10 Reasons to Rake Leaves as a Family


Do you want to prevent your children from giving you a heap of trouble when you ask them to help around the house?  Even better, do you want your children to notice things around the house that need to be done, and just do them?!!!  Start them early!

1. Young children love to help!

Early on, it doesn’t tend to matter if it’s cleaning the toilet, raking leaves or baking, kids want to try too!  I know, it takes longer, but have fun with it!  Give them a rag or a rake and let’s go!  (Be sure you are not exposing them to harsh chemicals via sprays and other cleaners.  Thieves Cleaner is an excellent options and it cleans pretty much everything in your house!)

2. Teaches siblings to work together, either directly or side-by-side!

Again, when you start them early, regardless of the age span, when your expectation is that they treat each other kindly and with respect, more often than not, they will do so, and have fun doing so.  Some say “cousins are first best friends.”  Well, siblings can be first and forever best friends when parents create an atmosphere of playing hard and working hard.

3. Provides an INTRINSIC reward!

Extrinsic rewards are things like, a dollar for doing a good job, or a trip to the toy store to pick out a toy.  The intrinsic rewards are the ones that come from within the child.    Intrinsic rewards are the good feelings that one gets from a job well done, i.e. “I did it!” “My dad gave me some instructions and I added my own ideas to make it an even greater success!” “We all worked together and got a big job done!” Extrinsic rewards will have the parents working hard, always, to convince the child that they will give them a big enough reward in exchange to do a chore, or their homework, or help out in any way.

4. Gets the job done!

Let’s face it, it’s a lot of work and they slow us down a great deal in the beginning learning process, but having a 13 and 18 year old in the house currently, I can tell you that they take a big load off for my husband and I!  When you take the time early and keep at it, you will have productive older children and these older children are even likely to keep coming back after they leave the nest to see if they can lend you a hand.  Sweet, right?!

5. Establishes a routine and expectation!

Children learn over time that we work together as a family and meet the needs of the family together.  Everyone takes part.  So often, parents are running around doing everything while their children are occuppied on their electronic device, you know, the one you GAVE them.  They go from begging the parent to hurrying up so they can do the fun thing the parent promised to do after the work, to not wanting the parent to be ready so they can spend more time on the electronic device.  This is a dangerous precedent that tends to go along with children feeling and behaving in a self-centered, entitled and even helpless manner.

6. Teaches children to feel confident!

Erik Erikson, one of our founding personality theory psychologists talks about this in his 4th stage of development and it happens between the ages of 5 and 12.  He calls it Industry vs. Inferiority.  It has to do with children learning skills, which leads to feeling industrious (competent) and confident in their abilities.  Without it, children tend to feel inferior and doubtful about themselves and their place in their peer group, family group and on their own.  When children feel inferior, they tend to not try.  They tend to lack confidence and experience worry, anxiety, depression.

7. Outdoor chores bring with them all of the healthy and even healing aspects of the outdoors!

Fresh air, the smell of leaves, grass, flowers, the warm feelings on your cheeks in warm weather and the cold cheeks of fall and winter will be sensations that get logged in the emotional center of the brain, forever!  The vitamin D from the sun will also be a great benefit.

8. Teaches Executive Functioning Skills!

The buzz words in my field over the last few years are, “Executive Functioning Disorder.”  “My child has EFD.”  How fair is it to tag a child with a label and even qualify them for medication and special services when we have never taught them or expected them to do things like rake the leaves, wake up to their own alarm clock, get their own backpack ready.  Busy parents are running around like crazy trying to get everything done in short order, while their child gets a few extra winks of sleep, takes a little longer with their breakfast or playing their video game. Teaching children how to organize a task like raking leaves will have value beyond any special ed plan that they school will devise for your child.

9. Gives them a heart for helping!

These are children who notice that the teacher might need help passing out papers or putting chairs up.  They are young people who will notice the lady struggling to her car with her hands full.  They will think to ask if Grandma and Grandpa might need help with their Fall clean-up.

10. Instills a “can-do” attitude!

Your child will be unstoppable when they have skills.  How to organize the leaf raking involves many steps and ask they grow, develop and experience, they will find their own way, and that way may even be better than your way.

You child needs you to be a strong minded parent who has expectations, teaching ability, patience and also a willingness to look at the destructive nature of passive entertainment, extrinsic rewards and laziness.  Your little person is going to be a big person all too soon and it’s easier to raise them up well than to rebuild them later, or even worse, to have them be dependent on you into their 30s.

Note: The boy in the above picture had been working diligently while singing, “I’m Henery the Eighth, I Am” and frankly, we needed a break from it, so we told him to take a break.


Should you exchange money for chores?  Stay tuned for more next week!


To stay connected, parent to parent and parent to professional, contact Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, below.


Introducing Alison Weiner

Introducing Alison Weiner

Please welcome Alison Weiner. Ali will be joining Lamperti Counseling & Consultation for the summer as a Student Intern. In addition to being a high honors Psychology Major, Alison has studied abroad in Italy, raised over $5,000 for breast cancer awareness and worked with inmates in a high security prison. She brings skills of photo-journalism, computer systems, working with special needs, mentoring and children. We are very excited to have her for the summer!

What Do These Companies Have in Common?


Is it appropriate for a psychotherapist to let their clients or prospective clients know they are of one religion or another?

