It’s 11 pm and the homework battle soldiers on. You’re standing in the door frame, trying to convince your 13 year old daughter that it’s time for bed. She has spent the last 6 hours preparing for her science test and the best thing she can do now is rest, but she won’t close the books. Your sweet, stressed, bleary eyed girl is positive that if she sleeps all will be lost and her quarter grades will be unrecoverable. Sound familiar?
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
All families who come into my office, no matter what their particular issues are, all share one common characteristic; their family system is experiencing stress. In addition, most families have not been able to sit down together and effectively address each other’s concerns. Indeed, few families do; while it is common in many settings for people to meet together to solve problems (volunteer organizations, work, etc.), few families regularly set aside time to address concerns. As weeks fly by in a rush of work schedules, carpools, and sports practices, problems can often build up. Making time for family meetings can help families focus on improving the family atmosphere and family relationships, and head off problems before they build up. Here are some ideas for making meetings work:
Jonah Green and Associates has been honored to work with Jocelyn Smith, PhD, over these past two-plus years. We already miss her terribly, even as we are so proud of her as she moves on to postdoctoral work. Here we get some additional wisdom from Jocelyn us as she moves ahead with her career:
The month of August is often full of transition for families all across the country. New graduates spanning from Kindergarten to Graduate/Professional School are preparing to start new phases of their life journeys. I am one of them! In May, I earned my PhD in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and relocated in August for postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan. While these transitions can be full of hope and excitement for the graduates and their families, they also can be full of fear and sadness as the familiar is left behind in pursuit of promising new opportunities. Yet, as the anticipated change approaches, we often take for granted the grief that can accompany transition. As preparations are made to facilitate a smooth start, it is also important to invest attention toward creating healthy separations from the people, places, and things that may be parted with in the process. Below are a few suggestions to help create a healthy goodbye:
“I don’t care!”
We all have heard it before—a child’s dismissive comeback, often in response to a parent’s concern. Discussions about children’s behavior and expectations are often stressful for parents; a child’s “I-don’t-care” retort can generate additional frustration, anger, and sometimes, self-doubt.
For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of being a mommy. My favorite photograph is of a pig-tailed 7-year-old “me”, pushing around my toy carriage. I had 8 or 9 dolls in tow, and my little pink night gown was stuffed with pillows, indicating more little dollies on the way. “Oh, yes,” I exclaimed confidently, “one day I am going to have 100 children!” Although this magic number (thankfully!) decreased as I got older, my love for children and my desire to be a mother never waned. I often referred to myself as the “second mother” to my sister 7 years my junior, and was a beloved and much sought after baby sitter through middle and high school, and even college. I even earned the nickname “baby whisperer” as I could seemingly soothe any baby to sleep. My studies in child behavior and development in college and graduate school, as well as my work thereafter, only solidified my dreams of having children of my own. There was no doubt in my mind that between my love of children and knowledge of child development, I could (and would!) be the “perfect” mom.