Ask Maria

May 19, 2020

While some couples prefer autonomy and independence in a relationship, others enjoy a strong emotional connection. One partner may want to talk things through and need to always feel connected, reassured while the other will be more distant and removed.  When the partner remains removed and ...

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When a family becomes stressed, everyone feels anxious. The anxiety moves easily from person to person in the family. Anxiety that affects one, affects all. It can be contagious. For the past several months, our country and our communities have gone through a very stressful time. In some states, ...

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For many of us, social distancing will make Mother’s Day challenging this year. Our traditional way of celebrating has changed. Due to the numerous stay-at-home orders in place this year, mothers may find themselves alternatively living with or without their children. Some moms may be isolated from ...

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“I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.  Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.”  - Unknown author Let’s think about this.  For some, quarantine is optimal. They are re-connecting ...

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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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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 which is sometimes devastating, frightening, and often lonely. We may think, do, and say things that are very unlike us. There seems to be no respite, no end to the intense ...

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A pandemic has a way of bringing us all together.  This pandemic reminds me of 9/11. We all came together as a country and were able to embrace one another with compassion, tears, understanding, concern and love. We are forced to think together on this one and work together. This virus has ...

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We are facing a health crisis that is spreading quickly across the world and in our community. School closings, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and businesses are all being shut down -- all of this in an effort to limit the spread of this disease. We have been asked to practice social distancing and ...

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When a family becomes stressed, everyone feels anxious. The anxiety moves easily from person to person in the family.  Anxiety that affects one, affects all. It can be contagious. Our country and our community are in the midst of a great deal of panic and anxiety with the pandemic of the ...

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When we reach our 40s or 50s in age, it is usually the time that we have ailing parents who need assistance from us.  The roles reverse. Suddenly we find ourselves being the parent to our parents. In some cases, one parent now moves in with us because they can no longer be left alone. We find ...

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Anxiety can be one of the most unpleasant emotions that people feel. The word “anxiety” describes periods of fear, worry, nervousness, and restlessness. It comes with thoughts of danger and helplessness. Life experiences, especially those that occurred in childhood and adolescence, often ...

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Valentine’s Day is a day filled with Hallmark cards, chocolate covered strawberries, red roses and special dining. It’s a day to express our love and affection to those close to us. Some of us have expectations that this day will be blissful, we may even receive that diamond ring that represents ...

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The first stage of dating begins with a sense of excitement and eagerness to learn about each other. Many of us enter into a relationship with the hope that this “may be the one.” There are many internet dating services that make promises of finding the right partner for you. This can certainly ...

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Warren Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, who is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.  He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and is considered the fourth wealthiest person in the world. A recent quote of his states “You will ...

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Parenting is never easy, having a blended family with biological children and stepchildren makes parenting even more challenging. As families are blended new challenges arise and the family has to define new roles and responsibilities. Finding the right balance can be extremely difficult. When ...

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The rush and excitement of the holiday season is now over. Now we are facing 71 more days before we can welcome Spring 2020.  For some of us the winter months are the most difficult as we are confined to our homes and not as active as when we have sunny, warm temperatures. Changes in the seasons ...

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The return of the college student during the holiday season is a very exciting time. Many of our youngsters have been away at school for the first time and are eager to come home to visit with their family and friends. College students who return home are usually not the high school graduate ...

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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 ...

Read more »

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 which is sometimes devastating, frightening, and often lonely.  We may think, do, and say things that are very unlike us.  There seems to be no respite, no end to the ...

Read more »

Family get-togethers are not always easy. Many of us dread having to participate in some of the social events that take place during this time. We may begin to experience stress knowing that our gathering will involve some relatives or immediate family whom we really do not like. We may feel the ...

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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 than when a person you love dies. It’s natural for family and friends to ...

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We live in a culture driven by competition and perfectionism — where success is defined by status, performance, and appearance. Both children and parents are exposed to these pressures daily and respond to such pressures, whether we are aware of it or not. The truth of the matter is that this is ...

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The arrival of a newborn is probably one of the most exciting times a family can experience. Becoming first-time grandparents is totally thrilling for us; and while it is thrilling for our children as well, it is also a time when they can experience a lot of stress.  If we can remember back to when ...

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Shame is corrosive.  It eats away at a person’s dignity, pride, and self-respect.  Unfortunately, many individuals become embroiled in shame-based relationships or emotional abusive relationships that feature daily episodes of humiliation.  Emotional abusive relationships are dehumanizing.  Each of ...

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The first stage of dating begins with a sense of excitement and eagerness to learn about each other. Many of us enter into a relationship with the hope that this “may be the one”. There are many internet dating services that make promises of finding the right partner for you.  This can certainly ...

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Is there merit in providing an incentive for tasks or chores around the house?  Do chores warrant a reward? Aren’t household duties something our children will have to do their whole life without compensation? Chores are great for all children, assuming they are age-appropriate. They teach ...

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Most children who are bullied keep quiet about it and do not tell an adult or parent. It is embarrassing for the child to admit that they are being bullied. Some signs to look out for include: doing poorly in school and being reluctant to go to school,  having low self esteem, being ...

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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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The new school year has begun, and we are back to the routine of getting up early, school assignments, sport activities (which means more driving), early breakfasts, meal planning, and overall more activities. Oftentimes as parents, we begin to take on a lot of the responsibility for our kids ...

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Divorce is ranked at the top of the list of stressful life events and is never easy for parents or children. Children can do well when they have good relationships with both parents. Parents do not need to be married or living in the same house in order to raise healthy, well adjusted ...

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