Brighter Pathways ©  2017

Welcome!. Dr. M.. Our Office. Main Services. Follow-up Services. Interventions. Third Pig Book. Self-Help . The Project. School Confusion. Testing/Diagnoses. Gifted & Talented. Learning Disabilities. ADD/ADHD. Behavior/Emotional. Our Therapy Dogs. Dr. M's Messages. Location/Contact Us.

1237 E. Livingston Street, Suite B

Orlando, FL 32803-5401

Ph: 407-895-0540 ~ Fax: (407) 228-9771

Licenses:  SS00305 ~ MH02676 ~ PCE-9

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Notice:  Leave of Absence Closure

Dr. Messenger will be starting  A Leave of Absence as of Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 for an unspecified time.  Assessments and consultation can be scheduled until then.  The website will remain available for educational purposes, until the office is reopened.




As children grow and make strides toward independence, the world can sometimes seem an overwhelming place, no matter how much they want us to believe they are in control.  When caregivers set and implement limits–that is, give clear rules and make sure they are enforced–they are providing the stability against which children can test their actions. The boundaries or limits help children develop a sense of security.  They know they can count on someone to guide and protect them, even if at the time they are angry and resistant.  Limits help build self-discipline and improve impulse control.

Setting limits is absolutely critical.  Children need restraints as they develop into fully competent adults.  They will test caregivers to see just what those restraints are, how far they can go, and what will happen “if.”








Some psychologists believe the lack of limits in today’s society has made it harder than ever for teenagers to cope with the complex mix of challenges they face (drugs, violence, sexuality, alcohol).  More and more, we see the acting-out behavior that results from overindulgence.  Children who are totally self-absorbed do not learn to truly love or value others.  Children who do not learn early on that some actions are so inappropriate that they will not be tolerated often lack a “moral compass” to make good decisions in their own lives later.  



Once an Intervention Consultation (IC) has zeroed in on what needs to be addressed, Dr. Messenger works collaboratively with parents and caregivers to establish and implement an effective, research-based Behavior Management plan.  This is a specific program for setting and enforcing limits, mainly at home, but can include school as well. The 2-hour Behavior Management session involves a number of “turns,” sometimes with the entire family, and sometimes with just parents or child(ren).  This approach uses both:

  1. direct instruction (teaching the concepts) and
  2. role-playing (practicing the concepts).

The key to setting effective limits is to definitively know and state your position.  The tricky part is to say what you mean and mean what you say.  The key to enforcing the limits is to keep things clear and simple, and to be prepared.

Remember:  Discipline is NOT punishing out of anger.

                  Discipline is NOT being your child’s best friend.

                  Discipline is TEACHING ~

                           what you expect, and what you won’t accept.





Based on your child(ren)’s age, Dr. Messenger will be integrating many important variables into your individualized Behavior Management plan.  Among the critical components are these:

You can’t talk your way out of problems you behave yourself into.              ~  Steven R. Covey

A parent must like his children, but he must not have an urgent need to be liked by them every minute of the day.                                                ~ Haim Ginott, Ph. D.

            Spoiled


They’re so afraid to tell me, “No,”

They always will say, “Yes.”

I get everything I want

And never anything less.


It’s candy for breakfast,

Popcorn for lunch.

I never drink the healthy stuff,

I drink my soda and punch.


I got what I wanted,

Ever since my birth.

Do you know what I think?

I should rule the earth.

                  ~ Larie Ward                       (age 11, 1996)