Articles

Fox Valley Institute believes that education is important for one’s personal growth. Below you will find a list of articles that we have compiled or have been written by Dr. Laura Bokar.

Featured Articles

Raising A Teenager Without Raising Your Blood Pressure
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Enforcing the rules can be hard sometimes. Again allow your teen to help you police the rules. They can be very creative. I heard of one mother who wanted her son home early one night because she wanted to get to sleep early. Because his curfew was longer, the teen created a mutually agreeable solution. He put his alarm clock outside of his parents door and set it for his curfew.

Treating Children Differently While Loving Them The Same
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Of course you want to treat your children fairly, but because kids are different you’ll find you won’t be able to treat them all the same. That doesn’t mean you don’t love them equally. But you may have to structure things a little differently for each child.

Family Dysfunction – The Children of Substance Abusers
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People who have grown up in households with alcohol or drug overuse on the part of a parent have some common characteristics. Although people from the general population can display many of these behaviors, people from dysfunctional families tend to have a higher incidence of these traits. Take a look at some of the more common patterns found in people who grew up with an alcohol or drug abusing parent.

Understanding Marital Conflict Can Help Make Resolving Quarrels Easier
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Couples fight. It’s normal, healthy and natural. In fact, if a couple says they never fight it worries me more than hearing they have an occasional argument. Because if they’re not disagreeing once in a while, it means they’re probably holding in a lot of resentment. Couples fight because they’re human.

Setting Boundaries Can Bring A Family Closer
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It’s important that if you want someone to stop doing something you replace it with something else. And you need to be clear on your expectations. Change is hard enough. But not understanding what the other person wants can make things even harder.

StepFamily Life
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You might be thinking that your own blended family looks like a chaotic group of people all dancing to a different tune, stumbling over one another and out of step. It can feel like your partner keeps stepping on your toes. You glance at the kids and find that one of them is drifting away from everyone and lost to their own rhythm, another one is a wallflower who refuses to dance, and yet another child resembles a whirling dervish.

New Year, New You
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Often the biggest reason a goal isn’t achieved is that it isn’t detailed enough. For instance “I want to spend more time with my kids,” lacks specificity. How much time? Where? Doing what? When? I suggest you write down your goals and refer back to them regularly.

A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way
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If you and your spouse write down how a quarrel looked to you after the anger has dissipated, chances are your transcripts will read like this. A good way to diffuse arguments can be to try seeing things from your partner’s point of view. The problem is that in the heat of the moment, it’s often hard to see things clearly.

Emotional Unavailability
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When we commit to a relationship, we usually expect that our partner will reciprocate with roughly the same level of emotional involvement that we put into it. Many of us hope to find a soulmate, a partner who can share and understand our feelings and ways of thinking on an intensely personal level.

Attention Deficits – Living with ADD and ADHD
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Most people with Attention Deficit Disorder don’t know they have it. Indeed, the disorder was not recognized until the 1980’s, and it was not until the 1990’s that the recognition of adult ADD was established. However, it is a condition that can have a significant impact on the way a person functions in the world.

Punctuality – Getting there On Time
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Some of us have a pattern of being late for appointments, social events, classes, and project deadlines. No matter how hard we try, no matter how strong our resolve to be on time, it just doesn’t happen. We are always late. Researchers estimate that 15 to 20 percent of the population is afflicted with chronic tardiness. Thankfully, with some self-examination, motivation, and practice, people who suffer from this affliction can deal with it successfully and learn to be on time.

Manipulation in Relationships
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We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means.

Stress and Anxiety Disorders
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Stress is the body’s reaction to an event that is experienced as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals and other threats to their survival. Now, in the contemporary world, we are more likely to feel stressed when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things that are important to us, such as our jobs or friends.

Looking For Love In All The Right Places
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Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues.

Understanding Personality Disorders
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All of us have our own unique ways of feeling and thinking and expressing ourselves. Most of the time, our uniqueness is seen simply as an individual difference – or something special about each of us. In fact, this is what brings interest and variety to the people in our lives. This is a positive thing. One of the healthiest things we can do is to achieve a fairly objective understanding of just how we are unique or different from other people.