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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.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies     It used to be that kids would only have to face bullies on the playground or school bus. With today’s technology, kids can be bullied 24/7, day and night, leading to an increase in depression,   suicide   ,  and other mental health issues. Parents want to protect their kids, but shielding them from bullies has become an increasingly difficult task. Fortunately, there are tips you can teach your kids to help them protect themselves.    So how can kids stay safe while standing up for themselves? Here are 10 tricks to share with your children:    1. Understand why      If you have a clear understanding of why people bully, it will be easier not to take their actions to heart. Remind yourself that people often bully because they feel inadequate about themselves and pick on others to try to feel a sense of power. A bully’s words and actions have everything to do with how they feel about themselves, and nothing to do with the person they are bullying.    2. Recognize it    Being able to label what’s happening is the first step in accepting that it’s not your fault and making a plan to stop it. Know that bullying happens in several forms: name calling, intimidation, pushing or hitting, gossiping and spreading rumors, isolating you, trying to manipulate you, etc. If you suspect you’re being bullied, it’s important to act quickly. Bullies tend to “test the water” to see how much you’ll put up with, and their actions will only get worse if no one stands up to them.    3. Protect yourself online   Modern day bullies often hide behind screens but can cause serious damage to reputations and self-esteem. Protect yourself online by only sharing passwords with your parents and no one else. Think about who sees you posts - strangers? friends? friends of friends? Ensure your privacy settings only expose your posts to people you trust. Always think through what you post and consider whether it’s something that could be used to shame or humiliate you. If someone posts something mean about you, screenshot it to show a trusted adult, report it, and block them.   4. Cultivate confidence   Kids who are victims of bullying sometimes have   difficulty in social situations   or may be bullied as a result of rumors spread about them. Overcome these challenges by walking tall, focusing on your strengths, attempting to make new friends, and practicing positive affirmations.    Examples:     “The rumors they are spreading are not true and my real friends know that.”  “I am strong and I can stand up for myself.”    Does your kid have challenges with self-esteem or making friends? Our Specialists can help. Click below to schedule your free 15-minute consultation.       


   
     
      
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      5. Control your reactions   What the bully wants is a reaction – crying, yelling, etc. Avoid giving them what they want by keeping calm and ignoring them. Bullies tend to target people who come off as timid because they don’t think they’ll stand up for themselves. However, acting out in aggression can also be a problem, as it may lead to violence. The best option is to assertively tell them to stop. Believe it or not, bullies don’t think they deserve your respect, so they admire when you show self-assurance. Practice being assertive by keeping your head high and using a calm, clear voice to tell them to stop.    Examples:     “Don’t talk to me like that.”  “You don’t need to do this to be cool.”     6. Laugh it off   A bully feels power when they think they are getting to you. Laughing off their actions shows that they cannot control you with bad behaviors. If possible, try to laugh off what the bully says; this will lighten the tension and take away the reaction they aim to get out of you.    Examples:      Bully:  “You dress like my grandma!”   Kid: “ I actually borrowed this dress from her. I love her style!”   Bully:  *Posts on Instagram photo of teen*: “Ew, you look like a whale!”   Teen:  “Thank you, I love whales! What a compliment! #Whalelife”    7. Plan around them   While it’s important to stand up for yourself when needed, it’s also wise to avoid situations where you know you’ll be vulnerable and exposed to bullies. Block them on social media, eat lunch on the other side of the quad, or walk a different way home from school.   8. Lean on others   Bullying usually happens when adults aren’t around, so try to stay near adults when you know you’ll be in the presence of a bully. Let them know what’s going on - adults need to know when bullying happens so they can help you put a stop to it. Bullies are also less likely to confront you when you’re in a group, so ask friends to tag along when you when you know you’ll be in a bully’s path.    9. Join the movement   A group of anti-bullying warriors is a lot stronger than one mean bully! You can be a leader in preventing bullying in your school by joining a school safety committee or talking to your principal about starting one. A committee can identify where bullying is happening and create plans to stop it. They can also provide resources for kids to use if they or someone they know is being bullied.    10. Get a Specialist’s support    Being bullied can have severe effects and should not be taken lightly. It may be time to seek help from a specialist if you are experiencing any of the following:     Feeling afraid, stressed, depressed, or anxious    Having thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself    Having trouble with school work    Having problems with mood, energy level, sleep and appetite     If you don’t feel your school is doing enough to stop bullying or if you’re a parent who is concerned that   your child may be the one doing the bullying   ,    our specialists can help.   SPECIALISTS:    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If your teenage son has been the victim of bullying or if you’re concerned that he has bullied others, Dr. Sample can help.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is a specialist in Diagnostic Testing and Counseling. Dr. Torres can provide counseling and effective tools to help your kid build confidence, assertiveness, and coping skills to effectively deal with bullies.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Amy E. Weir, Psy.D.,  is a specialist in Neurodevelopment and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Many children who are bullied have difficulty with communication and social interactions. If your child has been a victim of bullying and you think they may have autism or other challenges, Dr. Weir can guide you in supporting your child’s safety, education, and emotional well-being.     


