The Irony Behind Much-Needed Affection

How many of you have dealt with a cranky child who's in the midst of a tantrum? If you have a child over the age of 2, I imagine all of you have experienced a meltdown or two (or three, or four...). And, you've probably experienced the frustration and anxiety some of these tantrums can produce in you, too. There are few things more irritating that trying to soothe a child who, frankly, is really making you angry at the moment. In those times, many parents will yell back. Some will walk away. Others will try and talk to their child. But, very few will reach out an HUG their child in the midst of a tantrum. After all, who wants to hug someone who is screaming and yelling!? But, ironically, a h

How To Mourn the Loss of a Friendship

When I talk to clients about grief, they often think I'm referring to the physical death of a loved one. But, I remind them that grief is much larger than that - yes, it usually refers to the mourning process over the physical death of someone. But, grief is also the process by which we mourn the loss of anything - even friendship. For those who feel they must end a friendship due to too much ongoing conflict, the figurative "death" of the relationship can be traumatizing. So, I often advise those in the grieving process to actually contemplate the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), much like they would if they were mourning the death of a loved one. An

Who Makes the "Best" Parent?

When I work with families, the subject of parenting is definitely a hot topic! I'm often asked questions like, "Should both parents work outside the home?" "What's better - quality time or more time in general?" "Should Dad be more involved in his childrens' lives" At the crux of all these questions, of course is this: "How can I be the best parent for my child(ren)?" Of course, everyone wants a surefire solution to this age-old questions, but I only offer one answer: The best parent is a happy parent. This certainly takes most of my clients by surprise! After all, aren't we parents supposed to sacrifice our own happiness for that of our children? The answer, of course, is - Heavens, no! Whe

How To "Undramatically" Back-Out of Drama

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of "drama" you just can't seem to escape? If you're like a lot of my clients, you may be involved in family drama, friend drama, or (my favorite) relationship drama, some of which just seems to constantly revolve around you. No matter how you "got into" the drama in the first place, one of the most important skills you can gain is learning how to GET OUT of the ongoing conflict - without creating even MORE drama. Here are some good questions to ask yourself if you need to exit a dramatic situation - fast: 1. Whose needs are getting met by being part of the ongoing conflict? What might you "get" out of being part of the conflict? Is there part of you tha

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