Grandparenting, Part 3: When Grandparents Lose Contact With Grandkids

Thankfully, many grandparents are blessed with the opportunity to get to know and stay in touch with their grandchildren. However, the relationship ebbs and flows like any other. As kids grow older, they may move away. Divorce, illness and a change in residence can also result in either a temporary disruption in contact or, in some cases, an enduring loss of contact. Of course, death of either the grandparent or the grandchild can also result in very difficult feelings of loss.

Unfortunately, grandparents have limited control over the how much or how little contact they have with grandchildren.  Parents can decide to move the family to another city. Parents can also decide that they do not trust grandparents to be alone with their kids. Standards of what is considered adequate supervision of children have changed considerably. Kids can decide they no longer want to visit. In addition, as they age, grandparents may find that health issues serve as barriers to contact. As Dr. Brian and I have mentioned before, while stress can be difficult, lack of control over stress producing situations can be  particularly hard on one’s physical and emotional well-being.

The Benefits of Cooking With Kids

This is an article that I found some time ago and always thought that it related well to quality time spent with family. Most kids are interested in learning some basic cooking skills as well as involving themselves in various chores in the preparation and cooking of meals. Parents can help encourage this interest by taking the time to cook with their kids on a regular basis. Helping children and adolescents learn and discover the culinary arts is a wonderful process.

Read more here:

Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for information only. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor.

Learning Disabilities and Working Memory: Can IQ be changed?

Working Memory
Working Memory

Patriot Memory PSD21G8002H by AutomaticDefence

A large part of my practice involves psychoeducational assessments: measuring kids’ problem-solving, working memory, and other abilities related to learning so teachers can individualize their program at school. I’m often asked whether scores on intelligence tests can be changed. I believe that experience can have an impact on IQ test performance, especially for young kids; for example, avid readers could be exposed to words and concepts that might lead to improved performance on the vocabulary portion of an intelligence test. I recently came across a study that examined the impact of working memory training on the intelligence of kids with LDs, and the results were a bit surprising.

Body Image, Part 4: Gender and Internalized Body Image Ideals

Disturbances in body image affect large numbers of people. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 10 million females and 1 million males who experience anorexia or bulimia. Objectification theory has helped researchers come to understand and study this phenomenon. Basically, the theory states that women live in a culture that objectifies their bodies and that to the extent that women internalize this message, a host of psychological and physical consequences result. Womens’ internalized self-objectification results in their valuing their bodies more for appearance than performance. As discussed on this week’s Family Anatomy show, achieving this media-created ideal is impossible for the vast majority of women. This impossible situation results in an increase in body shame and dissatisfaction, sexual dysfunction, depression, and symptoms of eating disorders.

Some have speculated that having more realistically sized models may help reverse the disturbing consequences of distorted body image ideals. In July of this year, researchers in the Netherlands studied the effects of watching thin versus larger models in t.v. commercials on womens’ mood and food intake.