School Psychology

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       “My Kid Won’t Do Their Homework – What Do I Do?”   If your kid avoids homework like the plague, you’re not alone. After long days at work and school, the tension around homework can make both parents and kids want to ditch the drama and head straight to bed.    But does getting your kid to do their homework have to be a daily dread? If you’re sick of the homework battle, give these tips a try:     1. Allow for brain-breaks   Sometimes the sheer amount of homework can make a kid feel overwhelmed, especially after 6+ hours in class. It’s beneficial to let your kid have an hour or so to unwind after school before diving back into academic overload. Another strategy is to allow them to complete half of their work before dinner and half after. Breaking it up into segments will reduce their anxiety and enhance time management skills.   2. Stick with structure   Make “homework hour” a consistent part of your routine at the same time each evening. Display your daily schedule in a prominent area of the house and stick to it as closely as possible. Over time, your kid will adapt to homework being a routine task just like showering or brushing their teeth (ok, they may need to be reminded to do those things too – but you get the idea!)   3. Don’t engage in the fight   “Why should I have to do stupid homework?!” “ BECAUSE I SAID SO !”  Yelling or criticizing will only fuel your kid’s negative feelings about homework. In addition, your anger gives them ammo to manipulate you – if they know your fuse is short, they’ll fight even harder to make you throw in the towel and give up on your expectations. If you’re feeling your blood start to boil,   step away to breathe     and come back when you can enforce your rules in a calm, neutral tone.   4. Reinforce wisely   It can be effective to withhold privileges such as screen time until after homework is done. However, too much emphasis on threats or punishments can cause kids to rush and do the bare minimum. Avoid this by focusing more attention on good behaviors than bad ones.    Examples:   Instead of “Don’t even think of leaving that seat until your worksheet is done!” try, “I’m proud of you for staying in your seat and focusing on your worksheet.”  Instead of, “If you rush though your math homework I won’t let you go out tomorrow night!” try, “I love when I see you taking the time to check your work.”   5. Don’t dangle too many carrots   Rewards can be useful in getting your kid to finish their work, but they can also be harmful. Research shows that rewards are appropriate when your kid’s work is something repetitive and concrete, like writing vocabulary words 25 times. Avoid bribes for assignments that require creativity or critical thinking, as rewards can diminish motivation to give their all.   6. Connect to their passions   Sure, homework can be boring. If your kid is set on becoming a fireman, it may be hard for him to see why he needs to analyze the undertones of Shakespearean literature. Help your kid understand the less-obvious benefits of homework, such as developing skills that connect to their goals.    Examples:   “I get that you don’t think math is important since you want to be a publicist, but you’ll need math skills to understand deals and contracts.”  “I know you thought  Animal Farm  was a snooze-fest, but even dream jobs have their boring sides. Completing your report shows that you can get the job done. That’s something employers look for.”   Struggling to keep your kid motivated?    Click here    for more tips on fostering passion and persistence     7. Consider learning differences   Learning differences, such as   dyscalculia   ,    dysgraphia   ,    dyslexia   ,    ADHD   , or    autism   can make homework especially challenging. The good news is, once a child receives a diagnosis, there are many ways for parents and teachers to change their approach and make homework more accommodating.    Concerned your child may have a learning difference? Click below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn how our diagnostic testing services can help      


   
     
      
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      8. Avoid “snowplowing”   At times you may feel tempted to just finish their essay or piece together their half-built solar system. It’s hard to watch your kid stumble, but know that doing their work for them has far worse consequences. “Snowplow parenting,” or constantly guarding your kid from failure, sends the message that they’re incapable of succeeding on their own. Show them how to use planners and calendars, but don’t intervene if they miss a deadline or turn in substandard work. They need to feel the consequences of their actions to be able to improve their work ethic and time management skills.   Think you might have some    snowplowing    tendencies? Click here for our tips to avoid snowplow parenting     9. Prevent perfectionism   If your kid is a perfectionist, they may be avoiding homework because they’re afraid of showing that they don’t know the material. Kids who are identified as gifted can be especially prone to this fear. Help your kid overcome perfectionism by praising efforts more than results. Instead of asking, “Did you get an A?,” ask, “Did you try your best?”     Click here    for more tips on instilling a  growth mindset in your child    10. Seek support   “Homework wars” can be frustrating for both parents and kids. Sometimes the best option is to seek help from a third party. Our Diagnosticians can provide psychological testing to determine if your child has a diagnosis that is impacting their academic performance.    So you know you  need  help, but aren’t sure how  to find the  right  help?     Picking a therapist or type of therapy can be confusing, and “trial and error” with the wrong therapist can cause many families to feel  overwhelmed and give up on seeking help.   Our Diagnosticians can provide psychological testing to remove the  guess-work and guide you on your best path toward mental wellness.   Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation      


