Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!

Archives for Family

Books

Brush Up On Your People Skills, Read a Novel

“I never read fiction,” is a point of pride for many people, along the lines of “I never watch TV.”

The implication is that nonfiction is a higher calling, that fiction is a frivolous pastime while nonfiction is a serious education. This has been a push-pull throughout the history of the novel, especially since early novels tended towards salacious or scandalous, more Danielle Steel than Ian McEwan.

Poet Samuel Coleridge, (1712 to 1835) stated his...
Continue Reading

Brain Function

Looking at the Negative (Spaces) In Our World

Elisha Goldstein’s book, The Now Effect, has sent my brain spinning in yet another direction.

The anecdote:
A professor stood before a philosophy class holding an empty jar. As the students took their seats, she began filling the jar with golf balls. When they reached the top, she asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then took a bag of pebbles and...
Continue Reading

Developmental Psychology

Laptop-Shooting Dad: How Is His Behavior Different From His Daughter’s?

By now you’ve probably seen the viral video by folk hero du jour, the father who put several bullets into his teenaged daughter’s laptop because she put up a whiny, disrespectful post on Facebook.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, click here.)

The girl's post complained about how her parents made her work soo hard and how she hated having to do chores and how instead of making her get a job, her parents should...
Continue Reading

Books

Complaining About Complaining

Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."

I picked up The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way To Get Results, Improve Your Relationships, Enhance Self-Esteem, by psychologist Guy Winch, in hopes of learning something about the chronic complainers in my life.

But the book taught me as much about myself as others.

Despite the many years that have passed since, I still wince...
Continue Reading

Aging

Are We Scaring Kids Off Of Adulthood?

A friend is fretting about her 22-year-old son, who is living at home and, she fears, not getting it together.

This is a family with plenty of dough. The boy is well-educated and has been well cared for, despite some dysfunctional family fun, which few of us escape in this world. My friend complains that he’s lazy and over-entitled. He hasn’t been knocking himself out to find a job, and he’s drinking too much.

What’s a...
Continue Reading

Family

Happy Festivus! Air Those Grievances

I love Festivus because it frees the part of my personality that I am told I should suppress--the gripey, complainy part.

(What's Festivus? Watch the video here.)

Perhaps I shouldn't admit to having anything in common with Frank Costanza. And I'd rather skip the Feats of Strength part of the holiday. And I haven't put up a Festivus pole this year.

But the Airing of the Grievances? I'm all over it.

I'm not...
Continue Reading

Books

The Irrational Pleasure of Exchanging Gifts

What is your favorite kind of gift to receive?

My favorite is useful gifts. Socks, for example. A nice sweatshirt—nicer than I might buy myself. Something related to one of my hobbies. Food gifts are nice. They always fit and don’t take up space.

My least favorite is gift cards, which stress me out a little because then I have to decide what gift to buy myself. That’s a lot of pressure. And I’m at an...
Continue Reading

Developmental Psychology

A Parenting Puzzle: Protective or Overprotective?

“When does trying to protect them become overly restricting? Is there a happy balance?”

A reader posed that question about raising kids earlier this week and it’s a good one. We recognize a helicopter parent when we see one, especially by the time their kids are teenagers. But how about when they’re younger? Are there red flags in parenting style that might mark the beginning of overprotective parenting?

What is overprotective? How is...
Continue Reading

Developmental Psychology

What Is The Parenting Recipe For Making Mean Kids?

It’s Anti-Bullying Week and this year’s theme is Stop and Think—Words Can Hurt.

Interestingly, for all our focus on how to stop kids from bullying each other, we have precious little research addressing what parenting styles are likely to produce bullies. Because, let’s face it, if your nine-year-old child is a bully, chances are very good you and/or the child’s other parent can take credit.
Continue Reading

12