Archive for June, 2011

Superfabulicious Summer Sale for Therapists, Healers, and Helpers

June 30th, 2011

I wanted to share a special thank you to all my practice building subscribers, I’m gifting you 50% off of my most popular audio programs until Sunday, July 10th!

Which ones do you want to pick-up?

  1. Learn the secret strategies of how to quickly establish your expertise and create more income, while being in alignment with your work as a healer and helper?
  2. Learn the latest information, trends, and research on clinical interventions, and revitalize your practice with new creative tools and directives to support your client’s growth?
  3. Learn specific tools and strategies from practice building experts to shift your practice from overwhelm and struggle to creating a profitable practice while being of great service to your clients?
  4. Learn how to authentically build your list and add more income to your business, and be handed all the scripts and templates to launch your business online in a big way?
  5. Learn how to stop giving your time and money to insurance companies and learn what to do instead, regardless of your relationship with managed care?

Don’t miss out on this **Time Limited** event and learn how your purchase gives back! Click here to see the catalogue page and choose your programs Now!

Enjoy the Creativity Queen’s Superfabulicious Summer Sale. Learn how to grow your business and help more people and save 50% off. Plus, for every purchase made $1.00 will go to help teach people across the globe how to use the arts for empowerment and income generation!!??So amazing!! Please pass this on to your colleagues, so they can celebrate too!!


“You can’t make me”: Secrets to getting your child to listen to you

June 30th, 2011

If you are a parent (or a stepparent) you have likely heard these words, “You can’t make me” and your heart sinks because these words cut to the core, and leave you gasping for a sane response. So before you quickly jump to a response and potentially say something you may regret later, take a minute to compose yourself. These 5 secrets will help you respond calmly when you hear the words, “You can’t make me.”

1.  Breathe- Take a minute and breathe before you respond. Yes, you’ve heard this one before, but do you know why you should breathe before you respond?  Children pick-up on your emotional state and mirror it via the phenomena of mirror neurons, meaning if they are agitated then you are likely to mirror their emotional response, which only amplifies their negative behavioral response and escalates a power struggle. Research suggests taking a deep breath allows you to increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, whereby you’ll approach the situation from a calm and rational place, rather than reactive response. Take a breath, before you respond and you’ll be much more calm and rational.

2.  Diffuse the argument- These three words will immediately diffuse any disagreement, “You are right.” Now here’s what most parents and stepparents struggle with, they want to be right. Let’s admit it, we all desire to be “right”, and often this desire to be “right” is what provokes and sustains arguments. When you let your child know they are right this removes the power struggle from the conversation and more than likely your child will have a slightly shocked and perhaps even smug look on their face when you concede that you cannot make them do anything.

3.  Communicate-Have a communication game plan in place with your spouse so you know exactly how you will handle problems when they arise, so you’re not stuck making up reactive rules in response to your child’s or stepchild’s behaviors. Take some time with your spouse and talk about how you will respond when a child in the household misbehaves. Come up with a clear consistent plan, such as telling the child know that there will be a consequence for their behaviors if they do not listen. You may even want to have a list of agreed upon consequences that you develop with your spouse prior to any argument. This way you can calmly share what the consequence will be if the child does not do what is requested.

4.  Stop splitting- Create a clear and consistent plan on following through with consequences. When you let your child or stepchild calmly know that they are right, and you can’t make them doing anything, however if they do not do what is requested there will be a consequence your child may go running to your spouse to get their way. Some of the tactics children will use are whining, pouting, begging, demanding, or guilting to get their way. You need to send a clear message to your child that you and your spouse are on the same parenting page and you both are in agreement of how the situation will be handled. If your child comes to you complaining about your spouse validate that they may be upset, and then let them know you will speak with your spouse before you make a decision together.

5.  Follow-through- Consequences that are relevant and meaningful to your child will help them make corrections to their behaviors, and this only works if you are consistent and follow through. As a child therapist I hear children tell me all the different ways their parents and stepparents punish them, and then do not follow through. Children come to see your consequences as meaningless and know they can eventually get their way. Make sure that consequences are realistic for you, so you and your spouse are able to follow through.

It’s never easy hearing the words, “You can’t make me”. Equip yourself with patience, a sense of humor, lots of love and compassion and these 5 insider therapy strategies and you’ll find it easier to respond to the statement, “You can’t make me.”

