Eating Disorders in Kids

Empowering Parents resources for other conditions and diagnoses, including eating disorders.

Teen Moodiness: Is It Normal or Is It Depression?

Your teen prefers to sleep till 11:00, is crabby when she wakes up, would rather talk to the dog than you, and isolates herself for hours at a time in her room, glued to her laptop. Is she depressed? Or just being a normal teenager? Read More

Is It ADHD or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder? 4 Ways to Help Your Child Focus

Is your child forgetful, irresponsible, moody and prone to daydreaming? Does he seem to lack motivation and become easily bored? This behavior could be related to SCT, or "Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder." This new way of looking at certain ADHD-like symptoms in kids has been generating quite a bit of buzz lately in the media and is definitely controversial. Read More

How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

You know the drill: you’re trying to talk to your teen about curfew. Or dinner. Or absolutely anything—and they pretend they can’t hear you. They start an argument with you, or give you an eye roll and a "Whatever." Or they turn up their music. They won’t lift their eyes from their screens. They scoff or grunt in your general direction. There’s no eye contact, no acknowledgement, and absolutely no hint of, “Yes, Mom, I understand what you’re saying to me.” Read More

Parent the Child You Have, Not the Child You Wish You Had

As soon as you knew you were having children, you probably began to dream about who they were going to be, how they might be like you, and hoped they would be successful in life. You may have wanted your child to be into football or academics, but then reality set in. You found that your son didn’t really like sports, and your daughter didn’t have much interest in school.The truth is, one day many of us wake up and realize that our children are just different than what we expected. Read More

Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Karen hasn’t slept through the night in years—she’s too worried about her son Mason making it through high school. He tried two different schools and now takes online classes, but that's not working, either. Karen has resorted to sitting with him for three hours every night (after coming home from her full-time job) to help him through his homework. She’s given up trying to make him take the ACT or SAT tests for college. Karen’s just focused on one goal—Mason graduating from high school. She’s not sure what will come after that. Read More

Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Everyone gets mad sometimes, children and adults alike. Anger is an emotion that can range from slightly irritated to moderately angry, all the way to full-blown rage. A child’s anger often makes us feel uncomfortable, so there can be a natural tendency to try and change the situation for your child, so the anger will evaporate. Or on the flip side, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “bringing down the hammer,” to put a stop to the anger through intimidation or punishment. But the fact is, your child will experience situations that may trigger anger throughout life. You can’t stop the triggers, but you can give your child the tools to understand anger and deal with it. Read More

5 Focus Exercises for ADHD Kids

ADHD is a "brain difference." Kids with ADHD have some significant differences in their cognitive ability, emotional sensitivity and activity level when compared to other children. What this means is that their “skill set” is different from 95% of the children in their class. Their working memory is often not as well-developed as it might be in other kids their age. It can be hard for them to control their ability to concentrate, plan and process information. The good news? Neuroscience has recently discovered that brain exercises can dramatically improve these functions. When these exercises are successful, they essentially build or strengthen "circuits" within your child’s brain. Read More

Stop Aggressive Behavior in Kids and Tweens: Is Your Child Screaming, Pushing and Hitting?

When a child is aggressive toward others – hitting, screaming, pushing, throwing things – the natural response of the people around him is to withdraw. It’s frightening to see someone whose anger has reached a point where it seems out of control. If your elementary or middle school-age child is behaving aggressively toward others, it’s important to address the issue now, before it escalates to serious consequences such as suspension, legal problems or serious harm to others. Read More

"I Hate School!" What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

If you’re like most parents, you probably take the responsibility of getting your kids to school very seriously and get angry and frustrated when they refuse to go. This can easily turn into a power struggle if you feel this is a “battle” you have to “win.” It’s all too easy to react to your own anxiety and emotions about the situation rather than acting in a well-planned, effective way that will get you (and your child) where they want to be. Read More

How to Prepare Your Child with Special Needs for the Back to School Transition

My son was the “bad kid” in class, which stacked up negatives against him. The teachers watched for his behaviors and quickly got on his case, even if everyone else was engaged in the same activity. As a result, he had to spend a lot of his limited energy for school on reducing the teachers’ stress about having him in their class.

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When Your Child Has Problems at School: 6 Tips for Parents

Have you gotten "the call" from your child's school? Janet Lehman, MSW talks frankly about how she and her husband James dealt with it when their son had trouble at school. Read More

Starving to Death: Does My Child Have an Eating Disorder?

Michelle’s parents did not address her anorexia until she weighed less than 85 pounds. At 5’10”, she was a skeleton compared to the healthy teen she had once been. “My mom and dad said nothing to me about my weight loss, until one morning at breakfast when my father slammed a stack of pancakes down in front of me and demanded I eat them,” she said. “I refused.” Michelle’s eating disorder began when her older sister died in a car accident. “At first I didn’t want to eat, I was grieving so much. But the subject of my sister’s death was taboo at my house—my parents wouldn’t even allow me to mention it. I continued to refuse food because of the pain I was in, and their unwillingness to see it.” Fortunately, after that breakfast table incident, her mother sought treatment for Michelle with a counselor who specialized in eating disorders. “I’m sure it saved my life,” said Michelle. Read More