LSCI Institute Offers Training for Parents on How to Help Kids through Conflict


For the past several months, I have been working with my colleagues at the Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) Institute to develop a training series that helps parents understand and successfully manage conflict with their kids.  Based on world-renowned LSCI principles of helping adults turn conflict situations into learning opportunities for kids, the curriculum is designed to teach parents skills for effectively tuning in to kids, listening, de-escalating conflict, and relationship-building.  Parents learn about the six most common patterns of self-defeating behavior and gain skills for helping their kids overcome troubling patterns.

The LSCI Skills for Parents curriculum will be formally available in the Spring of 2012, but check out the great work that LSCI Master Trainer, Dr. JC Chambers, is already doing while piloting the course.  His work is featured in the Madison Daily Leader:


For more information on the LSCI Skills for Parents training, please contact me at or complete the Contact form with the details of your request.

A Powerful Suicide Prevention Video Message: 100 Reasons to Stay


Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people.  GLBTQ teens have a suicide rate that is up to 3-4 times higher than this already sky-high rate.   There “It Gets Better” campaign seeks to help young people know that there is life after bullying and reasons to survive.

This video, created by a couple of kids out of Quinnipiac University, is part of a junior capstone project about suicide prevention.

The video has had a real effect on people dealing with depression or even having suicidal thoughts,” Lauren Taylor said, “I got an email from one girl saying thank you for helping me realize that there is something to look forward to tomorrow.”


100 Reasons to Stay from Lauren Taylor on Vimeo.

Fine! Whatever! 8 Passive Aggressive Phrases Everyone Should Know


Do you ever feel like you are riding on an emotional roller coaster with your child? Is your little one friendly and sweet one day, then sulky and withdrawn the next? Does your teenager consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall and shut down any emotionally-charged conversation? Do you, as a parent, ever resemble that same portrait? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are good that passive aggressive behavior has found a way into your home and family.


Check out my article in the Huffington Post Parents section to learn about eight of the most common passive aggressive phrases and to figure out if “sugarcoated hostility” exists in your home and family.

How Friendship & Other Weapons Came to Life


This morning, an interviewer asked me how the idea for Friendship & Other Weapons came to be.  Thought it was worth sharing with you as well…


My previous book, How to Be Angry, started with the fundamental premise that anger is OK; its 15-session curriculum is all about giving children, tweens and teens specific assertive skills to express their anger in constructive, relationship-building ways.  After writing the book, it became obvious to me that there is a large group of young people who are shut out from this basic presupposition that anger is a normal, natural human experience.   Millions of young girls in the United States grow up immersed in a social universe in which “being angry” is equated with “being bad” or, at best, not “being nice.”  (more…)

I Can Not Tell a Lie: When Role Modeling Backfires…


You Don’t Really Feel That Way, Part 2


A few weeks ago, I posted an article by a great professional, Blogger, and founder of Kidlutions, Wendy Young.  The article was called “You Don’t Really Feel That Way, Part 1.”  

Here, Wendy posts Part 2, a follow-up piece that talks about how to validate kids’ emotional experiences and drain off their intense emotions effectively.  I love what she has to say and how well she explains the approach.  “Drain Off” is my term, not Wendy’s.  Actually, it is a Life Space Crisis Intervention term, and marks the first stage of LSCI’s six stage process of helping kids with self-defeating behaviors develop insight into their patterns and improved relationships with helping adults.

I have followed Wendy’s blogs and articles for about a year now and find myself on the same page with her time after time.  This is no exception.  I hope you’ll check out her work and, if you like it, be sure to also check out, since our training coincides so well with the kinds of thigs she is writing.


Re-thinking the “Drama” Approach to Bullying


Please check out this is great, thought-provoking op-ed piece from the NY Times.  I whole-heartedly agree that with the authors that:

Interventions must focus on positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship rather than starting with the negative framing of bullying. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.

It’s the social worker in me, I suppose; I am a strengths-perspective kinda girl.  In my new book, this is the approach I take.    While the book title Friendship & Other Weapons is used to convey to adult readers the nature of how girl bullying is acted out within relationships, girl participants will come to know their membership as part of a Real Friendships group.  As such, the solution-focused lessons, engaging group activities and relevant discussions will help girls cope with “drama” in honest, relationship-enhancing, self-affirming ways.

Mamas: Grab a Tissue, Then Read This…


…fantastic, funny, bittersweet, heartwarming post from the Pigtail Pals blog: 


What Moms Can Do About Mean Girls


Not only is Maggie Lamond Simone a hilariously funny writer with great insights into parenting, but she’s also a redhead.  What’s not to love?

Check out her great article on “Mean Girls” from the Huff Post.  Apparently, she and I have more in common than just the hair; in her article and in Friendship & Other Weapons, we both write about parents helping kids cope with bullying by teaching them critical skills, such as standing up for themselves, reaching out to others who are being bullied, championing what they like about themselves, and not tolerating meanness.


If we help our girls develop/retain their self-esteem, there’s a better chance they will be neither bully nor victim.”|htmlws-main-bb|dl16|sec1_lnk3|92426

A Bullied Girl Reclaims Her Power: Chatari Jones on the Today Show


I dare you not to tear up as you watch Chatari Jones talk about her experiences of being bullied and the life lessons she has taken from her ordeal.  What a remarkable young girl.  I remember her situation well and think all parents can identify with her father’s feelings of outrage, mixed with helplessness.

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