Burn out is real

You’re stressed, frustrated, feeling inadequate, and questioning everything about your parenting. The kids won’t listen, your spouse has tuned you out, and you’re having fantasies of running away. You’ve stopped complaining about the sink full of dirty dishes, and if the laundry gets done, it’s a miracle. You might find that going to work a reprieve from the madness going on in your home.
We get it and have been there, too. It’s what we call parent burnout.
Here are some common signs:
–You don’t care anymore.
–You’re patience gone.
–The thought of cooking meals makes you want to cry.
–You isolate yourself.
–Your energy level is at zero.
— You’re irritable all the time.
–You hardly recognize yourself when looking in the mirror.

If you’re experiencing two or more of the above, you may be burnt out.

Why does burn out happen? It is the result of not prioritizing yourself and your needs. It’s as simple as that. As parents, we learn to put the needs of our kids, co-workers, neighbors and just about everyone else, ahead of our own. When we try to be everything to everyone it depletes our energy, time, and happiness.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve your self-care and avoid burning out–
1. Say no more often. Decide you’re not going to feel guilty and remind yourself of how this is healthy for you.

2. Find an activity that you enjoy. Take a class, exercise, read or do anything that is healthy and brings your pleasure

3. Stop trying to be perfect. Sometimes it is better to focus on getting a task done rather than it being done perfectly. So what dinner isn’t the perfect meal–they’re eating, right?

4. Put yourself in time-out. Make sure the kids are safe, close your room door and take the time to decompress.

5. Speak up. Stop being a doormat and make your needs known. Set expectations for how you want to be treated and don’t waiver. You can’t expect others to know what you need unless you tell them.

You’ll be a better partner, parent and more importantly, you’ll nurture yourself by implementing daily self-care measures. Start today.

What are CCD therapists doing in schools?

Happy families, happy kids

Back in 2004, I was approached by the Christina School District about providing mental health services in middle schools. I had managed two high school wellness centers, so I was quite familiar with how to integrate ancillary services in an educational setting. The notion of having therapists in schools was foreign to some, but no one ever questions why schools have nurses, speech or occupational therapists. So why not mental health therapists? In part, the struggle lies with the stigma attached to receiving help for disorders of the brain. Here at CCD, we want to be a part of removing the stigma and other barriers to children getting the help they need.

According to a government agency–Health Services and Resources Administration,11.3 percent (nearly 7.4 million) of children in the United States are reported by their parents to have been diagnosed with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions. That’s a heck of a lot of children who are struggling. According to DHSS, less than ten percent of children with a mental health need get services. That’s an appalling and concerning stat. Who suffers when there are unmet needs? Children, parents, schools and the community as a whole.
There are not a lot of therapists who specialize in helping children improve their behaviors and express their emotions in appropriate ways. That, in itself, creates long wait lists and unfortunately, some families give up before they’re able to get in with a professional for an evaluation. Because we’re in schools, we never have a wait list. Your child can be seen within a week of us getting a referral.

Our objective is to close the gap in services, well, because kids deserve better, and help lessen the stress on parents who are often doing the best they can. Missing work and school can increase the pressure on everyone. Since our therapists provide services in schools, it decreases this barrier. Often the problem behaviors occur in the school setting, so having a therapist on board makes addressing the issue more precise. We can determine the trigger, teach skills for better coping, help teachers to learn what works for a particular child, and improve overall functioning in school and home. We invite and encourage parents to be a part of the counseling process. If you’re unable to join us in person, you can elect to have a visit online at a time that works for you.

We help children to cope. We collaborate with parents to best support their children. We work with schools to decrease disciplinary actions and reduce out of school suspensions.

In most cases, we bill insurance companies for the services. We accept a variety of plans including Medicaid. If we don’t take a child’s insurance, we can discuss alternative arrangements to assure kids get what they need.

If your child or family needs mental health services, in school or our office, call us. You’ll get assigned a specialist in dealing with your most pressing concerns. We’ll create a plan to help your child or family not to feel stressed, improve behavior and be successful at school or work.

