Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kids in Active Play
With childhood obesity being a serious health concern, it’s critical that parents make active play a daily priority for their kids. Check out this week’s blog for 10 ways that active play improves your child’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?!” Before you hire a private investigator and start stalking your teen’s every move, check out this week’s blog to support your teen through this exciting (yet slightly nerve-wracking) milestone.
Today, one in 59 kids is diagnosed with autism. 50 years ago, autism was largely misunderstood. It’s impossible to gauge how many kids from previous generations had autism but remained under the radar. If you think your dad might be one of the lost generation, check out this week’s blog for 8 things you should know.
It’s tough to know how to support your baby’s emotions when they can’t explain them to you. The good news is, there are ways to teach your baby healthy emotional management well before they’re walking or talking.
Is your kid disobedient, resentful, and seems to blame you for everything? Do you wonder if your kid’s defiant behavior is just a phase or if you should be concerned that there’s a bigger problem? If so, this blog’s for you!
8 Secrets for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution
Are you overflowing with motivation to achieve your goals in January, only to fall off the wagon once February rolls around? If so, check out this week’s blog to learn 8 secrets to make your goals stick in 2019.
What a great year 2018 has been for our blog! Thank you to all of our followers for your support – we hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this year’s articles. Check out this week’s blog for a recap of our 10 most popular blogs in 2018.
The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignite Your Child’s Learning
Every parent knows what it feels like to buy your kids new toys, have them play with them for a day, and then have them collect dust for 6 months! While you can’t stop your child from shifting interests, you can make play more engaging to inspire your child to learn and maybe keep that toy off the shelf a little longer. Check out this week’s blog for 9 tips on igniting your child’s learning through play.
Home for the Holidays: How to Get Along with Relatives that Drive You Nuts
Whether you loathe your in-laws, can’t stand your cousin, or are perturbed by your parents, holiday gatherings can be a tense time for family members who just don’t get along. It’s challenging to connect with people who have different values, perspectives, and personalities, but there are ways to keep the peace and enjoy the holidays. Check out this week’s blog to learn how!
“Why Can’t I Say No?!” The Woman’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing
Do the holidays bring out your inner people-pleaser? Many women struggle to say “no” to family and friends around the holidays, even when it means compromising her own values. Check out this week’s blog for 8 tips to tame your inner people-pleaser this holiday season
Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX, CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam
The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that adults with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations on professional licensing exams. However, the application and approval process can be confusing and time consuming. If you are facing a high stakes exam, check out this week’s blog to learn tips on successfully securing accommodations.
From Spoiled to Grateful – 9 Tips for Raising Thankful Kids
Every parent knows what it’s like to buy their kids awesome gifts, only to be met with, “that wasn’t the color I wanted!” or, “why didn’t you buy the accessories?!” Gratitude isn’t something kids are born with, but it’s critical to their life-long happiness. So how can parents teach their kids to be thankful for what they have? Check out this week’s blog to find out!
“Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost their EQ
Even the most patient parents lost it every now and again – parenting is tough and we’re only human. But there are ways parents can boost their own emotional management. Check out this week’s blog for 8 tips on being an emotionally intelligent parent.
“How Do I Talk to My Son About Puberty?” 10 Things Parents of Boys Should Know
It can be hard for parents to manage all of the changes and feelings that come with seeing their boy turn into a man. Knowing how to discuss puberty with your son as well as empowering his emotional health can be challenging during adolescence. Check out this week’s blog to learn tips on talking to your son about puberty.
Cutting & Other Self-Harm: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Every parent’s biggest fear is their child getting hurt, but what’s a parent to do when their child is hurting themselves? Check out this week’s blog on Your Teen and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: What Every Parent Needs to Know
“Hold Your PeePee!” 12 Tips to Help Your Child Manage Impulsivity
All kids struggle with impulse control from time to time. But if your child seems to really have a hard time putting the “mental brakes” on before they lose their cool, this blog’s for you! Check out this week’s blog to learn 12 tried and true ways to boost your child’s impulse control.
When a man goes through a divorce, he not only loses his spouse, but he often loses his children, friends, reputation, and home. Life after divorce can feel earth-shattering, but there are ways for men to work through their grief and find acceptance. Check out this week’s blog on The Guy’s Guide to Life After Divorce.
Take the Stress Out of Tests! 11 Ways to Manage Test Anxiety
Though no obituary has ever read, “Cause of Death: Flunking the SAT,” the stress of high-stakes testing can feel make a student feel like they are in a life or death situation. Without effective coping skills, test anxiety can negatively impact students’ physical, emotional, and mental health. For tips on helping students manage test anxiety, check out this week’s blog.
