Children and Teens

5 Crucial Things Parents Tend to Forget

Being a parent is hard. It’s the most difficult setting on the most difficult game you have ever played. The only way to succeed is to get in there, get your hands dirty, and be willing to learn.

You go and go and go until you feel like you cannot go anymore (and then you go more anyway). You go and go so much that your children are probably to blame for your caffeine dependence and your excruciating headache. In the midst of all this chaos there are principles that can make our lives a whole lot easier.

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Children and Teens

8 Insightful Quotes about Life from ‘Wish I Was Here’

The 2014 Kickstarter-inspired release, "Wish I Was Here," starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson, features a multifaceted narrative for middle adulthood. Braff’s character, Aidan Bloom, is a husband and father who faces obstacles regarding career choice, parenting, faith and impending loss. As the natural progression of life runs its course, new (and rather challenging and emotionally painful) experiences manifest.

Here are eight insightful quotes from this poignant film:
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How to Survive When Your Child Has a Mental Illness

There are times when surviving is all a parent feels like they are doing. From broken bones to broken hearts, we survive one crisis after another. Parenting can be difficult enough if your child is healthy, but if they have a mental illness it can be life-altering.

My son was 11 years old when he told me that life was not worth living. That statement started our family on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs for over 10 years. My son’s illness brought pain and heartache into our lives, but it also brought an awareness of gratitude. How I responded to his needs defined our relationship for the future.

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The Harsh Reality of Raising a Teen Addict

I can never protect him from the real threat -- the threat of an addictive brain.

After more than 24 hours of labor, I'm exhausted and barely awake; yet, I recognize the baby screaming from the nursery as my own. I'm a mom. The nurses bring him to me to soothe him. He continues to scream as I try to latch him to my breast.

"You've got a fighter there," the nurses tell me.

And at barely a day old, the fight begins.

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The #1 Key: How to Help a Person Dealing with Depression

"Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone." -- Unknown
Depression for me is like constantly walking up a hill.

Most of the time the hill has only a one percent gradient. You can hardly even tell it’s a hill. I walk, run, jump, skip along, doing cartwheels and stopping to smell pretty flowers and listen to bird-calls; it’s sunny and warm, with clear blue skies.

Even though I have to put in a little bit of effort to walk up, times are good.

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Children and Teens

10 Tips for Supporting Children Through a Spouse’s Mental Illness

A parent's mental illness can leave a child feeling scared and unstable.

Dad's mood changes. The whole household feels the effects. Everyone quickly switches gears, puts on their best behavior, and attempts not to cause any waves. Mom tries to put on a happy face and hopes that the kids don't notice. Nobody mentions this change in mood, but the tension in the household is obvious.

Everyone quietly distances himself and waits for the storm to pass. The adults understand what is happening, but the kids are left to draw their own conclusions. They begin to wonder why mom and dad are acting differently. Why is dad so sad, or so angry? Why won't he play outside like he used to?
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Brain and Behavior

Why the Mundane Matters

We’re always looking forward to the next big thing in our lives, whether it’s a long-awaited trip abroad, graduating from college or getting a promotion at work. So it makes sense that when we set out to document our lives on paper, through photos or on video, we usually focus on the bigger or more unusual happenings.

But while these out-of-the-ordinary moments are certainly worth remembering, research shows that recording even our most mundane everyday experiences can be more meaningful than we realize. We’re generally not very good at predicting what will matter to us down the line.
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Brain and Behavior

The Perfection in Being

When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to be perfect. They were very clear that I must exceed all standards. They wanted me to have perfect grades, perfect looks, perfect extracurricular activities. They pressured me to be the picture of everything society wanted from a human being.

This expectation created a storm inside me. I was sure I was none of those things. I had been abused long enough to know I had no real worth. I was sure I had nothing to offer the world. I was an imposter. I had no value to add to the human race. I was only here to be victimized.
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One Marriage, Two Personalities

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
~ Rita Rudner
Many married couples take for granted the loving ties (kids, home, extended family) that bind them together. Yet, peek behind the curtain and you may discover two personalities perpetually perplexed by one another. Indeed, a quick take on how healthy a marriage is might be to compute how often each side is thinking, “What’s up with you?” or “I just don’t understand how you could…”
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What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Like You

The other day a child psychologist was telling me about a very rigid, perfectionistic patient of hers.

"I want to control what other people are thinking," the patient explained.

"How do you think you are going to do that?" the therapist responded.

The 11 year-old brainstormed but couldn’t come up with a solution. Finally the therapist interrupted her thought process and said, "Do you know what you CAN control?"
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