What do you tell your children when faced with life style changes?

What to say to your child when you are facing life-style changes:

  1. Listen attentively. Their real concerns may not be what you think.  move7Children are most concerned with aspects of change that affect them directly, like changing schools or after-school activities or friends. They may care very little who’s fault the change was or how upset the adults are unless they are pulled into taking sides.
  2. Domove8n’t try to talk them out of their feelings right away. It makes children feel you can’t handle seeing them upset and they will  try to “protect” you by not sharing with you how they really feel in the future. Validate and paraphrase back what they say to you. Go easy on the evidence about why they should feel differently or want something you can’t give them.
  3. Speak move3often about your own gratitude, even if you are also worried about financial changes. It’s okay to hold more than one feeling at a time. Children can benefit from having adults model that ambivalent feelings (feeling opposite emotions) are okay and do not need to be minimized or invalidated.
  4. Find ways to help children learn to give to others (volunteer, give to the homeless, help another child at school, etc.). Volunteering is one of the best ways to help children build good self-esteem,
  5. Tell stories of difficult times you have overcome in your life. Children love to hear move5stories about parents and grandparents’ childhoods, as long as they are not given as examples to shame or humiliate them (i.e., “I walked two miles to school in the snow and you shouldn’t complain about…”). Share your stories of courage and family ties.
  6. This is the time to convey your spiritual values. Let your child know how you view the bigger picture. Do you believe you are guided? Provided for? Not alone? There are lessons and empowerment to be had?change
  7. State often and out loud the upside of the changes (i.e., We’ll have more time together. We’ll have a park nearby. We’ll get to see your cousins more often. etc.)
  8. If children see you upset, let them know it is okay to feel scared, sad, angry, etc. AND let tmove4hem know that you can “handle” it.
  9. Try hard not to compare (how things were, what others have, what you could be doing, how their siblings or cousins are doing things better, etc.).
  10. Be honest if something they want is not currently in the budget. Don’t shame them for having desires and wishes. And don’t make them responsible if you have to say “no”. Teach them you are strong enough to respect that they have age appropriate hopes and dreams and your saying “no” or “not now” is not their fault. Help them set up a long-term plan to get what they want.
  11. Celebrate. Demonstrate joy. Have special acknowledgments for their accomplishments (They get to choose what’s for dessert. They get to eat on a special plate. Decorate their chair with their clothes and a cut out drawing of their face. Have a picnic outside in their honor.)
  12. Keep some of their activmove2ities the same. With most changes there are a few things that can remain the same.
  13. Help them keep a journal of their feelings and the changes they are facing. Be their scribe and write down their ideas at the end of the day. Help them cut out pictures from magazines and create a collage journal. Let them draw pictures of their feelings and daily events.
  14. Take care of your own feelings. Don’t make children responsible to be your sounding board, or blame them for making you feel stressed. Don’t vent to them about whoever you believe to be at “fault”. Let children be children. Making child en an adult’s emotional peers robs them of the innocence and protection of childhood. Vent to adult friends or in support groups or to a therapist.
  15. Forgive yourself. In every decision, you have done the best you could see to do at the time. Looking backwards we may see many other alternatives, but at the moment of decisions you did the best you could see to do at the time. move6


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Eat Healthier a Little Bite at a Time

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I have found over the past thirty years of treating clients that diet strongly affects mood and emotional health.

Even when clients are motivated to improve their diets, many of them are so accustomed to fast food, stuck in bad habits, or just very busy with little time to shop, wash, cut, dice and cook that they feel overwhelmed and never venture out to new ways of eating. Many of them have never been given the chance to acquire a taste for a wide variety of produce and attractive delicious food picked from nature.

I encourage anyone who wants eat healthier to find fun efficient ways to add better choice2016-01-28 19.48.30s into their daily lives.

A few easy tips:

Start by adding more water into your diet. Staying hydrated helps curb hunger and can increase metabolism. Add fruit (strawberries, pineapple slices, mint or watermelon chunks) to a pitcher of filtered or sparkling water to flavor it.

Add in more of whatever fruits and vegetables you already eat. If you like apples or grapes keep them washed and out on your kitchen counter where you can grab them. If you like tomatoes, avocados or onions on your sandwiches, add in more. Make healthy swaps for less healthy food.

