Thanksgiving Table Discussions


Dr. Corinne Masur

People are afraid this Thanksgiving– not of the usual dried out turkey, but of the discussions that are anticipated at the table. Some are even skipping Thanksgiving altogether, in order to avoid painful conversations and heightened tension at their usual holiday gathering places.

This year poses even greater challenges for families than in previous years. The interpersonal differences and conflicts that we expect to at the holidays are trumped by the election hangover. Families that have members who voted for both Clinton and Trump are grappling with what do do.

For those who have decided to meet anyway, and even for those who agree on the election results, there’s something else to consider: what will the children at the table hear and what does it mean to them? Continue reading

Yelling at our Kids


Dr. Corinne Masur

Do you feel guilty when you yell at your children?

The other day, a dad in our parenting group spoke about feeling guilty for having yelled at his 6-year-old son.  His 3-year-old needed him, and while he was dealing with his younger child, his 6-year-old asked him to do something for him.  The dad said he was busy, and then the older child asked again.  The dad yelled at him to go to his room and then immediately felt that he had done the wrong thing.  He remembered his own father yelling all the time, and worried that he was becoming like his father.

So – did this dad do something wrong?  Is it wrong to yell at your child? Continue reading

Gun Violence in Schools

Dr. Corinne Masur

This week Philadelphia got the double whammy.  On Sunday, an e-mail alert went around to staff of local colleges and universities. A message had been posted on social media threatening an act of violence on an undisclosed college campus in the Philadelphia area on Monday morning.  Tuesday, a gunman was reported to be on the campus of Philadelphia Community College and the campus was put into lockdown. Masterman, a public magnet school for junior high and high school students across the street and Friends Select School, a Quaker k-12 school in the neighborhood also went into lockdown.

My son attends Friends Select.  As I was leaving for work that morning, I received a recorded message on my cell phone saying that due to the presence of a gunman at the Community College, Friends Select faculty, staff, and students were locked in the school until further notice.

I was shocked.  I was frightened.  But more than anything, I was angry. Continue reading

Aggression and Young Children: A Father’s Struggle

by Dr. Corinne Masur

Recently I read on a parenting blog that if children show aggression it’s because they are in discomfort.

Is this really so?

And while we’re at it, what do we mean when we speak of aggression in the toddler or the young child? Are we talking about anger? Tantrums? Hitting and biting? All of these? Or more?

Defining our terms could be helpful before starting this discussion. Continue reading