Teaching Your Kids About Courage

For a long time, I thought courage was only something firefighters and policemen got.  Somehow, something magical happened inside them to make them heroes in the face of danger.  I thought that courage meant the absence of fear.  As an adult, I've learned that I was wrong.

It can be tempting to dismiss your child's fears about things.  Getting "over" something is often the goal, pushing aside or swallowing the feeling so they can move...


Schools Almost Out – Parents, What Did You Learn This Year?

Trust me, I have had enough school mornings with simmering frustration and lingering guilt to write about this with authority.  You are your worst version of yourself when you are late, scrambling, and unprepared on a school morning.  Your kids might even be crying when they leave the door or your vehicle.

That feeling makes you cringe, like a big "I'm a bad parent" banner is draped over your forehead.  Goodness knows if they can...


Postpartum Depression – Old Haunts Revisited

In about six weeks, my oldest daughter will have a major surgery for her cleft palate.  It will be painful for some time, and will restrict her summer activities.  This isn't her first surgery, though.  She had three before she was one year old.  She's had a number of other outpatient surgeries, but those first three were pretty significant.

That was also the time period when my postpartum depression set in.  I'm sure I had...


This Postpartum Depression Stuff Wasn’t In The Book

When I was preparing to have my first baby, I read books on pregnancy and being a mom.  Nowhere did I find anything that recognized the difficulty of having a baby who needed a lot of medical visits and procedures for a complex birth defect.  Oh, maybe it mentioned something general about birth defects and other complications, but like maybe one page.  Ten pages were dedicated to getting your nursery set up properly.  Nothing...


Happy Mother's Day

Hello, and Happy Mother's Day to all moms everywhere!  I know a lot of people think that Hallmark invents these holidays - Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.  But you know what?  Who cares!  I am happy to have a day that your status as a mom or dad puts you in the limelight for a moment.  Then, it's business as usual.  But who doesn't enjoy a little breakfast or lunch "at your service", and...


Are You A Parent Or A Friend

I started out my mental health career as a family counselor, logging many hours on the road doing in-home therapy.  Although I do different therapy now, that time as a family counselor taught me so many lessons.  These were some tough situations, and I still think about these families from time to time.

One thing that struck me was how parents sometimes turned into a wet noodle in front of their children.  They threw out...


Joy Fuels Emotionally Healthy Families

People often underestimate the importance of joy in family life.  It's not a luxury, something you get to have on weekends, or something you feel only when you've been good enough to get dessert.  Joy is a very necessary part of having an emotionally healthy family.

A family is cross between the business office of a small city and a sports team.  The business part includes all the schedules, the transportation issues, food supply, clothing,...


Parents – Do You Take Care of Yourself?

Three kids, two jobs, after school activities, friends coming over, house cleaning, visiting relatives, mowing the just keeps tossing balls at you, and you just have to keep swinging.  It seems like you're never caught up, never getting ahead, just paddling to keep your head above water.

Sit where you are and ask yourself, honestly.  What are all the things you do to take good care of yourself?  How much do you do of...


Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health

Something awesome will be happening on Katherine Stone's Postpartum Progress blog on Mother's Day, May 10.  It's called Mother's Day Rally for Moms' Mental Health.  It's a series of letters to new moms sharing the importance of good maternal mental health.  These letters have been written by moms who've lived through postpartum mood disorders and postpartum experts.  They will be presented one by one for every hour of the...


Bipolar in the Family – Nature and Nurture

Bipolar is a word you hear tossed around casually from time to time.  It's often meant to describe something that quickly goes back and forth between extremes.  In real life, this can mean unexpected mood swings with unpredictable behavior.  If you have this in your family, it pays to learn the symptoms and understand your risk.

A recent article from Science Daily states that kids who have parents with bipolar disorder have an...