• Fearing New In-Laws

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • September 6, 2010
    • 0

    [caption id="attachment_1173" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Split Rock,South Island New Zealand"][/caption] There is so much suspicion surrounding new people becoming part of the family. In the 50's there was even suspicion about people of different religions. It's scary for parents because they don't participate in the choice. It's sad that there is… Continue Reading

  • The Value of Difficulty

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • July 2, 2010
    • 0

    The outdoor amp where lectures are heard at Chautauqua The title of this post was borrowed from a lecture/conversation between Anne Fadiman (who said it) and Roger Rosenblatt who offered the morning lecture together, on July 1st at Chautauqua Institution (www.ciweb.org.) During the nine weeks of the Institution's summer season… Continue Reading

  • Parenting and Adolescence

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • May 17, 2010
    • 0

    You don't really earn your medals as a parent until you've survived adolescence. Adolescence is rugged territory for everyone involved. I really enjoy the opportunity to work with both parents and young people. This is an opportunity to teach both about respect. Young people can work at defining themselves differently… Continue Reading

  • Repair is Crucial in Relationships

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • April 5, 2010
    • 0

    I was in Cleveland working in a group of therapists when someone asked Mari Creelman what to do about this impossible task of mistakes when parenting. She looked at him and responded, "Be honest about your mistakes, that's how trust builds." I believe this advice works for all relationships. It… Continue Reading

  • The Most Important Predictor of Good Parenting

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • March 24, 2010
    • 0

    My clients often ask me "How do I know when I'm done with childhood issues?" I respond that feeling neutral without a positive or negative charge is one definition that works for me. No longer being loaded up with intense feelings, that someone has made sense of their story and… Continue Reading

  • Taking Things Personally Hurts Relationships

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • March 12, 2010
    • 0

    When you are wrapped up in your own pile of hurt, it's almost impossible to see the other person clearly. Taking things personally is like taking a hammer to hurt your own hand, which is a very bad idea. Hurt becomes a false cocoon of "safety" that really demolishes any… Continue Reading

  • Offer Kids Choices Instead of Indulging Them

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • March 9, 2010
    • 0

    I was patiently waiting to purchase my New York Times, behind a young mother with a 4 yr. old. She was purchasing pink & white sunglasses and a pink frisbee for her daughter. Her daughter meandered away and returned with a bag of cheese doodles. Her mother said "No, Grandma… Continue Reading

  • Too Many Parents Help Teens Dodge Reality

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • February 11, 2010
    • 0

    As reported in The Week (1/29/10), a recent study of high school and college students, has discovered higher levels of anxiety, depression and unrealistic, manic optimism than in any previous generation since the Great Depression. Researchers suggested that materialism, an emphasis on superficial things, overprotective parenting and a lack of… Continue Reading

  • Considering Family Dynamics

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • December 26, 2009
    • 0

    After holiday time spent together, it might be good to learn something about what it takes to have healthy family dynamics. Put simply, every pair needs to connect. So if there are eight people around the table or spending a day together, each different pair needs to spend some time… Continue Reading

  • Risk More Shamelessness

    • Rhoda Mills Sommer
    • November 17, 2009
    • 0

    Junot Diaz,the author, spoke at Drue Heinz lectures tonight and it was very rewarding. He talked about his immigrant experience at the age of six from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey. A member of the audience asked him if he had advice for her as a teacher of ESL… Continue Reading

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