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Family Talk Blog
No doubt, one of the hardest jobs I ever had was parenting. Of course, once you have kids, you are always a Mom or a Dad.
But during the first 20 plus years of life, parents have huge responsibility—not just to provide for their children but to help them become independent, decent adults.
Finally, when children do become independent, we can sit back and relax a little. But it takes a long time to reach that moment.
As both a grandparent and a child psychologist, I can see how today’s parents feel particularly stressed. Two full-time working parents have become the norm... Read More
It’s hard to write about New Year’s—so much has been written about this holiday. Some years, pundits suggest that making resolutions is a good thing. But then the next year, we’re told that no, it’s a bad idea. Of course, like most adults, I’ve made scores of New Year’s resolutions. Some lasted one week, some persisted for several months, and a scant few have been helpful, launching me forward on a chosen path.
New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to dance, connect with friends and family, drink champagne at midnight (if you can stay up that late), and watch the ball float down on the... Read More
By now, holiday mayhem is peaking. Smart holiday shoppers are closing in on their gift list for family and friends. Our local online company, Amazon, has made it easier to shop from home, resulting in less mall crawling and braving the crowds.
But that doesn't mean that holiday stress is over.
A recent study of 283,014 cases of heart attacks over a period of 16 years found that there is a 37% increased risk of having a heart attack on Christmas eve! The researchers used two weeks before and two weeks after Christmas as the baseline to measure the increased risk on Christmas... Read More
I’ve had a successful career as a psychologist. I’m the Director of The Everett Clinic’s Behavioral Health department which I started 25 years ago. Several years ago I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for my contributions to the clinic. I’ve also published many articles in professional journals.
Yet, I was an average student in High School, with a low B average. (I was also a chronic school truant, but that’s another story). I did get some decent grades in college in sociology and psychology, but I was far from a straight-A student. Yet despite my lackluster performance in... Read More
Before sunrise, the sky still dark, I start my walk around Greenlake. It’s quiet in the early morning, with just a few walkers or joggers. I love watching the sky grow lighter, slowly illuminating the trees and the shore of this urban green space. As dawn breaks, I hear the winter birds start their daily song.
This time of year, as I watch the sunrise, I’m sad. I think of my mother who passed away 5 years ago this winter. She had a heart attack right after the Christmas holiday and died two and a half months later. She was 92.
I spent many weeks with her at the end of her... Read More
My youngest daughter, in her early 30’s, has a demanding job in a start-up company while her husband is working long hours on expanding a new business. The challenge—they are also running after their 19-month old toddler. When I talk to my daughter she always seems stressed—not by the parenting portion of her life, but by the demands of her job. She gets texts and emails at all hours of the day and night.
When I was her age, with two little kids, I don’t remember working as hard as she does. My wife worked half-time and so there was a little more tranquility in our household. I... Read More
All of us are connected with each other.
When we sit down for dinner and eat a slice of bread, we bite down into the crusty dough, only thinking about how delicious it tastes. We might be thankful that we picked up this great loaf of bread at our local supermarket.
But dig a little deeper. A farmer had to buy the seed and plant it in his field with his tractor that was manufactured by 100’s of factory workers. The seed was fertilized—the fertilizer was produced in another plant run by 100’s of workers. Scores of farm workers made sure the soil was watered and weeded. The... Read More
The other day, an acquaintance told me— “I’m afraid to dream about the future. I’ve had so many disappointments in my life. I don’t want to be disappointed again.” As a psychologist, I’ve heard this sentiment many times. But when I asked him about these disappointments, he brought up events that are part of the natural course of life—the death of a loved one or changes in work life. His life hadn’t turned out the way he had imagined. When he was in his 20’s, he envisioned a different life than he is living. Now in his mid 50’s, he’s afraid to dream about the future.
It’s not... Read More