Family Articles

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen Years

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen YearsAre you a parent of an adolescent? Are you so upset with your teen that you’re ready to enroll him or her in the “Witless Protection Program?”

A new identity! Wouldn’t that be a superb solution to getting your teen to renounce his risky behavior, shut her mouth and show some respect, or stop brooding and be appreciative for what she has?

But alas, there is a 20-year waiting list for the Teen Witless Protection Program. So, as a second best option, I offer you alternative ideas about how you might survive those teen years:

What Are Your Deal-Breakers After Marriage?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

marriage in trouble

Most of us have explored the concept of “deal breakers” in a relationship in the dating phase of our lives. We may have even made lists of what we want and what we don’t.

But what about deal breakers in a marriage after you have vowed “forever and ever” no matter what “in good times and in bad”?

How to Strike a Healthy Work/Play Balance for Your Child

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

How to Strike a Healthy Work/Play Balance for Your ChildParenting is tough. We all want the best for our children, don’t we? We want them to grow up well, to excel in school and sports and get into a good college so they can support themselves someday.

We have all probably told our kids the classic “work before play” rule. But how much work is too much for a child? Or is your child a couch potato who hardly helps around the house?

There are many pressures that kids face — themselves, teachers, coaches, parents, peers and society. Making sure these pressures don’t become overwhelming and finding the right balance between work and play is key for a healthy childhood.

Should Unconditional Love Have Conditions?

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

loves-me-loves-me-not-flower-woman

I was once working with a group of teenagers discussing “integrity agreements,” which I described as “either spoken or unspoken agreements not to hurt each other.” These integrity agreements are the fabric of our society.

This belief, that we won’t harm each other, is what allows us to walk down the street without worrying about getting shot or intentionally run over. I discussed with the teens how every time we break integrity agreements with each other — every time we cheat, lie, abuse, or harm — we weaken the agreement and create unstable relationships.

Hallucinations of Loss, Visions of Grief

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Hallucinations of Loss, Visions of GriefWhen I was a boy and there was a death in the family, the mirrors in our house would be covered with a sheet, as Jewish tradition dictated.

The “official” explanation of this custom, according to our rabbi, was that gazing at one’s reflection in a mirror is an act of vanity — and there is no place for vanity in a period of mourning. But my family had a different understanding of the practice: the mirrors were covered so that we would not see the face of the deceased instead of our own reflections.

As a psychiatrist, I think this bit of folk wisdom may see more deeply into the human soul than the theological teaching.

How to Start Separating Yourself from a Codependent Relationship

Monday, May 12th, 2014

How to Start Separating Yourself in a Codependent RelationshipCodependent relationships are fraught with pain, resentment, anger and criticism, said Kathy Morelli, LPC, a psychotherapist with a marriage and family counseling practice in Wayne, N.J.

Instead of focusing on themselves, people who are codependent focus on others, such as their partner or parent. They don’t function from their “innate self.”

“The codependent person has a diffuse sense of self and operates from a false self that is organized around the ‘other.’”

Taking the Plunge? Keep These 12 Successful Marriage Tips in Mind

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Wedding - Marriage Day Circled with Heart

Are you really ready to get married? See the 12 predictors of lasting love.

The truth is answering the question, “Am I really ready to get married?” is the most important issue to consider. In fact, there are 12 indicators of a successful marriage that can help you decide if you’re ready for the next step.

When People Are Dismissive of Your Mood Disorder

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When People are Dismissive of Your Mood DisorderBefore she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, blogger Elaina J. Martin was prescribed an antidepressant in college. Someone laughed and called her medication “happy pills.”

When she’s experienced a depressive episode, people have said things like “There is nothing to be upset about” or “Think how lucky you are. You are way better off than some people.”

Avoid These 3 Toxic Conversations With Your Kids

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

5 Tips To Help Parents Worry Less

Think before you speak! Three conversations that you should absolutely avoid with your kids.

You feel it coming. You’re at your breaking point as a parent. Your kids have pushed every single button you have ever had and are verging on demolishing your sanity.

You have tried every parenting trick known to you, and you are still getting nowhere with them. You have silently counted to 10 in your head and realize it’s way past the point of no return.

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?Have you ever tried to be helpful but found that others experienced you as annoying? Did you feel resentful that your efforts weren’t appreciated? What did you do wrong?

First, a few scenarios:

9 Tips to Navigate Common Stages of Divorce

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

WhyKidsDivorcedParentsDivorce

Are you facing divorce? Design your own strategy for navigating the common stages of divorce. Have you passed through all the stages of love and decided you’re ready to end your relationship and surrender to divorce? Do you wonder what you’ll go through and what it will all mean?

While every relationship is unique, there are common stages of divorce. Knowing how to navigate them will help you reach a more peaceful resolution.

The Best Ways to Navigate Conflict

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The Best Ways to Navigate Conflict“Wherever you have two people with different needs and expectations — and, so, basically, wherever you have two people — you have the potential for conflict,” according to Meredith Richardson, Esq., a mediator, conflict coach and trainer who creates retreats that help partners be their best selves.

She believes conflict gets a bad rap in our culture. While conflict is uncomfortable, it’s perfectly normal, she said. Of course, resolving conflict can be tricky. It’s especially tough when one person — or both — is convinced they’re right, Richardson said.

Family &
Parenting



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  • Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times, a parenting e-book by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
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Recent Comments
  • Jessica: Dealt with this in a big way when I was pregnant with my first. (And no, I wasn’t a love-forlorn...
  • Rose: AAAHHHHHHHH! Wow. At my age, you put such a mirror in front of my face. I don’t think I’ll ever be...
  • briony: I agree. I fully understand these concepts and have worked in some for years. But to this day (10 years on)...
  • Raina: If you want to see a culture where the boys lean on each others shoulders and sleep on each others laps,...
  • Teeny: Get over yourself.
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