Author Archive

Self-Esteem – Does Your Child Have It?

And Why Gold Stars, Stickers & Bribes Do Not Work!
By Dr. Roxanne Daleo

Do you believe your child will become a leader because she makes straight A’s on her report card? Do you think a shopping spree at the Mall or date at the nail salon spa will improve her self-concept?

These and other questions came to my mind when I recently counseled parents whose 7th grade daughter compelled them to reward her for good grades. They told me each of them told their daughter how proud they were but also decided to award her ten dollars for each A; she earned five out of six subjects.

I ask you, do you think rewards will motivate your child toward such attributes as happiness, pride and self-confidence? How do we cultivate prosocial behavior helping our child develop virtues of kindness, generosity and excellence toward themselves and others? Behaviors that foster the idea: there is value in aiming for the greater good of all concerned as opposed to self-serving, ego-centric behavior? Currently the trend is more toward: “what’s in it for me?” mentality.

Do you notice the more you bribe your child, the more demanding, inflexible and intolerable she gets?

I believe only someone who has a strong sense of self can lead others. A leader knows the greater good of the whole. A leader has clarity and holds that clear vision in front of the group. A leader motivates others to work together as a “unit”, a team, a family. A leader has the ability to redirect the team when necessary in order to stay on course. A leader has qualities of self-confidence, full self-expression and competence. Most important, a leader is capable of balance between esteem and humility.

The reason gold stars, stickers and bribes do not work is because these are based on extrinsic measures to motivate a child rather than motivating intrinsically from an inner drive. Extrinsic rewards depend on outside forces. Parents and teachers rule and hold the standard of conduct rather than intrinsic reward which inspires conduct for its own sake. This gives the individual a feeling of pride because he feels good about himself.

Does your child feel good about herself? How do you know? How do you keep that feeling going as your child meets greater and greater challenges?

To answer these questions, let’s get back to our 7th grader who received ten dollars per “A” on her report card. Don’t you know, she was thrilled! Then the next day, realizing she had a test in French which she only rated a “B” average, she decided to cut class in dance, put in more study time in order to ace her French test.

Am I the only stickler here or can you also see there’s something wrong with this way of thinking? You trade off one bad habit for another when you bribe your child to get an “A” at all costs. In fact, you are creating loss somewhere else. In this case, it’s a lack of respect for the commitment to the dance class and poor time management because of distorted priorities,
judgement is off which leads to dysfunctional behaviors.

Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so, the most powerful learning mechanism is consequences. There is a cause and effect to everything in life. It’s one of the laws of the Universe, called karma. Karma acts like a boomerang. What you put out will come back, so watch your back!

A good way to teach your child this principle is to take your child outdoors to your backyard, throw the boomerang at him and let him see it circle back to the thrower. Now give him a turn. Amazing thing, really. I had a friend who’d go into schools with his “Boomerang Program” to illustrate this very principle; his programs were quite popular.

Doing something for its own sake can be the reward when fostered early in childhood. I remember the story my husband told me about his boyhood family vacation. His father decided to drive cross-country to visit the National Parks of America. Six kids and two adults piled into “Woody,” their station wagon; thrilled to travel for five summer weeks! He described the scene to me: My father would pull into a camp grounds and park the car. Dad never gave orders, he didn’t say a word. My brothers and I appointed ourselves in charge of pitching the tent while my sisters brought out the food, pots and pans and sleeping bags. Everyone seemed clear how they were to contribute to the task at hand and we just did-happily-what had to be done!

Recently I had lunch with a prep school classmate. She described her situation with her son. She and her husband decided to enroll Tyler (not his real name) in private school for fourth grade because he was not being academically challenged in the public school. When they made the switch, Tyler rebelled. One night during the first week of being in his new school, his mother said she heard him sobbing from his bedroom. This distressed her deeply. So she decided to allow him to go back to his old school for a day to visit his buddies and check out for himself what he was missing. To her surprise, Tyler could feel the difference being with his old friends and it wasn’t the same as the year before. He said to his folks, he realized the new school was better for him and more challenging. Basically, Tyler had an inner instinct that helped him figure out for himself that private school was a good place for him. He made the adjustment and thrived there.