   
     
      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, and personalized assessment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in diagnostic testing to identify psychological conditions.  Our comprehensive evaluations test for conditions that impact mental health and development such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, and developmental delays.   In addition to diagnostic services, we offer   Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)   of K-12 students to assess needs for accommodations in school. IEEs provide an objective second opinion on existing IEP and 504 Plans.  For K-12 and post-secondary students, we offer evaluations to assess needs for accommodations on standardized tests, college entrance   exams (e.g. - SAT, ACT, AP Exams), and graduate and professional licensing exams (e.g. - MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam,  CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, CA Bar Exam   ).    Schedule your free 15-minute consultation to learn how our diagnostic services can support you and your family.       


   
     
      
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     Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides psychological testing 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:   Dawson, P. (n.d.) Homework: A Guide for Parents.  National Association of School Psychologists . Retrieved from http://www.naspcenter.org/home_school/homework.html  Masemann, A. (2018). 5 Ways to End the Homework Battle for Good. Today’s Parent. Retrieved from   https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/4-ways-to-end-the-homework-battle-for-good/   Pincus, D. (2019). The Homework Battle: How to Get Children to Do Their Homework.  Empowering Parents . Retrieved from https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-homework-battle-how-to-get-children-to-do-homework/  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 7 Strategies for Fostering a Growth Mindset in Your Child.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/7-strategies-for-fostering-a-growth-mindset-in-your-child     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     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   Shinn. M.M. (2018). ADHD or Just Kids Being Kids?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/adhd-or-just-kids-being-kids   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Teen Have Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/could-my-teen-have-autism     Shinn. M.M. (2018). I Can’t Spell Dyslexia – Do I Have It?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/i-cant-spell-dyslexia-do-i-have-it     Shinn. M.M. (2018). Life Success – Is It About Persistence or Following Your Passion?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/life-success-is-it-about-persistence-or-following-your-passion     Shinn. M.M. (2019). Why is My Kid Struggling So Much with Math?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-struggles-with-writing-how-can-i-help      How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid Won’t Do Their Homework – What Do I Do?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-wont-do-their-homework-what-do-i-do

“My Kid Won’t Do Their Homework – What Do I Do?”

Are you beside yourself because your kid just won’t do their homework? Check out this week’s blog for 10 tips on getting your kid to buckle down and get their work done!

