June 5, 2023

Women, and especially daughters of divorce, can put undue pressure on themselves to find the right partner, marry, and develop a happy home life. But if they possess this goal, it can present many problems. For the most part, women from divorced homes don’t have a healthy template to follow when it comes to nurturing and sustaining a committed relationship, making it difficult for them to know where to start. The following lessons were derived from my own experience and... Read more

May 25, 2023

On of the most common complaints that I hear from couples in my office, especially women, is that their partner doesn’t listen to them. For instance, Karen, age 40, has been married to Derek, age 42, for a decade and they bicker often due to poor communication skills and defensiveness on both of their parts. Karen put it like this, “I don’t know what to do to get Derek to listen to me. We’re considering moving, and he keeps searching... Read more

May 21, 2023

Many parents worry that they don’t have the skills to raise a child who is emotionally intelligent. However, being a parent who teaches by example and uses emotional coaching are gifts that all parents can give their kids. It starts early, with using language that includes emotions, such as saying to a child who is crying, “You seem sad, what is going on?” Children of all ages respond positively to parents who tune into their emotions and validate them. Parents... Read more

May 14, 2023

Many of the stepmothers I counsel express frustration and concern about feeling like an “outsider” the first few years of their remarriage. It’s normal for stepparents to feel that they’re left out or overlooked at times because children of divorce often gravitate to the adult they’re most comfortable with. This literally leaves stepmothers feeling like an “outsider” in their own family. For instance, when Lori, 47, married Brad, 49, he had two teenagers, Brianna and Becky, who gave her the... Read more

May 7, 2023

In a culture where girls are barraged with inappropriate images of what it means to be a female, it’s no wonder that bringing up girls with a healthy dose of self-esteem can be a daunting task. This is especially true after they experience parental divorce. Studies show that girls tend to define themselves through relationships and are socialized to be nurturers and caretakers from an early age. Fostering your daughter’s self-esteem and healing after their parents’ divorce is a top... Read more

April 26, 2023

Many of my clients fear reenacting the parenting style they grew up with and go to great lengths to raise their child in a different manner. This is particularly true if they have a negative pattern of relating to them or they are estranged from them. It’s my belief that examining our parents’ style more closely can shed light on why we might feel this way and to avoid the “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” phenomenon that... Read more

April 23, 2023

Do your romantic relationships bring out your insecurities and cause you to mistrust your own judgment? Many women become involved or even obsessed with the wrong men – men who are emotionally unavailable, with other women, addicted to substances – or who cannot love them back. This problem has been given many labels including codependency which can be defined as having an underdeveloped self-esteem, dysfunctional boundaries, combined with an inappropriate caring for others (letting others invade your boundaries). In the... Read more

April 16, 2023

Many of the parents who I work with ask me whether it’s appropriate for them to allow their young children to watch TV or to go on an electronic device such as an iPad.  While searching for answers, I turned to The Child Mind Institute and will address their research in this article. In a recent article published by The Child Mind Institute, writer Katherine Martinelli and clinical expert Dr. Matthew Cruger, PhD, address a topic that has troubled parents... Read more

April 9, 2023

Dear Terry, I’m engaged and considering getting married in a few months to a man who I’ve been dating for about a year. A few of my friends have questions about Todd because he sometimes lets me down and doesn’t follow through on all of his promises. But we have a lot in common and share the same goals. We both value fidelity and want to have a family. We do argue often but usually make up and don’t stay... Read more

March 25, 2023

Most of the stepparents who contact me for support tell me they had no idea what they were getting into. One stepdad, Steve, put it this way, “I was never a father before, and at the ripe “young” age of 42, I was thinking that I was somehow going to “get by” and become accepted by my stepchildren, primarily because I had married their mother. I was getting by trying to be “nice” to my new stepkids but comments like... Read more

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