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Category Archives: Parenting

This Is Us, Systems Style

This is Us is a beloved, popular new TV show.  If the reader is one of the few who haven’t seen it already, a family of five is featured; parents Jack and Rebecca and their 3 children, Randall, Kevin, and Kate. Kate and Kevin are biological twins while the orphaned Randall, born on the same

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Are you a Mama Grizzly? Do you give your kids more help than they need?

What’s Wrong With Being a Mama Grizzly For Your Kids?

What’s Wrong With Being a Mama Grizzly For Your Kids? Silvina, a self-proclaimed “mama grizzly,” came in for a consultation because she was so worried about her daughter.  Laura, 22, had recently moved back home after she’d lost her job as a sales representative.  Silvina reported that Laura was sleeping late, refusing to apply for

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Are You an Anxious or Overly Permissive Parent?

The following are some of the characteristics of overly permissive parents that I consider most important.  Most of the parents are devoted to doing the best for their children.  In relationship with the parents, the youngster is driven by anxiety in demanding rights and freedom, and the material advantages of being grown up.  Initially the

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Session 2: Parents Create Change in the Family System

    Jenny* and Stefan are parents having difficulty with their 7 year-old son, Nicholas.  They have come into therapy to create change in their family system.  This is their second therapy session. Lorna (Therapist), to Jenny and Stefan:  Last session you told me about problems you’re having with your son, Nicholas.  I encouraged you to

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Discipline is Attention

Session 1: Parents Create Change in the Family System

When there’s a problem with a child, I see the parents  for coaching in therapy.  As leaders of the family, parents have the power and ability to create change in the family system.   Jenny* and Stefan are having difficulty with their 7 year-old son, Nicholas.  I explain during the initial phone call that if

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Tearing Away to Grow Up

Selma, 38, has come in to therapy because of an on-going conflict with her daughter, Salina.   Salina is 19 years-old and, according to her mother, her behavior has recently spiraled out of control.   Selma was married to Salina’s father, William, until Salina was 9.   That’s when William got caught having an affair with a co-worker

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Your Family is an Emotional System

Q:  My husband and I are having a lot of problems lately.  I asked him to come to marriage counseling but he says I’m the one with the problem so I should just go by myself.  How can we work on our relationship if he won’t even admit he has a problem? Q:  My daughter,

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Are you a Reckless Rescuer?

Margo didn’t really want therapy for herself.  She had called about her 23 year-old son, Stephan.  She was hoping I’d see him for therapy to help “straighten him out”.  I told her I don’t work with kids that age if they are still living at home and financially dependent on their parents, which was the

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School Bullying: A Call for More Empathy or More Self-Worth?

School bullying is back in the news with the occurrence of recent tragic events.  There seems to be a public perception that bullying is becoming more common.  I am skeptical of this, but cannot argue that cyber-bullying has made this behavior more public and visible.  It’s difficult to hide from the reality of cruelty between

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