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Susan Stiffelman

Accepting Loss (of an Election) When it's Time

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.08.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

No one likes to lose. We all prefer to prevail, to come out on top--especially when we're heavily invested in a particular outcome. If you're a chil...

Childhood Origins Of Narcissism

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 11.07.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

In recent weeks I have been diving into the subject of narcissistic personality disorder. While the term "narcissism" has been tossed around over the ...

Daughter Wants Inappropriate (Sexy) Halloween Costume

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.17.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Many parents are spooked by the options available for their little girls at Halloween. (Sorry about the pun. I had to do it.) Costumes are becoming increasingly sexualized and provocative, even for very young children.

Co-Parenting With A Narcisisst

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 10.10.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

If you are co-parenting with a narcissist, recognize that you will not--cannot--change the other person.

Mom Overwhelmed By Endless To Do List

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.19.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

If we grade ourselves based on whether we got everything on our list accomplished, we're going to feel like we're failing because...drum roll please... The list never ends!

5 Tips For 'The Drop-Off Blues!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 09.07.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

My daughter is in first-grade and she is still crying every morning when we take her to school even though this is her fourth week. She was fine last...

"Should I Tell My Kids About My Wild Past?"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.29.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

It is good to know that you have found your way to reconciling with your past and living in the present with a conscience that has been lightened by making amends and learning from your mistakes. Humility in the face of our mistakes is one of the hallmarks of respectability in my book.

Child Already Dislikes New Teacher!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.23.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

When a child's personality doesn't match up with their teacher's, it can feel like there isn't a connection. But all is not lost! There are many ways you can help your daughter feel more at home in her new classroom.

My Heart is Breaking as Daughter Heads off to College!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.15.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

I am having a hard time with the fact that my daughter is leaving very soon for college. She is my first and I feel like my heart is breaking. I can'...

Plagued By Parental Guilt And Regret

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 08.06.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Thank you for sharing these words from your heart. I know it may seem that you speak only for yourself, but believe me when I say that I don't know of a parent who doesn't feel some degree of regret over things they have said or done in a difficult moment--myself included.

I've Had It With My Kids Complaining That They're Bored!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.26.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Children are immensely adaptable, finding ways to adjust to all kinds of circumstances when necessary. Most of us have observed that when the power goes out and they get excited about lighting candles, or when a sibling is sick and they find themselves actually capable of being gentle and kind.

'My Passionate Child Overwhelms Me!'

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.19.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Many times I've worked with a parent who was brought up being told to keep her feelings to herself -- scolded if she dared to express her thoughts or wishes. Lo and behold, she grows up to find herself parenting a passionate, dramatic son or daughter who makes noise about every injustice that crosses his or her path.

It's Not What We Tell Our Children, It's What We Show Them

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.08.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Yet again, parents are asking the question, "What do I tell my children?" after the tragic deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and five police officers.

15 Year Old Just Wants to Play Video Games

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.05.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Forbidding a youngster from spending time with friends we don't approve of often makes them more appealing; your son may find it tantalizing to sneak around to be with his buddies rather than abide by your wishes.

The DE-structive Effects of "Constructive criticism"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.28.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

My mother insists on giving me what she calls constructive criticism. She thinks it's her job to tell me everything I'm doing wrong. For instance, wh...

Parenting Through Yet Another Tragedy

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.13.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Teach tolerance. Expose your children to people from a variety of walks of life. Visit a temple or church of a different faith, letting your children discover that when you do not share someone's religion, you still maintain curiosity and respect for their beliefs.

Waiting in the Little White Robe

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 06.08.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Last week, someone walked into a room and uttered three words that prompted me to burst into tears. Thankfully, they were tears of relief, but in the hour or so before they were spoken, something inside of me was rearranged -- something that I hope widens my capacity for recognizing the practical need for support from those in my midst.

My Stepson Is Angry and Aggressive When He's Here!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.31.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Your stepson has been thrown into a situation that I see all too often: one parent says negative things about the other parent or stepparent, creating divided loyalties. The child is faced with an impossible dilemma: Whose side am I supposed to be on?

Can't Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy Snacks?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.17.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

There is a fundamental truth about the parent-child relationship: When we are desperate, our children are often inclined to do the opposite of what we are asking. So the more you push and plead with them to eat the healthy foods you lay before them, the less likely they will do so.

"My Children Don't Listen to Me!"

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.10.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Given that most parents confess that the majority of the interactions they have with their children are task-oriented, it's fair to say that our kids assume most of our requests are aimed at reducing their fun. If you look at it from their perspective, it makes sense that they would try to tune us out!

The Optimism of Resilient Mothers

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 05.03.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Before I became a mother, I had no idea of the challenges and joys that awaited me. Qualities emerged that I hadn't known I had, like unwavering patience, overwhelming love, and a fierce determination to steer my son around at least some of the pitfalls of my own childhood.

Bath Time Always Leads to Power Struggles!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.27.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

I fervently believe that parents should respect their children as fellow human beings worthy of great respect and kindness. But nature designed the parent-child relationship to be hierarchical, with parents in charge and children dependent on them.

Are Parents Training Their Kids to 'Pose and Post'?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.18.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

These days a growing number of people are choosing to make changes in their social media habits: living their lives with less documentation -- or none at all. Many are finding that without the constant presence of a smart phone camera, they feel more at ease and able to enjoy the moment.

I've Had it With My Sassy 9-Year Old!

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.11.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Isn't it strange how children seem to operate from two different rule books? One tells them how to behave when they're out in public, and the other lets them know what they can get away with at home.

Parents: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 04.07.2016 | Home
Susan Stiffelman

Despite needing rest, many parents push through fatigue to watch one more episode of their favorite show, or to scroll through a few more Facebook posts. Our children follow our lead, postponing shut-eye in whatever clever ways they can.