Campaigning For Attention in the Blended Family: New Spouse vs. Children

Let’s address what happens when the ones campaigning for attention of a certain parent are a child–and the new spouse. Look, let’s face it. Your child has very little cause to be invested in your new marriage. Either he’d like… Continue Reading


Family systems: Children Acting Out Parental Power Struggles

Charlotte* was a energetic, exciting, dominant woman.  She chose Charlie,* her opposite. Charlie ate the same menu almost every day: 2 eggs, chicken salad for lunch, chicken or pasta for dinner.  This drove Charlotte wild, and she let Charlie know… Continue Reading


Making Rules For the Blended Family

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in that wonderful bass voice of his: “Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” Let’s see where that takes us. Picture this: Mom restricts TV-watching for her children to Sponge Bob alone (poor dears), and her… Continue Reading


A New (Blended) Family Bill of Rights

According to Virginia Woolf, for a woman to succeed in her ambition to write fiction, she “must have money and a room of her own.” Granted your little one may not be attempting to compose the Great American [or in… Continue Reading


The Ties that Bind–Up and Over

As Mario Puzo informed us–and he ought to know–“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.” So far, so good. But loyalty to, precisely, which part of the family and… Continue Reading


Freedom and Responsibility: What Changes in High School?–Learning Through Mistakes

In the last post I addressed how children accomplish the developmental tasks of adolescence by attaching to friends. A final component of this development is allowing your teen to learn by making his/her own mistakes. This is a painful one… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part XII: When Kids Have the Right to Know

So we left off with the concept that if a secret affects children, those children have the right to know. This does not mean that you can use children to unburden yourself, like my patient did with her eldest daughter and her… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame: How to Reveal a Secret (II)

Back to ideas about how best to reveal a secret. It can’t hurt to start where we left off–using your common sense. Other tips: don’t construct a whole back story behind your secret to cover your guilt. I know it’s tempting–I really do–but… Continue Reading


You Say Potato, I Say. . .Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Paediatric bipolar disorder is notoriously controversial with the epicentre of the debate being whether the condition can be diagnosed in pre-pubertal children at all ~ Ghaemi & Martin Do you remember I wrote a while back that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual… Continue Reading