Help for Parents and Children

Margaret Neal, LCSW | Riverside, CA

For Children With Behavior Problems [Top]
Are your son's tantrums endless? Does your daughter always have to have her way? Have you absolutely had it with constant arguing among your children? And back talking and sassiness? Is it out of control?

Sometimes parents call me because they hope I can "fix" their child --- stop the tantrums, decrease the selfishness, get them to mind. But parents quickly realize that the quickest way to improve their child's behavior is to change how they do things with their child. Therefore, I work with parents to make small changes that will produce more positive responses from their child. Why not let me teach you strategies that can work for many years to come rather than my working individually with your child to create an improvement that might disappear with the next stage of growth?

Have you read lots of books, attended parenting classes or gotten advice from everyone, but nothing seems to work?

I find that parents are usually doing most of the right things with their children but with some guidance they can perfect an aspect of their approach and get the results they've been wanting. When possible, I demonstrate techniques or coach parents about using a technique until it feels natural and is effective.

Do you find that special techniques and other strategies just don't work on your child?

Often strategies need to be adapted to suit your child's interests, personality or temperment. I can help you do that.

Are you frustrated that your partner doesn't want to join you for sessions?

Of course, it's always better that I work with both parents so that they can be on the same page with regards to discipline and the other aspects of raising children. But I have found over and over again that working with one parent can be very effective. As you try out and practice the ideas we discuss in sessions, your partner will see the results and be willing to try out the new ideas, too. I work with you in a way that can strengthen your relationship with your partner, not undermine it.

For Parents of Children With Special Needs [Top]
Do you suspect that your child has a delay in his development? Have you recently been given a diagnosis for a medical condition for your child? Has your world suddenly become unsteady with new worries and responsibilities? Are you overwhelmed with grief or anxiety over your child's situation? Has your life been turned totally upside down?

I can help you to sort out the strong emotions, the on-going questions and the day-to-day issues when your child has special needs. I work with individuals and couples. If your partner is not ready for sessions at this time, I can work with you by yourself in a way that will strengthen your partnership. I know I don't have all the answers, so I have developed a collection of articles, books, websites and other resources that can assist you.

Individual Therapy for Parents [ Top ]
Have you lost touch with yourself or your partner after you became a parent? Do you never find time for yourself? Are you overwhelmed with how parenting has taken over your life? Are you exploding too often at your children?

I help parents find themselves again. I help you let go of the feelings that prevent you from giving to yourself. Or maybe you need help with examining your priorities so that you feel less overwhelmed and find more enjoyment in your day-to-day activities. Or maybe you need help to feel less irritable. I can also help you sort through troubling thoughts and emotions that might keep surfacing about how you were raised.

Appointments in My Office or in Your Home [Top]
Is one more medical appointment too much to handle? Does it take too much energy to bundle up your little ones and get them into an office? Wouldn't it be nice to have a professional come to you for a change?

I see families either in my office or in your home. Home visits provide the advantage that children quickly show their troublesome behaviors when they are in the comfort of their own home whereas in an office they are on their best behavior. Home visits allow me to offer more effective strategies to families. And when needed, I'm able to demonstrate a technique or coach a parent to use a skill right then when the situation is happening.

Some parents particularly like home visits during naptime so that they can feel free to discuss issues without their child hearing the conversation.

And remember, if I visit you at home, I'm there to talk with you, not to inspect your housekeeping.

Appointments in a Public Setting [Top]
Is your child out of control in stores? Are you constantly embarrassed by your child's behavior in public?

Sometimes talking in my office or in your home is not enough support to handle those tough public situations with your child. I can meet with you and your young children in fast food restaurants and in stores to help you apply the strategies we've discussed. That situation also allows me to adapt a strategy to fit your child's particular personality and needs right when the situation is occurring.


Margaret W. Neal, LCSW
3400 Central Ave Suite 310
Riverside, CA 92506
Telephone: 951-275-5200

CA License #LCS9622