We live in a technology-saturated world, and our kids are often more adept at the newest gadgets than we are! I’ve found that parents are sometimes weary about the newest developments in the tech world. But these are the times we live in, and the internet will never go away. The online world can improve our lives or it can distance us, so I invite adults to embrace the good it can bring. However, there are certain skills that our children may be (somewhat) lacking in how to function and have relationships in a non-virtual way. Here are 5 real life skills for high-tech kids.
We’ve all experienced drama at one time or another. Maybe it’s with a gossipy co-worker, an overbearing family member, or a nosy friend. But how do you know if you yourself are the one being overly dramatic? Self-awareness is key, but the problem is that most people who really struggle with this are entirely oblivious to the fact. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you’re a drama queen (as well as some tips to help you not let drama get the better of you):
1. Do I lash out with others when I’m not included?
In my clinical practice, I’ve often seen this manifest in relationships with in-laws. For example, a woman I worked with was upset when her mother-in-law had a fun outing with others in the family but didn’t include her. If this kind of situation happens to you, how would you handle it? Some might take extreme offense, harbor great resentment, become overly dramatic, and lash out. Others may stay silent and conceal that it was painful to be excluded. But I challenge my readers to assume positive intent and then simply ask for what you want. It’s okay to say something like, “That was probably a fun thing you all did. It hurt me a little to not be invited. I’d love to be included next time around.”
–> Avoid the drama by being direct and assertive and not lashing out or gossiping.
We’ve all heard the term “mommy wars.” Originating in the 1980s, it refers to the negative cultural experience of mothers being pitted against each other based on their different lifestyle choices. While there are many aspects of motherhood that could be included under the umbrella concept of mommy wars (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, etc.), the most significant dichotomy is that of working moms versus stay-at-home moms. But this framing is no longer relevant, as it doesn’t reflect the creativity and real lives of so many women who have a variety of experiences. Here are some steps to change the way we think about motherhood and end the mommy wars for good!
As part of my dissertation study I created a model of family transformation to help families move from a dominator systems to a partnership organization that values cooperation, caring, connection, collaboration, celebration of all contributions, compassion, conscious language usage, and creativity. Based on Riane Eisler’s Cultural Transformation Theory, my Partnership Model of Family Organization offers a path for families to shift from ranking to linking.
Bringing Partnership Home: A Model of Family Transformation
Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, Wasatch Family Therapy
Eisler’s cultural transformation theory suggests that the global crises we face can be addressed only through movement to a partnership model of social organization. Drawing on cultural transformation theory and systems theory, a partnership model of family organization (PMFO) is outlined as a practical framework to guide families toward partnership relations. Eight components of PMFO are presented and expanded on as a path toward furthering familial and societal transformation. The eight tenets of a PMFO are: 1) cooperative adult leadership, 2) connecting orientation, 3) caretaking emphasis, 4) collaborative roles and rules, 5) celebration of unique contributions, 6) compassionate communication, 7) conscious language use, and 8) collection and creation of partnership stories. Finally, specific strategies of application of the PMFO will be discussed.
Cultural transformation theory, marriage and family therapy, family organization, partnership model, dominator model, partnership model of family organization, family life, partnership studies, partnership families
When an adult child gets married, it can be difficult for his/her parents to navigate their new role as an in-laws. I am learning this myself, as my oldest son got married in the not too distant past. Unfortunately, our culture has created a negative stereotype of in-laws (particularly mother-in-laws), but your own experience can be a positive one! Here are 5 ways to be an amazing mother-in-law:
1) Expect and Embrace Differences A family unit can thought of as a sort of “organism;” it has its own traditions, belief system, and even its own quirks. When a new person enters this family (through marriage), there are bound to be differences. Recognize that there is no such thing as a completely seamless transition, and expect your new son-in-law or daughter-in-law to do some things in a new way. You can learn to celebrate these differences as well! It can also be helpful to talk about family expectations in order to navigate this change.
Even the most confident of parents often feel uncomfortable with the prospect of talking to their children about sex. Most understand that if we fail to talk about it, they will learn about it from media and peers, and that it is our responsibility to do so to ensure that they have accurate information.But still, it’s not an easy conversation to have! And even for those who are brave enough to do so, how can we best help our kids not only know the facts, but also have a healthy attitude toward their bodies and understand sex in a way that will benefit them? Here are 5 ways to be a sex-positive parent:
1) Realize It Begins At Birth
Many parents wonder what is the appropriate age to begin talking about sex. But the truth is that positive attitudes about bodies and sexuality begin from the very beginning. When children are young, don’t be afraid to verbally celebrate and affirm the importance of their bodies. Even during toilet training, take the opportunity to help them notice how wonderful and useful their bodies can be. Kids absorb the messages you send in your tone of your voice and by how you respond to their actions.
Many parents feel anxious when it comes to discussing sexuality with their children. You are not alone. Even the most confident parents may squirm just a bit when a child asks a direct question regarding sexuality that they are not prepared to discuss. Here are some resources to help you and your child navigate the important process of discussing sexual issues. Thank you to my colleague Holly Willard, LCSW for book recommendations.
Wasatch Family Therapist founder and owner Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW had the opportunity to be interviewed for the MarketWatch section of the Wall Street Journal about her experience pursuing a career while also being a mother. It is very encouraging and exciting that recent studies show that women with advanced degrees and education are also having children. Whereas in the past, women either had families or great jobs, today the tide is turning, and we no longer have to choose!
What are the factors causing this change? Fathers helping with domestic responsibilities and raising children, a mobile workforce, and increased opportunities are among the reasons that highly educated women are having more babies.
Here’s an excerpt:
Julie de Azevedo Hanks, is the owner and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the mother to four children. On Saturday, she will graduate from University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy. “Tomorrow, I will be Dr. Julie Hanks.”
When it came to education and children, her motto for the past 25 years has been, ‘I refuse to choose!’ “Women seem to be challenging the long-held notion that an education/career and family are mutually exclusive,” Hanks says. “It’s no longer an either/or decision.”
She’s not alone. The number of highly educated women who are remaining childless into their mid-40s has plummeted over the last two decades, according to a new study by the nonprofit Pew Research Center, which crunched U.S. Census data.