For a lecture course I teach at Brown University called “Love Stories,” we begin at the beginning, with love at first sight. To its detractors, love at first sight must be an illusion – the wrong term for what is simply infatuation, or a way to sugarcoat lust. Buy into it, they say, and you’re a fool.
It’s been said that whatever brings us to face the essential truth of our lives may be called “grace.” Frequently, grace assumes a form that feels more like a curse than a blessing. It can be a life-threatening illness, the loss of a family member, being fired from a job, the kids leaving home (or coming back), divorce, a serious accident, or any number of possible crises that can be encountered in one’s life.
A successful relationship has two very important components: learning to love yourself first, and then learning to love another person. Too many people ignore the first part, then wonder why it’s so hard to love another. It’s like expecting to water a plant with an empty water pitcher. Or trying to put on your child’s oxygen mask when the airplane cabin pressure drops, but passing out from lack of oxygen before you can get it on.
We know from new research that children whose mothers are depressed may respond differently to stress, have altered immunity and be at greater risk of psychological disorders. This work adds to the body of research showing children can be affected in negative and long-term ways by their mothers’ mental ill-health.
When talking about separation and divorce, media and personal stories often focus on relationships characterised by ongoing conflict or violence. In contrast, Australian research suggests low conflict or cooperative post-separation relationships are common. These are negotiated in contexts that require what British sociologist Carol Smart described as an “indelible” joint-parenting contract.
Children of divorce are less likely to earn a four-year or graduate degree, according to a new study. The study is one of the first to look specifically at divorce and graduate education. Susan Stewart, professor of sociology at Iowa State University, says it is important to understand this relationship as more jobs require a graduate or professional degree.
Worldwide, people are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. In Australia, less than 4% of us meet the Australian Dietary Guideline recommendations for vegetables by age group. Worryingly, children and teenagers are even less likely than adults to be eating enough vegetables.
Less than 1% of kids aged two to three are eating the recommended 2.5 serves of vegetables and legumes a day. Between ages four to eight, 0% of kids are meeting their minimum 4.5 serves of vegetables per day. Most children up to 13 are eating two or fewer serves per day when the aim is closer to five serves.
While some kids may be lucky enough to skate through their parents’ separation relatively unscathed, the majority are going to suffer at least some short term, if not longer term distress. As an adult, you’ve likely forgotten just how central your family was to your sense of stability and even identity. Children have yet to develop autonomy, independence or a secure sense of self; instead, their entire frame of reference is strongly centred around their family. When that framework is broken, their world can feel as though it has fallen apart.
A pattern of breaking up and getting back together can be bad for your mental health, according to a new study. While on-and-off-again couples like Sam and Diane from Cheers or Ross and Rachel from Friends may keep audiences watching, Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family science at the University of Missouri, suggests people in these kinds of relationships should make informed decisions about stabilizing or safely terminating their relationships.
We spend much of our time talking about trivial matters and practical ones -- the weather, plans for the day, routine office events, frivolous gossip, the next technological miracle, etc. So little of our conversation addresses our passions, loves, emotions, dreams, or our creative insights...
Exposure to an acute stress in utero can have long-term consequences extending into childhood—but only among children in poor households, according to a new study. The study, which took place in Chile, did not find the same effect among children in upper- or middle-class families.
Dress code policies have always been prevalent in schools. Normally, what children can and cannot wear in schools is explicitly noted in school policies or implicitly implied by broader cultural and societal norms. The issue of the vast and sometimes exhaustive list of dress code policies of what cannot be worn has not had any resolution across localities and countries.
There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories. Our recent work showed reading to children positively impacts long term academic achievement more than many other activity (including playing music with them, or doing craft).
Imagine that someone you care about is procrastinating in advance of a vital exam. If he fails the test, he will not be able to go to university, an eventuality of major consequence in his life. If positive encouragement doesn’t work, you might reverse strategy, making your friend feel so bad, so worried, so scared, that the only strategy left is that he starts studying like mad.
The most common sexual problem is low desire, according to a research study we recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Around 40 per cent of the women we asked, and 30 per cent of men, reported experiencing problems with low desire during the last six months.
Many people have real challenges in their relationships with other people. Are you one of them? One of the largest contributing factors to your ability to freely enjoy other people depends upon how much you enjoy yourself... how much you accept yourself.
Up to two-thirds of students experience ‘ninth grade shock,’ which can affect everything from grades to mental health.
