Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days, 31 Signs: The Basics of ASL

If you haven't met my friend, Louise Sattler, now is the perfect time.  Louise and I met online, which led to a business relationship, which led to a friendship, which led to us presenting at a conference together, which leads us to this! Louise has a 31 Days of ASL challenge that you won't want to miss. Read more below!

31 days, 31 Signs: Learn the basics of ASL

 Each year in homes and classrooms around the country, American Sign Language – ASL – or forms of signed English are being used to help communicate ideas, needs and feelings.  While sign language was once thought of exclusively used in the Deaf community, it has now found its’ way in to the mainstream and being used among parents with their babies and teachers with students!

Louise Sattler

Louise Sattler, Psychologist and the owner of SIGNING FAMILIES  has developed the 31 days ASL Challenge to encourage students, parents, teachers and community members to learn the basics of sign language. Whether words such as simple as MORE or HELP to words a bit more complicated in context – MAD and FRUSTRATED.

This event is FREE and easy to participate!  All one needs to do is go to the SIGNING FAMILIES / LOUISEASL YouTube page and subscribe for the daily emails to learn the new sign for the day!

 The conversation will follow  on FACEBOOK where you can suggest signs you want to learn for the next ASL CHALLENGE!

 Here is a sneak peek!  

Have fun with Louise's 31 Day Challenge!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feelings Show and Tell

Feelings Show and Tell

Helping kids learn how to identify and deal with feelings is an important step in making sure they are ready to face the world, engage in friendships, get along with others and solve social problems.  More yet, these are all prerequisites to better academic performance.  Seems simple enough, right?

Creative Activities, So Many Uses

Right! And here at Kidlutions, there is nothing we love more than helping folks around the world do it all in a fun and memorable way.  Whether you use it at home, in a classroom, with a church or scouting group or in your therapy practice, you'll adore the creative activities.  This resource has page after page of innovative ways to help kids learn how to identify and deal with feelings! You'll use these activities again and again.

This social-emotional development 
resource includes the following:

5 Unique Activities
A Mini Printable Workbook
Bulletin Board Plans
5 BONUS Ideas

                                               Add to Cart

Here's a peek inside at the contents:

This resource offers ideas to provide hours of extended play to help youngsters grade Pre-K through 2nd grade learn to identify feelings, and deal with them.  The adorable little kiddo faces, coupled with the innovative activities make this resource a winner! You'll use these ideas over and over again, because feelings can change, just like the weather.  Kids won't tire of these activities, because you can expand them in a number of ways (focusing on just one activity at a time, or covering several of them at once).

Get Yours HERE!
Just $15.00

Add to Cart

Here it is all together:

Getting Out of the House on Time with Kids

Getting Out of the House on Time with Kids

If you are like most parents, getting out the door on time with your kids poses a big challenge. Morning madness plays itself out in homes across the land.  Keeping kids on track with their morning routine can be a point of contention, and the stress the family experiences can set the tone for the whole day.  The morning countdown can be brutal, but now it doesn't have to be so hard. Nosiree! In fact, mornings can be a little more cheerful, thanks to the awesome idea one of my co-workers uses!

The Morning Routine

Toni (the gal who keeps our office running smoothly, who always has a smile on her face and a laugh to share) was, like so many parents, talking about the struggle it sometimes is to get out the door while making sure her youngest had completed her morning routine.

One day, Toni shared her awesome idea about creating "morning routine sticks" to help her daughter, Miss L, stay on track and beat the clock to get out of the house on time, with all of her morning routine completed. (No more car trips where the kids are saying, "Mom, I didn't brush my teeth," or, "I forgot my backpack!")

Here's the scoop:

Morning Routine Sticks

How Toni Made 'Em

Toni used large craft sticks, glitter glue and a little creativity to whip up these clever routine sticks. (She's always a handy one: creating, organizing and beautifying things around her.)  She then embellished a votive cup with some fancy swirls and whirls...and viola', the Morning Routine Sticks were born!  (If you have really young kids, you'll be safer with a non-breakable container.)

Miss L has some blinged-out sticks that help keep her on track and keep tabs on what she's done and what she still needs to do. 

Here's what's on L's list:

Brush Hair
Wash Hands
Wash Face
Brush Teeth
Make Bed
Clean Room

Of course, you will tailor make yours to whatever your child's routine requires.

