Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family Dinners

In a 2009 CBS News poll of parents with children:
  • 74% eat dinner as a family most of the time during the week
  • 64% report rarely texting, emailing, or talking on the phone during dinner
  • 53% always or sometimes have the television on during dinner
Numerous research studies have emphasized the importance of family dinners.  Eating dinner together has many benefits for the entire family, especially children.  Just two dinners per week can have the following effects:
  • Increase self-esteem and body image
  • Decrease risk for juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other risk behaviors
  • Increase academic achievement
Through communication at the dinner table and increased involvement, parents can expect positive outcomes as a result of family dinners.  

Need ideas for your family? Follow these simple tips:

Have a set time for dinner - which gives your family time to prepare and make dinner a priority.  

Stick to positive topics - this is not the time to discuss bad grades, broken curfews or dents in the family car.  Keep the conversation light and happy.

Involve children in meal preparation - allow kids to help with grocery lists and shopping, chopping fruits and veggies or making a fun dessert.  

Turn off distracting devices - t.v., cellphones, mp3 players, and computers should take a nap during dinnertime.  The only entertainment needed for family dinners are conversation and family interaction!

    To Spank or Not To Spank?

    According to a ABC news poll of 1,015 parents:
    • 65% approve of spanking children 
    • 50% spank their own children
    • 72% think school teachers should not be allowed to spank children
    It appears that most parents are okay with corporal punishment as long as they are in charge.

    What are your feelings about spanking?

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Workplace Romance

    40% have ever dated a co-worker 
    32% later married a co-worker
    35% of affairs occur with a co-worker
    8% have a crush on a co-worker

    Only a small amount (12%) of these relationships start outside of the workplace.  Lunches, business trips, happy hours, and company parties are places where some romances blossom.  The rest, overwhelming majority, begin during work hours.

    If you are in the 8% considering an office romance, here are some things to consider:

    Know the dating policy of your discipline and company:  Many companies have rules that explicitly forbid fraternization while others may have "gray areas".  Get clarification of rules and consequences before you decide to act on your crush.

    Be wary of relationship hierarchy: 30% of workplace daters are involved with someone who is their superior.  It is a good idea to consider how the success or failure of the relationship will affect your career future.

    Decide if the relationship should be public:  Again, this may vary due to company policy.  If there is no rule against dating a co-worker, it may be a good idea to notify a superior just in case.

    Manage social media responsibly: People upload pictures and change status messages often without considering the consequences.  You'd be surprised who has access to your social networking page, so be careful with information that you share. 

    Leave relationship issues at home: Resist the urge to deal with relationship issues at work.  It can make you and your partner look bad.  Table conflictual conversations for after work hours.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    10 Reasons Why Mom Is My Hero

    This post came to me while traveling to visit my family.  It is a tribute of sorts to my mom.

    10 Reasons Why Mom Is My Hero
    • an effective negotiator. 
    • ...cares, nurtures, and comforts.
    • a "dog whisperer".
    • ...embodies class, refinement, femininity, and poise.
    • ...loves to dance the night away.
    • ...can reprimand without raising her voice or using choice words.
    • ...makes you feel better when in her presence.
    • ...does not recognize how great she is.
    • forever learning and acquiring new skills.
    • ...can and will hold a conversation with anyone. 

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Opinions of Online Dating

    General public:
    31% know someone who has used a dating site
    26% know someone who has gone on a date with someone from the internet
    15% know someone in a long-term relationship with a person they met online

    Online users:
    66% think online dating is dangerous
    57% think people lie about their marital status when online
    1 in 10 internet users has gone to a dating website
    44% of people think internet dating is a "good way to meet people"
    64% think online dating sites allow people to meet a larger pool of potential dates

    Source: Online Dating
    Pew Internet and American Life Project

    Other Online Dating Research:
    56% view social networking sites the same as dating sites
    71% feel there is a social stigma with online dating 
    64% would not have a problem telling people they met their partner online
    37% would use a site for a month or less & 22% for more than 6 months
    58% say that pictures are the most important part of a dating profile

    Is there still a stigma associated with online dating?  
    Do you see it as a viable option for you to find a mate? 

