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AT Parenting Survival Podcast

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PSP 122: How to Handle Sibling Fighting

The bickering, the fighting, the taunting and teasing. It is enough to drive a parent to the brink of insanity. Seriously! So how are you supposed to handle sibling fighting? Is there some magic fairy dust to make it all go away? Well, no – but there are things you can definitely do to minimize the level of sibling squabbles in your house. In this week’s AT Parenting Survival Podcast episode, I am sharing all my tips, tricks and survival techniques to get siblings to stop fighting. ***...


PSP 121: Handling Oppositional Behavior in a Child with OCD or Anxiety

They dig their heels in. They refuse to go. They refuse to eat. They refuse to move. Oppositional behavior in a child with OCD or anxiety can be all consuming. So, what are you supposed to do? Well for starters, treating it as typical oppositional behavior won’t work. Either will typical parenting approaches. When a child with OCD or anxiety is being difficult, their opposition is vastly different than the typical oppositional kid. In this week’s podcast episode, I dive into the oppositional...


PSP 120: When Your Child with Anxiety or OCD Needs to Control the House

Anxiety or OCD can make you feel like you house has been hijacked. It can make you feel like your home is not your own. Having a child with anxiety or OCD can often mean, having a controlling child. Kids with anxiety or OCD can be controlling for many reasons. In this week’s podcast episode, I go over the reasons why a child feels the need to exert control, and what to do about it. To get on the waitlist for the Difficult Behavior Class text ATBEHAVIOR to 44222. To learn more about the class...


PSP 119: The Important Role of ERP in the Treatment of OCD with Martin Hsia

People will try to treat OCD with many different approaches. Treatment of OCD can include the use of talk therapy, play therapy, biofeedback or EMDR. But the truth of the matter is, OCD will not improve significantly without ERP, Exposure Response Prevention. So what is ERP and how does it work? I invited Dr. Martin Hsia, the Clinical Director at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California, to sit down with me to have a chat all about ERP in kids. To learn more about...


PSP 118: What it’s Like Growing Up with OCD with John Tessitore

Have you ever wondered what your child with OCD is going through? What their life is like growing up with OCD? I had the pleasure of talking to John Tessitore, the founder of the JCK Foundation. He was willing to get raw with me and share some personal details of what life was like growing up with thoughts he hid from the outside world. He paints a picture of what it can feel like to think you are all alone and how he found hope and inspiration when his brother’s friend took him under his...


PSP 117: Helping Kids with Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism can hide behind labels like “shy” and often gets missed by parents, educators and even therapists. I had the pleasure of talking to Patsy Butterworth, a State Coordinator for Selective and a mom to a child with Selective Mutism. Patsy has been a huge advocate for her son through his journey. She now supports other parents, connecting them to resources and spreading knowledge about Selective Mutism. In my interview with Patsy, she helps us understand what Selective...


PSP 116: Growing Up with Separation Anxiety and Panic with Amanda Stern

She suffered silently. She suffered often. Her parents didn’t understand her pain. She didn’t understand her pain. So it often goes. Growing up with separation anxiety and Panic Disorder can be a disorienting, overwhelming and lonely experience. Amanda Stern, the author of Little Panic, shares not only her story, but the story of so many anxious children growing up in a world that swallows them up whole. I had the privilege of chatting with Amanda about her life growing up with separation...


PSP 115: Helping Kids with Moral OCD

Hearing your child confess thoughts that do not make sense can be heartbreaking. Moral OCD is one of the most confusing OCD themes a parent, and for that matter, a child, can experience. Kids with Moral OCD are bombarded with thoughts. What if I am a bad person? What if I did something bad? What if I do something bad? They can come at you with a barrage of questions that seem to never end. Do you think it is bad if I… I had this thought that… What if I… The need for reassurance and...


PSP 114: Supporting Dads Raising Anxious Kids with Larry Hagner

No one signs up for struggles. We all have our vision of what parenting will be. It usually does not involve a child with panic, fear and dread. It can be hard to pivot and alter your parental course. It can also be a challenge to pivot with a partner. Raising anxious kids is often counterintuitive. Many parents find they are not on the same page. Anxiety is rough on kids, but it can also be rough on marriages. I invited Larry Hagner from The Dad Edge Podcast to offer a perspective I don’t...


PSP 113: Dealing with Your Own Anxiety Can Help You Become a Better Parent

I didn’t know the level of my anxiety until I brought little people into my world. It seemed like my anxiety just couldn’t hide under the weight of parental stress. That happens to many of us. We strive to become a better parent and we begin to realize that it is actually our own anxiety that is holding us back. In this week’s podcast episode I talk about how tackling our own anxiety, not only helps us – but it can help our kids as well. *** Interested in my AT Parenting Community...


