Dealing with an Addicted Loved One Over the Holidays


The holiday season can be stressful in and of itself. Presents to purchase, wrap, and ship off (after waiting for hours in the unmoving lines at the local post office). Dinner parties to organize, cook for, and clean up after (after mediating booze-fueled arguments between politically opinionated family members). Add an active addiction to the […]

Am I an Enabler?


The concept of enabling may seem somewhat straightforward – when we enable a loved one, we do for others what they need (and can) do for themselves. However, it can be exceptionally difficult to determine the difference between supporting, assisting, and enabling – especially when loved ones are involved. Parents are biologically hardwired to want […]

Breadwinning – How Men are Affected by this Cultural Standard

men and breadwinning

Since prehistoric times, the human race has adopted and carried out very specific gender roles. The men were hunters, the women were foragers. As society became more and more civilized (arguably), gender roles shifted – but persisted. Up until very, very recently, the men in American society were consistently expected to land a good job, […]

How Controlling Parents Shape Our Adult Selves

familial trauma control

When I was a freshman in high school, I remember being embarrassed to bring any friends over to the house. “My parents aren’t… cool,” I used to explain. “They’re super strict and controlling.” And I did, sincerely, believe that they were probably the most controlling and uncompromising couple of old kooks in town. After all, […]

The Importance of Self-Care in Parenting


If you have ever experienced the joys of parenting, you know that it is truly one of the most rewarding (and most exhausting) undertakings than any human being can possibly assume. Yet while parenting is undeniably immensely rewarding in the long-run, it provides very few short-term rewards. In a recent Pew Research report, in fact, […]

8 Common Characteristics of Dysfunctional Families

family dysfunction

It can be argued that to some extent, all families are dysfunctional. All families tend to argue, disagree, and run into some degree of conflict from time to time. In fact, the occasional family dispute is not only normal and expected – but healthy. The idyllic, clash-free family (such as the one that was so […]

Is My Family Dysfunctional?

family dysfunction

We all tend to believe that our families of origin are inherently dysfunctional. It is important to remember, however, that living under the same roof as a group of strong-willed individuals (relatives, nonetheless) is bound to result in some head-butting, button-pushing, and the occasional, emotionally charged squabble. It is not uncommon for the relationships we […]