    Are You Kidding Me? Zaky Pillow

    This post will require very little of my input since the product tagline says it all...

    "Leave a hand with your child" 

    Also, notice how the product is not displayed on the home page.  You have to click on the product to see it.
    I can agree with use for peemies in hospital NICUs as they cannot get constant contact from loved ones.   Other than that, these things are pretty creepy.


    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Just Because I Am Pregnant...

    Future mommies can maintain their smooth curves with maternity shapewear.

    While some argue that using these products is just an attempt to hide the "baby bump".  Others worry they will  endanger the baby and/or stunt growth.  Although many mothers report benefits from using these during pregnancy.
    Back and tummy support, decrease of stretch marks and help regaining figure after birth are all positives given by women who use these products.

    Dads of the world...don't worry, they did not forget you.

    Baby Learning Programs - Pass or Fail?

    Many well-advertised learning programs promise to teach infants and toddlers to read, increase school readiness, enhance learning capabilities and so forth.  Commercials show children as young as 6 months reading aloud to ecstatic parents.  Sounds to good to be true, right?

    Research has proven time and again that these programs DO NOT deliver advertised results.  Additionally, infants and toddlers who watch these videos can actually delay learning and mastery of language, reading, and other forms of communication.

    Television exposure (especially for children who are not verbal) delays language development. 

    Infancy is a period of development in which outside stimulation is key.  Baby brains grow and form connections based on the amount and variety of experiences they encounter.  Watching television is not a replacement for face-to-face communication and tactile stimulation (touching, exploring).  In fact, watching hours of television has been shown to reverse the current communication level of infants and toddlers.

    What should parents do to enhance infant learning?

    • Talk to them - Do not use baby language, your tone is most important. 
    • Vary their activities - Take them to different types of places (grocery store, coffee shop, park, zoo, etc.)
    • Teach them with music - Play classical music to soothe them and teach them to do things with songs
    • Touch is important - Have "toys" that vary in texture and shape
    • Read to them - Read any and every thing to your baby.  Vary your tone of voice for affect
    • Turn off the T.V. - Refrain from using the t.v. as a babysitter and do have it on when they are in the room (at least until they can speak in full sentences)    

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Is There An Age When You Should Be Married?

    Many 30 somethings feel pressure from society, family, and friends to explain why they are not yet married.  Do the same pressures to get married exist for adults in 2010 that existed for those in 1900? If so, where do they come from?

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage in:

    • 1900 was 25.9 for men & 21.9 for women
    • 1950 was 22.8 for (m) & 20.3 for (w)
    • 1990 was 26.1 for (m) & 23.9 for (w)
    • 1995 was 26.9 for (m) & 24.5 for (w)
    • 2000 was 26.8 for (m) & 25.1 for (w)
    • 2008 was 27.6 for (m) & 25.9 for (w)
    The numbers show that men and women are getting married later in life as time goes on.  While some are postponing marriage for many reasons (career, education, freedom, etc.) others still feel pressure to be married by a certain age.

    Research on attitudes about marriage show that young people view marriage as important and most of them expect to get married.  

    In fact, 83% of 20-24 year-olds expect to get married at some point with almost half expecting to marry within 10 years.  

    Apparently, the ideals of young adults reinforce the expectation that people should be married during their 30s.     

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Your Sexual Behaviors May Not Keep You Safe

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (2008):
         19 million STD cases each year, almost 50% are in people aged 15-24
         Chlamydia and gonorrhea are most commonly reported
         Syphilis (virtually absent 10 years ago) is on the rise
         Despite vaccine, human papillomavirus (HPV) rates increasing in those 18-59
    Engaging in risky behaviors (i.e., improper use or no use of contraceptives, multiple sex partners) increases risk for contracting a STD.  Although, people who practice "safer" sex may be at an even greater risk as a result of their partners behavior.  Researchers report that partner sexual behavior is a bigger predictor of STD risk than individual behavior. 

