The Importance of Being Honest

  • From ages 5 to 10, kids develop an understanding of what it means to lie. If they’ve been raised in a home and a school where there are clear rules and consequences about the importance of telling the truth, they should always strive to be honest. They should want their parents, siblings, friends, teachers and other adults to think highly of their character.


  • From ages 10 and up, most children know perfectly well when they are exaggerating the truth or outright lying.

The Four Reasons Kid’s Lie

  • Mistakes: Sometimes kids lie without thinking and then make things worse for themselves by continuing the lie. A very important thing to remember is that if a kid tells a lie, it is always better to admit they were lying and to tell the truth right away. Parents, for example, understand that kids sometimes lie without thinking sometimes. What a lot of children don’t understand is that admitting the truth right away is a great way of establishing trust.


  • Fear: Sometimes children lie out of fear to avoid getting into trouble or receiving a consequence. It is important to explain to your kids that when they lie to avoid receiving a consequence they will get into more trouble than if they did something wrong and told the truth about it right away.


  • To Avoid Doing Things: Sometimes kids lie to get out of doing something they don’t want to do. Homework or a project they have to complete for school are just a couple of examples. It is very important for kids to remember that there are many things they have to do, even if they don’t want to. This will never end as the same is true for adults. Being responsible for things you have to do in life, even if it is a non-preferred task, is a good habit for kids to learn at a young age.


  • As a Way To Fit In:Sometimes kids lie to get others to like them. They may want people to think they are “cool.” They lie to win approval from their peers, parents, adults etc. It is important for children to remember that people will like them for being themselves and it is actually “un-cool” to lie. The message we need to send our children is that if you are being kind, respectful and honest, and someone doesn’t like you, they are not worth being your friend anyway. Truth, honesty and being yourself is the “coolest.”


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

Avoiding Power Struggles with Your Child

Power struggles in parenting are common, but they can also be stressful, unpleasant and negatively impact the relationship you have with your child. In a power struggle, nobody wins! The good news is that implementing some consistent strategies can significantly reduce power struggles. When we learn how to reduce power struggles, we are teaching our children lifelong skills that build good character, such as responsibility and self-control.


What are we talking about when we say power struggles? We are talking about an exchange between a parent and a child that generally results in a high level of tension and anger. When we ask our child to do something and they refuse to comply, we often notice that we are involved in a power struggle. All humans strive to feel powerful. When a child is feeling overpowered, they may react to their feelings of powerlessness by fighting back through oppositional behaviors.


One observation I see often with families I work with is that parents make the mistake of engaging or escalating the negative interaction with their child when their child is in an emotionally reactive mood state. In addition, it often comes down to not following through. For example, if a parent states an expectation and then they retract it after their child protests, you are sending the message to your child that if they misbehave, they will get what they want. Ignoring is the opposite of paying attention. When you ignore a behavior you are sending a message to your child that they will not get their needs met by acting out, but rather by behaving in an appropriate manner. Obviously there are certain behaviors that should not be ignored (i.e. your child is causing harm to themselves or others or being destructive to property…etc.).


I often educate parents on the CPR’s of Parenting in an effort to reduce power struggles:


CPR’s of Parenting


Consistency –If I’m consistent, my child knows I am “unchanging” over a period of time.


Predictability –If I’m predictable, my child knows what to expect.


Reliability – If I’m reliable, my child knows that if I say something I’m going to follow through with it.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

How To Communicate With Your Adolescent About Drugs & Alcohol

How To Communicate With Your Adolescent About Drugs & Alcohol

Every adolescent will be exposed to drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives and research has shown that exposure and usage is occurring at a young age more than ever before. Encouraging your child to avoid the temptation and peer pressure associated with drugs and alcohol can sometimes be the difference between life and death.




Here are some suggestions on how to approach this very important issue:


  • Research the effects of drugs and alcohol. Before you can educate your child, you’ll need to know the facts yourself. Be mindful when discussing this with your child that you are using language that they can understand and relate to. Make sure to allow them time to ask questions and avoid lecturing.
  • If your child is not willing to engage with you at this time, direct them to a website, article, or book that discusses the danger of drugs and alcohol use.
  • Open the lines of communication with your child. Having an open relationship without judgment or shame can often be the most successful way to help them avoid temptations or peer pressure.
  • Be aware of your child’s activities and who their friends are. This is especially important today with the constant and growing social media.
  • Reinforce your stance against drugs and alcohol on a consistent basis. To best encourage your child to avoid drugs and alcohol, you need to make it an ongoing discussion instead of a one time conversation.



Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

Fostering Healthy Parent-Child Communication


One of my main areas of focus in working with families is helping them to recognize the importance of establishing healthy parent and child communication. While your children battle issues of hormones, desiring more autonomy, confronting peer pressure and searching for an identity, parents are also dealing with many obstacles and questions as well.  Some of these include:


1) How much independence do I grant?


2) Do I continue to implement consequences and if so, what is effective?


3) How do I set healthy boundaries and limit conflict?


4) What questions am I allowed to ask my child?


5) What expectations should I have for my child?


There is no doubt that effective communication between you and your child may increase the likelihood that your children will avoid many of the pitfalls of adolescence such as substance abuse, succumbing to negative peer pressure, delinquency, criminal activity, and sexual promiscuity. In addition, effective communication is the cornerstone for having a healthy and satisfying relationship with your children.