Here’s how to get connected to our specialized services–Call your school counselor and ask for a referral form for a CCD therapist. Once you complete the paperwork, you can send it back with your child to school or fax it to our office. The fax number is (866)230-6434. No worries, it’s secure. Once we get the paperwork, we verify your insurance. That means we call your insurance company to see what, if any, financial responsibility you might have for services. The assigned therapist will then call you to introduce themselves, discuss your most pressing concerns. Your child will be seen at their school. The therapist will be in touch with you periodically to discuss the improvement. You may call the therapist at any time with any concerns or outstanding issues. Your input is critical to the success of therapy.
We see people ages 2 and up and that includes adults. We have an office that is located in Newark. If you want to be seen there, call us–302-292-1334 x 0.

So let our specialists help your family to live your best lives. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time, including children.

Here’s where we currently provide services.
Christina School District
Red Clay
East side Charter
Gateway Charter
Head Start
Newark Day Nursery
Serviam Academy
Great Oaks
MOT–Elementary and High School

Sit down! Stop running. Why won’t they just obey?

I’m not doing it and you can’t make me!

Getting a young child to listen and obey is a common complaint of many parents. It’s hard and can test the nerves of the best parent. We get the frustration and sense of hopelessness. So take a few minutes and imagine yourself at your worse parenting moment. How does it look? Are you screaming? Do you want to run and cry? Hey, you get no judgment here. Any of us who have parented have those moments.

Some children are easy to parent, listen well, and obey parental commands. Then some kids are high-spirited. It’s just their nature, and while they desire to please their parents by following instructions, it doesn’t come naturally. They might have more energy than what is typical, or they are simply harder to please and therefore, manage. It’s no one’s fault but learning the secrets to getting them to obey you is important.

First, challenging children require a bit more individual time. We suggest taking five minutes out of your already busy day and devote it to playing with your kid. You’re probably thinking you already play with your child so why is this five-minute thing so important? It’s important because unlike a regular play, this play time will involve you allowing your child to be in charge and you’ll follow their lead. Please try hard not to ask your child questions or give them commands during this five minutes. Instead, say things like, –“I like the way you’re playing so nicely with your toys.” Saying stuff like this helps your child to understand the behavior that you approve of. If your child is destructive with toys, praising how gently they play with the toys will contribute to increasing that positive action. Praise the behavior you’d like to see more of–“I love how you listen when we play.” You can also say things like– “You are building a bridge with your blocks.” ” I see you using the blue crayon to color.” This will help your child to know that you are paying attention to them. Some kids require more attention than others, and this is a great way of letting them know that nothing else matters during this playtime.
Again, don’t ask questions—“What are you doing?”. “Can I have that doll?”. Let them be in charge during this five minutes. It will be hard in the beginning because as adults, we’re accustomed to asking questions.
If your child engages in negative behaviors while you all are playing, ignore them. Turn away and start playing with something else. Why? This is a tried and true behavior modification technique. Any attention given to negative behavior will increase it. If you consistently ignore unwanted behaviors, they will eventually diminish. Once your child is behaving appropriately, turn your attention back to them and re-engage in the play. As soon as you’re able, find a behavior to praise. Here’s a word of caution–sometimes when trying to change undesirable behaviors, they get worse before they get better. Sometimes it’s a control issue or merely an attempt to see if the parent will give in. Do not. Be consistent.

The only time you’ll want to end this particular play time is if your child becomes overly aggressive or destructive. Do not tolerate this behavior and terminate the fun by saying–“Playtime of over for tonight. Perhaps you won’t throw your toys.”

Next tip–give appropriate commands! If you want your child to obey, you have to give them appropriate commands. I’m sure you’ve said many times- I ask him to sit down, he does for a minute and then he’s back to jumping on the sofa. How many times do I have to say,clean up before my kid picks up her toys? Exacerbating, right? So if they won’t listen when you’ve reached your highest point of frustration, when will they listen? They’ll obey when you stop telling them what not to do and what to do instead.

