Mark uses techniques that help the child express the stress he/she is feeling, for children ages four to nine years old. Mark uses puppets, a dollhouse and drawing.
For children under four years old, who cannot sleep through the night, Mark uses a kind of play therapy in which the child leads the play and the parent follows. The child quickly shows the parent what he/she needs or is upset about.
Boundaries: Helping parents with boundaries for children is important. There are many reasons why parents have difficulty with children's boundaries: the parent may feel the child cannot handle a firm "no", the parent may not be able to handle "no" him- or herself, or the parent may fear the loss of the child's love. Children are actually much happier once the parent has gone through the difficult process of establishing clear boundaries in the home. Positive rewards are the most helpful, second are consequences such as a Time Out (one minute for each year the child is old--a maximum of three minutes for a three year old). Time Outs are best when in the same room with the parent. Some parents have found that Time Outs need to be away from anything fun. Other parents have found that the child may color quietly at the table during Time Outs and the child's behavior improves just as well as with a harsher Time Out.
School: Many children cannot do school homework without the parent in the room with them. They need the parent's energy to help them have the patience to sit through the homework. Some children, especially some boys, do much better when not in a traditional classroom. They may need a more active learning environment that uses more gross motor activity, like a physical game or building something.
Helpful TV programs are Nanny 911 and SuperNanny (though the Nannys are often too shaming).
Mark has been married since 1980 to his lovely wife, and together they have raised two grown children and a peaceful dog, Merlot.