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Dear Friends,

Welcome to our August 'Back to School' newsletter.  As many families are wrapping up their summer breaks and preparing to return to the routine of the school year, we wanted to bring you a couple of articles for this season! I personally just attended my first open house night for preschool.  It's an exciting time for many families.

Featured Articles:

  1. Registration announcement for PREPARE/ENRICH training. 
  2. Mr. Bowden McElroy helps parents and teachers deal with the issue of bullying in school.
  3. Mrs. Jamie Brandon provides a thoughtful article about teaching compassion (see how the two articles go together?). 
  4. Announcing Video podcasts and resources on

PREPARE/ENRICH Training in September

Dr. Dale Doty will be hosting a PREPARE/ENRICH training September 17th, 2010.  The cost is $175 if you register online.  The cost covers materials.  Take a look at the benefits of receiving training for the PREPARE/ENRICH tool on our website

Register here

no bullying
School is starting soon.  Most students are thinking of academics and extra-curricular activities.  Parents are thinking about buying school supplies and clothes.  Therapists - at least this therapist -  is thinking about bullies and their victims.  Bullying is a hot topic around my house: my wife and our oldest daughter both teach first grade in the public schools.  Every year each has to deal with bullying in their classroom.  Below are some random thoughts about bullies, their victims, and the parents of both.

For Parents:
1)   Take a deep breath and gather all the facts before rushing to judgment.  There is nothing worse than discovering, after you have shouted and threatened, that your child is the bully not the victim. But that happens, every year in every school.
2)   Ask the school for help.  Teachers and administrators come in all shapes, sizes, and temperament but they all have the same goals: students who progress academically and classrooms that are calm and orderly. They don't want bullies or victims any more than you do.

When your child is the bully:
1)   Bullies come in three shapes: the child who has problems managing his impulses, thoughts, and emotions, the child who is overwhelmed with outside pressures, and the child who has learned through trial and error that aggressive behavior gets him/her what he/she wants.  The first step is figuring out which category your child is in.
2)   In a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, (August 2005) family therapy was shown to be both effective and long-lasting. Resist the temptation to view this solely as a problem of the child; family intervention including parenting skills and how to model assertive behavior is far more helpful.

When your child is the victim:
Interestingly, the victim of the bully is often chosen because he has a low self-esteem. More accurately, he or she probably has poor social skills. In other words, the victim is chosen because he is the most likely target. Shy, quiet, goofy, whiney, poor at expressing himself or handling emotions: it could be anyone of these things that make him different, but whatever it is he does not have the necessary skills to appropriately stand up for himself.  Helping your child improve social skills is the best thing you can do to help your child.

Bowden pic
G. Bowden McElroy, M.Ed.

Compassion- Can it be Taught?

friends in field
My 4th grader received the compassion award at school.  The assistant principal stated, "This is a character trait that we cannot teach at school, it has to come from home."  This statement got me thinking about what compassion really means and where it truly comes from. 

The Encarta Dictionary defines compassion as "sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help; concern, kindness, consideration, care".    Sounds like Godly qualities to me. 

Wikepedia describes compassion as "a human emotion prompted by the pain of others.  More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering". 

 If we believe God is the "God of all comfort" (Cor 1.3) and he created us in his image, shouldn't we have compassion inside of us?   Take a look at the life of Christ, His life was the very embodiment of compassion.  As a teacher, He taught us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22 

Is it really that difficult to teach by example?  Are we, as adults, so lacking in the quality of compassion that we are unable to teach it to our children?  As a therapist, I could not do the work I do without the quality of compassion. I work hard every day to show the children and families I work with that I truly care for them and their success as a family.  I believe children and adults, for that matter, learn compassion by being treated compassionately with kindness, gentleness and respect.  I think teachers can teach this quality by being an example to their students.   Can we all learn a lesson from the ultimate teacher? 

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Col 3:12
Jamie pic
Jamie Brandon, M.S.

CFI podcast
Announcing CFI Video Podcasts and Resources

We have added a new category of resources to our website.  Feel free to take a look at our video content

  • Video podcast stillThe current video podcast is "What Every Youth Minister Needs to Know About Crisis Management."  Take a look here
  • Dr. Dale video stillWe also posted a video about the benefits of signing up for a PREPARE/ENRICH training coming up September17th, 2010. 

If we can be of service, please contact CFI to set up a time to consult with one of our counselors.  We also provide psychological assessments and evaluations for ADHD and educational needs as well as pre-marital evaluations and counseling.  To view our full range of services, please visit
Timothy Doty, Psy.D. on behalf of
Christian Family Institute

Our Staff includes:
Dale R. Doty, Ph.D.
William B. Berman, Ph.D.
G. Bowden McElroy, M.Ed.
Eric L. Clements, M.S.
Jill E. Butler, M.S.
Salley Sutmiller, M.S.
Lois K. Trost, M.S.W.
Jamie Brandon, M.S.
Amber R. Sherrell, M.S.
Timothy D. Doty, Psy.D.
Stephen Harnish, M.D.