Ask the Experts

Because children are not born with an owner’s manual that tells us the best way to care for them, it is often a trial and error process. Ask the Experts is a collection of articles that cover topics of interest to parents and caregivers with children from infancy through adolescence.

Articles are organized by age in the categories below.
Early Years 0-6
Middle Years 6-12
Teen Years 13-19
All Ages

Help for Adoptive Parents

By Gayle Merkle, MA, LPC, CSW

Q: We have recently adopted a child. Do you have any suggestions to help us as parents?

A: As a former adoption specialist I was asked to write an article on Adoption. Whenever I get the chance to share what I know to be true on the mystery of being separated and joined to a family I never miss the opportunity.

Read more: Help for Adoptive Parents

Supporting Healthy Peer Relationships in the Teen Years

By Mary Beth Garvey, LMSW

Q. There is so much relationship conflict with teens.  As a parent, what can be done to support healthy peer relationships?

The kind of peer relationships your child has can have a huge influence on their motivation, their success, what’s important to them and the choices they make.  Because of this, it is wise to help your son or daughter know what a healthy support network looks like and how to utilize it appropriately.

Read more: Supporting Healthy Peer Relationships in the Teen Years

Help Your Children Manage Stress and Anxiety

By Mary Beth Garvey, MSW, CSW

Q. There seems to be more and more pressure on kids today.  How can parents help kids to manage the anxiety that comes with the increasing demands on them?

A. Kids are putting tremendous pressure on themselves to excel.  Well-roundedness or moderate success is often no longer good enough for them.  As a parent, you can help your child learn how to identify and manage anxiety.

Read more: Help Your Children Manage Stress and Anxiety

Host an Exchange Student

By Peter Almquist

Q. What are the benefits of hosting an exchange student?

A. Hosting an exchange student benefits the whole community. An exchange student can help expose your school and community to another culture’s views on a number of topics:  from sports, fashion, and family life to religion, economics, and politics.
Read more: Host an Exchange Student

What is Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling

By: Gabrielle Deschaine, MA, LPC, Academy of Dance Therapists Registered

Q:  What is Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) and counseling and how does it promote healing and a restoration to wellness?

Dance/Therapy and counseling is commonly referred to as one of the Creative/Expressive Arts therapies that are used as an adjunct to traditional therapies or as the primary therapy for a wide spectrum of clients Read more: What is Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling

Raising Children with Strong Values and Self-Esteem

By David M. Benson, MSW, LMSW, ACSW

Question: As a parent of three young children (2, 3 and 5), how do I raise my children to have strong values and self-esteem?

Answer:  Raising our children with positive self-esteem and values begins with the parents and the environment that we provide.  It has been said that self-esteem is like nutrition-the more our children have it, the healthier and stronger they become.

Read more: Raising Children with Strong Values and Self-Esteem

Positive Discipline Strategies

By David M. Benson, MSW, LMSW, ACSW

Question:  I have such a difficult time punishing my child, what is the most effective method to punish children?

Answer:  First of all, there is a difference between “punishing” and discipline.  When parents look to correct behaviors, positive discipline has been proven to be more effective.  Read more: Positive Discipline Strategies