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How Can I Boost My Self-Esteem?” 10 Tips to Be Your Most-Confident-You   “Be confident!” “Love yourself!” “Embrace who you are!”   We’re often encouraged to feel good about ourselves, as confidence is important for our well-being. However, achieving high self-esteem can be easier said than done. Despite what beer commercials and perfume ads might want us to believe, you can’t buy self-esteem by the ounce. True confidence can only be grown with the right outlook, behaviors, and support.     So what steps can you take to become your most-confident-you?     1. Prioritize self-image   With busy lives and countless obligations, it can be hard to prioritize your emotional health. Realize that strengthening your self-esteem is just as important to daily life as brushing your teeth or eating your veggies. Low self-esteem can place a negative lens over how you view the world and lead to challenges including:       Low motivation        Poor body image         Withdrawal and depression    Trouble building relationships      Drugs, drinking, or risky sexual activity         Fear of failure or embarrassment, keeping you back from pursuing your goals     2. Flip your negative thoughts   When you’re struggling with self-image, it can be easy to develop patterns of negative thinking. Use the following tricks to break your bad-thinking cycles:     THE POSITIVE REDIRECT:  When you start focusing on your flaws, stop and point out at least 3 things you like about yourself.         THE LOVED-ONE-LENS:  Imagine that your negative thought was being experienced by a friend or family member – would you want them to view themselves that way?       THE COMPARISON CRUSHER:  Quit   comparing yourself to others   by remembering that even “perfect people” have flaws, insecurities, and problems - even if they’re hidden.       THE VICTORY VISUALIZER:  If your confidence is being shaken by a   nerve-wracking situation       like surgery or a job interview, picture a previous time where you overcame something you thought was impossible. Reflect on how you felt afterward and picture yourself bringing that same confidence to conquer your new challenge.     3. Dive into a new hobby   Taking up a new hobby is a great way to boost your self-esteem, as it emphasizes the importance of spending time on your happiness. Whether it’s playing an instrument, learning a new language, trying an exciting sport, or taking up the latest crafting craze, your confidence will build as you discover new skills and abilities.   4. Stay in supportive circles   Do your best to surround yourself with people who are uplifting and encouraging. If you have certain friends, relatives, or co-workers who have a habit of putting you down, limit interactions with them and spend more time with those who support you.   5. Get excited about goals   Few things can lift your self-esteem like achieving a hard-earned goal. Get excited about goal-setting by writing down goals and your plans to achieve them. Set goals in a variety of areas – career, relationships, purchases, travel – the sky’s the limit. Aim to make your goals realistic but a bit challenging to make their attainment oh-so-sweet.     Click here for our secrets on effective goal-setting     6. Find value in helping others   When we get stuck fixating on our flaws and limitations, it can help to shift the focus off of ourselves and onto others. Think of populations you have a heart for: veterans, at-risk kids, animals, etc. Look into volunteer opportunities to support the causes you’re most passionate about. As you witness your actions improving the lives of others, you’ll strengthen your sense of purpose, value, and self-esteem.   7. Practice assertiveness   Those with low self-esteem are often at risk of being taken advantage of, as their lack of confidence can lead to being overly passive. Rehearse assertive responses so that when you feel someone is crossing a line, you’ll be ready to   set boundaries   and make your needs a priority.    Are self-esteem issues holding you back from living your best life? Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation to learn how our diagnostic testing services can help.      


   
     
      
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      8. Be a confident example   When it comes to building confidence, sometimes it helps to “fake it til you make it.” Avoid talking negatively about yourself; this will not only reduce your risk of low self-esteem, but it will also set a positive example to your loved ones. When you complain about your flaws or inadequacies, you make those around you question their own self-image. Be the person that makes everyone feel confident by showing what it looks like to   love and accept yourself  .    9. Get support   Boosting your confidence can be difficult, especially if you’ve spent years battling depression or have been surrounded by unsupportive people. The good news is, our diagnosticians can provide psychological evaluations and guide you toward the next steps to enjoying a confident life.   So you know you need help, but aren’t sure how    to find the right help?     Picking a therapist or type of therapy can be confusing, and “trial and error” with the wrong therapist can cause many families to feel overwhelmed and give up on seeking help.  Our Diagnosticians can provide   psychological testing   to remove the guess-work and guide you on your best path toward mental wellness.        
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, and personalized assessment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in diagnostic testing to identify psychological conditions.  Our comprehensive evaluations test for conditions that impact mental health and development such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, and developmental delays.  In addition to diagnostic services, we offer   Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)   of K-12 students to assess needs for accommodations in school. IEEs provide an objective second opinion on existing IEP and 504 Plans.  For K-12 and post-secondary students, we offer evaluations to assess needs for accommodations on standardized tests, college entrance exams (e.g. - SAT, ACT, AP Exams), and graduate and professional licensing exams (e.g. - MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, CA Bar Exam).  Schedule your free 15-minute consultation below to learn how our diagnostic services can support you and your family.     


   
     
