Dawn Institute strives to provide quality educational material free of charge to our community. Browse our extensive catalog of articles written by our therapists on a variety of mental health topics.



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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Partnering With Teachers

As a new school year begins and parents and caregivers are beginning to meet teachers, let’s ask, “What does effective partnering with teachers look like?” On my first day as a caregiver to a school-age child, I had no idea how to answer that question. I was a new foster mom and I was pretty clueless as to how everything worked. I overshared with the teacher in a well-meaning but misplaced attempt to partner with her. Since then, we have learned a lot as we have moved several times and been a part of public schools, private schools, charter schools,

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How Educators Support Mental Health in Classrooms

50% of all mental disorders surface by the time children are 14 years of age. 75% surface by the age of 25 (Victoria State Government, 2022). What do these two statistics have in common? These are the years young people are in formal education. Thus, mental disorders are often presenting for the first time when students are in school. If mental health isn’t a priority in classrooms, what will that mean for young students beginning to present signs of mental illness? Educators often spend more time with children than anyone else during the school year. Let’s work out the math.

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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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Boundaries and Your Teen

Hey, parents! Do you sometimes have a hard time telling friends, coworkers, or family members “no”? Or, alternatively, have you been accused of keeping everyone at arm’s length? These are hallmark signs of having poor boundaries. Of course, boundaries are challenging and an expansive topic, but today we are focusing on boundaries with your teen or… bless your heart if this applies to you… teenagers. If you’ve ever participated in one of my parenting groups, you know I’m down to earth, I tell it like it is, and I often find a way to see the funny in life as

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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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