Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,

Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings. On this podcast, we will cover topics such as play therapy techniques and resources, group therapy, maternal mental health, picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well. As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.
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Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,




All Episodes
Now displaying: January, 2016
Jan 28, 2016

Parenting in the Rain, Episode  5

In This Episode:

  • Broken Circle - Children of Divorce and Separation is a collection of photographs and statements from young adults, 18 to 25, who answered my questions: “How are you impacted by your parents’ divorce? How does it affect your perceptions, plans, goals, hopes, and aspirations regarding relationships, commitments, and thinking about your own future marriage and children?”
  • The purpose of this project is to give voice to young adults whose parents are divorced and separated.
  • This project gave the participants an opportunity to speak from their heart.
  • The responses of the participants included in the “The Broken Circle Project” book were unedited.
  • The participants talked a lot about their situation during their photography shoot.  They seemed so open and willing to share their story.
  • Many of the participants said that they seemed healed by the process of their experience with this project.
  • Expression of experiences can be emotionally healing.
  • Karen Klein, the author of the Broken Circle Project, said that if she would had this book when she was going through a divorce, she would’ve changed her own behavior.
  • The Broken Circle Project is neither pro or con divorce, its merely an insightful snapshot of reflections from the young adults.
  • Some of the participants in this project reported that they had a great situation and their parents handled it very well.


Jan 21, 2016

Parenting in the Rain, Episode 3

In This Episode:

  • Penny Williams is a parent of a child with ADHD and the author of several books.
  • For her most recent book, Insider’s Guide to ADHD, Penny provides clarity regarding what it is like to be a child with ADHD.
  • She surveyed and spoke with adults about what it is like to be a child growing up with ADHD.
  • Knowledge is power.  As adults that care about children with ADHD, we need to learn everything we can about it to best understand and help our children.  
  • Stepping back from the situation and looking at the child’s perception in a difficult situation is a helpful approach to get an accurate picture of what is happening for them.
  • Being present with our children can make such a huge difference.  
  • Communicating effectively is one of the things that children with developmental delays struggle with.
  • Remaining calm with our children allows us to keep a focus on helping them self-regulate their emotions during emotionally stressful times.
  • When parents and teachers are calm, it is easier to help children focus on the task at hand.
  • Emotionally detaching when children say things out of anger such as “I hate you”, “You’re the worst mom/dad in the world!” etc. can help deescalate difficult situations.
  • Some children with ADHD that need sensory stimulation have their problematic behavior  reinforced when adults respond with an argument.  Remaining in a calm manner is the key to helping calm the situation down.
  • The more that we can remain calm with our child, the shorter the emotional outbursts will be.
  • It is so important to keep structure in a child’s schedule, especially when parenting a child with ADHD.  Predictable schedules can give the child a sense of security. Posting a calendar for the family schedule and upcoming events/activities can be really helpful.
  • Doing what works best for your family is important.  A one size fits all approach to parenting a child with ADHD isn’t practical.
  • Verbiage is important.  Refraining from expressions such as “my ADHD child” can help you and your child focus more on the child and not their diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder.  “See your child first, not their ADHD.”  ADHD is just one facet of them.
  • Focusing on the strengths of our children and not their weaknesses can really help the parent and child feel a higher sense of positivity.  Sometimes children can feel inundated their weaknesses.  A focus on their strengths can send them down a healthier path.
  • A main goal is to help our children with independence.  Letting them do and/or learn how to do for themselves is so helpful for them long-term.
  • Self-esteem is often an issue with children with ADHD.  Often people with ADHD feels like they can’t do anything right, so focusing on the strengths can really help them to see the positive and build a higher sense of self-efficacy.


(Some of These Resources Are Affiliate Links)

“Create Routines” Morning Checklist –  or TEXT adhdhelp to 44222  

Jan 14, 2016

Parenting in the Rain, Episode 3

In This Episode:


  • Carol McCloud’s book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”  has a message of “ Have you done something nice for someone today?”. Children tend to understand this concept well when explained in this context.  
  • Metaphorically speaking, everyone is born with an invisible bucket.
  • Children not only need love, but they need to be TAUGHT how to love others.  As parents, we can teach them how to love others through showing them through our actions, as well as explaining to them the concept of “filling” and “dipping” into our metaphorical buckets.
  • One of the main tenets of this bucket filling concept is that when we help others, we fill others’ buckets (help them to feel good), when we are unkind, we dip into others’ buckets (contribute to their unpleasant feelings).  In turn, when we help others to feel good, we help ourselves to feel good.
  • When we help children to reflect on their actions through statements such as “Did you fill a bucket today?”, they often learn how to be kind, which helps them to be happier long term.
  • Carol made some changes recently in her original “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” book to include the concept of “put a lid on your bucket” when others are disrespectful or hurtful to you in some way.  
  • When people are in pain, it is hard to be bucket filler.   This bucket filling concept teaches children that sometimes it is hard to fill buckets (be nice to others) when we have an empty bucket ourselves.  It gives them an understanding of how to navigate through the times when others’ just aren’t nice to them.  It also teaches children how to resolve their emotional pain and move toward feeling better through kindness.  This is an empowering message.
  • This bucket filling concept originated with Donald Clifton.  He coined “bucket filling” and “bucket dipping” verbiage.
  • In essence, this concept is based in the notion that people feel better about themselves when they are kind to others.  Our words and actions affect others.
  • It is important to teach our children that everyone will not always be nice to them or treat them with respect.  A short one-liner, such as “use your lid” can let your child know how to respond in a healthy way when people are unkind.  The use of a metaphorical lid is a way of not letting other people dip in to your bucket and take out your good feelings.  It helps children to understand that the way that people treat others is a reflection of how they (the other person) is feeling inside. (Do they have an “empty bucket”?) This is an important concept because if we don’t teach them otherwise, they may start to believe that something is wrong with them when people are unkind to them.  
  • Giving our children opportunities to treat others with kindness is so important.  Many people volunteer, donate clothing and food, and do other things to help support this concept and ultimately nurture genuinely kind children.
  • Carol mentions that whatever you focus on, you get more of.  In essense, when you teach people “what to do”, you get a better result than when you focus on “what not to do”.  So, teaching children to be kind is so much more effective than focusing on “don’t be mean”.
  • When kids realize that people that don’t treat them kindly have an “empty bucket”, it still stings, but it also can ignites feelings of compassion and empathy.  These traits are important in regard to nurturing kind kids.   These character traits set them up for relationship success now and in the future.  For some, it may take some time to develop that understanding though.
  • The moments that we don’t think matter, really do matter.  Our children are aware of how we treat others and use that for their “How To Act in Life” guide.  Even relatively small acts such as smiling at someone, saying thank you to the cashier, having a positive facial expression when you first see your child in the morning and such, can make a huge impact on how children treat others, and ultimately themselves.   
  • Statements such as, “Who’s bucket can you fill today?” or  “I wonder what I can do to fill her bucket?”,  supports the intentionality of being kind.  
  • As parents, statements such as “Let me tell you some of the reasons I love you so much” , “I love the way you light up when you are talking about your play at school”, and such is a great way to fill our children’s buckets, as well as our own.