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Alice Kaltman, LCSW

Alice is the founder of Family Matters NY, a parent support and coaching service based in Brooklyn, NY

How many children do you have?  I have one child, a daughter who is 18 and just about to graduate high school. (Yikes!)

How did you come up with the idea for your company? After working as a psychotherapist with families and children in an office setting for 18 years, I felt the need to develop a more targeted way to help parents and kids over the hurdles and tricky transitions of family life. FMNY provides practical advice to families through home and office visits, and through phone and email support. I also write a parenting column for www.achildgrows.com, and am a featured contributor at babble.com.

I am fascinated by the early years of parenting, and have been called “The Kid Whisperer” because of my rapport with children. Little kids rock!

What’s your favorite parenting tip?  Down and backwards is part of the developmental process. Healthy child development is best thought of as an ongoing spiral looping through time, up and back around repeatedly as it moves along a steady plane, not an upward progression with the apex as the goal. Kids almost always spiral down and backwards during times of transition, when they face new challenges, or when new demands are made of them. Some parents don’t know this fact. In the heat of the moment even parents who do know forget and worry that their kids are not thriving. Often parents get impatient with kids who are appropriately regressing. But hold on! There’s great value to going back to old familiar ways as long as kids don’t get stuck there.

How do you get your family to eat healthy food and/or exercise? I am a surfer, swimmer, and dancer. Suffice to say, exercise is a vital part of my life. I’ve tried to model healthy habits myself, and not demanded my daughter or husband follow in my footsteps. As such, they’ve each found their own paths. My husband is an avid yogi and my daughter a swimmer and long distance runner. As for food, I try not to have junk in the house, which is hard because they both love sweets!

How do you recharge your batteries? Exercise is my drug. always has been, and always will be. 

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