Raising Healthy, Happy Kids

Raising Healthy, Happy Kids

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

The Secrets Of Happy Kids - 5 Things That Will Make Them Happy

We all want our kids to be happy. We try to give them everything we didn't have as a child. We sign them up for sports, music lessons and art classes. We want them to be creative and outgoing. Have a good group of friends and be knowledge. 

Sometimes, this can come at a cost. I see many children in my practice and are overbooked, these days. I think a lot of parents mean well, but push their kids too hard. This can cause a kid to feel anxious or not good enough. Which, I know, as a parent this is the last thing you want.

Children are actually happy by nature. They don't have the pressure of the world on their shoulders. They are able to experience happiness through the small things in life. They enjoy learning and seeing new places. Like, the grocery store, if they haven't been. Enjoy your child while they are still at home. They will grow up quick. Here are five tips that will help make them happy:

  1. Play with your child. Play is your child's language. I mean get on the ground and play with them. Take delight in playing with your child. You can play at the park or play a board game inside. When parents play with their children, it helps their self esteem. 
  2. Allow your children…

Read more: The Secrets Of Happy Kids - 5 Things That Will Make Them Happy

We all want the same things for our children. We want them to grow up to be happy and healthy adults. They are actually only your children for a short time. As we all know, the time flies by. So, make the most of it while you can.

This doesn't mean that you have to give your child everything they want, or everything you didn't have while growing up. Your child needs you the most, whether they want to admit it or not. The best thing you can do is spend time with them. Here are seven secrets that you must read:

  1. Learn to say no. In the short term this will not make them happy, but it the long run it will pay off. They don't have to be happy all the time. I'm sure while you were growing up your parents said no, and now you can see why. This will also help them set boundaries for themselves. When children don't hear the word no, they don't learn to say the word no.
  2. Make sure they feel heard. Listening is one of the best things you can do for your child. They can tell when you aren't listening. For example, when you are watching T.V. or talking/texting on the phone. When a child feels like you are truly listening, they feel loved. Make sure to turn…

Read more: 7 Secrets To Raising A Healthy And Happy Child

Eight Signs Your Teen is Depressed


This post is dedicated to teens. If you have a teenager, then you know they affect your relationship. Which is why I am writing this post. Teenage depression isn't just bad moods and an occasional angry outburst. It's a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen's life. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, pregnancy, violence and even suicide. As a concerned parent, friend, sibling or teacher, there are many ways you can help. Offering support and talking about the problem can go a long way. Here are eight signs that your teenager may be depressed:

  1. Sadness or hopelessness
  2. Irritability
  3. Withdrawal from friends and family
  4. Change in eating or sleeping habits
  5. Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  6. Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  7. Difficulty concentrating
  8. Thoughts of suicide or death
You might be wondering if your teenager is depressed or just "being a teenager." It's important to consider how long the symptoms have been present and how severe they are. Also, does your teen seem like his or her usual self. While "growing pains" are to be expected, dramatic, long-term changes are not the norm. Their behavior could be a red flag of a deeper problem.
There is a difference between teenage depression and adult depression. Irritability, rather than sadness is the predominant symptom. They can have unexplained aches and pains. They are extremely sensitive to criticism, this is from extreme feeling of worthlessness. They may withdraw from some people rather than all people. They may keep a couple of friends, whereas an adult can isolate.
Depression in teens can lead to problems in school, running away, drug and alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, reckless behavior and even violence. If you suspect a teenager in your life is depressed, then speak up right away. Help is just a phone call away. You can call the teen suicide hotline or 911, if the teen is suicidal. For more help, please call me for a consultation at (650) 892-0357.

Read more: Eight Signs Your Teen is Depressed

Contact Information

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

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions

Address: 1510 Fashion Island Blvd. Suite 110 San Mateo, CA 94404

Contact Us  Get Directions