Ask an Expert
My 13-year-old daughter is so anxious about her sexual orientation she is self-harming. What should we do?
Intrusive thoughts about sexuality and compulsions to reduce the anxiety are classic OCD. But she also sounds depressed. Behavioral therapy can address both.- Jerry Bubrick, PhD
My 5-year-old has trouble following instructions. He just doesn't listen. I do time outs and it's still the same. His teachers do too. I'm at a loss.
We suggest 'labeled praise,' or specifically rewarding desired behaviors and 'actively ignoring' others. And since the boy's father has ADHD an evaluation isn't a bad idea.- Mandi Levine, PsyD, MBA
My 12-year-old daughter acts much older than she is. How do I rein her in?
Being understanding, and talking openly about her feelings and ambitions, is the place to begin. And remember, all kids want to be older, and you can relate your own experience.- Stephanie Dowd, PsyD
My 4-year-old with a behavior disorder attends therapy but she can't compose sentences or express feelings. Am I doing enough for her?
Recognizing your emotions and expressing them requires higher order processing. This is one reason why some young children are oppositional.- Mandi Levine, PsyD, MBA
My 2-year-old daughter has a lot of fears and they are getting worse. Should I be worried?
Fears are typical at this age, but some kids are a little too reactive. To help your daughter, try to model distress tolerance and flexibility.- Laura Kirmayer, MA
Since the birth of our third child, my eldest daughter refuses to go to bed. Please help!
Remember that all attention is reinforcing, even negative attention. Praise her when she's being good and look for ways to help her feel loved and important.- Mandi Levine, PsyD, MBA
My 8-year-old son has been dealing with the death of his best friend, and now his uncle has died. How can we tell him?
Be brief, honest, and concrete. Make it comfortable for him, now and later, to ask questions. Let him know that his feelings are okay, and don't share your own.- Jamie Howard, PhD
I'm 16 and I'm feeling like there is something wrong with me. I may be depressed, but I'm not sure. Please help.
Adolescent depression is more common than some people think. Take a look at these signs of depression, and see how many fit you.- Stephanie Dowd, PsyD
My 7-year-old seems to only hear what he wants to hear. How do I make myself clear?
How well children understand what we say often depends on how old they are.- Matthew Cruger, PhD
My daughter has been treated for depression, but it doesn't seem to be working. What can we do?
Ask her why she thinks treatment isn't working, and try to be supportive, not critical.- Stephanie Dowd, PsyD