ARTICLES

  • Voyage Chicago – Dori Mages Interview - August 2nd, 2017 - 9:35 am

      I am the founder of North Shore Family Services and began working with kids, teens, parents, and families in 1994. In my early years of my career as a licensed clinical social worker, I worked in foster care with teenage boys and as...

  • Sibling Rivalry – How to Maintain the Peace

    Sibling Rivalry – How to Maintain the Peace - July 27th, 2017 - 11:17 pm

    Sibling Rivalry: Common and Normal? Does it ever feel like your kids just CANNOT get along? Sibling rivalry is common in ALL families with more than one child and happens at every age.  While it may be comforting to know that sibling rivalry is...

  • Family Vacation: 3 Activities to Please All Kids/Teens

    Family Vacation: 3 Activities to Please All Kids/Teens - July 21st, 2017 - 8:40 pm

    Family Vacation: What Will We Do? Your vacation is booked, bags are packed, and everyone is excited about their family vacation!  You arrive at your destination, and no one can agree on anything to do. While family vacations are an exciting time, it can...

  • TEENS – Summer Fun without Screens

    TEENS – Summer Fun without Screens - July 21st, 2017 - 8:32 pm

    Summer: School’s Out/Now What Summer is a time to relax and enjoy without the stress of school.  The weather is hot, the pools are open, friends are in abundance, and the excitement is in the air. By the end of July, the summer excitement...

  • Sleep-Away Camp: 3 Tips for Overnight Camp Success

    Sleep-Away Camp: 3 Tips for Overnight Camp Success - July 18th, 2017 - 4:59 pm

    For many families, summer brings on a busy schedule of swimming, vacations, day camps, sports camps and drumroll please…sleep-away camp! For many parents, sending their child to sleep-away camp is both a proud milestone and an anxiety-inducing process. If you find yourself sending your...

  • Fireworks: 6 Tips to Help Kids who are Scared

    Fireworks: 6 Tips to Help Kids who are Scared - July 4th, 2017 - 3:56 pm

    Are your kids scared of fireworks? While the beautiful explosion of colors in the sky are wonders for all to see, kids are often very scared of fireworks because of the loud boom that accompanies them. Have no fear- Here are 6 tips to...

  • Chicago Tribune – Dori Mages “13 Reasons Why” - June 2nd, 2017 - 1:02 pm

    The founder of North Shore Family Services, Dori J. Mages, MSW, LCSW was interviewed by Jackie Pilossoph of the Chicago Tribune  about “13 Reasons Why”, a popular Netflix series among pre-teens, teens, and parents where a 17-year-old high school student, Hannah Baker, dies by...

  • Motivated for Summer Weather

    Motivated for Summer Weather - May 4th, 2017 - 4:22 pm

    Top 3 Reasons to Keep You Motivated for Summer Weather by Sarah Rudek, MA, LPC So, you are finally ready to start to get your summer body ready. “I’m going to the gym and eating healthy!” The question that everyone thinks about is How...

  • 5 Tips for a Successful Prom

    5 Tips for a Successful Prom - May 4th, 2017 - 4:21 pm

    5 Tips for a Successful Prom by Elyse Dombrowski     It’s in the details. Prom is a time for celebration and excitement.  For your teen, that means finding a dress or a tux, a date, and getting ready for the big dance, however, those things...

  • Divorce: Kids and the Holidays

    Divorce: Kids and the Holidays - December 24th, 2016 - 11:52 pm

    Divorced Families Experience More Stress During the Holidays The holidays are a time of celebration and time with family. Unfortunately, this often creates extra challenges and stress.  For most families, the holiday chaos can be tricky to navigate and stress levels can skyrocket.  For...

  • Being Grateful: 7 Ways to Help Your Children - December 19th, 2016 - 11:11 am

    Fear of Missing Out Makes it Difficult to Be Grateful for What they Have Raising children in today’s world is no easy task. It often seems as though our society demands instant gratification. We often focus on what we don’t have, rather being grateful...

  • Taking Santa Pictures? Help Your Scared Child with 4 Simple Steps

    Taking Santa Pictures? Help Your Scared Child with 4 Simple Steps - December 2nd, 2016 - 10:12 am

    Santa Pictures are Often More Fun for Parents than a Scared Child Many parents can’t wait to Santa pictures with their small children in his lap during the month of December. However, if your scared child doesn’t share in your excitement, this seemingly fun...

  • Back to School: 5 Tips for Anticipation without Anxiety

    Back to School: 5 Tips for Anticipation without Anxiety - September 7th, 2016 - 9:19 am

    Have your kids been more argumentative lately? Are they snapping at you for (seemingly) no reason? You are not alone. Kids are also anticipating going back to school, but with more school anxiety than school elation. “Woe is me, all summer I was happy...