      
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     Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides psychological testing 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:  Bashe, P. (2003). Caring for Your Teenager.  American Academy of Pediatrics.    Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?  Psychological Science in the Public Interest ,  4 (1), 1–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/1529-1006.01431  Garey, J. (2018). 13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem.  Child Mind Institute.  Retrieved online: https://childmind.org/article/13-ways-to-boost-your-daughters-self-esteem/  Lyness, D’Arcy (2018). What is Self-Esteem?  KidsHealth.org.  Retrieved online: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/self-esteem.html  ReachOut Australia (2018). Self esteem and teenagers. Retrieved online: https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/self-esteem-and-teenagers  ReachOut Australia (2018). Help your teenager build positive self-esteem. Retrieved online: https://parents.au.reachout.com/common%20concerns/everyday%20issues/things%20to%20try%20self%20esteem/help%20your%20teenager%20build%20positive%20self%20esteem  Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M. B., Moffitt, T. E., Robins, R. W., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2006). Low self-esteem during adolescence predicts poor health, criminal behavior, and limited economic prospects during adulthood.  Developmental Psychology, 42 (2), 381-390. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.42.2.381  Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Secrets for Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolution.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-secrets-for-sticking-to-your-new-years-resolution    Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways: 10 Tips for Self-Love This Valentine’s Day.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/10-tips-for-self-love-this-valentines-day   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. (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. (2018). Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Most #Liked of Them All?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whos-the-most-liked-of-them-all   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Top Tips for Feeling Free in Your Own Skin: A Woman’s Guide to Summer Body Image.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/top-tips-for-feeling-free-in-your-own-skin   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Why Can’t I Say No? The Woman’s Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing    How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). “How Can I Boost My Self-Esteem?” 10 Tips to Be Your Most-Confident-You . Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-can-i-boost-my-self-esteem-10-tips-to-be-your-most-confident-you

“How Can I Boost My Self-Esteem?” 10 Tips to Be Your Most-Confident-You

Confidence – we all want it, but we don’t always know how to get it! Check out this week’s blog to learn our top 9 tips for becoming your most-confident-you.

“My Kid Struggles with Writing – How Can I Help?”

“My kid is so smart and explains ideas so well – she just can’t seem to write them down!”

If writing challenges are holding your child back in school, they may have a learning disorder called dysgraphia. Check out this week’s blog to learn the signs and how you can help.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Why is my kid struggling so much with math?”   Does your child struggle with making sense of cents? Is he chronically late because he can’t read a clock? Does she always seem to mix up left and right? If so, your kid could have dyscalculia, a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and perform math operations. While dyscalculia doesn’t have a cure, there are strategies that can help your child develop skills to overcome challenges and succeed in school.    So what should parents do if they suspect their kid could have a math learning disability?    1. Learn the symptoms   Children with dyscalculia may struggle with concepts such as:     Biggest and smallest    Telling time    Money sense    Directions and map-reading    Working memory (remembering numbers from a problem in their head when there’s several steps)    Remembering math facts, symbols, or word problems     2. Consider other issues   While dyscalculia can occur on its own, other disorders can also contribute to math troubles including   dyslexia  ,      visual or auditory processing disorders,  ADHD  , or math anxiety. Effectively supporting your child starts with receiving an accurate diagnosis. An evaluation from a   Specialist in Educational Psychology   can determine if your child has a diagnosis and how to best support them.   Think your child may have a diagnosis? Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation to learn how our specialists can help      


   
     
