Say the right thing when your child is upset

 When you’re upset, has anyone ever told you to “just stop crying” or “don’t be sad”? Is it helpful? Is it that easy just to automatically stop crying or to feel differently (aka better) at a moment when you are really down? Unless you have super powers, it’s near impossible to change how you feel at the drop of a hat....more

Get your worry in check with this one simple trick

 I’m a worrier and I always have been. I’m not sure if it’s my genetics, being the oldest child in my family, or the way I was raised, but in any case, I’ve had worry lines on my forehead since I was ten years old. I remember my parents always saying to me “Luisa, just relax!” But as anyone who worries knows, this is easier said than done....more

5 reasons marijuana is detrimental to the teen brain

 Marijuana has been known as the gateway drug of teen substance use for decades. It's often thought of as less harmful and consequential than other drugs because it's "natural" and now legal in many parts of our country. In the U.S....more
Dr. Luisa, no one is advocating teen use (with the exception of medical application)  anymore ...more

How to make the perfect excuse with these 3 simple tips

 Making excuses: we all do it. Why? Because it makes us feel better, right? If you can justify why you forgot to pick up dinner… why you didn’t meet that deadline at work… or why you made that nasty comment to your spouse in front of the kids, the crime seems a little less deadly. Excuses get us off the hook, deflect responsibility, and make us feel less guilty about our wrongdoings....more

The skinny on autism: The top 7 things you really need to know

 Autism has been a hot topic for the past several years. Like any other topic in the spotlight of the media, there is a ton of information out there about autism- some of which is great (and when I say great, I mean valid) and some of which is not so great (Ahem… untrue)....more

Too much praise... Is there such a thing?

We’ve all heard the warnings about how too much praise can go to a child’s head. And we live in a day and age when children are given ribbons for participation and awards for “best effort.” Many people claim too much praise breeds narcissism, haughtiness, and an unrealistic sense of self. If a child is constantly showered with compliments and never provided with constructive criticism, that child’s ego IS likely to suffer....more

The punishment pitfall: Why punishing your child is bound to backfire

Kids do some horrendous stuff. Flushing your wedding ring down the toilet, emptying the ENTIRE surplus size container of baby powder onto the new carpet, sneaking into the pantry and eating the whole, previously unopened bag of Pirate’s Booty…. the list is endless. It’s every parent’s first instinct to lay the punishment on thick when something like this happens....more

What to say (and what to avoid saying) when a friend is suffering

Early last week I received some harrowing news. An old friend of mine lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. He was young. He was healthy. And they had a family. I grappled with how to respond. What do I do? What should I say? How should I say it? It took me awhile to wrap my head around the situation and get my own emotions in check. When I did, I wrote a message and later in the week, I sent a card....more

The homework battle: Stop fighting and start writing

Homework. Just mentioning the word makes me cringe and brings back horrors from my own youth. The fights, the worry, the late nights. The hours spent thinking up excuses to explain why those pesky math problems didn’t get finished....more