Here’s a simple explanation—Instead of saying–sit down, trying saying, but your butt on the chair. Saying things this way present a clear, concise way of telling them what you want rather than what you don’t want. Here’s another example–Instead of saying–clean up your toys, say this–Please put the crayons in the box. Put your books on the shelf. Put your legos in the bin. See how these commands are distinct and state your expectations? You’re probably thinking–yeah right; it’s that simple? In many instances it is.
What about the children for whom this doesn’t work? Those are the kids who could probably benefit from play therapy with a professional therapist. At CCD we do parent coaching using specialized play therapy techniques that work for the most challenging behaviors. We teach parents how to interact with their child to decrease acting out behaviors, aggression, mood swings and defiance. We see kids who are put out of day care, schools and have alienated their friends. More importantly, we teach parents skills that work. You should enjoy your parent-child relationship. Sometimes violent behaviors and emotional melt-downs interfere with the fun.

Call us if you or someone you know could benefit from parenting coaching. Parent coaching works quickly and has long lasting benefits.

Got stress? Read this to learn how to de-stress.

Don’t you wish there was a button to stop stress? I do, too. Unfortunately, stress is a normal part of our lives. In fact, we need the stress. It can provide us with the motivation to get stuff done. It’s when it becomes “distress” that it can be a problem. How do we know the difference? Normal stress can cause temporary changes in our bodies and responses to things. We might experience a faster heartbeat, restlessness, overthinking, and preoccupation. It typically lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days but passes, and we move on. “Distress” is marked by irritability, difficulty thinking clearly, high blood pressure, racing heart, inability to take action or make clear decisions. It doesn’t go away quickly and often interferes with the ability to perform everyday tasks, including work. Obviously, being in distress for a long time can take a serious toll on our mental and physical well-being.
What’s the most efficient way to move away from distress? It involves taking action and doing something about it. Being passive and hoping for a better outcome is not likely to change your circumstances. First, address your thinking. Are you thinking about your circumstances realistically or are you allowing your mind to wander, causing you to have thoughts that only make you more stressed? Write down your thoughts. Look at how realistic they are. Is there anything you can do to change your negative, unrealistic thoughts? Perhaps you’re unable to change them, but you can change your reaction to them. It helps to remember that not everything we think is true. So it can be beneficial to remind yourself to check your thoughts before you run away with them.
Second, what are you doing to take care of your body during times of distress? Many people make unhealthy eating choices and consume food based on emotion rather than real hunger. Emotional eating is an unhealthy response to dealing with life’s difficulties. We tend to avoid exercising as well. Sometimes we get waylaid by the challenges that the thought of moving and sweating is too easy to avoid. It’s actually what your body needs. Recently, I read that to beat back the negative effects of stress; you need to exercise twelve minutes a day. That’s it –twelve minutes. There are obvious benefits to exercising longer, but a good walk will do you well on so many levels.

Where’s your support circle when you need them? There’s nothing that feels better than to have a core group of people who can be your strength when needed. Try not to overwhelm them with all of your problems, but releasing your pressing concerns and having a strong shoulder to lean on is important. Don’t forget to exchange the favor when needed.
If you don’t have a support circle, find one or create one for yourself. There’s no real joy in loneliness, and we all need someone at some point in our lives.
Got Faith? Turning your worries over to a higher power can be comforting. Sometimes acceptance is the key to moving through hard times. Life happens and is unpredictable, while that stinks, learning how to accept our lack of control can have a positive impact on us emotionally. Even if you don’t believe in a higher power, finding a space to lose yourself, to commune with nature and allow your thoughts to wander, is often a spiritual experience.
While there’s no magic button to delete stress, you can get on top of it before it causes damage to your mind, body, and soul.

Featuring–Ms. JeNai Marshall, LACMH


We have added quite a few new therapists to our team. Please join me in welcoming JeNai Marshall, LACMH. JeNai is a graduate of Wilmington University where she received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware where she majored in Psychology. JeNai has worked with families in the community, individually and in group settings for over 5 years. She is trained in Trauma-Focused​ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and utilizes an individualized and strength- based approach with her clients. She is currently working on her hours towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Professional. JeNai enjoys spending time with her family in her free time and has a passion for expression through the arts. Ms. Marshall is accepting new referrals. Please call the office if you’re interested in getting an appointment with her. 302-292-1334 x 0

Transforming how we view obesity– understanding how trauma is often the underlying cause.

