Author Archives: Dr. Sayers

About Dr. Sayers

I am a child psychologist and mother of two. This blog is about the lessons we, as parents, can learn about parenting from the things that child clients have told me over my 20 years in private practice. I continue to work with children and families at Southampton Psychiatric Associates ( which serves Bucks, eastern Montgomery, and northeast Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. In addition, I train psychology graduate students and psychiatry residents at Temple University.


I have a problem. For the first time, I am starting this post with no clear ending in sight. No clever title (yet), no poignant vignette. I’m only about 82.7% sure about the point I’m trying to make. I’m writing this post to help me gain clarity about a problem that is brewing in my household. Continue reading

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The Going’s about to Get Tougher

We are starting week 8 of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Pennsylvania where I live. For many reasons, the past 7 weeks have been challenging for parents. Kids who are bored, trapped inside, missing their friends and their activities, and expected to attend virtual school are not going to be pleasant much of the time. Brace yourself, Moms and Dads, because I think your job is getting ready to become even harder than it has been. Here’s why: since the stay-at-home orders were put into place, parents could defer to a “higher authority” when placing coronavirus-related limits on their children. For example, when a teenaged girl asks if she and a few friends can pleaaaaaaase go to the park to shoot some hoops, dads have been able to “blame” the governor when they have to say no. When a little boy says to his mom, “I know for a fact that Joey and Juan are having playdates,” she can tell him that the parents of those children are violating the governor’s orders. Continue reading

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Talking to Kids about COVID-19 (and other tough topics)

Be truthful.
Be measured.
Be empathic.
Be empowering. Continue reading

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Practicing What I Encourage

Let’s remember to practice gratitude, kindness, and self-compassion and recognize that we are all in this together. We will be more unhappy if we focus exclusively on the negative. Let’s do our best to fight that temptation. This is a good time to start a daily practice: make note every day of at least one thing that brings you joy or peace or fills you with gratitude. Share your appreciation with others. Post it on Facebook and Instagram. Tweet it. The virus doesn’t have to be the only thing spreading around right now! Continue reading

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The Power of “And”

No one alive today can remember living through something like the COVID19 pandemic. We are all navigating new terrain. It is steep and rocky, and there are venomous snakes. Let’s be gentle with one another. Let’s help each other over the boulders and crevices. Let’s not be critical when someone needs to take a rest. Let’s validate each other’s complaints, even though we’re also hot and tired and hungry and afraid. Even when we are tired of hearing them. Let’s keep in mind the fact that we are much more likely to get to the other side of this if we work together and hold each other up from time to time. And let’s remember that this is really, really hard AND we can do it. Continue reading

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Bah, Humbug!

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Yes, well, and stressed, tired, overfed, overindulged, greedy, spoiled, and cranky. No, I’m not a Scrooge, but I spend a lot of my time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s working with families who really … Continue reading

Posted in Children of all ages, Elementary/Lower School, High/Upper School, Middle/Junior High School, Preschool/Nursery School, Young Adult | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More Turkey, More Gratitude

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, I blogged about meaningful expressions of gratitude. I shared that post again in 2015 and again yesterday. You can read it here. In anticipation of the moment later today when my husband, my kids, and … Continue reading

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