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Susan Stiffelman

Avoiding Christmas Morning Meltdowns

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 12.23.2014 | 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 12.15.2014 | 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 12.10.2014 | 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 12.02.2014 | 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 11.26.2014 | 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 11.20.2014 | 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 11.12.2014 | 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 11.04.2014 | 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.

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

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.15.2014 | 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 11.09.2014 | 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 11.03.2014 | 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.