The Risks of Not Choosing to Vaccinate

A number of parents make the decision not to vaccinate their children. While parents clearly have the right to choose the kinds of medical care for their children, are the risks for other children and, indeed, the world worth it? The key question is the balance between individual rights and what is in the best interests of society.

Why Watch the Holiday Classics This Season?

Holiday films captivate us and draw the family together. The classics can be watched year after year, and maintain their magical quality, in large part because they tap into the emotions that connect each individual with family and community.

How to Talk With Your Kids About the Ferguson Incident

Children and teenagers are viewing media reports of the tragic incident in Ferguson. Some are confused about the reasons for the demonstrations. Many are hearing commentaries about whom they can and cannot trust in dangerous situations. Parents should determine what their kids have heard and seen and openly discuss the incident in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Containing Hysteria About Infectious Disease

The first case of Ebola in the United States was just reported. Many parents are frightened, despite the minimal risks to their children and families. In this blog we try to curb emotional hysteria, put infectious disease in perspective, and help parents talk rationally about Ebola with their children.

When a Teenager is Talking About Suicide

In the wake of the loss of Robin Williams, suicide has come front and center for most of us. Yet suicide is unique and a special case in teenagers. Many parents feel at a loss talking with their kids about suicide. In this blog we try to provide some guidance to helping parents assess when to worry, and what to do, in the event their teen talks about dying.

Staying Connected With Robin Williams

The loss of Robin Williams is gone. We have all heard about the death of celebrities and felt the loss. But what was it about him, in particular, that moved us to tears? Robin Williams had the special quality of connecting with us in a way that we could feel his joy, sorrow, pathos and love him and his opponents all at once. He awakened the empathic connection we all need.

Coping with ADHD

Living and coping with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is no fun for the child or the parent. In this blog and podcast at www.mghclaycenter.org, we hear the story of a a 20 year old with ADHD and his mother, a prominent MGH neuropsychologist describe their particular way of managing the disorder toward success.

Can Guys Really Understand What It's Like to Be a Mother?

Being a mother is something special and unique. Though as boys and men we can imagine what this experience is like, it cannot be replicated. We might find an an approximation as boys with our pets and as men as dads. But the actual experience is unique. Happy Mother's Day to all!

What Science Tells Us About Treatment of Addiction

In a recent NPR show, Radio Boston, on WBUR in Boston, Dr. Lance Dodes talked about his new book and stated that 12-Step programs not only don't work, but are not backed by scientific evidence. This statement is not only false, but dangerous for the many millions of individuals suffering from addiction, and from their families and friends who are deeply affected.

The Power of Resilience

Resilience is a process that combines one's innate biology, engagement with important individuals in one's life and developing self-awareness. It is best understood as an ongoing developmental achievement rather than a personal inborn trait. Resilience has the dual function of preventing hardship and coping with adversity when life deals us a bad hand.

Home For The Holidays, Facing Empty Chairs At The Table

In this holiday season we join together with friends and family. Yet there is always someone missing at the table.We take this time to reflect on our nostalgic feelings, memories and celebrate those who are not present. We are always home for the holidays.

Memories of a Veteran's Son

My dad served in the 77th Division in the Pacific Front in World War II. He volunteered for the Army one year out of dental school and served as a medic. He won the Bronze star in the Battle of Leyte Gulf for saving hundreds of lives when a number of ships were lost by Japanese air strikes. Despite his productive life, he suffered from undiagnosed PTSD.

Lessons for Parents From the Horrific Cleveland Kidnappings

The horrifying events of the kidnappings in Cleveland shocked us all. As parents we all appreciate the need for kids to be wary of strangers. But the alleged perpetrator was a well-known neighbor and father of a friend of one of the victims. In light of this event, perhaps we need to consider new ways of talking with our kids about safety.

How Adults Cope Under Boston Marathon Lockdown Stress

Who would have expected that Boston would be locked down? The scene is eerie -- empty streets, closed business and restaurants, very few cars other than police and armored vehicles. And countless are stuck at home, many with kids, some alone. Much has been written about the effect of the bombing on kids, but what about the adults?

Tips for Parents in the Boston Lockdown

It is no fun stuck at home in a lock down. Frankly, for families it poses a strange combination of fear and boredom. What can parents and kids do when stranded at home?

Reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombing

It has only been a few days since the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Many parents are worried about persistent problems their children may endure. Here are some symptoms to look for and ideas for helping.

Helping Children Cope After the Boston Maraton Bombing

We all went through 9/11. More recently the horrifying shooting in Newtown. And now we are all struggling to help our kids understand the events at the Boston Marathon. While the advice is similar, we all need to keep a few things in mind.

Violent Video Games and Movies Causing Violent Behavior

December 21, 2012 the National Rifle Association (NRA) blamed the media for promoting violent video games and movies and then cited these phenomena as the primary causes of mass violence. The biggest fear many parents have is that exposure to such media may turn our kids into violent people in the world. However, research does not support this concern.

Coping With the Recent School Shooting

Many of the surviving children will have witnessed bloodshed and others around the nation may see images and videos of it on television. Here are some guidelines for parents struggling with the issue of how to help their children and families.

Tis the Season

Let’s just paint a little picture. It is a picture we already know pretty well, but still every year this picture seems to take many of us by irritable surprise.

Levon and My Kids

I think about the loss of Levon Helm almost every day. But this is not because I was a fanatic about The Band. Don’t get me wrong. As a child of the '60s, I love the Band. Who didn’t? But I had mixed feelings about Levon and his fellow musicians.