How to Help Kids Find Balance with Technology

I was part of that generation of kids who spent hot summer afternoons outdoors, playing hopscotch and tag with my playmates. While that didn't exactly make me a top athlete or a social butterfly, it at least left me with memories of an exciting and adventurous childhood. We got creative and comfortable in dealing with other kids. Well, that was in the early '90s, when the internet had yet to become a household name, and playing electronic games was a privilege of well-off kids. ...more
Love the idea of a gadget-free zone! I love my iPhone, so I understand the appeal of technology ...more

How I Learned a Few Social Skills

I thought my social skills were bad until I encountered a woman who asked me, "Do you have mental problems?" (She recognized me from our mutual psychiatrist's waiting room, but still....)With practice, however, I have been able to improve my casual conversation skills, at least enough to get by in some situations, as long as they don't last more than an hour. Here are my secrets. They do take practice. I have been fortunate to have had people to practice with – friends, coworkers, and of course my husband....more

How To Not Be Awkward

There was a meme on the internets the other day, it went like this:I will not be awkward today.Person: “Hey.”Me: “Good, thanks!”I high-fived the screen and rolled on the floor laughing alone thinking “OMG ME EVERY DAY!”But it actually cued an uncomfortable reality I’d been facing in recent months: I really hadn’t had a sense of confidence when confronted with questions about my life, and it’s left me in awkwardly dangling or abruptly ended conversations that could have felt a lot better....more

Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

"Come out of your shell"...  That noxious expression that fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter wherever they go, and that some humans are just the same.   -Susan Cain...more

Calming Coping Skills

As a counselor, I know it’s important for everyone, both kids and adults, to know and use coping skills.  Coping skills are activities anyone can do to help manage difficult thoughts and feelings or challenging situations. Not all coping skills work in every situation, so it’s good to have a variety to help manage different challenges.  When I think about coping skills, I tend to divide them into 4 categories  - Calming, Physical, Distractions and Processing....more

Please pass the talking feather

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness."  ~Margaret Millar...more

The Lost (and FOund) Art of Conversation

Just like in the 80's when The Buggles sang about video killing the radio star, many people today are bemoaning that technology is killing the art of conversation. With messaging, emails, texting, tweeting, and every other form of technology-aided communication, some folks are saying we're losing our ability to have conversations with people and listen to more than 140 characters at a time....more

How Do I Teach My Kid Social Skills?

I have a 6-year old who doesn't want to be friendly to other kids. How can I help her?photocredit...more

Flummox and Friends: Making TV for Quirky Kids

When you were a kid, did you ever wish Schoolhouse Rock taught lessons about playground social dynamics as well as math and science? A socially awkward child like I was certainly could have used something like Flummox and Friends, the new "off-beat, live action television show designed to help kids navigate the social and emotional world." I talked with Christa Dahlstrom, Flummox and Friends creator, about why her show is so needed, why you and your kids should watch its pilot, and what her next steps will be....more
Great interview! I did a short follow-up on this too:

How Apps Can Support Your Child's Social Skills

Sometimes I think social skills apps are redundant, since iPads are themselves such social magnets. These tablets can motivate kids of all abilities to interact, and give them a common ground for communicating....more
Very interesting only because that no need too much time to explain complicated thing to ...more