Smoothies are also a yummy way to begin eating more fresh produce. There are many easy recipes available. Experiment, be creative and write down combinations of frozen fruit, chopped vegetables and protein powders you like. There are many YouTube videos to spark your ideas. Many smoothies can be made to taste like ice cream or your favorite frozen dessert. They are a great way to get kids to eat more produce or eat a quick breakfast before school.

Plant vegetables in gardening pots. Vegetables are more delicious when you grow them yourself. Plant basil and tomatoes for Caprese salads or pasta sauce. Plant radishes and carrots for a quick crop to pick.        IMG_4450

Watch videos for ideas of quick sweet and healthy snacks. Easy recipes are available at One Green Planet as well.

Try out new restaurants that specialize in beautiful and whole food dishes. You will get great ideas by enjoying what the expert chefs prepare just fir you. Make a date with someone you want to grow healthy with. Native Foods, Seasons Fifty-two, True Food Kitchen, Veggie Grill, Rutabegorz, Green 2 Go, 

Here’s to a healthier you!

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When is Your Senior Loved One Unsafe to Drive?

Driving is one activity that we associate with freedom and autonomy. While most people attained their drivers licenses as adolescents, many aging adults think of driving as a right rather than a privilege. The task of convincing an aging parent or grandparent to retire their license to freedom when they are no longer safe on the road, often falls to their adult children and grandchildren. Rarely is this an easy conversation. But if it becomes necessary, one that can be managed with dignity and respect. 2016-01-22 07.56.50

What to ask yourself:

The first step before beginning the conversation with your elderly loved one is to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How comfortable am I driving with them?
  2. Does my loved one exhibit delayed responses to unexpected situations?
  3. Does my loved one incorrectly signal while driving?
  4. Do I find ways to avoid being a passenger when they drive?
  5. Are there new scrapes or dents on their car, garage or mailbox?
  6. Are they using a “copilot” when they drive?
  7. Am I avoiding the conversation about not driving anymore because I don’t want to upset them?
  8. Am I worried about how they will get to the grocery store and to appointments?

What to ask your loved one:

Sometimes bringing up specific problems may lead to the unsafe driver voluntarily retiring their drivers license.

  1. Are you feeling less confident when you are driving?
  2. Are you having difficulty turning your neck to see clearly when you back up?
  3. Are you riding the brake as you drive down the street?
  4. Do you feel like you are more distracted while driving?
  5. Are you noticing that you aren’t parked straight in parking spaces?
  6. Are you hitting curbs or having difficult navigating turns??
  7. Are you having near misses?
  8. Have you got any tickets or warnings?
  9. Have you ever mixed up the gas and break pedals?
  10. Have you ever stopped for no reason on the road?

If these questions bring up serious concerns there are contracts and checklists available to help make this transition easier.

Bring in as many family members as possible to help. Discuss the risk of having an accident when medically impaired (insurance companies may obtain medical records if there is an accident, and may not be required to pay for damages if a doctor told them not to drive).                                                                                 2016-01-22 07.57.59

Then decide on a plan of action. (Getting a “prescription” from a healthcare provider to “retire the drivers license” for physical limitations rather than cognitive ones may be useful.) Other possibilities are hiding the keys, exchanging keys for ones that don’t work in the car, filing keys down, taking out the batteries of electronic keys, not fixing a car that doesn’t work, disabling the car, or pursuing revoking their license through the DMV.

Develop a plan to get your loved one to their regular activities and appointments. Where do they drive to regularly? What community transportation is available? Post transportation schedules and availability where your loved one can see it.

Therapy may be beneficial for the senior and/or family members when these difficult decisions must be dealt with.



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It’s a Bedroom not a Boardroom

It’s a Bedroom not a Board Room Protect Your Relationship from Being Damaged by Business Strategy, provides specific communication skills for business leaders and their partners.boardroomFINAL (2)

As a psychologist for over 30 years, Dr. Lois Nightingale discovered that the clients who found business skills a second nature, often had more difficulty connecting with loved ones at home. When trouble showed up in other areas of life, they’d wrangled it into submission, usually at a profit. When they finally landed in therapy they were on the verge of ending another relationship, financing another divorce, or facing the thing they hated most: appearing to fail.

It was as if they were trying to find their way around New York City with a map of Chicago. The map was accurate, but when applied to a different city it was misleading, even dangerous.