PSP 112: Helping Your Sensitive Child Handle Mean People

I love my empathetic, kindhearted and intuitive little girl. She is the sparkle in everyone’s life. That is until my pretty flower wilts at the slightest tone, stare or comment that has a hint of meanness behind it. My sensitive child crumbles when the world is mean around her. Let’s not even talk about when the rudeness is directed at her. Many of us are raising a sensitive child. A sensitive child comes with many wonderful gifts. Gifts I wouldn’t change for the world. But they also come in...


PSP 111: Want Your Kids to Talk to You? Why Your Reaction Matters.

“He just won’t talk to me!” I often hear. Or “I try to ask her questions, but she just gives me one-word responses.” So how do you get your kids to talk to you? Often, we inadvertently shutdown communication with our kids without even knowing it. One of the perks of being a child therapist is I get an inside view of what is going on. Many times, kids will tell me they want to open up to their parents, but they don’t like the reactions they get. So, what are these reactions – and how can we...


PSP 110: Helping a Child with Anxiety and ADHD with Angela Pruess

Having a child with anxiety can be rough, but having a child with anxiety and ADHD can be complete parental overload! Both anxiety and ADHD have their own challenges – and together they can be a force to be reckoned with. That is why I have invited the knowledgeable and ever-helpful, Angela Pruess from the site Parents with Confidence: Angela and I are almost mirror images of each other. She is a mother to three kids, two of whom have some extra needs...


PSP 109: Understanding What Your Child’s Difficult Behaviors Might be Telling You with Dayna Abraham

In my home I have become somewhat of a detective. When my kids are angry, impulsive, hostile or defiant – there is also some pretty big anxiety or OCD hiding underneath. I have learned how to decode my child’s difficult behaviors in order to get to the heart of the matter. I have learned this the hard way. I have bumped heads. Gotten into power struggles. Stooped to their level. But I’ve realized time and time again – that approach not only makes me feel bad, it’s simply not effective. That...


PSP 108: What is Momo and How Much Should I Worry About Online Safety?

It seems like where ever you look, there are new threats and warning about the dangers that lurk in the online world. This week you might be asking yourself, “what is Momo?!” But in a new world where Youtube has replaced the TV and Snapchat, Instagram and Xbox live have replaced the phone – how are we meant to keep our kids safe? I have invited my go-to expert on all things kid tech related, Dr. Adam Pletter, to help calm our nerves and give us practical tips and suggestions on where to go...


PSP 107: The Ugly Feelings Most of Us Secretly Experience as Parents

I am not sure when we, collectively as a society, decided that parents aren’t allowed to have ugly feelings. You know the feelings I’m talking about. The guilt. The annoyance. The middle of the night panic. The darker one’s too…. When you have fleeting feelings of not liking your child. When you have days where you want to get in your car and not come back. As parents we all have feelings we don’t like to talk about, let alone admit. In this week’s podcast episode, I am airing out those ugly...


PSP 106: The Fear of Throwing Up | Do's & Don't in Parenting

Believe it or not, the most common anxiety issue I deal with in my therapy practice is the fear of throwing up. The formal name, Emetophobia, quietly paralyzes so many of our kids. The fear of throwing up gets kids sucked into a vicious cycle. I worry I’m going to be sick… And the worry makes me feel sick. So I worry some more. How do you help your child get off this hamster wheel of torture? Surprisingly it is the opposite of what most parents think. In this latest episode of The AT...


PSP 105: How to Help Kids with Sensory Issues with Cameron Kleimo

It is not a coincidence that many kids with anxiety and OCD have sensory issues as well. Sensory struggles often go hand in hand with anxiety and OCD. Many of us have kids who can’t stand tags, have tantrums over socks and go running in the opposite direction to loud noises. Regardless of whether your child has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or is just sensitive, there are things we can do to help our children cope with sensory overload. I invited the knowledgeable Cameron Kleimo from...


PSP 104: How to tell the Difference Between Anxiety and OCD

Even though anxiety and OCD often go hand in hand, OCD is often missed. So how can you tell the difference between anxiety and OCD? In this week’s episode I dive into the difference and why it is so important to figure out. *** Interested in my AT Parenting Community Membership? Click below to join us! Sign up for my weekly email newsletter: To sign up for my online class on How to Crush Social Anxiety...


PSP 103: Learning to Play Detective When Raising Kids with Anxiety or OCD

Raising a child with anxiety or OCD takes a completely different set of parenting skills. Helping kids work through their issues doesn’t have a begin, middle and end. It is a way of life. A way of looking at life. A big part of staying on top of any progress you have gained is learning how to play detective. When you are raising kids with anxiety or OCD you need to be proactive, not reactive. This doesn’t mean you have to live a life full of fear or worry. But it does mean you don’t want to...