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


March, 2012 - Focus On Family

As some of you may know, I am one of five children in my family. I am closer to some than others, and recently I did a telesession via Skype for my brother's High School Psychology class. After I did it, he facebooked me this letter:

"Hey Em!! Thanks so much for giving up your time to talk with my kids yesterday...the feedback I got was so awesome, everyone loved you!! That was probably the most fun I have ever had were absolutely amazing!! The way that you laid out the importance of family was so humbling because most of these kids come from broken homes and they don't understand that it doesn't have to be like that...I could go on and on about how much fun that was like the good old days . That was such a blessing to me Emily...I am so proud of you and all that you are doing and it was so cool hearing my students talk about how great you are. You really touched some lives yesterday morning...I have one little girl who probably will become a psychiatrist now because of you. Thank you Emily, thank you so much...I love you!"

Anyway, this newsletter is inspired by my brother, his students and all of my patients with children.


Dr. L


When I was speaking with my brother's class and when I see patients with issues with their children, the things that keep coming back are behavioral and emotional problems that are linked not only to their biology, but to the environment in which they live.

Common Misconceptions

Parents these days (as far as I have seen it) think that they need to be friends with their kids and that if that doesn't happen that they have failed as a parent. Part of being friends is never saying "no" to their child, giving them everything they desire (many of these kids have nicer cars than me!), and never considering significant punishment for fears that it will ruin their child's self esteem. None of these things could be further from the truth. Now, don't get me wrong - some people take these things to the next level and neglect their children (which was an example my brother brought up), or beat them to the point of hospitalization. This is an extreme and not what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure where this thought came from where kids are essentially running the house and that the parents are living for their kids primarily. I see kids who are running the house. And I'm not dealing with uneducated parents - I'm dealing with very educated parents who want what's best for their children. However, they took it to the extreme and now they are dealing with a self centered, arrogant, entitled, and unruly kid who is now having trouble in society (school, with friends, at a job, etc.)

NOW what?


Kids need only 2 things: stability and love. If these two things are in place - doesn't matter what clothes they have, what car they drive, or if they have the newest game system - they will be OK. Things are always cool and if you have the means, or if your child is particularly good - then treat them once in a while. Gifts or money mean nothing like time with you. There is no better feeling than coming home and knowing that there are people there that love and care for them. Parents that will be there for them if there is bad news or if they didn't make straight As.

Parents are the basis for the environment in which the kids live and therefore there are some guidelines to make it one for the kids to thrive in:
-Consistency with boundaries and expectations.
-Consistency with parents rules as well as children's rules.
-Consistency with punishment.
-Fiscal responsibility so that all basic needs are met.

Again, parents are the models for all things that kids do. Be sure that your relationship is one where there is mutual respect, love, and affection so your child will know that this is what they should expect in their own relationships.
-Talk through disagreements.
-Respect one another.
-Value one another.
-Be physically affectionate.
-Be verbally affectionate.
-Make the other person feel that they are loved and wanted.

I hope that this newsletter was helpful. Please email me with ideas for the next newsletter!

Dr. L
La Coop, PA

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