How to Handle Anxiety About Returning To School

 Psychology Phd and Performance Specialist Addresses Back to School Anxiety In the Wake of Covid..



The start of any school year is typically nerve racking for kids, parents and teachers alike. Fall 2021 is not a “regular” back to school time.  For many, this is the first time they will be returning to class in person.  Tensions are high as the mask debate rages on, people are divided about vaccines, and the Delta variant has proven to be highly contagious as more children are hospitalized with Covid 19 and doctors fear it could get worse. How should parents talk to their children? How can parents cope with stress? How do parents answer difficult questions posed by their children.  Haley Perlus is a psychology PhD. She can address some of the following issues that are bound to come up as school resumes:

Children being bullied for wearing a mask-  In schools that don’t have a mask mandate, some children and their parents may elect to wear masks. How do parents instruct their children to deal with those who might bully them for doing so?


The vaccine debate -Approximately 49% of the US population has been fully vaccinated. This is bound to cause heated debate among parents in discussion, and even older children. How can both parents and children express their viewpoints without causing fights and alienating friends?


Health Anxiety- Many children, parents and teachers may feel fearful about returning back to school and potentially exposing themselves to Covid. How can people lessen anxiety about getting Covid? For those who are fearful, what protective measures can they take and how can they stand their ground in “socially awkward” situations.


Saying No as A Parent- There may be events or outings that as a parent you are not comfortable having your child participate in.

How do you explain this to your child/children? How do you speak to other parents who don’t share your viewpoint?


Integrating your child to be social again-  Depending on where you live and your circumstances, some children have been more isolated from peers than others. School and other interactions took place over Zoom. Parents need to work with children to help reintegrate them into in-person interaction.



About Our Client



Dr. Haley Perlus knows what it takes to overcome barriers and achieve peak performance. As an elite alpine ski racer, she competed and trained with the best in the world, pushing herself to the limits time and time again. Now, with a PhD in sport psychology, Haley continues to push boundaries and drive peak performance, helping athletes and Fortune 100 executives reach their goals. 


Haley works with individuals and teams to manage and expand their energy capacity while increasing resilience, focus and drive. Dr. Perlus is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, professor, author and consultant to Division I athletes. She has spoken at many events some of which include VISTAGE, Tec Canada, Elite Fitness and Performance Summit and Trilogy Athletes. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado lecturing on applied sport and exercise psychology at the graduate level. She has authored several books including The Ultimate Achievement Journal and The Inside Drive and her articles have been featured in publications such as Thrive Magazine, Fitness Magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal, EpicTimes, Telluride Inside, MyVega and BeachBody®. 


Dr. Perlus earned her PhD at the University of Northern Colorado with an emphasis on social psychology of sport and physical activity, her MS at the University of Florida in sport pedagogy and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario in kinesiology. Haley loves both water and snow skiing, and hiking. Her favorite meal is anything that requires only chopping or blending.




3 1/2 Easy Ways to Manage Challenging Mealtime Behaviors…..and Save Your Sanity

As a preschool teacher I deal with a lot of different problems. I love my kids that eat all their lunch. It makes me so happy to check off “all” on the forms for the families. But most toddlers are problem eaters. This is a great article about how to manage challenging eaters. Ahhh that’s a much nicer word than problem eaters. 

My life is a nightmare of feeding problems with my son. He will only eat potato chips or peanut butter packaged crackers. I’m worried about his health. If I offer something else and tell him he must eat it or he’ll get sick I have to deal with a full fledged tantrum! What can I do to stop this behavior?

Why are some kids so difficult about food and mealtimes? It turns out there as many reasons your child display extremely difficult behaviors at mealtime as there are foods they’ll turn up their noses at. Eating patterns linked to challenging behaviors are affected by everything from personality traits to parental control at mealtime to social influences to maternal eating patterns. Or it could just be your kid being, well, a kid.

One thing we know for sure is that parental anxiety won’t help.  

The experts at The Watson Institute suggest that its better to avoid bribing and begging, learn by example and to try new strategies.  Experts are available for interview or to prepare a guest article that takes a deeper dive into exerting control, food types, patterns and more…as well as three and 1/2 easy ways to being to regain control of mealtime behaviors (and your sanity).