  • Summer Fun in the City

    Summer Fun in the City - August 12th, 2016 - 12:00 pm

    As the summer quickly winds down, the kids are getting restless and want to get some last-minute fun in before the school year begins. What to do? Plan a day (or a few days) in the city! Chicago has many free or cheap activities...

  • 5 Tips For Helping Your Child Face A Fear of Bugs - July 1st, 2016 - 8:41 pm

    Summer is here! That means picnics, pools, and play-time for you and your little ones. It’s a time of freedom to spend your days under the sun, however, the bugs think so too. While summer time is one of the most enjoyable seasons for...

  • Spring Break: An Opportunity for Bonding with your Teen - March 17th, 2016 - 4:53 pm

    If you are home on spring break with your teen, you have probably experienced her lack of interest in doing anything over break- asserting that she “just wants to chill.” If your teen has no plans to go on a trip for break and...

  • Help Your Child Cope with Change

    Help Your Child Cope with Change - March 17th, 2016 - 4:52 pm

    Change is a part of life – some love it and some hate it. Either way, most adults have learned to cope in ways that make change and transitions seem manageable. However, for children this is often a difficult area, as they may not...

  • Give the Gift of Love to Your Family

    Give the Gift of Love to Your Family - March 4th, 2016 - 1:10 pm

    Just because Valentine’s Day and the holidays are over, doesn’t mean you can’t show your love and appreciation for your family. I don’t remember what my mom gave me for my birthday when I was 8, or even the name of the book my...

  • Couples with Children: 5 Ways to Act Like Newlyweds Without Grossing Out Your Kids

    Couples with Children: 5 Ways to Act Like Newlyweds Without Grossing Out Your Kids - February 12th, 2016 - 11:09 am

    It is no secret that children’s relationships are shaped by their family experiences. It’s true- children understand the world according to the ways they see their parents behave. This idea of social learning means children are constantly observing communication skills, family values and beliefs,...

  • Valentine’s Day for Your Teen: Feeling Red-Hot or Making Them Blue?

    Valentine’s Day for Your Teen: Feeling Red-Hot or Making Them Blue? - February 11th, 2016 - 1:19 pm

    February is the month of LOVE, highlighted by a culture-bound (and Hallmark-enhanced) national “holiday” that can mean different things to different people, depending on the state of relations at that moment in time. Valentine’s Day spells out, in no uncertain terms, the absence or...

  • College Applications: What to Do After a Rejection

    College Applications: What to Do After a Rejection - January 28th, 2016 - 2:02 pm

      Are you waiting for that acceptance letter from THAT school? You know, the one your son or daughter has been dreaming of attending since kindergarten? Then, as a parent of a high school senior, you have probably been accompanying your son or daughter...

  • 5 SMART Goals Every Child Should Aim to Accomplish in the New Year

    5 SMART Goals Every Child Should Aim to Accomplish in the New Year - January 21st, 2016 - 10:15 am

    It’s January. Time to start anew. New Year’s resolutions are a great opportunity for you and your child to reflect on the past year and communicate about areas where there might room for improvement. Making New Year’s goals provides the opportunity for children to...

  • Does My Child Need a Therapist?

    Does My Child Need a Therapist? - November 2nd, 2015 - 11:09 am

    Parents typically are much more worried about having to take their child to a professional than the kids are. Kids and teens usually view their therapist (well, a good one) as an adult sounding board: someone besides their parents who can offer “what if”...

  • Halloween Happiness: Tips for Fun with Little Ones on Halloween

    Halloween Happiness: Tips for Fun with Little Ones on Halloween - October 27th, 2015 - 8:55 am

    Halloween can be a really fun time for kids- candy, costumes, what’s not to love? For younger children, finding not-so-scary activities where they can join in the festivities is key. Enjoy these tips and Happy Halloween! Games Pass The Pumpkin – Using a small...

  • Supporting Your College Student: The First Year

    Supporting Your College Student: The First Year - October 9th, 2015 - 8:23 am

    Now that your son/daughter is off to college, here are some ways to help you support (and survive) the beginning of the college years.

  • A New Year in Elementary School: 8 Tips for Maintaining Success throughout the Year

    A New Year in Elementary School: 8 Tips for Maintaining Success throughout the Year - September 21st, 2015 - 5:18 pm

    Fall means that summer temperatures begin to drop, leaves start to change color and school is in full swing. The onset of a new school year is exciting for some kids as they settle back in to school, reunite with friends and resume learning....

