The Vital Importance of Early Social and Emotional Skills

I was floored by the suicide of Anthony Bourdain. Floored.   He represented recovery and a life lived large. He was curious and vibrant and full of energy. His suicide felt like a harsh reminder that we never truly know what battles a person is fighting.   It is, no doubt, a hard time to be a human. And, I think, quite frankly, we make it harder by forgetting, or rather, neglecting, our humanness. We begin this process early and then...

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Saying Good-Bye At the End of a School Year

The end of a school year brings enthusiastic planning of summer vacations, and also a painful experience of saying good-bye. In early childhood this can be especially difficult because that first teacher was so meaningful and impactful in your child’s life and also in your life. They might have helped your child learn how to navigate potty-ing, learn how to use scissors, eat independently, problem solve with friends. They became an integral...

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The “Problem” and Anger of Children

Another week, another school massacre. There is no lack of head shaking, hand wringing, and distress; but, there is a fundamental lack of change.   We need change.   Our children are telling us, we need to change.   As a psychologist who specializes in early childhood and early parenthood, I often speak to parents and reassure them that bad behavior doesn’t mean bad kids. Behavior is always communication. It’s true for a one...

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Play Please

Have you played today? Even if you sat on the floor and “played’ with your child, was it play for you? Or were you thinking about the incomplete task list and chores that needed to be attended to?   Play is so important. For a developing person, for an adult person, play is so important.   Play is how we communicate and engage with our children in early childhood. Play is how they will learn about themselves and their internal...

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“Mommy Brain”: The Miracle and the Nuisance

I speak to so many parents about “loving the child they have, knowing the child they have.” Today, I want to take a minute and turn that attention to the mommies. There is so much cultural pressure and expectation of what moms “should” look like, how they “should” behave, what they “should” feel about pregnancy and new motherhood…   It’s too much!   Stop “should-ing” on mothers and motherhood.   And, moms,...

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