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

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

Child sexual abuse is a big risk factor for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. But why do some victims turn out one way, others a different way, and still others turn out without any disorders at all? So called empirical studies of child abuse are limited to such variables as who the perpetrators were, what did they do, and how often. There's a lot more to the story.

Invisible

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 in A Family Affair
Conflict is a part of every relationship. It’s often more pronounced for family’s affected by addiction. Often moms, dads, sisters and brothers disagree on how best to handle the thorny situations fueled by the addict’s behavior.

We Succeed by Our Failures

When we reflect on our childhood we tend to recall the tough times -- times when we as kids screwed up, or when our parents failed. It turns out that the dance between love and hate, doing right and doing wrong, and above all making amends is critical for secure attachments. We learn to trust other, indeed, we learn to be moral as part of a normal developmental process.

5 Ways to Break Bad News without Actually Lying

Very few, if any, of us truly enjoys being the bearer of bad news. If you have no choice but to be that messenger, there are ways to get the job done with a minimum of damaged feelings. These 5 strategies will help you figure out how to make the best out of some of life’s unpleasant situations.

Marriage Preparation

The good news is that you don’t have to have had a great track record in the relationship department or in your personal family experience in order to develop the skills and character traits that enhance the likelihood of success in relationships.

Stories of Seclusion: A Child Who Couldn't Resist the Swamp

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in How To Do Life
Hasn't every child wondered what it woulld be like to leave home for the wilds?

How to Complain So People Will Listen

Friends and family are supposed to love you, so why is it they don't always seem to care when you complain about their behavior? It might be something about the way you're saying it. Start seeing results with these practical tips for communicating complaints.

Judging the Baby Crop

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on July 22, 2015 in Genetic Crossroads
The first post in a new series on forgotten stories of the American eugenics movement examines how early-1900s baby health contests increased popular support for eugenics.

Is Family Equality a Right to Surrogacy?

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on July 22, 2015 in Genetic Crossroads
With marriage equality the law of the land, the dignity of LGBTQ families calls for an ongoing conversation about the regulation of the ART and surrogacy industries.

7 Key Signs of a Lying Child or Teenager

Psychologist Adrian Furnham identified a variety of ways to detect whether an individual may be dishonest. We can apply some of the tips to communication situations with young persons. Here are seven ways to tell if a child or teenager might be lying to you...

Why Can Domestic Violence Get Passed From Parent to Child?

It can be hard to understand why a child who is exposed to domestic violence might go on to experience violence in later adult relationships.

My Mother Is Holding Me Hostage

What To Do About An Oppressive Mother

Mental Illness and Families: Realigning Laws & Science

As the mother of a 22-year old daughter diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, I have to scratch my head. With an 11-year old son who tried to commit suicide and later, as a teenager, reported hearing voices urging him to kill, Arlene and Robert had to have known James was ill and needed treatment.

The Power of Evolutionary Psychology

A good scientific discipline should provide tangible new findings about some phenomena. Evolutionary psychology consistently provides new insights into what it means to be human. Here are three of the biggies – things we simply would now know without evolutionary psychology.

Three Siblings Jailed by Family Court Judge

A Family Court Judge in Michigan forces three children into juvenile detention as punishment for not wanting to see their father. Do children have any rights?

New developments in sleep and development

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on July 18, 2015 in Dream Catcher
in order to understand functions of sleep we need to study the ways in which it develops in the child

Old Guys Rule!

It has been shown that children have a higher level of self-confidence when grandparents are involved. This stability can significantly affect children’s academic, psychological, and social development.

Doctors and Twins’ DNA Sometimes Disagree; Switched at Birth

By Nancy L Segal Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 in Twofold
Twin type matters--to twine reared together, reared apart or switched at birth. A case of separated sisters will be described in a forthcoming issue PT an din an upcoming TV series.

Mom Loved You Best! The Rise and Fall of Sibling Rivalry

When and why did you experience sibling rivalry? With hindsight, what do you know now that you didn't understand then that makes the rivalry vanish?

10 Lessons I Learned from Little League Baseball

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Most baseball players strike out 7 of 10 times at bat. Baseball is great preparation for achieving life goals in that it requires perseverance, commitment, determination and frustration tolerance in order to be a great player.Baseball is fantastic way to learn those life skills while having fun.

My Absent Mother Wants to Be My Mother Now

What To Do When Your Mother Re-enters Your Life

3 Kinds of Motivation for Addiction Recovery

How can you know you have left "no stone unturned" in trying to help someone you care about who suffers from addiction to alcohol, drugs or some destructive behavior?

10 Ways the Children of Single Parents Defy All Stereotypes

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in Living Single
Here are 10 stereotype-defying scientifically-based facts about the children of single parents. Sometimes they do even better than the children of married parents. How is that possible?

Wired Parent, Wired Child

When it comes to managing their kids' screen-time, parents are often blamed for being bad role models. But in practice, blaming and shaming doesn't work. Here's what does.

Mindfulness for the Entire Family

Can children be mindful?

Keep in Step: The Complexity of Stepfamilies

Lynne works with the underlying complexity of her stepfamily to create strong family bonds.

Helping Siblings of a Defiant Child See Fair Is Not Equal

Your children need to learn that you will do your best to meet each of their unique needs, but this does not mean that everything will be equal between them.

Recent Advances in Understanding Parental Alienation

Mistaken beliefs about the genesis of parental alienation and appropriate remedies have shaped both socio-legal policy and therapeutic and legal practice in ways that have failed to meet children’s needs during and after parental separation, and therefore are contrary to the principle of the best interest of the child.

Why Family Holidays Are So Difficult

By Nick Luxmoore on July 11, 2015 in Young People Up Close
At school, young people know who they are and how to be. At home, things aren't so clear. Holidays are horrible transitions.

Sausage, Biscuits and Decadron

A survivor of a deadly brain tumor celebrates life with a triathlon. Run, Bike, Swim, Survive Cancer