Understanding Sexual Behavior Problems In Children and Youth
Childhood sexual play and exploration can throw parents into a panic, especially if your child has been fostered or adopted. We immediately wonder if the child has a history of sexual abuse and if, somehow, the seeds of deviance have been planted. In most cases, we needn’t worry. Sexual exploration and play are normal behaviors.…Read More →
The Truth About Adolescent Peer Groups
Our kids go through some fundamental brain changes as they enter their teens. Aside from years 0 to 3, there is more brain construction, reconstruction, and rewiring going on than at any other time in life. In addition, we now know that the adolescent brain has been designed by nature for specific purposes. Developmental specialist,…Read More →
Does My Child Really Have Bipolar Disorder? Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve had a distraught parent ask me one of these questions. I also wish that mental health professionals would become more trauma informed and knowledgeable about what attachment deficits and early neglect do to a young child’s developing brain, so they wouldn’t misdiagnose and medicate. But…Read More →
Why is Parental Playfulness Important?
“I might as well play with a porcupine. All I get is a nose full of stinging nettles!” It can seem next to impossible to play with a child who seems to hate you and tries everything possible to keep you away. Much of the time you may not even want to be in the…Read More →
Don’t Get Angry
Being a parent to a child with a history of chronic trauma and attachment difficulties can be the most challenging thing you’ve ever done. It’s as if they’ve quickly found each of your “buttons” and seem to get some perverse satisfaction from pushing as many as possible. They can be so defiant and disrespectful you…Read More →
Why Does My Child Lack “Common Sense” Skills?
Many parents worry about their childrens’ futures after they leave the nest. Though they may have perfectly normal intelligence, they can’t seem to grasp the skills of daily living. We have to keep after them to organize their backpacks, finish their homework, empty the dishwasher, and find their socks. “Shouldn’t they be able to do…Read More →
When Your Child Lies
Children who have been chronically traumatized or neglected can become proficient at lying. They’ve had to. Their survival would have depended on whatever strategies worked to keep them clothed and fed and to avoid harm. So children learned to lie out of fear. Parents have had their own experiences and carry their own internal models…Read More →
Developmental Trauma Disorder
Since PTSD was added to the DSM in 1980, professionals treating children with histories of attachment difficulties and early and chronic trauma have struggled to fit them into the definition, without much success. PTSD was originally developed to describe the problems of veterans returning from Vietnam. It was also suitable to describe the lingering deleterious…Read More →