Family Articles

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your TeenParenting teens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics.

This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

Of course, discipline is important for teens. It provides structure and boundaries, writes Duffy. But he distinguishes effective discipline from punishment. Punishment triggers arguments and cuts communication. Effective discipline, however, “comes from a calm, centered, loving place.”

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Leaving a Legacy BehindI recently saw “The Fault In Our Stars,” based on the novel by John Green. This heartbreaking film portrays two teenagers, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who fall in love as they both battle cancer.

Though I’m not interested in reviewing the film (quite frankly, it was a bit too emotionally disturbing for my taste), I do wish to highlight one crucial aspect that “The Fault In Our Stars” emphasized — the concept of legacy.

Delusions of the Codependent

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Delusions of the CodependentOne of the most painful moments for a codependent is when he or she realizes that a relationship is not going to work out as imagined. Facing the end of a relationship is stressful for most people, and it is normal and natural to do whatever we can to keep a relationship going. But a codependent (and particularly one who is also a love addict) will typically go above and beyond what most people will do to help a relationship succeed, giving far more effort, time, energy, attention, and other resources than their partner does.

They often end up feeling angry, resentful, exhausted, lonely, and bitter. Sometimes they become martyrs, complaining about how much they’ve done and how little they are loved, appreciated, or getting in return. And every now and then they will do really desperate things to try to control the outcome.

9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

essentialbaby.com.auAll of a sudden your best friend stops calling. She no longer wants to join you for yoga on Saturday mornings. The last time you saw her she looked fragile and sad, like someone else was living in her body. Her husband doesn’t know what to do so he solicits your help in cheering her up.

Or maybe it’s your sister. She has been struggling with depression for a few months now. She’s been to a psychiatrist and is on an antidepressant, but she doesn’t seem to be making much progress.

What do you do?

Not the Man I Used to Know

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Not the Man I Used to KnowEarly in my sobriety, I became friendly with a university professor who regularly attended my home group meeting. This person taught political science, and I enjoyed our conversations about current events, especially discussions around the Middle East, as Israeli and Palestinian tensions were peaking during this period. He was a supportive friend, and encouraged me to mentor another newcomer who later became one of my very best friends.

A short time into our friendship, the professor showed up late to our meeting and was disruptive throughout the hour. He stood up several times in the middle of other people sharing, washed his face in the small kitchenette sink, and had several coughing fits. It was odd, but I didn’t know enough to confront him or suggest he leave the meeting.

How to Ask for Help in a Crisis

Friday, July 11th, 2014

How to Ask for Help in a CrisisI have lived with schizophrenia for eight years. In those eight years I have gone through cycles of wellness. While it primarily gets better with each passing day, there are still periods here and there where life becomes too overwhelming or where I push myself too hard. Then I feel the intense crushing weight of existence on my shoulders.

In those times I tend to retreat, not only to my apartment but into myself. I lie there on my couch staring at the TV, emotions flowing through my spine. It’s all I can do to keep myself from crying.

Sometimes the feeling lasts for only a day or two. Other times it builds until there’s a tipping point where I make some declaration of exasperation and throw my family into a tizzy of worry.

Don’t Fail Marriage: 3 Homework Assignments to Earn an A in Nuptials!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

marriage in trouble

Ready for a divorce? Try doing these things first.

School may be over for most kids, but for some parents in Oklahoma, it’s only beginning.

Oklahoma lawmakers signed a bill this month requiring divorcing couples with children under the age of 18 to complete a mandatory educational program. We guess parents are not going to be thrilled about this forced enlightenment and yet compatibility with your spouse is a critical subject. And it’s one you can pass with flying colors without government intervention if you complete these three homework assignments:

When Someone You Love is Unhappy

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

When Someone You Love is UnhappyLove is what connects us to others. It provides us with fond memories of those around us. The truth about love, though, is that it often links our own happiness with the happiness of others. We feel compelled to make those we love who are unhappy, happy.

It is because of our own discomfort in seeing those we love unhappy that we seek out ways to change the situation, justifying our behaviors on the idea that we are helping them. Or, we begin to see our own happiness fade in the presence of an unhappy friend or family member.

Busting Summertime Depression

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The Four Horsemen of the ApocalpyseThe mark of summer is upon us. The kids are out of school, it’s hot, and it’s the season in which everyone expects to feel good. Except you don’t.

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of summertime depression.

ADHD and Kids: 5 Tips for Setting Appropriate Rules

Monday, July 7th, 2014

ADHD and Kids: 5 Tips for Setting Appropriate RulesParenting a child with ADHD can present various challenges because of the disorder’s symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

Kids with ADHD may have every intention of respecting a rule, said Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, ACC, an educator and parenting coach. But they may break it — often “by accident than on purpose.”

Taylor-Klaus makes a key distinction between “naughty” and “neurological” (having difficulty following a rule because of ADHD symptoms).

Predicting Divorce: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

The Four Horsemen of the ApocalpyseThe beginning of a relationship is a lot like buying a new house. Everything seems terrific, and that initial excitement can last for weeks, months, or even years. But like any house that isn’t taken care of, eventually your relationship may start to fall apart, leaving you wondering where it all went wrong.

Just as you can take regular care of your house in order to prevent it from falling apart, the same is true for your relationship. John Gottman, renowned relationship expert, discovered four markers of relationship failure with 93 percent accuracy in predicting divorce. These four indicators, also known as the four horsemen, are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

A Codependent’s Take on the Disney Song ‘Let It Go’

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

A Codependent's Take on the Disney Song "Let It Go"I finally broke down and watched the movie Frozen. I just don’t have any compelling reasons to watch Disney these days, with no kids under 10 in my household. So it took me a while to get around to it.

Of course, I’d heard the hit song during and after the Academy Awards (who could have missed all the chatter about Travolta’s gaffe with Idina Menzel’s name?). Quite honestly, the song just didn’t do that much for me.

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