   
     
      
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      Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology. If you’re concerned that your child’s school is not adequately addressing bullying, Dr. Shinn can recommend support to ensure their school takes appropriate measures to meet your child’s needs.      


   
     
      
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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:   Barth, F.D. (2017). 6 Smarter Ways to Deal With a Bully.  Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-couch/201702/6-smarter-ways-deal-bully  Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved from   https://www.apa.org/topics/bullying/index  Featured Topic: Bullying Research|Youth Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury   Center|CDC. (2018, July 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/bullyingresearch/index.html  Gavin, M. L. (Ed.). (2019, February). Dealing With Bullying (for Teens). Retrieved from   https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/bullies.html  School Bullying is Nothing New, But Psychologists Identify New Ways to Prevent It.   (2004, October 29). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/research/action/bullying  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. (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. (2019). Preventing Student Suicide With Just a Few Simple Questions.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/preventing-student-suicide-with-just-a-few-simple-questions   What Kids Can Do. (2017, September 28). Retrieved from   https://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/what-you-can-do/index.html    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from

10 Tricks for Talking Back and Keeping Safe from Bullies

“Child in critical condition after fight at school,” “Teen dies by suicide as result of cyberbullying” – it seems that week after week, new tragedies occur as a result of bullying. Check out this week’s blog for 10 tricks to teach your kids on talking back and keeping safe from bullies.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      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/test-blog/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.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Preventing Student Suicide with Just a Few Simple Questions      Suicide among children and teens   is shockingly on the rise. In the wake of each tragedy, parents, peers, and educators are filled with devastation and regret. Spending so much time with children, teachers often feel guilty that they didn’t realize their student was suicidal. Other times, they sensed something was wrong but weren’t sure how to effectively intervene. So how can teachers determine if their students are at risk for suicide, and what can they do about it?    Learning these simple steps could help you save a student’s life:    1. Separate suicide and NSSI   One of the obstacles in providing proper interventions is educators not grasping the difference between suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Both are serious and require intervention, but the response for suicidality is different than for NSSI. Properly identifying a student’s behaviors is an important first step in getting them the right help. A few key characteristics of the two include:   Suicidal behavior/ideation:     The person has some   intention of dying       They know that their   behavior could result in death      May   seek the most painless way   to do it     NSSI:     Has   no intention   of dying      Does not believe   their actions could result in dead      Seeks physical pain   to escape emotional pain    NSSI has   3 possible functions:      To   obtain relief     from a negative feeling or cognitive state e.g. stress, worry thoughts, loneliness, emptiness    To   resolve     interpersonal conflict e.g. family arguments, divorce, sibling rivalry, peer conflict    To   induce  a positive feeling state e.g. euphoria, decrease numbness       For an in-depth look at NSSI and what to do about it,    click here     2. Explore the C-SSRS   The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) was developed to provide a simple, accurate, and effective tool that anyone can use to evaluate risk for suicide. You do not need to be a mental health professional to administer it; all it requires is asking a series of simple questions and referring them to mental health services if their answers raise any red flags.    The full C-SSRS screening tool is available in several versions.   Below are a few quick links to commonly used versions.      Click here to access all versions of the C-SSRS.           C-SSRS for Teachers           C-SSRS for Family and Friends           C-SSRS for Teens to Talk to Friends           C-SSRS for Parents      3. Identify ideation   The first step in applying the C-SSRS is identifying ideation. If you are concerned your student may be at risk for suicide, start by asking these 2 questions:    “Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?”    “Have you actually had any thoughts of making yourself not alive anymore?”     4. Ask more as needed   When administering the C-SSRS, you only need to ask as many questions as it takes to determine whether your student has had suicidal ideation or behaviors. If your student answered no to both ideation questions, you can rule out ideation and jump right into the behavior questions listed in our next point. If they answered yes to either or both ideation questions, ask a few more ideation questions to gain understanding:    “Have you been thinking about how you might do this?”    “Have you had these thoughts and had some intention of acting on them?”    “Have you started to work out or worked out the details of how to kill yourself? Do you intend to carry out this plan?”     5. Assess for behaviors    Whether or not your student has indicated ideation, you must also ask behavioral questions. Determine whether they’ve engaged in suicidal behaviors by asking the following questions:    “Have you made a suicide attempt?”    “Have you done anything to harm yourself?”    “Have you done anything dangerous to where you could have died?”     6. Inquire about interruptions   Next, ask your student if there were ever times where they had attempts that were either stopped by someone interrupting them, or by them having second thoughts:    “Has there been a time when you started to do something to end your life but someone or something stopped you before you actually did anything?”    “Has there been a time when you started to do something to end your life but you stopped yourself before you actually did anything?”     7. Ask about preparatory behaviors   Even if your student has not indicated making any attempts, it’s important to find out if they’ve done anything to prepare to end their life. Examples could include collecting pills, purchasing a gun, writing a suicide note, or giving valuables away.      “Have you taken any steps toward making a suicide attempt or preparing to kill yourself?”     8. Know when it’s an emergency   If your student answers yes to any questions regarding ideation, behaviors, or non-suicidal self-injury, it’s important to refer them to mental health resources. For a student to require a 911 call and/or immediate escort to emergency services, they should meet either of the following criteria:    Active suicidal ideation with some intent to act, without specific plan    Active suicidal ideation with specific plan and intent     Check out these video clips to learn how to ask C-SSRS questions:    Joanna’s example         </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"          Gabriel’s example         </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"          Andrea’s example         </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            Click here to watch Columbia University’s C-SSRS webinar      9. Reach out and speak up   If your student’s answers have indicated suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviors, or non-suicidal self-injury, quickly share your findings with the school leadership, crisis response team, school psychologist, school counselor or other mental health professional on campus. If you’re not sure who to alert, call 911. As a preventative measure, advocate for mental health programming to be offered on campus so that all students learn healthy coping skills and become aware of available resources.    10. Host a C-SSRS training   The best way to prevent tragedy on campus is to get your faculty on the same page with effective tools that address mental health emergencies. While you don’t have to be a mental health professional to administer the C-SSRS, it’s best to complete a brief online training and receive additional in-person education from a mental health professional to fully grasp how to evaluate student answers in real-life scenarios.      Here is a listing of C-SSRS training options      including pre-recorded and live webinars.    If you represent a private school or district that would like to do an in-service teacher training, our Specialists can:    Visit your campus for in-person training    Answer questions and review key concepts of applying the C-SSRS    Provide realistic examples of evaluating students’ risk for self-harm    Help teachers prepare students for educational units or aspects of popular culture that may romanticize suicide (example:  Romeo and Juliet,  TV shoes depicting suicide, etc.)       


   
     
      
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      Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in Child and Educational psychology and is experienced in training educators on use of the C-SRSS screening tool.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teen boys through life’s transitions. If your teenage son is struggling with depression or is concerned for a friend, Dr. Sample can help.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is a specialist in Diagnostic Testing and Counseling. If you or someone you love has had thoughts of suicide, don’t put off seeking help. Dr. Torres can provide a safe place to listen and provide support.      
 
