Parenting Articles

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, we mourn. We are angry. Why is this happening in our country? What is going on? And yet, as I flip on my television — what do I see? It’s certainly not anything about gun control or raising children properly, but alas, mental illness.

No one is disputing that our mental health system is a wreck. I know from firsthand experience that it is a travesty. I must admit, however, that the media’s portrayal of these shooters is uncomfortable and offensive.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

The Secret to Great Relationships of Any Kind

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The Secret to Great Relationships of Any KindGerry Spence, the famous attorney who has an amazing record for winning in court, says that people have “truth tentacles.” That’s how he became so successful — by telling juries the truth.

I agree; I think people can tell when they’re being lied to. Sometimes we may put blinders on because we don’t like the reality we see, but deep inside, we generally know the truth.

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce Bullying

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce BullyingI’ve heard it said too many times: Social and emotional learning shouldn’t be taught at school because that’s a job for parents.

Good in theory, but in reality, there are many children who lack supportive, loving and safe home environments that promote good values. Instead, these children often experience an ugly side of life that can have a devastating effect on their character and development.

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Diagnosis of Mental IllnessWhen I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago it was like walking in a fog. I was lost in my delusions, I was confused about what was happening to me and I was trying to grapple with what exactly reality was.

My family was suffering too.

They had no background with mental illness and no frame of reference about what to expect with it.

I had asked for help a few times but they just thought my skewed thinking was a result of smoking marijuana and that once I stopped everything I would be fine. It didn’t click for them until after my first major episode, when they took me to the hospital and I was finally diagnosed.

Life Lessons: One Father’s Open Letter to His Graduating Son

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success

Some words of wisdom from a father to his son.

Tomorrow you are graduating from high school and preparing to move on to what’s next. It is a surreal moment for me, both as a parent and as a man. In watching you over these last 18 years, I have seen clearly that you have accomplished so much: as a young man, as an actor and as a human being.

Your efforts and grades reflect your unwavering dedication to achievement, and your wanting the best out of life. You have internalized and demonstrated critical lessons in discipline, planning, focus and tenacity. You are on your way.

Amazing Dads

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Amazing DadsIn most families, yesteryear’s dad had one major role. He had to go to work and support his family financially. Secondarily, he was brought in for major disciplinary action (“wait till your father gets home”).

No hugs, no kisses, no “I love you” was expected from Dad. Those tender moments, like every other aspect of parenting, were left to Mom. (In those days, she was not a stay-at-home mom, she was just Mom).

Oh, how different things are today. When it comes to parenting, men are no longer relegated to the sidelines. They are not bumbling, clueless dads.

Helping Young People Change: The Key of Motivation

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Helping Young People Change: The Key of MotivationAdolescence: Such a time of turbulence. For those of us charged with helping young people feel better, parent them or educate them, sometimes it can feel like we are on the losing team no matter which trick, technique or skill we try.

Luckily for both sides, we are not willing to give up so easily.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Finding a Voice within an Authoritarian Social System

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Finding a Voice within an Authoritarian Social SystemOf all the peculiarities that make me up, I could point to one peculiarity which has had persisting and devastating consequences in my 33 years of living: The inability to voice my feelings during stress.

What Happened in Your Family?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

What Happened in Your Family?Imagine a routine mishap during childhood. A 5-year-old with a turbocharged body is curious to explore his world. Attracted by a sparkling new item Mom has just brought home, he dashes across the room, loses his balance and hits his head on the wooden floor.

Startled, he looks to his mom for comfort and reassurance that all is okay.

The Ultimate Pain: Recovering from Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Ultimate PainRecovery work is painful. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is no wonder that I spent two decades avoiding it.

Deep down in my unconscious where the memories were stored, I had determined that the pain of the emotional memories was far worse than spending my life defending against them. And my overactive cortex was happy to oblige.

I could come up with almost anything to justify my feelings or an image that may have flashed in my head. On the bad days, I could keep myself so insanely busy that there was no time to examine anything.

Family &
Parenting



Recommended Books

  • Tending the Family Heart
  • Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times, a parenting e-book by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
  •  
  • Purchase Child Psychology and Development for Dummies now!
  • by Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. and Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.
  •  


Latest Articles


Recent Comments
  • Littletonway: I would suggest for each of you to check on a NAMI(National Alliance on Mental Illness) office in your...
  • CJ: Please, everyone, stop “diagnosing” friends, relatives, lovers. Unless you are a licensed...
  • baileyscott: I was just dismissed from a year long affair with a woman who went through a divorce. She sent me a...
  • baileyscott: I was just dismissed from a year long affair with a woman who went through a divorce. She sent me a...
  • Lian: I am very late in seeing this article, and I’ve got a lot to say. I have been reading these stories and similar...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code