Are you in need of more support to help your family communicate? We can help! Click here to schedule your Complimentary Support Consultation and learn how to best help your child.


Stop morning tantrums: How to make your morning routine easier

June 29th, 2011

No matter what age your child is, they may become easily upset and overwhelmed in the morning, leading to tantrums and meltdowns. These tips will help your child have a tantrum-free morning routine.

Create a schedule and post it on a whiteboard. Children respond better when there is consistency and they know what to expect, and a daily routine streamlines the morning schedule. Let your child be really creative and decorate the whiteboard, they will feel more invested in the schedule and will enjoy the creative process.

Plan for the day ahead the night before. Picking out clothes, checking to ensure homework is done and in your child’s book bag, making lunches the night before will help reduce morning chaos.
Serve a breakfast with protein in the morning. It feeds the brain (which helps your child to think) and prevents sugar crashes from not so healthy sugar-based breakfasts.

Let your younger child color at the table while waiting for breakfast. Coloring will help your child regulate their mood and calm them as they wait, and creates a soothing effect (and is much healthier than putting them in front of the TV).

Always allow extra time. Rather than rushing out the door at the last minute and feeling stressed, plan to leave 15 minutes early. Your child will feel less rushed and less stressed, which is often what leads to morning tantrums and meltdowns.

Lovingly check-in with your spouse and child and make time to connect with them. They will feel heard and validated, and it will help reduce stress.

Psychology degree online programs are an option for those of you who want to learn more about helping families (including your own family) to have happy, productive days. It is always helpful to read and talk with each other as much as possible to share child-raising tips and ideas.

Enjoy these tips to help you have a tantrum-free morning and make your morning routine easier for everyone!

Are you in need of more support? We can help! Click here to schedule a Complimentary Support Consultation.


Chores & chore charts: Stop fighting over chores and get your kids to do chores

June 27th, 2011

Tired of nagging, fighting, and blaming your children to get their chores done?

You want to have your child clean their room, help around the house, and pick-up after themselves without fighting. Children need support and reminders, yet you are tired of reminding them and nagging. So what’s a parent to do? Create a chore chart!

Here are several chore charts to choose from:

Being a true Creativity Queen I’ll share with you how to help your child be more invested in getting their chores done, how you can quit nagging, why most chores charts fail, and what you can do instead to have a success in helping your child become responsible for their chores.

You can quit nagging your child when you create a chore chart that your child will actually want to do. Here are some ways to help your child become invested in their chores (so you can stop nagging).

Know what your child can do by themselves and what they may need help with.  Depending upon your child’s age and abilities they can put clothes in their hamper, take out the trash, put away the dishes, and/or vacuum their room.

Be specific. Regardless of a child’s age write down clearly what you want (teens love to say I didn’t know that’s what you wanted). So instead of saying clean your room,write down pick up your clothes off of the floor and put them in the hamper. Younger children may have fewer tasks, and older children may be expected to do a chore daily, write this down on the chart.

Add customized flair and words and images to their chart. Younger creative children can draw images of their chores and add it to their chart, this creates an investment in the process. Encourage your child to get crafty, use magazine pictures, markers and glitter and create a customized chore chart with each child that they are excited to add to their wall.

Allow your child choices with what day they will do each task. Add it to the calender and be clear on when you want it done by (older children may need a clear time written down, and you may notice they’ll wait until the last minute to complete what is requested of them).

Come up with an agreement on how you will remind them. Younger children may need multiple reminders, older children may just want one, teens may want you to leave them alone. Get clear on how you should remind them, if it is necessary.

Here are some reasons why chore charts don’t work. Your child is not invested. They don’t care about chores, but they do care about other things such as electronics. Make an agreement that they will earn time doing things they enjoy when they complete their chores. Older children may need this in writing (they tend to be lawyers and look for the loopholes, so write out your expectations and consequences clearly).

Finally, the reason why chore charts don’t work is because you stop following through. Life is super busy, so another “do to” added to your list easily becomes forgotten a few weeks after you begin. It’s easier to just pick up the laundry off the floor than to follow the chart and give a reminder, or you just plain forget.

Make it a priority, you’ll spend less time arguing about chores and more time enjoying each other, and isn’t that what every parent wants?

