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      “My Kid is a Picky Eater – What do I do?”     “Yuck! I’m not eating that - I want ice cream!” Sound familiar? Many parents know the struggle of having a picky eater. It’s frustrating to want to ensure your child’s health when they’re determined to live on a steady diet of fruit loops and oreos. The good news is, most kids grow out of picky eating without it having major effects on their health. However, the way that parents react to their kids’ picky tendencies has a major impact on whether their kid grows out of it and how their eating habits effect their long-term health.    So what should parents do if their kid is a picky eater?     1. Keep offering new foods     Young children often need be to introduced to a food several times before they’ll try it. Research suggests it takes kids a minimum of 12 exposures of any given food to put it in the category of foods they like. Picky eaters can require a lot more exposures than that. Remember, exposure doesn’t mean that they have to eat it either; simply having it served to them or seeing their parent eat it also counts. Keep exposing them to new foods alongside of their favorites, and eventually they’ll try a bite.     2. Give “food bridges” a try     Once a food is accepted, use what nutritionists call “food bridges” to introduce others with similar colors, flavors, or textures to expand the variety of your child’s diet. For example, if your child likes pumpkin pie, try mashed sweet potatoes and then cross the “bridge” to mashed carrots. If your child like’s the crispiness of potato chips, introduce similarly textured foods such as snap pea crisps or seasoned kale chips.      3. Pair like a pro     Pairing isn’t just for adults when deciding which wine will complement their dinner. Toddlers naturally prefer sweet and salty flavors and tend to dislike sour and bitter. Try pairing unfamiliar foods that kids tend to dislike with foods they naturally prefer. For example, pairing a bitter food like broccoli with the saltiness of cheddar cheese provides a great combination for toddler taste buds. Celery sticks and peanut butter are another award winning, kid-approved combo.      4. Avoid reinforcing pickiness     You may be doing a few things that actually encourage picky eating without meaning to. Avoid using the “ ABCDE ” behaviors listed below, as each of these may make your child associate mealtime with a power struggle, which can increase picky eating:        A - Artificial comments  – “Mmm this asparagus is SO delicious!” Yeahhh… your kid can see right through that. Don’t exaggerate or make fake comments to try to convince your child to try a food.        B - Bribery  – “You need to eat 4 more strawberries before you can have dessert.” Don’t bribe or force your kid to eat certain foods or clean their plate. This disrupts their ability to listen to their body’s natural cues of hunger and fullness.      C - Coaxing  – “Come on, just try one bite!” Coaxing often leads to a power struggle which motivates your kid to “win” by defying you. This can distract your kid from listening to their stomach telling them what they need. Instead, they’ll be focusing all of their efforts on winning the battle.       D - Defining preferences  – “You don’t like carrots.” Taste buds are always evolving, so avoid telling your kid what foods they do or don’t like. This suggests to them that their preferences are fixed and unchanging.      E – Emotional eating  – “Aww, my baby, you fell and bumped your knee. Here, don’t cry, have a cookie.” Avoid using food as a tool to deal with tough feelings. This can lead to your child developing habits to eat in response to sadness, pain,   fear    ,     anger  , or   boredom       rather than listening their body’s natural hunger cues.        Click here    to learn healthy ways for your kids to deal with tough emotions       5. Make it a family lifestyle     If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your kid is more likely to follow suit. Make healthy food choices a   part of your family’s lifestyle   and avoid becoming a short order cook by making separate, unhealthy meals for your kids. Your kid may act like they’ll go on a hunger strike if you don’t let them eat smores for dinner, but they’ll try a healthier option before letting themselves starve.     Click here    for our printable handout on quick tips for overcoming feeding problems in children     6. Have fun with food      Get your kid involved in food preparation. Have them pick produce at the market and help you rinse, peel, and stir in the kitchen. Even to adults, food is more appetizing when it is presented nicely. You can make healthy foods more enticing by cutting them into fun shapes with cookie cutters, serving fruits and veggies on skewers, using a grater to create different textures, or arranging foods into pictures like smiley faces. While they won’t always have you around to prepare their food in eye-appealing ways, your efforts will get them to give more foods a chance and add them to their “approved” list.      7. Ditch the distractions     Mealtime should be a time for bonding between family members, and not a battle over food choices. Keep conversations away from food and minimize distractions that take your kid’s focus away from their meal and family. Turn off the TV, let homework wait, and have mealtime be a sacred ritual of quality family time. Avoid quizzing your child during mealtimes as well – questions about their performance on the spelling test or behavior during recess can add stress and tension to mealtime.     8. Depend on the “division of responsibility”     When it comes to eating, both parents and children have responsibilities. The parent’s responsibility is to choose which foods are purchased and made available, as well as what times of day they are served. The child’s responsibility is to choose which of those foods they’ll take and how much of each food they’ll eat. Allow them to carry out their responsibility by letting them listen to their bodies and eat only as much or as little as they like. Serve food family style so that they can choose their portions. Carry out your responsibility by keeping meal and snack times routine and offering 3 or 4 healthy food groups per meal.    Does your family need help in developing healthy eating habits? Click below for a free 15-minute consultation to learn how our Specialists can help       


