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Our creative team is always developing and discovering new tools and activities for children and teens to master the everyday emotional challenges of their lives. Check back often to see what's new and how you can help your child.

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February 27th, 2011

The Academy Awards and Kids

Nothing gets the entertainment media fluttering as much as the annual Academy Awards. Although there are many, many categories, the entire country has been inundated with the names and faces of the talented actors who have been nominated to win this coveted award.

It’s a fun and exciting time. The Red Carpet, the TV specials, the bios of the stars, are all part of the thrill of wondering, Who will win? Adults and kids watch the show, look for texts, or follow the app on their IPAD.

Sometimes, kids get the wrong message from all the hoopla. It’s easy to think that being a celebrity is the way to be valued and respected. Children who lack confidence may aspire to become an actor to achieve the respect and admiration of their peers and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, their self-esteem may be put on hold as they try to achieve their own celebrity.

Make sure your child knows that it’s not necessary to be the best at something to be special. Being a famous actor is only one way to have value and gain respect. There are many pathways to personal importance and value, including hard work and effort in many fields. Trying, learning, participating in activities, caring about other people and the world are also very important.

It’s very possible to have great value even if you’re not famous. A casual reference to this fact can help your child enjoy the excitement of the Academy Awards and maintain his or her own sense of personal confidence.

February 9th, 2011

Children and Teens: The Joys of a Snow Day or, Mental Health and Snow

For children and teens, few things can match the joy of a snow day on a wintry morning. Today, the wonderful news of an extra day of freedom may arrive by text, e-mail, the Internet, phone, radio, or a banner on the bottom of a TV screen. Parents may remember the excitement of hearing their own parents yell into the bedroom, “No school, it’s a snow day!”

School can be difficult and homework often tedious. Kids may begin to run out of steam in the winter months. Academic pressures build for kids K-12, and worry and anxiety can grow as well. It’s very helpful to have a legal mental health day that gives young people a healthy break.

Child and adolescent psychologists have observed that in winters filled with blizzards and snow days, their practices get smaller, and not just because parents can’t bring their children to the sessions. Snow days help children stay calm, catch up, and have fun in the middle of the routine demands of a busy week. Anxiety in children and teens decreases and kids feel better.

School and routine are very important. Every day can’t and shouldn’t be a snow day. But the occasional snow day can be a ray of sunshine in a long winter. Whether the day is spent playing in the snow, sleeping in, catching up on homework, or spending a lazy day in front of the TV or on the computer, young people are given the gift of a short, but welcome break from the demands and routine of school. They often return to school in a better mindset, with more energy and greater enthusiasm.