Archive for April, 2012

Your ‘Tween’

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Have a Tween/Middle Schooler? I bet you’re trying to figure out just what exactly is going on with them.

Well one parent messaged our Dr. Kay for advice. Her daughter is being snubbed by the group of girls in her class and she desperately wants to fit in. The girls may not be the best fit for her, but she doesn’t see it that way. She’s in the process of growing up and leaving her childhood behind. She’s full of uncertainty, learning to become independent from her parents, and wanting to feel like she belongs with her friends.

This ‘struggle to secure identity’ can start anytime between the ages of 11 and 15 (sometimes much later). It’s a process that varies in intensity, for some it is an ongoing lost and found process; for others merely a bump in the road.

If your child is also looking for acceptance, and having trouble finding their way, check out a few of Dr. Kay’s tips:

  • Social adversity builds strength in character and in coping.  Parents need to be supportive, but not too intrusive. Tweens need to solve their social dilemmas because that is exactly the developmental challenge they face.
  • While parents need to encourage their tween to be their authentic self among peers, it is also key to recognize the importance of fitting in.  As long as your family values are not compromised, it is well-advised to allow your child to have some of the same or similar styles of clothing and accessories as her peers.
  • Our children pick up on our fears, doubts and anxieties. Be careful not to project your own fears and past wounds onto your daughter.
  • Offer them an opportunity to sort out her thoughts and feelings. Engage in active listening, rather than advising, which could resort in the loss of open dialogue. It is through active listening that they will feel affirmed and empowered.

Want to read more? Check out the rest of the article and tips here:On the “Outs” Wanting “In” Cliques & Conflicts in the Tween Scene 




Good Night

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Most of you know Dr. Kay for her parenting advice. Let’s be honest, she’s pretty good. So we have decided that we’re going to start using this blog to share some of this amazing advice.

Today’s tips all surround what to do if your child is having trouble sleeping through the night. The question came originally from a mother whose 7 year old was having trouble sleeping weeks after seeing a scary movie. Definitely frustrating and tiring for his busy parents.

Here are a couple of the things Dr. Kay recommended. Honestly, they will work for many different situations so take note!

  • emphasize what to do, rather than what to think
  • Emphasize the behavioral goal, rather than the unwanted behavior.  For example, “Nighttime is for sleeping, and you can sleep through the night…get up in the morning when the alarm rings.”
  • Keep your tone very matter-of-fact. Do not threaten consequences or punishment!  Emphasis is on mastering the goal.
  • The parent with the stronger conviction, the one who will not waver, is the better choice for redirecting Josh back to bed.
  • There is no need for any emotion or drama, such as anger, scolding or pleading. Keep your tone neutral and definitive. Repeat yourself and stay clear, as if you are directing a plane to its landing.


If you are interested in reading more of the tips she gave these parents, read the full column here:  Good Night, All Night