Archive for October, 2012

Are you suffering from TMI syndrome? (TMI: Too much information)

October 30th, 2012

Recently I’ve been hearing lots of parents talk about how much is too much information (TMI) when they are talking with their children. Often it’s difficult to understand what are healthy boundaries. There is a tendency for parent to over explain situations. I see this happening with young children, whereby a parent will offer a lengthy explanation to their child why they can’t have a snack right now. The parent often is providing way too much information and justification as the child melts down into tantrums.  This not only happens with toddlers, but I see it in teens and young adults too. Parents lovingly offer up lengthy reasons why their teen shouldn’t do something and the teen launches into their version of a teen tantrum with whining, eye rolling, and anger.


Yes, modeling personal boundaries is essential to developing a healthy sense of self in your child. They need to hear you say “no” and they need to learn how to cope with the feelings around not getting what they want. However, there are many ways to set boundaries. You can set a boundary using a brief (one-two sentences) reason why. If it’s reasonable, allow your child a different choice or an opportunity to come up with a different idea. If you are firm on your decision do not launch into TMI lecture mode, this gives your child a reason to default to tantrums.

Here’s how you can use this simple strategy with your kids tonight and see changes in how you communicate.

For example, your child wants a candy bar before dinner.


Too much information:

Instead of saying, “You can’t have a candy bar you know it’s dinner time, you are always wanting to eat something before supper, why don’t you do something else instead, like take the dog for a walk, or help me out in the kitchen…”


You could respond this way:

“No you can’t have a candy bar before dinner, you can have an apple or grapes instead”. (Do not say anything more. If they default to whining mode remind them ONE time of their choice and do not saying anything more)


For example, your pre-teen wants to go to a party with some friends.


Too much information:

Instead of saying, “You’re always asking me to go to these parties and I’m tired of hearing about how all your friends are doing it, because we are not your friend’s parents, they let them do what ever they want …”



You could respond this way:

“I don’t feel comfortable with you being at this party without knowing who will be there. So I need to talk to the parents before hand if you’d like to go.” (Do not say anything more. If they default to whining mode remind them ONE time of their choice and do not saying anything more)


For example, you and your spouse have been arguing in front of the children.


Too much information:

Instead of saying, “Your father is so annoying I can’t stand it when he acts like that, he’s always doing things to get me mad…”



You could respond this way:

“Your father and I have been not getting along recently and I am sorry you have had to hear us arguing. We are doing our best to communicate better and will try to be respectful of your feelings.”


When you master TMI you can use it in all sorts of situations without becoming upset and reactive, and you will teach your child healthy and respectful communication. Try it tonight and see how it works.

If you need some tools and additional support join the International Parents & Professionals Community and get instant access 24/7  to support resources and a great group of professionals and parents! Our November support call is “7 Creative Activities to Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Positively Identify and Express Their Emotions” Can’t wait to welcome you on the support call!


Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of

October 22nd, 2012

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC). Our monthly Parent & Professional Support Call is Tuesday, October 23rd. Topic: “Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of”

Have you ever worried that your child’s behaviors were just not typical, and you’re concerned that something might be wrong? Maybe you thought they would just grow out of it, but it’s still there (or maybe gotten worse). You’re wondering if this is ‘normal’? You’d like to get some more information, but you’re worried that your child will be labeled or need medication. This candid call will answer your questions.

On this call I’ll share:

  • Indicators that something is happening with your child and they may need more support
  • Should you be concerned if things are fine at school, but your child acts out on you and his/her siblings
  • What if your child is having lots of problems at school? I’ll share with you what you need to know to help your child at school
  • Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity, Autism, Sensory Processing, Learning Disability, Anxiety, Depression? Are you confused and overwhelmed? It seems like everyone has their opinion about your child and you don’t know where to start to get help. I’ll share with you helpful information on finding support that’s aligned with your family values
  • Are you worried about your child receiving a diagnosis, being labeled, or medicated? We’ll talk about your options so your child can get the help that he/she needs
  • Plus, I will share tips on navigating the maze of professionals: what to look for in choosing a professional to help evaluate your child, what treatments may be beneficial for your child’s diagnosis, and what you do NOT want when you choose a professional to work with your child.

You will leave this call with clarity, ready to take action that will best support your child holistically. This call is F*R*E*E* to all IPPC members. Join us on this information filled call.

Click here to learn more about our supportive community and all the resources for children and families


Don’t Let Halloween Be a Nightmare: 5 Halloween Success Tips for Sensitive, Anxious, Impulsive Children

October 16th, 2012

If your child is sensitive to sounds, bright lights, large groups, or clothing, or your child is anxious, easily becomes overwhelmed and/or acts impulsively Halloween can be a really difficult time.