	 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:   The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). The Columbia Protocol for Your Setting.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/cssrs-for-communities-and-healthcare/#filter=.general-use.english  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Teachers.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Teachers-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Friends and Family.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-2women-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Teens.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Teens-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2018). Community Card for Parents.  The Columbia Protocol for Communities and Healthcare.  Retrieved from http://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/Community-Card-Parents-2018c.pdf  The Columbia Lighthouse Project (2017).  C-SSRS Training . [Video webinar]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epTDFFv3uwc&list=PLZ6DpvOfzN1kV1F_lDw9-26JifBSDlIbF&index=2&app=desktop  Shinn, M.M. (2018). Cutting & Other Self-Harm: What Every Parent Needs to Know.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/cutting-other-self-harm-what-every-parent-needs-to-know    Shinn, M.M. (2018). 8 Tips to Create a Mentally Healthy Classroom.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-to-create-a-mentally-healthy-classroom   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Parent’s Guide: What to do When Your Child’s Friend Dies by Suicide.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/parents-guide-what-to-do-when-your-childs-friend-dies-by-suicide    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Suicide Prevention in the School Setting.  Variations Psychology, Futures Academy.  [Webinar].   Posner, K.; Brent, D.; Lucas, C.; Gould, M.; Stanley, B.; Brown, G.; Fisher, P.; Zelazny, J.; Burke, A.; Oquendo, M.; Mann, J.(2008) Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. Retrieved from https://cssrs.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/C-SSRS_Pediatric-SLC_11.14.16.pdf    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Preventing Suicide in Students: How 3-6 Questions Can Save Lives.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/preventing-student-suicide-with-just-a-few-simple-questions

Preventing Student Suicide with Just a Few Simple Questions

We’ve all been pained by recent news stories of teens and even young children dying by suicide. This week’s blog delves into how teachers can save lives with 3-6 simple questions.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      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/test-blog/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.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How Do I Talk to My Teen about Drugs and Alcohol?”   Whether you steered clear of drugs when you were younger, experimented a bit, or fell into the grasp of addiction, it can be hard to know how to discuss substance abuse with your teen. Do you admit that you got wasted at prom, or will that make them think it’s ok? Do you tell them you never tried anything or will that make them think you’re out of touch? When your teen seems like they’d rather watch paint dry than talk to you, how can you even get through to them?    If you’re wondering how to talk to your teen about drugs and alcohol, here are 9 things you should know:    1. Permissive parents pay a price     Some parents take the approach of allowing their teens to drink or smoke under their supervision, assuming it’s safer and that their kid won’t have anything to hide. Unfortunately, this approach tends to reinforce the message that substance abuse is ok, and teens with permissive parents tend to drink more often and in larger amounts.     2. You gotta get your facts straight     Your kids are going to be exposed to many different opinions about e-cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, prescription pills, and other narcotics. Before you talk to your teen, familiarize yourself with the facts of each drug so that you can give accurate info and address any objections your teen has. Check out these fact sheets for quick reads on the dangers of teens using   e-cigarettes   ,    alcohol   ,    prescription pills,    and    marijuana   .      3. The tone of the talk matters     When you talk to your teen about drugs or alcohol, you want to be honest about potential dangers, but avoid using threats or scare tactics that will make your teen feel like they can’t openly talk to you. Be the   “cool parent”       by making it a conversation. Start by asking your teen their beliefs about substance use and thank them for being honest with you. Calmly correct any misconceptions they may have and share your family values regarding substance use.     4. 21 is worth the wait     “I can join the military before 21 but I can’t buy a beer!?” That argument may make sense to your teen, but the 21-year-old drinking age was not chosen arbitrarily. Key areas of the brain are underdeveloped until their mid to late 20’s, making teen years an especially vulnerable time in which their brain is more susceptible to addiction.     5. It’s all about expectations     It’s often said that kids live up to what their parents expect of them, and if you expect your teen to make healthy choices, they’ll be more likely to do so. Be positive and express that you trust your teen to make good decisions, but also set clear rules and consequences to guide them. Teens whose parents set and enforce expectations regarding substances are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.      6. They need healthy ways to cope     It’s not enough to tell your teens that drugs are the wrong way to go; you also need to empower them with healthy coping strategies to deal with   stress  , temptation,   comparisons   ,  and   heartache    that can lead teens to resort to drugs. Tell your kid you understand how stressful and challenging teen years can be, and teach them healthy ways to cope such as working out, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, fulfilling   work   ,    fun hobbies, and proper nutrition.      7. You can be the “bad guy”     Talk to your teen about ways to get out of situations where they feel pressured or tempted to drink or use drugs. Come up with a code phrase they can text for you to make an excuse to come pick them up right away. Role play different scenarios and let them know they can always use you as the bad guy to get out of the situation.     Example : “No thanks, my parents make me take random drug tests.”      8. Family history is fair game     There are many factors that contribute to addiction, but we know that it often runs in families. Many times, parents think its best to not let their kids know that Uncle Frank had 3 DUI’s or Grandma Sue drank one too many martinis and ruined her daughter’s wedding. In reality, being transparent about your family history can help your teen realize if they are at an increased risk for addiction.      9. Your past shouldn’t be sugarcoated      So now that you’ve thrown Uncle Frank and Grandma Sue under the bus, know that it’s also ok to own up to your own past mistakes. You don’t need to divulge about each time you ditched class to drop acid, but be transparent about making decisions you regret, and express your hope that your teen won’t repeat the same mistakes. Similarly, if you didn’t experiment with drugs or alcohol, share that with your teen. Tell them how you handled the temptations and explain the values that helped you stick with sobriety.    10. What if my teen doesn’t want to hear it?   Teens are famous for their one-word-answers and eye rolls, so it can be tough for parents to know whether their wisdom is going in one ear and out the other. A specialist in Child Psychology can support you in setting effective expectations and having meaningful conversations with your teen.    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you need support in discussing substance abuse with your son, or if you are concerned that your son has already abused drugs or alcohol, 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.  specializes in Diagnostic Testing and Counseling. Dr. Torres is experienced in helping children, teens, and adults to discover the root causes of their challenges and finding healthy ways to cope.      
 
