I'm very nervous in writing here as I'm afraid to use the wrong words and cause trouble. My grandchild recently shared that she has “prefered pronouns" and wants to be referred to as “they”. I adore her, and I want to be supportive, but I am so confused about what this actually means. Help!
~ Bewildered Grandparent | July 22, 2021
Thank you for asking this question. They (your grandchild) has obviously chosen you as a safe and supportive person in their life. Your support and acceptance of this request will shape the future interactions they will have with others when sharing pronouns and identity markers moving forward.
The best way to be supportive of your grandchild is to respect and honor their request. Now that you are aware of your grandchild’s preferred pronoun, make an effort to use it. If you make a mistake, correct yourself without judgment. It might take some time to get used to using the pronoun they, as it’s not a familiar way of referring to your grandchild.
My daughter is 16, and is just so lazy I can’t stand it. Stereotypical, I know, but she has no motivation to do anything beyond the bare minimum in school, at home, and has given up on her after school activities. Her sleep and eating habits are atrocious. She says she’s just “overwhelmed with everything,” but she has nothing to be overwhelmed with. How do I help her? Or better yet, when does this lazy streak end!? I keep waiting for her to start acting like an adult, and get ready for college, but I fear it will never happen.
~ Busy Mom | June 12, 2022
Dear Busy Mom,
Seeing changes in our kids can set off warning bells in our minds, and create a new set of worries in our hearts. I hear your frustration, and also sense your concern.
With any significant change in a teen’s behavior and lifestyle, it is wise to rule out physical factors like Vit. D deficiencies, mono, thyroid and other physical illness. With a clean bill of physical health, It’s likely the ‘laziness’ stems from mental state, real or perceived. You may be surprised to hear laziness in teens, may actually be a manifestation of depression and anxiety.
I'm stagnant at work and don't know how to advance. I've done well in my position and now I want to move out of the subordinate role and be seen more as a leader, and position myself for career growth. What I'm stuck on is getting out of the role of "helper" since that's what I have always done. Where do I start?
~ Helper Monkey | April 28, 2022
Dear Helper Monkey,
This is a prevalent question. I think sometimes we assume the role of the do-er rather than the leader to fit in and be liked. It's a great way to receive praise and affirmation, as well as avoid conflict. Unfortunately this do-er mentality becomes a detriment to our ability to be seen as a leader. Here are some ways to make changes on your path towards leadership.
I tend to perseveration on the past and define what could have been rather than what could be. I look back on my life and see it through a very foggy lens. If I try to switch up my thought focus, I tend to get down and have a very hard time bouncing back. Is this normal? Sometimes I have difficulty remembering. Is that a symptomatic or just a bad memory?
~ Lost in the Past | February, 2022
Dear Lost in the Past,
The experience you’ve described is a lot more common than you’d think and issues with foggy memory seem to go hand-in-hand. While perseveration and memory loss has been linked to a wide variety of causes, including neurological conditions and frontal lobe trauma.
I would assume from your question, that this experience is likely stemming from past emotional or psychological trauma. These traumas are often repressed by our sub-conscious, hence the foggy lens. Even though the cognitive memory has been repressed. Often the sub-conscious and the body still remember. This can cause a lot of confusion for your conscious self. Especially if you’re not aware of the triggers or the reasoning behind the experiences igniting this cycle.
I’m proud to share that my wife and I have been married 22 years this year. I’m less thrilled to share that we are bored as hell. Another Valentine’s Day is coming and I’m sure she is expecting dinner and flowers and I’m sure that’s just what we’ll do — but I fear we will both go to bed wondering where the spark went. Is this just how it is to be now?
~ Bored in Love | January 28, 2022
Dear Bored in Love,
It’s never too late to switch up your routine to create excitement in your relationship, and I’m not just talking about the bedroom! Yes, even after 22 years.
This might be a good time to bring up making a change. You could start by saying something like “Hey honey, for V-day, instead of us going out for dinner like we always do, what about we go to that antique store you love looking around at and then get coffee afterwards?”. Suggest an activity you know she enjoys.
I am at a breaking point with my daughter - she just isn’t committed to her education! Virtual learning was a challenge for her, but now that things are back on track in school, she suddenly has no interest and just wants to get her GED. I’m baffled. We raised her with the intention of her going to college to get a high paying job, for a prosperous life. Our arguing goes around in circles. Where do we go from here?
~ Parent for higher Ed | January 2, 2022
It can be challenging to watch setbacks in the plans we’ve set forth for our children. Your concern for your daughter’s future and success is valid. In my practice I’ve noticed an overwhelming trend towards trade vocations and GED’s in response to pandemic changes in learning. Our children have survived the trauma of the last two years, but are not thriving. GED’s sound appealing because it’s the quickest way out of this traumatic experience from which recovery feels hopeless.
I’ve never sent a letter to anyone like this before, so I’m a little bit shy. Much to my chagrin there is a bit of mental health in my family background. I’ve talked to a doctor before in the past but I never followed up. I do believe I have some level of depression. I’m just really not sure what to do with this and where to go from here. I’d really appreciate your professional advice.
~ Anonymous | December 29, 2021
I commend you for reaching out. Looking to improve your mental health and overall quality of life is something you shouldn’t feel ashamed of. Unfortunately, there is often a stigma associated with seeking mental health support, and because of this, so many suffer in silence when they really don’t need to. Thank you for being the voice for so many others like yourself.
While I am not a licensed therapist or healthcare provider, I am a wellness coach. I’ve highlighted a few points below, which are areas you might want to research, and discuss with your doctor when you’re ready.