Blog – Iowa

    Overcoming the Confidence Gap: Unlocking Your Child’s Potential

    Overcoming the Confidence Gap: Unlocking Your Child’s Potential

    Our society has a tendency to worship talent. People assume intelligence and ability, as well as confidence in those attributes, are the primary ingredients needed for success. When it comes to unlocking your child’s potential for personal success, how can…

    Successful Parenting Following a Divorce

    Successful Parenting Following a Divorce
    Parenting after a divorce is emotionally intense and often feels like navigating through landmines. While it’s complicated, learning to co-parent is essential for your child’s wellbeing. It’s important for you and your ex-spouse to remember that you’re still in a...

    Tips for Taming Teen Clothing Battles

    Tips for Taming Teen Clothing Battles
    Your teen wants to wear what everyone else is wearing, from their jeans to their expensive shoes. You, on the other hand, have a limited clothing budget. Is it any surprise that teen clothing battles can be one of the...

    Teen Behavior: Normal Moodiness or a Warning Sign?

    Teen Behavior: Normal Moodiness or a Warning Sign?

    The typical teen is described as moody, tired, irritable, withdrawn and angry. Research shows 11% of teens have a diagnosable depressive disorder and only one in five gets help. So, how can parents tell when their teen is experiencing normal…

    Helping Your Child Overcome Nightmares

    Helping Your Child Overcome Nightmares
    When children wake from nightmares, the images are fresh and seem real, so it’s natural for them to feel afraid and need comforting. Try these steps for helping your child overcome nightmares. Reassure your child you’re there Knowing you’re there...

    Establishing Fair Fighting Rules with Your Partner

    Establishing Fair Fighting Rules with Your Partner
    Every sport has rules to keep the players safe. We know rules are needed for sports, but often have no rules for navigating relational conflict. Without rules, conflict is a little like a football game with no penalties, no referees...

    Tips for Parenting Tweenagers

    Tips for Parenting Tweenagers
    Parenting tweenagers is not for the faint of heart. With each of my children, somewhere between the ages of 9 and 12 they went from wanting to spend time with me and talking my ear off, to basically wanting nothing...

    Managing Traumatic Stress After a Tornado

    Managing Traumatic Stress After a Tornado

    The effects of tornadoes can be long-lasting and the resulting trauma can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the disaster. It is common for people who have experienced traumatic situations to have very strong emotional reactions. Understanding normal…

    Why Parents Sometimes Need a Timeout, Too

    Why Parents Sometimes Need a Timeout, Too
    Ever had a parental temper tantrum? You know, those times when you exhibit bad behavior, such as yelling, bad language or slamming things around, and need to be disciplined with a parental timeout? We’ve all had those moments. Sometimes when I...

    The Importance of Volunteering with Your Kids

    The Importance of Volunteering with Your Kids
    Many of us feel it’s important to volunteer and give to the world around us. But have you ever considered the importance of volunteering with your kids? Volunteering teaches children important skills and values that are difficult to learn in...

    How to Foster a Healthy Body Image in Your Child

    How to Foster a Healthy Body Image in Your Child
    How parents feel about their physical appearance is one of the most important factors in determining a child's self-image. That's why fostering a healthy body image in your child is so important. Parents who fret about the way they look,...

    Making the Most of an Unstructured Summer

    Making the Most of an Unstructured Summer
    Let's face it, summers aren't what they used to be. Making the most of an unstructured summer can be difficult for many families today, especially working families. Summer presents unique scheduling challenges, after all - children have a lot of...

    Change: Exciting … and Messy!

    Change: Exciting … and Messy!
    When you're in the middle of a home remodeling project, the simple act of trying to walk through your house can be like navigating an obstacle course. There is drywall dust, paint fumes and tools scattered everywhere! The process of...

    Tips for Taking Time Alone with Your Spouse this Summer

    Tips for Taking Time Alone with Your Spouse this Summer

    Summer means the kids are out of school and likely spending more time at home with you. For many parents, the new routine makes us happy in some ways and not-so-happy in other ways, because let’s face it – while…

    Is Your Child Ready to Be Home Alone?

    Is Your Child Ready to Be Home Alone?

    Is your child ready to be home alone? The answer often depends on a number of factors. However, if he or she is becoming more responsible and asking for more independence, that’s a good sign that they’re ready to start…

    Tips for Helping Kids Navigate Their Emotions

    Tips for Helping Kids Navigate Their Emotions

      Helping kids navigate their emotions is a skill that may not come naturally to many parents. After all, we as parents often forget that our children are complex beings who are not born as fully developed “mini-adults.” As a…

    The Power of Positive Parenting: Catch Kids Doing Good!

    The Power of Positive Parenting: Catch Kids Doing Good!
    The power of positive parenting might be more effective than you think. “Catch-em being good” has repeatedly been shown to improve positive behavior in kids. While we know this is true, most of us could probably find negative things to...