As a parent you can help your child manage their feelings and behaviors with these 5 tips:

  1. Be realistic: You know what your child can handle and what triggers their meltdowns. Set them up for success by encouraging costumes and situations that they can manage. Don’t feel pressured by friends or family members to do something you feel would be overwhelming for your child.
  2. Pick a costume that you know will work: Your child is fixated on being Spider-man, but you know the costume he picked at the store will be too tight, scratchy, uncomfortable, and will lead to sensory overload. Find a way to adapt the costume or create something Spidey-like at home that will feel comfortable on your child.
  3. Pick an activity that’s right for your child: Halloween falls on a school night and you know your child will be too excited from trick-or-treating and candy to function at school, and that may cause a tailspin of negative behaviors over the next few days.  Decide what will be the best activity for your child, such as a party on the weekend and handing out candy at home. Whatever you decide be clear, set a time frame, and let your child know the plans ahead of time.
  4. Let them know what’s appropriate and inappropriate: Help your child learn boundaries and expectations by being clear about what behaviors are acceptable and how you will give your child feedback if they are acting inappropriately.  For example, let your child know they will walk together as a group, and if they run ahead you will remind them, and if they choose not to listen you will have them walk next to you (or hold your hand). Clear boundaries can help your child mange their fears and worries, which often looks like acting out behaviors.
  5. Set boundaries with candy: Your child may be thrilled with their bag o’ treats and want to eat as many as they can before bedtime, but you know that will only wire them up for the evening. Tell your child what’s expected with the candy, such as waiting to eat it until they get home, you check it, how many pieces they can have tonight, where the candy will be kept, etc.  Clear expectations will help reduce arguments and before bedtime meltdowns that come from too much candy, being tired, and overstimulation.

CQ Creative Activity:

Create Halloween Rules. On a big piece of poster board discuss with your child the rules and expectations for Halloween night. Be concrete, such as they will not eat the candy until you have checked it, they will walk with a flashlight, they will be in bed by 8pm. Discuss consequences/ rewards for following the rules. If your child is older ask them write down the rules, or you can write them down if you have a younger child. Ask your child to draw pictures on the poster board of each rule and decorate it with spooky images. Do this a few days before Halloween and review the rules before you go out. If age appropriate, have your child sign the rules so you are both in agreement.

If you are worried that your child may need some support do not miss the International Parents & Professionals (IPPC) October Support Call “Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of”. Click here to learn more about the IPPC



Sarasota Therapy Group for Children: Art Therapy Group Now Forming

October 3rd, 2012

Child Therapy Group for Children in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Lakewood Ranch area

Do you have a child between the ages of 9-13 who struggles with school, friendships, or siblings?

Do they easily become frustrated, worried, or angered?

Are you looking for a group to help your child learn new positive behaviors?


Using Art To:
★ build confidence
★ learn positive ways to communicate
★ develop friendship skills
★ manage frustration & worries

Using art and creative problem solving children learn coping and communication skills  to help them positively express their feelings, make positive choices, connect with peers, develop their social skills, and increase self-esteem.
Ages 9-13
Tuesdays 4:00-5:00 pm
October 23rd- November 27th

Call Dr. Laura Dessauer (941) 504-8498 for more information and to register!

Therapy groups for children in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Lakewood Ranch area.

Space is Limited Call to Register Today or Email with your child’s name, age, what support your child needs,  your phone number and email and the best time and way to reach you.


Are You Ignoring the Elephant? What every parent needs to know about their child’s behaviors

October 3rd, 2012

Teacher says he’s having a hard time paying attention,

The youth group leader says she’s always disruptive,

The tutor says he hardly says a word,

Thing are fine at school but it’s a total struggle at home,

School is calling, but everything seems okay, as far as you know.


You thought maybe your child was just quirky,

It must have been that 3rd grade teacher,

When we got him away from the bullies at school we thought it would change,

She was always demanding as a small child and would have a ‘fit’ when she didn’t get her way.


Everything seemed fine during the summer,

She refuses to go to school,

He won’t do his homework without a fight,

I’m nervous she won’t grow out of it,

I’m tiptoeing around the house afraid to set her off,

It’s gotten worse,

They are always fighting,

I feel like I don’t know him/her any more.


I feel helpless,

I feel powerless,

I’m worried,

I’m scared.


It’s not easy stuff- it’s messy, unpredictable, overwhelming, and a totally stressful. Yet, your child needs you. They need you to be the adult, to set limits, to instill values, to be the LOVE when they are feeling unlovable, to listen with an open heart, even when it’s uncomfortable.


If you are worried and feel unsupported, ask for help. Reach out to other parents, find a community of people you trust, ask for support. Your child needs you.  What you choose to do in moments when things are difficult will ripple out and impact their future.


No matter how scared or uncomfortable you are, be willing to show up with love and compassion, again and again.


CQ Creative Activity:


Maybe you didn’t get the parent you wanted as a child or perhaps you longed to be a member of the Brady family? As an adult you get to choose to embody the qualities you would have liked those adults in your life to possess.  Create an image of a compassionate, understanding parent who lovingly and firmly sets boundaries and takes action in the best interest of their child. Use collage image and cut out words and images, or get creative with markers, pencils paint, or fabric.


Give this image a title and post it where you can see it to remind of the qualities you would like to embody and what you are choosing to let go of.


If you are worried that your child may need some support do not miss the International Parents & Professionals (IPPC) October Support Call “Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of”. Click here to learn more about the IPPC