Are you in need of more support? Sometimes things, such as getting your child to do chores, becomes such a struggle and you may resort to yelling and arguing to get things done. If that’s your family, we can help! Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation to best help your family communicate>>


Child therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics…oh my!

June 23rd, 2011

Parents often wonder what’s the difference between child therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatry? Don’t worry, for most people it’s a bit confusing to differentiate these professions. I’ll give you a brief overview to make the differentiation easier to understand.

Pediatricians are your child’s primary care physician, if your child is exhibiting developmental issues a developmental pediatrician can provide and in-depth assessment of you child’s development (physical, cognitive, social, and emotional).

Psychotherapy encompasses the various ways your child receives support to improve their mental health, this may include services such as social work, counseling, psychology, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, play therapy, and psychiatric nursing and counseling psychology. Essentially psychotherapy is a fancy work fro therapy.

Psychiatrists prescribe psychotropic medication for mental health symptoms and some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy. In some states Psychologists may prescribe medications with a special license, and psychiatric nurses and your child’s pediatric also can prescribe medications.

Psychologists provide mental health and cognitive assessments/evaluations and may also provide psychotherapy.

Creative arts therapists such as art therapy and music therapy are trained therapists in a specific modality. This requires advanced training and often a board certification to practice these specialized modalities.

Not sure where to start to help your child? We can help. Click here to schedule your child Support Consultation.


How do I know if my child needs to go to therapy?

June 22nd, 2011

Parents, do you sometimes wonder, does my child need help? Should I take them to therapy? I worry about my child being diagnosed, labeled or medicated.

So here are some signs that your child may be in need of additional support:

  • Your child acts out and become really angry or upset when things don’t go their way, everything is power struggle and it seems like the littlest thing sets them off
  • Your child gets really quiet and disconnected when they feel overwhelmed and stressed out; you’re feeling powerless to help them and you are wondering if they are okay
  • Your child worries about school or friends, they don’t quite “fit  in” socially or you’re worried about their choices and friends, and you’re not sure if it is normal
  • It is a battle to get your child to do homework or chores; you’ve asked them 100′s of times to pick up their things, they just tune you out, and it’s starting to impact your relationship because you find yourself yelling, nagging and complaining
  • Your child gets into arguments at home with you and their siblings and even the littlest things can blow up into a tantrum, or they withdraw into silence and their room
  • You are noticing that they have changed, maybe they’ve begun lying to you or keeping information from you, or things are becoming a power struggle
  • You are concerned that something else may be going on with your child, your child’s teachers or other family members have brought up concerns and you’ve noticed your child struggling and you are worried this may not be normal
  • Your child is anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or is having a difficult time coping with loss or changes. You may notice an increase in acting out or withdrawing behaviors as your child attempts to cope

Parents worry that if their child is diagnosed then it may impact their child in the future, such as education and career choices. So what can a concerned parent do?

If your child is having social, developmental, behavioral or relationship problems ask for support from an expert. You can choose to work with a therapist or doctor who provides services and you pay them directly. When you use your medical insurance for therapy or other medical services it is necessary to diagnose your child and their condition must be deemed “medically necessary” for insurance to reimburse you or your health care provider. Meaning, your child will receive a diagnosis to receive support, even if it is typical “adjustment issues”.  If you do not want your child diagnosed talk with your health care provider to see what other options there are to provide your child service without a label.

Here’s when it would be beneficial to receive a diagnosis for your child, when the difficulties they are experiencing are significantly impacting their functioning and a doctor or clinician assesses that medication may be a treatment option, or your child is in need of academic support services that can be covered by the school district if they are evaluated and determined to be in need of these services.

Not sure if your child’s behaviors are normal development or something more?

Seek out assistance from a professional. Based upon your observations and your child’s behaviors (and often times the school’s feedback) a skilled clinician can help you explore support options for your child.

An informed parent is an empowered parent, so ask questions and most of all, “Trust yourself. You know more that you think you do” (The great pediatrician: Dr. Benjamin Spock).

Need some additional help? We do not diagnose your child to give them the support they need. Often when children learn new cognitive and behaviors tools and the parents learn new ways to communicate the problems diminish. We work to rule out if the problems are environmentally based and/or behaviorally based. If additional support is necessary we provide families a comprehensive list of other evaluation options, all while respecting your decisions on how you best choose to support your child.

