Archives for Relationships

Adolescents

Fat-Shaming, Skinny-Shaming: What Every Mother Should Know

And it's not bad for dads to read this, either! But Moms, I'm going to be talking to you specifically.

The reason is: In most cases, body shame begins at home. While our culture undoubtedly plays a role in how our children see themselves and their bodies, the first culture any of us experience is our family's.

And when I talk to teen girls in my therapy office who have body, eating, and/or self-esteem issues, what I often hear is that the first role model they ever had--their moms--had some of those issues themselves (though those mothers often believe they've kept them hidden, they tend to eke out in small ways that I'll describe below.) Or those mothers weren't aware of the way judgmental comments they make about others impact their own children.

(Interestingly, I've actually never heard this from a young girl: "My father was always saying he was too fat." There's something cultural in that as well.  But that's for another blog.)

Here are some thoughts on how you can make your family culture a healthy one. It's never too early (or too late) to start.
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Abuse

What Makes a Relationship Toxic

You might be wondering: Am I in a toxic relationship? To be honest, the fact that you're even asking the question (or reading this post) strongly suggests that you are. Deep down, we all know what's good for us, what makes us stronger, and what does the opposite.

This post is about eliminating uncertainty, and confronting denial. Toxic relationships weaken us. Read on to see if your relationship fits the profile.
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Abuse

Eliminating Verbal Abuse Once and for All

Verbal abuse is derogatory language with the intent to humiliate, hurt, and/or undermine.  It robs the other person of their dignity and sense of security.

Mostly, verbal abuse occurs in anger; sometimes it occurs with cold calculation (in which case, the abuser is much more of a threat to another's well-being and that relationship should be terminated immediately.)

I'm going to address the former situation: Where abuse occurs in anger, when self-control is lost, and the person is remorseful afterward.

The tips I'm going to give apply to both the person doing the abusing, and the person being abused, because ending abuse while remaining in the relationship is actually a collaborative effort.
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Adolescents

Preventing Mental Disorders in Children and Teens

As parents, we're trying to do a million things to promote the well-being of our children.  Mental health, though, often gets short shrift.

Not all mental health disorders can be avoided (genetics do play a role here.)  But their impact can be lessened, and in some cases, prevented altogether.

If you're thinking, Oh, no, not one more thing I need to do, on top of making them do their homework, driving them to activities, etc.--good news.  These tips aren't time consuming, and they fit right in with the rest of your life. 
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Addiction

End That Addictive Relationship, Once and For All

Here's a quick checklist to know if you're addicted to a toxic relationship:

You have more bad moments than good but you can't let go because you're always chasing another fix of the good.
The relationship depletes rather than energizes you.  It takes away from other areas in your life.
You lose resources (emotional, financial, interpersonal) but no matter how great the cost, you continue with the relationship.  You can't seem to make rational calculations.
When you try to leave, you can't seem to follow through; you go through withdrawals.  You cave, and you relapse.
You pretend every time you make up, it will be different.  You consistently ignore the fact that the past is the greatest predictor of the future.  You will be back there, in pain, again.   But you have selective memory (i.e. denial.)
You're lying to your friends and family about the way you're being treated; you're minimizing the pain so they won't turn against your partner, or urge you to do what you already know you should do, which is end the relationship.
OR you've alienated good people in your life who don't want to stand by idly and watch you suffer anymore.

Now here's how you can start extricating yourself, once and for all.
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