Ask an Expert
I have a child who is very good but won’t follow directions. What should I do?
The way parents phrase requests can make kids more (or less) likely to follow through. Giving kids the right kind of praise helps, too.- Kristin Carothers, PhD
My anxious son is 16, home-schooled, and prefers ‘cyber friends’ to real ones. We want him back in school, but can he cope?
It is very possible, if they help him overcome his anxiety in a structured way with the help of professionals. Avoiding it isn't the answer, and it doesn't have to be.- Stephanie Dowd, PsyD
After a year of therapies, my son with autism and ADHD hasn't made much progress. Will this ever get better? What must we do?
Gains come very gradually with these kids. Mark (and celebrate!) very small successes, and consider changes in therapies and schooling.- Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA
My daughter will only use the toilet with me or two other people. This started after a teacher abused her. Any advice?
Drs. Bubrick and Howard look at the trauma that may have caused this response, and the behavioral techniques the family can use to help their daughter get back to enjoying school and friends.- Jerry Bubrick, PhD
My son, who struggles with anxiety and ADHD, has poor self-esteem and trouble fitting in socially. I've seen kids being very mean to him.
You want to start by finding out if he is being bullied or just misreading cues. If the former, you should intervene. If the latter, he needs help with social skills.- Rachel Busman, PsyD
My child with depression is close friends with another girl who is depressed. Is this friendship unhealthy?
While your daughter's friendship isn't causing her depression, it may be reinforcing some of the negative behaviors that are keeping it alive.- Jill Emanuele, PhD
Should parents force kids with depression to do things they don't want to do?
Avoiding regular activities can make depression worse, so it is important to encourage kids to stay active.- Jill Emanuele, PhD
Is it normal to have 'waves' of bad behavior? Our son is good for a week, then starts again.
The family is on the right track doing positive reinforcement for good behaviors, but consistency and patience is also necessary to break the 'habit' of acting out.- Matthew Rouse, PhD, MSW
A kindergarten student with SM refuses to use the bathroom at school. Do you have any suggestions?
Give him lots of opportunities to practice outside of regular school hours. His parents can get involved, too.- Rachel Busman, PsyD
My seven-year-old daughter keeps wetting her pants at school. What should we do?
Your daughter might be struggling with something called enuresis. A behavioral therapist should be able to help.- Laura Kirmayer, PhD, MSW