Blog

Today’s family comes in a variety of forms, with divorce and remarriage increasingly common. Given these many combinations, making plans for the holidays can be complex. Which parent gets the kids and when? How do exes divide up the gift lists? Those are just a hint of the many issues that come up this time of year. Whether your relationship with your ex is amicable or not, your job as...

During the holiday season, it seems that spending time appreciating the beauty of the natural world takes a backseat to hitting the shopping malls and hunting for bargains online. That’s a shame, because being in the outdoors provides huge benefits in every season of the year. The healing power of nature is why North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center created our Wilderness Respite Program, which this year celebrates its 20th...

Preparing for the birth of a new baby is a joyful time. But here’s some news that is far from joyful:  More than 300,000 babies in the United States are born premature each year, and the statistics indicate a wide racial disparity. In Nassau County, the infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births is 9.4 for black babies versus 2.2 reported for white non-Hispanic babies. According to the New York...

At North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, our team of social workers, psychologists, family advocates and other dedicated staff members work throughout the year to bring hope and healing to children and families facing mental health and substance use challenges. We are grateful to our clients, who put their trust in us, and to our supporters, who make our work possible. Below, some members of our team share what...

There are times in the life of most children when they must deal with loss. Perhaps a close friend moves away; a pet dies; their parents get divorced; or myriad other situations that make them feel sad, afraid and abandoned. For children who are part of a military family, separation from a person who is central in their lives is often a lengthy process—and one that gets repeated many times. When...

When I tell people I’m afraid to fly, the usual response is, “Oh yeah, me too.” They complain about uncomfortable seats, long lines at security and baggage check, lousy food, the high cost, and on and on. They may even express a bit of trepidation about the flying part itself. But let me be clear: I am TERRIFIED to fly. I had flown a few times as a kid and as...

Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year for youngsters. Candy, dressing up, parties at school—what’s not to love? But if you have little ones, the sight of some of the scariest costumes and decorations is decidedly not something to celebrate. “For children around three to five years of age, and sometimes even older, the ghoulish costumes and yard displays can be overwhelming and very scary, but that’s a...

It’s not unusual for teens to have times when they feel down in the dumps. In fact, it would be abnormal if they never felt sad! But how do you know when “normal” sadness has developed into depression? “Both children and teens are at risk of depression when they experience traumatic events in their lives, such as divorce, death of a loved one, abuse or illness,” says Elissa Smilowitz,  LCSWR and...

Today marks National Stop Bullying Day, and here’s a story that showed how some stand-up students stood up against bullying in their school. A few years back, members of a Wisconsin middle school basketball team were lauded as heroes, and rightfully so. When the boys noticed some bullies making fun of one of their cheerleaders—a 14-year-old girl named Desiree who has Down’s Syndrome—they took action, walking over to the bleachers...

With about 50% of marriages ending in divorce, the number of children and teens who experience their parents’ separation is huge. And, while divorce doesn’t have the same stigma it did years ago, it still can be a very difficult event in a young person’s life. “The dissolution of their parents’ marriage can create enormous stress for youngsters,” says Elissa Smilowitz, LCSWR and Coordinator of Triage & Emergency Services at North...