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10 Questions for Discovering Your True Self In 1886, Antoinette Faure asked her 15-year-old friend Marcel Proust to complete an entry in her book, Confessions. An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc. This “confession album” was “a literary invention … ...
Seven Steps Toward Better Critical Thinking How to avoid knowing what isn't so.
The Story Behind Psychology’s Most Famous Brain The most famous brain studied by science is that of Patient H.M. This compelling new book by Luke Dittrich tells a story that anyone interested in psychology needs to read.
Weight Loss Adversity: Not Caring An example of Seligman’s ABCDE Method as applied to lacking of motivation for weight loss. The ABCDE Method for overcoming adversity and altering limiting beliefs can be used as a … ...
How To Cope With Losing Friends Because Of Your... I know much of life is a slow erosion of friends. People choose different paths than we do, leaving both of us with not much to say. We have arguments that … ...
Don’t Be A Victim Of Scammers, Con Men, and Frauds Con men and con women con people because they believe they can get away with it. And the online world is the natural habitat for the scammer....
To Be, and Truly Just Be: A Soliloquy for... Nine months ago, I stood at my father’s burial in front of family and friends, trying to gather my thoughts. At the time, it was particularly difficult to form them into words. My dad had just ended his life. But then, as I was standing … ...
4 Reasons Ending A Relationship With a Narcissist Is... Most people who find themselves and their lives entwined with someone high in narcissistic traits spend months and sometimes years trying to get out from under. It’s especially hard if … ...
Learning to Listen for the Silence Over the last 13 years, I have moved 8 times. So the fact that I really don’t like moving should be significant. And it is significant, except that I have … ...
Be of Service to Others for Your Own Health When psychoneuroimmunology researchers Dr. Julienne Bower and Dr. Margaret Kemeny (Bower et al. 1998) studied HIV-positive men who had lost partners or close friends to AIDS at the peak of … ...
The Trouble with Grandparents We often hear the old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” yet with increasing independence, geographical movement, and isolation in Western culture, how true—or feasible—is this? In the United States, about 23.7 percent of children under five receive child care from their grandparents. In Australia, that number is only 25 percent for children under 13. Across Europe, about 40 percent of children receive regular care from their grandparents—still less than half. What is surprising about this is that we humans are “cooperative breeders,” meaning that we have evolved as a species to work in groups when raising offspring, with a broad range of individuals helping support the mother and father. Indeed, this is a defining aspect of the human species. Whereas other species pass on very shortly after losing their ability to reproduce, adult humans have a very long post-reproductive period—up to 40-50 years. And this is when grandma and grandpa become very important to the family; their involvement can not only be enjoyable, but also benefit grandchildren and parents in profound ways. The wonders of grandparents In Western cultures, the involvement of grandparents in families can vary greatly, with some having custody of their grandchildren and others having no contact at all. However, there is a trend toward more and more grandparents providing regular care to their grandchildren—and that’s a good thing. The grandmother hypothesis says grandma involvement in family life helps increase her daughter’s fertility and the chance of the grandchildren surviving. Indeed, research shows that if the grandmother is present in the family, it doubles the odds of more children being born in some cases. Why? Well, all of a sudden mum has somebody at home to help care for her other children, while she looks after the newborn. Grandparent involvement also helps mothers re-enter the workforce, increasing family income and stimulating economic growth. Grandparents tend to provide the most care and support in the earlier years, with the amount of hours decreasing as the grandchild ages. Adolescent children also benefit from grandparent involvement. A large UK study of 1,515 secondary school students (11-16 years old) found that greater grandparent involvement with families was associated with significantly fewer emotional problems and significantly more kind and helpful behavior among children. Getting grandparents involved However, grandparent involvement is not without its challenges. When grandparents provide regular child care, it is not uncommon for tension, conflict, and disagreement to occur between grandparents and parents, which can negatively impact children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. One common source of tension is unsolicited parenting advice from grandparents, which can strain the grandparent-parent relationship. So how can we help grandparents and parents in this critical and important role of co-parenting? A recent systematic review of 21 studies found that formal programs targeted at grandparents can help. My colleagues and I evaluated one such program, Grandparent Triple P, in 2013. Grandparent Triple P is a nine-week group program that aims to provide 1) a refresher course on parenting strategies, 