1. Use a “behavior story” - written from your child’s perspective - to provide him or her with directions for different situations, like social and behavioral expectations for eating in a restaurant with the family.  These are great for  children aged 3 and up! 

2.  Trial & Error  - Picky eating isn’t always a matter of behavior alone. Consider strategies toeliminate possible medical issues or allergies.  After that, try to schedule meals and snacks rather than snacking - this will make it        more likely that your child is hungry at mealtimes.  Explore presenting a food your child likes in a fun way, such as cut or served differently.

3.  Keep mealtimes short - 15-20 minutes for younger children and 20-30 minutes for older children

3.5  THE BIG BONUS:  Never underestimate the importance of eating with your child at the table to model desirable mealtime behavior and turn meals into family time


ABOUT WATSON:  Founded in 1917, the Watson Institute helps children with special needs achieve their fullest potential in all aspects of their lives. This mission is achieved through educational and support services to more than 1300 children annually from across Western Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio through our continuum of services.  Watson strives to provide programs that serve the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, neurological impairments, other developmental delays and serious emotional disturbances.  The Watson Institute honored its centennial anniversary of service in 2017.  To learn more about the Watson Institute and about upcoming events, please visit

Overcoming Parent Guilt by Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

If Ben Franklin were alive today, he probably would have changed one of his more famous quotes to say, “Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and mom guilt.”

Especially in a world where we spent the last year quarantining, working from home, homeschooling, and making what seemed like an infinite amount of other huge life changes, the amount of guilt parents are feeling because they “didn’t get it right” is immense.

So if the guilt parents feel is crushing their will to keep trying … what are they supposed to do?!?

Never fear. Take this list to heart as you look to subdue the beast that is parent guilt.

  • YOU ARE NOT A PERFECT SUPERHUMAN STOP IT. Read that again. And again. And again. Because that’s the standard parents are holding themselves to most of the time. Somehow, they are supposed to perfectly balance their home and work lives on a budget with no help, all while miraculously anticipating every one of their childrens’ needs so they are perfectly happy every second of the day.

    That’s impossible.

    Life is messy, frustrating, and most days feels like a really-not-funny round of improv. Parenting is hard enough as it is. Admit that the added pressures you may (*cough* most definitely) have placed on yourself aren’t doing you any good.

  • Be okay with being insecure. The fact that you got your preschooler out of the house with all of their clothes on and no food on their face was feeling like a huge accomplishment until you saw your neighbors load up into their SUV, singlefile, looking like they popped out of a fashion magazine.

    There will always be other parents around you who seem to have it all together. (Key word: seem.) A lot of parenting guilt stems from feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. 

The truth is literally everyone feels that way. The problem is that no one wants to admit it. However, admitting you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or guilty could be just the thing to offset those feelings. There’s a freedom that comes with stating the reality of the situation. So be the one to stand up and say, “I’m tired of trying to convince everyone that I know everything!”

  • Unfollow whoever is adding to the guilt. And this means online AND in real life. If there’s an influencer, another parent, or a family member who just always makes you feel bad about your parenting, cut them out. Mute them on social media. Sit at a different table. Their negative influence on your life is making things worse.

    If you can’t completely remove them from your life, then don’t give their opinions a second thought. Instead, surround yourself with parents and family members who don’t make you feel guilty. That isn’t to say people that will 100% agree with you on all things, but loving and supporting people don’t always have to see eye to eye. 

  • Identify the things you don’t need to feel guilt over. There is a lot of “fluff” that circulates the parenting world that somehow gets labeled as “essential to being a good parent.” Figure out what those things are for you and ignore them.

    Did your kids’ dinner come from the freezer again tonight instead of including some kind of kale salad? Don’t feel guilty. Do you drink too much coffee today instead of drinking the 12 gallons of water an influencer mom on Instagram said you should be drinking? Don’t feel guilty. Want to rip your hair out because your kids are on your nerves? DON’T FEEL GUILTY.

