Relationships & Family


Parents Playing Favorites

It’s easy to say that parents should never play favorites.? But if we’re honest, it’s a lot harder in practice. We are all someone’s kid, and many of us are someone’s parent.? In at least one of those roles most of us have experienced favoritism – either showing it, or experiencing it as a sibling.? It’s not that we don’t love all of our kids, or that our parents didn’t love all of theirs. For a moment, let’s assume love is not the issue. ?Sometimes though, we simply mesh better with some......

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In Today's News Cycle, Has the Term 'Bullying' Lost Its Meaning

Brad Lewis took to YouTube and Facebook within hours of burying his son, Jordan, who shot himself in the heart.? “This bullying has to stop,” Lewis said in a seven-minute video. But is it right to blame a suicide on bullying?? Is it really that simple?? Aren’t many more kids bullied than the number of kids who harm themselves?? Has the term lost its impact because it means so many different things? I asked myself these questions after reading the story about Brad and Jordan Lewis, and I even found that I......

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Tune in to Your Kids' Taste in Music

There has long been the cultural stereotype that children reject their parent’s taste in music. I certainly did.? I eschewed my parent’s symphonic classical music and operas for The Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Dylan, The Stones, The Who, The Doors, The Beatles. Classic rock – there wasn’t anything better. Today, however, I’m not sure this stereotype rings as true anymore. My two daughters, both in their 20s, were visiting home recently, and I was struck by their diverse tastes in music. They like – and regularly listen to –......

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Conversation. It's What's for Dinner.

When was the last time you had really good dinner conversation with family or friends? Conversation that was not interrupted by the many ways our devices have a hold on us: the compelling ping calling us to a text or an email, the insatiable desire to check our Facebook page, tweet a thought, take a photo, or Google anything.? A conversation that was more than just a breezy catch up, one that was spirited and smart and made you think in some new way and become more connected to someone because of......

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What the Looming Government Shutdown Can Teach Us About Relationships

The Federal government is poised to shut down in hours, but there is at least one bright side to this most recent round of ugly political theater:? it reminds us that playing the blame game is no way to sustain healthy relationships, or really succeed at getting anything of lasting significance accomplished. Elected officials are spending vastly more time and energy assigning blame for the impeding hardships which will result if the government shuts down, than they do trying to avoid the shutdown and avert the suffering.? Find that offensive?? Me too!......

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Does Poverty Destroy Families, or Is it the Demise of Family that Increases Poverty?

We know that the gaps in both earning and in education are widening in America.? A new Ohio State University study by Zhenchao Qian, Divergent Paths of American Families, suggests that the two are closely related: those possessing better educations and greater earnings are more likely to live in two parent stable families, and those with less education and money are less likely to get married, or stay married, and have kids being raised by only one, or even no, parents. The analysis and commentary of the study run toward the assumption......

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The Blessing of Desire

One of the keys to a flourishing life is to understand how our desires work. The strange thing about our desires – whether for love, happiness, truth, self-awareness, to be ethical, to be creative – is that our most important desires can never fully be realized once and for all. No matter how much we are loved (or love) we can never really be loved enough (or love enough). No matter how self aware we are we can never (and ought never) banish all self-doubt. However happy we are we will suffer......

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Whose Messiah and Who Decides?

The parents of newborn Messiah DeShawn McCullough ended up in family court when they couldn’t agree on what his last name should be. As is so often the case, they got more than they bargained for when they entered the courtroom of Tennessee judge, Lu Ann Balew. The honorable Ms. Balew quickly resolved the issue of family name, and then quickly turned her attention on the baby’s first name.? The child shall hence forth be known as “Martin”, the declared the judge. Why? According to Her Honor, the reason was clear:? the......

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Virtual Dating May Be More Real Than "Real" Dating

As with many other parts of our lives, the line between “real” and “virtual” is becoming increasingly blurry and even down-right misleading.? Can you call something virtual as opposed to real, when the former may lead to something more durable and satisfying?? I don’t see how, and that is exactly the topic of a recent study of marriages which began as on-line relationships vs. those which began in person. According to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, of couples who got together online, 5.9%......

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The Mixed Emotions of Sending Kids Off to School

My mother still describes how she and my dad took me to the airport in Chicago on the day I left home to complete high school in Israel. She describes returning to the house and heading up to my room on third floor and sitting on my bed as she wept. I still feel mildly annoyed, more than thirty years later, when she tells that anecdote. Having just dropped off our eldest child at college, however (and like so many other moments in my life as a parent), I understand both my......

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