"Extra" Lifechanger and youth and family psychologist Dr. Gabe Crenshaw is responding to the overwhelming amount of text comments and video questions you've asked here on Extratv.com! Read below for some of your questions, answered:
How would you advise children (and adult children) to deal with parents who make them choose sides?
- Michelle from Massachusetts
Posted 01/14/09 03:45 PM
DR. GABE'S ANSWER:
Michelle, it's always difficult when the children are placed in the middle of a heated divorce. Some experts say it can lead to the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), in which the children will sometimes reject one of the parents due to one parent badmouthing, denigrating, etc. the other. The literature suggests it's okay to tell the child what they might already know--Divorce sucks! It can be difficult for the kids and quite possibly represent a loss for the children. Very often the kids worry that if she/he doesn't 'side' with the one parent against the other they may lose both parents. If the parents can tear themselves away from their personal agendas long enough to see the potential damage being done to their kids, perhaps they can work together to do what is best for the children. Finally, research suggests children stay connected to activities/rituals (i.e., after school programs, music, sports programs, etc.) already established, as a way to provide a sense of emotional comfort and stability for the kids while their parents "duke" it out.
How should one respond to a new relationship, where the parents are recently divorced, and a toddler is involved.
Everett from New York
DR. GABE'S ANSWER:
Family clinical experts encourage parents to assess the necessities of their toddler and consider how the uncertain nature of new romantic relationships may impact/confuse the child and their overall well-being. The relationship with your little "tyke" is permanent. Only you can decide the level of involvement you want another to have in the life of you and your child.
Hello, Dr. Gabe
I just recently got engaged, and I thought my sisters would respond differently. I thought it would be more positive but they have responded negatively and made it all about them and less about my happiness and choices. How do I respond to this and turn this negative into a positive for all the women I love in my life.
DR. GABE'S ANSWER:
Looks like you've got a lot of folks who love you, Joel. Cool! Some relationship experts say that your sisters are responding out of fear and insecurity. They're afraid you don't have enough love to go around. Loving your fiancée could mean you stop loving them. If this isn't the case, reassure your sisters that you still care for and love them. You can't take away their insecurities--that's on them. The experts say acknowledge their feelings without compromising the integrity of the relationship with your fiancée.
What can I do to not get very tired while I'm studying?
- Myisha Posted 01/14/09 10:21 PM
Dr. Gabe's Answer:
Well, Myisha, are you a morning or an evening person? Experts refer to these traits as either a "Lark" (morning crew) or an "Owl" (night shift) Your particular style could affect your study habits. A research study conducted with college students classified as larks or owls, found that the larks made better grades in early morning classes and studied for longer periods of time without fatigue in the a.m. However, Owls had an increase in study time and made higher grades in classes they took later in the day. Larks awaken early every morning, jump out of bed with enthusiasm, eager to start the day. Owls fumble for the alarm clock and push the snooze button to get a few more precious minutes of sleep. Studies suggest a gene that runs the biological clock is responsible, in part, for the differences between larks and owls.
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