Amy Kostak

By Ashley Maturo & Amy Kostak.

All children are born with personality traits that remain relatively constant throughout their lives. Some kids are more sensitive or more withdrawn. Others are born more active or more persistent.

But two traits that can change, with a little help from parents, are optimism and resilience. Optimism is a positive outlook and hopefulness; resilience is the capacity to effectively bounce back from challenges. These traits are key components of happiness. The good news is that happiness is a skill that you can teach your children. Continue reading

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By Brynn Rosadino & Amy Kostak, CFLE.

Is your little boy or girl all grown up?
Are you struggling to have a positive, productive relationship with your adult child?

Once your child is 18, you are no longer legally required to support him. However, many adult children live at home and receive both financial and emotional support from their families. While many adult children depend on their parents, hopefully they are also striving for independence. And while parents want their children to successfully launch, they may still be reaching for connection and, yes, even control. With these new dynamics, it can be difficult to set appropriate boundaries while maintaining positive communication with your children when they are adults living at home. And recognizing what you can and can’t control, as well as what you should and shouldn’t control is an important part of this stage. This can be a learning experience for many parents and adult children. Continue reading

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By Amy Kostak, CFLE.

Virtually all books about potty training emphasize that toddlers have observable signals of readiness. One facet of readiness – which is usually overlooked – is the development of a cooperative parent-child relationship.
Potty training may seem like it’s just about your child, but it’s equally about you.

Before you begin the toilet training process, ask yourself three questions: Continue reading

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By Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW.

Recently, we received this message from a parent:
“I have an only child that is almost 5 years old and is very entitled. He throws temper tantrums and pushes his limits to the VERY end. He listens well to everyone except his father and me. Any ideas?”


“Entitled” children expect to “get their way” – that is to get what they want, when they want it, at least a good portion of the time.

If that is the case with your child, it is likely that his intense emotional displays cause you or your partner (or both) to periodically give in to the intense emotion. Unfortunately, your natural instinct to give in to stop the upset tends to backfire. Even if you only reward those emotional displays from time to time, that will keep them going and may lead to more intense behavior. Your attention and giving the child what they request are both enormous rewards, and you will get more of whatever behavior you reward with your attention. Continue reading

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By Brynn Rosadino.

Are you ever overwhelmed by your child’s challenging behaviors?
Do you struggle to stay calm as your child escalates?

If you said yes to either of those questions, you are not alone.

Human beings are built to reflect each other’s emotions. When our children display intense feelings and behaviors, our brains naturally mirror those emotions. We start to feel stressed, angry, fearful, or overwhelmed just like our children.

When a child escalates, it is important to remain a calm center for that child. Though it may not always come naturally, we can learn strategies and coping mechanisms to help during these stressful times.  Continue reading

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By Amy Kostak, CFLE-P.

The teenage years are crucial to a person’s healthy development, but they can be daunting to parents. While teens are seeking more independence, parents are grasping for connection. This disconnect can result in a lot of frustration. Luckily, we have some strategies that parents can use to improve their relationships with their teens. Continue reading

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