Pediatric Behavioral Health

About Dr. Galvinhill

Dr. GalvinhillDr. Galvinhill is a child psychologist who specializes in treating childhood behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and trauma. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 2001 and is a member of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Galvinhill is experienced in working with children, adolescence and their families in a variety of settings.

Dr. Galvinhill utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy in treating individuals and families. She sees parents as experts on their children and believes in creating a warm and respectful atmosphere in which she works collaboratively with parents to achieve effective treatment.

Areas of Practice
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Interventions
  • Individual and Family Therapy

Dr. Galvinhill's Helpful Tip

How to Communicate Effectively with Your Child

We all know that communication is important in creating healthy family relationships. Parents are aware of the need to communicate to their children about how to stay healthy, safe, and to develop a sense of responsibility. Just as essential, but more often neglected, is developing and practicing good listening skills as a parent. Communication is a two-way street. For children to listen to you, they must also feel heard. Being a good listener will promote your child’s ability to talk openly with you about problems and needs. It will also enhance your child’s self-esteem and build a loving feeling of connectedness between you and your child. So, how do we effectively communicate with our children?

1. Take time. Spend regular time with your child. This will emphasize your child’s importance and your availability to your child. This should not just be time running errands or taking your child to soccer practice. Your child is a priority and quiet time alone with your child is too. This will set the stage for communication.

2. Listen. When your child is upset about something, just listen. Don’t interrupt when your child is talking. Don’t try to solve problems or give advice. Your job is simply to understand what your child is saying. When your child has finished talking, you can summarize what has been said in an attempt to gain better understanding. Ask if you have understood and if there is anything more your child would like to tell you.

3. Provide support. Ask how your child is feeling about things. Emotions are never wrong. Make an attempt to understand your child’s feelings. Verify that you understand. Whether you share your child’s feelings or not, be sure to communicate that the feelings your child is having are valid.

4. Be clear and consistent. Be sure your actions match your words. Don’t give mixed signals. Don’t laugh while you tell your child “No.” Follow through on limits and consequences you have set. Otherwise, you will be teaching your child to ignore what you say.

5. Be calm. Shouting at your child says that you are out of control. It also models poor communication skills. Stay calm when talking with your child. If you feel that you are too angry to talk calmly at the moment, give yourself time to take a break and talk about it later. You will be more effective when you can think clearly.

6. Take responsibility for your feelings. Your reaction to others’ actions is just that, your reaction. Take responsibility for your own feelings by making use of the word “I”. For example, “I felt worried when you didn’t come home on time.” rather than “You are so irresponsible.” This is more likely to generate understanding from your child than defensiveness.

7. Give credit when due. When your child behaves as you would like, give positive feedback. Focus on responsible behavior and accomplishments. Your child is more likely to listen to you when negative feedback is balanced with praise.

8. Keep things in perspective. Stay focused on the big picture. No one is perfect…not you, not your child. While you want to set high goals for your child, don’t communicate expectations that are unrealistic. Success breeds further success. Be sure the goals you communicate to your child are attainable.