Category: Family

Why I Love Boundaries

I’m going to nerd out a bit and talk about my favorite topic: boundaries! I know that sounds ridiculous, but I had never heard of boundaries prior to becoming a therapist. I’ve come to love boundaries and, as something that has helped me so much, boundaries happen to be my fave discussion! My Story I used to have really horrible boundaries. I let people walk all over me, and I was constantly giving and giving… and giving. It felt like I didn’t have strong connections with family and friends, and I felt alone. It was awful feeling like I was

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How to Navigate Bullying with Your Children

Navigating bullying starts as early as pre-school and early elementary school. Kiddos and teens have to consistently deal with bullying not just in-person but through social media. So how do we parents help our children navigate through this dilemma, especially when bullying starts so young? How do we even know bullying is happening when our children probably don’t understand the concept yet? There are four key things parents can do to prevent and navigate the reality of bullying: Talk to your children Listen for red flags Exemplify self-care Know the lesson you want them to learn Next, we’ll break these

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How To Enforce Boundaries

Hi, parents of teenagers! How are you holding up? Seriously… you okay? I know it’s rough. On top of navigating their moodiness, you’re trying to keep them safe and give them more independence. You hope that they’re making good choices. Because you don’t want them to make the same mistakes you did, and you try to be there whenever they need you. You wonder if their friends are good influences. Maybe you wonder if their struggles are normal or if they are evidence that you failed somehow… I might be projecting a bit on that last one.  Thankfully, there is

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Advocating for Our Children’s Needs

Most of us know without being taught that children are defenseless from the moment they are born. Think about it — a newborn baby cannot regulate their own body temperature. Their eyesight is nearsighted at best. These little nuggets can’t even hold their own heads up! Without the support of their parents, babies are completely defenseless. So, they need us: their grown-ups. Advocating for our children’s needs is one of our most important duties as parents if we want to them to survive and then succeed. Please don’t misunderstand me. What defenseless newborns need from their parents looks much different

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Thank you, Teachers! -Dawn Institute

180 days. Teachers have our children 180 days of the year. That’s 180 mornings when some kids just do not want to wake up. That’s 180 afternoons of teachers rushing kids out the door with all — or at least most — of their belongings. It’s 180 days of standing in the sun, rain, dust, or cold, getting kids back to their caretakers. 180 days worth of lesson plans and preparation. Yet without fail, teachers are there to support our kids! So on behalf of Dawn Institute and parents everywhere, I cannot emphasize this enough: THANK YOU, teachers! For Supporting

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A Letter From an Overwhelmed Child

Dear Parent, I feel overwhelmed. School is going to start soon and I need you to know what is happening inside of me. I am very excited because there is so much about to happen. I get to start over with a new teacher. I’m going to see friends that I have not seen all summer. Everyone will see me again, and I am excited for them to see how much I’ve grown and the image I’m making for myself. I Feel Overwhelmed With Feelings Even though it often feels good, this excitement can feel overwhelming. When these feelings get

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The Good Enough Parent

Do you ever feel like a terrible parent? Do you have moments when you lost your patience or “blew up” that you look back on with shame and guilt and think, “I’m totally messing my kid up!”? You are not alone. Parenting is hard and, as fully-human beings, none of us do it perfectly. We all make mistakes. Perfection Not Needed I have good news for you! You don’t have to be a perfect parent; you just need to be a GOOD ENOUGH parent. Being a good enough parent rather than the perfect parent is actually better for your child.

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The Loss in Disability

Disability is something that most people don’t think will happen in their life.  Still, the disability community is the largest minority in society today with one in four individuals born with or acquiring a disability at some point over their lifetime. With this commonality comes a shared difficult experience of coping with disability, which is often unexpected. There is a unique grief and loss which accompanies disability that is difficult for others outside the experience to understand. This experience is called “ambiguous loss.”  My Story At twenty-three my mind was as far from disability as it could possibly be. I was young, healthy, and enjoying

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Raising Them to Leave Us Fostering Resilience  Pt. 2

Fostering resilience in teens can be scary for us as parents as we learned in Part 1 of this blog post. By providing them with the appropriate supports, we are helping them to launch successfully into adulthood. Early development of resilience. The fundamentals of resiliency start in infancy and continue on into early childhood. During this period, little ones are completely reliant on their primary attachment figure, be it a parent or other caregiver, to meet their every need. Through this bond they learn to trust and that they are worthy of having their needs met. Lots of nurturing and lots of

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Raising Them to Leave Us: Fostering Resilience

As a parent, our primary job is to protect our kids. It sounds simple, right? Well, that’s what I thought when I became a mother to a bouncing baby boy. You see, I didn’t have the greatest beginning to life so decided I was going to use my experience to my advantage. I thought to myself, I truly know about the awful things that my fellow parent-friends didn’t know so I was going to be able to spot every red flag before there’s even a hint of danger and my kids would be so much better off for it. I was

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