Gratitude is the practice of noticing good things in our world. It means taking the time to see the small, joyous things that happen to us every day. Oftentimes, when we have tough days, like those described above, our thoughts and our experiences become so clouded by negativity and stress, that we fail to see the many small blessed experiences that we are given. When we stop, breathe, and are mindful of these things, the chain of negativity is broken. We can then see the smiles of strangers, the green lights on the drive to work, our good health that day, or the gift of a comfortable sweater. We can be grateful for a warm house, a safe neighborhood, and friends who support us when life is hard. We can even reflect on how we can be a blessing to someone else by sharing acts of kindness and compassion.
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Kindergarteners are fabulous kids. They are often joyful, exuberant, and creative. They are capable of many new developmental tasks, including turn-taking, pretend play with other children, feeling “grown-up,” independent play, seeking adult approval, and demonstrating a sense of humor with children and adults. They are beginning to read, spell, and do some math. All of […]
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Many parents struggle with a moody child, “tween,” or adolescent. At these ages, children are discovering their own identity, and managing the stress of school, parents, peers, and their future. In addition, they are going through vast changes in physical and emotional development. Who, in their shoes, wouldn’t be a little up and down? Adolescent […]
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For many years, preschool children have been overlooked in terms of mental health care identification and services. Some people believe that they may not remember their experiences as they get older, and thus, negate the need for treatment. Because preschoolers are often very happy and active, other people find it hard to believe they could […]
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Oftentimes, parents, educators, and therapists teach anxious children social skills, such as assertiveness. Assertiveness skills are used to negotiate conflict or to ask someone else to do something differently. For example, an assertive 12 year-old girl may ask a peer to stop speaking negatively about a friend by saying something like, “Let’s not talk about […]
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When the news earlier this week came about the tornado in Moore, Okla., my husband Mike and I looked at each other wide-eyed. “I didn’t think living through that other tornado bothered me, but I still have nightmares about it,” Mike told me. On May 3, 1999, Mike and I were living in Stillwater, Okla., […]
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Many children are understandably scared and apprehensive about weather events, particularly if their community has suffered a tornado, hurricane, or natural disaster in recent years. Weather anxiety is commonplace among children, and it can also be helped.
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Kids have a lot of challenges to face. Academics, friends, bullies, changing bodies, school changes, activities, and homework are just some of the things they have to contend with. How do parents keep kids healthy and decrease their stress?
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Does this sound familiar? If they do you’re not alone — many children have these kinds of stomach concerns. It’s estimated that this pattern of stomachaches occurs in as many as 25 to 38% of school age children. That is a lot of tummy trouble!
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When I was growing up, one of my favorite places in the world was the swing-set in my backyard. I have vivid, lovely memories of swinging, feeling the sunshine on my face, the wind in my hair, and watching the clouds up above. I would often sing with my mom and sisters, laugh, and imagine. Those were not extravagant moments, but rather simple joys. They were the moments that I experienced beauty and connection with my family and the world. They were moments that I was mindful.
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At one time or another, we have all tried something new. It could be a new job, a new task, or a new hobby. But, for some reason, we took a chance and did something differently.
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