Both of these stories illustrate a young person’s intrinsic motivation.

Whatever your religious tradition may be, invoking a spiritual dimension (expressed as “God,” the “divine,” or simply “love” or “caring” or “goodness”) can be a powerful way of helping a child find a deeper appreciation of himself and others. For me, having been raised in the Catholic tradition, this was put in terms of “God” and the divine — but you can adapt this to whatever your own beliefs or traditions are. 

“We all have the extraordinary encoded within us waiting to be released,” says Jean Houston one of the most influential thought leaders of our times.
In some form and in your own way, remind your child that all the energy, all the power, all the wisdom of the Universe is inside you right now, you are made in the likeness of the Creator. Claim your spiritual ID.

I remember being told God is like the ocean, you are a spoonful of that “God-ness” that “goodness.”

The first key to embracing ourselves as divine is through giving. St. Frances said “It is in giving that we receive.” To give: attention, a love note, a smile, a beautiful flower is a gesture of just connecting to the other person to be kind and caring. This is a lesson many kindergarten children learn through the model set by a parent or teacher.

Self-esteem is the awareness of our innate goodness. It is present when a youngster feels good about himself. I foster self-esteem by helping children to see the impact of their kindness or of sharing by bringing their attention to the face of the other child to whom they gave.
I would say, “Johnny, that was very thoughtful of you to give a cookie to Mary. Look at her face, is she smiling? “
Johnny says, Yes!” 
I say, “And how do you think that made her feel? 
Johnny says, “Happy!” 
I say, “And how does it make you feel to know you shared your cookies with her? 
Johnny says, “Good.”
I say, “Yes, you are a caring person.”

1.Catch your child in the act of being caring and sharing and you will get more of that behavior. Slow down the action by deliberately bringing attention of the one who gave, to the expression of joy on the face of the other. This is an emotionally intelligent way of building your child’s self-esteem. Self-concept grows out of the positive and negative experiences in your child’s life; so be on the look out for the positive ones and amplify the influence these experiences have by making sure your child “sees and feels” good about himself in the process.

2 The second key to building self-esteem is found when we model how to take our attention off our own problems and worries and focus, instead, on what we can do for someone else. The simple shift in thinking about “the other” – our brother, our sister, allows the child to lose track of  circumstance and create an act of kindness and caring for its own sake. An act of caring done without any expectation of getting something in return.

3.Prompt your child by having a short conversation about ideas that would help the other member of the family or would offer an expression of joy and love for them. When you take the time to do this, you help your child truly know their own identity and significance.

4.Tell your child about the day or night they were born. Children love to hear about the excitement of their birth. Use storybooks like: “Knots On A Counting Rope” by Bill Martin, Jr. and
“On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman.

  1. Tell you child how you named him and why. This kind of personal information gives your child awareness of his identity and significance. Read this bedtime story: “The Incredible You” written by Wayne Dyer.

The Threshold

You are here
and not yet there.
You are Now
and wonder how?

I tell you truly
The reason easy
You are Love
as the old world’s undone
You are the Love
Needed to make a new one.

You are here
And not yet there
Not knowing can bring fear
In the threshold
there is stillness, where you’ll get clear
In the threshold
Patience and courage will appear

Know your gifts
Now, your chance to use them
Make a world of difference
It’s your time to be bold.
Go through the threshold
As the new world unfolds.

A smile is a Gift

By Dr. Roxanne Daleo

During this holiday season, let’s focus on simple ways to give of ourselves rather than worry about buying something to give. Try crafting homemade ornaments, baking cookies and best of all helping your child recognize this truth: you are the gift.

Here are some suggestions to share with your child the ways we can express caring. Show them how to give the gift of a smile.

