Aug 24 / Simcha

Sex Education for NY State Teens

The new sex education requirement for all students in public middle and high schools is “long overdue,”  writes the The New York Times (August 10, 2011).  The sex education push is part of an initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to address the needs of young people in minority neighborhoods, where blacks and Latinos are most affected by the consequences of early sexual behavior and unprotected sex.

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Aug 23 / Simcha

Do Love and Sex Belong Together?

According to Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá,  authors of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (2010), and a psychologist and practicing psychiatrist, respectively, men and women aren’t meant to be in lifelong monogamous unions. In their attempt to explain the high divorce rates in the western world, they argue that monogamy is in direct confrontation with the evolved reality of our species.

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Aug 19 / Simcha

A Poem about Transformation

The following beautiful poem captures the moment many of us have known when we dare to look at ourselves in the mirror, in search of our authentic self and our authentic voice.  On that day, writes poetry critic Roger Housden  (Ten Poems to Change Your life), “you simply know that you cannot continue to play by the rules you have accepted for years.” On that day you embark on a journey in which a new self, no longer controlled by the past, can mature and blossom.

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Aug 16 / Simcha

Understanding the Adolescent Brain

Starting in 1991, Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, starting taking pictures of children’s brains over a period of nine years, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  He and his colleagues studied some 1,000 healthy kids (including two of his own) at intervals ranging from two weeks to four years.

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Aug 15 / Simcha

Living with Teens 101

The more respected your teens feel, the more open they will be with you. The more power you share with them (without abdicating your role as a parent), the more trusted they will feel and in time, the more cooperative.

Parental coercion invites resistance. Rigid parental rules invite the breaking of those rules. How then, ask parents so often, do we get our teens “to behave”?

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Aug 14 / Simcha

Effective Parenting in a Nutshell

One of our most fundamental needs as human beings is to feel we belong. A child’s misbehavior is driven, not by a desire to displease the parent (whose loving acceptance s/he craves more than anything in the world), but by an unconscious need for attention and belonging (even if that is to be achieved in negative ways).

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