Finding one’s way around with an inappropriate map is impossible, yet that’s what many couples try to do when they apply the skills they’ve come to trust in business to their personal intimate relationships.

This book is an instruction guide for people who’ve been using a great map, but in the wrong arena. This book provides a useful map that will get you where you want to be on the relationship field.

Dr. Nightingale shares the specific strategies she teaches entrepreneurs, executives and their partners in therapy. These are outlined against the backdrop of her own family’s history of doing business in America and her own personal relationship journey.

Read about what she tells her clients behind closed doors when they ask her why their personal relationships are falling apart when they’re so effective in other areas of their lives. Then practice with the exercises at the end of each chapter and lower defensiveness and increase closeness and passion in your own relationship.


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Talking with Children about Acts of Terrorism

Whether acts of violence to make political statements come from those of a different nationality or from our own, they can affect children emotionally. The lives of the children who lose loved ones in these attacks will be changed forever. Losing a parent as a child leaves many emotional scares.

But what about the millions of children watching these disasters on the news and hearing their friends and teachers talk about them at school and on the playground? Who will try to explain politically motivated acts of violence to these children? Probably parents. There are supportive conversations parents can have  to bring some order to senseless destructive events, and help children feel safer.

The following are guidelines to help parents talk with children about the horrific images and catastrophic events their kids may be confused about.

1. Be respectful of children’s feelings. If a child is very upset, it is the natural response of a parent to try to, “calm the child down.” However, many well-intentioned strategies to calm a child may actually increase their fears. Telling a child “Everything is OK, you’re over reacting, nothing is going to happen to us,” is likely to increase a child’s fear. They ‘ll probably hear, “I think your concerns are silly. You didn’t see what you thought you saw, and you didn’t understand what you thought you heard.” It is better to ask further questions first so a child knows you do respect his or her concerns. Such as, “What about the news do you find frightening? What are you afraid will happen to you/us? What are you wondering about?” These questions will not only help your child feel you care about his or her feelings, but will also give you valuable information about what real questions your child has, not what you think might be the issues.

2. Answer the questions asked by your child, but do not give more details than necessary. Base this information on age and maturity of your child. A young child will only need basic facts. Older children who have heard more information may have more questions and need a little more detail. Use concrete and short answers. Remember to address your child’s concerns… not yours. Children are very self-focused revolving around issues of immediate concern to them. “How do I know I am safe now? Will my school be open? Will an airplane crash into our house? Are we going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving?” are more likely questions than the more philosophic and wide reaching questions you may be asking.

3. Your child will look to you for cues as to how safe or unsafe life is. If you are glued to the news and talking only about the disasters, your children will assume danger is close at hand and things are very unsafe. If you are participating in normal life activities, your children will learn that even though bad things have happened, your family is safe and you are feeling comfortable enough to carry on with your responsibilities and commitments. Following a regular schedule can also be reassuring to your child.

4. Point out specific ways you feel safe. Note the things you feel grateful for. Note that your family is safe, the school they attend is safe, and your work place is safe. Comment on how fortunate you are to live in country where this is a very rare incidence. Let your children know you feel grateful and safe as often as you can find the opportunity to do so.

5. Children will interpret your expressions of anger, anxiety and stress as danger signals. Do everything you can to keep your frustration tolerance high. Eat well and frequently, get enough rest, and surround yourself with the support of friends and family. If you have patience and are slow to get mad and don’t show signs of worry and rumination, your children are much more likely to believe you can keep them safe. They will see you as believing the people in charge of making government decisions will keep them safe as well. If you are angry and venting and talking about how worried you are, your children will believe the people in a position of power in their lives will not be able to keep them safe.

6. Turn the news off while you eat. Don’t have the TV on while preparing for school. Listen to other things on the radio than just recent re-hashings of the disaster. Don’t let children think keeping up with the news is more important to you than they are.

7. Watch for signs of trauma in your child. Young children may show sleep disturbances, eating disturbances, nightmares and regression. (Regression is when a child goes back to a previous level of functioning, such as wetting the bed, sucking the thumb, sleeping with parent, etc.) Older children may show signs of agitation, poor concentration, isolation, withdrawing from friends, poor school performance, outbursts of anger, etc. If you think your child is exhibiting signs of being traumatized seek the help of a mental health professional or your family physician.

