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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.

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


What, the Helmet?!

Ask the Experts by Janet S. Reed, PhD, MHA, ABPP-CN

Q: How can I get my child to wear protective head gear when riding his bike without a fight!

A: The next time your child or teen complains about wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, or rollerblading, think twice about giving in.  Now that spring and summer are nearly upon us, kids are getting out and becoming active. Approximately 70% of children in the United States ride bicycles, with only about 41% of those riding ...

Read more: What, the Helmet?!


A New Sense of Entitlement "The Rules Don't Apply to Me"

Ask the Experts by Marla K. Ruhana, LMSW

Q: What is going on within this society? I feel like I can't even relate to my friends anymore! I no longer enjoy socializing as the things that seem alright to them are NOT alright with me. Their reactions frustrate me too, as if I am some prude. The truth is I have not changed, they've changed and appear to be so laid back with regard to parenting, can you help me?

A: It sounds like you have strong beliefs and adhere to your values in terms of parenting ...

Read more: A New Sense of Entitlement "The Rules Don't Apply to Me"


What Can Happen When Your Private Messages Go Public

ASK THE EXPERTS by M.L. ELRICK, Investigative Reporter, Detroit Free Press

Q.  As a parent, I caution my teens frequently about the content of what they email and text.  I want them to be aware of what might happen if they are careless, any suggestions?

A. Everyone has an embarrassing old photo out there. It may be snapshot from the 80s, in which you're proudly displaying your new freshly-coifed mullet or new acid-washed jeans. While you wince when you see it now, at the time it sure seemed ...

Read more: What Can Happen When Your Private Messages Go Public


K2 and Bath Salt Abuse on the Rise

Ask the Experts by Detective Lieutenant Jim Smith

Q. I have three children, two that are off to college and one still in high school.  My husband and I are shocked and disappointed at the variety of drugs that seem to be available to those that are looking for them.  Two of my children are going to Florida for Spring Break. Is it my imagination or does it seem that there is always a new threat on the horizon? 

A. As tecnology increases at lighting speed so do unscrupulous entrepreneurs ...

Read more: K2 and Bath Salt Abuse on the Rise


Teenagers – Don't Blame Them, It's Their Brain

ASK THE EXPERTS by Pete Pullen, Head of School, Eton Academy

Q: Why is my teenager unable to multi-task?  He seems he is only capable of focusing on one task at a time?

A: Your teenager has just backed your brand new SUV into the garage door for the third time.  He explains that he really was paying attention although you saw him on his cell phone as he pulled into the driveway.  He then begins to inform you that he failed his math test because his sister was annoying him the previous ...

Read more: Teenagers – Don't Blame Them, It's Their Brain


Parenting: The Middle School Years

Ask the Experts by Scott Tily

Q: I'm the parent of an 11yr old boy, how do I help him and, to be honest, myself navigate the middle school years?

A: Attending middle school is an exciting and challenging time for both students and parents. With their rapid brain development, the onset of puberty and the subsequent rapid changes in their bodies, and the fluctuations of hormones in their system and the subsequent impact on their moods and impulse control, there is little wonder that at times adolescents ...

Read more: Parenting: The Middle School Years


Help with Self-love for Teen Girls

Ask the Experts by Erin A. Williams, LMSW, BCD

Q: As a parent of a 13 year old daughter, how do I teach her to love herself?

A:   There are so many ways to encourage self-love in a teenage girl, and despite what they may try to convince you of, it doesn't need to start with a trip to Somerset Mall!  

Read more: Help with Self-love for Teen Girls


Worrying Over Things Beyond Our Control

Ask The Experts by Marla Ruhana, LMSW

Q- Lately, I catch myself worrying so much over things like, is my best friend mad at me? Will I get a promotion? Will I have another baby, and if so, how will that impact our family? Will we lose our home in these difficult economic times? These worries go on and on, and I feel they are preventing me from living each day to its fullest. Is this normal?

A- Many people experience thoughts like yours. The good news is you are aware of them!  Others go ...

Read more: Worrying Over Things Beyond Our Control


Balanced, Healthy Diets

Ask The Experts by Zonya Foco   

Q: I'm raising a family of three teenagers and trying to make sure that we all get a balanced, healthy diet.  Here are some questions we have. 

Q: Oatmeal is so blah. How can we make it healthier but still satisfy our taste buds?   

A: Are you looking to sweeten your oatmeal with less calories and carbs? Let me make this suggestion. Instead of automatically trading sugar for one of those pink, blue or yellow packets, ...

Read more: Balanced, Healthy Diets


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