    Speaking of feelings, that’s an area where parents really need to tone back the guilt. Feeling annoyed, frustrated, or angry is not a sin! How parents respond to those feelings is another story (more below), but parents can make themselves feel bad just for feeling them at all. Again, you are a human. The people you love are not perfect and will frustrate you A LOT. Both of those things are fine.

  • Acknowledge, apologize, and learn. Sometimes (aka frequently) parents might (aka most certainly) act or react in a way they know is wrong. Maybe you snap in the car because your kid forgot their backpack at home for the third time this week. Or maybe you had to work a lot this month and hardly saw your family at all. If you don’t say anything to your kids about these behaviors, they will either (a) think they are acceptable or (b) think you don’t care how your actions affect them. Own up when you think you’ve messed up and sincerely apologize to your kids.

    Even better, let them know exactly how you’re going to change. Maybe explain that having to turn around in the morning is really inconvenient for the whole family, but that didn’t give you permission to shout at them. Or explain that work has been demanding but that you’ll do a better job of disconnecting from work and really engaging when your family spends time together (quality over quantity).

    Most importantly, follow through with your behavior. Kids are very perceptive and will be watching to see if you live up to your word.

  • Be kind to yourself! We end most of our blog posts with the reminder to practice self-kindness. That’s because we know you are honestly trying your best. Remind yourself of that next time you feel guilty about doubling your toddler’s daily allotment of tablet time, skipping your workout for the fourth day in a row, or becoming so frustrated with your child that you could cry. In the end, you’ve set your destination to “Best Parent I Can Be,” and that’s what really matters. Keep trying, keep improving, keep asking your kids for grace, and keep finding support in your community. Take time to decompress, enjoy your family, and work toward making the best life together that you can.

    That’s what matters.


For more parenting tips and tricks by Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool go to

Tips for Reducing Separation Anxiety in Preschoolers 

Spending Quality Time with Your Kids 

How to Be a Supportive Parent

Why Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors is a Solid Investment

There’s nothing like hardwood floors to complete a beautiful home. They are both durable and elegant. They also add significant value to your house, that would otherwise not be there with a linoleum or carpeted floor finish, for instance. However, even resilient wood floors can become scuffed, scratched, and faded over time. When this occurs it’s important to refinish them professionally. 

Say the professionals at Tri Point Flooring, if your hardwood floor is covered in nicks, scratches, and scuff marks, it’s time to have them buffed and coated. It’s also possible to change your floor’s gloss to semi-gloss, Satin, or even a high gloss. This would not only restore your initial home investment but increase it, which is especially important if you’re planning on putting the house on the market. 

What it Costs to Refinish a Hardwood Floor

According to a recent article, sanding, buffing, and smoothing your hardwood floors is a fairly straightforward process for a reputable wood flooring outfit. This will run your around $2,500 to $3,000.

Or, if you’re more the type to do-it-yourself (DIY), you can rent a sander and attack the project on your own. This will cost only about a third of what a professional will charge. But if you decide to put in new floor, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) claims you need to plan on spending about $5,000 minimum. That’s why it makes more sense to rehabilitate old floors rather than buy new. 

Return on Investment

Hardwood floors are said to deliver a terrific return on initial home investment. That’s why if your floors need work, it’s worth the cost and effort to get them back in their original shape. Your cost recovery for spending $2,600 to $3,000 for a floor rehab is likely to be 100 percent. This means you will not only get your money back, you will make money when you sell. 

27 percent of realtors believe it’s a good idea for sellers to refinish their hardwood floors prior to listing the home on the market, while 5 percent claim that by doing so, it has helped them close the deal. 

Also, installing a brand new wood floor can potentially provide an even better 106 percent return on investment (ROI)However, if your existing floors are not in bad shape, it’s still a better idea to have them refinished rather put all that cash upfront to purchase new. 

To Refinish or Not Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

Refinishing your existing hardwood floors doesn’t just add to your home’s resale value, it makes for a higher quality of living. If you have a rental property or Airbnb that features wood floors, you can charge a higher rent. 

One caveat. Young kids and hardwood floors don’t always go well together. If you have little ones running around, you might want to hold off on refinishing your existing floors. Between their toys and their constant stomping around, your hardwood floors, although durable, will still take a beating. It’s a better idea to wait a few years when they are more under control before investing in refinishing. 

