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family

Anger Management: Where to Start

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Blog on 29th October, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

People who struggle with anger management problems often feel like they are not in control when their anger gets the best of them. Have you ever felt like you go “from 0 to 100 in a second”? Or have others described you this way? Having a short fuse can certainly cause all manner of problems […]

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The Risks of Picky Eating (How Bad Is It Really?)

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Blog on 4th September, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

Have you seen this alarming article yet? ‘Picky’ teen goes blind after diet of only fries and chips, study says. Apparently a British teenager refused to eat anything but “french fries, Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices, and sausage” and the lack of proper nutrients actually caused him to go blind. So this is probably […]

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Why Don’t My Adult Children Want to Talk to Each Other?

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Blog on 14th August, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

The past couple of posts have been addressing parents of adult children and discussing the family conflicts that are not uncommon in such relationships. Continuing on the theme, I’d like to touch on the issue of strained relationships between adult siblings. This is often a cause of great pain for older parents who feel their […]

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Why Don’t My Adult Children Want to Talk to Me?

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Blog on 22nd July, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

In our last post I offered some ideas on how parents can go about reconnecting with adult children who have become distant and disconnected. In this post I’d like to talk a bit more about what is often behind that distance. Why have your kids decided to distance themselves? Obviously, there are many possible answers […]

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How Do I Repair My Relationship with My Adult Child?

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Blog on 20th June, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

You spent decades of your life raising your children. You poured your love, time, effort, and money into giving them the best life you could. Sure, you made mistakes along the way, but you tried your best. You only wanted good things for them. So why don’t your kids want to talk to you? Why […]

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The 5 Things You Need for Family Therapy to Work

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Blog on 13th May, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

There’s been conflict in your family for some time now, and you’re ready to finally get some professional help with it. Strong personalities within a family can make it very hard to change the system without some objective input from the outside. Family therapy can be a really helpful venue for making the changes everyone […]

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5 Tips to Survive Holidays with the Family

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Blog on 19th November, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

As the holiday season bears down on us, many folks find their anxiety levels spiking in anticipation of yet another stressful family holiday. 

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The Escape Room: A Message for Couples and Families

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Blog on 8th October, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Recently I had the great pleasure of going to an escape room for a bit of family fun. If you’re not familiar,

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Making Your Marriage a Priority

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Blog on 8th May, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Recently I was interviewed on the radio to discuss the question of how to prioritize your relationship with your spouse vs. your kids. You can listen to the 20-minute segment here. Here’s the spoiler: I come down firmly on the side of keeping your spouse #1 on your list. This of course doesn’t mean that […]

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How Do I Get My Kids to Eat Their Vegetables?

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Blog on 25th May, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Another common battleground for parents with young children is mealtime.  Getting kids to eat their proverbial veggies has been a vexing problem since time immemorial.  Just as we noted with bedtime, it’s unlikely you will ever have children who are 100% compliant with your wishes 100% of the time.  Nevertheless, there are certain steps you […]

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The Five Love Languages: Finding Your Language

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Blog on 24th April, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Okay, so, we’ve talked a lot about the different Love Languages. But how do you know which is yours? Below we’ll discuss a couple of ways you can try to determine which language fits you best. You and your partner can both try to figure out for yourselves, and for each other, what your love […]

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The Five Love Languages: Physical Touch

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Blog on 20th March, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The last of the Five Love Languages is Physical Touch.  This one is in some ways very easy and in some ways very hard. It’s very easy because it’s pretty clear what we’re referring to when we say “physical touch.”  But it can also be very hard because for many people, it’s simply not natural. […]

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The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

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Blog on 24th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Words of Affirmation is the first of the love languages described in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages system. For people whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation, it’s what you say that counts.  This of course does not mean that you can act like a slob, forget your wife’s birthday gift or cheat on […]

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The Five Love Languages

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Blog on 9th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The Five Love Languages® is a great tool for improving relationships, whether you’re at the beginning of a new relationship or you’ve been married for decades.  It is a very simple and understandable method of connecting with your significant other – as well as your children, parents, siblings, friends, and anyone else you are in […]

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Family Therapy: Parental Transitions

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Blog on 26th September, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

