A Spook-Free Halloween

It’s the time of year when ghosts and goblins run amok, and we praise children for looking extra scary when they knock on our door while trick-or-treating. However, for many kids, the scare doesn’t just end at Halloween, and it can make it hard for them to sleep and cause other problems. Most of the things that kids fear are dictated by the adults around them or the environment they are in. We have made a quick list of the things that kids are often afraid of, and how to overcome those fears.

1. Ghosts and Darkness

Ghosts and darkness go hand-in-hand. Kids are often most afraid of these two when they are about to go to sleep at night. The best thing to do to overcome this fear is to explain to your kids that ghosts are not real and cannot hurt them. Do not let them watch scary movies, especially when it’s close to bedtime, because they can be a triggering factor. You should also invest in a night-light.

2. Thunder and Lightning

Fear of thunder and lightning is also common among children. Let your kids watch educational programs that feature thunder and lightning, so they can see what causes them. You can also explain that these are an everyday part of nature. Reading some books about thunder and lightning will also help them to understand what thunder and lightning are, and why they happen.

3. Clowns and Mascots

Kids are often afraid of clowns and mascots, especially when it’s their first time seeing them. Kids have wild imaginations, and they often see clowns and mascots as scary things because of how weird they look. The best way for kids to overcome this fear is by interacting with them, but do not force them to do so. Allow them some time to adjust as needed when they first encounter any strange, new thing. Also, explain to them that clowns and mascots are harmless, and that they are meant to be fun and silly.

The things that kids are afraid of can be a challenge to handle; if you need help from professionals, call South Denver Psychotherapy. Don’t miss our other blogs, since they have useful tips and resources you won’t want to miss.

How to Talk about Suicide

It has been one month since the highly-publicized death of Robin Williams. Even though there were a few moments where the media did the completely wrong thing, for the most part, it was beautiful to watch a grieving fan base bring awareness and love to those around them. However, the discussion about suicide should not end now that the coverage has died down, as millions of Americans have faced suicide, either through their own suicide attempts, or those of the people they love. Here are few tips for talking about it and keeping the conversation going.

It Is Not a Way Out!

During the first week after Robin Williams’ death, a twitter post circulated around the Internet that said, “Genie, you’re free.” It was beautiful, but sent entirely the wrong message. Suicide is never an acceptable way to relieve depression, substance abuse, anxiety, or any other problem that may be affecting your health or wellbeing.

You Are Not Alone.

When many people discuss suicide, they often refer to it as a cowardly act or a sin. Shrouding it with shame is not an acceptable response either. If you are struggling, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are people around you who have been exactly where you are, and you are more loved and needed then you could possibly know. If someone you know and care about is having a difficult time, it is crucial to help them understand how much they mean to you.

There Is Help.

Lastly, when talking about suicide, it is always important to mention that there is help. Therapy, counseling, and mental health services are available to people of all ages and demographics. It is also critical to surround yourself with honest, compassionate, and caring people who will work with you to improve your mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there is always help. Set up an appointment with South Denver Psychotherapy if you are in the Denver area, or seek a counselor or mental health center near you.

No, Really, It’s Ok to Take Care of Yourself: A Mom and Dad’s Guide to Self-Care once School Starts

Heaving a sigh of relief, you have finally kissed your little ones goodbye and watched them walk into the classroom for the first day of school. Then you get home, or back to work, and you find your head spinning. “How did they get this big that fast?” “Is it just me, or does everything seem just a little bit quieter?” You are a whirlwind of emotion, and that’s ok. Now that the kids have gone back to school, it is time that you also take some time for yourself.

Self-Care is Good Parenting.

The narrative that often defines good parenting is one of sacrifice. Being selfless is held up on an often unachievable pedestal. Despite this, the reality is that taking care of yourself teaches your children by example. If you make your own health and happiness a priority, they will learn to emulate your good work.

Get Back to Your Fun Side.

As school gets back in session, take these few precious moments of free time to get back to your fun side. Call up old friends, take an exercise class, learn pottery, or get involved with volunteering for a charity or your church. Before soccer, ballet, and all of the other activities start up, make sure you schedule some quality “you” time to help you get through the busy weeks ahead. Not only will you avoid burning out, your happiness will radiate throughout the whole family.

Take Care of Your Health.

We all want the best for our kids, so you also want to make sure you are giving them the best parents. Now that the kids have gone back to school, make sure you focus on you own mental and physical health. That way you will be in the best possible state to handle any challenges your kids throw at you.

Stop putting off that physical. Take a look at drinking one less soda, and, of course, consider scheduling a counseling session. Counseling is a great way to learn the most about yourself and how you can grow. Make an appointment today so you can give your family one of greatest gifts of all – a healthier, happier you!

Help Your Tween Adjust to Middle School

Trouble With the Tweens

“Tween” is a term used for kids between 10-12 years old. This is a stage where your child is no longer a kid, but still too young to be a teen. This in-between stage of development can require some adjustment for everyone involved, especially as summer ends and we pack up our bags and head back to school.

Talk to Your Tween

We have all watched the public service announcements about talking to your kids, and no matter how warm and fuzzy they portray these conversations as, we know that it isn’t always that easy. So, try breaking down your approach. Instead of asking,” how was school?” try asking something more specific about their teacher, classmates, friends, or activities.

At first, listen without judgment. Let them express their feelings and just listen. Share your own experiences, if needed, and do not scold them for making simple mistakes. Address their fears whether in school, with friends, or even at home. Talking to your child is the best way to find out what they are going through, and if you work on a healthy relationship now, you will be the safe place they turn to if things get rough.

Independence

As adults, we often forget the value of our own independence; but for our tweens, it presents a whole new set of possibilities. Don’t suppress that feeling of freedom in them. As parents, we should support our children and be their guide as they practice exercising their own independence. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up the reins completely – it means that you should gradually give them more and more freedom and responsibility, but they should also understand that abusing or neglecting these things comes with consequences.

It’s also ok to give yourself a little time to adjust, and to understand that you, as a parent, are allowed to make mistakes. This is a challenging time in both your and your child’s lives, so listen, be patient, and have faith that your whole family will get through it together.

Slipping through My Fingers: A Parent’s Guide to Empty Nesting

The acceptance letter is on the fridge, and you and your family are probably both dreading and looking forward to the day your child goes off to college. This is a tense time of transition for everyone involved, but it can also be a time of joy and celebration. So, whether you’re struggling or rejoicing, here are few words of wisdom as you look ahead to your new path as an empty nester.

Every Reaction Is Totally Normal.

Crying yourself to sleep at night? Getting nostalgic over baby photos? Ready for your new college student to get the heck out of the house? Can’t wait to have some alone time? Want your child to never leave? – No matter what you are feeling, it’s important to acknowledge it and accept it for what it is without judgment. No matter what you, your spouse, or the other families around you are experiencing, there is no right or wrong reaction; everyone simply feels what they feel.

What To Do Next

Once the dorm room is unpacked and set up, and you drive away, watching your kid waving goodbye in the rearview mirror, you may find yourself reeling at what to do next. Remember that every relationship is different, so your relationship with you child is going to be different than your peers, and how you shape your life after kids needs to reflect what’s best suited for you and your needs.

Many people need time to grieve. This is a normal step for many parents. It is also a time to celebrate that you did it – you raised an upstanding citizen. Now your next step as a parent should be to take care of your needs and continue living your life.

Even if it seems scary, remember that how you behave is still part of you working as a parent. If you take care of your own needs and wellbeing through this transition, your child will learn from and model your resilience. Even if, at this age, they act as if they are too cool for you, they will still notice.