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Tips of the Month for Families are regular tips for building strong relationships and healthy families. If you would like to sign up to receive these tips, scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up.

Too Much Control

It’s what we do: we correct, advise, remind, coax, solve, teach, warn, scold and lecture.  These are all forms of parental influence —or parental control, depending on the lens you’re looking through.  “Controlling my children is part of being a good parent,” many of us believe.  

What Builds Resilience

"Is it true what Nietzsche said: "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger?" Research says it's true — to a degree. Psychologists have found that people who encountered a moderate amount of early life adversity showed lower overall distress and higher life satisfaction than people who experienced lots of adversity or no adversity at all.

Too Negative?

The effects of evolution don’t always leave us in the best stead.

Hurtful Words

Parents often forget about the power of emotional honesty when dealing with their children’s unkind words.  Consider 10-year-old Jason at the dinner table, fussing and complaining about what's being served. "I hate your dinners," he blurts out to his father, who prepared tonight's meal. "You're a terrible cook!" His feelings hurt, Dad sends Jason to his room — the consequence Dad hopes will teach Jason a lesson. 

Rethinking Yelling

It’s hard to find a parent who has never yelled. Yelling seems a kind of natural impulse, perhaps originally an evolutionary survival instinct when we’re faced with a serious threat or danger. Consider the moment when a loud shout is necessary to stop a toddler racing toward a busy street or about to overturn a pot of hot soup simmering on the stovetop. Moments like these tend to be rare. It’s when yelling becomes a regular feature of our parenting style that it carries more…

Pandemic Burnout

Has being a parent of school-age children ever been tougher than during this Covid-19 pandemic? It’s no surprise that a February 2021 survey found that nearly half of parents (48%) reported an increase in their level of stress compared with before the pandemic.i Substantial numbers of mothers and fathers say that their mental health has suffered during this period, with symptoms of unwanted changes in weight, sleep d

Positive Endings

Next time you and your spouse get into an argument, call the kids over to watch and listen. (You’re thinking: What? That's crazy!) Our children learn to handle conflict by watching how others do it, particularly their parents. (You’re thinking: I don't want them to imitate us!)

Dehumanizing Language

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” — Friedrich Nietzsche This well-known quotation has been invoked countless times over the past hundred years. Upon hearing it, people tend to nod in agreement, recognizing the essential truth in Nietzsche’s words. What goes unrecognized is the problematic word choice: monster. Consider this: