Become a More Effective Parent in 1 Easy Step.


What parents believe they are trying to do for their kids and how kids understand what their parents are trying to do for them are often two very different things.  For instance, a parent could take  his child to a baseball game to spend time with the child while the child thinks she is being taken to the game because dad likes baseball and decided to drag her along.   Often, the effort we make as parents is totally wasted because our children misunderstand or discount our true … [Read more...]

Inconsistent Home Life/Common Family Problems May Increase Risk of Brain Disorders by Up To 60%

mental illness

Because parents don't have enough to worry about, two new studies point to the impact of a child's home life on brain development. The first study looks at how common family problems like lack of affection, poor communication, parental arguments and the like actually resulted in children developing a smaller cerebellum than children who did not experience the same type of common family problems. The study led by Dr Nicholas Walsh, lecturer in developmental psychology at the … [Read more...]

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Prozac (Fa, la, la, la, la. La, la, la, la). Holiday Hints for Surviving the Homefront


Ah, Christmas. A solemn, joyful time of year for Christians, where silent and holy nights are de rigueur and Norman Rockwell springs eternal in the collective unconscious of the American mind.  And then it happens.... You try--contrary to what conventional wisdom says about the subject--to go home again. Now, let me state right up front that this article is not for those of you who can't wait to fly home and reenact your own Currier and Ives Christmas in all your old haunts with all your … [Read more...]

Staying Present to Your Kids When You Travel–Guest Blog by Dave McClow, MDiv, LCSW, LMFT

Business Travel

How do you stay connected to your kids when you travel? Here’s 7 things to do.  Written to Dads but works for traveling Moms too! Your kids still need to experience your presence even when you are out of town. Here are 7 ways to extend your presence when you are traveling. Connecting with them in multiple ways can help your wife manage them better. 1) Obviously, plan phone calls, but do Face Time/Skype, and texting. They need to see your face and you may get 30 seconds rather than 10 … [Read more...]

“Mothers Aren’t Important” Or Another Reason “Nobody Does Childhood Like the English”


Years ago, Mike Myers had a character on SNL called, "Simon."  The segment would often show Myers as a little boy in a bathtub cheerfully and guilelessly talking about his awful family life, which he took completely in stride and wrote off with the catchphrase, "Because nobody does childhood like the English!" I doubt anyone else remembers the segment, but as a family therapist, it stuck with me.  Well, flash forward a few decades later and The Guardian gives us another great example of why … [Read more...]

A Perfect Storm: Dr. Scott Stanley Sees A Dark Future for Family Life


University of Denver family researcher, Dr. Scott Stanley, offers a particularly insightful perspective on the co-occurrence of three factors that don't bode well for the future of the family, and society, as we know it. Although much evidence suggests that we are becoming a better world with increasing prosperity and health, I worry about some large, dark clouds on the horizon. Left unchecked, the trends on the horizon threaten to become a perfect storm in such a way that the vessel of … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: “Waste Time with Your Children.”


In his recent comments to the Pontifical Council for the Family, Pope Francis shared some advice he gives to young parents... "When I hear the confession of a young married man or woman, and they refer to their son or daughter, I ask, 'How many children do you have?' and they tell me. Maybe they're expecting another question after that, but I always ask, 'And tell me, do you play with your children? Do you waste time with your children?'" "The free gift of a parent's time is so … [Read more...]

Is Your Child Being Cyber-Bullied? Would You Know? Study says, “Probably not.”


New research looks at how many parents are unaware that their children are being victimized on the internet... Researchers found that while 30 percent of youths admit to having been cyberbullied, only slightly higher than 10 percent of their parents reported that they knew. About 15 percent of the youths in the study admitted to cyberbullying others; under 5 percent of those parents were aware. The study also suggested that parents of younger teens — those who believe their child is … [Read more...]

Mark Regnerus: New Canadian Study Says, “A Married Mom and Dad Really DO Matter.”


Marriage and Family researcher, Mark Regnerus (University of Texas at Austin, senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture) points to a new Canadian study published in the journal, Review of the Economics of the Household (click for abstract) that shows the advantages to children raised by a married mother and father as compared to children raised in other family arrangements including same sex households. ...children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 … [Read more...]

Homeschool Troubles


A reader sent this article to me about the late realizations of some homeschooling families who were surprised and heartbroken that things have not worked out as they'd hoped.  I thought it made some very valid points. Regular readers and listeners my be aware that we are very supportive of homeschooling in general although we recommend that people need to be sober about it.  Homeschooling, by itself, doesn't solve anything.  It presents its own opportunities and challenges. Lisa and I … [Read more...]