Young overweight girl thinking about her problem. Mental health

“You’re too fat.” “You need to lose weight.” “You’re going to get high blood pressure and diabetes.” Anyone with a weight problem has had these statements drilled in them to the point of frustration. Overweight people know the risk factors and in most instances, want to lose weight. Sometimes the desire to lose weight is to assuage the need of others and find a place of acceptance in a world that is overly conscious of physical looks. In the American society, it’s hard to conceive that there are overweight people who are entirely comfortable with their bodies. They often struggle with the negative messages that seek to shame them for not fitting a narrowly defined mold of beauty. Achieving optimal health is important for longevity, but the way we currently go about addressing it excludes important considerations.

As the obesity epidemic increases, scientists and medical professionals struggle to explain why. Increased consumption of sugary drinks, decreased physical activity, lack of availability of highly nutritious foods in poor neighborhoods, easy accessibility of fast foods.

“The obesity epidemic is a global issue and shows no signs of abating, while the cause of this epidemic remains unclear. Marketing practices of energy-dense foods and institutionally-driven declines in physical activity are the alleged perpetrators for the epidemic, despite a lack of solid evidence to demonstrate their causal role.”1​

These factors are certainly contributors, but lacking is a more thorough understanding and examination of trauma, chronic stress and how these contribute to the obesity problem.

Shame and Blame

In my opinion, we rather blame and shame the victim. Overweight children share with me that they feel isolated, ashamed, out of control and overall, terrible about themselves. They describe feeling desperate and sometimes resort to extreme means to lose weight. They avoid eating or restrict their eating. Each time they fail, their self-esteem takes a tumble. They don’t like visiting their health care professionals because the refrain will likely be the same—” you need to lose weight’. They know it, and they feel it, yet it seems like an impossible task.
They shrink in the presence of others because they feel different and unattractive. They avoid gym or playing outdoors, the very things that can help, because of shame.
They often turn to food because it soothes their pain. Herein lies the problem and probably the solution.

I work and live in urban environments. Many of the kids I work with are overweight. Healthcare professionals and others must engage in a paradigm shift. It’s not the food; it’s unresolved trauma and persistent stress that’s causing our society to have obesity problems.

“In 1985, Dr. Vicent Felliti was head of a weight loss program at Kaiser Permanente. He discovered that people who were overweight were not born overweight and did not gradually put it on. Rather, he learned that when they gained weight, it happened quickly and abruptly. He also discovered, quite accidently, that most people didn’t see their weight as a problem but rather a solution. This has been particularly true for sexual abuse survivors. Dr. Fellitie joined with an epidemiologist at the CDC, Dr. Anda. Together they conducted research on child abuse and other risk factors. Ultimately, they called their study–Adverse Childhood Experiences Study also known as ACES. They concluded that high ACES contributed to physical, social, and emotional problems. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk for a disease or disorder. “ 2

Adverse Childhood Experiences
Adverse childhood experiences go beyond abuse and include incarceration of a parent, absence of a parent, poverty, unstable living environment, emotional detachment from caretakers, and so forth. As you can see, the definition of adverse childhood experiences is expansive to cover many traumatic events in the life of a child. Children and adults with a high ace level live in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze. Their responses to the world are one of fear or self-protection. They have difficulty regulating their emotional and behavioral responses to external and internal experiences. They are distrustful of others. They struggle with depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, self-blame, and anger.

The experience of a high ACE is overwhelming. Those who experienced a childhood rife with trauma, loss of control and stress don’t learn appropriate coping skills. They learn maladaptive ways of coping with stress and unpredictability. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to ‘cope.’ Others engage in other forms of coping that can become unhealthy and habitual.

