Nov 13 / Simcha

Your Child Owes No One a Hug

A thought I want to share as the holidays approach: Your child owes no one a hug.  

Insisting a child kiss or hug a relative or family friend Hello or Goodbye when s/he does want to, invalidates your child’s feelings by suggesting that external pressures (and Aunty’s feelings) are more important than his/hers.  And it teaches them that consent can be manipulated, by cajoling or worse.

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May 09 / Simcha

Male Postpartum Depression (Rosen & Kelly)

A growing number of young men are struggling with depression around the time of the birth of their first child. Many first-time dads would rather stifle their feelings than talk about them, making the home situation more heated and fraught, and their sense of helplessness exacerbated.

With no socially acceptable forum where they might share and explore some of these feelings, male postpartum depression is easily eclipsed by its maternal counterpart, and often missed altogether.  The following is abridged and edited from an article that appeared in Parents Magazine.

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Dec 09 / Simcha

The Velveteen Rabbit on Everything

It has been said that a good artistic or literary creation is one that can be enjoyed differently at various stages of life.  Recall a book you read or a movie you watched as a child, and consider how richly different the experience was when you repeated it as an adult.

Yesterday I sat down to read the beloved children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real), in preparation for an outing to Seattle’s Children’s Theatre with my six-year-old grandchildren.  Written by Margery Williams and first published in 1922, the book chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real through the love of his owner. 

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Dec 16 / Simcha

How to Ask for What You Want

Working with couples, it strikes me over and over how instinctively partners move to the aggressive or passive/ avoidant end of the communication spectrum.

The former approach entails a readiness to attack, confront, criticize, or cast aspersion, and quickly escalates a conflictual exchange that could be so much more easily resolved. The latter promotes a sense of powerlessness in the relationship, self-pity and self-victimization, sulking, withdrawal, internalized and growing resentment, and does little to move a situation or dynamic in new directions.

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