Friday, August 22, 2014

The 5 Things Teens Should Know About Negative Thinking
Negative thinking affects much more than just your thoughts.  It can affect your mental health, your physical health and your success in life.  This ripple effect just keeps on going, if left unchecked. 
 As a therapist, I work with both children and teens on a variety of issues, but a common denominator comes down to thoughts.  Negative thoughts, to be exact. 
So, watch those thoughts! 
Here are five things you should keep in mind about negative thoughts:
  1. They multiply.  Negative thoughts seem to take on a life of their own.  They almost become larger than life.  Once you get in a pattern of negative thinking, it can become difficult to break free!
  1. They keep you from being your best self.  Negative thoughts hold you back in every way.  They rob you of your confidence and stop you in your tracks.
  1. They stand in the way of your success.  When your thoughts make you feel down and out, you are less likely to branch out and try new things, or set higher goals for yourself.
  1. They make you feel lousy.  Confidence and self-esteem take a dive when negative thoughts are on the scene.
  1. They CAN be changed! You can change those negative thoughts into positive ones!  It takes time and practice, but over time, a huge difference can be made in how you feel and how well you do in all areas of your life.

Be sure to see our signature product, Feelings Mountain, that helps tweens and teens deal with BIG feelings, including ways to turn their thinking around and so much more.  Therapeutic strength interventions.  Two versions are available: Personal Use and Professional Use (with license to use on multiple clients).


Find out all about it HERE, and see what our best pricing is currently.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Feelings Mountain: A Resource To Help Tweens, Teens and Beyond Deal with Difficult Feelings

If you know a tween or teen who continues to get tripped up by BIG feelings, you are not alone.  I have worked with tweens, teens AND adults with this exact concern for years.  They come to my office, and then we set to work on helping them learn new tools to change it all around for the BETTER! Through the years, I've found out what has been most helpful, and now I'm happy to be able to share it with those who may benefit the most!  

The Cost of NOT Doing Anything

We know that failure to deal with feelings appropriately can lead to dysfunction, as well as anxiety and depression.  

The Beauty of Learning Better Coping Skills

Being able to process and resolve difficult feelings can enhance one’s overall well-being and satisfaction in life.

This resource can help when:

~ Emotions are complex, confusing, and difficult to understand

~ Feelings are hard to shake

~ Feelings linger longer than the event that actually caused them 

~ Emotions interfere with a person’s functioning

This resource is made specifically for middle school and high school students, but is also appropriate for use with college-aged students and adults who are struggling with similar issues.  

This workbook will help the reader understand how and why feelings can become overwhelming. 

This workbook teaches the difference between primary and secondary feelings and focuses on three of the most common primary feelings on which we get tripped up:

~ We’ll look at the 5 Ways Secondary Feelings Cause Problems in our Lives


~ We’ll share FACTS about FEELINGS.


~ We’ll share 5 Ways to Deal with DIFFICULT FEELINGS

~ The difference between UPSETTING and UPLIFTING thoughts, and how to change them from one to the other.

~ We’ll help the reader develop their own coping plan

~ Finally, we share how to make it all work for the LONG HAUL

What You'll Get

You'll get more than 50 pages of therapeutic grade interventions, steeped in best practices and research-based interventions that I use in my own office every day.

Here's just a brief, sneak-peek at what's inside:

This Isn't Therapy...But Here's How It Can Help 

While this resource is NOT a substitute for therapy, it does provide the very same tools and information you can obtain in therapy.  At times, a therapist is warranted to help individuals process events and their thought processes.  

Other times, people are capable of reading, learning new skills and incorporating them into their lives on their own. That is what this resource can do for some.  Others may wish to use these activities with a therapist, counselor or coach.

Assistance At Your Fingertips

The activities included in this resource would take about four sessions individually with me to go over and process.  Those four sessions would amount to a total of $580.00.  But you won't pay that for this resource.  

This resource provides assistance at your fingertips.  It will retail for a fraction of that amount...just $89.99 for personal use and $129.00 for professional use (with license to use with as many clients as you wish).

Two versions are available:

For your own private individual use at home:
Just $89.00

Add to Cart


For use by therapists, coaches, etc...comes with license to use with as many clients as you care to:

Just $129.00

Add to Cart

Terms: As an instant download, there is no way to return this product to us. We have given you an outline of what is included in this resource, and these techniques are known to us to be some of the best and most effective ways to deal with and process feelings.  Results cannot be guaranteed, as results are only as good as the effort put forth, and the consistent application of these techniques.

Here's what one professional user had to say about this product:

Here's to helping tweens/teens deal with feelings in a healthy manner!

Wendy =)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mental Illness, Suicide and Change: Helping Kids Cope and Beyond #RobinWilliams

Thanks for all you have given us. We've learned so much from you. Let us continue
to learn more about the human condition through your death. Here's to a future with less
stigma and more treatment. Let us vow to do it differently for those left behind.
Here's to life.

