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Archives for April, 2011


If You Could Clear Your Brain’s Hard Drive…

...would you?

My son Matt periodically "nukes" the hard drive on his computer; he backs up the files he wants to keep and then wipes out all the garbage.

Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain scientist who suffered a stroke at age 37, felt enormous relief upon having her left brain hemisphere obliterated:
37 years of baggage wiped out!
(She explains this and more in her amazing TED talk)

I've been here at the beach for...
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Emotions and Feelings

Why Is Our Son So Angry At Us?

A set of parents asked me this at my latest workshop.

It seems that their 14-year-old son is mostly uncommunicative, mumbling, avoids them, sits in silence at the dinner table, stays in his for the moments when he explodes in rage. He yells and curses at them, and then stomps off to his room and slams the door.

I told them what I knew about rage: that it "kindles," it feeds on itself and becomes an...
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Emotions and Feelings

A Teenage Girl’s Anger

So here I am at LisSurMer, the most idyllic place in the I'm thinking about anger.

Parents (and I!) are shocked by their teens' explosions. And it feels specific, directed precisely toward the parent.

I sat with a 9th-grade girl, drilling her for an algebra test; the mom walked through the room and said something benign, along the lines of Please remember to fold your laundry....and the girl rose out of her chair as if...
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Emotions and Feelings

Some Perspective for Struggling Parents

I am "packing" right now and getting ready to head to the Cape for a few days.

"Packing" in this case means "throw a sweater and some books in the trunk," because LisSurMer is a place to be casual, comfortable and private.

Every walk I took this week, I had to keep reminding myself to ENJOY THE SPRINGTIME. I live in a beautiful New England town of antique houses, rolling hills, white churches and nature preserves....
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Emotions and Feelings

Are Men Better Listeners Than Women?

That's my impression.

Men often give the appearance of not-hearing. They seem to ignore or tune out unpleasant messages.

But I suspect they hear every take it very much to heart.

John Gottman calls the tuning-out "stone-walling." Apparently men's physiological reactions to criticism are much more extreme than are women's. When a man is berated, his blood pressure soars and his adrenaline pumps. His ability to reason and respond shut down.
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Parenting Books for the Non-Tiger Mothers

I did a talk last month on parent-child dynamics, and of course we talked a great deal about Amy Chua's view that "Chinese mothers are superior" because they set high standards, don't coddle, and don't allow their kids to waste time on valueless pursuits such as school plays and sleep-over parties.

So I guess I was a Teddy Bear Mother, but I did all of the above and still produced two extremely successful, multi-talented, now-grown kids....
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