How DNA Influences Your Child On Valentine’s Day

Amidst the rush to find socks and complete homework and mediate arguments, you might pause as Valentine’s Day approaches to wonder: “Will this child I love ever have a special someone in his or her life?” It may seem distant from the morning’s discussion of why ketchup is or is not a vegetable, but in your mutual future you know it is coming: crushes, romance begun and ended via text, and that sweet smile you love, directed at someone else. But how does that first connection even occur, and why does it come so easily for some, but not for others? Continue reading

We Exaggerate our Multitasking Abilities

Take a moment and give yourself a Multitask Rating from 1 to 10. Let’s say a score of 1 goes to the utterly hopeless multitasker and 10 goes to the mental black belt of the divided mind. Can you read email while conversing with a friend; book a plane ticket during the board meeting; do your homework and still pay attention to that movie; or text your friends while driving to let them know you’re “almost there?” Many of you will quickly answer yes to those questions without giving it a second thought. Continue reading

Manipulative: The “M Word”

Before studying to become a psychologist, I worked in a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, a landing place for distressed kids coming from impossible situations. Life in the hospital relied upon a rigid schedule and a behavior point system. For some, the structure was a welcome relief from chaos, but for others it was a reminder of how little control they had in their lives. These children threw themselves time and again into a state of turmoil. They were violent toward themselves and others, oppositional, deceitful and vindictive. I can recall one patient who told me flat out that she would “go off” that evening simply because it was my night to be on call and she wanted to keep me stuck at the hospital. It felt as though she wanted to punish me, and she delivered with dramatic threats to hurt herself and her peers. We called these patients manipulative because, well, that’s what they appeared to be. Continue reading