The Line between Parenting and Political Correctness

Parenting is the most difficult, challenging, and stressful job anyone will ever do in their life. With a job that requires no qualifications and offers no training, how do parents know what is right and what is wrong when shaping their children for the future?

As parents we are supposed to protect our children. We are supposed to make choices for them when they are too young to make them for themselves. We are supposed to teach them to be compassionate, understanding, and kind. We are supposed to raise them to be independent and motivated to make decisions on their own.

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6 Ways to be Assertive with People Who Intimidate You

Being assertive is important. It means expressing your thoughts, feelings, needs and wants in a relationship, said psychologist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D, LCSW. However, many of us have a hard time being assertive with certain people.

Maybe it’s someone with a strong personality. Maybe it’s someone you perceive as more powerful or even “better” than you. Either way, one thing is clear: You find yourself being passive and unable to speak your truth.

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Brain and Behavior

5 Marriage Rules from a Therapist

Below are five tips to help you have a fulfilling marriage:

Respect the perspective.
Everyone is a product of his or her upbringing. We all bring “family rules” into relationships, and most of the time we don’t even realize it. How did your family handle stress? Was money discussed with the children? How were children disciplined? Did the family eat every meal at the dinner table? Who handled the money in the house?
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Separating the Narcissist’s Delusion from Reality

If you've ever dealt with a narcissist, you've probably experienced the sharp shock when you noticed the world wasn't exactly the way the narcissist wanted you to think it is.

A narcissist can be a great storyteller. They captivate you with tales of personal triumphs, heroism, even selflessness. But it's when you look behind the curtain that you discover they've rewritten history. Not only are they living in a fantasy, you believed all their self-mythology.

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Are You a Bullied Parent?

Have you ever seen a child bully or boss around his parents? A child who talks down to them, disrespects or even mocks them? Embarrassing, isn't it?

A generation or two ago, it would have been unthinkable for children to bully their parents. Today, nearly everyone knows a parent who is bullied by his or her child. Pay a visit to your local playground or stroll through a shopping mall. You're bound to see the bullied parent dynamic in action.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Anxious Cycle: How Children Inherit Our Anxiety

As a victim of childhood trauma, I have a propensity toward anxiety. It is my reaction of choice when life gets difficult. Having lived with anxiety most of my life, I never knew there was another way to live. I assumed it was normal. I assumed everybody lived this way.

I became so used to the way anxiety made me feel, I could function through almost any symptoms. Sometimes, the panic attacks would paralyze me momentarily, but I could work through the quick breathing and the heart racing. At the end of the day, I would be exhausted, as though I had run a marathon, but I could make it work.
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10 Tips for Living with a Bipolar Person

Living with bipolar disorder can be extremely challenging, but living with someone who has bipolar disorder can also have its difficulties. Growing up I lived with my mother and grandfather, both of whom had bipolar disorder. For years they hid it from me, I suppose hoping I would never find out. But sooner or later it all came to the surface and everything started to make sense.
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How Working Moms Can Make the Most of Their Time

Today, the prevailing narrative is that of the harried, overworked, stressed-out mom. The woman who doesn’t get enough sleep. The woman who sacrifices self-care. The woman who either has a successful career or a happy marriage. The woman who can’t have it all.

In her latest book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time Laura Vanderkam shows that women can have a fulfilling career and family life -- and even get enough sleep.
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The Codependent/Narcissist Dance: The Perfect Partnership

The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance" requires two opposite but balanced partners: a pleasing, giving codependent and the needy, controlling narcissist. Like a champion dance partnership, the dancing roles of both are perfectly matched. The leader or taker needs the follower or giver in order that the dance appears effortless and flawless.

Typically, codependents give of themselves much more than their partners give in return. As generous but bitter dance partners, they find themselves perpetually stuck on the dance floor, always waiting for the next song, at which time they naively hope that their partner will finally understand their needs. Sadly, they never do.
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Talk Therapy is Strong Medicine

I’d just finished a family session one October morning when my emergency line rang. The faint voice of one of my long-term patients croaked, “Dr. Deitz. Please. I need help.”

It was Lauren, a 43-year old woman I had been treating for years with medication and psychotherapy. Stable for several years, she and I met monthly to monitor her medication and discuss her marriage and children. She rarely called between sessions.

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Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Incarcerated for Giving Dad the Silent Treatment

My husband's parents divorced when he was in middle school. When I asked how they shared custody of him and his younger sister, he said, "We got to choose who we wanted to live with." I marveled at that statement. I wasn't allowed to make any decisions under my father's roof. Come to think of it, neither was my mother. I can tell you right away who we would have chosen to live with.

I wasn't asked where I wanted to vacation or what movie I wanted to see. I wasn't allowed to be repulsed when my parents smooched -- because it made my father feel judged. I wasn't allowed to give the silent treatment or to sulk after being beaten. I wasn't allowed to be angry, loud, energetic, silly or moody. I had no right to anything. I lived under a narcissist's roof.

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