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Susan Stiffelman

Am I Crazy To Get A Dog For My Kids?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.28.2014 | 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 10.21.2014 | 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 10.16.2014 | 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 10.07.2014 | 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 10.01.2014 | 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 09.22.2014 | 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.

How Should I Deal With The Aggressive Little Boy Next Door?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.15.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

When your choices for playmates are limited, it's hard to resist the convenience of a little boy next door. Still, your daughter needs to feel safe, and if there isn't an adult on hand to ensure that she will not come home in tears, you will need to take action.

My Former Husband Buys Everything for Our Daughter

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.09.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I am recently divorced. My former husband buys our thirteen year old daughter whatever she wants, like designer clothes.I can't compete. She gets angr...

My 9 year Old Has Fits When We Say "No"!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.03.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

My nine-year old is angry all the time. She has terrible meltdowns when we tell her she can't have what she wants, and takes our her frustrations out ...

5 Tips for Reducing School Anxiety

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.24.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

We are just starting the second week of school and so far she has had a meltdown every single morning. Last year it took almost six weeks for her to settle in. Any suggestions for helping her adjust?

Morning Madness Has Struck Again!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.19.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

The clearer you are about what your morning routine should look like, the easier it will be on everyone.

Talking With Children About Suicide After Beloved Robin Williams' Death

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.12.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Suicide is a very difficult death to explain to children. In addition, when the person was someone famous or influential, it is important that we both speak about it in a way that is compassionate to the individual who and that helps our children know that if they are ever deeply troubled, there are ways of getting help.

Is It Too Late to Change My Boys?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.04.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I don't believe it's ever too late for much of anything when it comes to raising children. Still, old habits die hard; especially when the person in question doesn't want to change. Here are some thoughts for generating more selflessness in your sons.

The Great Thing About Pillow Fights

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.27.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

As strange as it may sound, one of the best things about children is that they don't share our sense of urgency about many of the things that we consider important.

My 14-Year-Old Wants to Have Sex

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.21.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Help her make a choice she can later be proud of: one that reflects her understanding that sex is something very special and worth waiting for.

Dreading Visit From Wild Nieces And Nephews!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.15.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Your brother's children need to know that he is their dad, not their buddy; knowing he is what I refer to as the "captain of the ship" in their family actually deepens their sense of safety and closeness with him.

'Till Death Do Us Part'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.05.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Last week would have marked my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Although my former husband and I have been parted now for many years, when the date rolled around and I did the math, I felt it as a momentous occasion.

How Can I Get My Kids to Like My New Boyfriend?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.31.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

New love is exciting, and it is easy to believe that if you're happy, your kids will naturally be happy for you. But children are egocentric; you cannot expect them to override their own feelings, needs or wishes on your behalf.

My Daughter Lied to Me. What Should I Do?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.23.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is unrealistic to expect your daughter to be self-monitoring when it comes to the offer of special fun at Grandma and Grandpa's. Talk with your parents directly about those things that are especially important to you about your daughter's care.

'Will You Send the Baby Back to the Hospital Now, Mommy?'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.19.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is easy for little ones to love the idea of a little brother or sister, and an entirely different matter when that real baby is co-opting mommy's affection and attention.

What Is the Best Approach to Discipline?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.10.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

You will have to decide what discipline style resonates with your beliefs, instincts and child's temperament. Trust yourself, choosing what is right for you, rather than what others say is best -- including your parents, siblings or parenting experts.

'School Is Out and My Kids Just Want to Watch TV!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.03.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it many times again: You cannot hope to parent effectively if you are afraid of upsetting your children.

Please: If You See Something, Say Something

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.27.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Call to mind the young people in your life. Ask yourself if anyone triggers a feeling of discomfort or concern. Let your instincts weigh in, even if your rational mind says, Oh that kid's just a little quirky

Playdate Problems!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.20.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is not unlikely for children to behave one way with family and an entirely different way when friends are around, but that doesn't mean you have to put an end to playdates.

Can't Get Your Kids to Read? Read on!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.13.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Year after year, as digital devices become more present in every aspect of our lives, I have observed a steady decline in my clients' children's interest in reading. Here are my thoughts.