Heavy Hearts

The world has a heavier heart today, with the tragic passing of the genius that was Robin Williams.  I first learned of his death through my teens.  And they wanted to know WHY.  Indeed.  It's a question we all ask.  Every time there is a loss such as this. 

Fighting Demons/Mental Illness

We knew he was fighting demons, as so many do on a daily basis.  The face of mental illness is real and varied.  It knows no bounds.  And while the media is currently highlighting the brilliance that was Robin Williams, I hope they also use their platform to educate and assist the masses on mental illness, as well as provide information about treatment and the road to recovery.  I have worked with many suicidal individuals across my career.  Sadly, I have also worked with families reeling from a loss due to suicide, with first responders/rescue workers and with children who have lost parents much too soon.  

Stop the Stigma

While the loss of Robin Williams has us standing still in our tracks, and we give a collective gasp over this tragedy...there are hundreds of thousands of people suffering right NOW.  There are many, many people considering suicide right NOW.  There are many families who will be notified that their loved one completed a suicide TODAY. 

Let us remember Robin Williams for the genius he was...he made us laugh, he made us cry.  He made us FEEL.  And in the end, it was his own feelings that became insurmountable, overwhelming, unbearable.  The pain was simply too great.  Let's work together to make sure those left behind have more options, more treatment, more acceptance.  Let's work towards less stigma, less judgment, less gossip.  Let's see mental illness as the health epidemic it is. Speak up, take a stand.  Won't you join me? Together we can make a difference.  Little by little.  It's the only way.

Here are some resources for dealing with suicide:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Here are some of our past posts on helping kids deal with suicide and grief:

8 Ways to Help with the Suicide of a Parent

Grief Solutions for Kids

Teen Grief Relief

What you can do:

If you have a twitter, facebook or pinterest account, you can share this post, or any other one like it...or tweet something like this:

Dear #ABC #CBS #NBC Please use your platform to help educate and inform the world about #mentalillness #depression #suicide Pls RT #RIPRobinWilliams


In sadness, but with an eye towards hope,


Friday, August 1, 2014

Gone Fishing with Kids

Going Fishing with Kids

Going fishing with kids can be a wonderful, bonding experience.  With the right know-how, it can be an enjoyable day for the entire family and one that makes for happy memories.  In the photos below, you'll see that kids who enjoy fishing when they're little, can grow up into big kids who still like to fish. (Yep, my kiddos love it, even though they are all teens now.)

If you're ever in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and you wish to try 
a Charter Fishing experience, we recommend Island Charters, LLC.  
You won't be sorry! Amazing adventure, awesome staff!

Fishing with Kids: Take Me Fishing

Plus, be sure to check out the PDF download with tips for fishing with kids.

Michigan Department of Community Health: Let's Go Fishing (for kids)

EPA's Fish Kids website: United States Environmental Protection Agency

Online Games

If you have a child who cannot go outside due to health or other issues, play a fishing game online! Try this one, or google one that works for your child!

Coloring Pages

Fish coloring pages can be found HERE.

Go Fishing! 

Whether you are fishing from the shoreline, the pier or a boat, just get out there and fish!  Kids learn lots of life lessons, like patience, sharing, waiting their turn and more.

Where's your favorite spot to fish? Tell us in the comments below!

BIG Fish Story Special

And, why not extend the learning?  Not only does fishing offer an opportune time to teach social also provides a great conversation opener about "fish stories" and telling the truth.  Kind of important stuff!  

Our signature product on telling the truth: A BIG Fish Story is the perfect complement to a fishing expedition with your kids!

This resource is used world wide in homes, classrooms, therapy offices, with scouting groups and MORE.  Get yours at the introductory price of HALF OFF! The price hasn't been this low since we released this product about a year ago.

Just $15.99

Almost 60 pages of therapeutic-grade interventions for kids.

Our resource is one of the most innovative approaches you will find anywhere to help kids develop character regarding honesty.  Written in language that young children will understand, this resource includes a story that allows children to create their own ending.'ll find printables with six (6) fun and memorable activities to extend the learning, promote critical thinking and problem-solving and help solidify positive and prosocial values in a young child's life.  PLUS...posters to put on your fridge at home, or bulletin board at school!

We think you'll be pleased as punch with this resource, which is suitable for home, classroom, counseling or therapy use.  It can be used individually or in large groups.  You're going to love it and use it year after year.

Get Your Copy Now


Add to Cart

Or go HERE to get your instant download. 
No physical product will be sent.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Teaching Kids to Calm Down

Teaching Kids to Calm Down

Teaching kids to calm down is both a science and an art.  When any of us are agitated, upset or anxious, our prefontal cortexes take a hiatus and we're left to deal with just our emotional brain (which, if you haven't noticed, doesn't always exercise the best judgment or make the best decisions).  