      
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      3. Engage the senses   A multisensory approach encourages kids to use their sight, hearing, touch, and movement to grasp math skills. By engaging each of their senses, they become more active and alert, allowing for stronger connections with what they’re learning. Use the following techniques to reinforce math concepts through each of your child’s senses:      SIGHT : Use manipulatives such as blocks, buttons, or cereal to help them visualize math problems. Then have them write out the equation they created to reinforce the lesson.      HEARING : Songs and musical notes can be great teaching tools for math concepts such as algorithms, grouping, and fractional parts.     TOUCH : It can be helpful for kids to tap out numbers so they can “feel” their values and put sensations to amounts.     MOVEMENT : Use movement to help students bring to life what they’ve learned. Have them demonstrate angles by rotating their arms or practice synchronized clapping as they recite their times tables.   4. Seek school accommodations   If your child receives a dyscalculia diagnosis, they may qualify for an educational plan such as an IEP or 504 Plan to gain accommodations in school. These accommodations can help level the playing field by reducing obstacles that dyscalculia presents for your child.   Accommodations   may include:     Addition time on tests    Calculator usage    Less math homework    Use of manipulatives to solve problems    Use of graphing paper or scrap paper    A quiet area to work.      5. Make math fun at home   Learning is easier when you’re having fun! Find informal, stress-free ways to incorporate math at home. Involve your kid in measuring ingredients at dinner, play board games that incorporate calculations, and download apps that strengthen math concepts. Learning an instrument or playing team sports are also fun ways to reinforce math skills.   6. Be open with your kid   Have age-appropriate conversations with your child about their diagnosis so they can understand how they learn differently. Speak positively as you explain that things that come easily to one person can be more of a struggle for someone else. For example, your kid may be gifted at pitching in baseball, while someone else may be more of a natural at batting. As your child gets older, you can share more details about their diagnosis and tips to help them overcome challenges. By speaking about dyscalculia as a normal, non-threatening issue, you’ll help shape the way your child views their abilities.   7. Encourage a growth mindset   Some kids with dyscalculia have a fixed mindset, meaning they believe their intelligence is “fixed” and unimprovable no matter how hard they try. Encourage a growth mindset by explaining that the brain is like any other muscle that can be trained and strengthened. Ensure your child that if they put in the effort, they can improve their math skills. Practice positive affirmations and praise your child’s efforts as much as you praise their accomplishments.    Example : “You did a great job in the store today paying for your new game. I could tell how hard you thought about the right amount to give the cashier.”     Click here    for more tips on fostering a growth mindset in your child     8. Seek help   It can be discouraging to realize your child may have a learning difference, but the good news is that there are many ways to help your kid reach their full academic potential. Our Specialists can provide evaluations to determine if your child has a diagnosis and counsel you on working with their school to meet their needs.      
	 Click here to find a specialist who can help 
       *Please note: since the publishing of this blog, Variations Psychology has narrowed its focus to diagnostic testing and psychological evaluations. Our Doctors can evaluate whether you or your loved one have a diagnosis and guide you through the next steps in achieving your mental health or academic goals. While Variations does not offer counseling, our diagnostic evaluations allow us to refer patients to specialists who are best equipped to meet their needs. In addition,     this link       can guide you through a directory of therapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, and support groups in your area.        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:   Dyscalculia Fact Sheet (n.d.).  Understood.  Retrieved from  https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/dyscalculia-fact-sheet  Frye, D. (2019). What is Dyscalculia?  ADDitude.  Retrieved from https://www.additudemag.com/what-is-dyscalculia-overview-and-symptom-breakdown/  Hodnett, B.R. (n.d.). 10 Multisensory Techniques for Teaching Math.  Understood.   Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/10-multisensory-techniques-for-teaching-math  How to Help Your Child With Math (n.d.).  Understood.  Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/math-issues/how-to-help-your-child-with-math  Jacobson. R. (n.d.). How to Help Kids with Dyscalculia.  Child Mind Institute.  Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/how-to-help-kids-dyscalculia/  Jacobson, R. (n.d.). How to Spot Dyscalculia.  Child Mind Institute.  Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/how-to-spot-dyscalculia/  Morin, A. (2014). At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Dyscalculia.  Understood.  Retrieved from  https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/at-a-glance-classroom-accommodations-for-dyscalculia  Morin, A. (n.d.). Download: Growth Mindset Activities for Kids.  Understood.  Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/building-on-strengths/download-growth-mindset-activities-for-kids  Morin, A. (n.d.). How to Talk to Your Child About Learning and Attention Issues.  Understood.  Retrieved from   https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/understanding-childs-challenges/talking-with-your-child/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-learning-and-attention-issues  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 7 Strategies for Fostering a Growth Mindset in Your Child.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/7-strategies-for-fostering-a-growth-mindset-in-your-child   Shinn. M.M. (2018). ADHD or Just Kids Being Kids?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/adhd-or-just-kids-being-kids   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Does My Child Need Accommodations for the SAT/ACT?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/does-my-child-need-accommodations-for-the-sat-act   Shinn. M.M. (2018). I Can’t Spell Dyslexia – Do I Have It?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/i-cant-spell-dyslexia-do-i-have-it Understanding Dyscalculia (n.d.).  Understood.  Retrieved from  https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/understanding-dyscalculia    How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Why is My Kid Struggling So Hard with Math?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/why-is-my-kid-struggling-so-much-with-math

“Why is my kid struggling so much with math?”

