LAURIE HOLLMAN, PH.D.

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Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author who does psychotherapy with infants and parents, children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Hollman's new book: Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Familius.com. She writes about infant, child and adolescent development, mental health, Parental Intelligence, and a broad range of parenting topics.

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Being a mother of three isn’t anything like being a mother of two. Just in case no one warned you, here are some tips about this new time of life. Ten Tips for What to Expect When the New Baby Arrives 1. When you the new infant arrives, all those feelings of having a trying […]

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Another mother and I had a surprising conversation about a year ago. That is, it was surprising to her. While we were chatting mother to mother, she shared how she had just discovered the idea of understanding her children instead of punishing them. She had five children. She had always thought that immediate consequences, that […]

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Do you wonder what to do when your child has some puzzling, even distressing behaviors? Do you wonder why he acts the way he does? No need to panic–the key is to find the meaning behind the behavior. If you don’t understand it, how in the world can you know what to do? Parents often […]

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This is a weekly series about successful women who participate in the workforce in a range of ways building their careers while mothering. These women fly under the radar of the media but need to be heard. They are silently successful and warrant recognition. They are compassionate, persistently hardworking women who deserve our admiration and […]

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Three and even two-year-olds use the word “think.” But we have to consider carefully what the child means when he uses the words “think” or “know.” At first around age three, to think is just to suggest uncertainty. “I think this is a squirrel.” The child isn’t aware this idea comes from her mind. She […]

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Lying relates to the idea of what children believe, a topic parents are always interested in understanding. Only if you understand it, can you know how to deal with it. If a child deceives you but has no understanding of deception or no intention to deceive, we should react differently to that child than one […]

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Blended families can take a long time to work in a harmonious way as the years go by. As children age and parents remarry there are multiple adjustments. So how do the many parents involved help kids adapt early on to prevent future conflicts as the changes take place? Openly Communicate the Challenges Ahead Keeping […]

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Parents can often feel like their failing when they see the choices their kids make. But when you learn to engage your children and teens in making hard choices, you feel uplifted, like you’ve really done your job. Children agonize over hard choices. What group of friends to belong to can seem to define who […]

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How do women measure success? Is it by mothering and having a career? How do they carry out both forms of work to their satisfaction? What helps? What hurts? This is a weekly series about successful women who participate in the workforce in a range of ways building their careers while mothering. These women fly […]

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Have you ever desired to find meaning in your child’s behavior? Do you often feel frustrated or stuck in your attempts to find peace at home? If so, then I am happy to recommend a book that will help you find the answers you are seeking. Recently, I read through Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning […]

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How do women measure success? Is it by mothering and having a career? How do they carry out both forms of work to their satisfaction? What helps? What hurts? This is a weekly series about successful women who participate in the workforce in a range of ways building their careers while mothering. These women fly […]

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The next time you talk to your teen, notice how often he or you share your attention with your smart phone. How long can you talk without an intervening text? What is the impact of these diversions on your parent-teen relationship? Remember the day your daughter came home with a dismal look on her face? […]

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Should You Pay Kids for Grades?  Yes or No? Sometimes parents think of kids school work as their job. This is true.  But then they reason, they get paid for their jobs as adults, so maybe kids should get paid for their jobs, too. This reasoning may be confused by the parents loving wishes for […]

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Parents who try very hard to be good listeners when their kids’ behaviors scare them deserve a lot of credit. These are thinking, caring parents who know it’s important to understand a behavior before reacting. This takes a huge amount of self-control and determination. It takes what I call, Parental Intelligence – an ability to […]

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Gossip is communication. If your teenager off-handedly tells you a remnant of something going on, tune in! “Hey, Lindsay just got a new designer bag. It’s so cool. Her parents are really rich.” “Jason is talking really fast lately. Wonder what he’s on.” “Paola is missing lots of school. They say she’s been drinking a […]

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When kids are asked, “How was school today?” or “How was your day today?” some kids don’t answer at all or gratuitously give a shrug. Other kids gaily mention at least one thing they did which they enjoyed. What do we do with the kids with the shrug? Are they just non-communicative because they are […]

