La Coop P.A.- General and Forensic Psychiatry - Boutique-Private Psychiatric and Forensic Practice in Tampa-Clearwater-Florida


June, 2011



I love June for a lot of reasons, but the primary one is that I saw my very first patient in my own practice in June 2008 and things have been on the up and up since. The office is busy and I appreciate all of you allowing me to live out my dream of being a doctor and helping people change their lives.

With that, a lot of the work that I do involves parents relating to and dealing with their children. It's my opinion that we can have no more important job than to be parents to our children because each thing we do effects them in a significant way. This newsletter is going to focus on some parenting tips to aide you in your most important job.

Dr. L

Parenting Tips

Many of you know that I am not yet a parent of human children, but of 3 dogs and 1 parrot (and a husband!). However, I have a lot of kids that are patients and as a Psychotherapist, it's my job to be a "good parent" as a rule. So, though I'm not an expert and don't profess to be one - here are some BASIC parenting tips that everyone can use.

  • Express your love for them. Every day, tell them how much you love them and give lots of hugs and kisses. Now, once they are teens it's not as cool to them to get physical affection, but still remind them that they are loved.
  • Listen and HEAR when your children talk. Actively listen to what your children have to say. They say a lot in a little words. You may repeat back to them what they said so that way you can be assured that you don't misinterpret things.
  • Provide order in their lives. Kids look to their parents for boundaries, discipline and structure. ALWAYS keep a regular schedule of meals, naps and bedtimes. If you have to change the schedule, tell them about the changes ahead of time. Consistency is KEY.
  • CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Your rules don't have to be the same ones other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent. Consistent means the rules are the same all the time. If 2 parents are raising a child, both need to use the same rules. Also, make sure baby-sitters and relatives know (and follow) your family rules.
  • PROTECT your children. Comfort them when they're scared. Don't make fun of them if something frightens them. Make sure they know that being with mommy and daddy is the safest place they can be.
  • POSITIVE reinforcement for POSITIVE behavior. When your children do something good, make sure they know it. Even though you feel that it's unnecessary - it is necessary for kids to feel that their parents are proud of them. Remember, this doesn't mean that they need toys or money for every good thing they do. Sometimes a simple "thank you", or "I'm proud of you" goes a long way. Variable positive reinforcement is most effective.
  • PUNISH BAD behavior - and fast. I feel that this is really lacking in parents of children with problems. When your child makes a mistake they need to know it. Now, let the punishment fit the crime. Understand what behaviors are NOT tolerated and let them be known (disrespecting parents). With that, let them know what the punishment will be and FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT! Variable punishment doesn't work. Consistent punishment for bad behavior does.
  • Spend time with your children. Do things together, such as reading, walking, playing and cleaning the house. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually an attempt to get your attention.
  • FUTURE ORIENTATION always. Remember to help your kids keep their eyes on the prize. It's good to let your children know that they are working toward something in the future. Also, support your children's desires if they are something that you see has longevity such as sports, cooking, writing, art, etc.

Some of the newsletter is adapted from an article in

Be checking your actual mailbox for my annual card.

Thank you all for your support!


Dr. L

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