<![CDATA[Pam Dyson Play Therapy - Blog]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:10:13 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[National Play Therapy Week - 2017]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:12:39 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/national-play-therapy-week-2017Picture
The Association for Play Therapy (APT) has designated February 5-11, 2017 as National Play Therapy Week.
APT designates this week as a time to recognize the importance of Play Therapy and Registered Play Therapists.

WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?

It's a mental health treatment approach for children 3-12 years of age that uses a child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to life situations. Toys in a play therapy room include games, puppets, art supplies, and sand trays. All toys are carefully selected to facilitate creative and emotional expression from children. In play therapy children learn how to identify and recognize their feelings. It improves their self-concept, reduces anxiety and initiates behavioral changes. By making appropriate choices in the play room children find solutions to problems and learn self control.

Play therapy is facilitated by a highly trained and skilled play therapist who provides an environment where a child feels safe to play out their concerns. As a result, the therapist can assess the play and make recommendations to parents for resolving problems.

Children who are dealing with death, divorce, abandonment, or abuse can benefit from play therapy. Children who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to moving, starting school, the birth of a sibling or a chronic illness can find emotional support in play therapy. Play therapy can also help children who are experiencing problems with anxiety, ADHD, autism, attachment disorders, and learning disabilities.  

With advanced play therapy training, experience, and supervision, a mental health professional can earn the Registered Play Therapist, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, or School-Based Registered Play Therapist credential. APT is a national non-profit professional society that provides research, training and credentialing programs to assist and enhance the expertise of mental health professionals.

If you think your child could benefit from play therapy contact Pam Dyson for more information. Mental health professionals who are interested in learning more about play therapy can find training and supervision information at the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training.

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<![CDATA[Should Children be Treated Fairly or Equally?]]>Thu, 16 Jun 2016 23:08:01 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/should-children-be-treated-fairly-or-equallyPicture
As a parent have you fallen into the pattern of what you do for one child you do for the other? Do you try to ensure your children are treated equally when it comes to attention, time and things?

Perhaps it's time to look at treating your children fairly instead of equally. Even though we use the words interchangeably, fair and equal are not the same thing. Treating children equally means you treat them exactly the same. Treating children fairly means you take into account the individual needs of each child.

For example, your youngest child needs a new pair of shoes. His sibling says, "I didn't get a new pair of shoes. That's not fair!" It's important for you as the parent to point out that their sibling outgrew their shoes and needed a new pair so that was fair. Getting a new pair of shoes, when they're not needed, simply because a sibling received a new pair would be equal treatment not fair treatment and in our family we believe in being fair.

Using a fair approach instead of an equal approach might be something you are not currently doing or perhaps it’s challenging for you to do it as consistently as you would like. Take a close look at why you treat your children equally instead of fairly. Ask yourself some questions. Do I not want to hurt my child's feelings? Does it bother me to see my child disappointed? Am I afraid my children will think I love one of them more than the other?
 
What message are you sending to my children when you treat them equally all of the time? Are your children learning that they should expect equal treatment regardless of the situation?  Life isn't always fair and it certainly doesn't always treat us all equally. That's an important lesson for parents to teach their children.

I encourage you to take an honest look at your parenting to determine if you’re treating your children fairly or equally. If you’re treating them equally and you want to make a change and treat them fairly it can be challenging without some support and guidance. You may want to consult with a parenting coach or counselor who can suggest specific strategies and offer support and encouragement as you work toward your goal.


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<![CDATA[Homemade Holidays]]>Wed, 09 Dec 2015 14:01:15 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/homemade-holidaysPicture
Are you in search of the perfect gifts for the children on your holiday shopping list? Are you concerned the cost of those gifts will break your budget?

Holiday gifts for children don't have to be expensive. Something simple and homemade will bring a smile to a child's face while accommodating your budget.

Here are some gift suggestions for young children that are affordable and easy to assemble.

Create a coupon book for special one-on-one times between you and the child. Choose an activity they would enjoy doing and include an item depicting that activity such as a puzzle, a board game, or the ingredients to make cookies. Children will enjoy redeeming their coupons.

