Dr. Lisa Firestone, PhD, is the director of research and education for The Glendon Association. Since 1987, she has been involved in clinical training and applied research in suicide and violence. Dr. Firestone has published numerous professional articles, and most recently was the co-author of the books: Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships and Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice. Visit Dr. Firestone’s PsychAlive profile page for her latest articles. Visit her website at www.drlisafirestone.com.
How Childhood Defenses Hurt Us as Adults
When we internalize destructive attitudes during hurtful or traumatic experiences in our past, we strengthen our “anti-self.” As we grow up, our anti-self resides within us and encourages us to take actions that replicate our past but that are damaging to us in the present.
The heartwrenching stories and startling statistics coming out about bullying are commanding a justified level of concern in parents. New data reveals that more kids are affected by bullying and cyber-bullying than we ever imagined and that both bullies and victims are at higher risk for suicide. .
If it suddenly feels like anywhere you go, you’re surrounded by heavily pregnant women, it is probably not your imagination. In the United States, there are more births during the months that close out summer and ring in fall than any other time of year. The season marks an exciting and scary time in the lives of many expectant parents.
Recently several best-selling books as well as a number of child development experts have focused their attention on the growing trend of “helicopter parenting” and have described its negative effects on children and adolescents. These writers point out how parents’ tendencies to hover and overprotect their kids are destroying children’s initiative and making them feel incompetent and inadequate. .
All parents both love and hate themselves, and they extend both of these reactions to their children.
Every day, an average of 160,000 children in the United States stay home from school for fear of being bullied. Last year, bullying made national headlines when physical and emotional violence towards LGBT teenagers led to a series of painful suicides. The immediate response to this was impressive. .
The qualities that are manifested by a good parent are the same as those that are characteristic of a good therapist. This is because parents and therapists are involved in a similar pursuit: supporting and encouraging the growth and development of a unique and autonomous human being.
When it comes to parenting, perfection is an unrealistic goal. As much as we would all like to be emotionally attuned and sensitive to our children 100 percent of the time, even the best parents are prone to losing control and overreacting in times of stress. .
Research has shown that the one thing a person can do to be a better parent is to focus on developing him or herself. This is where a person has to start in order to be a nurturing, attuned mother or father. When it comes to parenting, there are many reasons for us to look inward and understand ourselves as people if our goal is to become a better parent. .
No matter how hard we may try to conceal problems, children are sensitive to the tensions between their parents and are directly influenced by the way their parents interact. .
As parents, most of us are instinctively attuned to every sneeze, scratch and sleep disruption. We are careful to never miss a check up or ignore a cough. Yet even as we worry over immunizations and stock up on hand soap for flu season, how often do we take the time to sit back and ask ourselves: how emotionally healthy are our children? .
Family vacations have long been the subject of sitcoms and PG comedies, each following more or less the same predictable plotline: hopeful parents force resistant children into some mobile form of a bonding opportunity. They then undergo several slapstick disasters before everyone simultaneously recognizes the importance of family and enjoys a Brady Bunch-style, fun-in-the-sun finale. .
Many suicides can be prevented if young people and those closest to them became familiar with and learn how to respond to the danger signs of a suicidal crisis, both in themselves and in their friends and family members.