A grey divorce is simply a divorce that occurs at or after the age of 50. Even though the divorce rate across all age groups has stabilised, the number of grey divorces in the United States has recently dramatically increased.
Research shows we think young people have a lot more sex than they do in reality – and men have a particularly skewed view of the sex lives of young women.
The majority of people who are online dating seek out partners who are more desirable than themselves, new research suggests.
What dads do online helps them navigate gender roles as society changes.
When people think of women freezing their eggs, it’s often seen as something to do if you want to get ahead in your career – a way of delaying motherhood.
Childhood bullying is so common that it may not seem like a big deal. Up to 35% per cent of people are estimated to have experienced it at some point.
Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.”
When it comes to predicting who is most likely to act in a trustworthy manner, one of the most important factors is the anticipation of guilt, according to a new study.
We have all gone through life saying certain things about ourselves, such as: I'm a shy person, or I'm intelligent, or I'm stupid, or I'm clumsy, or I'm slow, etc. Once we understand the power of the word and of the mind, we come to the realization that all of these statements were simply creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
During August football practice, every coach’s favorite cheer will be to “stay hydrated” and “keep urine clear” during the summer heat.
One emotion holding many of us back is negative love: our tendency to repeat the behaviors we used to win our parents’ love, and to repeat our parents’ attitudes, behaviors, and treatment of us. Generation after generation pass on the same type of negative love...
Using coercion to get your kid to eat healthy foods doesn’t really have effect, good or bad, on their weight. But it can cause meal-time tension and damage the parent-child relationship, a new study suggests.
A relationship is something to appreciate. A relationship allows you to share experiences. It lets you see yourself through someone else's eyes, and if that can be annoying at times, it is also a wonderful opportunity for self-awareness and growth...
The physical benefits of getting kids moving have been well recognised to help prevent chronic disease and develop movement habits across their lifespan.
In early November 2017, Brooks Fisher’s neighbor in Sonoma, California, pounded on his door at 2 a.m., rang the doorbell and shouted, “There’s a fire coming and you need to get out now! I can hear trees exploding!”
In five states that decriminalized marijuana between 2007 and 2015, there was no corresponding rise in the drug’s use among young people, a new analysis shows.
Research shows that playing games can enhance our personal, social and emotional well-being, as well as our mental acuity. Many board games strengthen the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brains of players.
From educational toys to governmental guidelines and detailed nursery progress reports, there are lots of resources available to help parents track and facilitate their children’s development.
When we stop trying to make ourselves great and simply realize our greatness, it is easy to fall in love with who we are. The greatness that we try so desperately to conjure up is effectively buried beneath our best efforts to make ourselves acceptable.
In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to protect children from failure in order to safeguard their fragile self-esteem.
‘The world has always belonged to males,’ wrote Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex (1949), ‘and none of the reasons given for this have ever seemed sufficient.’
Researchers have created a model to predict which civil online conversations might take a turn and derail. After analyzing hundreds of exchanges between Wikipedia editors, the researchers developed a computer program that scans for warning signs in participants’ language at the start of a conversation...
How often do you tell the special people in your life exactly what it is that you love most about them? How often do you identify what's good about your spouse, lover, children, sisters, brothers, dad, mother, uncles, aunts, friends, and colleagues -- and actually put it into words so there can be no doubt?
It’s that time of year again, when the noticeboard outside your local primary school is likely to read “Enrol your child for kindergarten/prep now”. But how do you know what the “right” age to start school is?
John Bradshaw underscores the importance of family connection. He emphasizes acceptance and "loving your own crooked family with your own crooked heart." Just as Mormons celebrate Mondays as Family at Home Night, we can rethink some of our commitments and create time for what's truly important.
Strong sibling bonds can offset the negative effects of parental strife, according to a new study.
Our subconscious is a truly wonderful partner. It finds many ways to communicate with us. The other morning, I found myself humming "Slow down, you're going too fast..." Now, that was a clear message. Have you ever paid attention to the songs that you find yourself humming, or whistling?
Our feelings are a foolproof guidance system, letting us know if we are experiencing heaven or hell, love or fear, well being or disease. Using your feelings as your guide is the most direct indicator of whether or not you are being peace and happiness.
In 1906, the young Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung received a collection of essays from none other than the founder of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud.
Our fear of aloneness is so ingrained that given the choice of being by ourselves or being with others we opt for safety in numbers, even at the expense of lingering in painful, boring, or totally unredeeming company. While many have their solo lifestyles thrust on them -- people die, people go away -- a huge and growing population is choosing to be alone...