How do eating and obesity and high ACE level intersect?
As stated above, Dr. Felliti discovered through his research that overweight people didn’t see weight as a problem but a solution. Let’s explore what this might mean.
For sexual and physical abuse survivors, the body often becomes a source of shame. It’s not possible to separate from the body and still live. It is possible to disconnect emotionally from the body such that the awareness of pain, fullness, satisfaction, discomfort becomes possible. It becomes ‘easier’ to consume large quantities of food with little insight. Trauma causes a numbing of feelings which make it harder to regulate eating. Conversely, food can serve as a numbing agent to avoid experiencing painful emotions.
Survivors of abuse often struggle with unrealistic body perceptions. Sometimes they literally can’t see or have a distorted idea of how they look. Some overweight people don’t have a realistic picture of how large they are. Others see themselves as being bigger than they are causing other eating problems.

For some survivors being overweight is protection. The subconscious thought is the weight will protect them from future abuse. The rational mind knows this is not true, but a mind on constant high reactive mode often struggles to maintain rational thoughts.

Many people from difficult childhoods become addicted to sugar. They consume high carbs and food heavy in sugar. They will experience physical cravings and report withdrawal like symptoms when abstaining from sugar. The research is not definitive as to whether sugar addiction is real. However, one must wonder what emotional needs are being met by the overconsumption of high carbs and sugar and how it activates the pleasure part of the brain.

Trauma pounds a person’s self-esteem into the ground.
Children have a hard time separating themselves from what is going on in their homes and around them. For example, if witness to domestic violence, they internalize it as they’re not worthy or somehow caused the violence. Young children whose personality and identity not yet developed, assume the self-esteem of their parents. If mom or dad is abusive or not treated well, the child’s self-esteem becomes a reflection of a parent’s poor behaviors. If there are no efforts to correct this incorrect perception, it carries into adulthood. Sadness, anxiety and poor self-esteem are often ‘medicated’ with food. Food becomes the balm to soothe the pain. Food is the friend that never rejects or abandons. Food can meet the need for love and comfort. However, the very thing that comforts you can also cause other complications.

What to do?
If you’re a parent reading this, you might start to question everything you know about parenting and perhaps feel a bit of guilt. Stop. Things happen in life and a lot outside of our control. To the extent that parents can shelter children from traumatic events, it’s important to do so. In the unfortunate instance when that isn’t possible, be mindful of how the trauma is affecting your child. It is even if your child doesn’t think so. Ask pointed questions— “how do you feel about dad and I divorcing?” Be sure to assure them that whatever has happened is not their fault. Also avoid discussing things with children that have no control over (finances, marital infidelity, etc.) Monitor their behavior and reactions. Isolating, irritability, mood fluctuations, change in school performance can all be signs that they are struggling. Try to avoid using food as a reward. Establishing this connection early on can set the stage for later emotional eating. Practice being mindful with your child. Take walks, color, listen to music and engage in meditative breathing together. These things will be healing for all.

Health Care professionals
Assessing for trauma with every patient/client is critical. Do not make assumptions based on race or socio-economic class. No one is immune to toxic stress or trauma. Do not assume that your patient’s weight problem is the result of laziness, inactivity or not caring. Most overweight people have an emotional attachment to food so talk to them about their eating behaviors. Avoid engaging in speech that is shaming. Be compassionate and helpful. One simple, but effective intervention is to ask your client to journal their food intake and feelings state. Journaling will not only help them to make a connection between their eating and emotions, but it will also help you as well. Adopt a holistic approach. Refer to a dietitian and exercise specialist. It would be very helpful to these professionals in your office to increase compliance. Encourage the practice of mindful meditation which can help to regulate and increase tolerance of painful feelings. Do not set weight loss as a goal, initially. Survivors of trauma need to feel a sense of control and agency over their bodies. Engaging them in adopting small changes and connection with their team of helpers will be the ultimate path to greater health and weight loss.

1 McAllister, E. J., Dhurandhar, N. V., Keith, S. W., Aronne, L. J., Barger, J., Baskin, M., … Allison, D. B. (2009). Ten putative contributors to the obesity epidemic. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 49(10), 868-913. DOI:

2. Acestoohigh.com

Somewhere over the rainbow: Why eating a full array of colorful foods is essential to a balanced diet.