Does your child struggle with learning math concepts? If so, they may have a learning disorder called dyscalculia. Check out this week’s blog to learn signs of dyscalculia and how to support your child’s learning.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Balancing Work and Motherhood: Can Moms Really Have it All?   Women have made tremendous contributions to our country’s workforce, but being a boss lady has its challenges – especially for women who want to advance their careers while raising a family. Balancing work and motherhood can feel overwhelming, impossible, and downright exhausting. The good news is, families can benefit greatly from having a working mom. Though you may never feel perfectly balanced, there are ways to make your dual roles a little easier.    So what can working moms do to balance their careers and motherhood?     1. Make mornings easier   Mornings are especially hectic for working moms – getting everyone dressed, fed, cleaned up, and dropped off, all before you have to clock in. While you can’t completely avoid the morning chaos, you can decrease the stress by preparing the night before. Make lunches right after dinner, lay out clothes for the next day, fill up on gas if needed, and fully stock backpacks and briefcases before you go to bed.   2. Talk with your employer   It can be scary to ask your boss to accommodate your family’s needs, but many of today’s employers realize that being family-friendly is essential for employee retention and growth. Brainstorm some ways that you could better balance your work and home duties and present them to your employer for consideration.   A few examples:    Leaving an hour early to pick the kids up from school, knowing you may have to answer some emails from home after bedtime        Scheduling meetings early in the day so you don’t miss family dinner    Allowing you to work from home when your child is sick    Designating a private place in the building where you can pump every few hours    Allowing you to keep your cellphone on your desk in case of calls from daycare     3. Make “away time” special   There are ways to make your child feel that you are with them even while you’re away. Put sweet notes or corny jokes in their lunch box, give them a “good luck charm” from mom to carry throughout their day, or consider buying one of those recording storybooks so your child can hear their favorite story in your voice while you’re at work.   4. Get real about guilt   As a working mom, you’ve likely felt guilt about missing your kid’s soccer game or skipping family dinner for a conference call. You may think, “If I didn’t work, I’d be a better mom.” But remember that stay-at-home-moms also feel guilt, just for different reasons. They may feel inadequate for not contributing financially or being unable to constantly keep the house clean and the kids entertained. Keep guilt in perspective by remembering that with or without a career, no mom can give 100% in each area of life at all times.   5. Aim for quality over quantity   While some believe it’s best for moms to be home, there is no scientific evidence that a mother’s employment negatively impacts her child’s development. Factors that are influential are your   family’s emotional stability   and the quality of childcare your kids receive. Rather than fretting over not spending every moment with your kids, aim to make your valuable time together special.   Some fun ideas include:    Reciting positive affirmations together before you start your day: “I’m going to do great at work/school/dance/camp today!”      Singing “car karaoke” on the way to drop-off     Dance parties or other    active play      Nightly story-time    Having your kids help with making dinner     Backyard bonfires on the weekend    Practicing   mindfulness       exercises together to release stress     6. Prioritize relationships   If you’re married or in a committed relationship, make an effort to connect with your partner on a regular basis. You may feel guilty for going on occasional date nights when work already keeps you from your kids a lot, but children benefit tremendously when their parents enjoy happy, fulfilling relationships. The same goes for friendships – even if it’s just once every few months, get a girls’ day on the calendar from time to time. Feeling the support of loved ones can reduce the stress of juggling work and motherhood.   