    Partner characteristics that increase STD risk:

    • Marijuana and alcohol use
    • Age difference of 5 years (older or younger)
    • History of jail/imprisonment
    • Other sexual partners in the past year
    • Having an STD in the past year

    The more of the above characteristics, the higher risk for STDs.  Participants whose partners had all five were 3 times more likely to have an STD.  Overall, having an STD and age difference were the biggest predictors of STD risk.  

    If you practice "safer" sex and are in a monogamous relationship, you may still be at risk, especially if your partner a) falls in the above categories & b) is dishonest about his/her behaviors.

    Source: Partner Behavior and STD Risk

    Nursery University

    Navigating all of the things associated with education (cost, admission, recommendations, entrance exams) can be a nightmare for both parents and students.  It is a process that many prepare for well in advance...starting with preschool enrollment.  Choosing where to go, how much it costs, and how to get in are decisions that can be more difficult than admission into an ivy league university.

    This documentary follows the process some parents encounter enrolling their children into exclusive and costly nursery schools.      

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Men You Should NOT Date

    We are often blind-sighted by our perception of a potential mate.  Certain characteristics like a nice smile, attractive face, or muscular build may mask warning signals telling us to run.  Instincts make up our biological protection system, giving clues some (especially women) often ignore.  For those of you who desire an authentic relationship with a man,  listen to your instincts and avoid the following:

    "I LOVE women!"  Of course we want a guy who has respect and admiration for the fairer sex.  But that statement goes a bit farther.  It is the same as women who LOVE shoes, meaning many different kinds of shoes, not just one pair.  This man LOVES women, all women and may have multiple cell phones and aliases.

    Work Horse
    There is nothing sexier than a hard-working man.  The problem arises when work is his only priority.  The work horse won't have time to devote to a relationship and will cancel plans regardless of preparation.  Although he's probably a good guy, work/career comes first so the timing is off.

    Rebel Without a Cause
    Many women want the bad boy.  Riding a motorcycle, teetering on the edge and having a slightly smug disposition can be alluring.  Everyone makes mistakes and you can be forgiving to a degree.  But a man with a long history of crime and lawlessness will expect you to be the Bonnie to his Clyde. 

    Serial Monogamist
    Men who move from one relationship to the next are good because at least they can commit, right?  Wrong.  Yes they can commit, but a) taking little time in-between relationships means little to no closure and b) moving on quickly means they keep their options open while in relationships.

    If you "took" a man from another woman, then another woman can "take" him from you.  Patterns of behavior are hard to break especially if they are accepted by your partner.  The double-dealer rarely commits to one woman, but if you pay attention he will reveal his cards.

    Captain Cavalier
    The captain is focused on himself and himself only.  He boasts about his salary, past relationships, accomplishments, etc. and may talk in the 3rd person.  This guy will rarely ask questions about you and only appears interested if it suits him. 

    Women You Should NOT Date

    Contemporary dating can be difficult process full of mistakes, regret, and uncertainty.  In order to be successful, it is necessary that men and women avoid wasting time on those who are just "not the right fit".  If you are interested in having an authentic relationship with a woman, then steer clear of the following: 

    Static Cling
    Fearing abandonment, static cling wants to force you to be with her.  She constantly seeks reassurance of your perception of her and needs you to determine her emotional state.  Be careful as this one is likely to increase your cell phone bill (constant texts & calls) and may not take no for an answer. 

    Also called the bag lady, she has loads of unresolved issues that are never fully cleansed.  The actions of her previous boyfriends will become your responsibility.  Getting to know this woman is difficult, she is holding back because "you are just like all the rest".  

    Soap Opera Diva
    This woman thrives on the dramatic and everything is over-exaggerated and blown out of proportion.  She creates drama wherever she goes through her thoughts and actions.  Living on conflict, gossip, and tragedy this type of woman will most likely bring you down with the comedy of errors that is her life.

