Consider Giving

• St. Joseph's Home for Children
As you prepare your Christmas or Hanukkah celebration, consider that a boy or girl is being "removed from home by police" and taken to the only emergency shelter left in Hennepin County: St. Joe's. That phrase–– removed from home–– is a euphemism for children rescued from pain and hurt and chaos and abandonment. These are newborns with broken ribs and toddlers who have just seen their mother beaten up and 8-year-olds left alone with no food and teens with no hope. Catholic Charities has kept this last option open for our children who are the most desperately in need. Find out more about St. Joe's programs or make a donation this holiday. Whatever you give, it's more than what these children have.


Your Teen is Upset (and so are you)

• What Enmeshment Means
"In a parent-child relationship this creates a dynamic in which teenagers who need to develop appropriate autonomy become developmentally stymied. They are either too afraid to venture into increased autonomy and become dependent on their parents, or ... run too far in the other direction, sometimes making poor choices in their effort to be independent." More here by David Prior, LMFT.


Putting the Hohoho in the Holiday

Ten Tips for the (Divorced) Holidays
Boston psychologist Robin Deutsch is the director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.


Wide-spread Use of Psychoactive Drugs in Children

It's a short walk from unhappy teen to Rx: non-psychiatrists prescribe 80% of antidepressant and anxiolytic medications––primarily internists, gynecologists, family practitioners, PAs, and nurse practitioners. Yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says extensive analysis of clinical trials showed antidepressants may cause or worsen suicidal thinking or behavior in children and adolescents. An in-depth two part discussion can be found in The New York Review of Books by Marcia Angell (former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and now lecturer in social medicine at Harvard), here and here.


Post-partum Depression

It's Not Just for Mothers Anymore
A new study published in the December issue of the medical journal Pediatrics "Paternal Depressive Symptoms and Child Behavioral or Emotional Problems in the United States" will encourage fathers to seek help (and clinicians to offer it).


Finances for Divorcing Mothers

Cinder Without Her Fella
Local financial advisor Carin Thomas offers a light-hearted but essential financial workbook for women going through divorce.



Social Early Neutral Evaluation

If you're just embarking on divorce, consider doing it the best way: without litigation and without harm to your children.



New Guidelines Released Today
In my experience, a majority of (non-infant) children in CHIPS are being prescribed drugs, most often for a diagnosis of ADHD. Treating the underlying causes of ADHD-like behavior means addressing the child-parent relationship.

Dissent is Growing
A growing chorus of scientific voices are questioning the prescribing practice, here and here.

Calming Your Child's ADHD Symptoms
ADHD behaviors are symptoms of problems with regulation of behavior, emotions, and attention. The question to answer is "'What is making self-regulation difficult for this particular child?' followed by 'What can we do to help?'"


Scholarly Research

Parenting After Separation
This Australian Psychological Society 2009 position paper succinctly summarises current research relating to parenting in the context of separation and divorce, and considers some of the services, policies and community- based interventions that might be supportive of positive parenting functions during such major life changes.

MN Rule 114 Neutrals

There has been an explosion in the use of outside professionals to assist parties both going through the marriage dissolution process as well as in dealing with its aftermath. Here is a lexicon based on MN Rule 114.


Books I'm Reading

• Claudia Gold, MD writing for a lay audience
When both parent and child can be 'at their worst' behavioral pediatrician Dr. Gold shows the magical effect of wondering about the meaning of a child's behavior. Unlike other books of advice which show a parent what to do, hers shows how to be with a child.

• What traumatized children can teach about loss, love, and healing
Psychiatrist Bruce Perry explains what happens to the developing brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress and discusses compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, measures that can be taken to ease a child's struggles and help him or her grow into a healthy adult.


Having Empathy for Parents

• Claudia Gold, MD writes the blog Child in Mind
"I believe one can always work with parents to support efforts to think about their child's mind and subjective experience....[n]ot a treatment for the parents, it is instead a focal intervention whose aim is to, in a sense, support the parents' efforts to hold their child in mind."