    Tips for Talking to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

    Tips for Talking to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol
    It's never too soon to begin talking to kids about drugs and alcohol. Children are being exposed to tobacco, alcohol and other drugs at increasingly younger ages. In 2017, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that: 10% of 8th graders...

    Technology: Friend or Foe

    Technology: Friend or Foe

    As a mother with children in their 20s, I’m extremely grateful I raised children prior to the age of cell phones, school issued laptops, tablets, Instagram, Facebook and Snap Chat. Today’s parents are the first generation parenting within this digitally…

    Adjusting to Your Spouse’s Family Culture

    Adjusting to Your Spouse’s Family Culture
    Falling in love, dating and marrying is a journey many of us readily embrace. This road is often traveled with very few bumps along the way. However, becoming a part of your spouse’s family, learning the new family rules and...

    Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

    Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions
    As the ball in Times Square counts down the seconds to the New Year, many of us will resolve to do things differently…lose weight, stop drinking caffeine, exercise more, spend less money, spend more time with family, or start a...

    How to Give Yourself the Gift of Contentment

    How to Give Yourself the Gift of Contentment

    Non-stop commercials bombard us, trying to convince us we need whatever it is they are selling. Even the best of us can find ourselves fending off the internal “I want” mantra. While the “gimmes” seem to come naturally for most…

    Tips for Managing Depression During the Holidays

    Tips for Managing Depression During the Holidays

    The holiday season can be emotionally taxing for everyone. However, it is often particularly miserable if you are struggling with depression. You know you should be excited to spend time with family and should be enjoying all the preparatory events….

    How to Enjoy a Not-So-Perfect Holiday

    How to Enjoy a Not-So-Perfect Holiday

    A perfectly browned Thanksgiving turkey, a magical Christmas filled with just the right presents, a Hanukkah celebration rivaling those you remember from childhood…everyone has holiday expectations. Planning for the perfect holiday often creates pain and disappointment when the idealistic expectations…

    P.L.E.A.S.E.: Self-Care Tips for Anxiety and Depression

    P.L.E.A.S.E.: Self-Care Tips for Anxiety and Depression

    Would you deny a child food for a day or feed them whatever they wanted all day long? What about letting them stay up all night watching TV or playing video games? If they had a bad day would you…

    The ABCs of Managing Our Emotions

    The ABCs of Managing Our Emotions

    “Stop being so sensitive.” “Just think positive!” “Quit being overly emotional.” These are phrases individuals struggling with depression, anxiety or difficulty regulating emotions hear repeatedly. If only it was as easy as “stop it!” In reality, learning to manage our…

    Teen Angst or Teen Depression?

    Teen Angst or Teen Depression?

    Parents of teens often find themselves living with a surly, reclusive adolescent who is difficult to connect with. Teens face a host of changes impacting their physical body, their understanding of themselves, and their interactions with the world around them….

    Managing Back-to-School Anxiety

    Managing Back-to-School Anxiety
      August brings with it so many inevitabilities… going to school for the first time, going back to school, going to new schools, sending kids to college, becoming empty nesters, preparing for winter, etc. August and change seem inextricably linked just...

    Learning to Forgive

    Learning to Forgive

    Spirituality often becomes more important to us in times of tragedy, loss, suffering and illness because it connects us to both our higher power and those around us, helps us to find meaning and purpose, and brings us hope and…

    Men’s Mental Health: The Silent Crisis

    Men’s Mental Health: The Silent Crisis
    Six million men grapple with depression every year, and suicide is currently the seventh leading cause of death for men. When it comes to their health, most men think of their physical health...like enduring a prostate exam. What they don't realize...

    Developing and Maintaining Healthy Self-Esteem

    Developing and Maintaining Healthy Self-Esteem

    I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, creative enough, strong enough, motivated enough, compassionate enough… The list of ways we fall short of being who we believe we “ought to be” is often infinitely long and grows even longer as we peruse our friend’s Facebook pages, watch television, and hear about all the wonderful things others within our church accomplish. Many of us are plagued by the belief we are not good enough and no matter how many wonderful things we do, it is never enough for us to feel good about ourselves.

    Special Parents Confidential: Family Stress

    Special Parents Confidential: Family Stress

    Having a special needs child always causes tremendous parenting concerns and a lot of work. Many moments can be incredible, exhilarating, and full of amazing wonder. But it can also be extremely stressful. Dealing with schools, social situations, family situations … it can seem like everywhere you turn is another opportunity for more parenting concerns and stress. The other problem is that not everyone understands or even cares about these situations, so many parents can feel isolated in their worries and concerns.

    Tips for Forming Healthier Sleep Habits

    Tips for Forming Healthier Sleep Habits
    Sleep Deprivation Can Be Life Threatening Over Time. Statistics say most Americans are chronically sleep deprived. This affects us subtly, over time—the effects build until they are life threatening. The National Sleep Foundation says the average adult needs 8.25 hours...

