Essential Reads

Get on the Train

For Palo Alto High School students who have considered suicide

Adoption in the Life of Steve Jobs

Both genes and environment help account for Jobs' success.

Protective Parenting an Adolescent

Unable to proof their teenager from harm, parents can encourage safe conduct

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

Why you should take the time to capture the mundane in your everyday life

Recent Posts on Parenting

From A-Ha to Success and Beyond

By Kathy Cramer Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Lead Positive
This is the story of retail innovator Maxine Clark and how she answered her Call to found Build-A-Bear, the teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience.

Part Two: Four Words that Get Buy-In

Here in part two, I’ll cover the next three words that can increase buy-in in even the most change resistant employees.

Good Negotiators Focus on Their Resources

By Art Markman Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Life is full of negotiations. Buying a car involves reaching an agreement with a dealer about the sale price. Going out with friends on a Saturday night may trade off the movie your friends want to see against the restaurant where you want to eat. Parents and children may haggle over how much homework has to be done before video games can be played.

Who Needs Marriage?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Time Out
Diversity, inequality and social change are an important context in which to view the decline in marriage and other changes in American family life.

Research Backs Schools' Decision to Ditch Outdated Homework

By Rebecca Jackson on March 24, 2015 in School of Thought
Parents are not given any instruction on how to administer homework. It's assumed that they understand how—presumably based on their own experiences in school. That's ridiculous. Homework has changed dramatically over the past two decades! This article sifts through the current research to show why some homework methods are outdated.

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.

Dad Publicly Shames his Bully Son

With punishments becoming increasingly difficult to enforce, parents of defiant children are beginning to consider publicly humiliating them

Part One: Four Words that Get Buy-In

Sometimes your message is right on. Sometimes you've just got to change the "packaging" so that your message is received instead of resisted. Here is the first of four words I use to create impossible amounts of engagement and enthusiasm in people where seemingly none existed before.

10 Ways Musical Training Boosts Brain Power

A wide range of new research shows that playing a musical instrument can boost brain function throughout a person's lifespan.

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

Are You a Free-Range Parent? You Should Be

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in The Power of Prime
Children need to have the freedom to explore their worlds on their own without parents acting like helicopters, always hovering around to "protect" them for the apparently dangerous world in which they now. Yet, our children are fenced in, literally and metaphorically, almost every moment of every day.

Four Years Out: My Favorite “Turning Straw Into Gold" Pieces

My personal favorites cover a broad range of subjects and are spread evenly across the four years. I invite you to browse through the list and read (or re-read) those that spark your interest.

RIP Beloved Benji

How people in the past cared for their dogs is often lost to history, but one strong sign of a loving relationship is the care people took in burying their dogs. I have seen dog burials from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in London, but also from 12,000 years ago in what is today Israel. These show how people of the past loved their dogs.

Five Strategies to Tame Your Inner Critic

You can’t get rid of your inner critic. It's just part of the human mind. But you can greatly reduce its fear level, and get it serving, rather than running, you. Here's a 5 Step Process to Tame Your Inner Critic.

The New Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in The Prime of Life
The challenge: To lead a life without well-define norms, roles, and expectations.

The Bourgeois Revolution

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Many of our most powerful fantasies and expectations about marriage and family life emerged two centuries ago.

Why Creatives Succumb to Bedtime Procrastination

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on March 23, 2015 in Tracking Wonder
No external boss means we must self-monitor sleep habits.

Why We Like (Or Don't Like) Comfort Foods

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on March 23, 2015 in Head Games
We all know that stress can affect your diet. But a new study finds that there's much more to the story.

Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations

When parents either support or encourage their teenager to have high personal performance expectations, they also need to provide guidance about how to manage their feelings when these outcomes are not met, as will sometimes occur.

When Words Are Weapons: 10 Responses Everyone Should Avoid

By Peg Streep on March 23, 2015 in Tech Support
We often wrongly discount the effect of emotional abuse that's unaccompanied by the physical component. But words can and do hurt. What you need to realize so that your vocabulary doesn't become an arsenal.

The 3Y Secret to Greater Contentment

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on March 22, 2015 in In Control
Once people come to understand themselves and their important motivations more clearly, they can evaluate for themselves whether the road they are currently on is likely to take them in the direction they wish to travel.

True Love or Outdated Obligation?

When you feel yourself falling out of love, here are three questions that might help you determine the long-term prognosis for the relationship.

Book Review: Wisdom from the Couch

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on March 22, 2015 in In Therapy
Dr. Jennifer Kunst shares the warmer, friendlier side of Kleinian psychology in this interview and book review.

Coming Out as Polyamorous, Part II

This blog explores strategies for coming out to families, friends, and kids about being polyamorous.

Signs You're Taken for Granted

By Kimberly Key on March 21, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Don't settle. Love exists. Test to tell if you're not getting the nurturing you need.

Wresting Meaning from Loss

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 21, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Coping with loss -- then and now.

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

We are used to thinking of creativity as an entirely positive attribute. However, new research on malevolent creativity suggests that the truly creative may put their novel thinking to dangerous uses under the right circumstances.

Prenatal Drug Exposure and Disruption of Attachment

By Ira J. Chasnoff M.D. on March 20, 2015 in Aristotle's Child
For successful attachment between caregiver and infant to occur, the caregiver must be able to read and respond to the infant's cues and the infant must be able to read and respond to the caregiver's cues.

7 Bleeping Good Reasons to Swear

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 20, 2015 in Hide and Seek
7 good things that can come from swearing.

Why John Hughes Still Matters

Filmmaker John Hughes died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 59, yet his movies remain staples of teenage angst and adolescent transition still relevant today. Kids of the 80s (now in their 40s) identified with these characters, and the movies resonate as nostalgic outlets for them.