    Lady Liberty
    Contemporary women work hard, are independent, and able to support themselves financially.  They own houses and cars, have stock portfolios, sit on company name it, we do it all.  A woman who cares for herself is very desirable, but a woman who will also let you care for her is irresistible.

    Miss Brand Name
    Many women like nice things be it shoes, purses, home accessories, etc.  With advances in the workplace, they can afford to splurge on things that make them smile and you should too.  But women who come to you for everything designer, in-season, and custom made is a problem.  Besides, most real men don't want a woman who only wants them for their money.

    Bad Girl
    Men put women in two categories: good girl or bad girl.  You settle down with good girls and take them home to meet mom as they are "marriage material".  Bad girls give excitement, danger and fun for brief periods of time.  Therefore, there is no surprise when the bad girl breaks your heart, sleeps with your best friend, or makes for a lackluster partner.  On a side note, most good girls have just enough bad girl in them to keep your interest.    

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    The Joy of Saying NO

    Is saying NO selfish and mean? No, in fact it is just the opposite. Saying NO spares the "asker" from getting mediocre participation (possibly with an attitude) and the "askee" from resenting the request or having unrealistic expectations of the outcome. Women in particular have difficulty saying NO as they fear being judged or being cut-off from the people asking of them.
    The few things in life I regret are decisions made for someone else. Instead of doing what was best for me, I often put the needs of another ahead of my own. There were times I said yes because I didn't want to: a) hurt someone's feelings, b) disappoint them, c) risk not being liked, or d) miss an opportunity. In the end, I felt bad and did not get the benefit of any of the above.

    But in times when I said no (due to putting my needs first) I felt overjoyed. It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest, and I could breathe for the very first time.

    Therefore after much trial and error, I learned to put my needs first and I started saying NO! Here are some ways in which you can incorporate saying NO into your life.

    Just say NO when you:
    • Don't have to do it and REALLY don't want to do it
    • Are hoping that saying yes will change how the person sees you
    • Will have an attitude while doing it
    • Don't have the time, money, or energy to do it RIGHT!
    • Need validation that the person is not willing or able to give

    Saying NO is not always appropriate as we have to do some things whether we want to or not. But, it is helpful to alleviate feeling devalued, exploited, overworked and regretting decisions made for others and not ourselves.  

    Learn to assert your boundaries and put your needs first and just say NO!   

    The Impact of Bullying Lasts Into Adulthood

    The physical scars from bullying may heal, but psychological scars can last into adulthood. Recent research reports that kids who experience relational bullying (social shunning, rumors, exclusion, etc.) are more prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness in adulthood. Both males and females who were the victims of relational bullying had higher rates of depression in adulthood, even if they had extensive support networks. Contrary to previous research, having a lot of friends does not reduce the lifelong effect of bullying for some children.

    This research highlights the need for parents, school officials, and community leaders to recognize instances of, and to intervene on behalf of children who bully and those who are being bullied.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Preferred Qualities In A Partner

    In a cross-national study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, men and women agreed that the most preferred traits in a partner were:
                Good looks
                Facial attractiveness
                Communication skills

    Men agreed that attractiveness was more important than other traits while women equally valued kindness, honesty, humor, and dependability.

    Do you agree with these? 
    If not, what qualities do you prefer in a partner?

    Relations Between Adults and Their Parents

    The relationships that adult children have with their parents are varied and depend on many factors.  These relationships can be filled with enjoyment, but also worry.  Parents continue to worry about their adult children as their adult children being to worry about them.
    A recent study found that regardless of the age of their parents, adult children are most concerned with their aging parents health.  On the other hand, parents worry about many things:
    -Balancing work and family 

    The amount of worry expressed between adult children and their parents is related to relationship quality. Parents who worry the most about their adult children may experience negative relationships, especially if they discuss their concerns with children, in comparison to parents who worry a bit less.     

    Demographics such as gender and race also influenced worrying.  Girls worry more about their mothers, while sons worry about both parents equally.  Also, Black families in the study had higher rates of worry than Whites.

