WHEN THE PARENTING BOOK IS NOT ENOUGH Skills and Tools When Parenting is Challenging by Gail Sinai


Skills and Tools When Parenting is Challenging

When a child has extra difficulties—whether sensory, developmental, behavioral or all three—ordinary parenting strategies are not enough. Even open-hearted and dedicated parents struggle to be there for these children in the best way possible. Parenting children with these challenges requires additional levels of skill and support. However, these specialized parenting strengths can be learned, exercised and deployed, successfully!

Gail Sinai has developed a 5-week therapeutic curriculum, drawing on therapeutic best practices and personal experience, that helps parents explore themselves and their children’s needs and develop working strategies to live and grow together. The curriculum explores children’s sensory experience and emotional development, the parenting relationship with these special children, and how to find strategies that work best for you. Every session builds on the prior session’s work. Also, every week will look at home experience from the prior week’s tools. The last session will examine all four skills to complete a larger framework for parenting children with sensory, developmental or behavioral difficulties.

By working holistically, you and Gail will explore and understand your own particular family’s needs and challenges and design strategies personally and particularly targeted for you and your family.


Session 1: The Sensory Experience as the Foundation of Emotional Life

Session 2:   The Emotional Development of Children

Session 3: The Emotional Interconnectedness of Parent and Child

Session 4: The Attachment Needs of Parent and Child

Session 5: Bringing it Together

The program is suitable for individuals, and particularly couples or small groups. Price and length of session vary depending upon the number of participants.

Please contact Gail at 917-583-9358 or therapy.gail.sinai.lcsw@gmail.com to learn more or discuss whether this is right for you.

(c) 2016 Gail Sinai, JD, LCSW

10 Parent Signs that You Want to Get Your Child Evaluated by Gail Sinai



10 Parent Signs that You Want to Get Your Child Evaluated


            Is my kid just a kid or is there something going on? Sometimes it feels like everyone’s child has a diagnosis. It wasn’t like that when we were young! But in this environment of many diagnoses, you have to wonder: is my child’s behavior the result of the ordinary stresses of growing up? Or is my child facing a challenge that treatment can address?

            A question like that can lead you to doubt your judgment as a parent. It’s all too easy to find yourself obsessing over every little behavior. Is it a good sign? A bad one? What does it mean? Spend too much time thinking this way and you’ll find yourself stressed and no closer to understanding what your child needs.

            There is, however, another set of clues that you can turn to: your own reactions. You, as a parent, are deeply interconnected with your child and your child’s experiences. Your own feelings can let you know whether something is going on, and whether your child could use extra help.  The trick is to see what you already know.

            Here is a list of parent signs that suggest that your child might benefit from a behavioral or developmental evaluation.

1               You are confused by some of your child’s reaction or actions; they don’t make sense or are different from other children

2               You find yourself embarrassed about your child or worry that others are looking at you

3               You find yourself angry at your child in a way that seems unlike you or is unexpectedly strong

4               You are unceasingly worried when you leave your child with other caregivers and find you cannot get away

5               You feel like it takes too much of your strength or time to get your child to change a behavior; “no” or “stop” is not enough

6               You avoid situations that you used to enjoy or keep to yourself more than feels comfortable to you

7               You get easily frustrated with your child

8               You feel like with your child you cannot be yourself or are always getting it wrong

9               You feel like you are often defending yourself or your child to others

10           You feel, when it comes to your child, other people are concerned, critical, or just don’t get it

               If you feel two or more of these, trust yourself! Your emotions are telling you that you and your child need some help. It ok to listen to your feelings.

              Here is the secret of evaluations: all outcomes are good. If the evaluation discovers your child is facing a challenge, you can both get help. If not, you will still get useful information about how to understand the unique process of raising your individual child.

             Don’t let evaluation anxiety stop you from finding the best ways to help your child in the complex task of growing up in the 21st century. The more you listen to your own feelings, the better able you’ll be to guide your kid down the path that child needs to follow, and the stronger a parent you will be for it.

            And remember: any parent in this situation needs support. Helping parents face these challenges positively and be the best parents they can be, whatever the evaluation reveals, is the heart of my practice. Please contact me at 917-583-9358 or therapy,gail.sinal.lcsw@gmail.com to learn more or discuss whether working together is right for you.


(c) 2016 Gail Sinai, JD, LCSW