Parenting

Turning Distress into Joy, Part V and Final: Meaning & Transcendence

It was not the dawn flooding the bay with splendor which woke Frederick…rather it was a gradual awareness of flaming words…all around him—living things that carried him down wide rivers and over mountains and across spreading plains.  Then it was people who were with him—black men, very tall and big and strong.  They turned up rich earth as black as their broad backs; they hunted in forests; some of them were in cities, whole cities of black folks.  For they were free; they went wherever they wished; they worked as they planned.  They even flew like birds, high in

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Turning Distress into Joy, Part IV: Gratitude

Tears were streaming down his mother’s face. Just minutes earlier, he had unleashed a flurry of harsh statements and cursed at her as she stood their silently. For months, John Foppe’s parents had tried to provide various options, and even personal encounters with others similar to him, to teach him how to do the basics. Like dressing himself. Or eating without assistance. Or using the restroom on his own. But over and over, John had refused to open himself to these possibilities, and was resigned to a life largely dependent on others. His parents struggled with what to do next. But, the night before, they had spoken with his brothers, and told them that they were no longer to help him unless told otherwise.

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Turning Distress into Joy, Part III: Helping Others

Research on volunteering has long found that those who help others have better physical health and psychological adjustment. And it’s not just that healthy individuals seek out ways to help others more; it is that in helping others that we reap the benefits of better well-being, too. Not only do we feel better but, for youth especially, there is a decrease in risk-taking behaviors, and more prosocial actions, especially with those outside of their family. But why is this the case?

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Understanding SIDS

In my grandmother’s days they called it “blue baby” or “cot death,” the terrible phenomenon doctors now call sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.  It’s horrible when these babies come into the ER– found dead and blue in their cribs, the parents start CPR and call 911, hoping and praying for a miracle.  It doesn’t usually happen.  Instead we finish the code and call time of death, then comfort the parents.  It’s hard to explain to parents why their healthy baby suddenly died in their crib, without any apparent cause.  Do these babies just die peacefully in their sleep?

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