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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.

The College Selection Process

Ask the Experts by Milissa Pierce and Beth Walsh-Sahutske

Q: My child just started high school. Is it too early to start talking about college?

A: Chances are you have been talking about college his whole life via favorite sports teams, family alma mater or some cool random mascot. That's great! Now is the time to explore beyond those familiar names to take a casual look at some other convenient colleges.

Visit local colleges or some near vacation destinations and take a tour- even if he has ...

Read more: The College Selection Process


Tool or Toy: Educating Middle Level Learners on the Power of Cell Phones

Ask the Experts by Rodger W. Hunwick

Q: My child is entering middle school next year. My spouse and I are reluctant about providing a cell phone as an incoming sixth grader. Other parents tell us their older child(ren) have a cell phone and we've received mixed reviews about whether or not it's necessary. Please tell us the truth about Tweenagers and cell phones at middle school; are these devices used more as a tool or a toy at school?

A: The truth of the matter is tweenagers use their cell ...

Read more: Tool or Toy: Educating Middle Level Learners on the Power of Cell Phones


Tips for Getting Ready for Kindergarten

by Kristen DeVooght, Dorothy Heitjan and Kimberly Maddalena

Q: How can we as parents help our preschooler make a successful transition into kindergarten? Might you have some tips to share?

A: It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school. In order to help your child build this foundation, parents should provide:

  • Hands on experiences. Dig, cook, build, paint and sculpt with your child. Activities ...

Read more: Tips for Getting Ready for Kindergarten


Cooperative Parenting After Divorce

Ask the Experts by Sonya Thompson

Q: I feel like my ex-husband and I cannot get along. I am not sure how to put aside our differences - can you help?

A: Feeling hurt or angry is common. If you want to succeed as co-parents, the "co" has to mean cooperation.

Shifting roles from former spouse to co-parents can be challenging. Parents might find it difficult to manage anger or hurt without putting their children in the middle. Criticism of the other parent in the presence of the child can be ...

Read more: Cooperative Parenting After Divorce


Making Modern Divorced Families Work: During and After the Divorce

Ask the Experts by Sean Cleland

Q: My spouse and I are discussing divorce, but I am worried that it will get ugly and hurt our kids. What can I do to prevent this?

A: There are four basic elements to obtaining a healthier divorce:

  • Focus on your post-divorce life. Divorce is the end of a way of life for you and your family, but it is also the beginning of the rest of your life. Your divorce is the time to make the transition into that new life as smooth and well thought out as possible. ...

Read more: Making Modern Divorced Families Work: During and After the Divorce


Turning Teen

Ask the Experts by Dr. Lisa Klein and Dr. Carrie Leff

Q: I have an 8-yr old daughter. I have noticed that she hasn't started puberty yet but some of her friends have. What is the best time to start talking about puberty with her?

A: Start talking about puberty BEFORE it happens! Don't wait for your child to come to you with questions about their bodies - that day may never arrive.

Most experts agree that "8 is great" when it comes to starting conversations about puberty. Research suggests that ...

Read more: Turning Teen


Author Jeff Jay Coming to the GP War Memorial on October 11, 2016

Be sure to read "Navigating Grace," a Grosse Pointe News feature article by Jody McVeigh with Jeff Jay on his book and upcoming presentation. Read More 

The Family Center in partnership with the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association and the Grosse Pointe News presents

Navigating Grace - A Solo Voyage of Survival and Redemption with author Jeff Jay

In 1990 Jeff Jay set off in an old sailboat for the Caribbean, alone and unprepared, and almost died in a violent winter storm 200 miles ...

Read more: Author Jeff Jay Coming to the GP War Memorial on October 11, 2016


The Hero's Journey

Ask the Experts by Jeff Jay

Joseph Campbell was an influential thinker, weaving together the stories of many cultures into a seamless narrative. His most famous book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, demonstrated that the travails of our individual lives and the teachings of the world's great religions have a lot in common - namely struggle, divine help (usually disguised), and deliverance.

Many such stories begin with an unlikely hero (think of Moses being orphaned in the reeds), who through divine ...

Read more: The Hero's Journey


A Healthy Brain for the Ages

Ask The Experts by Christine Chelladurai, MD and Jennifer Lacasse, RN

Q: Are there things I can do to keep my brain healthy as I age?

A: Today, there is a growing concern of development of cognitive impairments such as dementia and mental health issues as we age in the United States. With age, we often discuss promoting physical health but we must also focus more on the body-brain connection and factors that prevent mental and cognitive decline.

The brain is an amazing organ. Medicine has yet ...

Read more: A Healthy Brain for the Ages


Depression and Anxiety in Screenagers

Ask the Experts by Nicole Runyon

Q: Shortly after receiving her first smart phone in middle school, I began to see changes in my daughter's behavior. She was more angry, retreated into herself and did not want to engage with the family as much. I have noticed her be more quite and withdrawn. She doesn't seem happy. Should I be concerned?

A: Yes, you should be concerned. This generation of teens spends so much time in front of a screen that they have been named "screenagers." They are addicted ...

Read more: Depression and Anxiety in Screenagers


When Parenting Styles Clash

Ask the Experts by Marla Ruhana

Q: My husband and I were so compatible while dating and through our early years of marriage. Now that we are parents, we clash and seem to be drifting apart. We don't see eye to eye on parenting choices. What can we do to work together as parents and spouses? 

A: I empathize with your current struggle but I am confident it is a bump in the road. Many couples differ initially as they enter relationships with varying learned behaviors from their childhood. ...

Read more: When Parenting Styles Clash


The ABCs of Safe Sleep

Ask the Experts by Lacea Zavala, MSW, LMSW

Q: I keep hearing about the ABCs of Safe Sleep. What are they and how can caregivers best protect infants while they sleep?

A: September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan, as proclaimed by Gov. Rick Snyder, and first lady Sue Snyder is working to support statewide initiatives to combat the nearly 150 preventable infant deaths annually in the state due to unsafe sleep environments. At that rate, we are losing one baby every three days, ...

Read more: The ABCs of Safe Sleep


Senior Living Options to Consider

Ask the Experts by Andrea Wedge

Q: My parent(s) are aging and I'm not sure if they should consider a move. If they do when and where should we consider? What is a CCRC?

A: Whether you are part of the baby boomer generation, the sandwich generation or find yourself in a unique situation with aging parents or spouse, you know that this conversation/decision is not an easy one. There are so many options out there - educating yourself, let alone your parent or spouse can be an overwhelming task; ...

Read more: Senior Living Options to Consider


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