Have Millennials Killed Infidelity? The Family Weekly
narcissism

Have Millennials Killed Infidelity? The Family Weekly

Conventional wisdom says that a baby’s first words are a major milestone in their development, but it turns out most baby talk is truly gibberish. This year, researchers published an analysis of the Communicative Development Inventories, which catalogs the first words of infants in hundreds of languages worldwide. The most frequent first words all have to do with what researchers call “babiness,” which means they’re words toddlers might need in real life, based on their surroundings: Mommy, grandpa, car, and banana are among some of the consistent hits.
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Is there a magic number of children, or combination of sons and daughters, that parents should have to maximize their happiness? The number can change with personal preferences, but factors such as social-support systems and financial resources can influence the ideal. And when it comes to the bigger picture, the number 2.1 has been widely recognized as the “replacement level” of fertility, which would ensure that the population of a country remains steady. But for most parents, the more immediate concern is how many hotel rooms they’d have to book for a family vacation, and whether there are enough seats in the minivan for everyone.
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Dear Therapist

(Bianca Bagnarelli)

Every Monday, the psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb answers readers’ questions about life’s trials and tribulations, big or small, in The Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” column.

This week, another therapist writes in to ask Lori about her boyfriend’s mother. She can see all the signs of narcissism and histrionic personality disorder, and she knows the tools of the trade to deal with it—but practicing them is harder in real life. Making matters more complicated? Her boyfriend bought a house with a unit for his mother. Should she leave before her boyfriend’s mother becomes her live-in mother-in-law?

Lori’s advice: You can’t change other people, but you can change how you respond to them. And having an honest conversation with her boyfriend about the house he wants to live in might be the only way to work through some of the hidden issues in the relationship and to establish healthy boundaries.

One way to be less reactive around his mother is to focus less on her shortcomings and more on her positive qualities. She has to have some redeeming qualities if the man you’re in love with was raised by her; figure out what those are. In therapy, we don’t just look at what’s not working with our patients—we’re also scanning for strengths.

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Send Lori your questions at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Amal Ahmed is an editorial fellow at The Atlantic.

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