Refinishing Rental Properties

Just like waiting until the kids have matured a little before spending the money to refinish, you might want to hold off on refinishing your rental property for a while too. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of long-term renters. 

The constant moving in and out that comes from short-term renters can cause a lot of wear and tear on hardwood floors. That said, it’s probably a better bet to hold off until you’re about to put the property on the market. 

Elegant Hardwood Floors

There’s no denying the elegance of hardwood floors. There’s also no denying their overall durability too. Hardwood floors stain far less than floors covered with carpeting. But they also tend of get scuffed and can even chip when mistreated by high foot traffic, the pushing in and out of chairs, not to mention the kids plastic toys being tossed around all day. 

But if you’re planning on putting your home on the market, it will pay to have your hardwood floors refinished by a certified professional who can even enhance your existing floors with new stain color options like antique brown, aged barrel, cherry, coffee brown, English chestnut, red mahogany, gunstock, and so much more. The investment will pay off in spades.


Mistakes To Avoid When Washing Your Boat

Did you know that there are close to 15 million boats that are registered in the U.S? If you're part of this number, you should understand how important wash down systems are. In addition, how using the right technique to wash your boat is. However, there are things that you should avoid when you wash your boat. To find out more, you should keep on reading. 

Using the Wrong Cleaners 

If you're a new boat owner, it's easy to think that cleaning one is a lot like washing down your car. However, this isn't quite the case. The thing is, with your car, you can mix up different cleaning solutions and still have it sparkly clean in the end. Yet, your boat requires a bit more care and attention particularly with the boat cleaning solutions that you use. The reason is that your boat has different materials that make up its exterior and interior. The last thing that you want to do, is to use cleaners that can cause wear and tear damage to your boat. This can cause major problems for you when you're in the water. 

Not Rinsing before Scrubbing

Water is full of debris and other dirt that sticks to your boat. When you're scrubbing your boat, you should make sure that you rinse it well before you start. This should be a habit for you as soon as you pull your boat out of the water. This is a great way to get rid of surface dirt that can end up damaging your finishes. After a good rinse, you can use a soft sponge or a microfiber cloth to minimize any scratching on your finishes. 

In summary, taking care of your favorite boat shouldn't be a challenging or overwhelming experience. You should know what to avoid so that you minimize any wear and tear damage in the long run. 


How to handle divorce well


Going through a divorce is never easy. But its important to navigate this difficult time in your life carefully, to make sure that it doesnt affect other people. This article will provide six tips to help you handle a divorce. 


Recognize that itnormal to have different feelings

Its normal to feel a wide range of emotions after going through a divorce. These might include anger, depression, relief, and hope. Let yourself experience these feelings without judging them or trying to ignore them. Just as there are different stages in grief after someone dies, you may need time to heal from your divorce before you can move on.


Give yourself a break

Be kind to yourself and dont put pressure on yourself to do everything right. If you need time off from family responsibilities, take it. Dont feel guilty about the fact that you can sleep in, watch TV, or just lounge around your house all day. It will help you relax and adjust to this new stage of your life.


Get legal help early

Navigating a divorce is very difficult if you dont know how to navigate the legal system and your rights. It can be confusing when your attorneys talk about custody disputes, alimony, or property settlements. You might not fully understand what these things mean until its too late. On the other hand, having knowledge about your legal rights can help you protect yourself and your children.


You can also do your own research before speaking to a divorce lawyer. Type into Google something like - What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma? This will allow you to navigate divorce admin more easily.


Take care of yourself emotionally and physically 

Its important to take care of yourself, which can be difficult if you have children. Make sure that you spend time with your kids, but also give them the space they need to adjust to what is happening around them. Try doing something fun for yourself each day. This could include going out to eat, walking, jogging, or doing something creative.


Avoid power struggles and arguments with ex-partners

Its easy to fall into the trap of wanting to win” when it comes to your divorce. Dont let this desire for control cause you to fight with your ex-partner, especially about custody arrangements and property sharing. Even if you think you deserve more than what was agreed upon, its important to avoid conflict. Thisll make things easier for your children and reduce stress levels.


