Category: Family & Parenting

The Measure of a Parent’s Integrity

Kaitlyn (14) approached her mother one afternoon to ask if it would be okay if she and her boyfriend (15) could sleep together in her own bedroom on occasion. They were having sex together at times anyway and it would be much safer and more comfortable than in a park or in a friend’s car. And “Please don’t tell dad”, she added. Kaitlyn’s mom, Carolyn, was shocked at the request but had already suspected that her daughter was sexually active.

Posted in Family & Parenting

Destructive Narcissistic Parents

Susan was asked to go to her parents’ home for dinner. After trying on four outfits, she fell into a heap on the bed crying. Mark, her husband, had seen this behavior before. Wrapping his arms around her he gently said “I know your parents are going to make a comment about your appearance or weight, no matter what you wear. We don’t have to go Susan, why do you keep torturing yourself?” Why indeed? As a grown woman she

Posted in Family & Parenting

Teens Who Cut

Maria is 14 years old. Two years ago she began to injure herself, dropped out of school, began using drugs and alcohol and eventually isolated all of her friends. Self injury involves the deliberate damaging of ones body. Cutting the skin with razor blades or broken glass is the most commonly seen method, while burning, interference with wound healing, self punching and scratching are among other examples. Maria notes that when her peers discovered she was cutting she was ridiculed

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, Grief, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Best Years of Their Lives?

Often times I hear people tell youth their teen years are going to be the ‘best years of their lives’. Every time I hear this, I shake my head. Having worked with a teenage population for a couple years has opened my eyes to all the new challenges and difficulties that are being thrown into the lives of youth. It seems too often that young people are coming to me with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and worry. So let’s take

Posted in Family & Parenting

Communicating With Teens

Is it possible to communicate with a teenager? Yes… we are always communicating with our teens. However, the issue has more to do with quality than quantity and often the quality is not that great. Effective communication with teens can be enhanced by focusing on a few ground rules: Keep it short: Most teens dislike “lectures.” Keep to the point with brevity and you will be more likely to have an impact. Your teen may not acknowledge this impact though,

Posted in Family & Parenting

I Just Can’t Stop It

Eight year old Matthew, a handsome youngster in a Canucks jersey, appeared alert and polite, albeit a little anxious, when I greeted him in my waiting room. After settling Matthew into a drawing activity, I interviewed his parents regarding their son. They described Matthew, the eldest of three children, as succeeding in almost all aspects of his life- at school, with his peers, and in the hockey arena alongside his teammates. Over the last several months, Matt had become increasingly

Posted in Family & Parenting, Personal Growth

Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned in Doggie Obedience School

Many doggie owners attend obedience school in the hope that they can learn how to convert their unruly, undisciplined, and, generally, uncooperative puppy into a happy, loving, well-behaved member of the household. In other words “obedient”. Kids and puppies have a lot in common. Neither instantly obey our every command, they seem to leave a mess wherever they go, and they beg (or whine as the case may be) in order to get exactly what they want. They can be

Posted in Family & Parenting

Summer Survival Strategies For Parents

Spring has sprung and summer is almost upon us. Near are the days when school will be let out and our children will be home for the summer. For some, this is a time of joyful anticipation. Vacation schedules are arranged, long awaited holidays are planned, and preparations are begun. For others, the anticipation may be somewhat less than joyful. Visions of chaos, noise and perpetual untidiness come to mind. Choruses of “I’m bored, what can I do” never seem

Posted in Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Stress & Anxiety

You Too Can Help

A child’s accommodation to parental divorce is influenced by his experiences at the time of separation. While most parents acknowledge concern for their children in the face of parental separation, many are nevertheless limited in their abilities to clearly understand their children’s experiences or needs related to that significant change to the family. A parent’s objectivity may be skewed by his own intense emotions such as disappointment, anger, blame, guilt and panic in response to separation. At such time, the

Posted in Family & Parenting

Back-to-School Anxiety

While approaching a new school year is exciting for most children, others anticipate a new grade, a new classroom, and a new teacher with mounting anxiety, even dread. Research shows that some children are biologically predisposed to resist change and to withdraw from new situations. These children have been described temperamentally as Slow to Warm Up; that is, they are characteristically negative and anxious in the face of new or unfamiliar experiences. Their anxiety may be experienced through such symptoms

Posted in Family & Parenting, Stress & Anxiety