8. Use this opportunity to portray your values to your children. This is a chance to talk to your child about the nature of hate, retaliation, fear and how these feed on each other generation after generation. The highjackers were filled with hate and desired for revenge. What lessons do you want to give your children to take into the world as they grow into adults? This is a great time to support your child in joining in a volunteer project at school or through a “Y” program or a religious organization. Giving back to those in greater distress can bring a sense of order and control to children. Teenagers especially benefit from comforting friends and supporting others in greater need than themselves.

9. Let children know just because a few people who belong to a group act in destructive ways, not all people in that group hold the same values. Would your child want his or her entire class judged on the bad behavior of one acting-out student? If a child does something very bad and is suspended from the school would they want everyone to think that all the kids who went to that school would do the same thing? Let your child know individuals are responsible for their choices regardless of the group they belong to.

10 This is a wonderful opportunity to convey your spiritual values. Take time to let your child know what you believe. If you believe in an ordered Universe and you know there is a bigger plan than might be readily seen, let your child know this. If you feel guided and provided for, let your child know you feel this deeply. Children do not forget lessons taught at tragic times like this. This is a good time to pray with your child or do rituals that help create a sense of safety. Such as, attending spiritual services, participating in family traditions, reading together, planting a tree or creating a sacred space.

© 2015 Lois V. Nightingale, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist (lic # PSY9503) director of the Nightingale Center in Yorba Linda California.

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Coping with Holiday Stress and Depression

Most people believe the holidays are supposed to be a time of joyous celebration where family members who haven’t seen each other recently get together to praise and acknowledge each others’ accomplishments over the past year. Many people would respond with, “Yeah right.”

For many people the holidays bring out their worst concerns. They may reflect on their “failures” of the past or worry about loneliness. They may have financial worries that place a shadow over any excitement or anticipation those around them may have.

For those who find the holidays less than “storybook perfect”, there may be a risk of the “Holiday Blues”. This type of stress and depression can be caused from holding unrealistic expectations, wanting everything to be perfect or isolating altogether. A sense of cynicism can come from a focus on the over- commercialization or an inability to spend the holidays with loved ones.

The symptoms of the “Holiday Blues” are much like those of other types of stress and depression. Symptoms may include poor concentration, disturbances in eating (too much or very infrequently), drinking too much, difficulty sleeping or wanting to spend all day in bed, irritability, low frustration tolerance, and agitation. Physical signs of stress may also be present such as, stomachaches, headaches, back problems, digestive problems, jaw tightness and physical fatigue.

Even though many people with the “Holiday Blues” experience these feelings during the holiday season, some sufferers can be greatly affected by a post- holiday let down after January 1. These later reactions can be due to fatigue, emotional disappointments of the preceding months and residual financial stress.

There are many practical things anyone with a predisposition to the “Holiday Blues” can do to minimize its effects. Remember that the action one takes to prevent feeling stressed and depressed takes less effort than to try later to pull oneself out of feeling down and miserable.

  1. Give yourself the right to enjoy the holidays as you wish. Try to let go of high expectations and wanting everything to be perfect. Allow yourself to participate in the aspects of the holiday, which have meaning for you and try to let go of anyone’s “shoulds”. Allow yourself to be a little “crazy”. Have some fun and let go of how everything “must” look, including yourself.
  2. Organize your time. Take 10-15 minutes each morning to plan out what your day will look like. Don’t leave things until the last minute. Make lists and plan out how you wish to spend your time. Don’t spend all your time planning for just one event (an office party or Christmas dinner, etc.).
  3. Try something different, especially if this is the first holiday after a significant loss (death of a loved one, loss of home or job, children growing up, or a divorce). Spend the holiday in a different location or celebrating with different people than usual.
  4. Find the specialness and uniqueness in THIS holiday season. Don’t compare it with the past. Life moves forward not backwards. Each holiday season is different and these are the “good old days” you will look back on in a few years.
  5. Spend time with people who accept and love you unconditionally. These may not be biological family. Often our chosen family members are able to accept us more unconditionally. Surround yourself with encouragement and support.
  6. Take care of yourself physically. Don’t drink too much (alcohol is a depressant). Exercise, it will help with all the holiday goodies you want to enjoy. Get outdoors. As the days shorten and less daylight hours are available many people become depressed from insufficient light. Go for walks, eat your lunch outside. Drink lots of water.
  7. Do something for someone else. There is no faster way to get out of a “funk” than to help someone else feel better. Make a gift for someone. Give a gift anonymously. Help out at a soup kitchen, church or temple charity project, local hospital or retirement home, or homeless shelter. Focus on people rather than things. Give “love coupons” good for making a favorite meal, or a walk in the woods, or a visit to a museum or art festival.
  8. Spend time doing low cost or free things. Too often the holidays are focused on consumerism. There are many holiday displays that are free to visit and participate in. Children love to drive around at night and look at lights or visit large hotel lobbies decorated for the holidays.
  9. Remember the significance of this time of year that is important to you. Find a way to celebrate that aspect of the holiday, whether with a group or alone with a personalized ceremony. This is a special time of year and beneath the fear and cynicism, almost everyone has some warm attachment to some aspect of the winter season.
  10. Give yourself the gift of letting go of past resentments. It has been said, “resentment is a poison we take hoping that it will harm another.” Forgive, if only for the holidays or only a part of the remembered betrayal. Release someone from indebtedness for past mistakes. Do this not for them but for your own peace and serenity this holiday season.

