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Susan Stiffelman

How Can I Help My Fidgety Son Succeed in School?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.18.2015 | 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 03.09.2015 | 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 02.23.2015 | 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 02.17.2015 | 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...

My Kids Used to Think I Hung the Moon...

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.10.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I remember the days when I was the oxygen my son could hardly do without. Reunions were dramatic; after being away an hour or two he would leap into my arms before I had barely walked through the door. And then, it changed... as it must.

How Can I Help My Daughter Stand Up for Herself?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.04.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Be careful not to criticize your daughter for being passive; that will only fuel her insecurity. Instead, help her become familiar with what it sounds and feels like to stand up for herself so you can begin to help her become more fearless.

Is My Isolating Teen Destined for Addiction?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.29.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

The important thing is to gently steer him out of isolation and into activities that connect him with others, in ways that feel safe and manageable to him.

My Childrens' Mother Lies About Their Problems

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.21.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

t is in your children's best interest for their mother to keep you involved and informed about what is going on in their lives. But you are going to have to start with things as they are.

My Anger Is Hurting My Children

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.15.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

You may be surprised to hear how many parents secretly struggle with rage, even ones who seem to have it all together often confess privately to me that they are ashamed of how often they lose their temper with their children, often over seemingly small things.

Daughter Tiptoes Around Aggressive Brother

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.09.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Siblings have an enormous impact on one another's lives. While some rivalry is normal and to be expected, when a child's anger or control becomes something to be feared, it's time to take action.

Our Family's Time OFF Has Turned into Time ON... LINE

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 03.01.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

If you walk into our house after dinner, you'll see five people each staring at a screen. How can I get my family to unplug and spend some down time together?

Avoiding Christmas Morning Meltdowns

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.21.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

In today's world, children are bombarded with the promise of happiness if they can just get the right toys, clothes, gadgets and gizmos. It's not easy to neutralize those messages, even if we deliver heartfelt lectures about how there's more to life than "stuff."

My Cousin Calls Her Daughter 'Dummy' and 'Stupid'!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.14.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is terribly awkward to deal with a child's upsetting behavior without stepping on the toes of her parent. Your situation is even more challenging because you wisely understand that this little one is both mimicking her mother and acting out her hurt. Here are my thoughts.

Am I Overindulging My Children?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.09.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It isn't easy to deprive kids of the things that make them happy when our instinct is to do whatever we can to keep them smiling. Here are my thoughts.

Trouble Parenting My Stepson

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 02.01.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Your family is going through significant growing pains, with everyone having to make some big adjustments. Rather than giving you suggestions for controlling your stepson's behavior, I think it best that we step back and look at the situation from a bigger perspective.

My Impulsive Son Throws Caution to the Wind

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.26.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

With little children, it is obvious that we need to act as their prefrontal cortex because we know that they aren't capable of inhibiting their impulses. We keep them close when we're near the street and make sure not to leave sweets sitting around where they will have trouble resisting them.

Husband Says Son Misbehaves Because Wife Doesn't Punish

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.20.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Children who feel liked, cherished and enjoyed want to behave well because they naturally want to please us. When they sense tension between their parents, or have no tools for managing frustration, their behavior can take a turn for the worse.

Burdened With Guilt Over Past Parenting Mistakes

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.11.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

There is no way to undo the actions of your past. But if you do the work of mourning for what you and your children have lost, you will find yourself more available to fully enjoy the life you are living with your children now.

8 Tips for Helping Kids Get Over Fear of Dogs

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 01.04.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

My seven-year old daughter is PETRIFIED of dogs even though she has never been bitten or attacked. It can be a tea cup Chihuahua or a Great Dane, the ...

Am I Crazy To Get A Dog For My Kids?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.28.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

A family pet can add immeasurable joy to family life, but before you "bite" into dog ownership, make sure your expectations are based on a realistic understanding of the demands it will place on your life.

My Picky Eater Refuses to Eat What I Make!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.21.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Our 12 year old daughter disrupts our household over FOOD! I love to cook, and have told her to pick anything in the world for dinner and I'd make it. Guess what ? Hmmm, she can't come up with anything! Help!

Can't Get My Teen to Get Out of Bed in the Morning!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.15.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I struggle every morning to get my 17-year old son up for school. He messes around on his computer till way past midnight and is exhausted every morni...

My Child Can't Sit Still at the Dinner Table!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.07.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Most children would rather learn -- often through play -- than eat. It doesn't take much food, or time, to fill a 4-year-old's belly. So if you want her to be more involved in what happens at the dinner table, try to make it more welcoming.

8 Tips for Helping Shy Kids Make Friends

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.01.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

My son is a very shy child. He had one friend at school who was his best buddy last year (in first grade), but that boy moved away. My little guy is t...

5 Tips for Getting Kids to Come to Dinner

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.22.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Listen to your children's point of view without interrupting; perhaps they don't look forward to dinner because one sibling constantly teases them. The more you can get feelings out in the open, the more you'll reestablish yourselves as a team.