In the previous post we cited a number of examples of role changes that can lead to conflict in the home and the importance of family therapy for managing these transitions.  There we focused primarily on the changes experienced by the daughter in a relationship (see here for why I am using female protagonists in […]

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Mothers & Daughters: Changing Roles

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Blog on 8th September, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Why do relationships between mothers and daughters that are warm, loving, and peaceable turn into battlegrounds of conflict and frustration?  What happens that causes such a drastic change, often in so short a time? The usual culprit is transition.  Life transitions are generally a period of personal instability and therefore instability in relationships. This can […]

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Family Therapy: Parents & Children

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Blog on 24th August, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

We frequently get calls for family therapy, specifically regarding troubled mother/daughter relationships.  These include young parents with school- or preschool-aged children, middle-aged women with their teenage/young adult daughters, and even up to elderly women who still struggle with having a proper relationship with their adult daughters. Why does this particular relationship so often run into […]

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The Kids Were Difficult Tonight

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Blog on 6th July, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

An amazing thing happened in my house last night. I was out for the evening, and I came home to find a tired but relatively cheerful wife and three sleeping children. This is what I would call an excellent outcome for a nighttime routine executed with only one parent. But that wasn’t the amazing part. […]

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How In-Laws Can Support a Marriage

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Blog on 12th May, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Parents-in-law have been known to cause grief in many a marriage, but they can also be of tremendous help to it.  In this article I touch on just a few important notes for how parents of adult offspring can do right by their children and their children’s spouse. http://www.marriage.com/advice/counseling/how-in-laws-can-support-a-marriage/ Learn more about our family counseling […]

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Do You Have a Family Member with Borderline Personality Disorder?

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Blog on 31st March, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

It is not uncommon for us to field calls from people looking to get help for someone other than themselves. One common category of such callers is the family member of someone with borderline personality disorder. If you have a relative with this diagnosis, this probably comes as no surprise to you. Borderline personality disorder […]

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4 Things to Do to Make Child Rearing Easier

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Blog on 29th February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Here’s another article I wrote for Marriage.com, offering a few simple tips for making life as a parent a little bit easier: http://www.marriage.com/advice/parenting/4-things-to-do-to-make-child-rearing-easy/ Learn more about our parenting support services here.

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 4

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Blog on 27th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

The last piece I’m going to post on the topic of why a good marriage is the best gift we can give to ours kids is probably the simplest: 4. It’s just nicer to live in a happy household than an unhappy one. Can anyone disagree with that? Who wants to live in a home […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 3

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Blog on 11th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Continuing on in our exploration of why a good marriage is so vital to your childrearing endeavors, here is reason #3: 3. They’ll do as you do. Jimmy’s parents were called into school, where Jimmy was waiting apprehensively in the principal’s office. The principal sat down with the three of them, looking very sternly at […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 2

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Blog on 28th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

In the last post, I opened up the topic of why a good marriage is good parenting and discussed the issue of household stability. Here is reason #2 that the best gift you can give your children is a good marriage. 2. Kids run on emotion. As noted in the previous post, kids are consumed […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children

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Blog on 20th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

When I get a call from parents seeking help with problems with their children, it is not uncommon that a large portion of the work actually needs to happen with the parents themselves. Unrealistic expectations, misguided parenting approaches, personal problems, and other factors play into this a lot. One important element that needs to be […]

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Boundaries: Inside and Out

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Blog on 6th August, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Check out our latest article on the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center‘s guest blog! http://www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com/boundaries-inside-and-out

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The Only Thing I Can Give to My Daughter That Matters

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Blog on 14th July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

I recently posted an article on Kveller.com, a site I enjoy sharing my personal experiences on. Check out my fun and educational story of the day I spent one-on-one with my four year old! http://www.kveller.com/the-only-thing-i-can-give-to-my-daughter-that-matters/ Learn more about our parenting counseling services here.

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Assertiveness in Relationships

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Blog on 1st July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Everyone has things they want and need out of the relationships they are in. Most people recognize that aggressive behavior is not a good way to get those things while maintaining the relationship at the same time – you might get what you want, but you might also find yourself with one less friend thereafter. […]

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My New Favorite Parenting Expert!

