Understanding Family Dynamics

Can't we all get along? That's a tall order when your limelight has been snatched away by your adorable new little brother. Family: You love them and you hate them. There are so many things to consider when you think of family: there's birth order, rivalries, and the only child, to name a few.

Recent Posts on Family Dynamics

Crime-aversaries

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
This week, the anniversaries of two arrests remind us of the shocking reverberations of murder in ordinary communities.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

Helping Adolescents Keep Agreements

With more actively and passively resistant adolescents parents must work harder to get agreements made. Getting this habit of keeping agreements in place matters for healthy relationships with parents now, and for significant relationships later on.

What Exactly Is 'The Best Interest of the Child?', Part 2

When parents are asked about the essential needs of their children during and after parental separation, children’s emotional, psychological, social, moral and spiritual needs are seen to be of paramount importance. But what exactly are these “metaphysical” needs?

What Exactly Is “The Best Interest of the Child”?

A truly child-focused approach positions children’s needs at the forefront of “best interests” considerations, along with corresponding parental and social institutional responsibilities to these needs.

Fatherhood by the Numbers

By Peter B. Gray Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in The Evolving Father
Fatherhood lags behind motherhood, but is also rising. That's fatherhood by the numbers. Scholars also call for increased research on fatherhood interventions, including more rigorous research designs to discern what the effects of those interventions on children will be.

You Can’t Save Your Child From Their Anorexia

By Emily T. Troscianko on February 18, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
This guest post by my mother Sue Blackmore reflects on the difficulty, for parents with an anorexic child, of striking the right balance between caring for their child and ruining their own lives trying and failing to help.

I’m Glad I Raised My Kids in the Flintstone Era

As I watch mothers who talk or text while they breast feed and fathers who read their emails despite the fact that their kids are practically ripping their shirts as they pull on them, I reminisce about raising my three beautiful sons. I couldn't use an iPad to babysit my kids, and that meant they were free to fully engage in imaginary and creative play.

The Ideal Family: How Do You Stack Up?

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 13, 2015 in Fixing Families
An ideal family isn't necessarily about children having manners or creating "quality time", but creating a healthy foundation and structure. Here's what you want to shoot for.

Lean Back, Dad

By Nanette Fondas on February 11, 2015 in WorkLife Matters
When a dad spends more time with his children, virtually everyone benefits.

Learning to Enjoy Life by Watching Dogs

Research shows us that owning a dog can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Dog lovers know that dogs teach ways of living that we might want to emulate. Watching your canine friend—or someone else’s—and imitate some of their behaviors. This can be your guide to improving moods and learning to enjoy life more.

Mixed Messages in Your Family? A Quiz You Can Take

By David M. Allen M.D. on February 09, 2015 in A Matter of Personality
A highly prevalent feature in families that produce an offspring with a significant personality disorder is parents who give their children mixed, contradictory messages about how to behave in certain social circumstances. To see how your family stacks up against other families and to find out what issues your family has, I herein provide a self-administered quiz for you.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

By Liza Long on February 02, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
If we bring back the asylums, how do we make sure that our loved ones with mental illness remain part of our lives?

How Family Becomes Food

There are many factors that contribute to eating disorders including family and relational issues. No blame....just all members accepting responsibility and learning how to change and grow.

Odd Couple House Mates

By Joan Ullman M.A. on January 30, 2015 in Uncharted Customs
Decades ago intergenerational living was widespread, ofen for economic reason. From the mid-1950s, nuclear families became the norm. Today's convulsive economic upheaval has seen a return of multi-generational housing situations. And as my recent experience with my grandson attests, while it may not be a familar phenomenom, it definitely has its pluses for young and old.

Does Your "Real" Age Match Your Age on Paper?

Nobody ages faster than other people’s children. I’ll be talking on the phone with my friends and their toddlers will be gurgling happily into the receiver. The next time I call these same children will have just taken the MCATs.

Talking About Sex Addiction

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 28, 2015 in Minority Report
Questions such as "Do you believe in sex addiction?" or "Is porn/masturbation ok?" are simplistic questions to challenging clinical issues. Instead, these questions need to be reframed from another vantage point.

The Fosters: A Terrific TV Series About an Adoptive Family

By E. Kay Trimberger Ph.D. on January 27, 2015 in Adoption Diaries
Main stream TV has created a show that documents both the difficulties and rewards of an open adoption system and the complicated adult relationships it spawns.

Who's in Charge in Your Relationship?

Men’s Secret Revenge Against Successful Women, Insecurity and resentment can lead to covert warfare in the bedroom. By Max Belkin, Ph.D.

17 Rules to Guide You Through Any Conflict

Whether in your relationships or your work life, it’s inevitable that you’ll be involved in a conflict with someone over something. These 17 principles will guide you in learning how best to put your emotions, motives, and communication skills to settle any of those conflicts in to produce successful results.

Language

Language has been described as one of humans' most important evolutionary advances. We will explore language with specific reference to individual development and its relationship to affects and cognition.

How Siblings Teach Each Other…Or Don’t

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on January 23, 2015 in Singletons
A new study finds educational benefits of having siblings and what parents have to do to make sibling teaching most effective. Does that mean only children are at a disadvantage?

Top Ten Favorite Tips to Improve Children’s Memory

By Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. on January 21, 2015 in Radical Teaching
Studying for tests is tough on kids and parents. From my perspective as a neurologist and teacher, I’ve evaluated the neuroscience research about how the brain learns and remembers most successfully. This article brings together the strategies I’ve suggested, based on that research, reported by parents and educators to be most helpful.

Putting Feelings Into Words: 3 Ways to Explain What You Feel

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on January 17, 2015 in Off the Couch
Have you ever had troubles finding the words for what you’re feeling or thinking? Most of us have encountered this difficulty at some time or another. It often happens just when we most need to be able to explain ourselves – when we’re feeling something particularly strongly or in a crisis or just want to communicate a strong feeling.

When Mental Illness Enters The Family

My TEDx talk, whose link is in this blog, offers four messages for families with a loved one with a mental illness. I hope you will view this talk, which offers practical advice and hope.

Parenting Skills Depend on the Child

The first concern in any system of parenting skills should be a list of the child’s needs.

Bump Start

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on January 13, 2015 in In Excess
One of the more interesting and somewhat controversial male psychological conditions that have been reported relatively frequently in psychological research literature is Couvade syndrome (sometimes called sympathetic pregnancy) but is not generally recognized as a bona fide medical condition. But what does the psychological literature tell us about this disorder?

Making Space for Grieving

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on January 12, 2015 in The Web of Violence
Thoughts about how to create some time and space for grieving after the loss of a loved one.

The Keys to Rewarding Relationships

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on January 09, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Relationships can be difficult and navigating them can be frustrating. Understanding how your emotional system is wired, how and why you pick up on or ignore threats of social rejection, and how your emotions and thoughts influence each other and your behaviors, you can consciously choose how to act in your social interactions and have the kinds of experiences you deserve.

The Diametrics of Psychology Today

The diametric model suggests that psychology is divided up into folk and scientific, popular and official sub-types, with popular psychology being superior in some respects to its official counterpart.