parenting

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The Adolescent Brain- a treacherous frontier

My 10-year-old son is the sweetest, most easy going child. Recently, very occasionally and out of the blue, he has had a few moody days. It has been such a shock to me that I have been carefully¬†listening to my friends and patients to hear what it is like to parent an adolescent. It seems as if most times adolescents are just wonderful. They are passionate, enthusiastic and eager to earn. But parents of adolescents also tell me of the dark side. The times when the teenager is moody, eye rolling and door slamming. When they push boundaries, lie and…

What science says about bullying

The thought of your child being bullied is enough to make a parent’s blood boil. With good reason. The consequences of bullying can be devastating and long-lasting on the psyche. Sometimes the outcome can even be violent – bullying has often been quoted as a contributing cause in suicide and school shootings. With such overwhelming feelings, how can we as adults take informed actions? Fortunately, the scientific community has been researching this very question. When studying a behaviour, the first thing we have to do is define it. What is bullying? Psychological research says that it is a behaviour that…

Parenting with a mental illness

Parenting is hard. We have to keep our children safe and fed; we have to attune to their emotional needs. We sacrifice everything for them: our time, our money, our sleep. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. Having a mental illness is hard. Sometimes getting out of bed is daunting. Acutely self-regulating one’s emotions is impossible. Reality might, at times, become a vague concept. Nobody asks for or deserves a mental illness. It is a painful and often incapacitating disability. When my patients hear that they have a diagnosis of serious mental illness, say bipolar mood disorder or…

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