During childhood and especially adolescence, your child is striving to gain independence, yet still retain close ties to the family. I have often noticed a correlation between healthy parent-child communication and how it can impact self-esteem, academic achievement, and emotional intelligence.


It’s extremely important to create an atmosphere within your family system that promotes a healthy dialogue between you and your child.

As parents, the goal here is to foster a safe environment in which all family members are free to discuss whatever topics they need to discuss without judgment. In addition, in developing and practicing healthy communication, sensitive issues that arise during adolescence, such as sexuality and substance abuse, can be discussed with greater success and ease.


Finding time to communicate with your child may prove to be a challenge, considering your busy schedule. You would be surprised how beneficial it can be to just devote a few minutes each day to actively listen to your child. Keep in mind that some of the issues they are dealing with may be uncomfortable for them to speak about and it should be treated with caution and empathy. Let your child know that you value their point of view. You don’t have to agree with them, but confirmation and validation of a child’s thoughts and feelings is an essential and often overlooked step.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.


Benefits Of Summer Therapy For Your Child

Child Therapy In the Summer


Most parents would agree that the school year is typically a very stressful time for children and teenagers. Not to mention the emotional toll it can place on parents having to manage and juggle it all. Balancing schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and your child’s social life can often feel overwhelming for the entire family unit.


Although summer can be a wonderful time to decompress, one thing in particular I have noticed over the years is that the summer presents a wonderful opportunity to address any particular issue your child is experiencing. I find that children and adolescents are often more focused and engaged due to the limited number of distractions during the summer months. Beginning therapy in the summer to address areas of concern also presents a great opportunity to prepare your child for the upcoming school year.


Some parents may not be fully aware of some of the social issues or academic pressures their child may be experiencing during the school year. Providing your child the opportunity to confide in a therapist can help them work through resolving inner conflicts they may be experiencing. Children and teenagers sometimes do not feel comfortable discussing certain things with their parents that they are struggling with. One of my main goals when working with children and adolescences is to foster and improve channels of communication within the family system.


I recognize that every child and adolescent is unique and use an individualized approach to treatment. I view the therapeutic relationship as a collaborative one, and will work with you to create an action plan that specifically addresses your particular needs. It is my goal to provide a safe, secure, and confidential environment where your family can share your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or blame.



Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.


Family Problems: San Diego Child Therapist

When it comes to managing family matters that can often feel overwhelming, a San Diego Child Therapist can be a wonderful resource. Whether you and your partner are experiencing difficulties with your first born, need help managing sibling rivalry, or your child seems to be struggling in a particular area, child therapy can be a great asset. So often, children may not feel comfortable talking to their parent or guardian about something that is troubling them. In addition, some children have not yet acquired the necessary coping skills to deal with their thoughts and feelings. Dr. Scott Koenig, a top rated San Diego Family therapist has a proven track record of helping children cope with their emotional and behavioral issues.

Therapy Session BenefitsSan Diego Family Therapy

A therapy session can provide your child with a safe environment to express their thoughts and feelings. It can also help your child and your family to find effective ways to communicate and interact, while also increasing their self-awareness and emotional intelligence. A treatment plan will be customized to meet your child’s individual needs, and Dr. Koenig will work closely with you to ensure the plan is implemented in the home as well as in school. To make an appointment with Dr. Koenig or to learn more about his services, please visit

Useful information about ADHD

20 Things To Remember When You Love Someone with ADHD

It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.


People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.


From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.


True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.


Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:


1. They have an active mind
The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.


2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said
A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.


3. They have difficulty staying on task
Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.


4. They become anxious easily
As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.


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5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional
If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.


6. They concentrate too intensely
When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.


7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone
And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.


8. They are unable to regulate their emotions
For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.


9. They have verbal outbursts
Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.


10. They have social anxiety
Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.


11. They are deeply intuitive
For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.


12. They think out of the box
Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.


13. They are impatient and fidgety
Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.


14. They are physically sensitive
Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.


15. They are disorganized
Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.


16. They need space to pace
When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

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17. They avoid tasks
Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.


18. They can’t remember simple tasks
Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.


19. They have many tasks going on at the same time
Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.


20. They are passionate about everything they do
The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

June Silny



The CPR’s of Parenting

When I meet with a new family for the first time, I often talk about the CPR’s of Parenting.


1) Consistency –If I’m consistent, my child knows I am “unchanging” over a period of time.


2) Predictability –If I’m predictable, my child knows what to expect.


3) Reliability – If I’m reliable, my child knows that if I say something I’m going to follow through with it.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

45 Lessons of Life

Sometimes you come across a quote or inspirational message that resonates with you in such a way that can feel life changing. When you find 45, that is really something else. Regina Brett is a columnist for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. Regina said, “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”


1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.


2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.


3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.


4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.


5. Pay off your credit cards every month.


6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.


8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.


9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.


10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.


11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.


12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.


13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.


14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.


15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.


16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.


17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.


18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.


19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood… But the second one is up to you and no one else.


20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.


21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.


22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.


23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.


24. The most important sex organ is the brain.


25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.


26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’


27. Always choose life.


28. Forgive everyone everything.


29. What other people think of you is none of your business.


30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.


31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.


32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.


33. Believe in miracles.


34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.


35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.


36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.


37. Your children get only one childhood.


38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.


39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.


40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.


41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.


42. The best is yet to come.


43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.


44. Yield.


45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.