It's clear that stress, anxiety, anger issues and other concerns related to self-regulation (the ability to calm ourselves down and find balance) is alive in present in the lives of many of our readers, based upon the huge numbers of you who frequent Creating a Calm Family, Cranky Kid, 6 Steps to a Calm Family and Worry Warriors.

When Kids' Engines are Revved Up 

When kids' (or our) engines are revved up, a chemical chain reaction of sorts takes place, dumping adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones throughout our body. This served our ancestors well when they stared down the face of a sabre-toothed tiger and needed the energy and stamina to escape their predator. However, it's not such a great thing for a kid when they are being asked to complete a math assignment in class or get ready for bed.  What looks like oppositional behavior may actually be stress and anxiety.  But how do we change it?

Getting to CALM

In order to get the prefontal cortex back online, we need to sooth the limbic system (emotional brain).  One of the simplest ways to achieve this is by breathing. I have two quick breathing exercises, one of which can be used anywhere by anyone and it's FREE!  The other one can be used by anyone, too, but it requires bubbles (or you can just pretend you're blowing bubbles).

Balloon Breathing 

When we become stressed, we often breathe very shallow, filling our chests with air.  Deep breathing requires that we fill our bellies with our breath.  We should actually feel our diaphragm expand and contract when we do it right.  For kids, we can tell them to pretend they have a balloon in their belly that is filling with air when they breathe in, and that it deflates when they breathe out.  Demonstrate and practice with them, how to take deep breaths and exhale.  Encourage kids to hold to their hands on their bellies to feel them expand when they are first learning how to do this.  Repeat several times.  There you have it, plain and simple...Balloon Breathing.

Bubble Breathing

This one is great for outdoors or anywhere else you don't mind if a bit of bubble solution spills over, such as a kitchen or bathroom.  For this technique, simply ask kids to inhale deeply (filling their bellies with air) and exhale slowly, blowing the bubbles while they do so.  This will help kids become more conscious and intentional about breathing out slowly.  (It's pretty hard to blow bubbles when you are breathing forcefully out.) When kids become stressed, they can be encouraged to balloon breathe or bubble breathe (with or without the bubbles).  

When/How to Teach These Skills 

Teach kids these skills when they are relaxed and unhurried.  It's of limited use to try to teach such skills when a child is already in overdrive.  The brain is not receptive to new learning at this point.  A relaxed and happy brain learns best.  

Practice, Practice, Practice!

This isn't a one and done technique.  You will need to remind kids and practice these techniques with them several times before it becomes something they naturally do on their own.  Eventually, they will do it on their own.  Isn't it grand?  Teach great coping and self-regulation skills that will last your child her whole life through!

More Resources for Self-Regulation 

Go HERE to learn more!

Looking for more resources for self-regulation? Want them at 40% off?  Check and check!  Our "Summer of Social Skills" Sale is on through the 21st of July.  Four of our popular products are on sale NOW! Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creating a Calm Family: 3 Things You Can Do

Creating a Calm Family

Thinking your family needs a revamp when it comes to being calm?  You aren't alone.  Stress is one of the most common presenting issues for people when they show up at their doctor's or therapist's office. No matter where your family is on the chaos continuum, there are some things you can do to get back on track to calm!

Chaos Causers 

There are many factors that combine to determine how a family may be functioning at any given point in time.  In short, many roads may lead to chaos for families.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does give you an idea of some of the issues at play when it comes to family stress:

~ Stressors on the family come from many sources
   (environmental, societal, communication patterns, work, personal)
~ Parental temperament
~ Child temperament
~ Coping skills available and known to the family
~ Self-regulation abilities of each family member
~ The resilience of each family member

3 Things You Can Do

There are many things you can do to eliminate some of the causes of stress in your family.  We've addressed this issue in the past, also.  You can see earlier ideas here.

Now, we give you three things that you can start implementing right away:

1. Parents Set the Tone

It's up to us, the people in the big bodies with the big brains, to set the tone in the family.  We create the family climate by how we deal with stress, adversity and the daily grind.  Our attitudes towards life and the daily struggles we all face has huge impact on how our kids will react and respond, in turn.  They are always watching us for cues about how to handle things.  Stressors will always be present in our lives.  We need to find the ways to tackle them and lessen the impact they have on our lives.  If your stress level seems insurmountable, learn some new skills by seeing a therapist, hiring a life coach or reading books specifically made to help with such concerns.  We are never too old to learn how to better deal with the sticky situations in life.

