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De Jure versus De Facto Parenting

We parents often say things like "She needs to understand that no means no" or simply "He doesn't listen!" Behind these complaints is often a big ugly truth that just happens to have a Latin description: sometimes what we parents say isn't what we actually do.


On his travel blog, Rick Steves once explained the 'secret' of the Oracles at Delphi, saying this: Two thousand five hundred years ago, movers and shakers from throughout the ancient world went to Delphi to get advice from the Delphi priests. The priests weren't in cahoots with the gods. They just interviewed everyone who came to them, thinking that [...]

As Seen on TV…

I had the pleasure this week of being interviewed by Elizabeth Dannheim of KEYE news. She was filming a story inspired by two women with an unlikely friendship. Unlikely, because one of them is the "mom" and the other is the "stepmom." Elizabeth interviewed me at my office, and asked me questions about parenting, step-parenting, divorce, what it's like for [...]

What Therapy and Astronauts have in Common

You've probably heard that astronauts practice their work underwater, right? I remember learning that as a child and thinking it was "so cool," because I could then pretend that I was an astronaut the next time I went swimming. ;^) Remembering this recently, I was struck by how similar this is to therapy. Keep reading and I'll explain. Before [...]

How Does Play Therapy Work?

A dad I know asked me about play therapy the other day. Does it really work? How does it work? How can play be therapy? "Oh," I said, "Good Question!" ;^) Children aren't cognitively or verbally able to process everything that happens to them in their lives (shoot, neither am I!) nor do they have the cognitive or linguistic [...]

Teaching Kids about Emotions

Teaching emotional intelligence is an enormously important thing for a parent to do. But how? For younger kids, it's all about giving them the language to conceptualize and communicate about their experiences. This is worth repeating: kids must acquire language tools that will allow them to (a) conceptualize their experiences, and (b) share/communicate about them-and the child's emotions are [...]