Essential Reads

5 Tips for the Parents of Teens Who Make Rudeness an Art

What can parents do to encourage respect and courtesy in their teens?

5 Tips for Taming Overly Wired and Overly Rude Teens

How do you handle teens who take rudeness to a new level?

14 Tips for Parenting in Public

For the times you have felt nudged into parenting in a certain way

Moms: What Will Your Body Image Legacy Be?

Top five strategies for promoting positive body image in your daughter

Recent Posts on Parenting

The Failure of Child-Centered Parenting

Parents love their children. So why wouldn't they want to be child-centered?

Parenting With Attitude

I love you kid, but I'm not your buddy...

The Digital Revolution & the Nature of Adolescent Passage

The very essence of communication has changed. The various social media, 24/7 news cycles and the ubiquitous presence of smart phones keep us connected whether we want to participate or not. As families have become more comfortable with allowing their children to have cell phones, there seems to be an evolution in the nature of the dynamics of child development.

The Hidden Costs of Overparenting

Why are today's college students are so anxious and insecure?

Anxiety and Self-Doubt: Perfect Recipe for Underachievement

So many of us are afflicted with negative, left-over-from-childhood, programming that keep us from reaching our full potential. In my many years as a psychologist, the two self-defeating inscriptions I’ve encountered most are “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t succeed” (or “will fail”). And there are many other self-defeating beliefs that hold us back. . . .

Prom Night and the Kids Are Going to Drink: What Do You Do?

Early exposure to alcohol in the home can be harmful to children if it leads to drunkenness, but coaching kids on how to drink responsibly at the prom may keep them safer than just preaching abstinence.

Losing My Mindfulness: A Tale of Spilled Milk and Blue M&Ms

What I know to be true experientially is what scientific research now proves—that mindfulness meditation literally changes the brain. Take a brief thirty seconds and give it a try. Right here, right now.

World War II Memories

A I was to young to remember much about it. But I've been so riveted to other people's dramatizations of the war in books, films or on the screen, that the war has felt like part of my psychic reality. You could say I've been just one step shy of suffering a Brian Williams type 'embellishment syndrome.'

Is it Mature to Be Competitive?

Are children involved with competitive activities more or less mature than their peers?

Kids Eat Poorly Because We're Psycho About Food and Eating

The message that unhealthy-tastes-better-than-healthy is a message that comes through loud and clear. And kids get it from the get-go. Parents, you’re not to blame. It’s our crazy culture. Even if you did everything right, your kids would still get the “talk healthy,” but dig-down-dirty message. It is the cultural equivalent of "Do what I say, not what I do."

Campus Suicide

Conflict between expectations and forlorn self

The Case for Margins in a Student’s Life

By Tim Elmore on May 14, 2015 in Artificial Maturity
I’ve noticed a subtle pattern in college and high school students. I wonder if you’ve seen it too. Over the past year, I’ve marveled at what kids find humorous.

School Refusal and Severe Social Withdrawal

A kid not going to school is a crisis for family and school. Parents and teachers often feel helpless and perplexed. The kid may quickly spiral down into increased anxiety, avoidance, despair, and gaming. Starting treatment early reduces the risks the child will develop severe school refusal and become completely homebound.

Helping Teenagers who Live in Dysfunctional Families: Part 2

Despite this very real challenge that within dysfunctional families, the fact that parents might be uncooperative or uninvolved in their teenager's treatment, there are issues worth focusing on and ideas that can be processed in therapy.

Why Shouldn’t We Use Punishment toTeach A Dog Not To Jump Up

There needs to be trust in our relationships with our pets.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Some kids beyond their toddler years have a terrible time separating from parents. They may refuse to sleep alone, go on play dates, or attend school. Any attempts at separation may trigger intense fear and tantrums. This situation can be a nightmare for parents. The good news is with early identification and professional guidance treatment is usually very successful.

After the Happily Ever After

Falling in love is often easier than staying in love, but few of us understand how to change that. This post outlines my work with a couple on the brink of calling it quits, feeling there is no tunnel, they wonder how they can see the light? Using principles of Emotionally Focused Therapy this post examines where we go wrong in love and how to begin to fix it.

Are We Attracted to People Who Look Like Us?

Do opposites attract? Apparently not. According to recent research, we are attracted to people who resemble our parents or ourselves.

Multilingual Environments Enrich Our Understanding of Others

Even if you're not bilingual, exposure to multiple languages improves the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and see the world from another perspective.

Oxytocin — The Multitasking Love Hormone

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in How We Do It
Oxytocin is widely known because hospitals routinely use it to trigger and support birth. The hormone also triggers milk ejection during breastfeeding. But it is also involved elsewhere, including bonding. Oxytocin has significant effects on brain function as well as on the reproductive organs. But it has very ancient origins, so what was its initial function?

Is Life Just a Sequence of Random Events?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How do we understand the role of luck in our lives? If value and meaning can only be achieved by a sequence of events, does that sequence reflect a pre-determined pattern? Whose pattern? Where does this line of thinking take us in terms of planning? How are artists and entrepreneurs different from the rest of us? How do we find meaning in life?

5 Things Successful Working Parents Give Up

Successful parents focus their spare time and energy on raising the children - not wishing they didn't have to work

Thank You Notes

Now that my final grades are turned in and I have found some time to sit at my computer, “if you wouldn’t mind” I wanted to first get caught up on a few overdue Thank You notes. Yes, this short blog is inspired by the always entertaining and witty Thank You Notes ritual Jimmy Fallon does on the Tonight Show every week.

Mindful Eating, ADHD and Nutrition

Even if someone with ADHD is not overweight, executive function may impact healthy eating. And poor eating habits do not only affect nutrition. Difficulty with planning, distractibility, and time management frequently have a domino effect.

Kids, Your Dad Wants a Divorce

It's time to sit down and break the news to the kids that their parents are going to divorce, a decision that is not mutual. What's the best way to approach this with the kids?

Friends or Frenemies? Understanding Bullying in Schools

When kids and parents improperly classify rudeness and mean behavior as bullying, we all run the risk of becoming so sick and tired of hearing the word that this critical safety issue among young people loses its urgency as quickly as it rose to prominence.

Adolescence and Goal Avoidance

The closer to reaching a valued growth goal an adolescent gets, often the more ambivalent and resistant they can become.

10 Ways to Become an 'Elephant Teacher'

What can a teacher learn about positive psychology from an elephant? You might be surprised!

Communication: The Essential Element of Effective Mothering

The mother-daughter relationship thrives with open communication.

What is Love?

For Mother’s Day this blog will not address the pressing issues of psychiatry today. Suffice it to say that the harm done by the twin traumas of deprivation and abuse generate all the psychiatric struggles we are all subject to. This is the other side of the story - my appreciation for what I have learned from my wife.