The Problem with Punishment

The Problem with Punishment

There are two big problems with punishing children. First, it is a bad model for problem-solving. It does not actually teach a person anything, and most likely instills fear and resentment. The purpose of punishment is to control someone’s behavior. When we use our superior status to control a child, it builds feelings of resentment, anger, and other negative feelings. Which potentially lead to worse problems like lying and revenge. Punishment is discouraging for a child and promotes feelings of worthlessness, failure, and inadequacy.

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5 Keys for Surviving Isolation with your Teen

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but I have particular sympathy for teens and their parents. I remember very well when my three kids were teenagers, and I can’t imagine having them all in the house with us 24/7 for ten months.  We all thrived due to the physical separation that school, friends, and activities provided. 

Since it looks like we have a few more months of isolation to go, here are some suggestions, based on what I’m hearing from families that are managing reasonably well with their teens through the pandemic:

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Gratitude: A Recipe for Happiness

gratitude a recipe for happiness

We are in the worst time of this pandemic, and the holidays are upon us.  It may be a tough time for some of us to feel grateful, and it can also be a time when we find gratitude for things we may have taken for granted before. In the Greater Good Magazine, Psychologist Nathan Greene talks about how gratitude can be complicated during times of struggle. “Gratitude can come from the experience of not having, too, in reflecting on what we did have in the past and what we hope to have in the future.” (more…)

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Resilience in Uncertain Times

Yom Kippur in the Jewish religion, is a day of mourning and reflection, of taking responsibility for the role we may have played in the pain of others. While Yom Kippur is always a somber day in the Jewish faith, this year is particularly difficult as we face not only a global pandemic, but also continued political turmoil, racial injustice, economic and health insecurity. Even for those of us who feel safe and secure, there is secondhand heartbreak when we acknowledge those who are suffering and ask ourselves how we may have contributed to that suffering. (more…)

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Pandemic Parents: Parenting Challenges in a Pandemic

Bob and Lena chat with parenting experts and Imago relationship therapists Caroline Bernhardt-Lanier and Tory Joseph on the challenges parents are facing with their children during the pandemic. This episode is focused on listener questions and the topics include: Sibling fighting, managing kids and parents big emotions, anxiety, talking to kids about the realities of a pandemic, distance learning, and more.

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Take Control of Anxiety for Your Kids

person standing in front of green plants

Nearly one in three kids ages 13 to 18 now meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder (2018, NIH).  32% of teens report persistent feelings of sadness or loneliness (2018, CDC).

There are many factors that contribute to this escalation.  There is screen addiction and the constant comparison to unrealistically “perfect” lives of peers on social media. There is bullying, school shootings, lack of sleep, the pressure to achieve, the media and political turmoil. (more…)

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Dating in the Age of Apps

dating in the age of apps

A cheat sheet for dating in a digital world

Human beings are wired to be in relationship. Connection is fundamental to our wellbeing, and people who are in positive relationships are healthier mentally and physically. According to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives,” and the University of Utah, “Loving relationships make us happy, but they also keep us healthy. From improving our immune system and blood pressure to helping us heal quicker and enjoy life longer; a happy relationship is life’s greatest medicine.”

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More Real Life Sex and Relationships

African American couple making a heart sign with their fingers

Americans are having less sex

An active sex life is the accepted norm for American singles. Media is sexually explicit, sexting is common, and our culture is more tolerant of sex in a wide range of permutations. Yet, Americans are having less sex with each other than they were 10 years ago.  There has also been a decline in sex and relationships among young people, and those who marry are marrying later.  About 60 percent of adults under age 35 now live without a spouse or partner. (more…)

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Overcome The New Wave Of Bullying

A Disturbing Surge in Schools

There is a disturbing surge in hate-laced bullying among students of all ages, as reported by Katherine Stewart in “The Nation”.  Particularly toward Muslim students, immigrants, and children of color, girls, and Jews.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than half of teachers surveyed reported an increase in uncivil political discourse.  The damage to our culture of civility will take time to repair. (more…)

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Are you Really There For Me?

Are you Really There for Me?

Why are some couples so quick to respond to their partner with anger or defensiveness?  How can we break the cycle of extreme arousal, pain and more wounding that some couples experience with nearly every interaction? “We can’t stop fighting,” I hear.  “Everything turns into a major blow-up!”. According to Emotion-Focused Therapy’s theory, high reactivity comes from avoiding pain. (more…)

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