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The Family Center: Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

Serving our community through programs and resources vital to today’s families.

Awareness of Depression in Adolescents

Ask The Experts by David M. Benson, MSW, LMSW, ACSW

Q.  My son has always been outgoing and social.  Recently, he appears to be really depressed.  Can teenagers get "real" depression?  If so, what are the warning signs of suicide?

A.  Depression is real and affects children, adolescents and adults.  Depression can happen to anyone at any time.  In order to answer your questions, I will first address the teenage depression, and part two will examine the link between ...

Read more: Awareness of Depression in Adolescents


Responding to a Depressed Teen

Ask the Experts by Pastor Richard Yeager-Stiver

Q: My teen seems depressed at times and bit of a loner.  He appears to enjoy the calm unpressured time that he spends with his peers at church more than he spends with his peers at school.  He also seems to have a good relationship with the youth minister and the pastor.  If something is bothering him, would they be able to guide him or inform me as a parent if something was seriously wrong?

A: Ethically I treat all information I receive ...

Read more: Responding to a Depressed Teen


Food Allergies in Children

Ask the Experts:  Cynthia Weiss, M.S., registered dietitian, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.

Q:  My 7-year-old son sometimes complains that the inside of his mouth itches.  I thought it may be a food allergy but his complaints come hours after he's eaten. If it was a food allergy wouldn't he have a reaction right after he's eaten?

A: Not necessarily.  People and allergens react differently.  Individuals may experience a reaction within minutes; others may not react for ...

Read more: Food Allergies in Children


How to Identify and Manage Stress

Ask the Experts by Jill Wrubel

Q: I'm a busy working mom.  It was recently pointed out to me that every time someone asks me how I am doing, I reply saying that I feel so stressed.  I have heard of stress management, can you help me with my questions in how to manage my daily stress?  

Q: What is meant by "Whole Person Wellness"?

A: Whole Person Wellness is about balance. Balance in what we THINK, balance in how we FEEL about those thoughts we are thinking, and how these feelings ...

Read more: How to Identify and Manage Stress


Why take a parenting class?

Ask the Experts by Kathy Rager, executive director, CARE

Q: My mother tells me that I am spoiling my six year old.  She has encouraged me to take a parenting class.  I don't understand her concerns.  I know that my daughter is a little high strung and I do try to keep her happy by, perhaps, giving in a little too much.  I am able to provide very well for her and can afford to give her what she wants.  Do I need to take a parenting class?  I thought they are just for ...

Read more: Why take a parenting class?


Vision is more than 20/20

Ask the Experts by Danna Haba, OD, FCOVD

Q: My child passed the vision screening tests in school how could she have a vision problem?

A: Vision is more than 20/20. A learning-related visual problem directly affects how we learn, read, or sustain close work. Visual problems in any of the following areas can have a significant impact on learning:

  • eye tracking skills - eyes following a line of print
  • eye teaming skills - two eyes working together as a synchronized team
  • binocular vision - simultaneously ...

Read more: Vision is more than 20/20


Life Changing Events

by Marla Ruhana, LMSW

Q-I am graduating from college, I should be so excited, why aren't I happy? I feel so anxious, can you help?

A-I recently saw a discussion on why films about weddings do well in theatres. Why? Because we all like watching films that feature life-changing events. Every human identifies with the birth of baby, death of loved one, a wedding, selling a home, retirement.

Read more: Life Changing Events


Enforcing Facebook Rules

Ask the Experts by Kathy Rager, executive director, CARE

Q:  I am really frustrated.  My 15 year old daughter knows the rules regarding what she can post on Facebook but tonight when I viewed her page I found a picture of her in a very revealing bathing suit and several nasty remarks, including four letter words, about her algebra teacher.  When I confronted her she said that all the kids are doing it and it doesn’t mean anything.  How do I handle this?

A:  I can ...

Read more: Enforcing Facebook Rules


When should my child have a cell phone?

Ask The Experts by David M. Benson, MSW, LMSW, ACSW

Q:  When should a child/teen be able to carry a cell phone?

A:  As a therapist, this is a question that is commonly asked by parents of children all ages.  Technology has certainly changed since the days we as parents grew up.  “Back in the day,” it was not uncommon to see people driving in their vehicles with a large cellular phone with a long cord attached to the cigarette lighter outlet.  Now days, some ...

Read more: When should my child have a cell phone?


Alcohol Free Parties

Ask the Experts by Kathy Rager, executive director, CARE

Q:  My 17 year old daughter will be 18 in July and she wants a combination birthday and graduation party.  I know that it is wise to not serve alcohol at teen parties but I am afraid that none of my friends will come.  Alcohol use is legal for adults and I feel that a non alcoholic party punishes me.  I am also concerned that the teens may drink too much and I will get in legal trouble.

A:  I hate to be blunt but ...

Read more: Alcohol Free Parties



Ask the Experts by Marla K. Ruhana, LMSW

Q -  adore my husband, he treats me very well and I have so much to be grateful for regarding our marriage. We have been married for seven years and we're both in great health, our children are healthy, that said, debated even writing as I've got so much gratitude, it's just that we bicker and get on each other's nerves, how do we stop the petty bickering?

A - We all know the saying, "we only hurt the one's we love" and it seems there is truth to this ...

Read more: Marriage


Understanding Narcissism

Ask the Experts by Marla K. Ruhana, LMSW

Q: I've just learned that an adult family member of mine may be a narcissist.  Can you tell me more about narcissism?  What causes it? My current understanding is that these types of individuals operate in an adolescent manner. After all these years helping this person, I feel so used, manipulated and not valued...was I so enmeshed that I never realized this?  I was thinking that I needed to go to therapy and couldn't understand what I have ...

Read more: Understanding Narcissism


Cigarette and Marijuana Use in Teens

Ask The Expert: Mark Menestrina, MD, Brighton Hospital

Q: I'm a parent of a middle & high school student, it amazes me how some parents still dismiss the use of cigarette use and marijuana by their teens. Some say..."well we did it as teens and survived"..."it's harmless, better than them doing hard core drugs".  On top of it all they don't even seem to be phased that it's ILLEGAL! Why such a nonchalant attitude?  How should I respond to these types of parents to help them get the message ...

Read more: Cigarette and Marijuana Use in Teens


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