A collection of art supplies is always a welcome gift. Items can include washable markers, crayons, a pad of white paper, multiple colors of construction paper, scissors, glue stick, and a roll of adhesive tape. Most of these items can be purchased at a dollar store.


Assemble a play dough kit. Make two or three different colors of home play-dough and include cookie cutters, plastic knives, craft sticks and a six inch length of a 1 inch diameter dowel for a rolling pin. Put the items inside a cake pan with a lid and watch the creativity take shape. Here's an easy recipe for homemade play-dough:

Let's Make Play-Dough!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan. Add oil, water and food coloring and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when dough begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball. Pour out and knead a few minutes. Store dough in a plastic bag or airtight container.

A gift you create with a child in mind can have a powerful impact on its young recipient. It's guaranteed to generate smiles and the fondest of holiday memories.

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<![CDATA[It's Time to go Back to School]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2015 18:11:47 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/its-time-to-go-back-to-schoolPicture
Are you ready? Is your child ready? Have you made the trip to the store to purchase back to school supplies?

Making sure your child has all the necessary supplies is important. So is helping your child adjust to a new school year. If a bedtime routine was tossed aside during the summer it's important to put one into place. It's best to slide back into that routine a couple of weeks before school starts but if time has gotten away from you it's better late than never.

Start making plans for incorporating homework and study times into your family schedule. Include establishing a distraction free place where your child can do homework. Be sure to include necessary supplies.

Once school is in session, ask your child about their day at school. Don’t resort to the typical question, “What did you learn in school today?” Instead you might ask, “What’s the funniest thing that happened at school today?”

Make a point of getting involved at school. Attend parent-teacher meetings, curriculum nights and open houses. You’ll be showing your child that their education is important to you.

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<![CDATA[The Benefits of Cooking with Your Kids]]>Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:11:30 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/the-benefits-of-cooking-with-your-kidsPicture
I'm a proponent of parents having a special one-on-one time with their child each week. Parents like the idea but admit it’s a challenge to find the time to fit one more thing into their weekly schedule. 

That’s when I suggest cooking together. Everyone has to eat, every house has a kitchen, and for parents who are concerned about their child eating a variety of foods it’s a good way to teach healthy eating habits.

For young children, start with recipes that have fewer than five ingredients. A tossed salad or muffins would be good recipes to start with. Go over basic safety rules of the kitchen before you begin cooking.

Does your child struggle with being impulsive? Does he or she find it challenging to follow directions? Gathering ingredients, following the step by step directions of the recipe and waiting for the end result teaches valuable skills. Measuring and combining ingredients teaches math. Reading skills are enhanced when you ask your child to read the recipe directions aloud.

Keep track of the foods you make together and soon you’ll have a series of menus which will make weekly meal planning easier. Snap a picture of the recipes and when you go to the grocery store your shopping list will be with you. 

Both parents and children gain something out of cooking together. First, there's the quality time you'll share preparing the food. Then there's the pleasure of sitting down at the table together to enjoy what you've created.

Do you and your child have a favorite recipe you like to make together?


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<![CDATA[Grab Your Hat and Read With the Cat!]]>Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:10:33 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/grab-your-hat-and-read-with-the-catPicture
March 2, 2015 is the 111 anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss. In honor of Dr. Seuss the NEA has selected March 2 as National Read Across America Day.

Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers will participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books. Suessville has guides and activities to celebrate reading with young children.

Parents can participate at home by reading Dr. Seuss books to their child. Children and parents might even enjoy dressing like their favorite Seuss character.

Here are some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes:

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so...get on your way!"

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you."


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<![CDATA[National Play Therapy Week February 1-7, 2015]]>Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:21:47 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/national-play-therapy-week-february-1-7-2015Picture
The Association for Play Therapy (APT) has designated February 1-7, 2015 as National Play Therapy Week.

APT has asked licensed mental health professionals throughout the United States to remind the public of the value of play, Play Therapy, and Registered Play Therapists.

WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY? 

It's a theoretically based treatment approach for children 3-12 years of age that uses a child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to life situations. Toys in a play therapy room include games, puppets, art supplies, and sand trays. All toys are carefully selected to facilitate creative and emotional expression from children.

