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Children and Teens

Growing Up Too Fast: Early Exposure to Sex

Children are naturally exploratory beings. As we develop, we engage with the world around us using all our senses. Imagine yourself at 2 or 3, crawling around in a grassy field on a summer day. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle breeze blowing through your hair, you breathe in the aroma of the fresh green grass, perhaps even pluck a piece and sample it. A puddle from a recent rain storm beckons you and you splash about in it, drenching yourself. An ice cream cone is offered to you and you savor the sweetness and stickiness as it drips down your chin and onto your clothes.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: July 1, 2017

I'm super pumped, friends. This weekend, I'll be traveling to a city I've never visited to see a band I've never seen live (and never thought I would).

I love going to concerts. I go to multiple shows each year and I thrive on the anticipation before the show, the energy during the show, and the sense of "I just experienced something truly amazing" after the show, and guess what? All these concerts are benefiting the crap out of my mental health. Specifically, they reduce stress and boost my spirits, provide a sense of connection with the community (especially when it's a local concert), helps me reflect on life.

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Introspection for Blamers and Shamers

Some people in this world are expert blamers and shamers. Perhaps you know one. It begins with the need to blame: You did something bad. How could you have done this? Then it easily slides into the need to shame: You are something bad. What is the matter with you?

When something goes wrong, it can never be an accident, a random act of nature, a simple mistake, a lack of judgment, or a moment of inattentiveness. It cannot even be a misdemeanor. No, no, no, no, no! It’s got to be a felony.

Accidents are not allowed to happen. You heard me. No accidents. Somebody has to be blamed. And, amazingly enough, the finger is always pointed outwards.
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Some Thoughts on My Daughter’s High School Graduation: Go Forth Unafraid

Last week, my daughter graduated from high school. It was a bittersweet afternoon.

Happy, because it’s satisfying to think of the work that she’s done, sweet because it’s great to see the friends she’s made, and exciting to see her move forward. (Like that old joke, “That’s why they call it a Commencement.”)

Sad, because this ceremony marks an end. This time in her life, and in my life too, has come to a close. I always feel a sense of loss when things come to their end (even things I want to end).
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Children and Teens

Developing Interdependence in Children

If you’ve paid attention to parenting as well as teaching techniques over the years, you’ve probably noticed that there are many different styles of parenting and consequently many different outcomes of child behavior that are shaped by these styles.

Children are born with a certain number of fixed attributes. Yet the question arises, how much of their personalities is shaped by how a parent is guiding and training them?

That’s not easy to know but fostering a good parenting style is a way to minimize many behavioral issues.
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How to Recognize and Foster Your Ability

“Ability and necessity dwell near each other.” – Pythagoras
What are you good at? If you must stop and think about it, that’s not a dreadful thing. In fact, it’s probably long overdue. The truth is that we get so busy living life and taking care of all the myriad tasks and responsibilities we need to tend to every day that we often don’t take the time to slow down and reflect. In this case, reflect on what we do very well, what really
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Special Needs

My autistic son has had dozens of doctors, therapists, intervention specialists, teachers, aids, coaches and camp counselors, and most of these individuals and their programs have been very helpful for Tommy. Nine years of special attention have been good for him. He went from an anxious child with behavior problems, with average grades to a more confident 12-year-old who won the citizenship prize at school, with straight As and an Honor Roll certificate.
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Anxiety and Panic

When Your Kid Is an Athlete and a Perfectionist

Joe loved playing soccer and if he had a choice, he would spend all his waking hours playing the sport. He was also a high achiever in other areas of his life. He was proud of the A’s he received in all his classes. He was multi-talented and his parents were pleased with his efforts. However, by the time he entered 10th grade, his parents noticed he had started to become highly critical of himself whenever his team lost. It was difficult for him to get over his own mistakes. He’d punish himself by increasing his practice time and avoid hanging out with his friends.
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Living with an Aging Parent

My mother is 85, and she still drives and lives alone.

When people see her they say “she never changes.” She took care of me when I went through two bouts of cancer, one in 2012 and the other in 2016. In short, Mom is in excellent shape for her age.

But lately, she’s been moving a bit slower and seeming more like the octogenarian that she is.
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Children and Teens

The Happiness You Want for Your Child May Not Be Real Happiness

At the slightest hint of unhappiness from a child, parents move to fix it -- it’s a mental act, and it’s natural, human, and typical.

Why would we rather watch our kids suffer when we can put a smile on their faces? Ask most parents what they desire for their children, they will say, “I want my kids to be happy.” While our intention is valid, it sometimes becomes our obsession and influences how we interact with them and every decision we make to see them happy.
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