Dr. Amy Stark

Child Psychologist, Author & Speaker

Specializing in:
Teaching Families How to Live Divorced
and Self-Esteem for Girls and Boys

Food For Thought

Food For Thought

Leave Your Worries Behind

I usually have a theme on the blackboard on the wall of my waiting room.  All my clients – child, teen and adult – always respond thoughtfully and the messages are read by everyone who comes in. This month’s theme is Leave Your Worries Behind and the responses have been a learning opportunity for everyone.

Achievable Goals

The hardest thing about yearly goals is that they are too broad. It’s lovely to have a far-reaching goal, but unless we divide it up into little do-able bites, a lofty goal remains unachievable. So this year, why not:


I have a Giving Board in my office during the holiday season. I want kids to think about what they give. Rarely do children earn money for family gifts. They sometimes don't even think about giving to family members. I remind them it’s not all about what they get, it’s about what they give. 

Summer Tips for Kids

I am sure that you have counted the last days of school and know when vacation starts down to the second. Summer is a time to travel, relax and hang with friends. When your parents divorce though, your summer schedule seems to change. Each of your parent's gets to take you on a vacation. Sometimes in the summer you also have to divide your time equally between both of your parents. Here are some tips that might help you deal with your parents better this summer:

When Parents Date

Sooner or later, after your parents divorce, they will start dating other people. Because I know you want your parents to be happy, and not be alone, there are some things to think about that might make watching your parents date easier for you.

Two Bedrooms To Clean

The majority of the teens that come to see me for therapy live part time with each of their parents. They have had to learn which days they are at dad's house and which days they are at mom's. Although they love both of their parents, the going back and forth thing is sometimes challenging. Chances are, you to go back and forth between two homes and you also know how hard it is to adjust to. There are some things you can do to make it easier for yourself:

Holiday Tips For Kids

The holiday season is here. I'll bet you have already made your holiday gift wish list and are wondering what presents you are going to get. Since your parents are divorced, chances are you will be spending time with each one of them during the holiday season. Although it's different than past Holidays when your family was altogether, this holiday can be just as much fun. Here are some ideas to help make things better for you and for your family:

Happy Thanksgiving For Kids

When parents get divorced the court helps the parents make a schedule so that each of your parents gets to spend time with you. An important part of the schedule is helping your parents spend time with you on the holidays. Judges try to make sure that you will get to see both of your parents either by dividing the holiday in half or letting you see one of them one year and the other parent the next year. Thanksgiving is usually one of the holidays that the court gives to one parent one year and your other parent the following year. This is because the holiday is a one day holiday.

Getting Ready for School

I am sure you all have noticed that school commercials started in July. One of the teens who comes to me for therapy told me that he felt that he did not get a rest from thinking about school because of the commercials. As much of a bummer as it might be, it's 'that' time again. Besides the usual worries (what teacher you are going you have? Will any of your friends be in your class and what clothes to buy), you have your parents to deal with. Going back and forth is sometimes a pain. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier:

When Parents go to Court, for Children

If you have ever been sent down to the principal's office...or know anyone who has...that's about how it feels to go to family law court. It is scary and sad at the same time. It's not like your parents are in trouble, or that they have done something bad, it's just that they can't agree about how to split up the family and need a judge to help them.

Trick or Treat Tips for Kids

Halloween is so much fun. I am sure that you have been thinking about what you want to be for at least a month now. It's so much fun to dress up and go door to door to get candy with your parents and friends. I'll bet that you can hardly wait.

Because your parents are divorced you must wonder if your Halloween will change...especially if your family used to celebrate the day together when your parents were still married. That must make you a little uncertain about how this Halloween will go.

There are some things you can do to make the night go better for you.

* Disclaimer:
Dr. Stark's Web site is not intended to take the place of a court-ordered advice or the advice of another professional. Although you may use the input found here to your best advantage, we recommend that you do so in conjunction with the work that you are doing with your individual therapist. Remember: this Web site is not therapy; it's knowledge and support.

All content © Dr. Amy Stark / Disclaimer

California web designers  by Bravo Web