7. Believe in the benefits   Working moms may envy the time stay-at-home-moms get with their kids, and stay-at-home-moms may envy the fulfillment of building a career. While there are unique benefits to each lifestyle, try to focus your attention on the many advantages of being a working mom, including:    Modeling a strong work ethic for your kids      Less financial stress     Allowing your kids the social & educational benefits of childcare     Empowering more    independence    in your children     Being less prone to   depression than stay-at-home-moms         Getting a break from your kids, making it easier to be patient and engaged when you’re with them    Daughters of working moms are more likely to achieve higher education, supervisory roles, and higher incomes    Sons of working moms tend to spend more time caring for their family members when they grow up    Your house is probably cleaner – no one’s home all day to mess it up!     8. Take comfort in “temporary”   Whatever your situation is today, remember that it’s temporary. Maybe you’re working long hours to advance to the next stage in your career, but this sacrifice will mean more financial security and time with your family down the line. Or maybe you turned down a promotion to be there for your kids, and feel some regret over not fully “leaning in” to your career. Remember that today’s sacrifices are temporary and things may change drastically as your kids grow older and you progress in your work.   9. Look inward for acceptance   Regardless of how much or how little you work, there will always be someone out there who will tell you you’re doing it wrong. Stay-at-home-moms and working moms are both the victims of judgmental jerks from time to time, so it’s important that you reflect on whether your lifestyle is what  you  believe is best for your family. It can be difficult to let others’ opinions go in one ear and out the other, but remember that what’s best for someone else is not necessarily right for you.   10. Get support   Let’s face it, mommin’ aint easy! Whether you are a working mom, stay-at-home-mom, or work-at-home-mom, there are many challenges that can make you question whether you’re giving your kids your best. If you’re struggling to balance the demands of your family and career, our specialists can help you decrease your stress and support your family.      
	 Click here to find a specialist who can help 
       *Please note: since the publishing of this blog, Variations Psychology has narrowed its focus to diagnostic testing and psychological evaluations. Our Doctors can evaluate whether you or your loved one have a diagnosis and guide you through the next steps in achieving your mental health or academic goals. While Variations does not offer counseling, our diagnostic evaluations allow us to refer patients to specialists who are best equipped to meet their needs. In addition,     this link       can guide you through a directory of therapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, and support groups in your area.        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:   Gerdeman, D. (2018). Kids of Working Moms Grow Into Happy Adults.  Harvard Business School . Retrieved from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/kids-of-working-moms-grow-into-happy-adults  McGinn, K. L., Ruiz Castro, M., & Lingo, E. L. (2019). Learning from Mum: Cross-National Evidence Linking Maternal Employment and Adult Children’s Outcomes.  Work, Employment and Society ,  33 (3), 374–400. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018760167  Miller, C.C. (2015). Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers.  The New York Times . Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/upshot/mounting-evidence-of-some-advantages-for-children-of-working-mothers.html  Norr, S. (2015). 10 Ways Moms Can Balance Work and Motherhood.  Parents . Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/moms-balance-work-family/  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. (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   Shinn. M.M. (2018). The Unexpected Loneliness of a Stay At Home Mom.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-unexpected-loneliness-of-a-stay-at-home-mom   Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Can My Family Master Mindfulness?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-can-my-family-master-mindfulness   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   DeWolf, M. (2017). 12 Stats About Working Women.  U.S. Department of Labor.  Retrieved from https://blog.dol.gov/2017/03/01/12-stats-about-working-women   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Balancing Work and Motherhood: Can Moms Really Have it All? Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/balancing-work-and-motherhood-can-moms-really-have-it-all

