Child Or Adolescent Issues Category

5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 5

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part four of the series, we discussed ways to balance between short and long term goals in our parenting. In this last section we will examine the issue of our children’s development towards autonomy and ways we can effectively nurture this process.

5. Foster autonomy

• In the teen years it becomes more readily apparent that your kids are not going to be under your roof forever. Some of you are excited about this, and some are broken up about it. But either way, it has been what you have been actually working towards all along: to see your kids grow up.

• Autonomy is a big part of maturity. Autonomy means to be self governing, self directed. Not in the childish sense of – I want my way! But the maturity to make decisions about what is best based on sound principles. Autonomy goes best when paired with responsibility and wisdom.

• But, here’s the rub for most parents. I want my child to mature and become autonomous, but ...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 4

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part three of the series, we took on the difficult challenge of letting go of control. In this section, the topic is managing our short and long-term goals and how keeping these two in balance affects our approach in parenting.

4. Hold Onto Both Short and Long Term Goals

• We all have them: short-term goals, usually being what I want to accomplish right now or today or this week, and long-term goals, usually what I want to accomplish over the next few months or years. Some of these goals we are consciously aware of, and others lie in the back of our minds and surface periodically or when provoked into consciousness by obstacles to their fulfillment. But, whether or not we are aware of them, I believe we are generally purposeful people who are directed by our heart goals. However, sometimes our short-term goals run counter to our long-term ones, and we may not be mindful of how our efforts to address our short-term interests are interfering with our ...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 3

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part two we examined how to deal with negativity in one’s adolescent. Part three is about the parent’s need for control and how to make productive adjustments.
1. Give up Control
• Not many people would label themselves as ‘controlling’. Certainly not when they can put such acceptable and positive terms to it. “I would do anything to help my son”, “I’m just trying to make sure they don’t get into trouble”, “They never would do their homework or their chores if I didn’t remind them”. “They are so lazy”. “My daughter just won’t let up until I let her stay up late, have the newest this or that, etc.”
• Control is not always what you think. Sometimes it is the traditional kind, meaning I believe I am helping you by getting you to do or think what I think you should do or think. Sometimes the form of control is so insidious that it looks like the o...

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5 Tips on Parenting Adolescents: Part 2

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part 1, we looked at the influence of stress on our parenting and some ways to relieve and manage it. Here is tip number 2.

2. Examine how you handle negativity

• Here’s a shocking statement: adolescents can be negative sometimes. And dramatic. Or they could demonstrate this by going the other way and withdrawing. And when this happens, what do you usually do? Do you turn negative yourself, getting on their case about their negativity? How does that usually turn out?! Or do you throw up your hands internally and withdraw or avoid them? Most of us have a hard time being around negative people. They drag us down over time, and they resist being cheered up or redirected. So, what are some healthier options?

• First, go back to point one and address your self care and your stress level, so that you can be more present for the person you would like to help and invest in. After all, working with anyone just so you can feel better is a recipe f...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 1

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

Life inherently contains many stressful situations. When you have kids, you multiply the number of stressful situations by a lot, and when they reach adolescence, the number usually goes through the roof. Besides, parenting can be more even challenging if you actually want to do well at it! Meaning you are probably trying hard at it (you are reading an article on parenting after all). You are to be commended. In light of the Olympics, there should be a medal for parenting these days. (In actuality, there is the medal of children who become honorable, virtuous adults). I’d like to offer five broad stroke perspectives that I believe are relevant and helpful for maneuvering through the jungle that is raising adolescents successfully. And successful does not mean just to “survive” it, although it may often feel like that. I know you long for it to be more than just that, and I believe it can be. I’ve broken down the five points into a five...

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The 5 C's to Resolving Parent-Teen Conflict

Ahh... The good old summer time; the time of summer vacations, summer movies, summer camps, summer jobs, and for some kids, the dreaded summer school! Indeed, for most kids and teens, summer is filled with staying up late and sleeping in even later. For parents, however, summertime can be a time when conflict with one's teen is magnified.

Ever had a teen that not only sleeps all day and eats you out of house and home, but in today's technologically driven world, seems to have grown an extra appendage...a cell phone. Teens these days can't seem to put it down. It’s with them when they awaken and when they go to sleep; it’s with them at the breakfast table and the dinner table; it’s even with them when they go to the restroom. Yes, today's teens seem to believe that putting their cell phone down for just one minute would be akin to chopping of an appendage such as their hand, or foot. Does the following vignette sound familiar to you?

Parent: "Hello (insert name of te...

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Helping couples cope with psychological issues surrounding abortion

Written by Dr Dorothy Ojarikri, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Director of UK Private Psychology.

Making the hugely difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy is a choice that can be life- changing and impact upon people’s perception of self, relationships and society at large for decades to come and perhaps forever. The term ‘choice’ when it comes to the difficult issue of abortion indeed may seem insensitive or inappropriate to individuals and couples who have lived through abortion and feel that the personal circumstances surrounding their pregnancy precluded them from having the unborn child.

My therapeutic work with couples both married and unmarried who have lived through the emotional difficulties that are sometimes related to abortion has highlighted the psychological and relationship dilemmas that couples face. The mandatory counselling session that females in the United Kingdom are required to attend prior to an abortion are usually offered only to t...

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Counseling and Therapy in Lexington KY, Frankfort KY, and Richmond KY

Our offices provide therapy and counseling in several Central Kentucky locations. We provide therapy for all ages including children and adolescents. Our clinicians are experienced, well rounded individuals that work for you and your loved ones to your goals. It is important to pick a good clinician. You can visit our website at for important tips on picking therapist and counselors or to view our clinical experts.


We help you where you are, work on the solution not the problem, and allow you to end therapy on your terms. Please contact us today at 859.338.0466 or visit our website.

For more important information visit one of these sites:


Thank you for taking the time to read our information. I hope we can help!

Paul D. Dalton, MS, LPCC, CADC

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Art therapy with Autistic kids

Recent studies on children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have revealed that seventy percent of children with ASD between the ages of 10 and 14 have also been diagnosed with another disorder, anxiety related disorders are named as the most common one!

Behavioral therapists working with kids with ASD admit that anxiety is an inevitable factor of lives of kids and teenagers with ASD. However, studies have shown that combining behavioral and art therapy techniques with kids with developmental disabilities and autistic traits, will improve communication skills and will increase interpersonal interaction in them; which results in reducing social anxiety.Therapy serves as an outlet to express emotions and thoughts, and also helps kids with ASD to make sense out of daily events...

To read more, please visit

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Mindfulness for Kids

Mindfulness is usually reserved for adults, but it does not have to be. Children of all ages experience stress and tension physically, the inability to focus or concentrate, as well as distressing emotions (i.e anxiety, anger, sadness). The great thing about children is that they can adapt easily to mindfulness as well.

You may be asking, what is mindfulness? How can I get my child to sit still long enough to practice? The best way to conceptualize mindfulness is the ability to be present and to be in the here and the now. It is a way of observing, describing, and fully engaging in the moment. Now, how can we get our children to fully engage in the moment? Here are some techniques:

1. Be mindful of the breath: Observing the breath is the simplest way to start mindfulness. For example, if I tell you to not think of the color red, you are definitely going to think of the color red. So if you help the child think about breathing, it will be easier for them to focus on their breath. If y...

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