Many parents feel that they would like to protect their children from the darkness that is in the world right now. There is wisdom in limiting their exposure, especially to repeated scary-sounding news stories on TV, Radio, or computers.
But it is important that you be the one that helps them learn how to handle their questions, fears, and uncertainties. Kids today are exposed to far more information than previous generations. The internet puts the most traumatic images and stories right ... Continue Reading →
In the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown frantically asks if anybody knows the true meaning of Christmas. The eternally sweet Linus, with his security blanket in tow, walks to center-stage of the school auditorium, drops his security blanket and confidently recites the Biblical account of the true meaning of Christmas.
I do not believe that Linus’ dropping of his security blanket is accidental. I believe that it is symbolic of how we don’t need comfort objects/behaviors, like a security ... Continue Reading →
You probably remember the ‘summertime blues’ from your school days. While most people are aware of the holiday blues, it doesn’t seem to be as normalized. Yet they seem to be far worse for many. There are reasons for this, and in many cases, they compound each other. But there is a way to counter this . . . but first, we need to identify the potential issues (Some solutions are further down in the post, I promise).
A perfect storm
You’re ... Continue Reading →
Like depression in teens, teenage anxiety is a pretty common experience for adolescents. Whether it’s the jitters when it’s time to get in front of the class to present a report or the butterflies that show up when talking to that cute gal or guy in the lunchroom, it’s a pretty universal experience. But it’s not this simple for some teenagers.
Anxiety can be debilitating and actually lead to a very real depression. I remember the first time I asked ... Continue Reading →
Most parents understand teenage angst, the sometimes obnoxious independence and defiance, even seemingly random outbursts of anger and frustration over minor annoyances (well, it’s minor to the adult . . . to a teen, it often feels like a major issue).
If we look at “problematic” issues in teenagers as a pile of dirt (I know, there are other metaphors . . . ), the first 6 feet of that pile is totally normal and nothing to worry about. If you ... Continue Reading →
When it comes to dating and romantic intimacy, all anxieties are not exactly the same; they’re certainly related in a variety of ways, but the different forms of romantic anxiety each have distinct differences. Just to name a few of these fears:
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- Fear of connection (related to Social Anxiety)
- Associated fears: commitment, affection/intimacy, loss of independence, of being loved/accepted, being overwhelmed
- Fear of performance
- Associated fears: having to work too hard, failure, sexual performance, making a mistake in who you pick
- Fear of being hurt ...
Bullying is not as simple as you think.
When I was growing up, bullying was face-to-face pushing and shoving, maybe some rumors, perhaps intimidating phone calls. Those were bad enough, but it was a little easier to take care of the situation. Now we have not only the physical and psychological bullying but now we have “cyber-bullying.”
I should mention that it is not just children and teenagers that get bullied; adults of all ages also experience intimidation and bullying both in ... Continue Reading →
Anticipatory grief, or pre-grief, happens when we know when in advance that we are going to lose something or someone that we care about. It may be due to a terminal illness of a loved one, an impending job loss, loss of a relationship or even knowing that we are going to move. In these cases, the grief still hurts and takes time to heal from, but the advance notice gives us a chance to wrap up loose ends, to ... Continue Reading →
Election anxiety has been in local and national media recently. And it’s a very good discussion to read up on. But I’d like address another troublesome dynamic that has reared its head this year more than any other year in my memory: Election irritability. Friendships are being strained, marriages are being thrown into chaos, even job sites turned into verbal boxing rings where management struggles to keep people focused on doing their jobs, not to mention doing them well. This ... Continue Reading →
Avoidance in teenagers can be infuriating, but try to remember that the impulse control center of the brain is not done developing until about age 25 (left medial pre-frontal cortex–behind your forehead, slightly to the left).
What’s the first image that pops into your head when you think, “Ostrich?” It’s probably either an image of one running, pecking at somebody or a cartoon of an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand.
Because teenagers are brand new, growing adults, they are ... Continue Reading →
Feel like you cannot get through to your kids? Like they just don’t listen?
Are you fantasizing about sending your kids away?
Are you tired of the power struggles? Are your efforts at discipline creating more stress and anger in your home?
Would you like to have that nice balance between being a parent first, and a friend second?
Is your relationship or marriage suffering because of parenting issues?
There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ parent. Parenting is not ... Continue Reading →
- Do you feel like people just cannot seem to get what you are saying?
- Do people often tell you that YOU don’t get what they are saying?
- 80% of our messages are non-verbal (eye contact, body language, facial expression).
- Of the 20% that is verbal, we can learn to be mindful of which words work best for our message.
Communication skills are about how to listen and how to be heard, not just how to talk. Communication is a cooperative process; in other words, while ... Continue Reading →
Ever see a divorced couple that seems to get along great and wonder how they do it? It’s effective Co-Parenting. There are skills that can be learned to cultivate a friendly co-parenting experience that benefits everybody, especially the kids! It can be tough in the beginning, but this is normal. Learn more about how to create a friendly vibe between you and your ex-.
Some ground rules to start with:
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- NEVER use your children as pawns to accomplish your agenda
- NEVER put your ...
- Dread going home at the end of the day? Do you find reasons to stay away?
- Recognize that sinking feeling when you pull up and see that your spouse is home?
- Are you more irritable with your loved ones than usual?
- Feeling isolated in your family? Does your home feel like a prison?
- Do you know what you want your family to feel like, but not sure how to get it there?
Family provides us with our first lessons in how to live and love. ... Continue Reading →