Author: Mitchell Milch

Retirement Would Be a Cinch If I Didn’t Have To Stop Working

The marathon of our working lives can take a huge physical and emotional toll. We can easily seduce ourselves into believing that once we retire we will be much happier without the constant wear and tear on our aging minds and bodies.   Sounds logical doesn’t it?   Well, as many of us have learned about a whole host of relationships, whether it’s with a parent, child, or love interest, we don’t know what we will be missing until it is gone forever. I will paint the picture of a retiree’s rude awakening to illustrate how unanticipated realities can be successfully...

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Don’t Let The Fear of Screwing Up Your Kids Screw You Up As A Parent

Let’s face it, we all want to avoid making the same mistakes raising our kids we believe our parents or surrogate parents made raising us. This is especially the case when we still hold grudges toward parents for what has or has not become of us. Under this historical cloud, we know yet may not admit to the old adage: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” What this adage speaks to is the IMPOSSIBILITY of NEVER being like the parents we recall as having “screwed us up.” As much as we swear that we will never treat our kids the way we were treated, the moments inevitably arise when we sound and act like our parents. This is human nature. We will on occasion, identify and repeat the most noxious and self defeating parenting practices employed by our parents. I am excluding from this discussion all parenting practices that are criminal and traumatic if they occurred even once. I am referring only, to behaviors we are all guilty of from time to time and, that are only damaging if they persist unchecked over the course of many years. Such behaviors are not an immediate cause for concern. Some examples are: Yelling at our kids, being overly critical of them, and disciplining them in ways that are unfair and unreasonable. An occasional instance of poor judgment on our...

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The Difference Between Irresponsible And Responsible Exercises Of Parental Authority

For six years I assessed the mental health treatment needs of adults who get caught in the revolving door to a state criminal justice system in New England. In piecing together the histories of these clients I spoke with their parents when opportunities arose. What was often the case during these interviews is that these parents pled ignorance as to how events in the lives of their families impacted their children. Clearly, these parents were either unwilling and/or unable to empathize and build bridges to their children’s rich inner worlds. This is why these parents remained at a loss to chronicle the emotional histories of their grown children. These interviews have been instructive in teaching me how these parents lost control of their kids when they were old enough to survive outside the home. The desire to please their parents in order to receive valuable nurturance was extinguished early on. Their children may have paid lip service to them but, for all intents and purposes by age 14 or so most of these kids stopped listening to their parents altogether. By that time, as they probably saw it, they had nothing left to lose. These victims of parental indifference and abuse were soon primed to demand reparations from an unsuspecting community that was about to pay dearly for what these children felt robbed of growing up. One doesn’t behave...

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Dating Tips For Single Parents

For many single parents casual dating is frustrating and annoying. Looking for a new partner however, can be downright frightening. In fact many single parents who are gun shy after divorce go in one of two directions. They either convince themselves they are better off not going beyond getting their feet wet at best or they deny and minimize their fears and make reckless plunges. Why you may ask? Well, the chronically painful realities of divorce that involve children may be likened to having a chronic and debilitating illness like arthritis. Instead of periodic flare ups of painful inflammation...

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Weighty Matters

There is no doubt that divorce is a weighty matter both literally and figuratively. This often calamitous and life changing event can flood us with emotions and render our defenses as porous as Swiss cheese. During these times of crisis the ambush of poorly understood and thus often, unacceptable feelings, fantasies and impulses trigger stinging self rebukes. When we reflexively turn on ourselves with limited if any, awareness of being our own worst enemy, it’s human nature to react to such helplessness by looking outside ourselves for someone to blame. This is why when our children voice normal age-appropriate...

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