Katie HurleyAuthor

Katie Hurley

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Joyful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about helping parents enjoy the ride, she provides parent education and simple strategies to take the guesswork out of difficult parenting situations. You can find her at Practical Parenting and allParenting. She lives in the South Bay area of Los Angeles with her rock & roll husband and her two children, Riley and Liam. She believes in lattes, family time and the power of play.


Second place sounds like a win, until it refers to parenting. It’s fairly common for children to single out one parent and shy away from the other. Sometimes, they even dig their heels in and refuse to let the other parent run the bath, push the stroller, or help with the homework.

Kids form strong attachments to their primary caregivers, and many times, that means that mommy gets all of the attention while daddy feels like the third wheel. Rest easy if you’re the one on the outside looking in—these attachments do change over time, and there are steps you can take to build the attachment. Warning: Unconditional love and patience required.

How to break the mommy (or daddy) obsession
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While pessimistic thinking is often brushed off as a personality trait, it is actually a learned behavior. Sometimes it is even used to mask anxiety. When kids approach most situations with “I can’t” or very low expectations, they are lost in a cycle of negativity. Kids can, in fact, get stuck in a pattern of [&hellip
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When my son was a toddler, he decided that all of his tags had to go. Tags were itchy and bothersome, and he had no time for itchy and bothersome. But even when I cut the tags out of shirts, he would come to me, pointing to the tiny little bit of tag left behind, [&hellip
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6 Tips for Establishing Family Routines

Developing a consistent routine for children can be a challenge even under the best circumstances. When you account for age, various activities, homework, and maybe even a baby – it’s hard to get the stars to align each day and night.

But add on a hard working mama with a busy work schedule and keeping the family on a consistent routine can feel impossible! …
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This is the summer of social skills. I love that my son loves to compete. I believe there’s a value in that kind of determination. I know that it will serve him well as he grows. But competing over every little thing? That’s a different story. He struggles to play any game without thinking in [&hellip
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Have you ever had to stand back, feeling completely helpless, while your child struggled with something very difficult that didn’t result in success? I have. My daughter is a dancer. She’s determined, competitive, graceful, and talented. She works hard — harder than a child her age should be motivated to work, I sometimes think. And [&hellip
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I had a feeling I might hear an argument or two today. My little one is getting some new teeth in, and my older one misses her daddy fiercely. He has to travel a lot this summer and, although we are surrounded by family, nothing compares to him. We are not whole without him, and [&hellip
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Every parent has a tipping point. It might be a certain time of day, like during that ten-minute window of time where you will probably late for school or miss the bus if shoes aren’t on and tied immediately. It might be when you’re trying to cook dinner, clean the dishes, and supervise homework while keeping the toddler entertained. Or maybe it comes on the heels of asking your child to pick up his toys for tenth time that afternoon. Every parent has a tipping point
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Parents say a lot of things to their kids. We chit chat, we ask questions, we make jokes, and we try to sneak in a few life lessons here and there … but we never do know what will stick until it comes back to us at a later date. A few months ago my [&hellip
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“Get me with that big pillow, Mommy!” Out of context, this frequent request from my preschooler might paint the picture of the permissive mommy. You know the kind — the one who doesn’t set limits and lets her children play in an aggressive manner. That wouldn’t be an accurate description of the situation, though. You [&hellip
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