New Year, New Goals

Graphic of a girl holding a big pencil looking at a big checklist
January feels like the perfect time to practice mindfulness and find new ways of healing. At the beginning of every new year, millions of people reflect on their accomplishments, difficulties, and things they didn’t get quite right in the past 365 days. Traditionally people come up with resolutions or goals to work toward in the coming year to improve some area of their life. While we always encourage enhancing the quality of your well-being, it's also important to remember that you are still the same amazing you. With that in mind, here are a few tips to consider as you seek improvement and [...]

Halloween: A Tricky Situation

Child in costume holding a pumpkin basket with parents sitting on couch in background
Among the goblins, ghouls, and other ghastly beings that emerge during the month of October is something else truly haunting: a child who’s been traumatized by something they've seen during Halloween. Children may react negatively to costumes, decorations, or movies that are unfamiliar or too scary to process. Bad dreams, stomachaches, and headaches can indicate that the child has more fright than delight. They may become more clingy or nervous, suddenly be afraid of the dark, or not want to go trick-or-treating. How To Tell When Halloween Is Too Scary & What To Do Village Therapist RaeAnn [...]

12 Fun Ways to Regulate Big Emotions

Playful regulation blog header image
Little bodies can be stressed with big emotions. Frustration, anger, and anxiety can bubble up quickly and be hard to rein in without the right tools. Learning how to regulate these feelings can be fun! Lots of regulation strategies for kids can actually look just like play. Children can experience a variety of mental health issues, including: Anxiety and Depression Attachment Disorder ADHD/ADD Autism Spectrum Disorders Early Childhood Mental Health Issues Behavior Issues Childhood Trauma Sensory Processing Disorders/Difficulties And More Many Village counselors are specially trained to [...]

Apollo's Family Found Help at The Village

Apollo smiling, a child who came to The Village for therapy.
Apollo is a smart little guy, but was struggling at daycare. His parents didn't understand what was going on. Then, they found help at The Village in St. Cloud. Apollo was diagnosed with sensory perception disorder, and his parents are learning how to help him. This is their story: If you're concerned about your child's behavior or mental health, please contact The Village. You can call the office nearest you, or request an appointment online.

How to Become a More Playful Parent

dad playing with daughter by swinging her around outside
Parenting is serious business, and it can be overwhelming at times. It can also be a whole lot of fun if you find ways to sneak some play into your day. You don’t have to shirk grown-up responsibilities or make a fool of yourself (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to become a more playful parent. Here are some easy-peasy ways to have more fun with your kids. Why not try one today? You can clean out the fridge tomorrow. The Village offers parents support and advice through parenting classes as well as counseling services. Call 1-800-627-8220 or contact us online to learn more. Answer [...]

How to Spot Mental Health Warning Signs in Kids

Adults need to be on the lookout for mental health warning signs in children
Did you know that 1 in 6 youth from ages 6 to 17 experience mental health issues each year? Children often cannot voice their emotions like adults can, and that is why it is important that adults look out for warning signs of mental illness in kids. Early recognition of childhood mental health issues can prevent suicide, learning challenges, long-term mental health issues, and homelessness. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or mentor of a child, it’s important that you are able to identify possible symptoms of mental health struggles in children. What mental health issues can children face [...]

Advice for Tackling 'The Talk'

father and son have an honest conversation
Has “The Talk” come up for you and your family yet? You know ... the birds and the bees, hanky-panky. Yep, I’m talking about sex. If you are anything like most people, the desire to talk to kids about sex is ranked as high as your desire for a root canal. It can feel overwhelming or downright uncomfortable. I’m here to tell you that if you are worried about what to say, how to say it, and fear “getting it wrong” – you’re doing it right! This means you’re likely to tackle difficult issues rather than leaving it to your children to get the information from their classmates or – God forbid – [...]

How Do I Teach My Child to Say Please and Thank You?

Begin teaching children to say please and thank you at an early age
As parents and caregivers, it’s important to encourage our children to use good manners. Saying “please” and “thank you” are social courtesies necessary to use throughout one’s lifetime. Starting early to teach our children good manners will provide the most positive results. Children learn best by modeling the behavior we want them to follow. For instance, when you ask your children to pick up their toys, set a good example by saying “please.” When they follow through on your request, say “thank you.” The behaviors you model will help your children develop a positive habit of using nice [...]

Talking to Kids About Their 'You Know What' Parts

boy and girl looking at doll wondering proper names for their body parts
The list of alternate (read: slang) names for genitals is endless. Some are cutesy (think snack foods) and others cringey, but the takeaway for me is this: How can we possibly know what a young child is referencing when they talk about their genitalia with code names? We can’t. Research over the last 30 years has convincingly and concretely recommended using the anatomically correct names for our children’s genitals: penis, vulva, vagina, anus. Why, you ask? Research supports the following facts: When we use anatomically correct names, our children are learning about their genitals the same [...]

12 Tips to Enjoy Winter Break with Your Kids

family dressed in winter clothes jumping in the air
When schools let out for winter break, and all the excitement surrounding the holidays may lead to a hectic household. After a few days, disrupted routines, sugar-filled diets, and cabin fever may have parents singing that familiar Christmas carol line: “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again …” This list of tips can help families keep their winter vacations merry and bright. It boils down to good communication, regular routines and taking it easy on each other – and yourself. Have a countdown. Put activities on a calendar to reduce questions about what we are doing and when [...]