February 14, 2014

Simple Ways to Tell Your Child, "I Love You!"

If you’re a parent you probably do something special on Valentine’s Day to show your children them how much you love them.  Sometimes those little reminders go by the wayside the rest of the year. Here are some simple ways to keep that message alive all year long.

Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make their toast or sandwich.

·         Tuck a love note into their backpack. Write a short note or draw a smiley face on a napkin and put it in their lunch box. Slide the note under their dinner plate or place it under their pillow.

·         Give your child coupons redeemable for things like a half hour of your undivided attention, their favorite dinner, playing a board game with them, etc. Send your child on a scavenger hunt around the house to find those coupons.

·         Write a letter to your child and mail it. Children rarely receive mail so when they do it’s special.


I was just thinking about you and

what I was thinking is you are so__________


·         Hang a calendar above your child's bed. Each day write one thing one positive thing about your child or one positive behavior your child did. At bedtime you share what was written. It sets a positive tone and it's much easier for both child and parents to fall asleep knowing the day ended on a positive note.

Don’t limit showing love to your child to Valentine’s Day. Make it a part of your everyday routine.

February 2, 2014

National Play Therapy Week February 2-8, 2014

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) the national society that advances Play therapy has designated February 2-8, 2014 as National Play Therapy Week. 

APT has asked licensed mental health professionals throughout the United States to remind the public of the value of play, Play Therapy, and Registered Play Therapists.


It's a theoretically based treatment approach for children 3-12 years of age that uses a child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to life situations. Toys in a play therapy room include games, puppets, art supplies, and sand trays. All toys are carefully selected to facilitate creative and emotional expression from children.

In play therapy children learn how to identify and recognize their feelings. It improves their self-concept, reduces anxiety and initiates behavioral changes. By making appropriate choices in the play room children find solutions to problems and learn self control which leads to taking responsibility for their actions.

Play therapy is facilitated by a play therapist that provides an environment where a child feels safe to play out his or her concerns. As a result, the therapist can assess the child’s play and make recommendations to parents concerning plans for resolving problems.

Children who are dealing with death, divorce, abandonment, or abuse can benefit from play therapy Children who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to moving, starting school, the birth of a sibling or a chronic illness can find emotional support in play therapy. Play therapy can also help children who are experiencing problems with anxiety, ADHD, autism, attachment disorders, and learning disabilities.  

With advanced play therapy training, experience and supervision, a mental health professional can earn the Registered Play Therapist or Registered Play Therapist Supervisor Credential conferred by the Association for Play Therapy (APT). APT is a national non-profit professional society that provides research, training and credentialing programs to assist and enhance the expertise of mental health professionals. Additional information is available at www.a4pt.org

For more information on Pam Dyson and her play therapy services visit her web site. Mental health professionals can learn more about play therapy training opportunities at the St. Louis Center for Play Therapy Training.