How Lil' Miss L uses these sticks:

The sticks are stored on the bathroom counter.  When L completes a task, she simply removes the stick from the container and lays it on the counter.  When the container is empty, she's ready to go. Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!  They are then scooped back up and placed back in the container for the next day.

What's to Love About 'Em 

Lil' Miss L Says: "They are glittery and sparkle and they help me remember!"

Toni Says: "My favorite thing about them is that the only reminder I have to give is, 'Did you do your sticks? All of them?'  I also like that it's something that can be left out on the bathroom counter and still look cute."

I Say: I love so much about these.  They're funky and fun and oh, so cute!  Much more than that, they encourage independence, confidence, responsibility and strengthen executive function in all kids. This is even more meaningful if you have a child with ADHD (or other executive function difficulties). I also think they're more fun than ho-hum check-off boxes and they're reusable.  You just can't go wrong with these lil' cuties!

Here are the ladies behind the story...people I know
in real life!  Toni and Lil' Miss L
(both as beautiful on the inside as they are on the out!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Helping Tweens and Teens Through Separation and Divorce

Welcome back to the second part of our series on divorce.  Our first post focused on helping young children cope with separation and divorce, while today's post will focus on tweens and teens.  No matter a child's age, they are impacted by their parents' divorce.

I recently sat down to complete a video podcast with Annie Fox of Family Confidential to discuss ways parents can help tweens and teens cope with the life changing transition of divorce.

Listen in, and be sure to poke around on Annie's site for great information on other topics.

(PS...At the 3:57 mark, I talk about "...parent first, deal with your own feelings second," which is quite a difficult task to undertake and contrary to the notion, "put on your own oxygen mask, first," with which I 100% agree.  It's not an oxymoron. An oxygen mask takes mere seconds to put on. Dealing with our emotional strife takes much, much longer.  It is absolutely essential we do not emotionally abandon kids during times of difficulty, such as divorce or grief.  We must, as parents, find a way to tend to our own emotional needs, while simultaneously providing the same to our children.  That poses challenges for parents who are hurting emotionally themselves. In such situations, identifying support people who can assist your child is imperative.  Start with your school counselor, or ask for a referral for a therapist from your family doctor.)

See the interviews of my friends and colleagues: 

Dr. Lynne Kenney on Bloom Method: Helping Children Blossom

Louse Masin Sattler on Accommodating Classrooms

Dr. Beth Onufrak on kids and emotional meltdowns

Sue Atkins on not being your kids' friend

Deborah McNelis on play and brain development

Dr. Kimberly Palmiotto on kids and learning differences

There are so many great things to learn on the Family Confidential site!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Helping Young Children Through Separation and Divorce: Part I

Free Podcast can be found HERE.

Helping Kids Through Separation and Divorce

Separation and divorce represent a trying time for everyone.  Feelings run amok, emotions are high and several changes take place for everyone in the family. 

In this two-part series, we'll be taking a look at how you can support your kids (Part I) and teens (Part II) through your separation and divorce. 

We Can't Shield Kids from Painful Experiences

No matter your child's age you might wish to shield him from painful experiences.  While that comes from a nurturing spot in your heart, it really isn't practical.  We cannot shield our kids from painful experiences, and we do them no service when we try.  A preferable approach is to explain things to them in a developmentally appropriate way and provide them with the skills and tools they need to cope.  The truth is always the best approach.

Free Podcast

I was interviewed by Melitsa Avila of Raising Playful Tots awhile ago, and she asked questions related to helping younger children adjust to the momentous changes a separation or divorce can bring.  To hear that podcast, go HERE.

More to Come in Part II

In our next post, we'll address some of the tricky topics involved in helping older kids and teens navigate the changes a divorce brings.  I was recently interviewed by Annie Fox of Family Confidential and we covered all things "older kids and teens".  We'll link it right here when it goes live!

Resources that can Help You Help Your Child

Need more support? Kidlutions has helped kids and teens deal with divorce for more than 25 years.  Our resources are available as instant downloads.  It's help at your fingertips, when you need it most!

