• Two Quarters from a Stranger

    Two Quarters From a Stranger

    I took my children to the mall for ice cream to celebrate my son’s first week of Kindergarten. He asked for chocolate and mint chocolate chip for him, his younger sister, and me to share. As we went to sit, I barely registered that we had passed by an older Asian couple. I didn’t pay them any mind; I’m used to passing by Asians, but they usually pass by on their on business as I do on mine. I am never asked if I can speak Chinese (which I can’t) unless the cashier at an Asian market asks. My son didn’t want to eat the mint chocolate chip because it…

  • Parenting with Psychology: ABA Behavior Modification

    Personally, I hate the term behavior modification. But it has an important place in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Anyone who has worked with, known, or been in contact with a child with an autism spectrum disorder knows behaviors are inevitable. These are highly sensitive, highly rigid individuals, which makes even the slightest deviation tantrum-worthy. The goal of ABA behavior modification isn’t to try to control the children or their behaviors. It’s to understand why the child is behaving that way so they can be taught how to ask for what they want and express their needs in a more socially acceptable way. It helps give them tools they can take…

  • What Kindergarten Means to Me

    What Kindergarten Means to Me

    All across the country, parents are preparing to send their kids back to school. And some, like me, are sending a child off to Kindergarten. For some, it’s a time to celebrate freedom. For others, it’s time to turn on the waterworks as they watch their babies grow up right in front of them. This year, I’m sending my first off to Kindergarten. He did a year of preschool, so this isn’t new territory to us. But sending him off to public school has me in knots. I’m worried and relieved all at the same time. Kindergarten means longer days away from me. I’m a control freak. I’ve loved having…

  • The Mom I Admire

    The mom I admire is a bit harried, a little scattered, and definitely missing a marble or three. She constantly wonders how she’s stacking up against every other mom, especially the one without a hair out of place. She spends all day begging her kids to eat, clean up after themselves, and stop screaming. And half the night tearfully pleading her baby to go to sleep. She has permanent stains on her clothes from the time her oldest refused peas as a baby and the time she skidded on the dirt and grass to save her child from getting hurt and the time her sick kid puked all over her…

  • My Parenting Philosophy

    I always thought my parenting was simply informed by my background in psychology. To a large degree, that’s true. But, one afternoon, I was out to lunch with my family, watching my husband and I interact with our kids while the book I was currently reading flowed through my head. It hit me then: I have a parenting philosophy. One afternoon, we were having lunch in a restaurant. It was lunch on a weekday, so it was far from crowded. Perfect when there are two kids under 5. We were having a good time with my husband keeping our son occupied with some games on one of those devices that…

  • Looking Forward to Having Both Kids Home All Summer

    Many parents, my own included, look forward to sending their kids back to school as soon as summer vacation starts. Actually, I liked sending myself back to school, too. But I know my mom, and many other parents, look forward to having some child-free time again, look forward to some degree of freedom knowing their kids are being taught and watched for a number of hours five days a week. I don’t doubt that that will be me one day, especially when both kids are in school. But, right now, this summer, I look forward to having both of my babies home with me. It’s my son’s last summer before…

  • Two Peas in a Pod

    My siblings and I were three peas in a pod, at least until I got older and wanted my own time away from them. That was closer to my pre-teen years. My kids are two peas in a pod. They’re a couple of months short of being three years apart, but that doesn’t stop them from having a ton of fun together. They like yelling at each other. They like getting frustrated with each other. They like fighting over toys. But, most of all, they like playing with each other. They also really like tattling on each other. These kids feed off of each other. One of them will initiate…

  • The Funny Shorts Story

    My son threw his shorts up onto the hall light. I know he didn’t mean to, but it happened, and I couldn’t help but laugh. My kids enjoy their baths together. For now, at least. After all, I do have one boy and one girl. But, in California, it’s a good way to conserve water, and they get to have fun together. Most of the time, they enjoy it. Lately, my daughter has been a little fish. She’ll easily spend an hour in there turning into a prune. The novelty has worn off of my almost five-year-old. There are other, more fun things to do. He’ll last 15-30 minutes before…

  • What I Could Have Used After My Miscarriage

    For 26 years I lived a very happy, very stable life. I excelled at everything I wanted to, and even did well at the things I didn’t care about. I had, and still have, wonderful friendships. I never had a bad romantic relationship or devastating breakup. Other than the early losses of grandparents and gains of little siblings who stole my mommy’s attention, I was blessed with a very emotionally stable life. Until I was 26. When I lost my first pregnancy. When the women around me had successfully gotten pregnant and given birth or were happily expecting. My husband and I were devastated and crushed by our loss. Emotionally,…

  • Parenting with Psychology: Therapeutic Alliance and Ruptures

    In psychodynamic therapy, the therapeutic alliance is what allows the psychologist and client get the therapeutic work done. What is the therapeutic alliance? Another term for it is working alliance and yet another is rapport. It’s the relationship the therapist and client have formed that enables the client to accept what the therapist has to offer and be able to enact change in their life. When it has been established, the client knows the therapist is there for them and trusts them. An alliance has been established where the goal is to help get the client to wherever they want to be in order to live their best possible life.…