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How to Communicate Better With Your Children in the New Year

How to Communicate Better With Your Children in the New Year

Often, the central message in experts’ advice to parents is find ways to pay attention to what is going on in your kids’ lives, to be present with them and to listen.

By Lisa Damour

The counselor was holding a clear jam jar. Its lid was glued on and it was filled with water plus a layer of sparkling purple glitter sitting at the bottom. “When a girl falls apart in my office, I do this,” she said, while shaking the jar fiercely, like an airport snow globe. Together we beheld the dazzling glitter storm that resulted. Then she placed the jar down on the table between us and continued, “After that I say to her, ‘Honey, this is your brain right now. So first … let’s settle your glitter.’” Read more>>>

By Heather Turgeon

It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in front of you, without judgment and without taking sides. This simple practice lets your kids know you acknowledge and respect their struggles, but you’re not immediately jumping in with a solution. Read more>>>

By Perri Klass, M.D.

Behavior problems in children, especially aggression and defiance, don’t get a great deal of sympathy, said Dave Anderson, a psychologist who is senior director of national programs at the Child Mind Institute in New York City. “For a child to get better requires just as much empathy and scaffolding as for a child who might be depressed, but behavioral issues inspire nowhere near as much empathy.”

There is a persistent belief that these behaviors reflect poor parenting, he said, but in fact, there is often a strong biological component to behavioral issues, and the responses which come naturally to most parents faced with these behaviors may not have the desired results. Read more>>>

By Kelly Corrigan

Did we tell you that the THC in edibles is no joke? Did we tell you not to take other people’s Adderall to help you study? Did we tell you about that guy we know who got addicted to heroin after trying it just one time?

Do you understand the basics of nutrition? Or will you learn the hard way? Do you have fiscal sense? Do you know paycheck pride?

Should we have talked about all the kinds of people there are? How many sagas and surges of ego and remorse each one of us comes with? How profound friendship turns out to be? How long it takes to develop? Read more>>>

By Lisa Damour

Animals don’t judge — and teenagers are generally subjected to a great deal of judgment. Adults tend to harbor negative stereotypes about adolescents, and even those who feel neutral or positive about young people often engage them with the aim of cultivating their growth in one way or another.

“Pets are, by their nature, nonjudgmental,” notes the developmental psychologist Megan Mueller, an assistant professor of human-animal interaction at Tufts University. “A lot of teenagers will report that as a very important aspect of the relationship. If the teenager is upset the dog won’t tell them ‘maybe you shouldn’t have said that to your friend.’” Read more>>>

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