Entries by Beth Chung

Helping Your Middle Schooler Become More Inclusive

Middle school can be a tough time for children (and parents!) as they transition to adolescence and navigate changes in a variety of areas. One of the biggest challenges in middle school is the social aspect as it often marks a shift toward focus on popularity and cliques, to determine who is “in” and who […]

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Talking about Adoption

“Where do babies come from?” This question can feel overwhelming for any parent to tackle, but when adoption is a part of your child’s story, this question can become more complicated. Understanding adoption as a part of one’s identity is a life-long process. As your child’s understanding of family, relationships, and society develops, so will […]

Home Alone: How To Know When Your Children Are Ready

Deciding when your child is ready to stay home alone can be challenging.  Some young children may insist that they are ready before you think they are, whereas some teenagers may feel nervous even though you feel confident in their abilities. While most experts agree that children should be at least 10 years old to […]

“I have no friends!”: How to Support Your Children Socially

“I have no friends.” I can only imagine how painful it must feel for parents to hear their children speak these words. It certainly breaks my heart when children confide these experiences in me during therapy. As a marriage and family therapist, I work with many children and teenagers who struggle with their peer relationships and, […]

What To Do (and Not To Do) When Your Children are Negatively Influenced by Friends

“But Johnny says swear words, so why can’t I?!” “But Emily gets to stay up until 10:00!” “But Mike talks back to his parents, and he doesn’t get in trouble!” Do these comparisons sound familiar? Friends can heavily influence your children’s behaviors and beliefs. As children begin to spend more time at school and extracurricular […]

How to Talk to Your Teen About Dating

According to the Illinois Attorney General, 89% of teens aged 13-18 in the U.S. report that they are in a dating relationship. While the subject of dating may feel daunting for parents, educating your teens about the expectations that come with dating, discussing family values and rules, and providing a space for teens to ask questions […]

“No! Don’t touch me there.”: How to Teach Young Children about Safe Touch

With all the news on the Penn State Scandal where a coach sexually assaulted children and no one stopped him, parents are asking how and what they should teach their children about “Safe Touch”. There are multiple lessons parents teach children to ensure their safety, such as: handling interactions with strangers, getting help when bullied, maintaining a healthy […]

“Can you check under my bed for monsters?”: DOs and DON’Ts to Help Children Who are Afraid of the Dark

Teeth brushed? Check. Pajamas on? Check. Story read? Check. Tucked in? Check. Search the closets for monsters? Should you or shouldn’t you? Many children are afraid of the dark, and these fears becomes especially present during bedtime, when they are alone with their thoughts of monsters, ghosts, or other scary creatures that lurk in the […]

Monsters, Zombies, and Ghosts, Oh My!: Help Children Who have Fears about Halloween Feel Safe and Have Fun

With the costumes, candy, games, and parties Halloween brings, it can be an exciting time for many children! For some children, however, it can also bring about fears and concerns, especially with graphic costumes, haunted houses, and talk of various monsters. Here are some tips to help your child who is scared feel safe and have […]

Girl Power!: How to Empower Middle School Girls

MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Moody? Self-absorbed? Preoccupied with peers? I often hear parents ask, “What happened to my sweet little girl?” or “Why doesn’t she open up to me?” As a parent, you may feel frustrated, confused, or sad about your daughter’s behaviors, especially if she did not […]