(ages 3-10)

This resource is our latest one in the Kidlutions' line-up of
self-help resources for kids.  It's 45 pages of targeted help for
use by parents or clinicians.  You can read all about it

Our original and time-tested resource that helps kids process
and better deal with their feelings related to divorce.
This resource has helped thousands of kids across the globe.
Find it HERE.


Rosalind coined the term "child-centered" divorce and she lived it.
Check out her resource HERE.

More Articles on Kidlutions related to divorce:

In happier times and in difficult time, we know your love shines through for your children.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Playful Ways to Help Kids Cope with Divorce

This product is an instant download, as are all Kidlutions' products.

Divorce Changes Life as a Child Knows It

You know your child feels the effects of your pending or recent divorce. You may wonder how to best support him with this monumental life transition. It is possible and we can show you how.

A divorce represents a huge departure from life as a child knows it.  Along with it can come stress, anxiety, anger, sadness and a host of other feelings related to these changes. Parents often wonder about the best way to support their children through this major life event. School counselors, social workers and therapists look for quality interventions that are FUN, relevant and timely.  

Help Kids Cope with Divorce

That's why we created "King or Queen for a Day: Playful Ways to Help Kids Cope with Divorce". Giving kids a vehicle to express themselves, to verbalize their internal states, wishes and needs can go a long way towards helping them cope. When you do it in a way that is based on BOTH early childhood and mental health best practices, you have a winning combination. While it is true that we cannot protect kids from life's challenges and difficult moments, we can arm them with the skills and tools it takes to weather any storm and emerge with their sense of self intact.

Powerful Interventions that Transform Lives

We are pleased to bring you this powerful intervention tool that is perfect for use at home, school, therapy and counseling offices, and MORE. This package is the culmination of 30 years of clinical experience. Kidlutions has helped thousands of kids across the globe cope with divorce See everything we cover below.

Here's What You Get


45 pages of best-practices content you'll turn to again and again. This product is an instant download, as are all Kidlutions' products.  

For use in:

Therapy Offices

Download/Payment Information:

You will receive a link directly to your inbox after purchase.  The link is sent to the email from which the Pay Pal payment originated. 

(Yes, you can use major credit cards with Pay Pal.  Pay Pal accepts payments worldwide. It is a safe and secure online banking system.  We have used it at Kidlutions since we opened our doors and have never had a problem!)  

The Rising Cost of Therapy

If you brought your child to my office, it would take a minimum of five visits to get the content delivered in this package.  The intake alone would cost $250.00, then up to $150.00 per follow up visit.  That's a whopping total of $850.00.  That cost can be prohibitive, even with insurance co-pays.

Helping Your Child On Your Own 

You cannot put a price on your child's welfare, I know. When your child is in emotional distress, you want to help him feel better.  You know you can't take away the pain, but you do want to do something to lessen it, or at least to make it go away quicker than if he were left to his own devices. It's just what parents are naturally programmed to do.  But with insurance premiums skyrocketing and divorce costs already mounting, you may try to help your child as best you can on your own. Anything you do to alleviate your child's emotional turmoil is admirable. We're happy to be part of an affordable solution, for those in need.

Help at Your Fingertips

With this package, help is at your fingertips.  Literally.

This package is available for just $49.99, for use by one person/family.  


(Scroll down for multi-user)

Add to Cart

The package is available for multi-users at $69.99 (see definition of multi-users below).

SPECIAL OFFER of $60.00 - 


Add to Cart

NOTE: If this product is being used by multiple teachers, clinicians or agency-wide, please purchase the multi-user version. The multi-user license grants you permission to use the product by several by several people, at a substantial savings from purchasing separately.

Thanks for making a difference in the life of a child.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Emily's Hope, Fibular Hememelia and How You Can Help: An Opportunity for Kindness and Compassion

Children's Hospital of Michigan/Children's

Once Upon a Time 
Like me, you may never have heard of fibular hememelia.  This post hopes to change all that.  You see, once upon a time, I went to college with a group of gals at MSU with whom I have maintained relationships for more than 30 years.  Recently, I learned that one of those friends has a daughter who is facing a life-changing surgery this week.  Her condition: fibular hememelia. When I heard of this,  I knew I had to help get the word out about this beautiful young woman, her struggles and hope for a better tomorrow.  Both Emily and her mom agreed to share her story.  A very brave girl, indeed.  After surgery, she faces up to a year of rehab and treatment, followed by another surgery.  What's more, is that she is courageous enough to share about her experiences so that maybe another child can benefit. Here is her story, told by her mother, my friend: 

    Emily's Story 
Emily is a 15 year old girl who was born with a limb deformity called fibular hememelia. She is missing part of her fibula, ankle bone and her little toe.Her right foot was twisted backwards (see photo).