Balancing Work and Motherhood: Can Moms Really Have it All?

Are you a working mom? If so, you know how hard it can be to balance being a career driven boss-lady AND a hands-on mother.
Check out this week’s blog on 10 tips for balancing work and motherhood.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How Do I Keep My Kids Entertained All 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?   First of all – relax! That’s what summer is for   Many parents go into summer concerned that their child will be bored out of their minds. Research suggests, however, that constructive boredom is not only healthy, but essential for a child to develop their creativity, discover their personal identity, and explore ways to foster their own mental stimulation. If parents are always doing the heavy lifting in filling their child’s time, their child gets robbed of the opportunity to contemplate their own thoughts and interests and explore new ideas.   Here are 9 tips for giving your child a fun and stimulating summer, without scheduling every second:    1. Brainstorm beforehand   Foster your child’s creativity by having them make a list of things they would like to do over the summer. While they may choose a few unrealistic items such as riding a dragon or traveling to Hong Kong, their list will probably include many attainable goals such as going on hikes, having a picnic, or running through the sprinklers. When they complain of boredom over the summer, tell them to revisit their list for ideas to fill their time.   2. Structure Unstructure   By now most of us have heard of the damage that excessive screen time can pose to children. Too much TV or video game consumption can contribute to obesity, low self-esteem, social disorders, and decreased academic performance. When your kids are home all summer, it’s easy to let them binge watch cartoons when you need them out of your hair so you can clean the house or pay the bills. Remind yourself to limit screen time by establishing a few hours every day that will be used for “unstructured play.” Let the kids know that after lunch, they’re on their own until 3 PM – no gadgets allowed!   3. Let them make a mess   This tends to be a tough one for many moms, and it’s understandable. Keeping a halfway clean home takes daily diligence, and having kids can feel like there are tiny tornadoes spinning around behind you every time you tidy up. In the summer, try to stretch your patience toward the mess-making. You can set boundaries, like limiting messy projects to the tiled kitchen and away from your off-white rug, but let them do some experimental baking, indulge in some glue-heavy art projects, or create a mad scientist’s laboratory. Giving them the freedom to make messes will encourage innovative ideas.   4. Make summer about self-reliance   Since the 1960’s, American schools have shifted away from teaching basic life skills to focusing almost exclusively on academics. The additional time with your kids in the summer is a great opportunity to teach them what they aren’t getting in the classroom. Have them plan and prepare meals with you, teach them how to do laundry, have them create a savings plan for the new gadget they’ve been wanting, or teach them how to safely refuel a vehicle at the gas station. Summer is a perfect time to foster your child’s sense of self-reliance.   5. Commit to learning a new skill   A wonderful aspect of summer is that it gives kids time to pursue ideas and activities that they feel inspired to chase. As the school year comes to an end, ask your child to pick one new thing they want to learn over the summer. Even if they say something like, “Kung Fu,” you don’t need to invest in expensive lessons. Watch online tutorials a few times a week to empower them with some basic skills. Letting your child take the lead in what they pursue will excite them about learning and help their brain to “decompress” from the constant frontal lobe focus during the academic year. Don’t forget to choose something for you to learn over the summer as well! This will model creativity, persistence, and the importance of life-long learning.   6. Reduce the dreaded “brain-drain”   Many parents fear that summer will drain their child’s brain of everything they learned the prior school year and make it difficult for them to adjust in the fall. While a small regression is not the end of the world, it can be helpful to maintain some academic activity over the summer. Buy a grade level workbook for them or invest in some occasional tutoring in a subject they’ve struggled with. Just be conscious not to burden them with too many textbook obligations over the summer – they have the school year for that! Remember that there are academic benefits to recreational activities as well. Swimming, for example, is not only a fun total body workout but also a science in understanding the different ways our bodies are able to stay afloat.   7. No cost, no screens, no problem!   It can feel like there aren’t many options for summer fun that don’t break the bank. While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on an occasional trip to the zoo or amusement park, don’t feel guilty if most of your summer days are a bit simpler. Encourage your child to use their imagination by turning their favorite book into a play, making a “pretend” carnival in the backyard with a ticket booth and concession stand, or take on a family project like planting a garden or repainting a fence.   8. Find ways to help others   Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, and summertime is a great opportunity to engage your children in looking outside of themselves and into the community. Look into different volunteer opportunities – drive meals to seniors as a family, bring care packages to terminally ill children in the hospital, or join a pen-pal program with orphans in third world countries. Volunteer activities will foster compassion in your child and add meaningful memories to summer that go beyond having fun.   9. Join the fun   During the school year, parents don’t get to participate in many of the fun and explorative activities their kids experience in school. Take advantage of this time by making sure to set time every day to act like a kid. Squeeze into that blanket fort, believe that the floor really is lava, and give an Oscar worthy performance as the villain in their puppet show. The memories you will share with your children will be worth far more than anything money can buy.   Variations can help   If you would like additional support in learning ways to stimulate your child’s mind and foster their creativity, Variations can help.       
	 Click here to find a specialist who can help 
       *Please note: since the publishing of this blog, Variations Psychology has narrowed its focus to diagnostic testing and psychological evaluations. Our Doctors can evaluate whether you or your loved one have a diagnosis and guide you through the next steps in achieving your mental health or academic goals. While Variations does not offer counseling, our diagnostic evaluations allow us to refer patients to specialists who are best equipped to meet their needs. In addition,     this link       can guide you through a directory of therapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, and support groups in your area.        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).   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   Biddle SJH, Asare M Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: a review of reviews  British Journal of Sports Medicine  Published Online First: 01 August 2011. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185   Gasper, K. & Middlewood, B.L. (2013) Approaching novel thoughts: Understanding why elation and boredom promote associative thought more than distress and relaxation. Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA   The Benefits of Boredom. Melboune Child Psychology. Retrieved Online. https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/the-benefits-of-boredom/  Tremblay, M.S., LeBlanc, A.G., Kho, M.E., Saunders, T.J., Larouche, R., Colley, R.C., Goldfield, G., Gorber, S.C. Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth (2011) International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 20118:98 https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-98   Wahi G, Parkin PC, Beyene J, Uleryk EM, Birken CS. Effectiveness of Interventions Aimed at Reducing Screen Time in ChildrenA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.  Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.  2011;165(11):979–986. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.122

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