Dont involve your children in the conflict 

Avoid involving your children in the conflict with your ex-partner. This includes speaking badly about them to your kids or excluding your ex-partner from important events. 


It also includes not allowing them to hear you arguing on the phone or putting each other down in front of them. Dont involve them in your conflict once youve separated, because it can cause them to feel torn between you.


How To Help Your Dog With Behavioral Problems

Has your dog started exhibiting bad behavior lately? From chewing on furniture to stealing food off the counter, dogs will act out for a number of reasons. Sometimes they're bored or sometimes there is something more serious going on. You love your dog no matter what, but helping him get over his behavioral issues will make for a happier dog and a less stressful household.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise

One of the most common reasons that dogs begin acting out is because they aren't getting enough exercise. The pent-up energy leaves them feeling bored and finding ways to keep themselves entertained. Even dogs with fenced-in yards need more exercise and enrichment from time to time. Take him on long walks several times a week, take him to the dog park, or simply spend some time playing fetch with him every few days to see if there is any improvement.

Help your Dog Stick To a Schedule

Most dogs thrive on routine. If your schedule has recently been in upheaval, consider how it's affecting your dog. Are you feeding him at the same times each day? If not, he may start "counter surfing" for your food. Is he allowed to potty at regular intervals? Dogs do not have as much bladder control as humans and may start to go inside if they don't get out enough. Create a routine for your pup and do your best to stick to it to help his behavior.

Work With a Professional Trainer

Some dogs simply need more training than others. If your find that your efforts aren't having the desired results, consider searching for professional dog trainers Bethany CT. Professional trainers are knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of training techniques focused on positive reinforcement. They can help your dog learn basic commands, focus on correcting poor behavior, and much more.

Whether you decide to hire certified professionals or continue to work with your pet on your own, remember that consistency is the key. Use the same commands every time and continue working with your pet until you are sure his behavior has improved. 

4 Types of Cosmetic Dental Treatments to Help You Feel Confident


It’s very important to maintain good oral hygiene if you want to avoid numerous problems such as gum diseases, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. While brushing and flossing will help you keep your mouth healthy, other issues can’t be fixed with these basic steps. Cosmetic dental treatments aren’t always necessary, but they can improve the appearance of your smile and help you to feel more confident if this is something that you’re self-conscious about. These treatments might not be for everyone, but if this is something you’re interested in, check out the following cosmetic dental treatments you can get and see if they are something worth pursuing.

1. Braces

When you think of having braces, your mind might immediately envision young kids and teens as many peoplehave had them throughout their school years. However, even if you never needed braces as a kid, as you get older, your teeth can still become misaligned as your jaw shrinks with age. If you have noticed your teeth have become crowded as you have got older, you might not like the way this looks. Therefore, having braces as an adult can help to straighten these misaligned teeth to get them back to how they were before. Invisalign braces have increased in popularity for both younger and older patients, as these are more subtle than traditional braces.

2. Teeth Whitening

This is a very popular choice of cosmetic dental treatment, especially for those who want to have perfect pearly whites. The reality is that many things can stain your teeth, and they won’t naturally be a perfect white as a result. There are lots of whitening toothpaste and at-home kits that can help reduce the appearance of stains on your teeth, but for the best results, you might want to ask your dentist to do this treatment for you. 

3. Veneers

Another option to improve the appearance and whiteness of your teeth is getting veneers. These tend to be more intensive than a simple whitening, and the process will include filing down the enamel on your teeth before placing porcelain veneers on top. There are some procedures where porcelain veneers will be placed on top of the enamel, but the former is the most common. Many dental practices are able to offer you this service, such as this clinic for dental care in Lancaster, PA. Just ask to hear more about this procedure, and your dentist should be able to talk you through it and give you further advice.

4. Implants

If you are unfortunate enough to lose one or more teeth, this can leave you feeling self-conscious, especially if they were in a visible position. Having dental implants can be the perfect way to restore some balance to your smile and make you feel more confident. You could even choose to get removable dentures if you prefer, that you can wear throughout the day instead.

If you have had changes to your teeth or feel as though your smile isn’t as bright as it used to be, these cosmetic dental treatments can make a big difference and are worth considering.


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