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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Family Link

The Short Lives of Painted Pottery

Around once per year I indulge my kids and take them to a painting-pottery venue. I have always enjoyed these excursions because of the creativity it elicits, but don’t always enjoy bringing the creations home. We have a lot of pointless statues—ornaments that sit, collecting dust, one eye accidentally painted to look shut,

Psychological Insights From the Torah “At the Threshold Your Sin Awaits You…”

A story is told of a young man who approached his rosh yeshiva hoping for a bit of the empathic advice he was known to offer young marrieds. His anguish was clearly visible as he described in detail the transformation of his sweet, loving wife, into a “witch.” After only four years of marriage and three children, her exemplary midot of

Science Says: Eat With Your Kids

The Conversation is funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Our global publishing platform is funded by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

As a family therapist, I often have the impulse to tell families to go home and have dinner

Unleash Your (Inner) Child

I suppose that before I had kids of my own I used to secretly roll my eyes at parents who strapped a teddy-bear backpack to their child, and trailed behind him with a leash. “Control your kids!” I probably thought, feeling bad for the shackled youth who must have felt like a little helpless puppy. But then I had children and

Parenting Challenges: Can I Really Manage My Household?

Consider the following example: Rachel, a mother with four children under the age of 9, is always running around trying to take care of their needs. While she is boiling a pot of noodles, she is upstairs trying to run a bath for her son. While she is trying to balance these activities, she hears yelling and screaming downstairs. Rachel is

Pants on Fire! Teaching Kids Not to Lie

Research fellow for Security, Department of Psychology at Lancaster University

Lying is often seen as bad behavior in children. Fairy tales and folk stories, from Aesop’s Peter who cried wolf to Washington’s cherry tree tell children to be honest and never lie. But what can we do to encourage

The Worst Snack Sender

There was a time when my kids tried to convince me that they had no friends at camp because I wasn’t sending them Gatorade in their lunchboxes. Forget bullying, social skills, athletic ranking. It was plain and simple. Nobody would like them if they didn’t have the “poison drink” (it is lovingly termed this in our home because it

The Jacketless Ones: The Sequel

“I see your daughter is wearing a coat!” many people have stopped me to report after having read my previous article on my jacketless children. I feel this demands an explanation for the sudden turn of events, to demonstrate that I did not pretend my kids don’t wear coats so that I could just avoid buying new ones until Black

Just Because You Think Your Children Are Extraordinary, Doesn’t Mean They Are

Postdoctoral researcher at University of Amsterdam

It is natural for parents to value their child–and feeling valued is key to children’s well-being; but some parents “overvalue” their child, believing their child is more special and more entitled than others.

The Night We Became a Foster Family

One Friday night in early August two strangers showed up at my door and dropped off a baby. It was almost anticlimactic.

My partner and I had gone through the foster-care certification process months before, and had been patiently waiting for a call, but there was no morning sickness, no

Peer Pressure: Helping our Children Cope

The term ‘peer pressure’ refers to children or teenagers engaging in behavior that they might not necessarily do on their own, due to the pressure of another individuals or peers. When discussing children and teenagers, pressure may refer to the self, the presence of others, or the social dynamic of the particular situation.

The Jacketless Ones

My kids have strange clothing preferences: One daughter won’t wear tights, ever. One wears tights, all the time, even in the humidity of summer. One only wears pencil skirts; the other finds them to be restrictive to her cartwheeling-in-public habit. A third child (boy) only wears short sleeves, and sweaters, vests, ties, and