    Healthier Relationships = Better Health

    Healthier Relationships = Better Health

    Research clearly shows the importance of relationships in having and maintaining healthy lives. People with healthy relationships are fifty percent less likely to die prematurely, are better able to cope with stress, are healthier, and feel better about their lives. …

    Deciphering Anger: What It’s Trying to Tell You

    Deciphering Anger: What It’s Trying to Tell You

    Anger is a universal emotion—everyone feels it at different times and to varying degrees. Anger arises in many contexts and the experience ranges from mild irritation (often referred to as “frustration” by women since culture doesn’t like angry women) to…

    E is for Empathy: How Parents Teach Empathy

    E is for Empathy: How Parents Teach Empathy

    At the holidays, many of us take stock of the blessings in our lives and look for ways to give to those who have less than we do. It is also a time when children are frequently heard saying, “I…

    Accepting the Unacceptable

    Accepting the Unacceptable

    The other day a friend told me about a loved one who just received a cancer diagnosis and will require chemotherapy, radiation and a life altering surgery. He’s seriously considering not treating the cancer at all. My friend is very,…

    Putting a HALT to our Self-Destructive Behaviors

    Putting a HALT to our Self-Destructive Behaviors

    How many times have most of us vowed “I’m done [insert your favorite unhealthy behavior], and I’m never doing it again,” only to find yourself doing it again? How frustrating. Yet this is the experience most of us have when attempting…

    Preventing Suicide: Why Talking About “It” Is Essential

    Preventing Suicide: Why Talking About “It” Is Essential
    September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year and for every individual who dies by suicide, 25 others...

    College and the Parenting Role Shift – from Director to Cheerleader

    College and the Parenting Role Shift – from Director to Cheerleader
    The FASFA has been successfully completed, acceptance letters responded to and dorm room supplies purchased…and yet… The shift in roles when sending a child away to college is as scary and significant as the change in roles when you become...

    Tips for Finding Calm During Chaos

    Tips for Finding Calm During Chaos
    We all experience moments of absolute chaos…the kids are screaming, the phone is ringing, something is boiling over on the stove or a major project must be completed for work. Emotions can overwhelm us, overriding our better instincts to not...

    Tips for Forming Healthier Sleep Habits

    Tips for Forming Healthier Sleep Habits
    Sleep Deprivation Can be Life Threatening Over Time. Statistics say most Americans are chronically sleep deprived. This affects us subtly, over time—the effects build until they are life threatening. The National Sleep Foundation says the average adult needs 8.25 hours...

    The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

    The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

    Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. People struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live next door, teach your children, work in the next cubicle or sit…

    Addressing Teen Dating Violence

    Addressing Teen Dating Violence
    April 4-8, 2016 is National Youth Violence Prevention Week. When you think of dating violence, the images that pop into your head are probably not images of 11 or 12 year olds. However, teen dating violence is epidemic at both...

    9 Daily Habits to Boost Your Outlook on Life

    9 Daily Habits to Boost Your Outlook on Life
    Our society often tells us that happiness comes from outside of ourselves…marrying Mr. or Miss Right, landing the promotion, affording a dream vacation, getting chosen for the lead in the school play or winning the championship. However, “happiness is an...

    Protecting Teens from Self-Injury

    Protecting Teens from Self-Injury
    Parents, teachers, and other adults go to great lengths to protect teenagers from harm. Yet, within any group of adolescents, statistics indicate one of every five females and one of every seven males either are currently engaging or have engaged...

    Self Image: What Do You See in the Mirror?

    Self Image: What Do You See in the Mirror?
      Mirrors are everywhere and each one provides the opportunity for self-affirmation or self-criticism. Most men and women see their bodies as a compilation of unacceptable features. As women pass a mirror they to see big thighs, jiggling arms, protruding...

    Navigating Loss and Change During the Holidays

    Navigating Loss and Change During the Holidays
    Holidays mean time spent with loved ones - a concept most of us grew up believing. Holiday traditions create an atmosphere of warmth and togetherness each year and provide a sense of comfort and belonging. However, recreating that cozy holiday...

    Navigating the Blended “Yours, Mine and Ours” Holidays

    Navigating the Blended “Yours, Mine and Ours” Holidays
    Four Parents, Sixteen Grandparents, Ten Christmas Celebrations, Split Holiday Vacation... While this could be some strange rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" it actually represents the challenging reality blended families face. The holidays add stress every family must navigate,...

    Mental Illness Stigma Persists, Keeps People From Seeking Help

    Mental Illness Stigma Persists, Keeps People From Seeking Help
    By Jean Holthaus, LISW October 4 - 10 is National Mental Illness Awareness Week Approximately 44 million American adults experience a mental illness in any given year, but less than half will receive treatment because of stigma and discrimination. Although...