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Susan Stiffelman

Teenage Girls, Mothers, and Aunties

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.31.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Until very recently, raising children almost always included the support of extended family and friends. These days, parents often feel terribly isolated as they attempt to meet the needs of their children, whether they are raising them on their own or with a partner.

When Your Husband Disagrees on Screen Time Limits

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.24.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Few parents are crystal clear about how much is too much when it comes to giving their kids access to technology. It hardly surprises me that two adults from different backgrounds and with different sensibilities don't see eye to eye on how much screen time their children should have. Here are my thoughts

Stacking the Odds for a Good New School Year

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.20.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

One of the strongest factors in determining a child's success and enjoyment of school is the connection they have with their teacher or teachers. If at all possible, I recommend that parents of timid children do whatever they can to visit school before it begins and stop by to say "Hi" to their new teacher and get a bit oriented to the new classroom.

Help! Our Toddler Has Terrible Tantrums!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.11.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Our job as parents is to do our best to avoid sailing into the rough waters that can cause our little ones to lose their footing and fall apart. But no matter how hard we try to prevent our children from having tantrums, there may still be times when they cannot cope with whatever demand has been placed on them. Perhaps they're tired or hungry, or they could be feeling overly jealous or hurt.

Helping a Friend Cope With Miscarriage

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.05.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

What touched me about Mr. Zuckerberg's post was his willingness to speak honestly about the miscarriages he and his wife have gone through. I have borne witness to this loss from clients and friends, many who have kept the pregnancy a secret from those they see every day, if it was still early.

Husband and I Disagree on Having Son Try Soccer

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

it's important that we gently expose our kids to a few activities they might not have thought of. It's not necessary to force children to participate in an activity

An Unplugged Sigh of Relief

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.21.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Breathe in the sounds, the smells, and the peace of a summer day or evening with your kids. Let the beeps beep, the pings ping and the alerts land on deaf ears. Turn away from your screen, and toward your children. You won't regret it.

My Daughter Acts Out When Step-Sister Visits

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.16.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

With time, and plenty of opportunity to move through difficult feelings, your children should find their way toward building lifelong bonds. Meanwhile, slow things down, expect hiccups, and make room for the big feelings that come as tender hearts adjust to changes in life's routines.

My 6-Year-Old Blames Others When Things Go Wrong

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.30.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Avoid finger pointing. When you make a mistake, admit it -- without trying to say it was because of what someone did or didn't do. When we show our children what it looks like to take full responsibility for our actions, they are much more likely to freely admit when they've made a mistake.

Am I Shortchanging My Kids By Not Enrolling Them in Summer Activities?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.17.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Kids need space in their day to wander aimlessly, finding ways to entertain themselves in a way that doesn't involve a battery or a plug. Healthy development is fostered by climbing trees, tapping out songs on the piano, building forts or simply lying in the grass and watching the clouds go by.

Kids Sharing a Room: Blessing or Curse?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.10.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Allow your daughters to express their feelings about the new arrangement. While some kids adjust to sharing a room without a fuss, others struggle to adapt to new situations, regardless of how hard we try to make things good for them.

Negative 9-Year-Old Won't 'Go With the Flow!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.02.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Help your daughter become more aware of any insecurity or anxiety that might fuel her desire to be controlling. Check your judgments at the door.

The Work of Byron Katie, Parenting and Chores

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.26.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I have tried everything to get my kids to do their chores, but it is a constant battle. Why can't they just do what I ask? Are all kids as lazy as mine?

5 Tips to Curb Kids' Cursing

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.19.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Nearly all children find it exciting to experiment with naughty words. How we handle this phase will play a large part in determining whether swearing becomes an ongoing problem or a temporary phase.

The Work On Parenting

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.26.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Most of us love our children dearly, but they can trigger our upset like no one else can! Feeling disrespected or unappreciated, we may shout, scold or threaten our kids, despite desperately wishing we could keep our cool.

My Sister's Son Bullies My Little Boy

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.05.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

If your boys are playing together and your nephew gets frustrated with your son, help him feel sad.

My 4-Year-Old Can't Calm Down!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.28.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

My 4 1/2-year-old son is a sweet boy, but he seems to lose his ability to listen or calm down whenever he is deep in play with his friends.

Not Taking Our Children's Behavior Personally

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.15.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Our children can push our buttons like no one else can, generating tremendous pain and frustration. Our challenge as parents, again and again and at every stage, is to avoid taking our children's behavior personally.

13-Year-Old Becoming a Mean Big Sister

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.08.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is very difficult to see our child being mistreated, but even more so when the unkindness comes from one of our other children. And on top of that, it's as though you "miss" the daughter you once knew. Here are some thoughts that may be of help

Parenting With Presence: An Eckhart Tolle Edition

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.07.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

When we understand that happiness is not something we can buy, we become more at ease with our children's complaints when they can't have something they want. But rather than criticizing them for not being grateful enough, we should help them navigate through their disappointment, validating their feelings and guiding them toward acceptance.

My Stepdaughter Claims She's an Outsider

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.01.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Whenever I coach the parent of a child with behavioral problems, I ask them to take a few steps back and and look at the misbehavior as a message announcing that something in the child's life isn't working.

How Can I Help My Fidgety Son Succeed in School?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.18.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

As a parenting coach and family therapist, I see a steady stream of "fidgety" kids in my practice. Their parents are often at their wits end after being repeatedly chided by their child's teacher to somehow convince their youngster to manage the disruptions created by his or her constant motion.

Getting Kids to Dinner Is A Nightly Battle!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.09.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

When we come AT our children with rules and regulations, they instinctively resist. But when we enlist them in collectively addressing a problem by contributing possible solutions, they will also be more likely to adhere to agreements they took part in creating.

'Dad, Stop Posting Pictures of Me on Facebook!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.25.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

For years, one of the best ways to humiliate a teen would have been to sit down with her friends and go through the family photo album. Now that every smartphone is a camera, many kids share your daughter's dilemma.

Tired of Chasing My Son at Homework Time!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.19.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Parenting works best when parents are the calm, confident Captain of the ship in their child's life. This means that while you may encourage your son to do his homework, you steer clear of putting him in the disempowering position of either granting or refusing your request. Here are a few thoughts to consider...