of different thoughts and emotions that families experience at this time of year. Some of the ones that immediately come to mind are excitement, relief, anxiety, dread, uncertainty, sadness and more. Even for the child (and parent) who is excited about the return to school, this transition can cause stress. As a general rule, any change is accompanied by some level of stress. This is true even when it is a change that is desired.

In this post, I will walk through some tips to help you and your child successfully process and manage any stress that may emerge during the transition back to school. Continue reading Children & Stressors: Beginning of the School Year

parenting quotes

Thought Provoking Parenting Quotes & Reflection Questions

As a parent, we are constantly being given messages about what we should or shouldn’t do with our children.     It can certainly become overwhelming.     My approach when working with parents is to share information that I have based on my training and experience, but also to empower parents to reflect on their own experiences and knowledge of their children in order to figure out how the information fits for them.  In today’s post, I am sharing some parenting quotes, but I have also added a twist of including at least one reflection question to consider with the quotes.   Some of the parenting quotes I’ve shared may really connect with you and some may not.   That is ok.   This post is more about the reflection questions than the actual quotes.

Continue reading Thought Provoking Parenting Quotes & Reflection Questions

5 Ways to Turn Your Day around with kids

5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around With Kids

We all have those days where we are just in a funk for no good reason.   Those days can seem especially long if our whole family is in a funk, including the kids.  This post is all about quick and fun ways to turn your day around with little ones.   I am going to share tips that I have found to work with my own kids and the families that I have worked with, but I encourage you to be open to brainstorming your own list of what works for your family, too.  It can be nice to have a go-to list handy, so you don’t have to try to come up with something in the midst of one of those funky days.

Continue reading 5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around With Kids