Bi-weekly Roundup

Welcome back to the bi-weekly roundup!  This week I've got tips for managing holiday stress for adults and divorced parents with kids.  Some thoughts on sibling relationships.  An introduction to some research being done on the social competence of gamers, AND 5 cues you or someone you know might be an addict and could benefit from seeking treatment.  You're welcome!  

The Good Reads:

1.  Going home for the holidays?  For some people the holidays aren't just fun and games, they are stressful!  For example, you might feel like your adult self is shrinking back into an insecure teenage version of your past self.  You might be facing unmet expectations from others, exerting yourself to be perfect, or whatever.  Here are a few helpful tips for self care at this unique time of year.  http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/home-for-holidays-strategies-for-self-care-122413

2.  The holidays are a tricky time for many people (as stated above), but ESPECIALLY for divorced parents.  It can be hard to contain our own feelings about sharing the holidays, choosing gifts, etc.  Sometimes our feelings and attitudes spill out onto our children tainting their holiday experience too.  This article has lots of GREAT tips for what TO DO and NOT TO DO so that the children are left stress free and full of happy memories.  Please Read! http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-after-divorce/201411/parenting-during-the-holidays-after-divorce-naughty-or-nice

3.  Do you have more than one child?  This article discusses how older siblings may be influencing younger siblings.  It says the influence of the older sibling is pretty significant.  For example if the older child smokes, the younger sibling is 25% more likely to smoke too, this is a higher predictor than if the parent is a smoker.  Positive traits are more likely to repeat too!  It is thought that the older sibling is more influential than the parents because many siblings spend more time together than they do with their parents, although I imagine there could be quite a few factors to consider.  All the same, something interesting to think about.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/29/179266284/Big-Siblings-Big-Influence-Some-Behaviors-Run-In-The-Family?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2052

4.  A graduate school colleague of mine went on to get her PhD.  She has dedicated herself to researching social competence in gamers.  I think her work is pretty fascinating.  This provides a nice summary:   http://www.goodgameswriting.com/2014/11/rachel-kowert/

The short of it all is that gamers tend to be categorized as anti-social, that gaming has a negative impact on a person in many regards.  What she is finding to be true is just the opposite.  I'm not aware of much research being done on this topic, but it seems to come up a lot for parents concerned about their children's online and media habits, so I think her work is important not just interesting.  Here is her website: http://rkowert.com/

5.  This next article I've hemmed and hawed a bit about sharing.  It presents 5 "lies" that addicts tell themselves.  I thought, 'Are these lies?'  I think these thoughts are evidence of being in a state of denial.  BUT, this is all just semantics.  If you or someone you know is having difficulty managing other aspects of their lives due to drug/alcohol abuse these "5 lies" might be a cue for you to get help or have an important conversation with your loved one.  The road to recovery is a long one, and seeking help is the first step.  http://drugabuse.com/5-lies-all-addicts-tell-themselves/