Debbie Gross, LCSW, Ltd. - Individual, Marital & Family Therapy
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One Therapist's Reflections

Children with Social Reasoning Difficulties

From October 25, 2009

I have always been a fan of Amelia Bedelia. She’s a character in a children’s book, and she takes life very literally. My favorite scene in one of her books occurred when she was playing baseball. She was on third base, and the next batter hit the ball. Her teammates told her to run home, so Amelia Bedelia ran to her house. Little did I know back when I was first reading about Amelia’s escapades that many of the children I work with live life much like Amelia’s character.

Children with social reasoning difficulties often communicate very literally.

Hey Mom, What's for Dinner?

From October 12, 2009

One of the most important things we can do with our children is share a meal together. If you’re like many families, finding time to prepare, let alone eat a meal together, amidst carpools for dance, soccer, Hebrew School, CCD, and violin practice is nearly impossible. Yet it is one of the most connecting times you can spend as a family. Take a look at what you can do to bring the family together for dinner at least 2-3 times each week. And let’s talk about what you can do to create harmony in your family during these times.

Getting a Healthy Perspective on Kids and Sports

From September 24, 2009

Now that school has begun and Labor Day has passed, parents are full swing into fall sports with their children. This is a great time to put sports into proper perspective. For the sake of this blog, I am writing about kids and team sports. I am also categorizing the different levels of sports involvement for children in the following manner: new learner, casual player and competitive level.

New Learner: Many children begin their team sport involvement around age 4 or 5 when community park district leagues are introduced to this age group.

Spoofing-Know the Term and Stay One Step Ahead of Your Teen

From September 9, 2009

When you are dealing with teenagers, sometimes we have to stay ahead of their game. I learned of something that is worth sharing on this blog. Typically, I have advised parents that if their teens are sleeping at a friend’s house, you should make sure that when they arrive, they should call you from the friend’s landline, so you can be sure your child is at that home. However, by spoofing a Caller ID, they can deceive you into believing they are one place, when they are actually in another.

How to Parent from Afar

From August 30, 2009

Many of you have just gotten back from taking your child(ren) to college. I, too, am in that group. Nikki & Jamie, my identical twins, are starting their sophomore year at University of Illinois. While this year was MUCH easier than last, I still have the 3 W’s -wonderabout how they are managing,worryabout their safety, andwishfor their happiness and success. So I thought this blog entry would focus on parents’ roles while children are away from home.

When children are little, parents really are problem solvers.

With Gratitude

From Thanksgiving 2009 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. First, it was the weekend that I was married, almost twenty-three years ago (now it's 31 years!). I am blessed with a wonderful husband who has always encouraged me to live my dreams. For that, I am forever grateful. It also is a holiday filled with some very enjoyable traditions. I will share mine here, and ask that each of you share one or two special traditions that make this holiday important to you as well.

Inspiration

From August 15, 2009

I just finished reading a very special book,Notes Left Behind, by Brooke and Keith Desserich. It was an inspiring and difficult read, as parents Brooke and Keith journal from the day of diagnosis through the death of their beautiful six-year-old daughter from pediatric brain cancer. The title refers to the wonderful collection of notes that Elena left for them, scattered throughout their home, hidden in bookcases, briefcases, pillow cases, professing her love for her parents and sister.

Getting Ready For School

From August 13, 2009

As the summer comes to a close, parents are busy organizing school supplies, buying fall clothes, and comparing class lists and teacher selections. It is a hectic, nerve-wracking time. We worry if this year will be successful for our child. Will he make friends? Will the teacher encourage learning and spark a true interest in my child? Will my child be the victim of a class bully? We want our children to be safe, love to learn, and grow in every regard. As I look back on each year in the lives of my own children, and the children who I see in therapy, I am reminded of my own angst when I sent my twins off to preschool for the very first time.

Am I in Control of My Technology, or is My Technology Controlling Me?

From August 4, 2009

I saw an interesting sign at the local service station, which uses it’s signboard to motivate travelers who pass by. The quote, by Joe Bob Briggs, said, “Apparently we love our own cell phones but we hate everyone else’s.”

We are annoyed when someone we are with spends “our” afternoon together texting others. We are bothered by the person standing in line at the bank carrying on a phone conversation as if she was the only person in the room. We watch the car in front of us swerve back and forth, only to pass him as he chats on his cell phone.

Parents are Role Models for Our Youth

From July 29, 2009

Sometimes we forget just how important our influence is on our children. Below are four tips to think about as you go about your day. It will help guide you in how you approach your children, and help you to encourage them to be the best they can be through positive guidance and acceptance.

When children approach you in the morning or after school, greet them with eye contact, a friendly, warm face, and a welcoming voice.
Sometimes we’re busy getting dinner ready, we’re distracted by our own day-to-day moods, or sometimes we’re holding onto a previous, negative situation.
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