If you or someone you care about is having a particularly difficult time with holiday stress or depression, there is help and support available. The Nightingale Center has an extensive list of group referrals and resources. If you would like more information or a free packet sent to you, please call 714-993-5343.

© 2015 by Dr. Lois Nightingale, director of the Nightingale Center in Yorba Linda, Calif.

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Help for Anxiety


40 million people suffer from some form of anxiety every year in the US. This includes Panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Agoraphobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobias, including test-taking phobias, driving phobias and Separation Anxiety in children. In therapy, clients can learn relaxation skills to address the “fight or flight” reaction and coping strategies to overcoming anxiety.






Anxiety Books:

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Burns

My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peac e of Mind, Stossel

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Bourne

My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic, Tompkins, Martinez and Sloan

Exercise for Mood and Anxiety: Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being, Otto and Smits


Easy to use stress reduction strategies

Aps for your phone:anxiety5

Meditation Timer & Tracker

Relax Melodies-Free

Anxiety Free-Free


Qi Gong Meditation Relaxation-Free

Nature Sounds Relanxiety3ax and Sleep-Free

Worry Box—Anxiety Self-Help-Free

Stop Panic & Anxiety Self-Help-Free

Relax & Rest Guided Meditations by Meditation Oasis

Universal Breathing by Saagara-Free

Easy Breathing Techniques:

1. Re-lax: Take 5-10 min. and breathe in slowly, saying silently to yourself “Re” and slowly exhale saying “Lax”.

2. Breathe in through your nose deeply (starting with your abdomen) to the count of 4. Hold your breath for 4 counts and then slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 counts. Repeat 10-20 times.

3. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth (it stays there throughout this exercise). Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4. Hold for the count of 7. Exhale through your mouth around your tongue (it should make a noise) to the count of 8. Repeat 10 times.



Books for Anxiety:

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do…by Wehrenberg

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life, by Burns

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, by Bourne

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids), by Huebner and Matthews

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry… by. Forsythand, Eifert

The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry, by Schab

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child’s Fears, Worries, and Phobias… by Chansky

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by Burns

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do..by Wehrenberg

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life, by Burns

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, by Bourne

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids), by Huebner and Matthews

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry… by. Forsythand, Eifert

The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry, by Schab

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child’s Fears, Worries, and Phobias… by Chansky

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by Burns

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What Parents Can Do When a Child Refuses to Go to School

Truant 4Getting a frightened or angry child to school can be a parent’s worst battle. The struggle between doing what’s right and what your child needs emotionally can become an impossible struggle. Know that many families have successfully maneuvered the obstacles to getting a difficult child back to school and to enjoying a good education and fulfilling peer relationships. You can too.
truant 5
A student is truant after missing, or being more than 30 min. late for 3 days during a school year, without valid excuses. After this, in a public school, the student is reported to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the school district. After one conference has been attempted with parents, the child is considered Habitually Truant. A Habitual Truant is then referred to SARB who can report the child to the District Attorney or Probation Officer. The child may then be arrested, or returned to the school, parents or youth center if they don’t go to school. The school may then direct the parents to bring the child to school. Whether the child is in private or public school, fines of $100 for first offense, $250 for second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses can be levied on parents if they do not get the child to school.

