Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome: Finding New Purpose as Parents Transitioning into the "empty nest" phase of life as parents is a significant rite of passage. As your children leave home (often for college), a whirlwind of emotions can ensue. The empty space where there was once laughter, chatter, and occasional teenage drama in the home is suddenly filled with silence. That’s a lot for many parents to handle, and it's normal to feel sadness, loss, and even anxiety about this new chapter. However, it's essential to remember that this unavoidable phase of life also offers parents opportunities for personal [...]
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Discussing Separation or Divorce with Children Separation and divorce is fraught with emotional upheaval and adjustments; and as parents, sharing the news with your children can be a very challenging moment. However, as difficult as that moment can be, there are compassionate and effective communication strategies that can significantly influence how your children navigate the forthcoming loss and all of the changes and adjustments that go with it. When discussing separation and divorce with your children, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to deliver the message with warmth, clarity and simplicity. What exactly you share and [...]
Teenagers and Cannabis: Understanding the Far-reaching Impact Cannabis became fully legal on July 1st, 2021 in Virginia for adults 21 years and older. Cannabis is legal medicinally and recreationally, however, a final date for recreational or commercial sales has yet to be determined by the state. Currently, 38 states, three territories and DC allow the medical use of cannabis, and 23 states, three territories and DC permit commercial sales. As parents, whether we like it or not, cannabis is here to stay in Virginia, and we’re going to be seeing a heck of a lot more of it once commercial [...]
Nurturing Soft Skills: A Guide for Today's Teenagers In our ever-evolving world, the emphasis on soft skills is increasing in all spheres of life. These personal attributes, which enable individuals to interact effectively, productively and harmoniously with others, are as valuable as technical skills -- for teenagers especially, soft skills lay the foundation for future success. To understand how well developed your teen’s soft skills are, ponder these questions. How well does your teen handle social situations? Is he or she polite and well-mannered? Does he or she treat others with respect? Is your teen an effective communicator? Is he [...]
Does Social Media Cause ADHD in Children and Adults? The Impact of Social Media on ADHD: Separating Fact from Fiction Social media is ubiquitous, and while it’s a great way to stay connected to important others, to get news and to learn about what’s going on in the world, overusing or over relying on social media has become a problem for many people. As a psychologist, I am often asked about the impact of social media overuse and whether or not it can cause ADHD. With the rise of social media and technology, it's important to separate fact from fiction [...]
Navigating the path to independence in young adults By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. The phenomenon of young adults struggling to transition into the next stage of life has become increasingly common in recent years, and this “failure to launch" or "failure to thrive" can have profound consequences. As a psychologist, I frequently work with parents who are concerned about their adult children's inability to mature and become independent. These parents frequently ask, “What did we do wrong?” or “How did we get here?” There can be multiple factors that contribute to young adults being delayed or off track developmentally. First identifying [...]
Dr. Mike, My husband is very strict and hard on our three boys, and he is a big believer in “Commando Parenting.” Sometimes it’s too much on our kids. The other day I found my oldest who’s 14 years old crying alone in his bedroom during the day after his dad removed his mattress, bedding, clothes, and devices for not getting straight A’s. Our son had to do his chores and homework to earn his things back – one at a time. To earn back his mattress, sheets and blanket, our son had to do everything my husband said just [...]
What is the Best Parenting Time Schedule for Special Needs Children? Divorce is difficult for children, and there is no question that it is especially hard on children with special needs; children who require additional assistance, supports and accommodations for disabilities that could be medical/physical, developmental or psychological. At school, special needs children usually have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) – a plan and/or program that is designed and implemented to support a disabled child’s specific elementary and secondary learning needs. However, when it comes to divorce, there isn’t a universally agreed upon parenting time plan or program that attorneys [...]
If You Want To Live A Better 2023, Change Your Mindset There are several reasons why New Year’s Resolutions fail – the resolutions are too vague or grand, the approach lacks planning, structure and accountability, and essential things are missing (e.g., motivation, time, resources). So, what can you do differently this year to maximize your success? I recommend that you try focusing more on how you think about yourself in relation to a given goal over the actual desired results you’re wanting to achieve. If you really want to change something meaningful about yourself, the best place to start is [...]
9 Tips to Loving (and Liking) Your Spouse Again Do you find yourself in a marriage where you love your spouse, but privately and deep down inside, you don’t necessarily like him or her very much anymore? If you answered “yes” know that you are not alone. Research studies have shown that as many as 6 out of 10 married couples are unhappy, and those studies cite several factors contributing to marital unhappiness including: a sex life with diminishing returns, financial stress, preoccupation with technology, dishonesty, a lack of communication, adultery and men taking their women for granted when it [...]