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Kathy Marshack News

Parents - Be Alert to Signs of Bullying

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Bullying has become a major problem for American youths. You’ve probably heard stories in the media recently of young ones taking their lives because of bullying. If you are a parent, no doubt you are concerned about your children and what they are dealing with at school. You may not be able to completely stop bullying, but there are things that you can do to protect your children and help them cope with bullies. The key is for you to be alert to the symptoms and then take proactive measures.

Be Alert to the Symptoms


Your child may be reluctant to tell you that they are being bullied, so you must be alert to symptoms that could indicate that they are being bullied. Here are some things to be on the lookout for:


- physical trauma like bruises and scratches,
- declining grades,
- fear of attending school or regularly feeling sick before going to school,
- change in appetite,
- and a refusal to talk.

Be Proactive


If you suspect that your child may be bullied, you must be proactive and work with your child to handle the situation. By proactive by…

- Asking questions. Work to create an open dialog with your child about what they are going through. Be patient, it may take some time to get your child to open up to you. Try a variety of different questioning methods. You can try being direct, but if that doesn't work, you may have to question them in a more shrewd, roundabout way.

- Having practice sessions. Work with your child by teaching them ways that they can cope with the bully. Teach them that fighting back is never the answer. Practice how to assertively speak to a bully. If that doesn't work, then encourage them to walk away from the situation and tell an adult afterward. Create different scenarios and role play.

- Setting a good example. Your children watch you constantly. If you want to raise a strong and confident child, show them how to do it. Do not be a bully yourself.

- Speaking to the school. Don’t assume that teachers know what’s going on at school. Make sure you voice any concerns immediately so you can come up with a prevention plan.

For more proactive tips, visit the article - How can parents help to prevent bullying at their child's school?

 

At times, professional help from a mental health care professional may be necessary. If you live in the Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA area, please contact our office for more information.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Child Physically Active

Monday, October 04, 2010


Most of us are aware of the many benefits of exercise for ourselves and our children. New research is uncovering an additional benefit to having a physically active child. According to a study performed at the University of Illinois, children who are more physically fit have a better memory than children who are not fit. (The study focused on children between the ages of 9 and 10.) By using an MRI, researchers measured the hippocampus, which is an area in the brain known for memory and learning. The physically fit children had a larger hippocampus and did better on tests relating to relational memory. For a more details on this study, read - Children's Brain Development Is Linked to Physical Fitness, Research Finds.

It is important for parents to help keep their children healthy and active. It's definitely not always easy, but the benefits are well worth it. Here are a few tips to help you get your children back in shape:

1. Be a good example. If you want your children to be active, then so should you. Children learn more from example than just hearing your words.

2. Set a limit on television, internet, and video games. Have times during the day where the whole family unplugs. Active games like Wi™ are fun and can be good exercise but it shouldn’t replace a bike ride, nature walk or the jungle gym at your local park.

3. Make exercise part of your regular family schedule. Schedule time everyday for something active. Ask your child if they have any suggestions.

4. Keep it fun! If you don't then your child will resent it.

Don't wait. Get your children moving and they will benefit mentally, emotionally, academically and of course physically. Visit Parenting for more tips on how to be a good parent.

Do You Have a Gifted Child?

Friday, September 24, 2010


Have you ever wondering if your child is gifted? A gifted person according to the National Association of Gifted Children is, "someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression.” It is generally recognized that approximately five percent of the student population, or three million children, in the United States are considered gifted.

A child would be considered gifted if they excelled in these areas:

 

  • General intellectual ability or talent
  • Specific academic aptitude or talent
  • Creative and productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual and performing arts

If you feel like your child is gifted, it is important to observe their behavior. Ask yourself:

  • Is your child intense?
  • Is he/she a perfectionist?
  • Has your child been identified by your school district as “gifted”?
  • Is your child an “underachiever”?
  • Is your child a rebel?
  • Is your child a leader?
  • Does your child prefer adults or older children rather than same-age playmates?
  • Do you feel awkward talking about your child’s gifts to other parents?
  • Does your child “dumb-down” in order to fit in?

If you answered, “yes” to one or more of the questions listed above about your child you will probably benefit from an individual intellectual and achievement evaluation by a qualified psychologist. If they conclude that your child is indeed gifted, then seek specific guidance and training for them. Gifted children are fundamentally different and need help to learn social, interpersonal and self-development skills to relate to the rest of humanity. By doing this you can understand and perhaps even avoid some common problems gifted children commonly face such as a lack of motivation, boredom, perfectionism, cynicism and even depression. For more information visit Guiding A Gifted Child on my website.

Families in Business – The Benefits of Volunteering

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


In families that share family and business, it is easy for their time to be taken up by the essentials of daily living.  It can become a work-and-little-play situation.  If this scenario sounds all too familiar, think about balancing out the family by incorporating volunteering into your family’s lifestyle.  What? You have no time, you say?  Well, consider what family volunteering can do for you and your family, before you conclusively make up your mind.

Family volunteering produces quality time.  This includes:

      Establishing common bonds while helping others. 

      Discovering new knowledge about each other. 

      Mutual respect as demonstrating skills and learning new ones are processed. 

      Deeper and meaningful conversations around the dinner table.

Convinced, but need help getting started?  Call a family meeting and take time to consider this whole idea. Make sure everyone, no matter how young, participates in the discussion. You might want to proceed this way:

      Explore and list current volunteer efforts.

      Everyone has a community concern.  Discuss each person’s concern.

      Consider the possibilities and efforts involved.  Be realistic in determining how much time and effort the family can afford.

To arrive at the best volunteering scenario for your family may require several family meetings, but if you are looking for meaningful and quality time together, this time will be well spent. A one-time activity may be a good place to start. Perhaps look close to home for an opportunity, such as raking leaves for an elderly neighbor.  This will provide an opportunity to see how everyone likes volunteering together.

Show your children that volunteer work is important and meaningful by taking your commitment seriously. Even when things are hectic, keep the commitment alive by talking and planning. Think about how this experience will enable you to pass along your legacy of values and ethics to your children, giving them not only an important example, but wonderful family memories as well. 

 

 


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