Children typically begin lying in the preschool years, between two and four years of age. These intentional attempts at deception may worry parents, who fear their child will become a pint-sized social deviant.
People have told me many stories of difficult mother-daughter relationships that healed through caregiving. Their stories have given me the gift of healing. Forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, and love grow through empathy for and understanding of the experiences of others...
As the TV series Westworld wraps up its second season, the show continues to spark discussion about a potential future that involves lifelike sex robots.
Whenever you get a chance, even if it’s only ten minutes, engage in shared reading activities.
Quite often, I spend time with people who are extremely critical of themselves for having multiple failed relationships. The truth is, they're missing the point: We can't fail, because there's no way to do these things wrong. A failed relationship, if you put it into its proper context, is a chance to...
I was raised on “don’t hurt other people’s feelings — be nice.” The concept of setting personal boundaries was foreign to me... How could I tell her she had overstepped her boundaries?
The old cliché tells us the most desirable men are “tall, dark, and handsome” – and scientific research confirms that heterosexual women tend to prefer partners who are taller than them.
I invite you to extend your circle of authentic conversations to include not just lovers, but people you encounter in situations that appear to be routine, boring, or mundane. A master teacher told me that one of the secrets of success is to “take whatcha got and make whatcha want.”
Taking time apart from a loved one is often thought of as the end of the relationship. But after 53 years together, and helping to guide thousands of couples, Joyce and I view separation as a sometimes vital necessity in a relationship...
It was a well-kept secret among historians during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the practice of magic was widespread in the ancient Mediterranean
We look around at the world's problems and wish they would go away, but they stubbornly persist despite our most heartfelt desires. So we end up living in a kind of ethical haze. It seems that everything and everyone is for sale. Nothing remains sacred.
Nobody wants to feel hopeless. There are some who attach themselves to it because they know nothing else. Even people who are suicidal don't want death as much as they want the pain to stop.
Each year, more than 6 million children in the United States are referred to Child Protective Services for abuse or neglect. Previous research on the consequences of early life stress and child maltreatment shows that these children will be more likely to develop a multitude of social and mental health problems.
With all the freedoms independent living entails, it’s maybe not surprising then that drug use tends to be much higher among students than the general population.
Anti-immigrant policies, race-related demonstrations, Title IX disputes, affirmative action court cases, same-sex marriage litigation. These issues are continually in the headlines. But even thoughtful articles on these subjects seem always to devolve to pitting warring factions against each other: black versus white, women versus men, gay versus straight.
A consciousness of abandonment may begin in early childhood with the death or divorce of a parent, the father taking a job in another town and seldom seeing the child, or perhaps feeling lost in a large family of brothers and sisters and not receiving enough attention. Other factors to consider...
Three out of four pediatricians disapprove of spanking, research finds.
People who are tolerant of ambiguity—a kind of uncertainty in which the odds of an outcome are unknown—are more likely to cooperate with and trust other people, according to new research.
The truth is that my favorite Father’s Day gift this year has been the gift of time.
Uncertainty about a potential romantic partner’s interest in you may lead you to see the person as less sexually attractive, according to a new study.
As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids.
Whether your relationships are as wonderful as you wish them to be or you feel that there is room for improvement, using metaphysical methods to manage and sustain them is as rewarding as is it empowering.
One in 7 women suffer depression around pregnancy.
When my husband Charlie and I conducted our study, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples about Lasting Love, these are the practices that respondents told us had held them in good stead to grow their exemplary relationships.
Most people will experience feelings of deep loss and distress after a long-term relationship breakup.
Some couples seem blessed with everlasting love. Then, there’s the rest of us—who start running into trouble once the honeymoon is over. We encounter differences, disagreements, disappointments. Buttons get pushed. And communication breaks down as issues become increasingly hard to resolve.
Studies suggest few women formally complain about sexual harassment in the workplace. Based on experience litigating sexual harassment cases as well as my research, I have determined there are three legal barriers that stand in the way of workers filing complaints – a critical step to rooting out harassment and protecting employees.
It is beautiful to be alone, it is also beautiful to be in love, to be with people. And they are complementary, not contradictory. When you are enjoying others, enjoy, and enjoy to the full; there is no need to bother about aloneness. And when you are fed up with others, then move into aloneness and enjoy it to the full.
Japan has long been known for its widespread respect for its seniors and a powerful sense of obligation to care for them. Yet as the demographic structure of society has changed, and the population has progressively aged, the provision of care is increasingly seen as a social (and not exclusively a family) concern.
