School Shootings: Your Follow Up Questions Answered

Yesterday was one of the saddest days in our nation’s history.  As we wake up today we’re still left with so many unanswered questions.  And heartache.  My heart truly hurts as a mom.  I can’t imagine, I don’t want to imagine, what these families are going through.

I wrote the post School Shootings: How To Talk With Your Kids About Unthinkable Tragedy shortly after I learned about the massacre at Sandy Hook.  I know a lot of you are out there having these difficult conversations this weekend with your kids.  I feel for you and am right there with you having the same gut wrenching talks at my house.  I’ve gotten a few follow up questions from my last post, and I wanted to share with you my answers to help you along your journey.

Should we let our young kids watch the news related to the shooting?

To be honest, I have purposefully avoided television news since the shooting occurred.  It’s not good for my mental health.  It’s just too overwhelming.  I stay up to date on the news via the internet and only from reputable news organizations.  So, my opinion would be don’t let your young kids watch television news about this tragedy.  It’s pretty scary and graphic and you have no control over what is being shown to them.  As you know, once they see something on television it can’t be unseen.  On the other hand, if there is a newspaper article or internet post you think would be suitable to share with your child then take some time to read it with them and then talk about it.  It’s not that kids shouldn’t know the news surrounding this event, it’s that they shouldn’t be consumed by it in the way that television news has a way of doing. [Read more...]


Does My Child Need Therapy?

I think my child needs therapy.  Do you think my child needs therapy?  How do I know if my child needs therapy? Maybe I need therapy!  HELP!

Does that sound familiar?  These are the types of concerns and questions that I hear from parents every single day.  At some point or another, most of us have been there, me included!  Wondering if we could improve our children’s lives or tackle a few of their specific problems with counseling.

In a lot of ways, I think all children (and parents) could benefit from some therapy.  Sort of like going to the dentist every six months for a cleaning or the pediatrician annually for a well visit.  Just to check in and see how everything is going.  Any problems?  Anything you’d like help working on?  If so, let’s set some goals and get to work.  If not, we’ll see you again next year but feel free to call us sooner if you have any problems come up.

Doesn’t that sound good?  Unfortunately that’s not the way therapy usually happens for a number of reasons.  Often the cost of therapy keeps many people from being able to get services.  Even if you have insurance, the co-pay can just be too much.  Others can’t get therapy because they don’t have a child psychologist in their community or there is a long wait to get an appointment.  And sadly, some don’t pursue therapy for their kids because they worry about the stigma associated with seeing a psychologist.

So, what’s my answer when people ask me if their child needs therapy?  Usually I tell them to trust their instincts.  As parents, we know our children better than anyone.  If something doesn’t seem right then go with that gut feeling and get help.

But how do you even start?  Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction: [Read more...]

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Bullying: How Do I Save Myself?

Recently I answered this question online as a JustAsk Expert at  Having gone through this with clients and my own kids, I thought I’d share my response with my readers here as well.

The Question:  How do I save myself from this?  I get bullied constantly.  Other kids call me names and threaten me if I don’t do their homework.  What can I do?

The Answer:  Bullying is a very common problem, and I am so sorry that you are being hurt in this way by your peers.  Bullies can make you feel helpless and alone, but you are NOT alone.

It’s hard to stop bullying on your own, you need the support of an adult who knows what to do.  Whatever you do, don’t try to solve this problem on your own.  There are people all around you who can and WILL help you, so tell an adult that you trust about the name calling, threats, and bullying.

Your parents, a teacher, your principal, or a school counselor are there to help you. Tell them about everything that you have written here so that they can best keep you safe from threats and stop this bullying immediately.

I’m attaching several websites all about what to do when you are being victimized and threatened by a bully.  I hope you look at them to get support for what to do to deal with this, encouragement to talk to a trusted adult in your life, and realization that you are not alone!

If you feel like you need to talk to someone on the phone about what is going on, you can call Childhelp at 1-800-422-4453.  They have counselors available to talk to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help you figure out how to stop an abusive situation.

You have done the right thing by reaching out online for help.  Keep that going and tell a trusted adult in your life so that they can help you stay safe and end this terrible situation.

Resources: – How Do I Get Help? – What To Do If You Are Being Bullied – Bullying At School And Online

Bullying can increase your risk for suicide.  For help you can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or contact a psychologist in your community.