2) communication strategies to enhance the parent-grandparent relationship, and 3) coping skills to help grandparents manage the stress of providing regular child care. The program was found to improve grandparent confidence and stress, parent-grandparent relationship satisfaction, and, most importantly, children’s behavioral outcomes. If you hope to involve grandparents in parenting, here are some key takeaways from the program: Parenting strategies. Often, it has been 10 or 20 years since grandparents had children running around the house. So participants in the program spend some time re-familiarizing themselves with why children behave the way they do. They learn simple, prevention-based tips, such as how to make a safe environment at home—for example, moving delicate objects (like vases) to avoid having to tell kids “No” or “Stop it” all the time. They’re encouraged to make an easy, go-to list of engaging activities to do with the kids, possibly with input from the parents, so they don’t feel constantly pressured to come up with different ideas and games. Communication strategies. A key tip we give grandparents is to engage in compassionate listening with the parents. There will be times when parents would like to vent about some difficulties they are having with the kids, and as grandparents the urge is to provide advice on how to manage them. Although grandparents are trying to be helpful, the number one thing parents dislike from grandparents is receiving unsolicited parenting advice. So grandparents practice listening to the parents and validating their distress using non-verbal gestures like maintaining eye contact and nodding, or saying things like “Yes, that does sound very frustrating.” They might also ask, “Can I help at all, or would you like me to just listen?” Coping skills. In the program, we spend time recognizing how being a grandparent can be stressful. Grandparents learn to expect and recognize draining emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness, or anxiety. We work out what those emotions feel like in the body and then practice using our breath to help slow down, cultivate calmness, and stabilize us at times of high stress. The most important takeaway from all the research is that we shouldn’t undervalue the contribution of grandparents. They have a significant influence on families, and help provide nurturing family environments for children. For clinicians, particularly when working in the family context, it can be useful to encourage grandparent involvement when possible. Grandparents often give up some of their working hours, social events, and hobbies to help look after their grandchildren. It seems grandparents are moved by altruism and compassion to support their children’s families—and that’s a wonderful role we should encourage.
Today I Love This First Day Of School Today I love this first day of school. I love remembering the broad and varied times I spent in schools that ranged from one room public to a large multi-roomed … ...
CRF overexpression increases anxiety in primates Overexpression of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a stress-related gene, increases anxious temperament in monkeys, new research indicates. The findings provide a direct link in primates between alterations in stress-related systems in the brain and the development of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders often begin early in life and anxious temperament during childhood is considered a risk for later development of anxiety and depression.
From DNA to disease, study describes rare, new brain disorder A team of scientists shows how mutations in the gene GPT2 lead to a rare developmental and potentially degenerative brain disease. The study highlights both new medical and scientific opportunities, say the researchers.
A new angle on anxiety Clinical anxiety affects up to 30 percent of Americans who are in great need of better treatments with fewer side effects. A study finds that certain neurons in the hypothalamus play a central, previously unknown role in triggering anxiety.
'Traffic jam' in brain linked to common cognitive disorder A brain MRI could help improve the diagnosis of people with a common type of cognitive disorder, according to a new study. Vascular cognitive disorder is caused by disease of the vessels supplying blood to the brain. Strokes and transient ischemic attacks, or ministrokes, are risk factors. The resulting loss of healthy brain tissue adversely affects concentration and decision making and leads to problems with planning and organizing.
Most parents rely on outdated advice when caring for a child with concussion Many parents would rely on outdated advice when caring for a child with a concussion, inadvertently making matters worse, a new survey reveals. The survey asked 569 parents nationwide what measures they would take if their child's concussion symptoms lasted for more than a week.
What You Should Say in Your First Online Dating Message Which style of first contact message is most likely to receive a reply? Is it better to make someone wait a while for your reply?
Active Minds More and more students are taking mental health challenges with them to college. This eye-opening report on mental health conducted by NAMI details the types of issues facing college students. … ...
Do You Go Out on Your Own When Traveling for Work? When you are away from home – for example, when traveling for work – will you go out on your own? Will you go out to restaurants on your own, … ...