Tag Archives: Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

Radio-style Interview, The Changing Behavior NetworkYoungsters that struggle with self-confidence have difficulty in most areas requiring performance and achievement. In this program from our archives, psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo discusses issues youngsters can face regarding self-confidence and how they can be helped and encouraged.
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Helping Kids with Self-Confidence, Frank J. SileoHow Much Do They Need?

How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? “Enough to function,”some might say.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by? No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and we want them to encourage others to do the same.

Helping the Child That Struggles

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town, Frank J. SileoListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank J. Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Frank J. Sileo

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written a number children’s picture books. One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. The focus of this program is his picture book for kids entitled Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:41)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank J. Sileo)

BTRadioIntDr. Frank J. Sileo is not only a top psychologist in New Jersey, he has written a number of books for children on topics that affect them. This interview focuses on self-confidence as it pertains to young people. Welcome to an interview with Dr. Sileo entitled, “Helping Kids with Self-Confidence.”

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Helping Kids with Self-Confidence, Frank J. SileoHow Much Do They Need?

How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? “Enough to function,”some might say.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by? No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and we want them to encourage others to do the same.

Helping the Child That Struggles

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town, Frank J. SileoListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank J. Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Frank J. Sileo

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written five children’s picture books (with more on the way). One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. His latest book, the focus of this program, is Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:41)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Therapy Has Gone to the Dogs (Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTCounselorOver 12 years ago I adopted a Cairn terrier from a shelter. I named him Ozzie. One of the reasons I got Ozzie is because I wanted to train him to be a therapy dog in my private practice. Most therapy dogs and animals are used in settings such as nursing homes, schools and hospitals. I thought using a dog in a private practice consisting of children, adolescents and adults may help welcome them, put them at ease, and help them with their problems.

How does pet therapy help?

Many studies have shown that pet ownership has a positive impact on one’s physical and emotional health. Pets provide unconditional love and acceptance. When coming to therapy, patients often come with a myriad of emotions and problems. They may be struggling with issues of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.

FSileophoto2There is great power in the human/animal bond. Studies have demonstrated that when around animals, depressed people become more outgoing; children with ADHD and behavior disorders become less aggressive; and children with developmental delays or are on the autistic spectrum, become more social and their concentration improves.

From a physical health perspective, the National Institute of Health found that married couples that owned a pet had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure levels during psychological and physical stress tests and recovered faster. Scientific studies showed that petting a dog increases the level of pleasure hormones and lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Who doesn’t smile when you see a dog wagging its tail at you?

Teaching Tool

OzzieBedHaving a dog in my practice allows me the opportunity to teach things in a different way and use the dog as another therapeutic tool. For example, some parents and kids asked why Ozzie has to stay in his bed and not wander around the room. This gives me the opportunity to discuss boundary issues and setting limits.

Sometimes couples argue in my office and Ozzie would react by shivering, whimpering and even barking. I will say to patients, “Look at the effect you are having on the dog. How do you think your children react when you start yelling like this at home?”

With Ozzie’s help, children with boundary issues learn social skills such as personal space and by following rules when it comes to petting Ozzie. They are taught where and how to pet him that is respectful to him. Children who are aggressive learn that their rough behavior with Ozzie is unacceptable and lose the privilege of being around him. This leads to discussions of bullying and taunting.

Patients who need to work on being more assertive get to first practice giving commands to Ozzie. As they gain confidence, they begin to practice with people in their lives.

For children who have difficulty naming and talking about emotions, I say to them, “Look at Ozzie’s tail. What do you think he’s feeling? How is your tail today? What would your tail be doing if you had one? Would it be wagging or between your legs (i.e., anxious, scared).

Sometimes my patients are reticent to talking about difficult topics or feelings in my office. I have often witnessed them talking to Ozzie about their problems or I have used Ozzie to talk to in order to get my patients to open up. I might say, “Nicholas looks sad today Ozzie, maybe he can talk to us about his feelings?” Sometimes when I talk to Ozzie, my child patients will laugh and therefore break the ice and allowing them to open up in therapy.

My adult patients love him too. When he takes a day off, they always ask, “Where is Ozzie?” Whether people open up to Ozzie or me, it doesn’t matter. The point is they are talking and feeling comfortable in the therapeutic room.

Change Happens

We all want to help our patients grow and change their dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. What happens when your therapy dog changes?

Two years ago, Ozzie was diagnosed with bladder cancer. In the beginning, Ozzie had few symptoms and received chemotherapy and other treatments. Over time, Ozzie could not control his bladder, was having accidents and was tired from the treatments. It was an ethical and moral decision to retire Ozzie from the practice at this time.

I explained to my patients that Ozzie was going to retire from therapy and relax at home. This afforded my patients to talk about transitions, good-byes and other changes in their lives. This was also hard on me given that I am in solo practice. He was therapeutic for me, too!!

In 2013, Ozzie passed away after his yearlong battle with bladder cancer.

New Beginnings

CooperAfter some healing, I have decided to get another dog for our home and my practice. He is a Cairn terrier named Cooper. I like Cairn terriers because they are smart, attentive, trainable and hypoallergenic. I will begin training him through a professional school that will eventually certify him as a therapy dog.