   
     
      
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      9. Redefine desserts      Using desserts as a reward or bribery tool reinforces the idea that sweets are the most exciting and desirable foods. Don’t serve sugary sweets each night; instead, redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt, or other healthier options. Kids should be allowed to have occasional sweets, but teach them about moderation and balanced nutrition. Keep high calorie sweets reserved for celebrations or special occasions such as birthday parties, Sunday night dinners with the family, or holidays.      10. Know when to get help     Though picky eating is often a phase that kids grow out of, there are situations where outside support is needed. Picky eating can develop after a child experiences trauma and can lead to serious eating disorders. Some children also develop avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (AFRID) which can lead to life-threatening health problems if a child doesn’t get proper treatment. If you are concerned your child’s picky eating is impacting their physical or mental health, or if you need support in developing healthier eating habits as a family, our specialists can help.      SPECIALISTS:    Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology and is experienced in training clinicians in Family Mealtime Coaching (FMC). Dr. Shinn has conducted research on eating disorder interventions and family eating behaviors. If you are concerned about your child’s or family’s eating habits, Dr. Shinn can recommend support.       


   
     
      
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      Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D ., is an FMC coach and is experienced in coaching parents on how to overcome challenges with their picky eaters. If you are a parent concerned with your child’s picky eating habits, Dr. Davis can help.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.  is a specialist in counseling. If your family struggles with emotional eating or other eating disorders, Dr. Torres can support you with effective tools to overcome challenges and guide your family on a path towards a healthy lifestyle.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Weir, Psy.D.,  is an expert in Infant and Toddler Psychology. If you’re concerned your baby’s picky eating may be connected to a developmental issue such as autism or intellectual development, Dr. Weir can provide an evaluation.      


   
     
