Life Stages


16Aug 2009

The Pride and Pain of Success in Parenting

When I talk to parents, either in family meetings, counseling sessions, or lectures, I always describe one of the main goals of parenting is: “to raise independent functional adults”. First, you try to keep them alive so that they will at least become an adult (e.g. avoiding fatal car accidents as teens). Secondly, you want them to move toward independence,

02Aug 2009

Subtle Aspects of Life That Wear Us Out

Part of my job as a psychologist is to observe — observe patterns of behavior, be attune to my own thoughts and feelings, and to derive some potentially helpful information form patterns I see. In recent months and weeks, I have observed some factors in life that really wear people down — they are not really hidden but are often

09Jul 2009

The Economic Downturn and The Psychology of Our Culture

I am not an economist (thankfully). But economists, meteorologists (those who try to predict the weather), and psychologists are somewhat in the same situation — our ‘sciences’ are not very “hard” — that is, they often are not solidly grounded in data and they lack power to predict. For example, last night there was no prediction at all of any

28Jun 2009

Some Random Musings from Recent Research

    Over the past weeks I have been gathering some research articles from various publications that I thought had some interesting bits of information. Here they are. The topics include: research on how Western culture and Asian culture affect problem-solving approaches, video game addiction, infant anesthesia and later learning disabilities, and age biases in the workplace that are not

19Jun 2009

Weathering the Storm of Unemployment

Recently, the reality of people losing their jobs has been hitting quite close to home. Living in the city where most aircraft are built in the U.S., and the struggles aircraft manufacturers are experiencing have made knowing individuals who have been laid off from work a personal experience.  And the secondary job losses are significant as well — suppliers to

02Jun 2009

Lessons from Nature for Daily Life & Business

I live outside of town (for those who grew up in a rural setting, it would be a stretch to say we live in the “country” — although for those who live in an urban setting, they would think so — lots of trees and animals, and we live on a dirt road).  And I love to take walks in

29May 2009

Family Reunions — Celebrating Unity & Diversity Across Generations

This past week we had the privilege of attending a family union with my wife’s family in Chicago.  There were almost 40 of us, ranging in age from 3 to 74, including my wife’s parents, six of the seven adult siblings (and spouses), and 23 of the 25 grandchildren (and two spouses).  Although it was a cool and sometimes rainy

20May 2009

Graduations — Different Perspectives, Different Lessons

This past week I had the privilege in being involved in a number of school graduation ceremonies, in different roles. I had a daughter who graduated from high school (along with all of the receptions involved). I had a son who graduated from college, but who didn’t “walk” — not because he didn’t want to, but because he is pursuing

03Mar 2009

Entering Into Your Children's & Grandchildren's Lives

Often, when talking to senior generation members within a family, we discuss how to transfer one’s values to the next generations.  Sometimes we are talking with parents in their 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s who are still raising their children and teenagers at home.  Other times we are talking to 50-60 year olds with young adult children out of the

11Jan 2009

When Bad Things Happen: Times for Family Closeness

Part of life is the fact that “bad things happen” – a car accident, serious physical problems, death of a family member, loss of a job,  — all kinds of events are possible. Recently, I have had a number of family members and friends struggle with serious physical problems:  brain tumors, breast cancer, back problems, vertigo, depression, kidney malfunctions.  (I

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