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I’ve had a successful career as a psychologist. I’m the Director of The Everett Clinic’s Behavioral Health department which I started 25 years ago. Several years ago I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for my contributions to the clinic. I’ve also published many articles in professional journals.
Yet, I was an average student in High School, with a low B average. (I was also a chronic school truant, but that’s another story). I did get some decent grades in college in sociology and psychology, but I was far from a straight-A student. Yet despite my lackluster performance in... Read More
The beginning of October brings fall colors, rain, and student progress reports. How is Joey doing this year? The school year always starts slowly and then speeds up with a bang. It’s a new grade, with new expectations, and new learning. Everything gets a little bit harder than last year. In some grades (3rd, 7th, 9th, and 11th) much harder.
It’s a good time to go back to the drawing board and evaluate what’s working well and what needs to be tweaked. Kids are eternal optimists. At the beginning of the school year, they are confident— “Sure I can do it all!”. But how has it actually... Read More
Sigh. Summer is winding down in the Northwest. The unmistakable signs are here—brisk mornings, shorter days, and the back to school sales. Kids have been getting bored for a while now—looking forward to new backpacks, new classes, new teachers, and seeing old friends that haven’t been around over the summer. The back to school pace is quickening.
I was one of those kids that always liked school. I liked to have a large package of pencils which I would sharpen endlessly. My plaid pencil case was filled to the brim. Buying school supplies helped me anticipate the new school year and... Read More
This time of year, kids going off to their freshman year of college are busy preparing for the big day. So are their parents. There is a lot to buy, logistics to work out, and last minute crises. It’s a hectic time. Parents are writing big checks. Teens are saying goodbye to friends. It’s a major transition for everyone—the new college student, parents, and siblings left at home.
As the youngest of three boys, I watched both of my brothers go off to college. It was very sad for me. I was very close to both of my brothers and they went far away to college. I knew that my life would... Read More
My wife and I are in our second year as grandparents to two lovely girls, ages 15 and 17 months. Our daughters announced to my wife when they were teenagers that they were both going to have children at the same time and lo and behold they both became pregnant within two months of each other!
Everything that anyone tells you about the wonders of having grandchildren are all true. In fact, I told Diane that we shouldn't have waited so long to have them! We just spent a week on Cape Cod with both of our daughters, one son-in-law in tow, and both of our granddaughters, now toddlers. It... Read More
I’m just returning from a lovely European vacation—lots of sun, new experiences, awesome landscapes, wonderful food, and exposure to different cultures. It takes some time to decompress from work, day-to-day life, and the hurried pace of family life. But after a week or so, most of those cobwebs have cleared away. What’s left is a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s not hard to relax after a couple of weeks away from the daily treadmill. After all, the big decisions on a vacation—what to eat and where to go. No wonder I feel so good!
Fortunately, Diane and I get along very well on... Read More
School is out, and our beautiful Northwest summer is coming into focus!
For kids, school can be exciting, stimulating, but also stressful. This is especially true in grades that are big bump up’s in demand—3rd grade, 7th grade, 9th grade, 11th grade, and freshman year in college. It’s a relief when these school years come to an end, but there are always new challenges ahead.
Summer vacation is a welcome relief to these stresses and strains and an opportunity for kids to relax. Parents take a break from their school year job of being the “homework police”. Today, school is... Read More
Recently, I came across a collection of stories about a friend of mine, who passed away in his early adulthood, including one that I wrote about our teenage years. It made me sad to think about his untimely death. He had an alcohol problem and died while drunk behind the wheel of a car. It made me reflect on my coming of age in the late 1960’s. And it made me think about young people who are coming of age today.
The 1960’s were both an exciting and a scary time. I remember watching, on our black and white TV, the new rock n roll sensation from England, perform on the Ed Sullivan... Read More
Spring sports are in high gear. Parents are lining soccer and baseball fields watching their kids practice and play competitive sports. It’s fun for everyone, except when you’re watching your kids play soccer in the pouring rain! It’s great to see kids running up and down the field, instead of sitting in front of an electronic screen playing video games. Team sports can teach children a wide range of skills and abilities that are very useful in adult life.
But parents sometimes wonder which behaviors should they praise--effort, participation, performance, attitude, or team spirit... Read More