Archive for February, 2010

Emotional Olympic Family Moments

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


Over the last two weeks of the Olympics, I’ve noticed a few particularly emotional moments with families.  Perhaps there are others you recall besides just these.  The ones listed below made a lasting impression on me.  Most of them involved tragedy and disappointment, but some are infused with sweetness and love.  I hope you enjoy and appreciate reading about these athletes and their families.  If you want to share other memorable family moments, please post them below.

Postpartum Depression Is Painfully Real

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Sometimes it takes a bold reminder to shake us into awareness.  Something dark and destructive may be lurking in the mind of a mom after she’s had a baby, someone in your family or one of your friends.  Sometimes it can take a death to make us remember how real postpartum depression is.

Raising Kids With Personal Responsibility

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I know personally that some kids are harder to raise than others.  Some are naturally more compliant, healthy, self assured, or whatever.  Others have bigger quirks, more trouble learning things, testy personalities, and other challenges.  Regardless of these factors, we parents all have a moral obligation to do a few things for our kids.  Clothe, feed, bathe, shelter, and love them — those are the most obvious things.

Family Mental Health Around the Web, Issue #3

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Happy weekend, everyone. I have another installment of Family Mental Health Around the Web ready for you to enjoy. Today I’m bringing you a website about kids’ health and another about mental health information and advocacy: is a website created by Nemours, a large non-profit children’s health organization. The website is divided into three main areas – for parents, for teens, and for kids. The great thing here is that each section is written for the age level of the reader. It’s a mix of serious information and some fun topics like sports, sports journals written by real kids, and quizzes. One major bonus point from me on the easy sidebar! I’ve seen a few websites with much more confusing navigation, so I’m pleased this is better. Also, you can sign up for a free weekly Kidshealth newsletter to get the latest on raising healthy kids.

Families Get Olympic Fever

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

What a fascinating opportunity we have going on right now. The Olympics come just every few years, and they are in full force right now. Being the non-athletic musical person that I am, I’m in awe of the physiques and obvious skills these athletes have honed. The dedication and perseverance is worth recognizing.

In lieu of some fairly questionable role models in the world, I’d say the Olympians are a pretty decent lot to emulate. Granted, the Olympics has had its share of bad sports (Tonya Harding) and tragedy (Israeli athletes in 1972), but overall this is some of the best TV out there for families. What always astounds me about Olympic athletes is how their entire family adjusts to the lifestyle. Elite athletes don’t live like you and me.

The Fickle Nature Of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: Supagroova

You may remember my post from a few weeks ago, Diary of a Depression Day. I commented about the previous weekend when I’d experienced a disturbing day of slight paranoia, negativity, mistrust, confusion, and undefined sadness. How things change when you think you know how to predict them.

During my depression day, I was actually in the time of my cycle that should have been (and typically is) the easiest to manage my emotions. I usually have trouble in the three to five days leading up the first day of my cycle. As I write this, I imagine some of you questioning how I think my emotions are all boiled down to a bunch of hormones. That’s not what I’m saying, and I imagine there could have been a few other triggers that weekend (though since time has passed, I’m not sure I can find a simple answer).

Family Mental Health Around the Web, Issue #2

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Hello, everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed last week’s inaugural edition of Around the Web.  Today I’ve collected a few more websites you can bookmark on your computer.  These resources cover ADHD and a positive websites for girls.

ADD and ADHD have been in the spotlight the last several years. I’ve found a few resources for information about the condition and ways you can help your child manage their daily life.  The NIMH US government website has a long extensive page about ADHD. It lists twelve questions and two places for citations and resources. Everyday Health just put out an article listing 12 Ways to Help Your Child Cope With ADHD. This is a helpful list whether you are trying to go without medication or if you are working with medication. You won’t go wrong using some or all of these positive methods.

Give Your Kids A Legacy Of Music

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Want to leave a legacy to your children?  Teach them to appreciate and love music  — your music.  Yep, you may need to shell out a little dough for an mp3 player or some music lessons.  But you will undoubtedly be passing on something very personal to you.  Even better, your kids will have their own perspective and appreciation for music as the years pass.

Since I’ve roamed the planet a few years, I’ve stored up memories of a whole lot of different kinds of music in my life.  I remember “current” music from when I was a kid, a teen, in college, as a young adult, and now.  I’ve also come across many pieces from decades or even centuries ago.  If you saw my iTunes playlists, you’d see this variety plain and clear.  I attribute that open-eared approach to my family when I was growing up.

Heidi Montag As A Role Model

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I realize I’m kind of going around some territory that been stomped on a lot.  But this Heidi Montag surgery thing just has me prickling.  Remember my post earlier about bad role models?  Well, you don’t have to just be robbing stores or looking ridiculous at an awards show to qualify.  I read fellow PsychCentral blogger Alicia Sparks’ post about Heidi and felt that I need to share my own thoughts.

Plastic surgery absolutely has its place.  Procedures that correct problems and address health issues are welcomed by so many people who need them.  A few members of my family have been through some procedures for those very reasons – well advised and positive for their life.  From what Heidi said, it sounds like at least part of her nose procedure was to reset it because it broke and healed incorrectly.  If that’s all she did, I could probably defend her from anyone calling foul about her surgery.

Childhood Obesity Prevention And The Family

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: feelsgoodlost

Today, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum on preventing childhood obesity, a cause taken up by First Lady Michelle Obama.  It focused on school lunches, exercise, and public awareness about healthy food.  Also today I saw an article highlighting a research study suggesting family meals, adequate sleep, and limited TV could help reduce childhood obesity.  Interesting that these news tidbits both came at me within one hour.  Let’s dig into it, shall we?

First, I’ll share just a few general observations about these two bits of news.   The research study implies that the risk for childhood obesity can be managed by the family’s lifestyle choices.  The study does caution that the lowered risk may come from something other than the direct influence of the family meal, sleep, and limited TV routines.  It could be that families who do these routines also do other healthy things that keep kids at a healthy weight – healthier food choices by parents at mealtime, parents modeling good exercise habits, encouragement for kids to be physically active.

The first lady’s plan includes increased public awareness about healthy foods, efforts to make healthier food more affordable, and improving nutrition in school meals.  Admittedly, Michelle Obama says that the government will play a rather small role in a larger effort.  Ultimately, families and businesses everywhere need to do their part to make this change happen.

Personal health really has to matter to families.  It’s so easy to take the route of convenience and not really think about what you are eating.  If left to our own devices, many of us would just eat what we feel like and forget about it.  Also, I’m not sure how we make a bag of carrots not only cheaper but more appealing than a bag of greasy chips.  That sounds like a tall order, especially because of one key factor – you can’t really make anyone do anything.

Michelle Obama even said that …


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