2. Teach Confidence Through Life and Social Skills

Conflict and challenges are inevitable.  We cannot protect our kids from these things, nor should we. Giving kids life skills to combat conflict, disappointment, fear and uncertainty will go a long ways towards giving them an advantage across their lifespan.  The ability to handle life's frustrations is a confidence-builder.  It equips kids with a can-do attitude.  It allows them to enjoy life more! Solid social skills are crucial to our success, and contribute to our academic pursuits, as well.  Kidlutions has several resources available for use in homes, classrooms and therapy/counseling offices.

3. Teach Self-Regulation Skills

Once we get our own heads in order, and feel armed with effective ways to deal with our own stress, we are much more able to help our kids get to calm. Emotions can be messy.  If you find yourself regularly dealing with frustrated, irritable, overly-sensitive kids, it's time to double-up on teaching calming skills. We've tons of ideas curated on our parenting, play therapy and feelings boards over on Pinterest.  Swing by and peruse anytime! Cranky kid? You can also check out our post about reflexology (an old fashioned foot rub for kids) HERE.

A Good Start

These three ideas will get you off to a really good start when it comes to creating a calm family.  What else would you add?


Speaking of Helping Kids with Social Skills,
Don't Miss our BIG
Summer of Social Skills Sale
It runs through 7.21.14 @ 10 pm EDT.

Get details HERE!

Summer of Social Skills Sale

This sale has ended.  Be sure to sign-up for our newsletter, so you never miss a sale, great deal or new information and freebies!  Hope to see you there! You'll get more than a dozen free printables for social-emotional development when you join! Go HERE to join!
Summer is a GREAT time to teach social skills.  With the relaxed pace, and plenty of time for repetition, summer social skill teaching makes great sense.  In celebration of summer, (and our most recent, beach-themed post about creating a calm family) and in an effort to help as many parents and clinicians teach social skills as possible, we are hosting a "Summer of Social Skills" sale, with up to 40% off some of our most popular products.

Kids for Kindness  Now $7.79 (Price not changed on page, but price will be reflected in cart!)

Click through each link to learn more about the individual products.  The prices have already been adjusted. When you add an item to your cart, you will see the discounted price.  If you have any problems at all, just contact me at compcounseling at sbcglobal dot net.  I'll be in touch within 24 hours, usually much sooner!

Make it a great summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cranky Kid? Try a Foot Rub! Reflexology for All

Cranky Kid? Try a Foot Rub! 

Most cranky, stressed out kids respond well to physical touch.  A foot massage, following the map above for "relax" and "nerves" can work wonders and really set the tone for a better day.  Try it and see! Better yet, why not start and end the day with a quick, five-minute foot rub to help your kids get off to a great start or end the day on a relaxing note.  It may just become a favorite childhood memory for your kids! (Hint: This works for teens and spouses, too!)

How Will I Find the Time?

Don't think you have time for it?  Remember, an ounce of prevention! Yep! Think about how much time you spend intervening, guiding and dealing with crankiness, bad attitudes and frustrated kids.  All kids experience it from time to time, intense kids even more so.  Be proactive.

Human Touch Changes Brains

A little bit of gentle human touch does wonders for our health.  It changes our biochemistry, and improves our immune system.  Happy brains make for happy people.  Read more about these benefits HERE. Just five minutes can make a huge difference! Set a timer and when it dings, the foot rub is done! Easy peasy lemon squeezie!

Printable Foot Map

While you can find several reflexology maps online, the one we used in our image is designed by Posh.  You can download the PDF to print, directly from Posh.

Reflexology to Reduce Stress

It's been talked about far and wide, including on the Dr. Oz show. The ancient Chinese practice of reflexology has been around for thousands of years. The concept of stimulating pressure points in various locations of the body to relieve stress and/or to stimulate the body's natural healing process has been used through the ages.  If you've ever enjoyed a foot massage, you know the benefits!

Kick It Up a Notch 

You can do a foot rub with no other supplies other than your two hands. Or, you can make your foot massage more enjoyable by adding in any number of Posh's high-quality products:


Just Plain Posh

Call Me Candy

Olive You

The Healer Stick:

The Healer is hands (and feet) down my favorite Posh product.  It was the first Posh product invented and it is sublime.  So versatile, you'll want a few around the house, one in your purse and one at your office desk.  It's just that fab!

The Sleepy Sleep Stick:

A great one for bedtime! The Sleepy Sleep Stick is another fave at the Kidlutions household.

Things to Love About Posh

Natural Based Products:

No Animal Testing
No Petroleum
No Paraben
No Paraffin
No Sulfates/SLS
No Gluten or Soy Fillers
Natural Based Ingredients
High Quality Essential Oils

You can read more about why Kidlutions is all Posh'd up HERE.

So do your kids and spouse!
Pampering makes us all
feel better!
This post contains links to Posh, for which Kidlutions is an Independent Consultant.  
Purchases made through these links will benefit Kidlutions and allow them to continue 
to keep posting free content and creating helpful resources for teachers and educators.

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