1. Middle Schooler’s Struggle with COVID

    Q: My daughter is struggling. The new Zoom structure at LPMS is a huge adjustment. She’s moody, cranky, crying all the time. She was sensitive before but now she’s beside herself. She’s lethargic, has nightmares, worries excessively. She frets about my leaving the house, afraid I’m going to get Covid. She freaks out about tracking her assignments online. I just don’t know what to do to s…Read More

  2. Role Play Groups

    Q: Our son had a hard time making solid friendships in elementary school. We were hopeful this year’s change to middle school, and all the new kids that would involve, would result in a fresh opportunity at developing his posse.  Unfortunately with Covid and 100% virtual schooling, all of those plans have been scuttled. We feel so bad for him, any advice for us? A: Making new friends in a virtu…Read More

  3. What’s the difference between DBT Programs and DBT Informed Therapy?

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is Dr. Marsha Linehan’s adaptation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with the primary goal of providing individuals with relevant coping skills for their daily lives. With radical self-acceptance at the core of DBT work, all-or-nothing thinking patterns are discouraged. Instead a middle path of thinking patterns, behaviors, and approaches to life is fostere…Read More

  4. What’s the Connection Between Attachment Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

    What is Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)? An ODD is a complex and serious disorder that is diagnosed in about 10% of children seen by a mental health professional. Kids with this disorder are typically argumentative, irritable, angry, and (occasionally) vindictive to an extent not seen in the average rebellious child, and the behavior is seen for at least six months in one or more settings.  …Read More

  5. Role-play Games Build Confidence and Keep Kids Connected

    Are you worried the stay-in-place efforts to keep our community safe are leaving your kids lonely and isolated? You’re not alone. In a study on the impact of social isolation and loneliness on the mental health of children and adolescents, Dr Loades and her researchers found that children and adolescents can experience high rates of depression and anxiety during and after forced isolation, addin…Read More

  6. Returning to College During COVID-19

    Q: I’m supposed to return to college at the end of August. Florida is a hotspot and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. My parents are nervous about me going back. I’ve heard them arguing about it a couple of times. I have mixed feelings too. I miss my friends. I’m bored beyond belief here in Gaithersburg, but I also know kids are not making good choices about COVID safety. So I don’…Read More

  7. Is your teen locked behind a mask of COVID-19 indifference? Five tips to help you get behind the mask.

    We are all moving from one coping strategy to another as we settle into the long grind of dealing with the implications of COVID-19. One minute we’re laughing at dark humor, the next we’re crying, or snapping at our spouse. Our teens are doing the same thing, but they’re teens, so we may not recognize their process. Instead of watching hours on end of news coverage about the virus, they may …Read More

  8. Coronavirus School Closures are Wrecking My Senior Year

    Originally published in our Laudable Life advice column in the Lakelands Leader Q:  I’ve got kids in both high school and in college. The coronavirus disruption to school has affected all of them. My oldest is a senior in college. It looks like he may not be coming back the school year. I’m heartbroken for him that they may not have a formal graduation ceremony after all of these years of har…Read More

  9. Are Video Games Addictive?

    Originally published in our Laudable Life advice column in the Lakelands Leader Q: My 15-year-old son loves playing video games. It feels like that’s all he ever wants to do and although we sometimes joke that he’s “addicted,” I do worry that he spends too much time in games and not in real life. Can you really be addicted to video games? Are there specific signs I should look for?  A: Ac…Read More

  10. School Pressure: Gift & Talented, Magnet, and IB Programs

    Question: My child is considering applying to a magnet program for middle school. It seems like a great opportunity if he is accepted, but are there any negative consequences for children in these advanced schools? Answer: Gifted & Talented, Magnet, and IB Programs are often dream schools for hardworking students looking to pursue a more rigorous course of study. While these programs can be en…Read More