“Do you know what my mom did?” asked my 15-year-old former patient. “I asked her to buy me a pack of cigarettes and she did. Why couldn’t she just be the parent and say No?” I asked this high school sophomore how she would have reacted had her mother said no to her demand. “I would have gotten mad and stomped my feet. But why couldn’t she just be the parent instead of trying to be my friend?” In the next breath she told me that the family had just moved to another town. On her first day in her new high school, she went to the guidance office and told the counselor, “I’m not going to class.” He told her to just sit in the office, where she remained the rest of the day. She asked me, “Why couldn’t someone just tell me to get my ass back to class?” Continue Reading
Anyone who has been to college remembers what became affectionately know as “Freshman Comp” (English Composition 101). Rewind to first semester freshman year. I never before failed anything in my whole life, save for rope climbing in gym. This was until I got my first of five papers back in Freshman Comp. Continue Reading
The other day a Facebook friend sent me (along with 60 or so other friends) a message that presented me with a bit of a conflict. Her daughter had entered a photograph in a contest and my friend asked her Facebook friends to go to the website and vote for her daughter’s photograph. What I found intriguing is that the successful winner of the contest would be judged not by the quality of her photographic submission, but rather by the effectiveness of her supporters’ online campaign. The reason this request represented a challenge is because of some of the newest psychological research into self-worth, success and happiness.
Would I be doing this child’s psychological well-being a favor by voting for her picture solely on the basis of her mother’s desire to see her daughter succeed? Continue Reading