Greg Moffatt's blog

Another year older

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I turned 50 this year. It seems that it was just a few years ago when I was in grammar school. Now things from my childhood are on the History Channel and I know far more people in the “Deaths” section in my college alumni newspaper than I do from the “Births and Weddings” section.  Read More»

Wall St. protesters: Teach your children to think

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The protests against corporations that began in New York over a month ago have spread around the world.  I’ve listened to protester comments to journalists about their expectations and their comments are reflected in a conversation I had with one of my students just a few days ago.

This young woman, sympathetic to the protesters, spoke to me about the need for government to “put a stop to corporate profits.”  She also told me that people had the responsibility to take care of others in the country, that it was the most compassionate thing to do, and that the government should enforce it.  Read More»

Losing a baby

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Most of us have been touched by the loss of a baby – either our own or the baby of someone close to us. It is far more common than you might think. In fact, as many as 70 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. That is a staggeringly high number, but fortunately most of those miscarriages happen before the woman even knows she is pregnant. Many of them are pregnancies that end practically before they get started. Read More»

Your kids will love this!

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If you are a regular reader of this column or if you happen to know me, you won’t believe what I’m about to tell you. You won’t be surprised that in my home I don’t have cable or satellite television, and I haven’t watched a television series in almost 20 years. I don’t text, I don’t play video games, and I rarely recreationally surf the web or use YouTube. I write letters on paper and send them in the US Mail and my children grew up with limited exposure to the television and limited computer use. Read More»

First three years

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My major professor in my doctoral program once told me that by the time children are three years old, their lives are set. I was not convinced by his deterministic view of child development.  However, as I’ve gotten older and grown to understand children better, I think he was probably right. Read More»

Why Dads?

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(This is an abbreviated version of a recent speech I delivered to a group of young women.) 
 
There is controversy in mental health over the necessity of both a mother and father in a family.  Can kids grow up just fine without one or the other? This has me thinking. Maybe fathers provide something unique that it is much harder for mothers to do with their daughters. This is how a dad sees his daughter. Read More»

The perfect parent

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Her son was only eighteen months old. He was a feisty child with quite a temper, but otherwise perfectly normal. Even his temper was well within the normal range of emotions for a child his age. Mom was new at the job and deathly afraid of making a mistake. I walked her to the door of my office and she looked up at me with the most desperate eyes.

“I just want to be a perfect parent,” she said. “I know I’ll make mistakes, but I don’t want to make any big ones.” Read More»

New Year's resolutions for parents

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In more than fifteen years of writing this column I’ve never suggested resolutions for the coming year, but I suppose I’ll give it a try.  If you don’t have any ideas about what you would like to accomplish for your family in the coming year, here are some ideas for you.

1. Shut the television off. Television isn’t evil, but like any tool, it can be misused. The average family has the television turned on eight hours each day. That doesn’t leave much time for talking to each other. Resolve to pick just one day each month to be a TV-free day. Do something together as a family that day. Read More»

Look at my face

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The older I get and the more I understand about human behavior, the more certain I am that we are social creatures. The most serious psychological conditions in human children involve neglect and abuse – situations where the child either has minimal or no social interaction or where that interaction is painful. Read More»

Grateful hearts

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Kayani sat in front of me with a paper and crayons. He was six years old and several months earlier, his parents had been butchered by militants from a tribal faction simply because of their heritage - they had the wrong parents, as had a number of his neighbors and playmates. Since that time he had been living with relatives. He lived in a very small one room house with no indoor plumbing or electricity. After my evaluation, I couldn’t find anything wrong with him. At least for now, he was fine. Read More»

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