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5 New Mom Myths

November 14th, 2014
The letters keep coming to our advice column on PsychCentral. New moms wonder if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t over the moon about their little one every minute of every day. Others worry that they aren’t doing it right or that the ...

Children, Rituals, and OCD

Children, Rituals, and OCDWhen my older daughter was about 2 or 3 years old, she had a bedtime ritual where she lined up 10 of her dolls and stuffed animals on the floor. They had to be in the right order, at the right angle, touching or ...

Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams & Nightmares of Childhood

BOOK REVIEW.
My younger brother and I are in the back seat of our family’s van, parked on a steep hill. At the base of the hill is a lake or some other body of water. The ocean? My mother has stepped out of the car and she is at the top of the hill. She is ...

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?“Mommy, I don’t know what love is.” Many parents who have children with Asperger’s Syndrome experience devastating moments like this and are uncertain as to how to reply. Love seems such a natural part of our lives. ...

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your Kids

Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your KidsThis psychologist is worried. It seems that everywhere I go a sizable number of the parents are ignoring their kids. At the grocery store: Mom is pushing one child in the cart. Two others are hanging onto the sides ...

OCD and Values

OCD and ValuesWhen I talk or write about my son’s journey through severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, the topic of values often arises. Values are the things that are very important and meaningful to us. Examples include the people whom we love, our favorite activities, important experiences, and guiding ...

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life Story

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life StoryWe grow up with certain beliefs about ourselves and our lives and expectations that things should work out a certain way. Then, we change, our lives change, and we start to realize that things aren't going as we had expected. This ...

When You Don’t Like Your Teen’s Friends

When You Don't Like Your Teen's FriendsWhen I was in high school, I found a friend my parents couldn’t stand. Shy, introverted, studious, and fashion-impaired, I found someone as opposite to myself as my folks could imagine. My new best friend knew the fashion trends, wore her sweaters ...

Helping Women Cope with Infertility

Helping Women Cope with InfertilityI use various techniques when counseling women and couples during infertility. I begin by gathering information about the history and current status of infertility and treatment. I also gather personal and family history, and talk about the marriage and sex life of the ...

Can Babies Be Made into Bullies?

how-a-bully-is-made Molly Skyar, in open conversation with her mother, Dr. Susan Rutherford, a clinical psychologist and expert in human behavior, view parenting decisions through a psychologist's perspective. MOLLY: If your baby didn’t develop a secure attachment to a parent, how might you see that child acting in preschool and ...

5 Myths about Parenting

10 Fantasies to Examine before Deciding on ParenthoodParenting tips are aplenty. It can seem like there’s a new trend every week boasting about the best way to raise your kids or warning about the worst. With so many prescriptions for good parenting, naturally, it can quickly ...

OCD vs. Eating Disorders

OCD vs. Eating DisordersThere was a time when my son Dan would go days at a time without eating. When he did eat, it would have to be a specific food at a specific time in a specific place. There was no negotiating with him, and, ...

Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

Flickr Creative Commons / francois karmA shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

How to Spot Manipulation

How to Spot ManipulationWe all want to get our needs met, but manipulators use underhanded methods. Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

How to Tell If Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive BrainDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/ executive functions), or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed ...

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCD

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCDRoger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination ...

Parental Involvement Equals School Success

Parental Involvement Equals School SuccessIt’s already August. Summer is fast coming to a close. For those with children, the end of summer means the beginning of the school year. You can’t ignore it. Stores are displaying notebooks, backpacks and back-to-school clothes. You may be already getting ...

Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide

BOOK REVIEW.
"I never imagined that I would have a child who talks back to me and thinks she’s the boss of everyone. How did that happen, and what am I supposed to do now?" So asks Brice, a psychologist and parent of a 7-year-old child, in Rona Renner’s Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ...

8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents & Schools

BOOK REVIEW.
A school playground aide sees third-grader Riley grab hold of classmate Liza’s scarf and choke her with it. Riley is subsequently viewed as the bully. But is there more to the story? What the aide hasn’t witnessed is the endless ridicule Riley has experienced from Liza and Liza’s best friend, Jada. Liza and Jada have learned ...

Don’t Ask Your Partner to Erase the Past

marriage_communication5I’ve received dozens of letters to the Psych Central advice column with the same problem: The writer has married a man or woman who is divorced and is upset because the new spouse wants to keep old pictures or items from their former marriage. For the spouse, ...

OCD and Trauma

OCD and TraumaWhen discussing the causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the general consensus is that a combination of genetic and environmental factors likely leads to its development. There’s talk of genetic predisposition, triggering events and childhood trauma. Oh, how that last one makes me cringe, and regardless of ...

Stages of Marriage

Relationship Tips for Those Rocky First Few Years of MarriageSummertime is wedding time for thousands of couples. For months, perhaps even a year, you’ve been focused on making your wedding day perfect. Thoughts and conversations have gone into deciding everything from colors for the flowers to ...

Yoga Therapy For Children with Autism & Special Needs

BOOK REVIEW.
As a former yoga teacher, I used to consider Anatomy of Hatha Yoga my bedside manual. Years later, after my life priorities changed and the focus on physical stamina became less important than attaining a peaceful mind, I revisited the practice. It was a different yoga in my forties than in my twenties and thirties, despite that ...