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Author Archives: Dr. Peter

Reflecting on Feelings – and What to Do with Them

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Whenever I’m asked to help with a child’s disruptive behaviors – acting out, arguing, yelling, crying, hitting, throwing, lashing out, withdrawing, hiding, running away, refusing to participate, you name it – I always begin with this question: What is the child feeling right now?  What is the underlying feeling or need that is driving that […]


Managing Meltdowns at Home

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Are you finding it harder and harder to get your child to do his schoolwork at home? Are they more belligerent and defiant?  Are they more anxious and avoidant?  Are you more exhausted and fed up? Parents with school-age kids are feeling significant amounts of stress and strain these days due to the prolonged school closings and […]


Improving our Children’s Mental Health – Intentionally

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It’s May.  So, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s take stock of our children’s current mental health and well-being. Some sobering statistics: Nearly two-thirds of youth report feeling stressed about balancing their daily activities Almost half report feeling anxious, sad, or irritable due to stress One of every three teens in America report […]


The Power of Self-Compassion

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“Do you have a critical voice?  What do you find it saying to you?” These two questions are at the heart of the matter for self-compassion researchers Kristen Neff and Chris Germer.  What they’ve confirmed over years of study is that for many of us, we are our own worst enemy. Sadly, this is true […]


Resetting Your Stress Mindset

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“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf them.” Stress is an inevitable part of life.  We can’t predict, control, or stop the waves of stress from entering our lives, any more than we can stop the waves of the ocean from coming ashore. But we can learn how to surf those […]


Balancing Work, School, and Kids at Home

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  You may be asking yourself these days, “How on earth do I manage my job and family, my kids and their schooling – all at home, all at once?!” Or, more succinctly, “How do I keep my sanity during these times of quarantine and uncertainty?” Two words: Time and Place. We all need structure. […]


Pandemic Stress and Mindfulness

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QUESTION: Pandemic stress – what’s mindfulness got to do with it? ANSWER: Everything! Any time we are highly stressed, the rational thinking part of our brain automatically takes a back seat to the more primitive, emotionally-reactive parts of our brain. These “amygdala hijackings” serve the purpose of self-protection in times of danger. They send us into “Fight or […]


Mindful Solutions for Child Anxiety

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Childhood anxiety is a common part of growing up. In early childhood it often involves separation anxiety from caregivers, worries about being harmed, and bedtime fears of scary thoughts or dreams. In middle childhood, kids often worry about being good enough – academically, athletically, behaviorally, socially. They may begin to struggle with self-doubts that develop […]


Being Seen

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What does your child see in you on a daily basis? Someone who is frazzled, tense, distracted? Do they see a strained or tired look on your face? Someone who is endlessly multitasking, trying to get it all done? Are you often pre-occupied, lost in thought, and not really fully present with your kids (or […]


How Kids Learn Self Regulation

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How do children develop self-regulation skills – and who cares? First of all, what are self-regulation skills?  Self-regulation is the ability to focus your attention, control your emotions, and manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  These skills – often referred to as the executive functions of the brain – are critical for healthy child development […]