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The parent-child relationship is one of the most important aspects of helping your child battle OCD. OCD  sufferers with a supportive parent, in my experience, reduce their symptoms more effectively. If the child or teen can talk to you about their hidden symptoms, they feel relief because it lessens their secrecy and shame. This in […]

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Some people are very private with their cell phone passwords. Other people wish they didn’t even have to have one. I’m not sure why different people feel the way they do, but the private people are very circumspect if you ask to use their phone. They manage to put in their password without others seeing […]

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In our society, there seems to be an idealization of the extroverted, gregarious socialite. We seem to believe that this type of personality is more effective, talented and in some respects superior to others. Given this belief, children are encouraged to make lots of friends, participate avidly in the classroom, and take after the outgoing […]

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Long experienced psychoanalyst and author of “Unlocking Parental Intelligence,” Laurie Hollman, PhD, says to praise kids with Parental Intelligence. According to Hollman, “This means first step back and think about what the praise will mean to your child. Really think before you speak. Offhanded general comments don’t fly too far but are tossed off as, […]

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Parenting the socially uneasy child is more complicated than labeling your child as shy. It may just be your child’s temperament or natural style to avoid over-stimulating, gregarious people. Your child may be different than you if you’re outgoing. That difference or mismatch with you may make you uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean something is […]

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Understanding the minds of children and their development is critical for parents with Parental Intelligence. At age 3 kids are ego-centric and assume what is in their mind is in the mind of others. However, by age four kids are generally able to understand that another child can have a different point of view. This […]

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How do you help your children and teens think for themselves, stay true to their nature, and go at their own pace? Schools have rules, grades, tests, competitions, and hopefully, learning. If kids want to enjoy school, be inspired, maintain their desires for discovery, and have fun, they need to find their own pace at […]

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The other day I was visiting a preschool and talking with a parent whose adorable six-year-old was wearing a pirate mask and carrying a play sword. He came up to me to me and said, “I’m scaring you!” I said “Oh-h-h. I’m so scared!” He smiled appreciably. Immediately the mother apologized for her son’s rude […]

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It’s so common to see little three and four-year-olds telling their peers and adults what to do with such ferocity you wonder where that gumption came from. It stops being cute when they keep demanding their way and you find yourself helpless to curb their appetites for getting what they want from others all the […]

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Parents observe their kids nervous energy or quiet aloneness before school starts because these kids are thinking about their worries about starting school. School is a highly social workplace and the gregarious types or the more introverted have different reactions to their prospects at school. What Do Gregarious Types Worry About? Will they still be […]

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As school begins again and parents’ schedules get complicated, mothers and fathers put on a cheerful face as they get their kids set for the new year. There’s lots of shopping and hair cuts, new back packs, colorful notebooks, and even visiting the school to prepare your child. But is the good cheer a façade or […]

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There are many reasons families move from one home to another. The most delightful is when the family can afford a larger home and finds one in the same school district. More difficult is when a family must move because of employment and they must leave their local for a location far away with a […]

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Before children start formal schooling, even pre-school, they are learning all the time. Think of how toddlers learn. You don’t have to go to Toys R Us to find the right toy on the toddler aisle because the everything that surrounds them feels like something to learn from—the way a bottle of vitamins sounds when […]

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Research reported in the New York Times stated that when parents have shifting schedules at work it affects the stability of their children. The research suggests that children’s language and problem solving skills may undergo difficulties as a result of their parents’ shifting availability.It was further suggested that there could be inferior cognitive and behavioral results […]

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I was on line at Starbucks behind a gawky tall boy with unwashed, scrawny, dark hair, a beak-like nose, black glasses, stooped shoulders, and a winning smile. He wasn’t the picture of a confident teen but there he was talking to a small teenage girl who barely came up to his chest with long brown […]

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How do we measure emotional well-being? It’s what we all want for our children. As parents what should we look for to help us know our children feel secure and have positive self-images? What can we do to help them grow emotionally strong? Resilience Children are bound to make mistakes and even fail at things […]

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Teachers warn parents to keep up some reading, math, and science during the summer, so kids are fresh to learn in September. August is the month to be thinking about that. But how do you do this without kids feeling their summer’s being interrupted by boring school stuff? Creative Ways to Prevent Summer Regression and […]