    The moral of the story is that parenting is a never-ending process and children remain a source of concern for parents.  As people are living longer, adult children split their focus on their own children and their aging parents.  Relationship quality as we age, will depend on how we address our concerns and how we receive concern from others.     

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Google Baby - HBO Documentary

    For a cost much less than in the U.S., people can use a surrogate in India to carry their baby.  After eggs and/or sperm is bought online, then freeze dried and shipped to India, it is implanted into a surrogate who will carry the baby to term.  Once the baby is born, the couple or individual travels to India to "pick up" their baby.

    Also, women in the U.S. are selling their eggs as a source of income or to pay for a new house or upgrades to their current home.

    These options help many who struggle to conceive a child, but how far is too far?  Comments?

    Father's Day Gift Ideas

    In honor of father's day, I am posting some gift ideas for the dad in your life.  If you are married, dating, friends, or related to a dad, one of these options should work for you.

    1.  Digital Video Converter
    Since dads are usually take the photos and record family memory, get him this gadget that converts and stores DVR, VHS, DVD and live television data into one handy place.  

    2.  Wireless TV Headphones
    Why not get a gift for mom at the same time? Wireless headphones will allow dad to watch his favorite program while mom is napping.

    3.  Kenmore Gas Grill
    Let dad show off his cooking skills and entertain the neighborhood while giving mom a break from cooking with a new grill.  And at a great price! 

    4.  Pima Cotton Polo
    Keep dad cute and cool in the summer heat with a stylish and soft cotton tee.

    5.  Logitech Universal Remote *I want one!
    Rechargeable, USB connective, color touch screen...(whew!) this baby is amazing!  Wow dad with this gadget he will be brag about for weeks.  
    Best Buy $199.99

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    5 Things You Should NOT Say In Any Relationship

    Advice for friendships, intimate relationships, family relationships, etc.

    1. I don't care.
    This one is pretty self-explanatory. Either you are hiding your true thoughts or you really don't care.  If it's the latter, you should rethink the relationship.

    Hate is a strong emotion that is very similar to love.  Therefore, hating someone is in a sense loving them.  Deal with why you are having negative emotions as a result of loving that person.

    3. Why are you in my life?
    YOU are the only one who can answer this question.  And if you are asking it, do you REALLY need an answer or do you already have one? 

    4. Actions speak louder than words.
    Oh, yeah? Then why are you speaking and not acting?  This statement makes you look as if you are trying to convince yourself.   

    5. It's not you, it's me.
    If this were true, then the other person would be ending the relationship.  Be honest and state why you want the relationship to end. 

    The Truth About Infidelity (part 3) - To Tell or Not To Tell?

    Would you tell your partner that you had an affair?

    In a recent study on infidelity:
    -Women are more likely to admit
    -Women are more likely to end a relationship after they are unfaithful
    -Women are more likely to begin a relationship with the person they had an affair with
    -Men on average have more affairs than women

    Some say honesty is the best policy while others think confessions are only good for the guilty.  Do people admit affairs to repair their relationships and gain forgiveness from their partners or do they admit affairs to clear their own conscience?

    The reasons why people admit affair are varied and depend on many different motives:
         Regret - ashamed of behavior and confess out of 
                       obligation to partner
         Absolution - to forgive themselves some need                                      forgiveness from their partner
         Discontent - due to misery, confession is given 
                       hoping that relationship will end 
         Fear - admission due to anxiety that the truth will
                       eventually surface 

    Yet, there are reasons why people choose to keep an affair secret:
         Worry- admission may end the relationship so some 
         Indifference - not caring whether relationship lasts or
                   not, but silence keeps the peace
         Fear - information about affair may cause partner to
                   seek revenge and have an affair themselves
         Status Quo- keep quiet because conflict resulting from 
                   admission is undesirable
         History - it is not worth it to admit a one-time mistake 
                   that will not happen again

    In the end, is it better to tell the truth?  

