Jul 13 / Simcha

Why Parents are Reluctant to Speak about Sex (L. Steinberg)

Psychologist, professor and social sociologist Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned expert on the psychological development of adolescents. Steinberg urges parents to talk to their teens about sex before they become sexually active.

I include here his article on the subject that appeared Psychology Today (Feb. 2011),  in two separate postings. Part 1 examines why parents are reluctant to speak about sex.  Part 2 will look at how parents can overcome their own hesitations (and their young adolescent’s resistance) to talk to their young adolescent about sex.

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Jul 04 / Simcha

Another Reason Why Play is Good for Children (Gopnik)

Getty Images; Smithsonian Magazine, July/August 2012

Alison Gopnik, a leading researcher in the field of cognitive development, writes in the latest edition of the Smithsonian Magazine, that when children pretend, they’re not just being silly — they’re doing science.

Walk into any preschool and you’ll find toddling superheroes battling imaginary monsters. We take it for granted that young children play and, especially, pretend. Why do they spend so much time in fantasy worlds?

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Jul 02 / Simcha

The “Busy” Trap (T. Kreider)

Excerpted from the New York Times opinion piece by Tim Kreider, 6.30.12)

If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy!” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

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Jun 26 / Simcha

How Adversity in Childhood Affects Us in Adulthood

Commentary on the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Study  by Betsy McAlister Groves, MSW, LICSW

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, authored in 2001 by Vincent Felitti, Robert Anda, Dale Nordenberg, et al, is important research, both because of the large cohort that was studied (drawn from a non-clinical sample of 30,000 members of the Kaiser Health Plan) and for its findings of a strong relationship between risk factors established in childhood and medical problems in later life.

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Jun 26 / Simcha

Co-Parenting with a Difficult “Ex”

How does one co-parent with someone who won’t let go of the past?

 How does one afford one’s children a continued sense of stability and the chance to maintain a good relationship with both parents – when one’s ex is nasty, disrespectful, or uncooperative?

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May 29 / Simcha

Practical Tips for Setting Limits

Children who are allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and who are given whatever they ask for, have great trouble learning how to cope with frustration. When placed in settings (school!) where they are no longer at the center of anyone’s universe, they have difficult adjusting, and will often act out their frustration, anger and disappointment.

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May 07 / Simcha

Modifying Behavior Without Criticism

It is our natural tendency as parents (and often as partners as well) to pay attention to, and focus more on what is wrong, rather than what is right. As a result, our children and teens feel unappreciated and become less motivated to change or improve their behavior.  In addition, they quickly learn that they can get more of our attention through negative behavior or “acting out.”

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May 01 / Simcha

Not Under My Roof!

In her book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex, sociologist Amy Schalet traces the roots of parents’ divergent attitudes, and explores the way family culture shapes not just sex but also alcohol consumption and parent-teen relationships.  Her work challenges American parents — for whom teenage sex is something to be feared and forbidden, and often a source of family conflict — to consider different, and possible better ways to love, respect and care for our children.

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