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Children and Teens

How Pets Can Teach Children about Life, Love and Loss

Why kids and pets are the perfect pairing.

As parents, we try to protect our children from life’s pain, so we tend to keep them in an illusion -- a rosy bubble -- as if life is a one-sided experience. At least, I do, while knowing full well that life is both pain and joy, highs and lows, light and darkness. But recently I had to reconsider my parenting approach, as the time had come for me to outgrow it and step out of my own bubble of fear.

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Happy or Resilient?

Everyone wants to be happy. This goal is so central to the human experience that its “pursuit” is written into the US Declaration of Independence.

Is perpetual happiness possible? And even more -- is it even desirable?

In 1962 Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a book called Cradles of Eminence: A Provocative Study of the Childhoods of Over 400 Famous Twentieth-Century Men and Women. They chose people who had had at least two biographies written about them and had made a positive contribution to society. Their subjects included Henry Ford, Louis Armstrong, Frida Kahlo, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marie Curie.  
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5 (Subtle) Signs Your Mother Is a Covert Narcissist

After all -- It is all about her, not you.

Not every narcissistic mother fits the fading movie star image -- braggadocious and vain saying, “I’m ready for my close up Mr. DeMille.”

Because women have been socialized to appear accommodating and self-effacing, these learned behaviors could obscure an underlying narcissistic personality disorder. Mom might be the helicoptering PTA president, squeaky-clean Sunday school teacher or long-suffering martyred momma who appears to put her children first. Don’t be fooled.
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Children and Teens

When Family Life Is — and Isn’t — a Fairy Tale

Villainized in Cinderella, the evil stepmother is ingrained in our consciousness. She is cunning and ruthless; her malevolent intentions jeopardizing idealized images of the smiling, doting matriarch.   

Reality, however, is more complicated. While not exactly sympathetic, at least in contemporary America, stepmothers face an unenviable burden. There is an expectation -- tacit or otherwise -- that stepmothers will mollify familial strife. To put it more bluntly, stepmothers can and will serve as a de facto peacemaker for warring families.
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Children and Teens

Parenting Is Comfortably Enforcing Realistic Limits Together

I will never forget the day that I realized I was a lazy father.

My son was six when we adopted him and eight when he was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. My wife and I had known going in that he had behavioral problems and had been warned that it might be difficult to deal with moving forward. We took to the challenge with the outlook that we would love and cherish him, regardless of the struggles his diagnosis set in our path.
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Children and Teens

Childhood Neglect and the Impact of Invalidation

What happens when "nothing" happens? A lot. Childhood and adolescent neglect can have a profound and lasting impact on adults. Unlike sexual and physical abuse, some may find it difficult to understand the impact that absence had on their life. While neglect is a form of abuse, since the "action" of the crime is the lack thereof, identifying the problem may be tricky.

What is neglect?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 23, 2017

Happy Holidays, Psych Central readers!

With this edition of Psychology Around the Net, I'm passing along some meditation tips for the holidays (because let's fact it: they're not exactly stress free), research on why helping others boosts our own mental and physical health, what really makes for a happier holiday season, and more.

No matter how you spend your holiday weekend, I hope you're surrounded with everyone you hold dearest in life!

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