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July 25, 2016
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Three Simple Parenting Approaches

Many parents are presently bombarded with thousands of parenting programs. While there are many successful programs it is often hard for a parent to find a program that fits the needs of their family and one that can be remembered in the moment parenting skills are needed. I have met with many parents during my years as a therapist who have lost confidence in these programs because of their complexity and how complicated they are to implement. I have searched for parenting strategies that are simple to learn and easy for a parent to recall in crucial parenting moments. Here […]
June 21, 2016
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Step 1: Develop a Relationship with Your Teen

Is your son or daughter unresponsive to your efforts to connect, discipline, coerce or persuade? Do you find it frustrating when they ignore house rules or direction? You might even have suggested that they go play a sport that they used to love only to have your idea fall on deaf ears. Why do teens shut down or turn off the efforts of family members or other authority figures? Sometimes the answer is outside of our control but much of the time the reason is because your relationship isn’t where it needs to be. Yes, the answer might be that […]
May 5, 2016
Smiling happy teenage girl sitting in front of her parents

The “Golden Ticket” to Support & Perspective

“What am I supposed to do about my son?” “Why is this so hard? “Who can I talk to?” Parent conference weekend just wrapped up at Heritage, which was a marvelous opportunity for parents to rub shoulders with others in their same boat.  After a few hours spent together, learning and discussing this intensely emotional path, one father summed up the parent experience by saying “It’s like we’ve been given a golden ticket to an exclusive club – one we didn’t know existed.”  The chuckles from the rest of the parents in the room made it clear that this description hit […]
April 27, 2016
Teenage girl rolling her eyes in front of angry parents

Principle Centered Parenting, Finding Common Ground

I was recently working with a set of parents who were frustrated with each other because of how the other was parenting. The father was very task oriented and was continually “hounding” (according to mom) their son to clean his room, do his homework, get off the computer, to do something with his life besides playing video games, etc. The father quickly shot back that mother was too permissive and didn’t follow through with consequences, that she was too lenient. Each of the parents looked at me hoping I would take their side and prove to the other who was […]
March 14, 2016
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Peers Academy

Building Social Strengths through Awareness, Role-playing and Reinforcement Think back to your teenage years…what pops into your mind? Friends, school, budding romance, hanging out, feeling awkward, dating, erratic emotions, confusion, beginning independence, and the list could go on. For those individuals without mental health issues, the teenage years are challenging, but add a mental health issue and all these issues become overwhelming! At Heritage we specialize in identifying these unique issues and help create a pathway of learning and encouragement through our therapeutic framework. One main element in this therapeutic framework is known as our Peers Academy program. PEERS stands for […]
March 8, 2016
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Talking to Your Teens About Sex

Over the years working with adolescents and their families I have found that many times people find themselves in situations they are not prepared for.  As parents we want to protect and help our children grow up safe and smart. We want them to understand how the world works and be prepared for what life will bring to each of them. And yet, sometimes we shy away from certain topics because it is more comfortable for us not to have hard conversations. The human mind is amazing. Adolescents go through rapid changes during a short amount of time. Perhaps it […]
February 15, 2016
Father and Son

“And Then Puberty Kicked In”

In my career I have always loved working with teenagers, they always keep things exciting.  Teenagers are growing and learning through many developmental experiences.  One of these experiences is puberty.  This was illustrated to me by my own son.  He came into our room one night and woke me and my wife up because he couldn’t sleep.  He was obviously distressed.  We had him sit on our bed and we started questioning him why he couldn’t sleep.  He went through a number of life stressors that he was going through at this time.  He mentioned his science project that was […]
February 2, 2016
Family Fun

Creating a Positive Family Culture

As we exit the holiday season and start the New Year, I have been reflecting a lot on the importance of quality time, tradition, and cultivating family culture.  Culture is defined in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary as, “a particular society that has its own beliefs, way of life, customs, art, etc.”  What this definition doesn’t explain is that culture is usually created very organically, and has many unwritten nuances and rules. The organic nature of culture is often so subtle that we rarely take the time to identify or consider what we are projecting as important to our children. So […]
January 25, 2016
Father And Teenage Son Having A Hug

How to Avoid Stand-offs With Your Teenager

Born and raised in the great state of Texas, I’m a big western movie fan. I own more Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies than I should admit. There’s something about a high noon showdown that reminds me of the way I unintentionally square off against my stubborn children sometimes. I’m guessing you can relate. The foundation of any relationship is communication. To improve parent-child communication, a simple but difficult strategy is to show up at high noon, drop our gun holster on the ground and kick it away with our hands empty saying, “let’s talk about this, what’s going […]
September 2, 2015
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Let Them Make Mistakes

By Alaina I’d love to shelter my children from heartache, struggle and pain. Having been down the road they are now traveling, surely I can steer them around many of the potholes and roadblocks, making their journey much easier. After all, I can see the big picture much better so I’d make an ideal navigator, right? The problem is, I can’t be there every moment and eventually they’ll be far away from my safe shelter. What happens when life comes at them without my buffer? As the pediatrician often reminds me, “You’re not raising a child here, you’re creating an […]

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