A smile is a gift of love that brings cheer to ourselves and to those who receive it. So give a smile: it’s a feeling good about yourself feeling–you can see it, you can feel.

1. Give Yourself A Smile

Ask your child to smile in the mirror at her/him self. You do it, too. What happens?Your beautiful face seems to brighten up. It gives you a good feeling, doesn’t it?

2. Smile At Someone

Give the smile away by smiling at someone. Notice the look on that person’s face when you give him or her a smile. It makes them smile back at you and makes them feel happy too! The impact factor of a smile is not bound by language or culture.

3. Smile At Nature

Next time to see a beautiful flower or a mighty oak tree hug it and send a smile. Cultivate a shift in awareness by acknowledging our connection with all living things

4.. Send Someone A Smile

Draw a happy face and send it to someone you might not see for the holiday or take a photograph of your child saying “YES!” smiling, write a note and send! Try it using your mind’s eye.

There is a beautiful teaching from A Course in Miracles which says:

When you meet anyone, remember it is a Holy Encounter. As you see him you see yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.

Remind your child to look for the good in others and look for the good within and you will see how a simple smile can light up the world with kindness and goodness.

How did you use your smile as a gift today? Send me a comment at

Take a Space Trip!

By Dr. Roxanne Daleo

If you find your children overwhelmed by their outer world or lose their capacity for creative play then take a space trip!

Enter the imaginal space of your imagination to find your resources again and again where you make magic happen.

Play is your child’s natural medium for self-expression. Play is your child’s work— it is their language. And in this imaginal space of play, your children can evolve which helps them use imagination more effectively and efficiently to cope with stress.

Helping children help themselves create “space” (inner space, emotional space) where the imagination can go to work for them is a powerful life skill. This is easily achieved using Dr. Roxie’s guided imagery relaxation journeys. These guided journeys are high octane storytelling because metaphors in the teaching tale set to music is a sound healing event that transports the listener by changing the frequency they are tuning into and shifts the inner dialogue to a mood changing, higher vibration.

Dr. Roxie’s narrations are elegantly crafted to do the “play” of inner transformation. Her voice gently guides the child away from over stimulation of the senses from the outside world in order to acquaint them with the inner world of peace where they can attain greater concentration and inner wisdom.

Your children will learn how to see a world they want to live into.

Click here to request your free sample:

The Geography of the Self

Your Assignment:

We all have talents, gifts, strengths and weaknesses. If you could imagine yourself as a country you would have wealth and health based on your natural resources and your geography such as your location in the world. You would be found on a point on the Earth’s surface. How would people reach you by car, plane or boat? How do you see your country- is it rich or poor? 

If everyone was “in their element” would your country’s people be happy, healthy and gainfully employed? Your choice! How big can you dream?

Materials Needed:

colored pencils or pens
a paper for body outline or map of the self


  1. On a large piece of paper, draw a body outline. This will be your country.
  2. Map out using topography areas such as mountains. rivers, streams. What do these represent to you, a mountain or “high point” perhaps a noise? Rivers, perhaps veins or arteries?
  3. What about a desert, dry land or beaches? Do you have any?
  4. Do you have a “tourist attraction” or a buried treasure?
  5. What are your imports and exports?
  6. What are your natural resources?

The Apple Tree Said to Me

By Dr. Roxanne Daleo





While in the orchard, I did hear
A small, still voice calling me near-

Listen, listen quiet be!”
(the apple tree said to me)
I am alive and you are too
Brothers and sisters in all we do
Sharing earth, sun and sky
Living, breathing- this is why
When you ‘Pick Your Own,’ be my friend.”

Listen, listen gentle be!”
(the apple tree said to me)
Take my apples— ready-ones come easily
Otherwise you’re hurting me!
If you pull hard or give me a tweak,
My apple won’t be as sweet.
When you ‘Pick Your Own,’ be my friend.”