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I prefer selective eating to describe what parents call “picky eating” because the latter suggests the child is demonstrating poor behavior that must be corrected. It’s more in keeping with my concept of Parental Intelligence to look at each child’s eating habits and figure out what’s on their minds when they choose to eat the […]

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Some households are noisy and full of roughhousing. Others are quiet and easy going. If the first household has been aggressive for a long time it wears on everyone in the family and emotional temperatures flare. Individuals lose sight of how to regulate their emotions to a talking level even though outside the house they […]

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Sometimes mothers and children of all ages seem to get at odds with each other. Maybe one or the other feels slighted with something that is said. Maybe they don’t feel grateful enough for what they do for each other or the way they speak to each other. Whatever the cause, it’s best not to […]

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Children grow up in all different economic and emotional environments. They generally know the world they live in and don’t always know how others live. Visiting others homes presents them with different living environments that may offer similar or different views on material good and emotional fulfillments. Material Wants and Needs In this technology age, […]

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Many children and teenagers are diagnosed with ADHD. Parents are familiar with the list of symptoms and often get professionals to help their child modify their disorganization, distractibility, and hyperactivity. But rarely are the parents given guidance on how to handle their own feelings about their child’s problems and actions and many parent-child arguments and […]

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How do teens think about love? Are there different kinds of love? This is a subject that is on teenagers minds and it’s something they discuss with their friends. But how about discussing it with their parents who have more experience and some wisdom on the subject. How do you approach the topic? Where will […]

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Each mother has a different motherhood. There are no prescriptions or judgments, yet we feel there are. Expectant Mothers When some mothers find out they’re pregnant they want a baby but still feel ambivalent. Don’t let smiling pictures of expectant mothers fool you. You know your life will change and you’re taking on a big […]

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A mother recently told me how easy-going and quiet her baby had been all during his first year. He slept well, cooed gently, and loved to be cuddled. She knew she was lucky to have such a calm baby as she worked full-time, her husband had started a new job, and her mother was on […]

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There are many research findings about babies before they learn to speak that have to do with moral behavior, infant-mother attachment, language, and other’s emotions. Learning to observe these changes helps mothers and fathers enjoy their babies as they observe their growing capabilities. Voices A fetus absorbs in the intrauterine environment the rhythm of a […]

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We carry our phones like they are arms and legs, never to be apart from them. Then we take pictures of home runs, making a goal, getting diplomas, receiving trophies, blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Now we have those great recorded moments, but did we get to really be there at the same […]

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Parents frequently complain that they don’t feel respected by their children beginning at about age 2 and climbing high into the teens. Complaints range from not being listened to or ignored to being cursed at or yelled at. Those are actions or behaviors that parents interpret as disrespect. Behaviors that parents deem respectful often include […]

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Child development experts have believed for many decades that when a mother does the worrying, children are able to take on the challenges they face more easily because they know their mother is always there doing the worrying for them. In that sense it liberates the child because the child knows her mother shall prevent […]

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Children understand being happy without putting it in words. As parents we can learn and relearn about being happy by observing them, listening to them, and sharing time with them Ways Children Teach Us About Happiness 1. Children are patient. This might sound surprising when things don’t go their way, but watch a six-year-old or […]

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One of the joys of being a parent is to read to your child. We begin with picture books and slowly move on to longer stories with and without pictures. We generally think of reading to little ones before they go to sleep. As they get older, they learn to read on their own but […]

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Eighteen-year-olds like to be considered a young adults, but it’s more accurate to call them a late adolescent. While their physical growth has slowed, socially and emotionally they are first moving much further out of their protected environment and learning to function on their own in college and/or work. Teachers and employers now expect them […]

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Puberty lasts for several years and can cause tumult or be an accepted part of growing up. The way kids react depend a lot on their parents view points. From approximately 11-14 your child experiences many difficult developmental changes that include rapid physical, intellectual and emotional growth. For girls, publerty can begin at ages 10 […]

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It’s hard to fathom that your twelve-year-old or fifteen-year-old will reach their 18th year when you’re coping with the day to day. But understanding that crucial age of 18 before it happens enables you to guide your child through this passage. Respecting Your Teen Part of being a teenager is recognizing your parents don’t always have […]