  • Lollapalooza: What Parents Need to Discuss with Teenagers

    Lollapalooza: What Parents Need to Discuss with Teenagers - August 1st, 2015 - 4:25 pm

    This weekend, Chicago hosts one of the biggest festivals in America, Lollapalooza. Lollapalooza is compared to Woodstock, perhaps because of the free-for-all, hippy-freedom atmosphere, not to mention the incomparable music. It draws over 100,000 people each day for the three day festival and is...

  • Cabins, Campfires and Canoes! Tips for overnight camp success! - July 19th, 2015 - 6:30 am

    Going to overnight camp is a wonderful gift for kids and teens. It’s an opportunity to make friends, have fun and develop an increased sense of independence. Some kids may board the bus and seem to never look back, where as other kids experience...

  • Overnight Camp: Survival Guide for Parents

    Overnight Camp: Survival Guide for Parents - July 14th, 2015 - 7:00 am

    The kids are off to overnight camp! Which parent of summer campers are you? Are you one of the “I can’t wait till they’re off” folks, or the “I can’t wait till they come home” types? The former are often parents of veteran campers, or moms/dads...

  • 4th of July: 7 Creative Ways to Celebrate - July 4th, 2015 - 12:37 am

     It is July 4th, the perfect day to spend with your family. Of course, it’s a day to celebrate with our friends and family, but it is also important to teach our kids the meaning of this day and explain that it isn’t just about...

  • Dad’s Acting Silly Again!- 9 Fun Activities Dads Can do with their Kids - June 20th, 2015 - 8:00 am

    Being a dad can be so much fun! Father’s Day is right around the corner. With summer officially starting next week, many dads will be spending time grilling with their families and having fun in the great outdoors. Father’s Day shouldn’t be the only time...

  • When Tragedy Strikes:  How to Help Your Child Cope

    When Tragedy Strikes: How to Help Your Child Cope - June 19th, 2015 - 9:54 pm

    Last night, a shooting occurred in an Orlando nightclub. In December, 2012, the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting occurred in Connecticut.  These senseless shootings remind us all too often that it won’t be the last. We, as parents, struggle with the news, but how do we...

  • Children of Divorce: 6 Tips to Co-Parent Effectively

    Children of Divorce: 6 Tips to Co-Parent Effectively - May 21st, 2015 - 4:00 pm

        Will the kids be all right? Divorce is rarely simple. It can be difficult to come to terms with and adjust to the loss of a long term relationship, especially one in which children were created. Although no one ever enters marriage...

  • 6 Things Teens Wish Their Moms Knew About Them - May 12th, 2015 - 11:00 am

    6 Things Teens Wish Their Moms Knew About Them Remember when you were a teenager and said to your mom, “You have no idea what it’s like being a teenager!”? Teens make no qualms about telling their parents how out of touch they are...

  • 5 Fun Ways to Help a Big Sibling Adjust to a New Baby - June 13th, 2014 - 10:00 am

    How are you going to handle the change? When you have a new baby on the way, so many questions go through your mind.  Am I going to be a good parent?  Will my baby be healthy?  Will s/he sleep through the night?  What...

  • Bullying: 11 Warning Signs that your Child is Being Bullied - February 21st, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    Sticks and Stones Aren’t the Only Harmful Methods Many adults can still recall the name of the “school bully” (or bullies) from childhood. Bullying is not a new challenge for children, but it should not be dismissed as simply “a part of growing up”....

  • Bullying: What Parents and Schools Can Do to Help - February 21st, 2014 - 10:04 am

    My Child Won’t Tell Me What’s Going  On Even if your child won’t talk with YOU about being bullied, the important thing is that he feels he has a safe place to go to talk about it.   Know the 11 warning signs your child may...

  • Do You Follow the Law with your Teen? - January 15th, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Teens often ask their parents if they can go out with friends, to the mall, the movies, the local hang out, etc.  As a parent, your gut reaction may be to say no because of all the potential dangers of saying yes to your teen. ...

  • Video Games: How to Set Limits on Play Time - December 12th, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    Is Your Child Playing Video Games Too Much? Most parents feel that their kids are playing video games too long.  It may not be as bad as you think.  If you haven’t read our original article on video game playing time, take a look at what 4...

  • Video Games: 4 Rules to Know How Much is Too Much - December 10th, 2013 - 9:00 am

    Is My Child Playing Video Games Too Much? Parents frequently ask us this question.  How much time should I allow my child or teen to play video games? The Bad There are countless articles, blogs, books, etc. published about how video games can be addictive and how they decrease...

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