Listen, listen thankful be!”
(the apple tree said to me)
Sit here, be still and you’ll come to know
Love makes my apples grow and grow.
Be thankful Love works magic ‘round us all
Touching every living thing great and small.”

When in the orchard where apples be
I’m kind and careful as can be
Because the Love that makes us grow
Is Love I’m given, now I know
We are connected, tree, sky, sun and me
In quiet, gentle, living beauty.

September 2020 New England

Visit for your free children’s meditation or

Be an Original

I am a fisherman for good thoughts
Often reeling in a line mangled with knots.
Panic constantly rippling the waves,
Of my once calm thoughts day after day.
With an eager frustration, my line I cast deeper,
Soon memories of happiness, friendship and love,
Enter my brain as gracefully as the flight of a dove.
New, warm, happy waves silence panicked ripples.
Suddenly thinking good thoughts becomes so simple.

The Threshold

You are here
and not yet there.
You are Now
and wonder how?

I tell you truly
The reason easy
You are Love 
as the old world’s undone
You are the Love 
Needed to make a new one.

You are here
And not yet there
Not knowing can bring fear
In the threshold 
there is stillness, where you’ll get clear
In the threshold
Patience and courage will appear                        

Know your gifts  
Now, your chance to use them
Make a world of difference
It’s your time to be bold.
Go through the threshold 
As the new world unfolds.

Come Rest in My Hammock While I Teach Mind/Body Strategies To Your Child

Many mothers have been working extra hard- homeschooling, planning activities and outings on top of their regular household routines of cooking, laundry, bedtime baths, stories and so much more. Mom’s are exhausted!

Let’s give mom a break this summer. Come rest and recharge yourself while I engage your child in the wonders of expressive arts and forest wisdom: lessons in grounding, self-calming, creativity and improvisation. A fun-filled, therapeutic program from which your child and you can benefit. 

Everyone needs a little rest everyday. Here at Dr. Roxie’s Retreat House and Forest Garden, you can stand still and pause from the rushing through life. Nestled among ninety foot ancient, pine trees in the area 45 minutes west of Boston and not far from Still River, the retreat space 

offers the atmosphere and charm of potent quiet places.

The best part is that you can come with your child to recharge yourself completely while Dr. Roxie teaches life skills using nature’s energies to reset even the most anxious, hyper child.

It’s better than camp, a unique setting and service expertly designed by Dr. Roxie for both you and your child.

Social distancing practiced. One-hour appointment per family. Chose a time slot.

Also available on-line.  Contact Dr. Roxie directly by cell 617-755-4490 or email:

Dr. Roxanne’s Rescue Remedies for Stress Relief

There is a doctor inside each patient. (Let us) give the doctor who resides inside a chance to go to work.”

Albert Schweitzer, MD, Nobel Prize Winner

A powerful form of mind/body medicine is now helping people of any age, including young people like you, to cope with both physical illness and the everyday stresses in life. Known as “guided imagery,” it involves using relaxation exercises, positive mental images and special breathing techniques.

Suppose you are faced with a situation that is unpredictable or out of your control, then learning guided imagery will give you tools you can pull out of your “medicine bag” whenever you need them. These mind/body healing techniques can help you relax your body so you can recharge yourself. This process decreases muscle tension and the stress that contributes to physical and emotional discomfort.

There are 3 steps in the process of stress relief. They are: to identify your stress symptoms, to reframe stressful situations, and to practice relaxation techniques. Each step is part of a progression to increase self-awareness and to experience relief.

When practiced regularly, powerful benefits of these techniques include:

  • Easy to use

  • You can self-start

  • Reduces physical and mental stress

  • Decreases fear and anger

  • Expands creativity

  • Strengthens a sense of control

  • Increases concentration

  • Improves skills in problem-solving

  • Increases attention and recall

  • Enhances self-esteem


Using the mind/body messages of discomfort and strain as a warning sign, we learn to understand our body’s responses under normal and stressful conditions. When we understand ourselves well, we have more control and relieve tension.