      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   American Academy of Pediatrics. (2018, April 26). 10 Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/nutrition/Pages/Picky-Eaters.aspx  Campbell, L. (2018, May 31). ARFID: Eating Disorder   Mistaken for Picky Eating. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/parents-may-mistake-picky-eating-for-a-more-serious-eating-disorder#1  Children's nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters. (2017, July   28). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/childrens-health/art-20044948  DiGiulio, S. (2018, February 10). What makes kids picky   eaters - and what may help them get over it. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/better/amp/ncna846386  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kid in Active Play.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/get-moving-10-reasons-to-engage-your-kids-in-active-play   Shinn. M.M. (2018). How to Stop Anxiety in its Tracks.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-to-stop-anxiety-in-its-tracks   Shinn, M. M., & Weir, A. E. (2018). Family Mealtime Coaching Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript  Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant – Is It My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault   Shinn. M.M. (2018).Yay it’s Summer! Mom I’m Bored. 9 Tips for a Stimulating Summer.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/9-easy-tips-for-a-stimulating-summer   Shinn. M.M., Timmer, S.G., & Sandoz, T.K., (2017). Coaching to Improve Mealtime Parenting in Treating Pediatric Obesity.  Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology . Vol. 5. No. 3, 232-247  Campbell, L. (2018, May 31). ARFID: Eating Disorder   Mistaken for Picky Eating. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/parents-may-mistake-picky-eating-for-a-more-serious-eating-disorder#1  Children's nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters. (2017, July   28). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/childrens-health/art-20044948  DiGiulio, S. (2018, February 10). What makes kids picky   eaters - and what may help them get over it. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/better/amp/ncna846386  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kid in Active Play.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/get-moving-10-reasons-to-engage-your-kids-in-active-play   Shinn. M.M. (2018). How to Stop Anxiety in its Tracks.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-to-stop-anxiety-in-its-tracks   Shinn, M. M., & Weir, A. E. (2018). Family Mealtime Coaching Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript  Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant – Is It My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault   Shinn. M.M. (2018).Yay it’s Summer! Mom I’m Bored. 9 Tips for a Stimulating Summer.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/9-easy-tips-for-a-stimulating-summer   Shinn. M.M., Timmer, S.G., & Sandoz, T.K., (2017). Coaching to Improve Mealtime Parenting in Treating Pediatric Obesity.  Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology . Vol. 5. No. 3, 232-247    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is a Picky Eater – What do I do?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/my-kid-is-a-picky-eater-what-do-i-do

“My Kid is a Picky Eater – What do I do?”

“You can’t just eat sweets all day son.” “Then I just won’t eat anything at all!”

Most parents know the struggle of having a picky eater. Check out this week’s blog for 10 tips on what to do about it.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Top 8 Ways for New Moms to Bond with Baby   Across the animal kingdom, there’s no bond quite like that between a mother and her baby. Whether it’s a mama cat saving her kitten from a burning house, a mother bird instinctively knowing how to feed her chicks, or a woman feeling her child’s pain as if it were her own, moms are connected to their kids in ways that exceed understanding. But bonding isn’t fixed or instant; bonding is a process that strengthens over time as moms and children learn more about each other and build loving, trusting relationships.    So what can mamas do to strengthen the bond with their new babies?    1. Bond over books     It doesn’t matter that your baby doesn’t understand the characters or plot twists in the you books you read. The sound of your voice will provide them with comfort and security while stimulating their growing minds. Immersing your child in a world of words will help them gain communication skills, boost their language development, and make them feel closer to you.      2. Sooth with songs     You don’t need to sing like Adele for your voice to work magic: research has shown that a mother’s singing can reduce her baby’s stress, increase healthy weight gain, and even shorten NICU stays for babies who require hospitalization. Make it a routine to sing to your baby as you rock them to sleep after bath. Over time, your daily ritual will be something your baby looks forward to and will build sweet memories for both of you.      3. Crank up your “cuddle chemical”     The more skin-to-skin contact you have with your baby, the more your body will produce a hormone called oxytocin, which is also known as the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin increases feelings of calm, pleasure, and closeness toward your baby. Practice “kangaroo care” by frequently keeping your naked or partially dressed baby close to your skin throughout the day. The scent and touch of one another will fill you both with joy.     Concerned that the bond with your baby isn’t developing the way it should be? Click below for a free 15 minute consultation with one of our Specialists      


   
     
