The information contained on this blog is not a substitute for training, continuing education, clinical supervision, or the importance of individual consultation for each child and family. All identifying information, including names and other details, has been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
After years of struggling with infertility, Julia and Samuel finally decided to adopt. They were thrilled when a social worker called with news of a pair of brothers who needed a home. It took a few months of paperwork, but then they were elated to welcome home “Matt”, 3 and “Rett”, 2.
Their new family [...]
A Florida elementary school recently made national headlines after video emerged of a police officer hauling off a seven-year-old boy in handcuffs. According to reports, a teacher had scolded the child for playing with his food in the cafeteria and the boy reacted by lashing out at the teacher, repeatedly striking and kicking her. [...]
When parents enroll their children in a school, they often don’t realize they’re choosing not only a program, but a whole approach.
I was reminded of this when I was asked to observe a little girl at a state-sponsored preschool for children with developmental differences. “Ana”, 3, was happily playing when she noticed that a [...]
Luke struggled to get through nearly every day at his preschool. The four-year-old had difficulty sitting still and following directions, and when teachers reprimanded him, he usually responded by hitting something or someone. The more they admonished him, the more disruptive his behaviors became. Finally, the school ran out of options and suspended him.
January 2nd, 2018
Joy is a powerful tool for solving childhood challenges. Yet in our culture of doing, teaching, treating and pathologizing, too often we forget that when a child needs help, the first thing we should increase is joy. This is certainly true in my own field, child psychology, in which we often prioritize theories, techniques and [...]
December 17th, 2017
I recently visited a kindergarten classroom to observe a child with “behavior problems.” When I arrived, the little boy was busying himself with an art project. He and his classmates were building towers out of cardboard box pieces. Everything seemed fine until a peer suddenly grabbed the glue from him, knocking his beloved project to [...]
December 3rd, 2017
Susan was enjoying a weekend breakfast with her family when her three-year-old son, “Marcus”, suddenly hit his big sister. When Susan reached out to pick him up, Marcus abruptly threw his head back, knocking Susan in the mouth so hard that she bled. Susan was stunned, at once furious and confused. Why did her son [...]
Six-year-old “Yvonne” was an only child and the apple of her parents’ eyes. After she was diagnosed with developmental differences, they enrolled her in a preschool class that included typical children as well as those with special needs. She did so well that the following year she moved to a mainstream kindergarten class.
Just a [...]
As a psychologist, I frequently hear the same complaint from frustrated parents. We have made every effort to be consistent in disciplining our child, they say, but our child’s problematic behaviors won’t go away.
In other words, what should you do when consistency fails?
Consider “Maya”, who as a toddler was pegged as a “spirited” [...]
October 12th, 2017
Grant, age four, was asked to leave two preschools because of misbehavior. With tousled brown hair, big brown eyes, and a playful spirit, he both charmed and confused most of the adults in his life. He had such difficulty following directions that his teachers had to reprimand him every few minutes. They described him as [...]