How to Parent with Attitude

David Elkind, the famous developmental psychologist, once wrote that “parenting is an attitude”.   I recall that when I read this statement, many years ago, I didn’t quite understand it.  I had a glimmer of what he meant, but I kept thinking: What type of attitude?  And it can’t just be an attitude, right?  After all, a parent actually has to do something to raise children. I think I understand now what Elkind meant.  There is, as you know, a lot of advice out there, from a variety of … [Read more...]

Managing Conflict Between You and Your Partner: Separate the Solution from the Problem

Managing Conflict: Separate the Solution from the Problem The other day, Cindy called Duncan at work.   Cindy asked Duncan to review a letter that she had just written to one of her clients.  Duncan was busy, however, with his own crisis.  He had two deadlines to make in less than an hour.  He didn’t have the time to help Cindy.  What’s more, Duncan feels that Cindy has a tendency to call him in the middle of the day to make requests like this.  “Cindy”, he said, “I need you to stop calling … [Read more...]

What Would You Attempt to Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

By Michael F. Mascolo, Ph.D. Several years ago, I bought my wife a silver bar bearing the question, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” It was meant to be an inspirational gift. Its message, of course, is quite clear: We tend to avoid challenging projects out of a fear of failure. Failing breeds shame, humiliation and other bad things. If we could only get rid of our fear of failure, who knows what we could accomplish? For several years, my wife kept the silver … [Read more...]

How Children Develop Into Moral Teens and Adults

by Michael F. Mascolo, Ph.D. The key to fostering the development of moral behavior in children is to help children build a bridge between self-interest and concern for others. Children and adults who act in morally exemplary ways are those who have formed a “moral identity” – a sense of self in which concern for the welfare of others plays a central role. Such individuals gain a sense of self-satisfaction by being committed to a moral code. They measure themselves in terms of what they can … [Read more...]

Find Yourself by Giving: Host an International Student Child this Summer

by Kate Schwartz As a mother of five kids living on the North Shore, working part time is a say the least! In a recent job interview, the ‘young’ woman opposite me asked if I knew how to “multi-task”. I think I raised one eyebrow before politely replying. I applied for this particular part time job because it was with a non-profit. As a British born and bred transplant with a husband from Beverly, I thought I would be able to identify with the ‘customer’: teenage kids from … [Read more...]

I Hate Multiple-Choice

I hate multiple-choice tests. And tests that involve matching, fill in the blanks and all other such silliness. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of tests at all. That’s because tests are generally not designed with genuine learning in mind. If they were, our tests would look very different. And we would rarely, if ever, use tests of the multiple-choice variety. So, why do I hate multiple-choice tests? Let me count the ways. Objection 1: Most Multiple-Choice Tests Tell Us Very Little About … [Read more...]

Why “A” is a Bad Grade

Actually,“A” is a wonderful grade – perfection!  But maybe it should be reserved for, well, perfect performance. But how often does that happen? Jack is one of my gym buddies. We have gotten into the habit of giving grades to our workouts. Jack will say, “Well, how did you do today?" I might say,“Oh, today was only a C+.” Jack might reply,“Okay, well there’s always tomorrow.” One day, in response to Jack’s caring query, I said,“Well, today was a B+”. Jack replied jokingly,“Oooh. You almost … [Read more...]

The Noble Craft of Self-Perfection: It’s Not Perfectionism!

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. — William Faulkner Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction and life paralysis. — Brené Brown At its root, perfectionism … [Read more...]