Emily as a baby.  Prior to any surgery.

She had surgery at 6 months old to correct her foot (see photo below) so she could learn to walk. As she grew, the left leg grew normally, but the right leg didn't and the length discrepancy has grown every year. Now her right leg is almost 4 inches shorter than the left so she walks with a pronounced limp. Kids can be cruel and she has been teased frequently. 

Emily after her surgery at 6 months of age.

No Great Treatment Options 
We have been seeking treatment for years but the options were so hideous (amputation, or the popular external fixater cuff with pins sticking out of the leg). There is a huge risk of infection with the latter treatment. We would never consider amputation. The only two hospitals in Michigan that deal with this disability are the University of Michigan medical center and Children's Hospital of Detroit.
    Cutting Edge Treatment 
There is a brand new, cutting edge procedure that was just approved in the United States and has never been performed in Michigan. The new technique is called "Precice Nail" and is performed by cutting the bone and inserting a "nail."  Four times a day for seven months we will apply an extremely strong magnet that will lengthen the bone. Everything is internal.
    The surgery will take place at Children's Hospital of Michigan, under  
    the skilled hands of Emily's surgeon, Dr. Ahmed Bazzi,  this week.

   Pain, but Gain 
The most difficult and painful part of the procedure is the physical therapy to lengthen the muscles and tissues along with the bone. It is excruciatingly painful. After 7 months, or as long as she can tolerate, she will have another surgery to remove the nail and another long pin that will be inserted to stabilize her ankle throughout the process. After that, she will a boot on her foot for several weeks while everything stabilizes, so when it's all said and done, the process will probably take close to a year. 
This is a huge undertaking for Emily and the family and all good wishes are appreciated!
It's Not Over, Yet!

Now you know the story can't end here!  If you've ever had a child who faced a medical issue, you know how imperative support can be.   If your child has never faced a major medical issue, you are likely filled with gratitude.  Chances are, if you read this blog, you are concerned about social-emotional skills and teaching your child to reach out and be kind to everyone.  Sometimes that includes perfect strangers.  They always say the true measure of our kindness is when we do something for someone who can never pay us back.  Here's your chance.

Send Love 

Let's show Emily some love by sending cards, letters and even hand-drawn pictures from your little ones to brighten up Emily's recovery period, which will be a long one.  Let's show some Kidlutions' lovin' to a gal who could use your support.

Send your greetings and good wishes to:

Patrick Seeberg/Emily
1301 West Long Lake Road, Suite 300
Troy, MI 48098

There's More

Emily's recovery will be a long, arduous journey.  There are plans in place to start a facebook page to support her over the long haul.  Please check back here soon, to find all the details.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

Oh, and One More Thing

The day this posts is Emily's birthday!  It will be the last birthday she spends with one leg much longer than the other.  Now, that's something to celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Angry Kids: Over a Dozen Ways to Help

Anger Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

Anger comes in all shapes and sizes.  Small, medium, large and the dreaded super-sized.  Truth is, we don't have to fear any feeling, even those super-sized ones.  All of them can be managed and we can teach kids how to shrink them down...yes, even the super-sized ones!

What Does a Little Kid Have to Be Angry About?

It was quite interesting to me when, over a decade ago, I created an anger management group for children in a school.  It was broken down into early elementary and upper elementary.  Someone asked, "Really? What does a little kid/Kindergartener have to be angry about?"  To which I promptly replied, "Plenty!"  That early elementary anger management group filled up quicker than I could blink my eyes.  In fact, I believe I ran two sections of it!

Helping Kids Deal with BIG Angry Feelings

If you parent, teach or provide services to a child with BIG angry feelings, we've got a few resources that might be of help.  We've gathered up the posts that may be of interest and put all the links right here, in this handy post.  Feel free to bookmark it and reference it, as needed.

In no particular order, here they are:



14. Creating a Calm Family

We hope you find something that's helpful!

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