Managing your child’s back to school anxiety With the start of the school year just weeks away, so many children are beginning to look forward to returning to class. However, the numerous uncertainties, unanswered questions and unknowns about what school will be like this year, alongside the significant life changes and adjustments of the past 16 months, has created a lot of anxiety for returning students. While back to school anxiety is not uncommon, recent surveys have shown that the number of elementary, and middle school, high school, and college students experiencing anxiety is at an all-time high; one survey [...]
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Three Tips To Getting Back to Normal After COVID-19 By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. As a global pandemic, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the world. To date, there have been close to 180 million total cases, and the virus has tragically taken the lives of over 3.8 million people. Regardless of one’s personal experience with COVID-19, for the past 15 months, the world as we have always known it has not been the same place in very upsetting ways -- working from home, virtual learning for our children, social distancing, financial hardships, stress and anxiety in response to changes [...]
Having a mild life crisis as a couple? “Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.” – Eleanor Roosevelt The Canadian psychoanalyst, Elliott Jacques coined the term “Mid-Life Crisis” in 1965. He believed that mid-life is a transitional phase rife with uncertainty and emotional conflict, pertaining to one’s sense of mortality. Later research in this area has found that to varying degrees [...]
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Competitive Youth Sports As a psychologist, I frequently work with children and teens involved in competitive team sports, and while there are certainly advantages to being a great athlete at a young age, there can also be a number of challenges. The Good. The positives of youth sports are manifold. Research studies have shown that highly athletic children and teens do better academically, socially and emotionally and are more physically fit when compared to those who do not participate in competitive organized sports. According to Niko Eckart, Founder and Technical Director of [...]
“Yes Day!” is a recent movie that involves a mom and dad that usually say “no” to their children, but agree to a 24-hour period where their children get to do whatever they want (with some reasonable ground rules). The family goes on an adventure with all sorts of twists and turns, and the story unfolds with fun, impulsive, and at times difficult emotional moments for them all. In the end, the children and parents grow from their whirlwind day, and they become closer and better off as a family for having had the experience. The movie is adapted from [...]
In these technology driven times, managing our children’s screen time is a daily – and sometimes moment to moment – parenting task. With the changes we’ve had to make societally as parents due to COVID-19, that task has certainly become even more imperative. Think about it. Many children are on screens for full school days now, then they do their homework on a screen and then they enjoy much of their free time with screens. If your children are awake about 16 hours a day, the majority of their waking time is likely being spent with some form of technology. [...]
Meet Me in the Middle:What You Need to Know to Really Know your Middle SchoolerWhere Did My Child Go? When many of us think back to the age we wish we could take a redo, the tween and pre-teen years of middle school often come to mind. It’s a time when most kids live in the whirling limbo of two different worlds, with one foot still planted in childhood and the other tripping into all of the messiness of puberty. Change best defines this phase of life, and as we know, change is not easy… for any of us. Parenting a middle schooler [...]
Dr. Mike, My husband has been offered a promotion to a new position on the West Coast, but his company needs him to relocate by March! If he doesn’t accept, they will give him a severance package, but then he’s without a job and I stay at home. The move would have a higher salary, which is great, but I know for certain that moving abruptly will be difficult on our 3 children since Ashburn has always been their home. It will be especially difficult for our two older children in high school. My parents live in NOVA and my [...]
Dr. Mike, My husband has gone on an insane health kick that is causing us a lot of problems as a couple and as a family, and I don’t know what to do. Basically, he’s lost his mind with diet and exercise, and it started in April and right after he started working from home because of COVID-19. He’s lost 65 pounds on the Keto Diet and he exercises all the time; I guess I should be happy for him but the problem is that we don’t see him anymore. He won’t eat meals with us because of his diet, [...]
Making Positive Change Happen in 2021! On a societal and global level, COVID-19 has made this year a difficult one in so many ways. Worldwide, close to 1.7 million people have died, and close to 80,000,000 people have become sick with the virus. Statistics on COVID-19 are also imperfect given testing limitations and the lack of consideration of those who may have it but are asymptomatic, so the number of cases is likely higher. And the virus has impacted us all individually in so many profound ways – how we work, how we go to school, how we socialize, how [...]