      
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      4. Feed with love     Mealtime is one of the best opportunities for bonding with your baby. Nourishing your baby builds your confidence as a mom and teaches your baby that they can rely on you for their needs. Whether your baby is fed by breast or bottle, caressing their face, making eye contact, and holding them close to the rhythm of your heartbeat will strengthen your connection.      5. Respond to cues      It’s important to respond to your baby’s cries in the first months of life; you’re not spoiling them by doing so – you’re making them feel safe and teaching them how to manage difficult feelings. It’s never too early to show your baby healthy ways to calm their body down     by practicing deep breathing, rhythmically rocking them, humming, and using calm words.    Is your baby’s emotional development on track?    Click here    to find out     6. Bond through movement     Moms of ancient civilizations didn’t get to enjoy many of our modern conveniences: drive-thru coffee shops, diaper genies, or mommy-and-me-yoga classes. While baby-centric exercise may seem like a luxury, research supports that it increases bonding and makes new parents more comfortable with holding their vulnerable babies. There are also plenty of free ways to bond through movement including:      Giving your baby a loving massage to relax their muscle and increase circulation    Moving their legs in a bicycle motion during diaper changes    Laying on your stomach to face them during their tummy time – this prompts them to lift their head to see you, strengthening their neck and core muscles    Praising your baby as they learn to bounce on supportive surfaces such as your lap     Doing “baby sit ups” as your baby becomes able to support their own neck and head. Hold your baby’s forearms and gently pull them up and down on a soft surface, giving them a smile or kiss each time they come up      Click here    to learn about the benefits of active play as your child grows       7. Don’t be hard on yourself     Bonding is an individual process that grows over time, so don’t feel guilty if it doesn’t happen instantaneously for you. It can be tough to feel connected to a baby when you’ve just met them and are adjusting to the many changes of motherhood. Be patient with yourself and trust that in time, the bond between you and your baby will be unbreakable.       8. Get support     There are a number of issues that can present challenges for mothers and babies to bond such as:      Unplanned pregnancy    Postpartum depression    Lack of support    Health issues    Attachment disorders    Autism spectrum disorder    Adoptive or step parenting    Whatever your family’s situation, our specialists can help you build a loving bond between you and your baby.      Dr. Amy E. Weir, Psy.D.,  is an expert in infant and toddler neurodevelopment. If you’re concerned that your baby is having trouble connecting with you or other family members, Dr. Weir can provide diagnostic testing to assess for neurodevelopmental issues.      


   
     
      
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      Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D.,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout life. If you’re struggling with baby blues or post-partum depression, Dr. Davis can help you work through challenges and strengthen the bond between you and your baby.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology. If you’re worried about your baby’s development, Dr. Shinn can recommend interventions in speech, language, and behavioral support before they reach preschool or kindergarten.      


   
     
      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our     Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Blakemore, C.J. & Ramirez, B.W. (2006).  Baby Read Aloud Basics . New York, Harper Collins.   Blumenfeld, H., & Eisenfeld, L. (2006). Does a Mother Singing to her Premature Baby Affect Feeding in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?  Clinical Pediatrics ,  45 (1), 65–70. https://doi.org/10.1177/000992280604500110  Bonding an Attachment: Newborns. (2019).  Raisingchildren.net.au . Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/connecting-communicating/bonding/bonding-newborns  Moburg, K.U., Prime, D.K. (2013). Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding.  Infant  9,(6). Retrieved from http://www.infantjournal.co.uk/pdf/inf_054_ers.pdf  Parker, D.G. (2000).  Yoga Baby: Exercises to Help You Bond with Your Baby Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually.  New York, Broadway Books.   Passell, L. (2019). 12 Ways to Bond with Your Baby.  Parenting Magazine.  Retrieved from https://www.parenting.com/article/12-ways-to-bond-with-your-baby  Reece, T. (2018). 4 Exercises to Help Baby Get Stronger.  Parents . Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/baby/development/physical/your-babys-hand-control/  Shinn. M.M. (2018). Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent? 6 Tips for Moms and Dads to Boost Their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq   Shinn, M.M. (2019). Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kids in Active Play.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/get-moving-10-reasons-to-engage-your-kids-in-active-play   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Is My Baby’s Emotional Intelligence on Track?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/is-my-babys-emotional-intelligence-on-track   Vaglio S. (2009). Chemical communication and mother-infant recognition.  Communicative & integrative biology ,  2 (3), 279–281.  Wusthoff, C.J. (2019) Movement Milestones: Birth to 3 Months.  Healthychildren.org . Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Movement-Birth-to-Three-Months.aspx    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). The Magical Bond of Mothers: 8 Ways to Connect with Your New Baby.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/top-8-ways-for-new-moms-to-bond-with-baby

