5 Ways to Survive the Holidays with Difficult Family Members

Heading home for the holidays this year? Is there a particular family member who rubs you the wrong way, causes drama, or is just downright annoying, mean, or offensive? Do you want some coping skills that are healthier than heading straight for the bottle of wine? Below are five tips for handling challenging situations so they don't ruin your holiday.

Clarify your values.
Do you value honesty, fairness, kindness, support for others, or social justice (or something else)? It is important to think about what matters to you, because you are responsible for your own actions as it relates to this person and situation. Sometimes our values can conflict, so it is a good idea to clarify what you care about most. At the end of the day, you want to be able to know deep down that you handled the situation the way that matters to you, not everyone else.

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Substance Abuse and the Holidays

Family celebrations tend to take center stage during the holidays. Unfortunately, many a holiday get-together is marred by disruptive, rude or antagonistic behavior on the part of one or more guests. Whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker, when disturbing behavior takes place, it’s tough to know the reason. Here are 10 signs drugs or alcohol might be the culprit.

Nodding off at the table.
If you spot someone at the table who's struggling to stay awake, this is a telltale sign of alcohol or drug involvement. Alcohol is a known depressant, as are certain drugs. These cause a slowdown in the body’s central nervous system and can put you to sleep. Too much alcohol or drugs, however, can quickly escalate to a critical point, causing unconsciousness, a blackout, or worse.

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5 Reasons Not to Go Home for Christmas

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays...” So begins one of the Christmas songs that is incessantly on the radio this time of year. The song celebrates the holiday fantasy of a happy family going on a sleigh ride, enjoying themselves around a table laden with holiday foods or gathering around a warm, homey fire. The strong cultural mandate to go “home” is hard to resist. But there are good reasons for staying put in the new home you’ve made.

It’s hard to disappoint the people who will be disappointed, but maybe the healthiest thing you can do for you and yours is to take a bye this year.
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7 Tips for When Your Young Adult Children Move Back Home

Are you the parent of a young adult who has recently moved back home? If so, you’re not alone. Turns out, according to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center, one in four young adults ages 18 to 34 are now living with their parents.

The reasons young adults are moving home in record numbers is part economics -- massive student loan debt and outrageous rents in many major cities. But Jeffrey Griffith, Education and Career Specialist at Yellowbrick -- a psychiatric facility based in Evanston, Ill., that focuses on treating those ages 17-30 -- says it’s also partly a result of closer relationships that this generation of parents have developed with their children.

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Psychology Around the Net: November 21, 2015

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we're in the throes of the holiday season here in America; unfortunately, this isn't a happy time for all. However, psychologists have a few tips and tricks to keep your holiday blues in check.

Of course, we've also got the latest on sex and happiness, how a mother's age could affect her daughter's mental health, whether your child's ADHD medication puts him or her at risk for bullying, and more.

Have a happy Saturday!

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Children and Teens

3 Steps to Rebrand Your Parenting Style with a Teenage Daughter

When she hits the teen years, it's time to re-think your parenting strategy.

My daughter repeatedly doesn’t listen and she refuses to do it my way, even when her way doesn’t make sense.

I'm sure you know that from your girlfriends, Rosie O'Donnell's challenge with her 18-year old, or even your own parenting experience. At some point, your daughter shifts from being your ever adoring princess to your teen adversary. To overcome the challenges with your tween/teen wanna-be adult, you have to shift parenting styles.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Setting Healthy Boundaries

Leading a truly healthy and authentic lifestyle requires setting defined personal boundaries to create better relationships. Setting such boundaries helps improve communication skills, preserves self-respect and self-esteem, and decreases feelings of resentment and guilt. Knowing who we are as individuals and having a clear understanding of the space between where we end and another person begins is essential to living an emotionally healthy life.

For many people, setting these boundaries can be challenging and, in some cases, a completely new concept.
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4 More Pointers for New Parents for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage

Having kids can be hard on a marriage. As relationship therapist Rebecca Wong, LCSW, said, kids absorb much of your attention and energy. There are a whole lot more responsibilities and tasks, and your schedule suddenly becomes very limited. Suddenly, there are new challenges to work through -- and you’re running on little, very little, sleep.

So how do you maintain a healthy marriage amid all that?

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3 Ways to Navigate Family Issues as a Couple During the Holidays

One of the biggest challenges couples can run into during the holidays is family. This may be everything from too many familial commitments and traditions to a whole lot of unresolved conflict. Depending on your specific situation, it can take a toll on you personally, your partner and your relationship.

You might even dread the holidays. You might even think there are no solutions or alternatives. But there’s always something you can do. Below, two relationship experts shared different strategies that can help. If these strategies don’t make sense for your situation or ring true for you, consider working with a couples therapist to help you navigate your specific situation.

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Storytelling Will Save the World

Captain’s log. Stardate January 2011. Where unfortunately many have gone before. I’m 26 years old and thinking about dying. Actually, I’m not being entirely truthful. I’m dangling halfway out the fourth floor window of my bedroom in New York City.

I don’t really want to die. I just want the emotional pain to stop, and I don’t know how to do that. Both my father and grandfather didn’t know how to make their own terrible personal pain stop, and now both are dead.
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We Never Spoke of It

My father’s nicknames defined him. Bones, for his length, and “Glue Tips,” for his good reach and sure hands as a tight end on the football team. He won a football scholarship at BYU. It wasn’t until Dad returned home from the Korean War that he set about wooing my mother. She wasn’t easily convinced, and in hindsight, she said if it weren’t for his good genes and long legs, he might never have had a chance with her.

My mother was in her early 20s when she married, and she started having children faster and easier than either of them wished. We were all beloved, and my mother recounts those early years, with five children under the age of seven, as her favorites. I was the middle child, squeezed between two standout older siblings and two mischievous younger ones.
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