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Susan Stiffelman
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Susan Stiffelman embodies a unique blend of licensed psychotherapist, credentialed teacher, beloved auntie and down to earth mom. Her book, Parenting Without Power Struggles is based on her work with thousands of parents and children, from celebrities to everyday moms and pops.

Susan offers solid, rubber meets the road advice that has been thoroughly tested on kids of all ages and demographics. At the same time that she draws on her solid training and experience, her approach to raising kids falls into step with the spiritually-based understanding of people like Eckhart Tolle and Marianne Williamson.

She’s an innovative teacher: She was employed as a private teacher for a family whose international travels allowed her to teach -- and learn -- what it means to be a global citizen from day to day experiences. The experiences she had also shaped her understanding of what a child can learn when given unbridled freedom and inspiration.

She’s a passionate educator, homeschooling her own son until the age of eleven, taking him around the world -- including India when he was two years old -- and educating him in such a way that he received a scholarship at American University where he studies Peace and Conflict Resolution in their International Studies program.

Susan’s an outside-the-box thinker: She taught herself Hindi as a teenager and when she ran out of people to practice her conversational skills, she began calling people named "Singh" out of the phone book.

She’s a dynamo: Diagnosed with the ADHD label, she manages to accomplish more in a week than many do in months, juggling writing her book with maintaining a private therapy practice, conducting parenting workshops, writing an online advice column, conducting telephone parent coaching sessions, all the while raising her teenage son.

And finally, Susan is deeply committed to enjoying her life, living with appreciation and having fun. She has had a regular meditation practice since she was seventeen years old, and has always made the nourishment of her heart and soul a number one priority.

Susan lives in Malibu, California with her son (when he's not off at college), her dog Rosie, and a full and grateful heart.

For more information, please visit Or find her on Facebook.

Entries by Susan Stiffelman

'My Passionate Child Overwhelms Me!'

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2016 | 2:05 PM

I read your column every week and like what you say about attaching to our kids, but I have a hard time connecting with my younger child. I was raised in a home were children were seen but not heard and my daughter is fiery, emotional, and highly opinionated! I...

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It's Not What We Tell Our Children, It's What We Show Them

(2) Comments | Posted July 8, 2016 | 9:58 PM

Yet again, parents are asking the question, "What do I tell my children?" after the tragic deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and five police officers. In the past, I've written about how to help children in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, school shootings and the like, but this time,...

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15 Year Old Just Wants to Play Video Games

(2) Comments | Posted July 5, 2016 | 4:23 PM

I am worried about my 15-year-old son. He seems to have lost his way. His old friends dropped him when they got into girls and sports, and his newer friends just sit around playing video games. What can we do to help him from going wrong? Should we refuse to...

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The DE-structive Effects of "Constructive criticism"

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2016 | 10:59 AM

My mother insists on giving me what she calls constructive criticism. She thinks it's her job to tell me everything I'm doing wrong. For instance, when my three-year old whines, my mother gives me dirty looks and later lectures me on how I need to be more strict. I am a...

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I'm Worried My Teenage Daughter Will Get Pregnant

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 9:17 PM

My daughter has been with her boyfriend for about a year. They are nearly 16, and she tells me they haven't had sex -- yet. I want her to confide in me, but my sister got pregnant when she was a teenager so it's hard to hear that my daughter...
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Parenting Through Yet Another Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2016 | 8:43 PM

Sadly, this is not the first time I've used this column to offer support to parents in the aftermath of a tragedy. I have addressed school shootings, suicides, and random acts of violence, attempting to help parents offer their children comfort in the aftermath of terrible events.

In situations like...

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Waiting in the Little White Robe

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2016 | 12:39 PM

Last week, someone walked into a room and uttered three words that prompted me to burst into tears. Thankfully, they were tears of relief, but in the hour or so before they were spoken, something inside of me was rearranged -- something that I hope widens my capacity for recognizing...

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My Stepson Is Angry and Aggressive When He's Here!

(1) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 8:07 PM

My husband and I have been married for a little over a year. His ten year old son is with us every other weekend and longer on vacations. His mother was angry about the divorce (it happened three years ago) and has said bad things about me from the start....
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Apologies: Why So Difficult for Some of Us?

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 9:47 PM

My husband is a very proud man, and sees it as a sign of weakness to apologize. He is a good father but sometimes he does things that upset to our kids. He thinks if he says he is sorry they will respect him less. Now our kids are mimicking...

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Can't Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy Snacks?

(2) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 5:24 PM

My kids won't snack on anything that is good for them. Grandma watches them after school and gives them cookies and chips (even though I beg her not to.) When they are home they refuse anything healthy. What can I do?

There is a fundamental truth about the parent-child...

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"My Children Don't Listen to Me!"

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 7:33 PM

It doesn't matter how many times I tell my kids to do something, unless I do something dramatic like yelling or unplugging their video game, they don't listen to me. Help!

When our children see us coming they know we're probably going to either a) ask them to do something...

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The Optimism of Resilient Mothers

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 8:22 PM

Before I became a mother, I had no idea of the challenges and joys that awaited me. Qualities emerged that I hadn't known I had, like unwavering patience, overwhelming love, and a fierce determination to steer my son around at least some of the pitfalls of my own childhood.


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Bath Time Always Leads to Power Struggles!

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 3:32 PM

My seven year old is very lively, "strong-willed", or just plain difficult at times. How can I get him to take his bath without overpowering him or dampening his spirit? Sometimes it seems like he's the one in charge around our house!

One of the great things about children being...

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Are Parents Training Their Kids to 'Pose and Post'?

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 4:25 PM

My husband thinks I post too many pictures of our kids on Instagram and Facebook. He says they're constantly posing for pictures and checking Likes. But I'm a social media junkie and love sharing what we're doing!

There is a hilarious YouTube video called The Girl Who Went...

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I've Had it With My Sassy 9-Year Old!

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 12:49 PM

My 9-year-old daughter is very sassy. Her words aren't exactly disrespectful, but her attitude sure is. If I ask her to pick up her shoes, her reply is "Allllrrriight" instead of "All right!" I get so many compliments from outsiders about how my daughter has great manners and is so...

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Parents: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

(4) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 5:14 PM

My son hates going to bed, and the truth is I share his feelings about switching off the lights. The days are so busy that I crave time to stay up on my computer or watch TV. My son thinks that since I'm up he should get to stay up...

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Teen's Drinking Has Me Worried

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 2:01 PM

My son is seventeen and I am worried about how much he drinks on the weekend. He sleeps late and stumbles into the kitchen looking awful. I know teens like to party, but I'm concerned.

Although there are stacks of books with advice for talking with teens about worrisome drinking...

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Child Insists: 'I Did NOT Eat Those Cookies!'

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 3:15 PM

What can I do about my 7 year old? He lies to me about the silliest things. He knows he can't have food in his room but I find proof that he takes snacks in there and then he lies when I confront him.

When faced with a behavior...

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Single Parents: Please Ask for Help

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2016 | 11:06 AM

I am a single mom, raising three children with almost no support. I'm proud that I can do as well as I do on my own. But I am not enjoying parenthood the way I imagined it and my children complain that I'm always tired and cranky. It is very...

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5 Tips for Calming an Angry Child

(1) Comments | Posted March 8, 2016 | 6:36 PM

My son is a hot-tempered boy who gets very angry. What can I do to calm him down before he lashes out at the rest of the family?

Unless you're a saint, dealing with an angry child is challenging at best. While no parent enjoys their child's explosive outbursts, anger...

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