Top 8 Ways for New Moms to Bond with Baby

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there! There’s no bond quite like that between a mother and her baby. Check out our Mother’s Day blog on 8 ways for moms to bond with their new babies.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18    Disclaimer: Please note that the content of this blog is geared toward teens without disabilities or health conditions that may impair their ability to be independent.    “Adulting” ain’t easy, but no one ever learned how to manage adult responsibilities if their parents did everything for them. While all parents want their kids’ lives to be comfortable, there’s a difference between being supportive and being a “snowplow parent” or “lawnmower parent” who removes so many obstacles from their kid’s lives that they never develop basic life skills for independence.      It’s natural to want to help your children succeed, but how can parents provide support without hampering their kids’ growth?  Here are 8 things to stop doing before your kid turns 18:    1. Scheduling their appointments   An important milestone for independence is being able to recognize when appointments need to be made: oil changes, physicals, haircuts, taxes, dental screenings, etc. Talk to your teen about knowing when these types of appointments are necessary, but allow them to be the one who makes the calls, sets appointments, and adds them to their calendar.    2. Being their personal chef   While many people joke about the typical college student living off of   ramen and beer   ,  the truth is that nutrition plays an important role in your kid’s development through college and adulthood. As they enter this stage of life, they need to know how to grocery shop and prepare a variety of healthy meals for when you’re not there to cook.    3. Fighting their battles   There are going to be times where your kid is treated unfairly in school,   in relationships  , and in the   workplace   .  Remember that your role is to teach your child how to set and enforce boundaries. It’s tough, but they’ll never learn how to stand up for themselves if you fight their battles for them. Don’t call their employer to complain about their snarky supervisor or yell at their friend for flaking on their plans; teach your kid about   healthy ways to resolve conflicts     and let them work through them on their own.    4. Acting as an alarm clock   There are a variety of appropriate alarm clocks out there: smartphones, nightlight alarm combos, or even those old school radio clocks with the red flashing numbers. Whatever alarm your kid uses is fine, as long as it doesn’t have two eyes and a pulse. Your kid won’t be able to rely on you to be their snooze button once they’re out of the house, so allow them to adjust to other ways of being responsible and waking up on time.    5. Doing their assignments   Doing your kid’s assignments should be a big no-no at any age, but a  New York Times  poll showed that 11% of parents wrote college essays for their kids and 16% wrote all or part of their kid’s job application(s). Not only does this put a “false face” on your child’s work, but it sends the message to your kid that you don’t think they’re smart or skilled enough to succeed on their own. This can damage your child’s self-esteem and self-efficacy, making them question their capabilities.   6. Tracking their deadlines   Even in the era of convenient online calendars, many parents constantly remind their kids of important deadlines for projects, events, or applications. Unfortunately, when parents act as their child’s “concierge calendar,” their kid can’t develop scheduling and time management skills which are critical for their career and personal lives.    Afraid it’s too late to stop doing it all for your kids? Click here for a free 15 minute consultation to learn how our specialists can help.       


   
     
