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parenting

Intimacy Issues For New Parents

Intimacy Issues For New Parents

After childbirth the body undergoes a healing process to return the mother’s body back to a state of normalcy, but the body is still working harder than it used to, with lactation, healing of tissues (especially from cesarean section) and the elasticity of the pelvic area returning to whatever normal or the new normal is for the mother.

While waking life is surely different, so are sleeping patterns. As a couple adjusts to the newborn being a priority, other things naturally adjust in the hierarchy of needs. In other cultures, a woman that gives birth transitions from a sexual being to strictly a mother. Sex in Japan between married couples happens less than any other country in the world (highest number of sexless marriages) meaning once per month or less. Here in America there is an expectation that sex and marital satisfaction will be consistent, but the reality is that marital satisfaction drops when a child is born and doesn’t go up again until the child is out of the home.

A couple must work hard to ensure that there is open communication about intimacy to keep that a priority. That burden is not only on the mother dealing with the physical and emotional transition of being pregnant to motherhood and co-parenting. The father can help ease a mother’s transition by being supportive and attentive to the mother.

Throwing out the typical gender roles and creating an egalitarian household will lessen the burdens on the mother, making her emotional state less stressed with the worries of the day. Happy wife, happy life. The father and mother need to make time to reconnect and the mother needs to know that she is still as attractive to the father as she was before. If the mother is feeling insecure, she should share that instead of holding it back.

Dr. Ethan Gregory

Written for SheKnows.com

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http://www.drethangregory.com

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Mental Health And Wellness at University

Mental Health And Wellness at University

The most important thing to realize for anxious parents sending their children off to colleges is that every college and university will offer some level of wellness and mental health services. Schools that offer graduate programs in social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychology will usually have some students working under supervision while gaining experience as counselors.

Schools will have licensed psychologists and social workers to help with one to one therapy, couples therapy and counseling related to physical health and wellness. This is important for most schools, but it may not be well advertised. Students practicing independence for the first time will encounter many opportunities to practice coping skills, and the university is there to offer support if the student seeks it out. The treatment can be free or low cost to help the students that cannot afford private counselors in the community.

If an incoming freshman already has medication and a diagnosis, it would be wise for the family or the student to check out the services available for them. If a student has an issue they should be aware of where to go on campus. Clinics have small pharmacies and can fill prescriptions if a student does not come with a large amount of medication.

Colleges know the stress that higher learning can have on students, and most will offer many free activities to enjoy throughout the week. Most all campuses have wellness and fitness centers with classes for working out or learning about healthy living. These services are also free for students. Dorm residents have organized activities to bring students out of their rooms to interact. Student advisers are available to help students that are feeling academic stress, and can make referrals to other services on campus.

Mental wellness usually involves moderation of entertainment and academics. When one or the other gets out of balance, life might seem more difficult in a campus environment. As parents, we should be checking in with our students but not crowding them. This is their time to experience parenting at a distance and to spread their wings. One thing parents can do to prepare their children is to have them practice the life skills like laundry and budgeting before they leave for school. Cooking and organization should be strange concepts to freshman.

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Dr. Ethan Gregory

Written for LitteMissMomma

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http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

Tips To Deal With Helicopter Parents

Tips To Deal With Helicopter Parents

As a school counselor and parent educator since 2008, I have seen well-intentioned parents overstep their boundaries with teachers at all grade levels. Nowhere is this more evident than in a preschool or kindergarten level class. Our protective instincts as parents can sometimes override our tactfulness when working with teachers of our children, after all who knows them better than mom and dad?

 

As a teacher the best thing to do for all parents is to have a solid marketing plan for what goes on in the classroom. I have seen great teachers using Evernote and creating portfolios for the children to show parents via the Internet. Use your phone to take videos and photos and post them to the class Google group or whatever tool you might have at your future schools. Parents don’t have to come in to see what the children are doing. Having that weekly newsletter to show off your teaching and the student learning can make a parent feel safe.

 

If a parent is being a gossip or spreading negativity, you can talk to the room parent or even set up a parent meeting to establish ground rules for communication between parent and school as well as parent to parent. Have a group or forum so that the other parents can aid you in keeping negativity away from your teaching.

 

Like the Godfather movie quote says, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. If you must, make the trouble parent an aid in the class, then they can see the work you do for all the children, and they might change their attitude.

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This article was for Rasmussen College Education blog

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Japanese commuting kids not that independent in reality

Japanese commuting kids not that independent in reality

The following was submitted as part of a contribution to a The Atlantic report on Japanese children being independent, my comments didn't make it. Here is a link to the Atlantic article. It was written a month ago and is still in the top five on their citylab page. I just missed that one!

My doctoral dissertation was on the differences between Japan and America in relation to how they choose partners for marriage or one night stands. As an international school counselor that lived in Japan for four years, I witnessed the phenomenon of children marching to school like ants wearing their unique hats and uniforms that change based on the season. The majority of Japanese children walk to their nearby schools. Neighborhood roads are quite narrow, and most school districts do not use a bus. An older child escorts children and community members or moms are often at the street corners to stop traffic. For students that attend private schools further from the neighborhood, they take the public trains and buses that are prevalent in most towns and cities. In a country that has its elderly walking and riding bikes, it is normal for people to be walking and taking public transportation. Fathers are off to work around the same time as young children are headed to schools. If a family has a car, the mother keeps it during the day.

Fathers do not play a role in the household; they are primarily the breadwinners coming home late in the evenings. They may only see their children at the breakfast table and on Sundays. The mother is up early to prepare breakfast for the father and the children, and then she spends her day shopping and hanging out with the other school moms. She may have a home business. Children are raised to not be an inconvenience to their parents, and Japanese society has a belief that hard work builds character. Children walking to school and learning to be independent fits with their cultural norms. There is virtually no reported crime in Japan, so it is perfectly safe for children to walk the streets to and from school. Adult supervision of children is not rigid in public places. When they act like children they are told how their actions affect the people around them, and to be less of a baby. They perform tasks independently, but that is not a real indication of their independence, it's more like conditioning. Japanese children are taught to act adult so they do not reflect poorly on their parents.

While it may seem that kids are much more independent than in American or other Western cultures, the reality is that Japanese mothers are more overbearing and micro-managing than Western mothers. They are nose wiping and co-sleeping with their children until their teenage years. Because the Japanese marriage becomes mostly sexless once children are born, mothers have only one consistent source for emotional validation, their children. 

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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