Cindy is 43, successful, attractive, a dedicated mom, extremely caring... and she hates herself. She doesn't readily admit this, but spend a minute inside her head and you’ll discover the resounding messages revolving around negative rants – everything from "I failed" to "I should've done better." You wouldn't know it from her behavior. She's a high functioning, regular member of society.
Your mother just knitted a beautiful pink hat for your seven-year-old daughter. The hat, unfortunately, is also extremely itchy. To be honest, you wouldn’t even want to wear it yourself. But you tell your daughter, “Say thank you. Tell your grandmother how much you like the hat.”
The captain teaches a form of Krav Maga that is very simple, effective and easy to remember. The end result is that he creates a very steep learning curve with many students feeling more confident. Many are able to fend off a bully after only one lesson.
I was recently approached by a mother whose daughter had been diagnosed by an audiologist, two years before with auditory processing disorder (APD). Her daughter, let’s call her Basya, had been making progress in her academic environment. Her grades had been rising and her teachers had noticed a significant improvement in her listening skills.
Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.
I had to believe that things were going to be ok. They just had to be ok. We had gone through so much, had sacrificed so much and were doing everything the doctors told us to do. I remember speaking to a hesitant professor in my Ph.D. program about getting an incomplete in her class. The conversation stands out in my mind because, looking back, I can see how odd it must have seemed as I matter-of-factly told her I was too busy for coursework because my twins’ amniotic sack was bulging through my wife’s cervix.
Dear Dr Yael: I loved your answer to Confused Mom (“Should Children Voluntarily Help Their Parents,” August 23). It was a bit unrealistic of the writer to expect her children to do things voluntarily for her and her husband. Even my husband, a good and loving man, does not do anything unless I ask him to, several times. I have spoken to my friends, and this seems to be the norm. This woman is blessed with an amazing marriage, but her daughter is correct: al pi halacha a child gets more sechar if he or she is asked by a parent to do something and then fulfills the request.
Dena was the star of her nursery class. All the kids loved her and the teachers gushed to her mother, “Dena is so kind. She shares with everyone and is so inclusive. When we have circle time, she sits attentively and she is always ready with a detailed and fun answer.”
Dear Dr. Yael: I am sending my oldest son to a Pre-1A this year and am very anxious about inappropriate touching. I do not know if I should speak to my son about this and, if I choose to, I do not know what I should say. I want to protect my son from any kind of inappropriate situation, but I also do not want to scare him. My goal is for my son to have a warm and loving relationship with his rebbe. How do I balance my wish to protect him with the desire to provide him with a successful school year? An Anxious Mother
In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain relays the story of Rosa Park and the Montgomery Bus Strike during the Civil Rights Movement.
When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.
Baruch Hashem, my husband and I have a marriage in which we constantly anticipate each other's needs and usually try to help the other even before being asked. We, of course, did the same for our children.
As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.
In American culture, there is a large emphasis put on optimism. We are told that we need to think positively and that things will work out. For a lot of people, this type of outlook is beneficial and healthy. However, optimism is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Positive thinking works for some, but not for all. For people who have anxiety, optimism can be very difficult and unproductive. Instead, anxious people can harness that anxiety and use it in order to ensure that they do succeed.
Dear Dr. Yael: Like the seven-year-old daughter of A Heartbroken Mother, last week’s letter writer, my somewhat socially awkward nine-year-old son is also being bullied.