Adolescents, Emerging Adulthood, Parenting

Shift from a Punishing Mindset to a Learning Mindset

logical consequences

I’m throwing out a challenge to all parents: the next time your child makes a mistake or a poor choice, instead of punishing your child, try implementing a logical consequence.

You might look at my challenge and think, “this is just a matter of semantics” (and it kind of is because, in psychology, a punishment is a type of consequence). What I’m really trying to do is shift your mindset from one of frustration, anger, and disappointment to a mindset of learning and growth. Continue reading “Shift from a Punishing Mindset to a Learning Mindset”

Happiness, Positive Psychology

The Argument Against Self-Esteem (And for Self-Compassion)

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It used to be that self-esteem was all the rage. Literally thousands of psychological studies showed the many benefits of it. Parents obsessed over ensuring their child had positive self-esteem, believing it was the answer to a lifetime of happiness. Participation trophies were doled out so children’s self-worth stayed intact.

However, now psychologists know that self-esteem has a dark side. It’s associated with prejudice, discrimination, narcissism, self-righteous anger, and self-absorption.

Yikes.

So why is having high self-esteem potentially a negative thing? Continue reading “The Argument Against Self-Esteem (And for Self-Compassion)”

Parenting, Technology

10 Ways to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

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More and more parents are reaching out to me for support in managing their child’s electronic use. More so than generations before, young people’s worlds revolve around their electronics. Electronics are integral parts of the social lives. Even schools are beginning to rely more on the internet to do academic management. In this world where electronics are a necessary part of life, how do you create healthy boundaries around its use? Read on for some concrete tips. Continue reading “10 Ways to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time”

Adulting, Work

Top 5 Ways to Bomb Your Next Job Interview

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Interviews are the time to really shine and win over your new potential boss. This is your first real impression, and you want it to be positive. I originally wrote this article many years ago after going through a hiring process where I interviewed dud after dud. A shockingly high number of people forgot basic aspects of interviewing. And it makes a big difference. If I only have 30 to 60 minutes to get to know a person, you better believe that I pay attention to all the data at my fingertips! Continue reading “Top 5 Ways to Bomb Your Next Job Interview”

"Failure to Launch", Parenting

Supporting Your Emerging Adult’s Transition to Adulthood

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Supporting an emerging adult’s transition to independence sometimes feels like a tightrope balancing act. Provide too much support to your child, and they become too dependent on your assistance or become resistant and resentful. Don’t provide enough support, and they may never successfully make it out on their own! Coupled with the fact that the transition to adulthood seems to be getting pushed later and later, this balancing act can feel uncomfortable and foreign. Here you have a person needing your help at an age where you had everything pretty much figured out. Continue reading “Supporting Your Emerging Adult’s Transition to Adulthood”

Adulting, College, Parenting, Positive Psychology

10 Ways to Build Resilience

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Did you know that one in four college students struggles with their mental health? This is not a surprise, given how stressful college can be. Students leave behind the familiarity of home and their established support systems to live and learn with a bunch of strangers. This is why I speak at conferences and write about the importance of preparing for the transition to college. It’s also why building resilience is so important. Continue reading “10 Ways to Build Resilience”

Parenting, Technology

Prevent Cell Phone Addiction with These 5 Tips

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Recently, more and more parents are reaching out to me because their teen struggles with cell phone “addiction”. Sometimes the parents are describing unhealthy habits that haven’t developed into a destructive “addiction”. However, all parents who have children struggling with their electronics use can benefit from these five tips. Continue reading “Prevent Cell Phone Addiction with These 5 Tips”

Anxiety, Stress

5 Research-Backed Ways to Manage Stress

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Life is stressful. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that fact of life. As much as you’d like to, you can’t control stressful situations, but you can definitely control how you cope with the stressors. By finding healthy ways to manage stress, you can prevent negative consequences of stress, like depression and cardiovascular disease.

But we all know that everyone is different, so how you choose to manage your stress will be unique to you. Here are five healthy, research-informed ways to help reduce stress. Not all five things may float your boat, so choose what works best for you. Continue reading “5 Research-Backed Ways to Manage Stress”

Happiness, Positive Psychology

What is Self-Compassion?

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We’ve all been there. We made a mistake at work, we were unkind to our partner, or we were late to an important recital for our child… and then starts the outpour of self-criticism.

“What a stupid mistake! No one else here ever makes mistakes like that.”

“Why would I say such a thing?! I’m such a jerk.”

“I’ve disappointed my daughter, again. What kind of crappy father am I?” Continue reading “What is Self-Compassion?”