Did you know that people with dyslexia tend to be fast and creative thinkers? Sadly, many students and employees with dyslexia get left behind because they don’t have the support in place to manage their struggles with reading. Check out this week’s blog to learn how children and adults with dyslexia can overcome challenges to achieve their potential.
It’s common for teachers to have students with challenges that impact their learning such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression just to name a few. With so many different obstacles, what can teachers do to ensure their classroom supports the needs of all of their students? Our Specialists at Variations Psychology compiled 8 classroom strategies for teachers to use to support the mental health of every student. Check it out before you head back-to-school!
Should I Let My Teen Get a Job? 10 Things Parents Should Know
“If you want to be treated like an adult you better start acting like one!” Us parents say that, but do we really want our teens to run out and get a job? If you’re wondering if your teen is ready for the workforce, check out this week’s blog and find out!
The Women’s Guide to Divorce: How to Work Toward Acceptance and Happiness
Divorce is something no woman thinks will ever happen to her. I mean come on - all of our childhood movies ended with a royal couple riding off to the magical land of “happily ever after.” We never had The Princess and the Prenup or Ariel’s Alimony Adventure – we were shown that you find your soulmate, exchange some rings, and it’s all sunshine from there. So what happens when a woman’s lifelong view of marriage comes crashing down into the harsh reality of divorce?
The Parent’s Survival Guide: Explaining Puberty to Your Daughter
Training bras, tampons, and mood swings, oh my! Parents of girls might be a bit nervous about their little girls entering puberty, but with the right type of communication and support, these transitional years can be a great time for parents and daughters to connect. Check out this week’s blog with 11 tips for talking to your daughter about puberty.
7 Strategies for Fostering a Growth Mindset in Your Child
Do you think intelligence is something you are born with and is unchanging, like eye color? Or do you think your brain is more like a muscle, that can grow and strengthen with training? Research suggests that the latter is true, and what your child believes can have a major impact on their emotional well-being throughout their academic career. Check out this week’s blog on 7 strategies to foster a growth mindset in your child.
How to Care for Aging Parents while Raising a Family: 8 Tips for the Sandwich Generation
Modern medicine has meant that many adults are living longer – a fact that brings comfort to all of us. However, this increased life expectancy has also created another phenomenon called, “The Sandwich Generation,” – a group of adults responsible for the caregiving demands of both their children and aging parents. Becoming a “sandwiched” caregiver can feel intimidating as the physical, emotional and sometimes, financial demands are overwhelming. After spending your childhood under your parents’ care, this role reversal can feel painful and confusing for both of you.
Should My Child Have an Emotional Support Animal? 10 Things You Should Know
Throughout history, animals have been documented as companions, messengers, and heroes of mankind. Animals have an intangible quality that just makes people feel good and this special bond is especially strong in children. It’s commonly known that animals can support children with medical conditions such as blindness, epilepsy, or hearing impairment, but did you know many children qualify for a support animal to help them through emotional challenges?
If you think your child might benefit from the comfort of an emotional support animal, here are some things you should know:
“Is My Child Addicted to Video Games?” How to Know and What to Do About It
Since their debut in the early 1970’s, video games have been an iconic form of entertainment. While most people can enjoy gaming as an occasional diversion, a growing number of youth seem to be pushing aside family, friends, and activities to spend more time in front of computer screens. Nicknamed “digital heroin,” video game addiction is a growing concern and has recently been classified as a mental health disorder by The World Health Organization.
So how do parents know if their child’s fantasy world is starting to take over their real life?
All parents want their children to learn in a fair and enriching environment, but that doesn’t look the same for every child. Students struggling with academic, social, or emotional challenges may require additional support to help them reach their potential. In most cases, however, students can only receive special accommodations if they’ve been tested for eligibility by a licensed specialist.
But all students face challenges in one way or another – how does a parent know if their child should see a specialist?
Co-parenting over Summer: 10 Tips for a Drama Free Vacay
Summer is a challenging time for all parents, but especially for those who are no longer together. During the school year, the kids are on a pretty set schedule and co-parents generally know what their responsibilities are from month to month. Then summer rolls around and throws a wrench into visitation, childcare, and transportation arrangements. Add the drama of your ex-relationship to the mix, and your family’s summer fun is at serious risk.
So what can co-parents do to plan a summer that works for everyone?
Independence Day – the anniversary of America’s founding fathers declaring liberation from England’s governance. When it comes to governing one’s household, nearly every parent anticipates the day that their child will give their own, “declaration of independence.” Parents expect that as their teens emerge into their 20’s, they’ll soon be moving out and establishing themselves as self-sufficient adults. To many parents’ dismay, however, more and more young adults are having trouble meeting the milestones that lead to independence.
