parenting

Mr. Rogers is Right: Secure Attachment Allows for Growth After Trauma

Childhood is a critical time for discovering and enhancing the secure attachment ideally built in the early years of a parental relationship with a child. Our earliest relationships do a great deal to establish our sense of self and wellbeing. Knowing, “I matter, my needs matter, and my loved ones will help keep me safe”… Read more »

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The Myth of a Perfect Mother

This Mother’s Day was the 40th one that I have celebrated as a mother. And it has occurred to me that I have earned the right to answer the question: “What piece of advice would you offer about being a mother?”  I used to think that only perfect mothers were qualified to speak on this… Read more »

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What Kids Really Need from Their Parents

Being a parent comes with a lot of pressure to do right by our kids. But boiled down to specific, daily decisions, this pursuit also comes with a lot of confusion. It’s easy to get caught up in the checklists of items that we hope will benefit our children: special classes, programs, and parenting methodologies…. Read more »

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Why It Is So Important For Parents to Validate Their Children

Validation is a way of letting someone know we understand him or her.  Being understood is an essential ingredient to feeling connected and supported.  When someone important to us understands us, their hearing us helps us to tune into ourselves and accept our emotions as real and meaningful.  This ultimately supports the growth of self-compassion… Read more »

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The Wait for the Acceptance Letter: Helping Teens Cope with Stress

The time of year has come when high school seniors are starting to receive letters from colleges. The brief breath of relief of mailing in their final application has given way to the held breath of waiting to hear back from schools. This moment of anticipation is one of the most stressful times in a… Read more »

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The Fantasy Bond or Primary Defense

This is the first in a series of blogs describing my theoretical approach known as Separation Theory. It represents an integration of psychoanalytic and existential systems of thought and describes how early interpersonal pain and separation anxiety and, later, death anxiety, lead to the formation of powerful psychological defenses. The primary defense is the fantasy… Read more »

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The mad monster made me do it!

When we are little, our needs get expressed through our strong emotions.  A baby doesn’t have the capacity to get food when hungry, a blanket when cold or a change of a wet diaper.  Instead, they fuss!  They muster the voice of the “mad monster” to get the attention they need, whaling and whimpering.  This… Read more »

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How to Parent Strong-Willed Kids

When people are asked what they most value and cherish, the overwhelming majority say the same thing: their family. Parents are deeply committed to doing what is best for their children but, at the same time, may lack the knowledge or skills to do so. This can be particularly challenging when parenting bright, spirited, strong-willed… Read more »

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Should I Spank My Child?

The majority of psychologists, researchers and parenting experts have come to the same conclusion: spanking and other forms of physical discipline can pose serious risks to children. The American Psychological Association discourages any form of physical punishment, seeing it as both harmful and unnecessary. Thirty countries in the world have banned physical punishment of children,… Read more »

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Which is Worst for Your Mental Health: Instagram, Facebook or YouTube?

Social media is a relatively new experience for the human psyche. With social networks becoming more ingrained in people’s lives each year and each generation, it is vital that we understand the full impact each social network has on our mental health. A new report, #StatusOfMind, published by the Royal Society for Public Health in… Read more »

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