Category Archives: Dr. Neal’s Corner

Stimulation, being human and caring for your children

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It is important to set limits on the amount of time and attention your child engages in video games. Our body and mind require stimulation to learn and grow. Many such stimuli provide huge rewards. These rewards (usually in some pleasurable form) encourage seeking, consciously and unconsciously, the stimuli that generate these rewards. Rewards [e.g., […]

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Know About Childline: Child Abuse Prevention Hotline

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Everyone needs to know about Childline, a child abuse hotline dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. In Pennsylvania, the ChildLine and Abuse Registry Intake Unit: 800-932-0313 (TDD: 866-872-1677). Nationally, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Holtline: 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453); both accepting calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. PA Childline website: www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/childwelfareservices/calltoreportchildabuse states: “Each […]

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Self-knowledge improves self care, family care

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, Everybody knows the expression, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” That may or may not be accurate. More accurately:“What you don’t know can’t help you.”  Self-knowledge improves self care, family care. In my training as a psychologist, they beat two things into my head: first assessment, then intervention. The more clear my understanding […]

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Teenagers, defiance, sense of justice. Is that redundant?

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  Teenagers often exercise their defiance and sense of justice in their efforts to define themselves and the September 12 edition of the New York Times provided an article titled, Can Teenage Defiance be Manipulated for Good?.  It sites a study that “finds that teenagers make wiser choices if they are encouraged to reimagine healthy […]

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Always respect, recognize, appreciate your kids

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Always respect, recognize & appreciate your kids. (See earlier article, Self & family care: The Second Three ). And, modeling is the most powerful method of teaching. Thus how we treat ourselves influences how our children treat themselves. As well, how we treat our children influences how our children treat themselves. A simpler way of […]

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Sleep, your teenager, & teenagers doing their best

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Regarding sleep, your teenager & teenagers doing their best, “they” say adolescents need 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, virtually all high schools start classes between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., which means those that take a bus to school may catch that bus as early as 6:45 a.m. Figuring a minimum […]

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Your teenager’s homework & free time

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As summer ends, the management of your teenagers’ time and the completion of your teenager’s homework once school resumes often becomes a battleground of disagreement as to how their time is managed. A common belief teenagers hold is: “In order for me to have power, I must be in charge.” Wrong! Parents (and teachers) are […]

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Praise, self praise & learning

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Praise and self-praise promote learning. Praise from someone who cares about us is the most powerful reinforcement of behavior (See earlier article: Praise: A Powerful Parenting Tool). Self-praise is the most powerful form of praise. The two most powerful forms of influencing another’s behavior is to praise the behavior you wish to see and to […]

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Parenting Guide: If/then agreements

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Keeping agreements with others and yourself is a primary source of power towards having things the way you want (See earlier article: 1, 2, 3! Self-care & Parenting are just that simple). Constructing agreements between you and your children in an “if-then” fashion provides clarity of expectations and consequences (benefits and costs of meeting and […]

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Mindfulness: Parenting & self care

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If we wish our children to develop mindfulness then we must develop mindfulness. Modeling is the most powerful and subtle form of teaching/parenting. The “powerful” part refers to things like: “Here, let me show you. To swing a bat, you hold it this way, stand this way, and swing it this way. Now, you try […]

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