Click here to schedule a Complimentary Child Support Consultation to learn more>>


How to help your child improve their self-esteem~ these creative ideas can help

June 20th, 2011

Worried about your child’s self-esteem? Here are some self-esteem boosting activities:

Positive psychology research validates increased sense of optimism and happiness from using your strengths in new a novel ways on a daily basis. If you don’t know what your child’s personal strengths are take a moment to think of what activities they love to do, and can spend endless hours engaged in.

Encourage your child to explore new ways of engaging in similar types of activities. For instance if your child is creative and likes to build using legos, encourage them to build something with new and novel materials, such as duct tape or popsicle sticks. They will develop a sense of mastery and competency, while enhancing their creative problem solving abilities, all enhancing a sense of self-esteem.

Children’s self-esteem is also linked to developing internal qualities, such as compassion, and caring. Ask your child to make an image of themselves and write out all the things they do and like, describing external qualities such as I am a good soccer player, and then ask them to describe their internal qualities, such as smart, funny, generous.

Children often don’t recognize the internal qualities, and as a parent you can help them see the value in their unique personal attributes, and acknowledge when they are using these qualities. Parents can support their children self-esteem by recognizing when their child is accessing their internal qualities, such as being generous, kind or funny. Don’t forget to model these behaviors too!

Needs some more support to help your child? We can help! Click here to schedule a complimentary Child Support Consultation and learn more


Help Your Child Communicate :Tips for Positive Communication for Busy Families

June 17th, 2011

Is your family swamped by too many things on the to do list, leaving little time for deep connections with those in your family? Maybe you’ve seen your child become upset and overwhelmed, but you’re so depleted and rushed there is little time to understand what your child is really feeling? If children do not feel heard and validated they will express their feelings in other unhealthy ways, leading to possible behavior and emotional problems. That means your child may have tantrums, act out, shutdown, or meltdown as an attempt to express their needs. Healthy communication is essential in all relationships and these three tips will help your child positively communicate.

So what’s a busy parent to do? STOP, LISTEN, and VALIDATE (kinda like stop, drop and roll).

1. When your child is starting to become upset, they give signals. As a parent you know that they are getting upset, and sometimes you’ve got to go and can’t always attend to what they are feeling. However, if you take a few seconds and STOP you can shift the reactive response that is brewing within your child. It takes more time to try to get your child back on track after they have a meltdown than it does to STOP. Stopping allows you to step into your parenting power so you’re not responding from a reactive frazzled state. Stopping allows your child an opportunity to self-regulate, so they can learn how to get back in control of their behaviors. Stopping allows you to be present, loving, and open to hearing and seeing what’s really happening with your child; so you can help them express their feelings and they learn other ways to communicate, rather than being reactive.

2. When you stop you can be fully present to LISTEN and hear what their needs are. They may need to express thoughts and feelings that are not related to what’s on your agenda. When you model being flexible your child will also learn flexibility. You have to decide what’s important: is it teaching your child a positive way to communicate their needs or is it that they learn how to “jump to it” and be on time so that others are not upset? I know this is a polarized example, but I want you to think about what you are emphasizing as important values for your child. Listening and really hearing your child takes only a few minutes, yet the importance of this leads to health sense of self, learning positive communication skills, and respect (which all parents want their child to learn).

3. VALIDATING means you recognize what your child may be feeling and thinking. It’s not necessary to problem solve for them, tell them what is wrong or bad, or that you don’t condone what they are saying. It just means that you get their point of view and deeply understand their feelings. When kids are being reactive they are operating from FEAR and CONTROL. Validating their feelings allows a child to feel emotionally safer and acts as a re-set button on their feelings. When you give your child your full attention and validate their feelings, they feel understood (which often reduced meltdowns and tantrums).

Here’s a creative activity to help your child through this process. If you notice your child is about to lose control of their feelings ask them to tell you what they are feeling. If they are unable to do so or they are overwhelmed ask them to go to a quite place and make a picture of what that feeling looks like, such as, Can you make a picture of how mad you are? If your child chooses to share the picture with you do not make corrections or tell them they shouldn’t feel that way. Listen to them and validate their feelings.

Model this and your child will have a set of skills that will lead to life long success!

