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Communicating Effectively (Part III)

10 Av 5770 – July 21, 2010
Recently, I asked a family friend, a financial advisor, to share with me his perspective on the importance of rapport in the world of sales. In a general way, I knew that successful salespeople maintain good rapport with their clients. And so I was curious. Was the need for developing rapport in business any different than doing so in a parent-child relationship? To that end, I posed the following questions: "How do you establish rapport with a new client? And what do you believe is a key issue to creating rapport?

Dealing With The Explosive Child

Kaboom! That's what we experience when there is an explosion. And that's exactly what we feel like when we are dealing with an "explosive" child. For those of you who don't understand what I'm talking about, consider yourselves blessed. But those who know exactly what it means for a child to "explode" for no apparent reason understand what a tremendous challenge this is. It's like living inside a simmering volcano. As one frustrated mother put it, "We are in a perpetual state of crisis."

The Arrowsmith Program

8 Av 5770 – July 19, 2010
If you have a learning disabled child I don't have to tell you about the myriad direct and indirect related challenges and associated frustrations. No doubt, you know them all too well.

Spending and Investing

4 Av 5770 – July 15, 2010
Francine has been coming to therapy for about a month. Her parents brought her due to problems and conflicts she was experiencing boat home, school and in the community. Like many teens, Francine did not see the value of therapy and felt the problems were only her parents' issues. Besides, if she needed to talk to anyone, she would speak with her friends.

Don’t Let Homesickness Spoil Your Child’s Summer

18 Tammuz 5770 – June 30, 2010
Every summer, all across America, parents put their children on buses bound for sleepaway camp. They wave good-bye, hoping their kids will have a wonderful time, make friends, learn new skills and come home happy and healthy. Hoping, sometimes, that the tears they see as the bus pulls away are just a fleeting show of regret at leaving home.

Teens Who Give Up Their Religion

12 Tammuz 5770 – June 23, 2010
Let's look at an example of how mentoring improved the life of a teenager who had given up observing Jewish tradition.

Communicating Effectively (Part II)

A political figure refuses to comment on a current news story in which he is involved.. In the hope of avoiding a scuffle with her parents, a teenager, who has broken curfew, quietly opens up the front door. As she makes a mad dash to her room, she tries to avoid being noticed and questioned. In both situations, a lack of communication may be perceived as failure on the part of the individual to take responsibility for his/her actions, and/or an admission of guilt. In such cases when the person does not say yes, the message being conveyed to others can be perceived as noby default, and vice versa.

De-escalating Crises at Home

4 Tammuz 5770 – June 16, 2010
Mr. and Mrs. S. came into the office with their ten-year-old daughter, Sharon. They were very distraught and had numerous complaints about Sharon’s behaviors. Not only was she having problems academically and behaviorally in school, but they also complained that every time they asked Sharon to do something at home it became a major altercation.

‘Kids In Pain’: Brooklyn’s Our Place Helps Teens At Risk Of Being Forgotten

27 Sivan 5770 – June 9, 2010
It is a testament to the authenticity and devotion of the staff at Our Place - a group of drop-in centers in Flatbush that cater to what most people would simply term "at-risk" teens - that none of them wanted to be mentioned by name in this article. In fact, the majority of them were even cautious about speaking with a reporter, so protective are they of their children, whom they consider very nearly their own.

Mentoring

When the parent-teen relationship is strained or just needs improvement parents can utilize outside help to bring about a change. When necessary, one of the most effective ways of wielding indirect control is by having the teenager meet with a mentor. As a third person, uninvolved in family conflicts, a mentor is able to interact with a teenager and provide an informal means of solving problems at school, help the teen do homework or simply be a friend.

Communicating Effectively (Part I)

4 Sivan 5770 – May 17, 2010
The Meaning of The Communication Is The Response It Elicits

Teaching Organization To Children

28 Iyyar 5770 – May 12, 2010
Dear Rivka, Help! My 8 year old daughter is terribly disorganized! Any tips for helping me help her change ? I am motivated to teach her as it is making me crazy.

Moti’s Street Clothes

I once received a call from a forty-seven year old distraught mother whose seventeen-year-old son Moti had changed his style of dress, wearing jeans and refusing to wear a hat. She explained that he had gone through a difficult time in school and was now hanging around the house instead of studying in yeshiva. He was also mixed up with the wrong crowd and was associating with at-risk teenagers late at night on the street. She was very concerned as she had an older son who had gone "off the path" and was worried that Moti was going in the same direction. She believed that Moti could be helped if he would be willing to talk with someone.

The Tyranny Of OCD

22 Iyyar 5770 – May 5, 2010
With Pesach behind us, what better time to take a closer look at the annual burst of intensity that propelled us, in the weeks and days leading to the yom tov, into a frenzy of cleaning? That sustained embrace of scrupulous cleaning offers insight into a subject that has lately received a great deal of attention in psycho-educational literature. The topic, OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, might be understood by comparing it with that exhausting endeavor from which many of us are just starting to recover.

Control Issue

15 Iyyar 5770 – April 28, 2010
In our rapidly changing world, the idea of control has begun to change quicker than anyone can imagine. A metamorphosis of unparalleled proportion is taking place and many parents feel that they are unequipped to deal with the challenges that it will demand.

Toby’s Secret Dating

19 Nisan 5770 – April 2, 2010
Ruth had just recently discovered (from another parent) that Toby had been secretly dating a boy for over a year. When she confronted Toby about her boyfriend, Toby had adamantly refused to admit that she was secretly seeing anyone. Ruth was extremely distraught to realize that her daughter would do something against her wishes and asked if I could help.

Oh, So Angry (Part IV)

14 Nisan 5770 – March 29, 2010
This is the fourth and final part on my series on anger, apersonal control and anger management. I believe there are several major beliefs one needs to appreciate when it comes to understanding anger, angry people and controlling anger and other emotions - let's call then the "secrets of anger." An important definition to remember before we discuss these secrets is that when something happens that causes us to have strong emotions, the thing happening is referred to as a trigger.

How To Combat Classroom Bullying

9 Nisan 5770 – March 24, 2010
Two months into the school year, Shonnie's enthusiasm for school inexplicably took a nose dive. Her morning routines seemed to take her forever. The 7 year-old reacted to her mother's exasperation by turning sulky and tearful. With increasing frequency she missed the bus and needed to be driven to school.

Choices

In most homes, as women prepare to join the Seder (hopefully, somewhat rested), the anticipatory anxiety associated with the "P" word (pre-Pesach angst) is no longer. The cleaning, preparations, shopping and cooking are now a thing of the past. And finally, the Hagaddah's legacy of yetzias Mitzrayim (exodus from Egypt) takes front stage.

Debbie’s Body Piercing

5 Nisan 5770 – March 19, 2010
Referring back to our earlier case of Debbie’s body piercing, let’s see how using knowledge of Debbie’s inner world and the power of spending quality time together can help her parents connect to her.

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