Category - Discipline & Behavior
No Such Thing as Perfect: How to Help a Child Struggling with Perfectionism
Picture a child who keeps a tidy, well-organized desk in class, a remarkably clean bedroom at home, makes sure his or her homework is perfectly neat and accurate, sets high goals, and expects the best from him or herself every time. The “perfect” child! So what could possibly be wrong? While it is important for children to learn to set goals and try to be their best selves, for some children these goals and high standards can develop into rigid, all-or-nothing self-expectations and an endless striving for “perfection.” Perfectionism is characterized by the setting of very high, often unattainable, standards… Continue Reading
Does My Child Need to See a Therapist?
Soon after I had my first child, I remember passing a billboard with a baby sitting in a diaper that said “These don’t come with instructions.” At the time I only had the smallest idea of just how true that was. As parents our job is complex—how do we nurture our child’s individuality and understand their sensitivities, while also encouraging independence and the ability to learn from their mistakes? The task can often feel monumental and overwhelming, particularly if your child is struggling. I am often asked when it is time for you and/or your child to go to a therapist… Continue Reading
Weathering the Storms of Adolescence: To Hold on or Let Go?
During the storms of adolescence it’s a tricky balance for parents to know when to offer support and when to let go. We all want our young adults to be prepared for life, and not be stifled by a “failure to launch” into adulthood. So what’s the best way to foster independence and responsibility? And how is Parents Place’s Child and Family Clinical program and Parent Coaching program helping families get set up for success? We recently sat down with Havi Wolfson Hall, LCSW, child and adolescent therapist at Parents Place in Palo Alto, to find out. What trends are… Continue Reading
Giving Your Child Feedback? Read This Feedback First
How often do you find yourself giving your child a compliment in preparation for a criticism? “I love that enthusiasm, but please keep your voice down.” “Thank you for clearing the table, but next time do it the first time I ask.” Beloved family therapist Dr. Sal Minuchin referred to this as “a stroke and a kick”. While this framework is often a recommended way to make feedback more tolerable, it can unfortunately also teach children to expect or anticipate a critique when given praise. In my practice, I’ve seen children increasingly become anxious when given a compliment. I’ve also… Continue Reading
5 Ways to Help Your Child Silence Their Inner Critic
“I’ll fail the test!” “Nobody likes me!” It’s not uncommon to hear your child utter self-critical statements like these from time to time. “We all have our inner monologues. But children, more so than adults, tend to overgeneralize, and talk themselves out of being resilient and competent,” explains Rebecca Wood, LCSW, Director of Parents Place in Marin County. She says it can be useful to think about why your child might be engaging in what experts refer to as “negative self-talk”—and learn practical ways to help your child develop a more positive inner voice. Common Reasons for Negative Self-Talk All-or-nothing… Continue Reading