It's no secret, that when your kids are happy you are happy. I hear this in therapy all the time, 'I just want my kids to be happy.' Your kids can be happy, but you can't expect them to be happy all the time. As human beings we have a variety of feelings: anger, sadness and happiness to name a few. One of the first steps is letting your kids know they don't have to be happy all the time, and give them permission to express other emotions. 

Children learn by example. If you only show happiness to your child then they will think they need to be happy all the time. It's alright to express other feelings to your children or around your children. A lot of mother's out there will say things like, 'Your father will not hear about this, we don't want to upset him.' What message are you sending your child when you say that? The message is that dad must be happy all the time, that is a lot of pressure for everyone. When dad comes home fill him in on the day, whether it's good or bad. 

Here are five tips that will make you a better listener with you kids:

  1. Get happy yourself. As a parent it's easy to want to please your children and make…

Read more: How To Stop Yelling And Start Listening To Your Kids

Everyone always says, 'It's no big deal just ignore it.' That strategy is alright some of the time but not all of the time. Ignoring mild misbehavior is a legitimate parenting strategy. It shows your little one that his/her antics won't get your attention. This means he/she will be less likely to repeat it in the future.

However, not all behavior should be ignored. If it is, it will lead to worse problems down the road. Keep a look out for these small misbehaviors and take action ASAP. Here are 6 little behavior problems you can't ignore:

  1. Interrupting when you are talking. Your child may be really excited and want to tell you an important part about their day. When you allow your child to butt into your conversation, you give your child the message that it's alright. This doesn't teach your child to be considerate of others. This also doesn't teach your child to occupy their time on their own. The next time this happens let you child know you will be busy. Suggest a few toys or games they can play with. If they continue to interrupt you, steer them back in the right direction.
  2. Exaggerating the truth. At first the exaggerations are little. Maybe, your child told you they finished all of their vegetables. When the truth is they hardly touched…

Read more: 6 Little Behavior Problems Parents Shouldn't Ignore

Parenting is no easy job. It's also a job that never ends. If you have taken on this job, you need to congratulate yourself. You are responsible for the well being of another human being. Parents have a tremendous impact on a child. Now and in the future. Remember Freud, it's true the way we relate to our parents is how we learn to relate to the world as adults.

I find a lot of parents want to be perfect. If you feel this way, you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody is perfect. You also set the example of having to be perfect for your child. This is unrealistic and can cause problems down the road. I also find that children are way overbooked these days. Your child doesn't have to do everything now. They have a whole life time to fulfill their dreams.

Here are 10 easy ways to be a fantastic parent:

  1. Don't try to fix everything. Give your child a chance to find their own solutions. Depending on their age, of course. It's alright to acknowledge they are frustrated, simply by saying 'I see you are frustrated.' This will help in the future. They will gain more confidence in themselves. 
  2. Play with your child. Play is your child's language. Gear the type of play based on their age. Toddlers love…

Read more: 10 Easy Ways To Be A Fantastic Parent

The Benefits Of Understanding Your Child's Emotions



We live in a fast paced society. I hear it all the time in my practice, 'how can I connect with my child?' Parents want to connect with their children more than ever these days. Living in the Bay Area can be demanding, and not leave as much time for your family as you would like to have. You are not alone in feeling this way. I see many families that are going through this.

You can connect with your child. You just need to understand their emotions. We all have emotions. They are important in life. They help guide us in making many decisions. Sometimes, we wish we didn't have them. But, we do, it's called being a human being. I'm always glad when I hear a parent say they would like to connect with their child. This means they deeply care about their child. This is very important. Be curious and enthusiastic about your child. This will make a big difference. Here are five tips to help you connect with your child:

  1. Take an interest in what your child's interests are. This is one of the best things you can do for your child. I know it can be difficult when they really like the Raiders, and you like the 49ers. I'm not asking you to like the same things they do, I'm just…

Read more: The Benefits Of Understanding Your Child's Emotions

5 Tips That Will Keep You And Your Kids Happy During The Holiday Season
"Christmas is doing a little extra something for someone."
Charles M. Schulz


It's that time of year. Christmas is right around the corner, and then The New Year. Right now you may be trying to get in that last-minute shopping. Your son must have a Monster Truck, and your daughter must have the perfect doll. The mall is a madhouse and traffic is horrible. What you really want for Christmas is for your kids to get along and be happy.

You can actually have that. I'm here to tell you that it is within reach. Do you know what really makes your kids happy? I would really like you to take a minute to think about that. When your child was born, they were naturally happy. You just need to feed them, burp them and change their diapers. All of this involves touching them and making eye contact with them.

As time goes on, you begin to play with them. They love to have your attention. I know it's not possible to always give them your full attention. They will need to learn how to self-soothe when you are not around. Here are 5 tips that will help your kids be happy throughout their life:

  1. Nobody is happy all the time. We have a range of feelings and they are constantly changing. You don't want…

Read more: 5 Tips That Will Keep You And Your Kids Happy During The Holiday Season

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions


Contact Us  Get Directions