It is useful to see if your stress symptoms are predominately physical, emotional or behavioral. This helps you develop more awareness and appreciate how the body signals you to bring your awareness to the pain — that part of you that is asking for attention. Once we identify the warning of overload, we can stop ignoring the harmful effects of stress and start shifting into deep relaxation.

Take a moment to make a checklist of your stress symptoms.





Nervous, Anxious

Grinding teeth at night

Stomach aches



Tight neck / shoulders

Can’t stop worrying


Trouble Sleeping

Can’t laugh

Critical of Others

Lower Back Pain


Over eating


See your problems in a new way. Pay attention to your thinking. Learn methods of detachment to conserve energy and program yourself for well-being and inner peace.

Our sense of time is a major influencing factor in our awareness of pain and also anxiety. It promotes a sense of urgency and unneeded stress. When we become familiar with conscious relaxation techniques, we develop a new sense of time – one that promotes “I have all the time there is”. We experience the moment as long and full – the ever present now. With practice, our sense of time expands. More importantly, we cultivate an attitude of friendliness with time.

Remember: a feeling begins with a thought and a thought can be changed. Feelings of appreciation and love help our bodies stay healthy and strong, while feelings of meanness, anger, and sadness wear the body out.

A picture held in the mind can literally effect every cell in our bodies. The brain makes no distinction between real or imagined information. So when we worry about things going wrong and picture all the possible fearful events, our bodies go into a stress response which increases our blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and overall metabolic rate. In short, our body starts using up energy, like a car engine revving-up to super high gear. Prolonged, without relief, this over-excited, over-stressed condition wears out your physical body and contributes to emotional distress as well. As soon as you realize you are stressed-out, your body is asking you to pay attention to your own particular warning signs of discomfort and pain. Then it is your opportunity to stop, slow down and regroup. Use guided imagery CD’s to imagine health, peace, love and joyful beautiful images, then your body will respond positively.

Here is a reframe statement:

Wisdom is the instantaneous recognition that a crisis is a blessing and even greater wisdom recognizes that blessings can also trigger a crisis.” (W. Dyer)


Your imagination is a very powerful tool! Current brain research tells us that we typically use only 10% of our brain’s potential. Guided imagery offers a way to tap into that other 90% of the brain. Also, guided imagery is a way to give your mind something positive to focus on, using music and positive suggestions. Unless you give your mind something to focus on, your mind will decide what it wants to focus on – and it may choose something like pain or sadness.

How do you learn guided imagery? You can be taught by a health professional (such as a psychologist, nurse, or teacher) or you can listen to audio and video programs designed for this purpose.

To make guided imagery work for you, follow these guidelines:

  • Practice regularly

  • Use a quiet space. Turn off the TV, computer or radio

  • Find a comfortable position. Sitting up like royalty on throne chair is best.

  • Listen to the audio recording.

  • Let your imagination open to creativity; after each audio program you can draw or paint a picture, write a poem or a story, or dance.

Try a two-minute countdown if you need something quick for on the spot relief. Visualize an image of a beautiful stairway, one that leads to a garden, up a mountain pass or onto a boardwalk to the ocean. Count one step at a time, one breath at a time. Count from one to ten as you imagine yourself walking somewhere in nature that is pleasant and peaceful to you. Now count back from ten to one, one breath at a time, one step at a time.

Relax your eyes. It might be amazing to know, but for most people, just closing the eyes can bring about a relaxation response. So much of our day, we are over-stimulated by visual information. Learn how to take a deep, calming breath, let your eyes close, and your blood pressure lowers, automatically.

A smile is a gift of love that brings cheer to ourselves and others. Research shows the physiological changes in neurochemistry when we produce a smile. Notice what happens. Your beautiful face seems to brighten up. Now give the smile away. You will notice a good feeling as you notice them smile back at you.

You can use these rescue remedies wherever you are, and you’ll find they work naturally and easily each time you use them.