Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Monthly Archives: February 2014

What is happiness and are happy people doing something differently from unhappy people? Is there an insider key to happiness that some have figured out and others have not? You might think so with the bevy of books, videos, seminars and self-help gurus out there, but the real truth is happiness has a different definition for each of us. I do not know what makes you happy, but I am certain that finding a level of content in your life will reap huge rewards for you and your family.

Viewing happiness as a fixed state makes achievement unrealistic and ultimately disappointing.  Feelings of happiness ebb and flow.  We all have our ups and downs, and happy children (and parents) seem to know that.  Happy children have confidence in their abilities to solve problems. They view mistakes and setbacks as challenges rather than insurmountable problems.

Parent happiness and personal happiness are not the same. When asked the question, “What makes you happy?” many parents will answer, “I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.” The problem is:  if your children are happy all the time, you are working way too hard!  After all, there are enormous benefits to experiencing daily doses of emotional distress.  Children are empowered by the process of falling down, skinning their knees, brushing themselves off, and moving forward.  When your child takes a spill, your job as parent is to communicate both verbally and non-verbally; “You have this,” “This is temporary,” “I know you can handle it.”

an excellent article from The Washington Post.


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

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Here is a great article from Psychology Today discussing what happy people do differently.


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

Posted in Behavior Management, Communication, Depression, Parenting, Resiliency | Comments off

As the parent of a teen you are well aware that teens love their privacy and the ability to communicate with their friends without interference from “Big Brother,” AKA, mom and dad. While giving teens their own space is very important to their personal growth, the explosion of social media, the myriad of ways teens now communicate and the rise in cyber bullying makes paying attention to how our teens converse with their friends that much more important. There is a proliferation of new apps that allow users to remain completely anonymous which is rapidly growing in popularity with teens. These are apps that you, as a parent should be aware of and speak with your teen about. Anonymity allows teens to say ugly and mean things without retribution and that is a dangerous trend.

Here are some suggestions on how to monitor your teens’ communications; and yes they do seem “Big Brother-ish,” but that is the reality of today’ world.

· Keep your computer in the open at home where you can casually monitor your child’s computer activities. Let your child know that you will be periodically checking in on their friends list, webpage history, and communications, not to intrude on their privacy, but to make sure they are safe

· Discuss cyber bullying openly and review appropriate vs. inappropriate online behavior. If possible, begin this dialogue prior to opening an email or social networking account. Setting guidelines in advance will make it easier for you in the long run

· Discourage secretive behavior

· Learn your child’s username and check your child’s profiles, webpages, and blogs

Here is an excellent article from The Washington Post.


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

Posted in Bullying, Communication, Parenting, Social Media and Children | Comments off