Are you in need of support to help your child manage their behaviors and feelings? We can help! Click here to schedule your Complementary Child Support Consultation>>

This article has appeared in YourTango


3 creative tips to help your child use the summer downtime in a positive way

June 16th, 2011

The end of the school year signals a time for summer camps, pool parties, vacations, and lots more downtime. During this time of year you may find that arguments diminish over homework and getting things done, however you may wonder if there are some areas you can help support your child so they get along better with their siblings, there is less drama with their peers, and any worries or power struggles can be reduced when it is time to head back to school.

I’ve actually had more families reaching out for support, and many of them want to use the time between now and the start of school to help their child learn new coping strategies and positive ways to communicate for the upcoming  school year.

Here are 3 creative tips to help your child use the summer downtime in a positive way:

1. Help your child transform their relationship with you. Depending upon the age of your child you may begin to notice that your child is becoming more disrespectful, annoyed at you for asking for what you need; you may even notice they are rolling their eyes, or just plain ignoring you. Take the time during the summer to begin to shift the dynamics between you and your child. Notice when your child is being disrespectful and start to point out how they are behaving. Your child may be unaware of how they are treating you and if they are treating you disrespectfully.  Let them know what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.

2. Help your child change their relationships with their siblings. During the summertime there are fewer structured activities, and you may notice your child becoming easily bored and then they start to pick-on their siblings. Yes, children may annoy their sibling because they are bored (among other reasons)! So now is the time to help your children change how they are relating to each other. If you have younger child sit down and create a list of the house rules and include your children in the process and  allow them to draw image of each of the rules. Use this opportunity to discuss consequences to negative behaviors, such as ending a game if the siblings cannot come up with a way to play together without arguing. For older children, ask them to come up with some ideas for consequences if they continue to argue when you ask them to stop. You’ll be surprised at what creative ideas they have. Write down the rules and consequences clearly and refer to them when a problem arises, and ask your children what other ways can they handle the argument?

3. Help your child develop strategies to manage their frustrations over friendship drama during the school year. Your child may have some struggles with picking friends, playing cooperatively, or they seem to be involved in a lot of friendship drama. Now is the time to work on these concerns. Sign your child up for camps or programs that encourage lots of cooperative play and flexibility, enroll your child in a social skill program, or work with a therapist to help your child find new coping strategies for friendship difficulties.

I find that many parents are concerned about having their child work 1:1 with a therapist when the issues their child is having is with their peers. Art therapy tends to be a better solution than talk therapy to help children with social interactions. Younger children can play out different ways to respond to a problem with the art materials such as clay. Older children can create images of how the feel and process these feelings so they are not stuck repeating the same behaviors over and over again and feeling rejected or hurt by peers. Also, children learn how to cope with frustrations when problems arise during the session. So when the paining doesn’t look like what your child wanted it to look like, or the glue on the project doesn’t stick, they can practice the skills they are learning right there.

Want to help your child manage their behaviors and feelings? We can help! Learn more about our support programs here>


Creative ways to get ready for summer camp

June 15th, 2011

If your child is going to camp for the first time or they are worried about going to a new summer camp, here are some creative ideas to help them transition from home to camp.

Work together with your child and create a scrapbook or photo album of their favorite things at home (such as pets, family, bedroom), then leave some pages blank so they can add pictures and post cards of their camp friends and experiences. They can bring it to camp as a transitional object, a connection to home when they are feeling homesick. Send them off with an inexpensive digital camera or disposable camera to capture camp moments and add it to their book when they return home.

Help your child with the transition by talking about the new experiences and new friends they will meet. Talk about what they can do if they are missing home or feeling upset (such as bringing a journal or art materials and taking a creative break).

Send them off with stamps or they can pick out postcards with you before they leave for camp to send home when they miss you.

For children who are new to camp send them a post card each day for the first week, and send  a goodie box with favorite snacks, art supplies, or some funny family pictures.

Bring something to share with the other campers so your child can more easily connect with others and make friends.  This may be packing an art project (such as making friendship bracelets) or a bag of snacks to share, depending upon the age of your child and what they are interested in.

Some children become more anxious and worried when it comes to a new situation, such as leaving to go to summer camp. If your child needs support and creative ways to manage their worries please contact us. We have programs to help your child feel more confident and develop creative skills to manage new situations. Click here to learn more>