In fact, is it really even wise for a company that sells a product to make that information available?

“Still, it’s risky for brands to affiliate themselves with a religion directly.  Since it’s just a polarizing subject, it often opens companies up to  controversy.”  Read more:  http://www.businessinsider.com/17-big-companies-that-are-intensely-religious-2012-1?op=1#ixzz2XwoI81xB

By referring back to my original post, you can see what I think about that.  https://tracylamperti.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/my-new-blog/

My husband recently told me about a news story he read about companies that are open about their Christian faith.  It got me thinking, “I can be open about my faith too! Right?”  Just 10 years ago, it posed a great business risk for me to let my colleagues know I was a Christian.

Given that I am no stranger to my profession, I wanted to share a few things about my faith/my psychotherapy-consultation practice and how they mix or don’t mix.  I am proud to say that I have a very good alliance with many local schools, medical offices, police/fire departments, courts, churches, etc…

Many professionals make referrals to me NOT knowing that I am a Christian.  In fact, I have only a small percentage of professionals who refer to me BECAUSE I am a Christian.

There may be some professionals or other adults who maybe have heard of me locally or through blogs like http://www.capecodmommies.com/ who, by CHANCE, or by researching a bit about me, learn that I am a Christian.  There are people who would then decide, “We aren’t looking for someone to talk to us about God.  Best to move on.”  Sometimes, many assumptions are made.  I’m sure that people move on when they see “Christian” in any association with my business.

I have worked with people for 3, 6, 9 months or longer who never talk with me about their faith or mine.  In these instances, besides asking generally if they have faith or are strengthened by any particular belief, it is not a topic that we discuss.  I am perfectly capable of carrying out my professional responsibilities without an aspect of faith.

On the other hand, there may be Christians who come to me, in part, because I am a Christian and they want to know, “Will all of my services be faith-based?  Will I pray with them?”  The answer is no, I do not practice faith-based counseling exclusively.  These services would be more appropriately served by a pastor or clergy.  I am merely a student of the Bible, not a theologian.  And the answer is yes, I will pray with you if you ask.  It would be very unlikely that I would suggest that we pray.

In no particular order….

  1. I am nothing more than anyone sitting on the couch across from me.  I possess professional counseling skills, training, experience and expertise that the other person may not possess, and I have worked to resolve some of my own issues, which qualifies me sit in my banana chair. (I love my yellow chair, but anyone who enters my office is welcome to sit there.  I like the couch also:-)  HUMILITY
  2. One quality of my professional approach is to be fairly straightforward.  I happen to be a very sensitive person.  I do not think I have it in me to hurt another person’s feelings on purpose (not that I haven’t ever hurt someone’s feelings).  I worry very much about people feeling bad, whether caused by me or nothing to do with me.  It could be said that some can be knocked over by a feather and others, it would take a freight train.  I have worked very hard and had very extensive experience in assessing whether my client is the feather type or freight train type.  I also have extensive experience with the timing of interventions.  Not all pieces of information can be heard at all times.  LOVE ONE ANOTHER. SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.
  3. My most influential teacher, Cesareo Peleas (Le Grand David), whom I studied with for 2 years, who in addition to being a psychologist and professor was also a magician and whose mentor was Abraham Maslow – the famous Humanistic Psychotherapist, taught me, “Psychotherapy is, ‘Genuine Need Gratification.'”  If having a cup of coffee with your “client” meets a genuine need then you have done psychotherapy with them.  We are all human.  We all have the same basic human needs and instincts.  As a psychotherapist, I work to see what basic unmet needs are interfering with genuine fulfillment.  I am by no means comparing myself to Jesus, but with Jesus as our example, I will step on to any path that a person is on and walk with them, no matter the depth of pain or shame.  BROTHERHOOD
  4. Everyone has a gift.  Someone may have come for my services, but they have a gift. or many gifts that I don’t even know about.  I am the expert in the room, for what someone has come for help with, but in another arena, they would likely be the expert.  It’s my job to help tap into whatever resources the person may have.  GOD GIVEN GIFTS
  5. A great many of our problems are a result of our own choices and our selfish attempts to make ourselves feel good.  I know this because of my own self.  As the culture shifts and twists we lose focus.  Staying focused on a higher power or on a spiritual peace is one of the best ways to be grounded.  FOR ME, THAT FOCUS IS BIBLICAL TRUTHS.   There are many commonalities between Biblical Truths and the teachings of Jesus, with other beliefs.  It might come as a surprise that many phrases that we use in our culture some from the Holy Bible;


So when someone comes to me for my services, do I talk with them about God?  Not necessarily.  It would be unfair for me NOT to ask where a person draws their strength from.  If they draw it from the ways of the Buddha, wonderful.  I see many ways of peace through the teachings of the Buddha.  My faith is in the Lord, not Buddha.  But we still connect.  I am not Jewish, but the Christian shares the whole Old Testament with the Jew.  If your way is through the Wicca, so be it.  It is not my faith, however, I will not advise you of your faith or seek your conversion to my faith.  If your faith is very important to you, you wish to incorporate it with your psychotherapy goals and you have a different faith than I, it would be likely that you have researched and/or interviewed a variety of psychotherapists to find one in your faith community.

Cesareo Pelaez – My teacher in the early 1990s.