    Would you rather your partner tell you about an affair or keep it a secret?

    Source: Brand, R. J., Markey, C. M., Mills, A. & Hodges, S. D. (2007) Sex differences in self-reported infidelity and it correlates. Sex Roles, 57, 101-109.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Interactions that Lead to Divorce

    In studying thousands of couples over more than 35 years, John Gottman, Ph.D. of The Gottman Relationship Institute (, has uncovered four relationship interactions that lead to divorce.  Named the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, these communication patterns, if repeated over and over, have a 90% change of leading to divorce.

    People use criticism to blame and attack their partners character.  The focus is on the person and not the undesirable behavior.  Criticism statements will begin with the words, "you always" or "you never".

    Examples: "You always hurt my feelings",  "You never take me out anymore"

    Contempt-intense negative interactions
    Contempt accompanies or will follow criticism in a heated exchange.  Disrespectful statements meant to psychologically abuse a loved one display contempt.  Through verbal and non-verbal means, contempt sends the message of disgust and worthlessness to your partner.  

    Examples: Sarcasm, hostile humor, mockery

    Defensiveness-biological response to criticism and contempt
    In the face verbal attacks loaded with criticism and contempt, people have a natural tendency to defend themselves.  Defensiveness occurs when the pain from being unfairly judged, blamed, and harassed reaches its emotional limit.  

    Examples:  Denying responsibility, making excuses, repeating statements, and counter-complaining   

    Stonewalling-another defensive tactic 
    As the name implies, stonewalling occurs when a wall (physical or psychological) is up to block communication.  Used to diffuse conflict, stonewalling in reality escalates conflict.  The attacker then feels ignored or disrespected, responds with criticism, and the cycle continues.

    Examples: Ignoring, leaving the room, physical barrier between you and your partner 

    Although difficult to break, these patterns can be changed.  Working on communication and learning to focus on behavior and not character can slowly repair the damage.  Refer to the books below for additional information:   


    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Are Women Catty?

    Female-female interactions are called 'catty' when we see statements such as the one in the above video.  Whether in private or public like Carly Fiorina's remarks, women make statements about other women that appear petty and childish.  They are considered catty when negative and about another woman's physical appearance, lifestyle choices, parenting or dating techniques, attitude...

    Some argue that this type of communication is not catty, but merely light banter between females.  Suggesting that it is similar to the insult exchange found in male relationships, some insist the word catty is used only based on gender.  Most explanations for the frequency and severity of comments are based on cultural expectations and gender socialization of women in the U.S.    

    Competition - Historically women have been socialized to believe that much of their worth is based on superficial characteristics like appearance.  The beauty industry makes billions of dollars each year exploiting this aspect of female culture.  Therefore, women are constantly on the search to gain an upper hand in the beauty department.  What better way to make yourself look better than to point out the flaws in your "competition", right? 

    Stereotypes - In naming certain types of female behavior catty, society has thereby accepted and encouraged these behaviors.  Some find it cute when little girls act "catty".  They are taught to stand up for themselves and "fight back" with words and deeds because they are not supposed to express negative emotions in a physical manner.  So instead of learning to negotiate friendships, girls learn at an earlier age how to manipulate, plot revenge, and hurt each others feelings. 

    Role Models - Similar to stereotypes, many women emulate what they see in those they look up to (family members, friends, women in the community, celebrities).  Behavior, good or bad, is viewed differently when coming from someone that is admired.  Called the "halo effect", people tend to see only the positive and/or view behaviors in positive light if they look up to someone.  Even bad behavior appears positive due to our opinion of people we hold in high esteem.

    In the end, are women really catty or the victims of gender stereotyping?

