Browsing All Posts filed under »Family Work«

Who Owns the Overweight Problem: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 2, 2015 by

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Everybody worries about a chubby child.  Thin parents and overweight parents, especially those who suffered from fat-kid syndrome themselves.  Even Michelle Obama weighs in on this topic. Yet nobody knows what to do about it, except make September a National Child Obesity Awareness Month. Thanks a lot. One thing surely won’t work: a parent trying […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: High Conflict Marriages and Their Impact on Children #1

October 26, 2014 by

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In the last five posts I addressed several different kinds of problem marriages, where often the basic underpinnings of the marriage are weak, and thus one or more partners often ends up asking if they should stay or go. Let me just finish that topic by saying this: So many spouses in these  kinds of […]

“I Should’ve Known!”: Signs That Your Date Is Insensitive, Difficult, or Self-Centered

October 24, 2014 by

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Do you remember that commercial where the man is drinking a soda (if I remember correctly), filling his body and coating his teeth with refined sugars and providing nothing in the way of nutrition, and then, in a burst of heaven-sent inspiration, realizes (a bit too late, it seems), “I could’ve had a V8!”? Really, as […]

But I got here first!: How birth order can effect sibling roles

October 24, 2014 by

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I’m a bit of a softie for sibling roles in family dynamics, and although there are definite limits to the validity of utilizing birth order to explain behavioral and personality traits, some value yet remains. Older research asserted a variety of characteristics to various birth-ordered children. It ranges from the 1975 Wark, Swanson and Mack […]

You CAN Stay: Making It Work

October 20, 2014 by

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Judith and Jay* had a checkered relationship, as so many long-term marrieds do. They had weathered raising the children, as well as the empty-nest syndrome. Sometimes she drove him round the bend with her non-stop chatter and tendency to cheer-lead; she not so infrequently considered offing him when he began one of his political tirades, or went […]

The Triangle–What It Looks Like In Family Life

October 16, 2014 by

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Molly* is a difficult [in my more honest moments I think of her as nearly tyrannical] early adolescent, who makes her mother’s life a horror. She picks on Mom’s clothes, her hairstyle–the way she chews her toast in the morning. It seems little escapes Molly’s critical eye, despite the fact that her mother Marge* has […]

Adult Children Moving Back Home: Too Much of a Good Deal

October 16, 2014 by

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13. It always gets that bad ‘unlucky’ rap, even in these progressive days and times. There’s just no escaping it. So it will be no surprise to parents, who thought they saw the backsides of their children when they sent them off a full-paid college experience, that 13% of parents with grown children now claim […]

The Family Hero, or “Morticia and the Psychiatrist”–Part II

October 15, 2014 by

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In his book, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, Robert Burney writes that “there are four basic roles that children adopt in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems.” The children take these roles because they sense that the family’s dysfunction is so great, without their wearing the mantle of […]

Complicated Bereavement: Mourning Someone You Never Really Knew

October 15, 2014 by

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Well, I never really knew you ’til you said goodbye~Vince Gill If you want to know something about bereavement that slides from ‘normal’ to ‘complicated’ in a moment of revelation, due to unimaginable circumstances, you need look no further than to the mourning experiences of Julie Metz and Reeve Lindbergh. As you can see in my […]

The Family Hero, or “Morticia and the Psychiatrist”: Part I

October 12, 2014 by

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Remember the wondrously insane and macabre Addams family? (“They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky/They’re all together ooky. . . .”) They were the anti-Partridge family, the inverse Brady Bunch, fabulously perverse, with two ghastly children, Wednesday (as in “Wednesday’s child is full of woe”), and her partner-in-crime Pugsley, whose unique hobby is stealing […]

All in the Family: The Identified Patient

October 10, 2014 by

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“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” You only had to make it through the first chapter [first line, to be honest] of Anna Karenina to find this out–and there will be no quizzes assessing your knowledge of the novel after, so you’re home free now. Despite Tolstoy’s […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules #3: “I Changed My Mind,” ct’d

October 10, 2014 by

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Well, your spouse pulled that old Mitt Romney, “I changed my mind” on you, and now you don’t even recognize your own marital territory. It’s hard–and my heart goes out to you. But before you make any decisions, I think you need to get over your righteous indignation. Yes, you’re right that it’s unfair–it really […]