There are specific steps to getting your child back into a daily routine of getting to school on time and staying through their final period of classes. The longer it takes a family to get set a plan into action, the harder it is to turn around unsuccessful habits. A therapist can help with the outlining and implementation of a successful and respectful plan.

1. Make sure you speak respectfully and with authority as you help your child get back into a school routine.
2. Have your child evaluated for anxiety, depression or bullying issues. Follow through with professional treatment.
3. Set up a meeting with teachers, school counselor, your child and yourself. Write out a plan. Have everyone sign it.
4. Set up a written reward contract for a reward to be given as soon as your child is picked up at the end of the school day. (Cell phones, computers and video games are privileges, not parental obligations. All electronics need to be charging in parent’s room at night.)truant 6
5. Set up e-mail or other daily communication with all your child’s teachers. Don’t expect your discouraged child to be completely open and honest.
6. Change who drives your child to school. Leave 10 min. earlier.
7. Print out Parents Legal Guide to Public Schools in your county. Highlight truancy passages. Have your child read and sign those paragraphs.
8. Let your child know about legal consequences of truancy, i.e., arrest, or suspension, restriction or delay of driving privileges (Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code) or permanent records that may inhibit college acceptance or other employment opportunities. After a fourth truancy a child can be made a ward of the court and sentenced to community service and court-approved truancy prevention programs.truant
9. Do not call in or write excuses for your child. Let them take the consequences given by the school. Do not re-punish at home.
10. Celebrate small victories. Let your child know you believe in them.
11. If one parent is more strict and one more concerned about the child’s emotional well-being, find a written compromise or seek therapy. Do not let your child overhear you arguing about them. truant 3
12. Be kind to yourself and your partner, children naturally try to divide to gain power. It’s a normal part of growing up and hard on parents. This doesn’t last forever.truant 2
13. Model for your child how to handle difficult feelings and ambivalence gracefully.

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What is the difference between: a Psychopath, a Sociopath, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Antisocial/Psychopathic?

They arsociopath5e all clinical terms given by the the American Psychiatric Association to an extremely destructive disorder in their “Diagnostic and Statistic Manual”. Each revision of this manual focuses on slightly different aspects of the same psychiatric disorder.

1952 (Sociopasociopath8thic Personality Disturbance). 1968 (Antisocial Sociopath). 1980 (Antisocial Personality Disorder). 1994 (A.S.P.D. also referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder). DSM V expected May 2013 (Antisocial/Psychopathic types, who have inflated grandiosity and pervasive patterns of taking advantage of people).

sociopath3If you or someone you know has been harmed emotionally, sexually, psychologically, financially or physically by a sociopath, the road back to trust, personal esteem and interpersonal safety may be a long one. Victims often feel responsible for the abusive behavior of the predator. Those preyed upon often believe they should have been able to keep the harm from happening. Unfortunate targets of sociopaths are generally hyper-moral and highly empathetic individuals who have a hard time (being the caring, kind, responsible people they are themselves) accepting that there are people in the world without the ability to feel compassion, intimacy, or even guilt. The sad truth is a sociopath finds these admirable qualities excuse enough to take advantage, believing a trusting victim deserves whatever happens to them.










Some diagnostic criteria include:

  • Glibness and superficial charm,
  • grandiosesociopath2 sense of self-worth,
  • pathological lying,
  • conning/manipulative,
  • lack of remorse,
  • shallow affect (superficial emotions)
  • callous lack of empathy,
  • failure to accept responsibility for one’s own actions (blames others or circumstances),
  • prone to boredom (driven to find/make excitement and/or drama),
  • parasitic lifestyle,
  • lack of guilt,
  • poor behavioral controls,
  • early behavioral problems,
  • lack of realistic long-term goals,
  • impulsivity,
  • lack of compassion,
  • irresponsibility,
  • believe the law doesn’t apply to them,
  • juvenile delinquency and revocation of conditional release.




Books for victims:

“The Sociopath Next Door”,

“The Gift of Fear”,

“Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us”,

“In Sheep’s Clothing: Understandsociopath9ing and Dealing with Manipulative People”,

“Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You”.

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