      
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      7. Managing their money   Most schools don’t spend a lot of time on financial education, so it’s critical that parents work to instill basic financial skills. Talk to your teen about credit cards, predatory loans, savings, investments, paying bills, and how to create and manage a budget. Help them set up a checking account and introduce them to online banking tools. Give them a small bill to practice paying, such as $10 a month to contribute to the family’s phone plan. Let them know that you’re always there to answer questions, but don’t offer to manage their money for them.   Wondering if your teen is ready for their first job?    Click here        8. Fretting failures   As you allow your kid more responsibility, accept that they’re going to screw up here and there. Resist the urge to clean up their messes and prevent them from experiencing consequences. Failure is an effective learning tool, and every missed deadline, bank overdraft, broken heart, or rejected application is an opportunity for your kid to adapt, build resiliency, and learn how to roll with the punches of adult life.    Need extra support?      Preparing your kids for independence       is tough, especially if your kid is nearing adulthood and you’ve been doing most things for them up until this point. Even if that’s the case, it’s not too late! Our specialists can teach you how to gradually increase your kid’s responsibilities and empower them to become a master of “adulting.”   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology. If you’re concerned your kid’s life skill development is not on track, Dr. Shinn can provide consulting and recommend support.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D.,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout life. If you find it’s a struggle to balance advocating for your child while also promoting their independence, Dr. Davis can help you learn effective teen parenting strategies.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis 
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teen boys through life’s transitions. Are you worried your teen son isn’t adequately prepared for self-reliance? If so, Dr. Sample can provide you and your son with tools that foster his independence.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is a specialist in Diagnostic Testing and Counseling. If you’re concerned that something is holding your child’s development back, Dr. Torres can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support to empower your child to reach their potential.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood (2019).  The New York Times.  Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/style/snowplow-parenting-scandal.html  Shinn, M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children   Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Do I Talk to My Teens About Drugs and Alcohol?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-do-i-talk-to-my-teen-about-drugs-and-alcohol   Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-teen-is-dating-what-do-i-do   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Should I Let My Teen Get a Job? 10 Things Parents Should Know.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/should-i-let-my-teen-get-a-job-10-things-parents-should-know   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Why Can’t I Say No?! The Woman’s Holiday Guide to People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing   Shinn, M.M. (2018). 6 Tips to Prepare for your Teen’s Independence.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/6-tips-to-prepare-for-your-teens-independence   Young Adulthood in America: Children are Grown but Parenting Doesn’t Stop (2019).  The New York Times . Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/upshot/parenting-new-norms-grown-children-extremes.html?module=inline   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-things-to-stop-doing-for-your-kids-before-they-turn-18

8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18

In the wake of the college admissions scandal, everyone’s talking about “snowplow,” “lawnmower,” or “drone” parents who prevent their kids from learning from failure. To avoid too much “snowplowing” in your parenting style, check out our blog on 8 things to stop doing for your kids before they turn 10.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      8 Tips to Calm Your Kid while Keeping Your Cool   Every parent has been there. Your kid is out of control, inconsolable, and you have no clue how to calm them. Whether your kid is 2 and mad that you cut their sandwich wrong, 12 and devastated they can’t go to a sleepover, or 17 and livid that you took their cell phone away, you feel helpless in getting them to see your perspective and  just calm down . Before you know it, you’re as upset as they are, and you find yourself in a screaming match of hurtful words and painful emotions.    So what can parents do to calm their kids and themselves? Try these 8 tips to teach everyone in your household how to calmly handle tough emotions:      1. Avoid getting physical     Resist the urge to put your hands on your kid in anger as they work through their outburst. Adding physical pain to emotional turmoil only fuels the fire. If you get too heated or if your kid hits you, walk away until you’re both able to talk without getting physical.     Feel like your kid is always defiant? Click here     2. Let “teaching moments” wait     When your kid is feeling emotionally overwhelmed, they’re not in a place to listen to your words of wisdom. Wait until after they’ve calmed down to discuss appropriate behaviors,   values  , rules, and consequences. Remind them that you love them and are here for them as they learn how new ways to deal with tough feelings.     Click here for more tips on being a high EQ parent     3. Take a visual vacay     Visualization is another great tool for releasing the mind from negative thoughts. One visualization tool that can work for all ages is called “Imagine a Rainbow.  Picture yourself walking down a beautiful path. As a storm clears. Envision a rainbow appearing and imagine yourself standing beneath it, letting. Its warm, bright light fill you with calmness. Reflect on the feelings that each color makes you think of.      Try this relaxing activity with your child. Download our free Rainbow Mandala Coloring Sheet       4. Tame your tension     When we get upset, our muscles tend to clench up. This tension does not need to be your enemy; in fact, tense-and-release exercises are a great way to calm your body down. Tell young kids to make their body rigid like a robot, then to relax their body like a floppy ragdoll. Clench your jaw, your hands, stomach, and curl your toes. Then, slowly release each muscle one at a time. Repeating these tense-and-release exercises will gradually calm your body and mind.     5. Ground yourself     We don’t mean to exile yourself to life without TV for a week; we mean to ground your focus down to your 5 senses in the present moment:        LOOK   - “I see a picture on the wall”      FEEL   – “I feel my hand resting on the chair”      LISTEN   – “I hear the A/C blowing”      SMELL   – “I smell the vanilla air freshener”       TASTE   – “I taste my orange from lunch”    Focusing on the present moment helps to relieve anxiety about the future or sorrow about the past.      6. Breathe through it     Gaining control of your breathing helps to harness negative emotions. A great way to get young kids to calm their breathing is to have them do the “flower, birthday cake” exercise. Tell them to pretend they’re smelling a beautiful flower, and then, pretend to blow out candles on a birthday cake. Older kids (and you!) can benefit from sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed, placing your hands on your belly as you inhale and exhale, and focusing on the cool air entering in and warm air releasing out.       Take a break with your child and focus your attention on belly breathing using our free Mandala Coloring Sheet       7. Calm creatively      Channeling emotions into creative projects can help to put the mind and body at ease. Kids and adults alike can use coloring, painting, or sculpting to divert distract from their minds away from overwhelming emotions and toward the colors, lines, shapes, and textures of what they’re creating. Keep creative art supplies on hand for a quick diversion when tensions start to rise.      8. Get a calming coach     There are many factors that contribute to kids having major emotional outbursts, and knowing how to respond can be tough as a parent. This can be especially hard if your child struggles with   learning differences or other disorders   that impact their emotional health. Our specialists can get to know your family’s unique challenges and give you tools to learn healthy ways to overcome them.    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a dad who struggles with   anger  , or if your teen son is prone to outbursts, Dr. Sample can help. Dr. Sample is now accepting Aetna Insurance.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is a specialist in  Diagnostic Testing and Counseling.  Dr. Torres is experienced at helping people of all ages discover the root causes of their challenges and find healthy and empowering ways to overcome them.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with  Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional health, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend techniques to support their emotional development..       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
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               More about Variations Psychology   The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.  Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.        
  