Little girl with variety of fruit and vegetable. Colorful rainbow of raw fresh fruits and vegetables. Child eating healthy snack. Vegetarian nutrition for kids. Vitamins for children. View from above.

There are many diets that exist. Some are simple. Some are complicated and hard to stick with. But one of the easiest diets to understand is the Rainbow Diet. And with all those colors, it can be a fun way for children and adults alike to make sure they are getting all the various nutrients that bodies need to be healthy. It’s really as simple as understanding that the colors of foods represent the nutrients they contain. And then making sure you eat a full rainbow of colors every day!
RED: Tomatoes and apples are the first two foods that come to my mind when I think of red foods. And these two are a perfect example of how processing our food changes its value. For example, tomatoes are packed full of a very powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Cooked tomatoes have very high levels of lycopene, and have been found to effectively prevent prostate cancer as well as be helpful to maintain good cardiovascular health. Lycopene is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, and in fact, you’ll find it in most red foods, as well as those foods with a pink or pinky-red hue. Think of watermelon, red or pink grapefruits and you are looking at some lycopene! However, it’s important to remember that cooking a food reduces other nutrients. Raw tomatoes will offer another variety of health benefits. The same is true of apples. Apple juice, applesauce and cooked apples still have many health benefits. But raw apples with the skin have been proven to be most effective in aiding digestion, regulating insulin, providing dietary fiber, and regulating appetite. Research shows that eating a whole apple before a meal will cut your fat intake by at least 15%. Pomegranates are a red food considered a super food because of the many vitamins and minerals they contain. And another magic red food is the cherry which reduces pain and inflammation, aids in muscle health, and contains melatonin which is powerful for sleep regulation.
ORANGE AND YELLOW: These colors offer many of the same nutrients. And some of the most prominent benefits here are heart health and immunity. Orange and yellow foods are especially high in Vitamin C polyphenol antioxidants. Melons in this color group contain high levels of Vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyes and immunity. Carrots are a favorite orange food and contain lots of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Iron. Squash is an important fall food and it is especially high in potassium and beta carotene. And be sure to include peppers which actually come in a rainbow variety on their own!
GREEN: It would be hard to live in the world and miss the fact that green fruits and veggies are high in nutrients that our bodies crave. Green is possibly the most power-packed color and deserves a little extra space on your plate. It signifies vibrancy, cleansing, health, energy production, detoxification, rejuvenation and longevity. These foods are rich in chlorophyll (similar to iron), many B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, minerals and fiber for an overall healthy body and blood system. Broccoli is a well-loved and widely available vegetable, and actually a great source of vitamin C (as are Brussels sprouts!). Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that reduces disease risk, boosts the immune system, improves iron absorption, and promotes wound healing too. Try replacing your starchy carbs (potatoes, bread and pasta) with a selection of green vegetables, and you might find losing weight a whole lot easier! Greens are also valuable protein sources, especially when eaten raw.
BLUE AND PURPLE: In foods, blues and purples can be hard to differentiate. And this is because they share many of the same nutrients. These deep beautiful colors contain high levels of anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidin pigments. Anthocyanins are responsible for the purple tint of these fruits and veggies, and are known for their antioxidant qualities by giving your circulatory system a nice boost! Plums and figs happen to be excellent sources of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals and Vitamin K. Grapes have been positively linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and other ailments.
Rainbow diets really are a simple way to manage nutrition and have a little fun doing it. For other tips on managing weight and making your family a little healthier, call and ask about our Healthy Child Program. Call us today at (302) 292-1334. And make sure you eat a full rainbow this week!