5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children
From the time a baby is born until they establish themselves as adults, most parents are at least a little concerned with how intelligent their child will be. They may get a little worried if their best friend’s kid started talking earlier or if their teen didn’t make the honor roll.
But what about the type of intelligence that doesn’t impact a kid’s ability to solve math equations or memorize state capitols?
“Yay it’s summer! Mom I’m bored.” 9 Easy Tips for a Stimulating Summer
Ahhh summer… the freedom, the sunshine, the world of opportunity. The kids look forward to it all year.
Notice we said “the kids.”
Parents on the other hand, tend to be a little wary of the school-free season. While all parents love spending time with their children, summer means 3 whole months without the time consumption and mental stimulation that school provides. It means having to come up with activities for the kids yourself, which often translates to spending a lot more money. If both parents work, it can also mean having to find reliable child care and camps that aren’t exactly in the budget. So what’s a parent to do?
The PRIDE of Fatherhood: 5 Ways That Great Dads Shape Our Mental Health
Dads are our first superheroes, and it’s for good reason. Fathers have a unique paternal instinct to protect, care, and provide for their children. In turn, children look up to their fathers as an almost mythical role model, with an inborn drive to make their father proud and live up to his expectations. As Father’s Day approaches, we reflect on the impact that dads have on our lives. We know that their love encourages us and their guidance directs us, but have you ever wondered how a father’s pride impacts the long-term mental health of his children?
When a person dies by suicide, it sends a devastating shock wave through the world around them. Whether they were your personal friend or a celebrity that you admired, being connected with a person who dies by suicide can make you feel overwhelmed with confusion and despair. The relationships and role models we build throughout life have a tremendous impact on our mental health, and having that connection severed by suicide is incredibly traumatic.
While there’s no easy road through the grieving process, knowing what to expect can help.If someone you know or admired died by suicide, here are a few things you should know:
Parent’s Guide: What to do When Your Child’s Friend Dies by Suicide
Most parents try to avoid having their kids deal with difficult adult issues whenever possible. However, there are times in life where parents are forced to discuss tough topics with their kids. There are few topics less disturbing and heart wrenching than having your child’s friend die by suicide. If your child has lost a friend to suicide, here are some things you should know.
When a Soldier Comes Home: The Impact of Deployment on Mental Health
This Memorial Day, we reflect on the men and women who have selflessly given their lives to protect our way of life. The people who watch their children being born via Facetime so that the rest of us can enjoy three-day weekends. The people that expose themselves to the worst side of humanity so that our only glimpse is what we see on the news. The sacrifices made by veterans are vast and can impact the mental health of all service men and women, whether they’ve served in active war zones or are just entering basic training. For those who have been deployed, there are several mental health challenges that they may experience when they return home.
When Netflix released 13 Reasons Why in 2017, the show was met with a slew of controversy. The story takes place in the weeks following the suicide of a high school student named Hannah Baker. The series follows her peers as they unravel her story by listening to 13 tape recordings she left behind. Each tape details how different people in her life contributed to her choice to end her life. Many praised the series for shedding light on serious topics that society critically needs to address. Others felt that it romanticized suicide and would encourage vulnerable viewers toward self-harm.
When we hear the word “depression,” we often think of crying, sadness, and feelings of low self-esteem. What many people don’t realize is that depression often hides behind behaviors that we generally don’t associate with unhappiness. This can be particularly true in men, who may have been taught from a young age to mask feelings of sadness with other behaviors that society considers more masculine. Without identifying their symptoms as depression, many men go untreated, which over time can have devastating consequences on his mental health, physical well-being, and relationships.
Words of Wisdom from Famous Mothers: A Celebration of Mom’s Impact on Mental Health
It’s no secret that mothers have an immeasurable impact on our psychological development. While psychology has only been widely studied since the late 1800’s, mothers have been guided by meaningful wisdom and instincts since the dawn of time. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some quotes from famous moms over the past few centuries, illustrating the many ways a mother’s wisdom shapes our mental health.
The Final Semester Survival Guide: 13 Tips for College Students Who Just Want it to be Over The final countdown
Whether you’re in your first year of college or finishing up the home stretch, the last semester of each year can be a stressful time. finals seemed so far away, and day-to-day assignments didn’t feel like they held so much weight. But before you know it, the end of the term is upon you, and you’ve only got a few short weeks or months to achieve your academic goals for the year.
Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know
If you’re the parent of a high-schooler, you know the pressure surrounding your kid’s performance on the “big kahuna tests.” You know, the SAT’s, PSAT’s, ACT’s, AP exams, and so on. With graduation approaching, those scores hold a lot of power in proving your child has what it takes to succeed in college. If your child has a disability that affects their learning, the stress of these impending exams can feel especially overwhelming. You know your child’s potential and you don’t want their challenges holding them back from success.