       References:     Cognitive and Social Skills to Expect From 18 to 36 Months. (2019) ACT Raising Safe Kids Program. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/development-36-months  Shinn, M.M. (2018). Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent? 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq   Shinn, M.M. (2018). From Spoiled to Grateful – 9 Tips for Raising Thankful Kids.   Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/from-spoiled-to-grateful-9-tips-for-raising-thankful-kids   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Operation Anger Man-agement! A Guy’s Guide to Understanding His Inner Hulk.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/operation-anger-man-agement   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Should I Get My Kid Tested?   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/schools-out-should-i-get-my-kid-tested   Tantrum in the Grocery Store. (2019) ACT Raising Safe Kids Program. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/challenging-36-months  Timmer, S., Hawk, B., Lundquist, K., Forte, L., Aviv, R., Boys, D., & Urquiza, A. Coping & Relaxation Skills 1. (2016) PC-CARE: Course of Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved from https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/11/47_Coping_LittleKids-Aubrey-edits-8.6.18.pdf  Timmer, S., Hawk, B., Lundquist, K., Forte, L., Aviv, R., Boys, D., & Urquiza, A. Coping & Relaxation Skills 2 (2016) PC-CARE: Course of Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved from https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/48_Coping_BigKids_6-9yrs-Aubreyedits.pdf  Timmer, S., Hawk, B., Lundquist, K., Forte, L., Aviv, R., Boys, D., & Urquiza, A. Coping & Relaxation Skills 3 (2016) PC-CARE: Course of Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved from https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Coping_Older-Kids_9-13yrs.pdf  Timmer, S., Hawk, B., Lundquist, K., Forte, L., Aviv, R., Boys, D., & Urquiza, A. Co- Regulation Techniques (2016) PC-CARE: Course of Treatment Manual. Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved from https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/47.1_Session2-CoRegulation-Techniques.pdf  What Makes Children Angry. (2019) ACT Raising Safe Kids Program. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/children-angry    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Tips to Calm Your Kid While Keeping Your Cool.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-to-calm-your-kid-while-keeping-your-cool

8 Tips to Calm Your Kid while Keeping Your Cool

Every parent knows what it’s like to try to calm your kid down from a fit, only to end up enraged and screaming yourself. So how can parents calm their kids and keep their cool in the process? Check out this week’s blog to find out.