Glenora Psychology Tip Sheets

Category Archives: Families and Parenting

Putting the FUN back in DysFUNctional – Surviving the holidays with your extended family

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Dr. Steve Carter and Dr. Shirley Vandersteen, Chartered Psychologists Let’s start with a disclaimer. There is nothing fun about a seriously dysfunctional family – one with violence, abuse, addictions, or other grave problems. Serious problems need serious help. We are going to talk about the normal, everyday issues that all families have to deal with. All families are dysfunctional to some extent. We love the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” because we can name at least one relative for each character in the show. Most of us have odd, difficult, unpredictable, attention-seeking, or downright mean spirited family members. Your family may have long-standing conflicts that seem to have no beginning and no end. People can’t quite remember how the fight started or why certain people can’t stand each other, but everyone sits on pins and needles just waiting for someone to take offence and the feud to begin. There…

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On Being A Parent

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Being a parent is a lesson in love and in life. Too often we get caught up in the work and responsibility of parenting and don’t realize the benefits that come with the job. In raising children, we have the opportunity to become a better human being and to learn what is really important about life. While there is a lot of work, worry, and pain in raising children there are also times of great joy and deep satisfaction. If you allow your children to be your teachers, you grow up psychologically as you learn from them and with them. When another life depends on you, you realize that your life is not the only important thing. In assuming the tremendous responsibility of caring for a totally dependent human being, you must move past your own self-centred needs to consider the needs of your child. The demands of raising children…

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Mothers and Teenage Sons

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Mothers often get along quite well with their teenage sons except when it comes to the area of personal responsibility. Sons frequently complain that their mothers nag them too much. Mothers and sons fight about household chores, curfews, schoolwork, and personal accountability. These conflicts can occur on a daily basis, and if not effectively dealt with, can form the core of the interaction between mothers and sons during adolescence. At the heart of this conflict is the issue of control. A boy resists what he perceives as his mother’s control. He strives for autonomy in order to feel like a man. In response, his mother escalates her attempts at gaining compliance from her son, which only causes further resistance. Mothers increase their efforts to parent their sons because they want their sons to become mature and independent young men. A boy’s behavior at home is often indicative of just the…

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Mothers and Teenage Daughters

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Mothers and daughters often enjoy a close relationship in the early years before adolescence. Once a girl becomes twelve or thirteen, she may become moody, extremely critical of her mother, and withdraw from physical affection. If this is happening between you and your daughter, please don’t be too concerned. Your daughter is becoming a young woman and is going through great emotional, physical, social, and psychological changes. This is likely to be one of the hardest and most complicated times of her life. Now is the time when she needs you the most and yet, it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to be close to you. It’s easy to mishandle this stage of development as a parent. You have to keep your cool if you are going to be of any help to your daughter, and if you’re going to maintain the strong bond between you. Here are some…

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Being the Executor of a Will

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Family members are often designated as the executor of a will. As the executor of a will, you have been given a challenging responsibility as well as a great honor. A loved one has entrusted you to carry out their last wishes and to disburse the contents of their estate. No matter how clearly the will is drawn up, this is usually not an easy or simple task. Emotions run high as family and friends come to terms with their grief, old conflicts rise to the surface, and ongoing clashes take center stage. When money is concerned, people are often at their worst instead of their best. Family relationships can be ruined as family and friends fight over the financial and personal assets of the deceased. Too much value is placed on money and personal possessions and people lose sight of what is truly important. As the executor of the…

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20 Back to School Tips for Success

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The end of summer is a mix of disappointment and the excitement of starting a new year at school for many children. There are several things that a parent can do to assist their children in establishing a strong and positive start to the school year. Some ideas include: View the new school year as a new beginning, perhaps a time to have a slightly later ¬†bedtime, an increase in allowance or other privileges. Establish new routines. Perhaps the best routine for elementary school age children, if you are not yet doing so, is to read to them each night when they are in bed, usually a chapter book one or two levels above what the child can read and also giving the child some extra time (10 or 15 minutes) before lights out if they have a book (at their reading level) to read to themselves (and yes, comics…

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