There’s no doubt that our country has benefitted from women becoming more involved in the workforce since the 1940’s. However, this cultural shift has created some difficult challenges for families on the home front. There are several factors that make having a parent at home the right choice for many families. But because many of today’s women pursue career endeavors before becoming mothers, they may feel a deep sense of loss and loneliness when they leave the workforce to focus on motherhood.
Operation Anger Man-agement! A Guy’s Guide to Understanding His Inner Hulk
She did it. She freaking did it. After screaming at your wife 10 times about leaving the kitchen light on overnight, she did it again. Beneath the surface you know it’s not really such a big deal, but it doesn’t matter – you storm into the bedroom, waking her up in an uncontrollable rage. Screams barrel out of you faster than you can process them. You love her, and you know in 20 minutes you’re going to hate yourself for acting this way, so why can’t you stop?
How Child Psychologist Dr. Marta M. Shinn is Building a New Private Practice
Better works with Variations Psychology, a new group therapy practice based in Newport Beach, CA. Its founder, Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D. is a specialist in child and educational psychology and, after establishing her reputation in the public sector, Variations is her first step into private practice. We spoke to her about her journey, her practice, her colleagues, and how Better helps her clients.
Society has a way of terrifying parents of their children at certain ages. Phrases like “terrible twos,” “threenager,” and, well, just the word “teenager” are enough to make many parents grimace. While no stage of parenting is easy, adolescence seems to be particularly dreaded, as teens gain independence and your old tactics of speed dialing Santa and holding Mr. Teddy hostage no longer seem to cut it.
Our brains are naturally wired to respond to threats with worry. When we encounter something troubling, a part of our brain called the amygdala sends out red flags to our bodies to be on high alert. Whether you are facing a dangerous situation like confronting a robber or something positive but nerve-wracking like taking your SAT’s, your amygdala will trigger your body to have symptoms of anxiety. Some people have more sensitive circuitry than others, causing them to experience anxiety symptoms more often.
The death of a loved one is always extremely painful, but having a friend die by suicide is especially devastating. Friendships are an important part of the human experience and impact our happiness, well-being, and sense of belonging. While we don’t get to choose which family we’re born into, we do get to choose who we build friendships with, and having that connection severed by suicide is incredibly traumatic.
“Everybody’s life is either rewarding or an example.” -Tony Robbins
Remember that person in high school who was insanely smart, but just didn’t have the drive to reach their potential? You know, that kid that always seemed bored in class, aced every test, but couldn’t be bothered to do their homework. After all, they knew all the answers, had their career plans, so why do the extra work? We’ve also known someone who wasn’t necessarily the most passionate or intelligent one in school, but worked tirelessly to accomplish anything and everything expected of them, no matter how necessary the task seemed.
Living in the age of social media has its perks. You can look up your long-lost friend from 3rd grade with the click of a mouse. You can see what’s going on almost anywhere in the world at any given time. But constant exposure to everything, and everyone, can also get a little hazardous. Without the right mindset, social media can make you feel insecure about your appearance and your lifestyle.
In short, if you find yourself comparing yourself head to toe with Instagram hoochies or muscle heads, this one’s for you.
Remember the days before you were a parent when you used to dream about what your “future child” would be like. You know, things like, “My future child would never run around the grocery store like those little monsters” or, “My future child would never dare ignore me.”
Explaining the Unexplainable: How to Discuss School Violence with Your Kids
In the wake of recent school shootings, many of us feel an overwhelming sense of fear and lack of control over such a senseless tragedy. Between social media, word of mouth, and news broadcasts, children are exposed to more and more similar headlines; it can be hard for parents to know how help their children process these tragedies without worsening their anxiety.
Our clinicians at Variations Psychology wanted to share a few insights to guide you in discussing school violence with your children:
Menopause and Depression: How to Feel Yourself Again
Middle age isn’t what it was 50 years ago. Women like Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, and Halle Berry are all a testament that “50 is the new 20,” and that when it comes to living a full, vivacious life, age is just a number. For many women, their 40’s and 50’s are some of their most enjoyable years.
Variations is excited to launch this blog as a means for you to discover all-things-psychology and get to know our expert team and their specializations.
In each of our weekly posts, our team of experienced specialists will help you unveil some of the most prevalent psychological issues that impact your daily life.
If you’re like most people, odds are you’ve dealt with stress, anxiety, or confusion over your share of life events. Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, life throws you another curve ball that you didn’t see coming, and you’re back at square one wondering how to overcome your situation.