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Blog on 1st June, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

I recently chanced across an article by Andrea Nair and was so appreciative of it that I looked her up and ended up finding dozens more really helpful articles.  I agree with almost everything she says. I think her perspectives are spot-on and her techniques very solid.  Here is a super article entitled “Stop Tantrums: […]

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Modern Communication Tools for Parents

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Blog on 28th May, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

This morning while dropping my kids off at school I spotted a mom driving her minivan into the carpool line while talking on a handheld cellphone.  I don’t know what the laws are in other states, and I’m not really going to go googling right now, but in Maryland, this is illegal.  And I am […]

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Mother Trouble

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Blog on 22nd April, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Check out our new video about one of our unique specialties – helping adults manage their relationships with their own parents!  We hear a lot of complaints about this kind of issue out in the community and just chatting with friends, but not a lot of people think to get professional help with it.  Sometimes, […]

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The Mama Bear Effect – Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coloring Pages

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Blog on 24th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

A friend of mine passed these along to me – coloring pages to be used in discussing sexual abuse with your children.  Check them out at http://themamabeareffect.org/coloring-pages.html. I think they are fantastic!  This can really help children become active in their learning important principles about staying safe from abuse.  Remember that this topic is not […]

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Why Moms Get Nothing Done

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Blog on 24th February, 2015 By Caitlin Chana Hill

Have you seen this video yet? This entertaining video gone viral by Story of This Life is generating a lot of conversation – over 3 million views on YouTube as of this writing! Many Moms out there LOL when they watch this video, recognizing the can’t-get-anything-done scenario and laughing at their own frustration. There’s no […]

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The Importance of Listening

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Blog on 8th February, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Another guest post I wrote on a friend’s blog has generated some interesting conversation.  See the article and subsequent comments at https://incensefromthealtar.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/the-importance-of-listening. Learn more about our couples counseling services here.

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The Impact of Family on Weight Loss

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Blog on 2nd February, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

A guest post of mine on a friend’s weight loss blog: http://weightlosscounterrevolution.com/2015/01/30/the-impact-of-family-on-weight-loss/ Learn more about our family therapy services here.

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How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth (and Other Stories)

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Blog on 4th January, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

My latest parenting article in the Where What When: Let me start with this question: How do you get your kids to brush their teeth every night? http://www.wherewhatwhen.com/article/how-to-get-your-kids-to-brush-their-teeth-and-other-stories Learn more about our parenting support services here.

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Parenting in the iPhone Age

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Blog on 10th December, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

An article I wrote in a local paper on a modern-day topic: http://jewishtimes.com/31779/parenting-in-the-iphone-age/   Learn more about our parenting workshops here.

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Does My Mommy Have Two Mommies?

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Blog on 23rd November, 2014 By Caitlin Chana Hill

Adoption is not just an event in the life of a person; it is on ongoing reality in the life of a whole family. The adoption experience does not begin or end with the adopted child, rather, it is an experience that touches many people, some for a moment, some for a lifetime. A friend […]

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How to Argue with Your Spouse without Solving Anything

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Blog on 19th November, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

An article I wrote about spousal disagreements has been posted on wellness.com: Arguments among dating and married couples have gotten a bad name. Sure, they cause anger, frustration, tears, breakups, and divorces, but apart from that, who doesn’t enjoy a good yell at their partner from time to time? https://www.wellness.com/blog/13270621/how-to-argue-with-your-spouse-without-solving-anything/raffi-bilek Learn more about our couples […]

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How to Be Married to a Woman

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Blog on 9th November, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

The sequel to my highly popular “How to Be Married to a Man:” How to Be Married to a Woman My article, “How to Be Married to a Man,” recently published in the Where What When, earned me a lot of head nods and a couple of high-fives from male readers. It also led some […]

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Between Parents & In-Laws

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Blog on 19th October, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

Here is a recent column of mine that appeared in a local newspaper discussing a common issue that comes up in families. While this person may or may not be a candidate for family therapy, it is always worth considering the option of bringing in an objective third party to help resolve family conflicts. Learn […]

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Not Your Average Advice Column Response

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Blog on 14th August, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

Here’s a little levity in the family therapy field (check out Amy’s response).  At the same time, it’s kind of sad.  Family problems always are. If you find yourself in a similar type of situation with your family problems, give us a call.  This is exactly the kind of thing we can help you with. […]

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