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Emotional Health and Well-Being

Thoughts on Parenting

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Originally posted in January of 2017.

In walking along the icy shoreline of Lake Simcoe with our firstborn in late December, I found myself feeling grateful for having lived long enough to know that our boys will remember me no matter what happens from here on out. This was my greatest wish from the time this young fellow arrived into our arms in 2005.

Today, my new greatest wish is that our boys grow up to feel that they can come to me to talk about anything. No matter how grave their concern, how intense their anger, disappointment, or sadness - even if I am a root cause of their suffering - I hope I will have built up enough trust in my emotional bank account with them that they want to share and discuss their feelings, knowing that I will do my best to understand them. Read more

 

All That I Need

Originally shared at our Facebook page in early 2016.

Our younger son, now 8, has been denying me bear hugs and kisses since he was about 3 - I guess there is a part of him that feels like he is too grown up for public displays of affection, especially in front of his friends.

I've taken solace in our tradition - started earlier this year - of making eye contact and exchanging a wave as he trots into school with his Charlie Brown-like friends. No matter how large the crowd of friends, the moment before he disappears through the entrance, he looks back to find my face and gives me a solid wave with his tiny hand. I've come to realize that this little moment of connection is confirmation that behind his spirit of independence is a tender heart that loves deeply and knows how much he is loved. Read more

 

A Soul-Crushing Loss

Yesterday, we were devastated to learn that Lee MacMillan took her own life at 28 years of age.  We first noticed Lee through her global VanLife adventures that were beautifully documented on YouTube.  Though we never knew Lee personally, we felt a real connection to her and her then partner Max partly because Lee hailed from our hometown of Barrie, Ontario, but mostly because Lee and Max and their dog Occy exuded a special kindness and zest for life. Read more

 

It's Okay To Say No

An unfortunate reality for those who are inclined to be helpful and compassionate is that they naturally become easy targets for those who have no qualms about repeatedly taking advantage of others.  Though the world is full of much goodness, it's abundantly clear that there are a significant number of people who operate without much of a conscience, and if they can repeatedly use others for their benefit, they will happily do so.   Read more

 

Measures of Health and Wealth

When I receive questions on highly specific health matters that don't take into account a person's entire life, I encourage stepping back and taking a big picture view.

Often, the healthiest and most effective solutions are the simplest ones. Read more

 

What Does A Truly Good Friend Look Like?

Updated on February 16, 2021

I've always loved the Korean word for friendship - it's pronounced "oo jung." There was a time in my 20s when oojung was actually the bulk of my e-mail address, back when gmail didn't exist and most of us were at yahoo or hotmail.

More than ever, I find myself considering what constitutes a healthy friendship, for my own well-being, and also to do what I can to help our boys understand what a truly good friend looks like. Read more

 

Is Your Kid Worth $100 Million?

Many thanks to Michael Lazerow for allowing me to re-publish his article here. I trust that it will inspire. - Ben Kim

Would you sell one of your kids for $100 million? Be honest.

Imagine your little Ben didn't burp or fart or throw up when your boss came over. Or think flushing the toilet was "mom's job." But sat quietly with other Benjamins in piles of crisp, neatly organized rows, ready to be enjoyed. Read more

 

Moving Beyond Outrage Culture

As I caught up with one of my closest friends the other day, it occurred to me that most of the memorable epiphanies I've experienced have come through conversations with people who shared perspectives or facts that I wasn't aware of.

What a magical experience it is to tap into a new thought about the world and its people - it's akin to seeing the sunset for the first time. Read more

 

The Awakened Family - Dr. Shefali Tsabary and Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Shefali and Dr. Mark discuss many facets of parenting and family dynamics that influence health and well-being.

The primary question is this: As parents, how do we let go of expectations that don't align with our children discovering and connecting with their authentic selves? Read more

 

Can Selfish People Change?

From Our Mailbag:

Hi Dr. Ben,

I've been following your blog for many years and have found so much comfort in similar experiences that we've had with family and friends. I'm writing with hope that you can tell me your opinion on an issue that has been gnawing away at me since I was a teenager.

I have an older brother who I'll call Sam. I'm too exhausted to dance around this so I will simply say that he's the worst person I know. He's a real creep. Allow me to explain why. Read more

 

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