When you need more than “I don’t know”: The High/Low Game

The school year has finally begun and you are dying to know how your child’s day went.  How was their teacher?  Were their peers nice to them? Did they find the work hard? So you ask your child and, after a long pause where you think he or she is thinking about a response, you get, “I don’t know” or “Nothing”.  You are left starving for more but you don’t know what else to ask.  And now you are just frustrated.

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Getting your children to talk about their day can be challenging, especially if you want to know if he or she is experiencing stress oranxiety.  On one hand, you don’t want your child focusing only on the negative parts of the day.  We don’t want to begin the pattern of mental filtering early, after all. (Note: Mental filtering refers to the tendency to filter out the positive things and focus on the negative things, even when the positive things outweigh the negative).  It is essential to encourage balanced thinking by prompting our children to think not only about the negative parts of their day, but the highlights of their day as well.  We also don’t want to ask them close-ended questions that require them only to answer with one word (ex. “How was your day?” Good. “Did you learn anything fun?” No.).Continue reading “When you need more than “I don’t know”: The High/Low Game”

The Importance of Bedtime Routines with Children and Youth

Does your child/youth have difficulties falling asleep at night?  Do you find them walking in and out of their room, making several excuses about why they are still awake (“I have to go to the bathroom”, “I am thirsty”, “I forgot to tell you something”)?

Are you a child or youth who has been finding it hard to fall asleep?  Do you have a lot of thoughts that seem to race through your mind, just when you are trying to rest?  Are you waking up tired because you haven’t had a good night’s sleep?

Sleep problems can be very frustrating and can contribute to several challenges, both physically (ex. Fatigue, muscle tension, physical illness) and emotionally (ex. Difficulty concentrating, anxiety, irritability).  As a counsellor and a mother of young ones, I have learned the importance of emphasizing bedtime routines, which include calm activities and relaxation strategies.  Bedtime routines are crucial in training your mind to fall asleep after a sequence of activities that are predictable and consistent.Continue reading “The Importance of Bedtime Routines with Children and Youth”

New beginnings…

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I am very happy to announce that I will be offering individual, family, and group therapy services to children and youth in Orangeville!  This is a very new and exciting endeavor and I look forward to meeting and supporting new people and families.

For more information, please explore my website or send me your questions and comments in the Contacts section.

Cindy

Embrace •  Educate  •  Empower