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Susan Stiffelman

My 14-Year-Old Wants to Have Sex

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.22.2014 | 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 07.16.2014 | 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 07.07.2014 | 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 07.01.2014 | 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 06.23.2014 | 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 06.19.2014 | 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 06.10.2014 | 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 06.03.2014 | 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 05.27.2014 | 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.

Defiant 5-Year-Old Brazenly Eats Her Brother's Cookie!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.07.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

There is a giddiness your granddaughter gets when she looks you in the eyes while she eats the last cookies. How you respond will make all the difference in whether she continues manifesting that behavior.

My Daughter Has a BAD Attitude!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.29.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Your daughter has a developmental imperative to test limits. Sassing back is one of the easiest ways to experiment with asserting herself and trying on her voice -- and her power.

5 Tips for Helping Little Ones Adjust to Babysitters

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.21.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is important that you have date nights, and that your daughter learns that she can be OK when she isn't with you.

Exhausted By My Boys' Constant Motion!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.15.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

They are reasonably new inhabitants of the planet, programmed to discover all they can about the world around them. For some, that takes place through reading or making art, but for many children, learning about the world is a very physical experience.

Am I the Only Parent Who Calls Before Sleepovers?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.08.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

When we focus on being their friend, we abdicate the far more important job of being our children's parent.

Is Conscious Uncoupling Actually Possible?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.01.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

The greatest gift you can give your children is to get the support you need to help you deal with your hurt, anger and sadness.

My Adult Kids Think I Drink Too Much and Won't Let My Grandkids Spend the Night

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.24.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Although it may be painful to hear, it is possible that your kids are seeing what has become for you a blind spot with regard to your drinking.

Parenting With Presence

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.17.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Parenting with presence simply means that you are willing to be present with whatever is going on -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

Shoes! Every Morning Is a Battle Over Putting On Shoes!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.10.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Daily battles over ordinary tasks like getting shoes on can wear down even the most patient parent.

Son Lies and Says He Has No Homework or Teacher 'Lost' His Assignments!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.05.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

It is only when parents consider the why behind a child's upsetting behavior and then join with their child in a way that fosters safety and the sense that we're on their side that we can address their problems with them in a way that is clean and effective.

My Teen's Only 'Passion' Is Her Cell Phone!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.28.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

The only thing she wants to do is text her friends or go shopping. I don't consider these passions! She used to love creative writing and made up cute plays when she was little, but now it is all about her phone and her friends. How do you help a child care about something?

Granddaughter's Tantrums Are Exhausting!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.26.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

Children have tantrums when they feel overwhelmed by big emotions like anger, fear or disappointment. One way of thinking about it is that your granddaughter gets thrown into a storm of powerful feelings, knocked around by waves that are simply too big for her to manage.

Son's Grades Slipping: Is it ADD?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.15.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

The transition to middle school is a big one. Some children get overwhelmed by the pace, the changing of teachers and the many social distractions.

Weary of Mother-in-law's Constant Criticism

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.07.2014 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

I firmly believe that when we stop pushing back against people who come at us with unwanted advice and criticism, their behavior simply loses its impact. Often, the offensive behavior -- no longer evoking a reaction -- begins to lessen.