Ask Maria

May 4, 2021

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- A mother/daughter relationship is one of the most important ties each will have in her lifetime.  Many women have difficult relationships with their mothers and daughters, even when they want good relationships.  A mother may wish her daughters happiness, yet --- from the point ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- If you have ever watched the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, known as the Portokalos family, then you can certainly understand what it’s like having an overbearing family. The family is very large, loud and intrusive. The movie was released in 2002 and the premise of the movie ...

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The loss of a child is like no other. Losing a child to a tragic accident is grief that lasts a lifetime.  It can be difficult to know what to say or do when someone you care about is grieving.  You may be afraid of intruding, saying the wrong thing, or making the person feel worse.  While you ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- How are we doing one year after the pandemic? How have we weathered this stressful journey? In an effort to comfort and relate to one another, we often use the phrase, “we’re all in the same boat.” But, that’s not necessarily true—we are in the same storm, but not the same ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- The reality is that a successful relationship takes hard work and a successful divorce takes harder work.  It’s difficult to stop being “intimate partners” and become just two people working together to raise a child.  The good news is that with patience and persistence you can ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- The Disease to Please is a learned behavior that occurs when we take care of others’ needs at our own expense.  If you are this type, you do too much, too often for others, almost never say “no” rarely delegate, and inevitably become over committed.  These self-defeating ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- Covid-19 pandemic put more generations under the same roof, and more parents are now helping their adult children financially. Young adults are returning to their parents’ homes due to disruptions in their jobs, closures at colleges, and change in living arrangements and health ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- Spring is coming … in 37 days!  What a year it has been! We have been cooped up during winter Covid-19 and now the added stress of the snowfall certainly hasn’t helped any one of us. The good news is that we have only 37 more days to go and we will be in spring 2021!  37 days ...

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As you were growing up you may not have learned how to take good care of yourself. In fact, much of your attention may have been in taking care of others or on just getting by. "People Pleasing" is a term that refers to taking care of others’ needs rather than taking care of ourselves. People ...

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Stress is a common part of everyone’s life including our children. Children worry about exams and being accepted by friends, and since March 2019, our children have been affected socially, emotionally and academically by the current pandemic. A certain amount of stress is normal; however, too much ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS-- Many of us are feeling the anxiety of not knowing what is coming our way.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty over the economy, employment, finances, our government, relationships and of course our mental and physical health. It is natural to want to feel ...

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We have all been through a challenging 2020 and some of us have lost loved ones during the pandemic.   Let’s be hopeful that this New Year the Covid vaccine and   the federal help for businesses and the unemployed it will bring us good health, safety and prosperity.  From our family at The ...

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There are many different ways that people relate to one another in relationships. People generally tend to relate to each other in three ways:  Independent, co-dependent and inter-dependent. Some people are very independent in relationships; others are co-dependent (which means they put aside their ...

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The holidays can be a difficult time. This year is particularly hard because a lot of us are grieving the loss of our loved ones. Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. Most of us are not prepared for the long journey of grief that is sometimes devastating, ...

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Many families are trying to come up with new ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This year the pandemic is creating some very difficult decision-making for families. We’ve been in isolation for seven months and therefore the urge to getting together with family and friends is stronger than years ...

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As you were growing up you may not have learned how to take good care of yourself. In fact, much of your attention may have been in taking care of others or on just getting by. "People pleasing" is a term that refers to taking care of others’ needs rather than taking care of ourselves. People ...

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Whether we're ready or not, the 2020 holiday season is upon us. Usually, this is a stressful time of year—except this year…we are also contending with a worldwide pandemic. During the height of the tri-state lockdown, we could have never imagined that we'd still be contending with such a ...

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The coronavirus pandemic has been associated with many mental health challenges. Research has shown that there has been an increase in substance abuse, mental disorders, and suicidal ideation. Moreover, symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder has considerably increased in the United ...

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Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support and unconditional love. If you understand this connection between human and animal, then you understand that coping with loss and grief of a pet is no different from when a person you love dies.  It’s natural for family and friends to ...

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Do you ever wonder whether you are doing more than your partner in the relationship? Do you, in fact, know that you are doing more in the relationship than your partner?  Thinking that relationships need to be split 50/50 may not always be realistic however, the other extreme is taking it all on ...

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COVID-19 has reshaped our personal relationships. Life in lockdown has forced us to live in close proximity to one another and balance work, children, homeschooling and finances during an already stressful time. On the other hand, social distancing has isolated us from our friends, family, ...

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The challenges of figuring out school this year have created tension in many families. Couples may have a difference of opinion; one parent may want remote learning while the other wants in-person learning. Is socialization (and the potential risk of spread) the best bet, or is being safe at home ...

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Have you ever had the experience when you’ve spoken too soon and then it’s way too late to reverse what’s just been said? Do you regret how you handled that situation? Perhaps you were too reactive and responded in an emotional way? Speaking with purpose and not from a place of reactivity takes ...

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SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has been an absolute nightmare for all of us. This pandemic has derailed our work life, home life, and pastimes. It has tested our relationships and friendships, has accosted our faith, challenged our sense of security, and highlighted our fragile ...

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We are experiencing a new normal and it seems like it’s here to stay for a while. Families are having arguments over what’s safe; and having disagreements over school reopening, work travel schedules, financial stress, childcare, and who to allow into our home. The stress of COVID-19 has ...

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Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents. There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child. Feelings of sadness, anxiety ...

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Warren Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and is ranked among the world's wealthiest people. A recent quote of his states: “You will continue to ...

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Many of us are feeling the anxiety of not knowing what is coming in the fall for our children. In the spring, educators and students across the world were forced to suddenly shift to virtual classrooms. No one was prepared for this and parents were forced to turn their homes into classrooms and ...

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Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.”  “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great.  We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what ...

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COVID-19 has reshaped our personal relationships. Life in lockdown has forced us to live in close proximity to one another and balance work, children, homeschooling and finances during an already stressful time. On the other hand, social distancing has isolated us from our friends, family, ...

Read more »