Brodie Hughes, graduate intern at CCD

Parent-Child Interaction therapy will turn your young child into a listening machine

Counting Pennies

PCIT stands for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. As the name indicates, this form of therapy is specifically aimed at helping parents and young children to interact in order to treat behavior and emotional problems including, Oppositional Disorder, anxiety, ADHD and Conduct Disorder. PCIT has been proven to be an effective form of treatment for ages 2-7. The sessions come in two parts, Child-directed interaction (CDI) and Parent-directed interaction (PDI). Both phases are intended to enhance the parent-child relationship, help with discipline, and enhance communication. Because PCIT is effective with such a young age group, the therapy sessions are frequently centered on play. A therapist observes and guides your session through the use of a one-way mirror and an earpiece. Then homework assignments are given that should be practiced at home with both the parent and child. The training to become certified in PCIT is extensive. Center for Child Development is proud to offer four trained therapists who are currently accepting new PCIT clients. Check out the following link and video for more information on PCIT, and then give us a call at 302-292-1334 for more information or to schedule your appointment!
PCIT demonstration



B.Hughes, graduate intern

Can we stop fat shaming?


Child Girl Does Not Like And Not Want To Eat Vegetables

I signed onto Facebook and the first image I see is of an overweight child with the caption–“When you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonalds”. I don’t find that funny. I find it to be representative of how we ‘fat shame’ children in this society. While some might see it as a fleeting opportunity for a laugh, it’s not. It can be damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

Children who struggle with obesity almost always feel bad about themselves. Their self-esteem is tied to how others see them and often, it’s negative. Children are exposed to images in the media that further lessen their self-esteem.

Here are some ways we unknowingly ‘fat shame’ kids:

Calling them nicknames that refer to their weight, like “chunky monkey”; “Fatty Patty”

Humiliating a child who is eating a large portion of food— Are you really going to eat all of that? “Give me those potato chips. You don’t need them”.

Comparing an overweight child to a child who doesn’t have a weight problem–“Look at John, he’s so skinny and healthy”. “You should try to lose weight like Jane.”

Judging an overweight child by how she dresses—“You shouldn’t wear clothes like that.”
Insinuating that a child’s attractiveness is based on weight–“You’re pretty for a fat girl”. “If you lost 10 pounds, you’d be so pretty”.

Children who have obesity need support and guidance so they can make better choices for eating and increasing their activity level. Shaming, blaming only makes the problem worse and often, an overweight child will turn to food to soothe themselves from emotional pain.

At CCD we provide emotional support and nutritional counseling to help families deal with obesity. We know that most parents want the best for their children, but don’t know where to turn. We’re here to help your family get healthy on all levels. Call us and schedule an evaluation for our Healthy Child Program. We work with the entire family.

We have a three step plan that will help children and families to get healthier and lose weight.  We can work in person or virtually.  No more shame or blame.  We’ll help boost your child’s self-confidence, learn healthy eating and increase physical activity.  We’ll support you every step along the way.

302-292-1334 X0



Group sessions praised for helping in childhood obesity studies

Children Friendship Togetherness Smiling Happiness Concept

Childhood obesity has been a major problem for youth in the United States. And it is getting more recognition on a global scale. Studies done in Australia provided evidence that when children meet with specialists in groups of up to 10 that their sessions are more effective. Some of the benefits include peer support, more accountability, and more streamlined services.

Patients in the study reported that they didn’t feel as alone in their struggle. And one participant described being more motivated because he felt like he was a part of a team and didn’t want to let down the group.

Group weight loss journeys are more popular because of TV shows such as The Biggest Loser. These shows demonstrate some of the many ways that weight loss can be more emotionally healthy if done in a group setting. Children need to feel as though they are not alone and need to feel supported by their peers.

The American Psychological Association recently stated that weight loss is most effective when done with the help of social support. It mentions everything from work-out buddies to informal commercial groups (such as Weight Watchers) to clinic-based groups to behavior modification groups. The message is clear: groups help with weight loss.

A quick search of the internet will turn up many results for web-sites offering online support or virtual weight-loss buddies. There is a demand for support. And those in need are desperate to find it.

The Center for Child Development has launched it’s Healthy Child Program.  Its overarching aim is healthier youth, boost self-confidence and decrease health risks associated with being over-weight.

Help your child get healthier today. Call 302-292-1334 x0 to find out how you and your family can get involved.


Brodie Hughes