In play therapy children learn how to identify and recognize their feelings. It improves their self-concept, reduces anxiety and initiates behavioral changes. By making appropriate choices in the play room children find solutions to problems and learn self control which leads to taking responsibility for their actions.

Play therapy is facilitated by a play therapist that provides an environment where a child feels safe to play out his or her concerns. As a result, the therapist can assess the child’s play and make recommendations to parents concerning plans for resolving problems.

Children who are dealing with death, divorce, abandonment, or abuse can benefit from play therapy. Children who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to moving, starting school, the birth of a sibling or a chronic illness can find emotional support in play therapy. Play therapy can also help children who are experiencing problems with anxiety, ADHD, autism, attachment disorders, and learning disabilities.  

With advanced play therapy training, experience, and supervision, a mental health professional can earn the Registered Play Therapist or Registered Play Therapist Supervisor Credential conferred by the APT. APT is a national non-profit professional society that provides research, training and credentialing programs to assist and enhance the expertise of mental health professionals.

For more information on Pam Dyson and her play therapy services visit her web site. Mental health professionals can learn more about play therapy training opportunities at the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training.

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<![CDATA[Do You Want to Improve Your Parenting Skills in 2015?]]>Mon, 05 Jan 2015 02:54:39 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/do-you-want-to-improve-your-parenting-skills-in-2015Picture
The  holidays are behind us and the kids will soon be back in school. Did you make any parenting resolutions for the new year?

The beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate your parenting skills. What presented the biggest challenges to you during the past year when it came to being a parent? What frustrates you the most about your parenting?

Select one of those challenges, I suggest the one that occurs most frequently, and make it a goal to find some new ways to deal with this challenge. That might involve reading a book, taking a parenting class or consulting with a parenting coach or therapist for help specific to your family situation.

I work with parents all the time teaching them how to respond to their children in ways that will make life easier and life stressful. I help them come up with bedtime routines and other strategies for managing child behavior problems.  

I have a flexible schedule to accommodate the busiest of parents and would welcome an opportunity to meet with you for a consultation to discuss how you can be the parent you want to be and make 2015 a year where parenting is less stressful and more rewarding.

Contact me for more information.


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<![CDATA[Toys to Enhance Creativity and Imagination]]>Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:13:09 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/december-18th-2014Picture
A father shared with me that his young daughter brought him a toy saying it wasn't working and requested he put new batteries in it. Upon realizing the toy was not battery powered he took a closer look at the toys his children play with. He realized he wasn’t fully aware of how many of the toys his children own require batteries.

We can’t ignore technology. It’s a part of our lives and our children’s lives and it’s not going away. I encourage parents to balance out the number of electronic toys they give their children with open-ended toys that encourage creativity and imagination and don’t require a scripted way to use them.

If you're purchasing toys for children this holiday season I'd like you to consider the following: Blocks, Lego's, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs. Traditional board games such as Checkers, Chess, Candy Land, Connect Four, Trouble, and Jenga. Don't overlook puppets, art supplies, puzzles and play dough. Think back to the toys of your childhood. Which ones bring back memories? Chances are your child would probably enjoy those same toys.

Once your child has opened their gift, get down on the floor and play with them. You'll be creating new holiday memories for both you and your child.

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<![CDATA[Awaiting the Holidays]]>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:26:21 GMThttp://pamdyson.com/blog/awaiting-the-holidaysPicture
As Christmas looms closer, your children may be bouncing off the walls in anticipation of holiday preparations, parties and the gifts they hope to receive. Even though they are exhibiting happy energy it can get out of hand.

An over-eager child might break ornaments while helping decorate the tree. They might drop the plate of cookies you baked for the neighbors or give away secrets about what's in the packages.

Here are some suggestions for how to get things under control without curbing your child's excitement.

Write down on the family calendar when special events will occur. This eliminates your child continually asking when events will occur.

Even with all the extra events, keep your child's routine as consistent as possible.

Enlist your child to help with gift wrapping, making place cards for the family dinner or even helping clean the house in preparation for guests.

Suggest they play a board game or other quiet activity. This will have a calming effect and bring their excitement level down a notch.

By helping your child find ways to channel all of their holiday excitement, things in your house will be much more manageable.





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