with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Play and the Brain

Here is a great video about the brain and play. It is important to incorporate truly playful activities into your everyday life. Life is so stressful, busy, and overwhelming at times but it is really helpful for your productivity, happiness, and overall well-being to incorporate play into your life whether you are an adult or child.

Truly be in the moment and enjoy even the little things.


Helping the Emotional Child; Part 2: Managing Feelings in the Here-and-Now

Children need to be able to learn how to behave in emotionally-charged situations. When a particular feeling is experienced, children may react in many different ways.

Simple Kids describes children with good emotion regulation skills and children with not so healthy emotion regulation skills. (The following descriptions are authored by Simple Kids.)

Children with good emotional regulation skills:

Are able to experience, express and manage a range of emotions
Adjust well to transitions and new situations
Engage in appropriate behaviors in response to emotional situations
Show a high tolerance for frustration

Child Development

Helping the Emotional Child (and Adult)

Every child, every person, is unique. Each child has their own unique personality, their own strengths, their own areas for growth, and their own particular character traits. Some children tend to be more laid back and adjust to changes more easily than others while other children tend to be more "higher maintenance" and can be quite sensitive in many different ways. Some children tend to be more emotional than others.

An "emotional child" may experience and express a variety of emotions more often and more intensely than other children. For instance, they may seem to get frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed, stressed, and/or possibly even happy, excited, or surprised more easily, more often, and with more behavioral indications of these emotions as compared to other children. The "emotional child" may experience all or just some of these emotions on a regular basis.

Child Development

ADHD & Low Self-Esteem: Helping Kids with ADHD Improve Self-Esteem

According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., Associate Editor at Psych Central, children with ADHD can experience low self-esteem. Some of the staple characteristics of ADHD include not being able to focus, not being able to complete tasks especially not in a timely manner, being distracted easily, and being impulsive. All of these traits can lead to adults and even sometimes other children becoming frustrated with the child with ADHD.

Child Development

Fostering Health & Wellness in the Introverted Child: Part 3: 3 Healthy Habits

As for everyone, having good habits is very beneficial for children who are introverts. Being an introvert tends to come with a higher need to have predictability, routine, control over one's own life and environment or at least an ability to know what to expect in most situations.

Habits are important for introverts because not only can healthy habits promote positive health and well-being in introverts, but they can also help introverts to maintain optimal physical health, nutrition, and emotional and mental stability and positive functioning.

Child Development

Fostering Health & Wellness in the Introverted Child: Part 2: Control Vs. Cooperation

A child's level of introversion or extroversion can influence the parenting and care-taking they should receive. Parenting strategies and therapeutic techniques should be utilized with respect to the child's personality and way of being; whether they tend to be an introvert or an extrovert, for example.

According to Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., of "The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World," to enhance an introverted child's mental and emotional well-being, parents should be cognizant of not parenting with an emphasis on having control. Instead, the well-being of introverted children is better enhanced when parents parent from the frame of cooperation. Extroverted children also benefit from parenting that involves cooperation rather than too much control. However, introverts and extroverts experience and respond to these parenting approaches differently.

Child Development

Fostering Health & Wellness in the Introverted Child: Part 1

Introversion is a topic that is becoming more and more researched, discussed, and understood. Children who tend to be introverts may present with many different qualities such as the following:

are often quiet especially around new people
can be emotionally sensitive
need space (physical and mental space)
are likely to prefer to be home rather than be out and about for long periods of time
often times do not like to be the center of attention
may be insecure (but may be comfortable with themselves, depending on personal temperament and life experiences)
and much more

Play Therapy

Self-Care for Therapists

Being a therapist is an amazing, rewarding, challenging job. As a therapist who also has a family and two other part-time jobs, it is extremely important for me to consider self-care. This is important for any therapist and really for everyone else to consider, as well. To live a healthy, fulfilled, satisfying life you must take moments out of your life to care for you. Listening to the cues of your body, your mind, and your inner being is essential to living a content and happy life. It is also important in order to be the best therapist you can be.

Play Therapy

3 Play Therapy Tips for Working with the Quiet Child

Play therapy is an approach to therapy that allows children to express themselves, heal from hurts, and experience personal growth through the medium of toys and activities rather than words as is done through traditional therapy and most adult therapies.

Even though the process of play therapy is based on play and not words, sometimes verbal communication is still used in play therapy. It often helps the therapist to learn more about a child's experience and helps the child express themselves when the child is able to use verbal communication while also playing with puppets, doing an art project, and/or using a sand tray.

Child Development

Bibliotherapy: 5 Benefits of Books for Kids

It is well known that children benefit academically from reading books. Schools require children to build reading skills very early on. However, even beyond the academic reasons for reading books, children can also experience other amazing benefits. The benefits can be experienced when children read books to themselves as well as when others read books to them.