	 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 that substance abuse is impacting your teen’s school performance or peer relationships, Dr. Shinn can recommend support to guide your teen on a path toward success.       
 
	 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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              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 Do I Talk with My Teen About Alcohol? (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org . Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-MH-0558_TipSheet_Alcohol.pdf  How Do I Talk with My Teen About E-Cigs and Vapes? (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org . Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-MH-0558_TipSheet_Tobacco.pdf  How Do I Talk with My Teen About Marijuana? (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org.  Retrieved from   https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-MH-0558_TipSheet_Marijuana.pdf  How Do I Talk with My Teen About Prescription Drugs? (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org . Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-MH-0558_TipSheet_PrescriptionDrugs.pdf  How Do I Talk with My Teen About e-cigs and Vapes? (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org.  Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-MH-FactSheets_eCigarettesAndVapes_FNL.pdf  Fact Sheet: Alcohol. (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org.  Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/18-MH-FactSheets_Alcohol_FNL_Updated.pdf  Fact Sheet: E-Cigarettes and Vapes. (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org . Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-MH-FactSheets_eCigarettesAndVapes_FNL.pdf  Fact Sheet: Marijuana. (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org.  Retrieved from https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-MH-FactSheets_Marijuana_FNL.pdf  Fact Sheet: Prescription Medication. (N.D.).  RaisingHealthyTeens.org.  Retrieved from   https://raisinghealthyteens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-MH-FactSheets_PrescriptionMedication_FNL.pdf  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. (2018). How to S.T.O.P. 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). 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). 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). 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     How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Do I Talk to My Teen About Drugs and Alcohol?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/how-do-i-talk-to-my-teen-about-drugs-and-alcohol

“How Do I Talk to My Teen about Drugs and Alcohol?

Teens are famous for their eye rolls and one-word-answers, so how can parents get through to them when talking about drugs and alcohol? Check out this week’s blog to find out.