Sharing your life with a loving partner is very rewarding and meaningful. Since we work with couples, we often ask them how they met. Often they will respond that they met online. Typically, they are somewhat embarrassed when they reveal this, thinking that it should have been a more natural and romantic way of meeting. But...
We have all given our power away to something -- many things -- and our lives have sucked for it. We have bestowed undue power to lovers, money, bosses, addictive substances, fame, etc. You give your power away when you make someone or something outside of you more important than what is inside of you.
Parents often have different expectations for their three- to five-year-old children when they attend an early learning center.
Do you feel lonely because you do not have family around you? Let's put loneliness and being alone in its proper perspective. If you have a need for a family then the relationship you have with your family is based on fear and not love.
How much do you know about the guidance on drinking in pregnancy? Most are aware of the “don’t drink” message. But if you’re an expectant mother, or someone who’s job involves giving advice, our new study shows that the abstinence message can feel too simplistic.
You will be much more successful at making core-level life changes if you enlist the support of the people around you. It will be necessary for you to discover those people who are relying on you not to change and then enroll them in the change you want to make...
Our understanding of the Emotional System today is still in the Dark Ages. This has its analogy to the time when people's understanding of our Solar System was based upon the belief that the Sun revolved around the Earth, as it certainly appeared that way -- however, just the reverse was true. The problem was, as long as we believed the Sun went around the Earth, we were limited as to how far we could go in the Solar System.
As Amazon releases an Echo Dot smart-home device aimed at children, it’s entering a busy and growing marketplace. More than one-third of U.S. homes with children has at least one “internet of things” connected toy – like a cuddly creature who can listen to and respond to a child’s inquiries.
You’ve probably heard that breast milk provides all the energy requirements, vitamins and nutrients that an infant needs. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life when possible. Unfortunately there are a number of reasons that breastfeeding can be a challenge...
After thirty-five years in private psychotherapy practice and decades of studying and teaching, I've found all good communication boils down to just four simple rules. Whether it's with our spouse, our kids or our boss, mastering these concepts will have us communicating with anyone about any topic, effectively and lovingly.
Young adults who listen to music with their parents during childhood—and especially during adolescence—report having better relationships with their moms and dads as they enter young adulthood, according to a new study.
Statistics show that the average yearly cost of an assisted living facility ($49,635) or a nursing home ($131,853) makes these options financially prohibitive for many. The viable alternative is to safely age in place. The psychosocial benefits of remaining in their own home, continuing to be socially active in their community, and maintaining established relationships are priceless.
Lying about availability is a common deception online dating users tell potential partners, according to a new paper. “Until now, it has been relatively unclear how often mobile daters use deception in their messages before they meet the other person,” says Markowitz.
Economic tumult in the early 2000s persuaded many young people to keep living with their parents, but their reasons differ starkly by race, a study concludes.
Nurturing parents may pass along strategies for building and maintaining positive relationships to their kids, setting them up for healthier, less-violent romantic relationships as young adults, according to new research.
With all the concerns we have facing our global society, ranging from pollution of all sorts to bloodshed through wars and human rights violations, we must look at the underlying cause for what is happening -- the lack of love. We, as a collective consciousness, are beginning to look more at our inner Selves, and in this action we are finding a heart that has become cold and unfulfilled...
NPR reported on a survey about loneliness conducted by Cigna, a large health insurance company. Are Americans becoming lonelier?
GOD, IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT TODAY'S SOCIETY, WHAT WOULD IT BE? -- Peter, 15 yrs old -- I would change your beliefs about who you are, and who I am, and how life is. I would cause you to notice that you and I are One, that you are likewise one with everything and everyone else...
Almost half of all children will go through a fussy eating period in the early years. Rest assured, refusal of foods by young children is a normal stage of development.
Housework is often understood as a gendered negotiation based on the traditional roles of homemaker (feminine) and breadwinner (masculine). While gender norms have shifted dramatically in the past few decades, theories of housework are still stuck on this 1950s model.
In high school I looked up to my classmate Rick Brown, the quintessential cool guy. He was the good-looking captain of the football team and president of the student council. He had a cheerleader homecoming queen girlfriend and was liked by everyone. I envied Rick because he was at the epicenter of the in crowd, and I saw myself as a distant outsider.
While the occurrence of sexist harassment online is well documented, we less often consider what might be driving this behavior
The rise in violent incidents on the streets of London has prompted a wave of discussion about what causes crime among young people.