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Surviving the Summer Blues

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. -- Edgar W. Howe

Perhaps you have been enjoying your summer, getting extra time to have fun with your kids without the pressure of homework and extracurricular activities. Perhaps not.

Let’s face it, summer is a mixed bag. For working parents who don't get time off in the summer, it...
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Can TV, Videogames, and Computer Use Be Harming Your Teen’s Health?

Although worries about sex, drugs, and school still top the list when I talk to parents of teenagers, the issue of screen time, video games and social media sites often have parents and teens in bitter battles. What's a good parent to do?

According to a 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American youth spends eight to ten hours a day on some form of media--often more than one...
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Does Your Toddler Tweet? Protecting Young Kids on the Internet

Did you know that more than half of kids aged six to nine now use some kind of children’s social network? Or that 47 percent talk to their friends on the Internet? And that 14 percent are on Facebook in spite of the fact that they are underage? To top off these startling revelations of a new study is the distressing news that 58 percent of parents admit they are in...
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Mean Girls and Bullying Boys: Pitfalls and Lessons for Parents

"Isn't it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?"  -Sean Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Just a few days ago, I was meeting with two teenage girls and their mom and dad. The parents wanted counseling to help them lessen the conflict and emotional volatility of their communications. The younger daughter, soon to go into eight grade, suddenly announced that she wanted to...
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8 Insights to Keep Love Alive in Intimate Relationships

"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new."   -Ursula K. LeGuin

In thirty-five years of counseling couples and families, I have continually been reminded about how little most of us are taught about specific tasks and principles for building and maintaining happy, loving relationships. There seems to be a myth afoot: once married, the relationship grows on its...
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Americans Get the Gold Medal for Anxiety

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” -Henry David Thoreau

NEWSFLASH!: The United States gets the gold! We have become the nation with the highest level of anxiety in the world. According to a recent study by the World Health Organization, 31 percent of Americans are likely to suffer from an anxiety...
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How To Enhance Your Kids’ (And Your Own) Motivation: Part 1

To be motivated means to be moved to do something. Who among us has not wondered or worried about how to motivate ourselves, our spouse or our kids to get things done, whether it be homework, exercise, or just doing the dishes? The good news is that this area of inquiry is so important that it has been and continues to be a hot topic for research.

One of the...
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Gay Marriage: How to Handle the New Hot Potato

In a country deeply divided into red states and blue states, President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage will no doubt become a political hot potato. In the meantime, the psychological and emotional impact of politics on the actual lives of families will get drowned out in the rhetoric of opposing sides.

As psychotherapists working with couples and families from diverse backgrounds, we know first hand how differences about things like religion, politics, values and behaviors...
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Joy=Love–Fear and Other Emotional Equations for Happiness

"Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."– Dr. Viktor Frankl
There are a lot of excellent self-help books out there these days. So many, in fact, that it is often difficult to figure out which one or another might be helpful to suggest when someone you love...
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