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Children Who Abuse Parents

    The number of children who abuse their parents is small yet significant.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics more than 9,000 crimes of violence against parents (3,380 completed acts and 5,750 threats) occurred in 2007.
    Parental abuse, also called silent abuse, often goes unreported due to the shame and guilt felt by abused parents.  Parents feel they cannot reveal this family secret because their child may be punished/taken from the home and their parenting skills may be questioned.  The vast majority of parental abuse involves a male child abusing his mother or stepmother.  Abuse usually begins when the child is 12-16 years old and severity depends on the child's strength.  Stronger children rely on verbal abuse (threats, intimidation, manipulation) whereas weaker children use more physical forms (biting, hitting, kicking). 
    Research highlights contributors to parental abuse:
    - Role models of masculinity based on power and control
    - Witnessing a father/partner/male abuse women
    - Children who were physically or sexually abused themselves
    - Controlling or overly indulgent parenting practices
    - Poverty or extreme poverty
    - High levels of stress
    - Mental health issues (schizophrenia, bipolar, ADD, learning disabilities)
    - Substance abuse
    - Children who had been bullied by peers

    What can parents do if their children become violent?
    Safety - The first priority is safety for the parent and the child.  Parents should seek a safe environment just like any victim of an abusive situation.  

    Seek help - It is important to resist the urge to keep the abuse a secret and/or feel responsible for the behavior.  Parental abuse is not going to disappear on its own and there is a high likelihood that it will increase. Qualified professionals can intervene and provide crisis management.  

    Be patient - Repairing the parental-child relationship will take time. Parents will need to process their own emotions about the abuse while children receive necessary intervention.  Have realistic goals of how and when the relationship will get better.

    Local Sheriff's Office or Extension office:
    National Domestic Violence Hotline

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Are You Kidding Me? Child Leashes...

    A friend and I were in a store the other day when we stumbled upon one of those child leashes shaped like a teddy bear.  A conversation began, filled with insight and many jokes, about the type of parent who would use one of these.

    We have all seen children out in public running around and misbehaving while parents ignore or encourage the behavior.  Some of us have fought the urge to intervene, while others made their opinion known.  Despite whatever undesireable behavior we may see in a child, can anyone in their right mind agree with putting a child on a leash?
    A child on a leash demonstrates lacking skills on behalf of the parent NOT the poor behavior of a child.  It is inhumane, degrading, and down-right lazy to put your child on a leash.  Leashes were created to control domesticated animals...pets who at times lack decision-making capabilities to remain near their owners.  It is to protect the pet and those who come in contact with it.

    So who's bright idea was it to apply this technique to toddlers?
    I have a better idea, take the $25 you were going to spend on the leash and enroll in a parenting class!

    Any thoughts?

    The Truth About Infidelity (part 2) - So You Think You're A Sex Addict?

    There appears to be an epidemic among the numerous celebrities identifying as sex addicts.  It has become commonplace for those caught having affairs to apologize, call themselves a sex addict, and go to rehab.  But what many don't know is the severity of such a diagnosis.  Making light of a diagnosable mental disorder by people who simply lack self-control is a slap in the face to the 3-5% of people in the U.S. who meet the criteria for sexual compulsion disorders (better known as sex addition). 

     What is sex addiction?

    "The behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex.  Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships" 

    Sex addicts will attempt to justify their behavior through irrational means, making excuses and denying responsibility.  They engage in risky behaviors (unprotected sex, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism), have the potential for breaking laws, and their behaviors get progressively worse.  Most sex addicts do not get sexual gratification from their behaviors. 

    Other behaviors associated with sex addition:

      -excessive use of pornography/strip clubs
      -multiple partners
         (mostly anonymous one-night stands)
      -compulsive masturbation
      -phone/computer sex
      -obsessive dating through dating sites/want ads
      -sexual harrassment

    Can it be treated?

    Yes.  Sex addition is very similar to other addictions with regard to physiological, environmental, and emotional factors.  Addicts will participate in 12-step programs, individual and family therapy, behavioral therapies, and medication to treat their behavior.  

    Do you think you may be a sex addict? Take the Male Sex Addiction Test or the Female Sex Addiction Test.  These tests do not diagnose sex addiction, but can be tools to determine if you need help.  

    Need to find a therapist in your area?