You Want Me To Do What?!?!

Last summer, the director of our local Child Advocacy Center told me she thought I looked like I was a great dancer.  She said, “You’re so tall, you must be amazing on the dance floor.”  WHAT?!?!  We were having a professional conversation at the time in her office, mind you, and somehow my dancing skills were being complimented.  If she had ever seen me dance (or walk around for that matter) she would have known that I had no skills in that area whatsoever.  None.

Little did I know but she was setting me up for a big invitation.  She wanted ME to be a dancing ‘star’ in the Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama’s annual fundraiser, Dancing Stars of East Alabama.  Dancing Stars of East Alabama is an annual dance competition in Auburn between 10 couples (one pro and one star).  Even though I’m a child psychologist and NOT a dancer, there was no way I could say no to doing my part to raise money for this organization and the children that they serve.

You see, when I was a child there was no specific place that victims of child sexual abuse and their families could go to receive the support and the services that they so desperately needed.  Fast forward to today and Child Advocacy Centers across our country unite the police, courts, physicians, therapists, and child protective services together as a team; a multi-disciplinary team that helps children and their families cope with the devastating realities of child sexual abuse.

Last year in my community, 329 children came to the Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama to tell their story of abuse and receive free therapy services.  Unfortunately that number is only the tip of the iceberg.  1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday.  Many of them will wait years to disclose that they were abused and some will never tell their story.  I knew I had to help, which meant I was going to have to dance! [Read more...]

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What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Hard to believe, but today ChildPsychMom.com turns two!  The terrible twos, great!  Seems like only yesterday that I wrote my first post, Do As I Say, Not As I Do.  What I wrote then still applies.  Parenting is hard work.  Period.  Ph.D. in child psychology or not!  People come up to me all the time to tell me that they are working hard to try and follow my advice.  You know what I tell them?  ME TOO!  It’s not too hard to give advice, what’s harder is actually following it.  These past two years of writing have helped me see that so clearly.  As parents, I truly believe that what’s most important is that we love our children and try to do our best in raising them.  Trying our best doesn’t mean that we’re perfect.  ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ is my goal more often than not.

With that being said, if you’ve been with me since the beginning you’ve likely noticed a shift in my writing.  Over the past year, a series of events caused me to stop and think about my focus.  Those events would take a book to describe, but suffice it to say that I felt a push that I could not ignore to work towards the prevention of child sexual abuse in my own community and more broadly in our nation.  Given that the issue of child sexual abuse is what brought me to the field of child psychology in the first place, that push didn’t exactly surprise me.  But it certainly did overwhelm me! [Read more...]

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13 Crafts For Your Teen Girl

Last week my oldest daughter turned 13.  That’s right, 13!  She’s the craftiest girl I know and is always involved in some Do-It-Yourself project or another.  She didn’t get that gene from me, and as a result I am constantly amazed with her creations!  In honor of her 13th birthday, I asked her to pick her 13 favorite projects to share with all of you.  These crafts are perfect for any teen girl.  We hope you have as much fun with them as we have.  Drumroll please…

  1. Melted Crayon Art
  2. Candles Made From Oranges
  3. Legos (or Barbie Shoes) Liquid Soap
  4. Knockoff Elastic Headbands
  5. Friendship Bracelet Earbuds
  6. Make Your Own Bubble Gum Machine
  7. Watermelon Slushy
  8. Tutu Bed Skirt
  9. Chocolate Balloon
  10. Crayon Valentines
  11. Finger Knitting
  12. Paint Chip Bookmarks
  13. Jewelry Displays

Happy 13th birthday LRD.  I love you so much and am so proud to be your mom.  You amaze me each and every day!

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