We will have to wait some time before he’s ready to work with patients. Training and certification is a must. You cannot just bring your pet to do therapeutic work. Check into pet therapy resources online and get the proper training and certification.

I am excited about this new chapter in my personal and professional life. I am “panting” in anticipation of using Cooper with my patients! ###

 

 Dr. Frank Sileo, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement, LLC, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a licensed psychologist specializing in work with children and adolescents. He has written five books for children on topics including lactose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, winning and losing, homesickness and self-confidence. His most recent book is entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. [Dr. Sileo’s website]

 

What is Self-Confidence, Anyway? (Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTSpotlightWe are featuring the work of psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo of Ridgewood, New Jersey in this post. His latest book, a children’s picture book entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence touches on a very important topic regarding many children and teens today. For more information about the book, click on the photo of the cover in this post.

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FSileophoto2Parents and other caregivers in the life of a child play an important role in developing self-confidence in that youngster and others. When parents and others accept their children, even when they make mistakes, it provides the groundwork for children to develop positive feelings and thoughts about themselves. When parents do this, they are providing the foundation for self-confidence.

As a parent or caregiver, it is very rewarding to see children exhibit self-confidence in various areas of their lives, from academics to sports to playing a musical instrument, to name just a few. Children who possess self-confidence tend to do well in school, take on challenges, do their best, persist in activities, and have an overall more positive view of themselves.

Definition

Self-confidence can be defined as our beliefs or thoughts about our skills and abilities. Examples of self-confident thoughts might be, “I am good at math,” “I am a good singer” or “I do well in school.” Children with self-confidence trust in their abilities, have realistic expectations, know their strengths and weaknesses, and are able to adjust to difficult or challenging situations. Children who possess self-confidence tend to jump into new situations with realistic thoughts about being successful at a task.

Self-confidence is built through repeated practice over time. When children practice in small steps, they build self-confidence. Persistence in a task, even when mistakes and mishaps happen, builds self-confidence. Confidence builds through action.

CircusTown_72dpiWhen There’s Difficulty

Children who lack self-confidence typically rely on the approval of others, such as parents, teachers and coaches, in order to feel good about themselves. They may avoid things or be reluctant to try new things. They may engage in self-deprecating statements or negative self-talk like, “I’m stupid,” “I’m no good at anything,” or “I’ll never succeed,” which results in feelings of anxiety, depression or despair. Children with low self-confidence often compare themselves to others constantly because they believe they do not measure up. Moreover, less confident children may be more prone to acting-out behaviors such as temper tantrums, crying, avoidance, and withdrawal from others and from tasks.

It should be noted that self-confidence is not a universal experience. For instance, children may feel confident in certain areas of their lives, while feeling less confident in other domains. An example of this might be a child that is confident as a reader, but has lower self-confidence in his or her math skills.

Building Self-Confidence

How can parents and other caregivers build self-confidence in children and teens? Here are several suggestions.

Communicate with your children. When children engage in self-deprecating statements, don’t be too quick to counteract them. Teach them coping and solutions to their problems. Problem-solve with them.

Model self-confidence for your children. Be mindful how you handle your own disappointments, obstacles and failure.

Focus on effort, not on results. When we focus on the effort, we are praising the steps needed to reach a goal, ultimately building on self-confidence.

Encourage kids to practice. The more they practice, the greater their chances of success and greater confidence. When kids don’t do this, they give up, act out, feel anxious and consequently display low self-confidence.

If you find that your child continues to struggle with confidence issues to the point that it interferes with academics, activities or relationships, it is recommended you consult with a mental health professional for further help. ###

 Dr. Frank Sileo, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement, LLC, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is a licensed psychologist specializing in work with children and adolescents. He has written five books for children on topics including lactose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, winning and losing, homesickness and self-confidence. His most recent book is entitled, Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. [Dr. Sileo’s website]

 

 

Helping Kids with Self-Confidence (Guest: Dr. Frank Sileo)

BTRadioInt

 

 

FSileophoto2How much self-confidence does a child or adolescent need? Some might say: Enough to function.

But is that really true? Is that all we want for our children, enough self-confidence to function, to barely get by?  No, we want more that that for them. We want them to have the ability to handle the challenges of life as they come, without being sidetracked by doubt or feelings of being less than capable.

And we want them to THRIVE, and encourage others to do the same.

But what about the youngster with poor self-confidence? What are the signs that tell us a child or teen is struggling? What can we do to help this youngster handle daily challenges or unique and new situations more effectively? How do we help him or her interpret a few mistakes as part of learning a new skill, and how do we encourage them not to beat themselves up with negative self-talk?

CircusTown_72dpiListen in to this excellent program as your host, Dr. James Sutton, interviews prominent child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Frank Sileo, regarding issues of self-confidence in young people. It’s a timely topic, anytime.

Dr. Sileo is the founder and director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And, since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kid doctors. Dr. Sileo has written numerous articles on a variety of topics related to mental health, and he has also written five children’s picture books. One of them, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moms’ Choice Awards. His latest book, the focus of this program, is Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. (27:18)

www.drfranksileo.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)