Patience Required

Several years ago, when ordering a fish sandwich in a fast food joint, I was told it would take a while. “How long?” I inquired. “About a minute.”

A minute. I have to wait a whole minute! I don’t know if I can handle that!

Nowadays, requests for patience have shrunk to “wait a second!” And quite often, the answer is, “No, that’s too long!”

Think I’m kidding? How many times have you surfed the Web, clicking on another site if the download didn’t happen immediately? How many times have you skimmed your emails, deciding what to delete in less than a second?
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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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How Babies Change Relationships

Sheryl and Larry tied the knot five years ago. As educated, career-oriented people, they entered into a modern marriage. “I wouldn’t dream of marrying a man who believed that I should be doing the housework and child care while he put his feet up in front of the TV after work. That kind of thinking repulses me. And Larry’s not that kind of guy; he’s always been supportive of me and my career. That’s why I’m so confused now,” said Sheryl as she tried hard to hold back the tears.

“Since Josh was born 14 months ago, everything’s changed. I still work full-time but somehow, I’ve become the one in charge of all the never-ending tasks. Yes, Larry offers to help, saying, ‘just tell me what you want me to do.’ I could choke him when he says that. He just doesn’t get it.”

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Children and Teens

3 Ways to Help Your Child Turn Mistakes into Success

They can't learn anything if they're not allowed to try and try again.

"Wow, she’s a natural at soccer."

"He's like a math prodigy!"

"Did you see how well she plays the violin? And she’s only five."

Growing up, I was in awe of kids and adults who displayed raw talent in sports, academics, music, and other areas. In fact, I thought such innate, effortless talent was the only path to success.

Don’t get me wrong -- My mom attempted to influence me with the truism: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
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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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The Mindful Pause

I am really feeling the benefit of peppering my day with mini-meditations right now and the first one I want to share with you is this: the mindful pause.

It's particularly useful for mothers. As a mother, your daily experience is of the craziness of multiple simultaneous demands on your attention, frequent interruptions, on-the-spot decision making, settling squabbles, switching tasks frequently and knowing what you do shapes the lives of your children.

Taking regular “mini-breaks” or moments to pause is necessary to regroup, recharge and restore the relaxation response in your body. It’s like a system reboot.
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Teaching Kids to Identify and Cope with Their Emotions

It’s hard enough to identify, understand and cope with our emotions as adults. It takes practice. And often we get it wrong. That is, we can’t figure out what we’re really feeling. We ignore our feelings or pretend they don’t exist. Or we turn to unhealthy habits.

So it’s understandable that kids find feelings so confusing and overwhelming -- so much so they have meltdowns and tantrums. They kick. They scream. They sob. They stomp their feet.

Fortunately, parents can help. You can help your child tune into what they’re actually feeling and find healthy ways to cope with those feelings. It’s a skill that all kids need and benefit from greatly (as do parents!).
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Brain and Behavior

A Trance of Unworthiness

Mothers tell me their No. 1 challenge is being overwhelmed by too much to do. They never feel like they finish what needs to be done and they feel exhausted from trying. As a mother, psychologist and mindfulness teacher, I know that feeling intimately.

Our culture values achievement and “doing" so highly that this feeds our compulsion to be busy: our addiction to cataloguing what needs to be done and steadily and relentlessly working our way through it. And the consuming nature of parenting often means we can’t get much else done. When, at the end of a day, we don't meet our unrealistic expectations, we are left feeling that we are somehow deficient.
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4 Pointers for New Parents for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage

The transition to parenthood tends to be a stressful time for couples. Because kids radically change your relationship, said Nancy Gardner, Ph.D, a psychologist who specializes in couples and is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy. “New parents have more to do than they possibly could have imagined, and they are tired.”

The sleep deprivation “affects our moods, which can cause irritability and lead to poor communication,” said Catherine O’Brien, MA, LMFT, a relationship therapist who specializes in helping families prepare for the transition from pregnancy to parenthood by managing overwhelm, creating more ease and deepening connection.
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

The mental health community has come to understand that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be as common in children as in adults. What began as a disorder mostly of combat veterans has been shown to affect numerous trauma survivors across many situations.

Trauma comes in many forms. A child could be traumatized by a major event, such as physical or sexual abuse, a car accident, or by witnessing a horrifying event. Those are the easier ones to identify. But children also can be traumatized from a conglomeration of daily toxic stress, such as living in poverty, constant bullying, or moving to a place much different than their previous geographic location (culture shock).

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ADHD & Parenting: Tips for Creating Calm

When your child has ADHD, there may be a lot of frustration. Your child might get frustrated with having to complete homework that bores them. They might get frustrated with so many thoughts ping-ponging in their brains. They might get frustrated that they have such a hard time focusing -- and have to deal with many other challenges triggered by ADHD.

And you might get frustrated with everything from their taking forever to get ready in the morning to not following your rules. As a result, you might apply more pressure, thinking this will motivate your child.

But it only backfires.
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3 Tips for Raising Kids Who Aren’t Entitled

Does your child expect you to do things for him or her? Do they rarely lift a finger to help? Are they quick to blame others? Do they try to manipulate people to get their way? Do you spend a lot of time rescuing them? For instance, maybe you remind them about deadlines, finish their projects and drive forgotten items to school.

Does your child freak out when they don’t get their way? Do you find yourself resorting to bribes and rewards to get them to cooperate? Do you bend over backwards for them? For instance, maybe you make three different dinners to satisfy all three kids’ appetites. Maybe you rush out to buy their favorite toothpaste. Maybe you work extra to give them a pricey wardrobe every season.

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