AF psychologist’s new book serves as guide for parents - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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AF psychologist’s new book serves as guide for parents

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:30 am

Even when parents are doing their best sometimes they need extra help. Ahwatukee Foothills author and psychologist Salma Bhalla, Ph.D., believes her new book can be that extra help that parents need.

The book, Cues & Clues to Children's Behaviors: A Guide to Raising a Happy, Well-Adjusted Child, is the result of 30 years clinical experience working with children, as well as raising two kids of her own in the Valley.

"After years of experience I had a lot of parents who were wanting a guidebook or manual," Bhalla said. "I thought this was a good way to reach a lot of parents. I wanted to help parents prevent problems, and intervene before the problems become severe. I do believe in prevention and early intervention."

Bhalla has seen many parenting problems through the years. Some parents have been afraid to discipline and afraid to say anything negative, causing false sense of self worth in their children, while still others simply don't know how to discipline and set limits.

"Sometimes parents expect too much of their children," Bhalla said. "Not knowing what to expect at each stage of their child's development can be frustrating for the parents as well as the child."

Development stages are one of many topics addressed in Bhalla's book. She says it is the first step to understanding your child.

"The first step is to understand how a child matures emotionally and socially at each developmental stage," Bhalla said in a statement. "This will help parents formulate reasonable expectations of their child's behaviors and thus avoid undue frustration and expectations."

The second step is for parents to pay careful attention to the subtle or not so subtle messages that a child is sending through his or her behaviors. Parents must ask the right questions, correct behaviors appropriately and suggest alternate actions.

Parents will learn to recognize ways children express themselves, identify potential problems and learn strategies to deal with those problems appropriately in this comprehensive book.

"It's a book that will benefit parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone who cares for or works with children," Bhalla said.

Cues & Clues to Children's Behaviors is available for $19.95 through or at the author's website, It is also available as an eBook at and at

Allison Hurtado is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.


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