Tag Archives: parenting

Seven Proven Parenting Strategies for Nurturing Better Behavior

ParentEvery parent only wants what’s best for their child.  Which is precisely why the vast majority of parents spend time exploring ways and means by which they can interact with their children, in a manner that both fosters positive behavior and creates stronger relationships.  Unsurprisingly, it is a subject that has been explored and investigated in extreme depth and a prominent matter of discussion when studying child psychology.

However, with such a wealth of information available both via the web and in print, it can be extremely difficult for parents to figure out which proposed strategies are the most effective.

In a recent Monitor on Psychology publication by the American Psychological Association, influential child psychology leaders were asked for their own opinions and input on the subjects of effective parenting strategies.  The purpose was not to attempt to identify what constitutes ‘perfect’ parenting, but rather to shed little a light on the strategies that were less theoretical and more research/evidence-backed.

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Living at the Intersection: Reflections on the Graduate Student Experience

A Moment in the Life of a Single Mom Graduate Student

Guest columnist: Teresa Hulsey, B.A., University of North Texas

I look at the clock. It is 2:00 in the morning and I can finally sleep after finishing my report. Suddenly, I wake to the sounds of my three-year-old daughter crying. I look at the clock again; it is 3:00 in the morning. I rush to her bedroom and recognize the telltale signs of a stomach virus. As I gather a change of clothes and carry her to the bathroom my mind begins to rush through all of the work that will have to wait, and all of the people I now need to reschedule with or notify that I will not be attending school. Despite knowing the understanding nature of both faculty and students, I am still frustrated that I cannot be two people at once: the single mom who takes care of her daughter and the graduate student who gets all of her work done on time.

Later, after contacting necessary people, no one implied that I am irresponsible or using my daughter as an excuse. Actually, everyone expressed concern, sent well wishes to my daughter, and relayed desires for me to get back to them later. Times like these contributed to me allowing myself the space to discover what life looks like for me as a mother and a graduate student. The best student I can be looks differently now that I have my daughter, and the best mom I can be has changed now that I am a student. I have spent this first year of graduate school learning and redefining what being the best me in these important life roles means.

Ultimately, my daughter reminds me that graduate school is not my life. I also discovered that the world will not end if I cannot attend school, am late to a meeting, or turn in late work. I have been able to witness how resilient my daughter is and that the quality of our time together can be more meaningful than the quantity. I have experienced the outpouring of love and support from close family and friends who contribute to my daughter’s development.

Advice from my mentor and program director significantly helped me this past year. These pieces of advice were to first, accept help and second, when completing work think “done, not perfect.” I still struggle with both of these, but am willing to appreciate that I am human. If I could go back,  I would tell myself to appreciate the struggles. The struggle represents being blessed to be a mother while able to pursue my passions. So, in that moment while my thoughts rushed about school as I carried my daughter to the bathroom, I then became aware of whom I was carrying. I realized that my daughter needed me in this moment, and all else could wait. The best me, even with the demands of school, refocused on her. This 3:00 AM moment filled with an assortment of stomach virus symptoms warranted appreciation. This was a moment I could never get back.

This column is part of a series highlighting the experiences of students and professionals with diverse intersecting identities and is sponsored by the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity and the Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Are you interested in sharing about your own navigation of intersecting identities in graduate school? We would be happy to hear from you! To learn more, please contact the chair of APAGS CSOGD (Julia Benjamin, jzbenjam@gmail.com) or CARED (James Garcia, jjg0136@gmail.com)

Overwhelmed, but let’s be honest: I did it to myself


What a small word to describe such a large feeling.

Can that one word truly describe the weight I feel right now? Can that word fully portray my stress, my failed attempts to prioritize, my feeling of being so far buried that maybe it’s not even worth attempting to dig out? Can that word express the fear that one more thing, just one more insignificant little thing, will break me?


Yet, it’s the only word I have to describe and classify these feelings.

A day when there isn't enough caffeine in the world! (Source: "day 300, clutching my morning coffee" by massdistraction, on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

A day when there isn’t enough caffeine in the world! (Source: “day 300, clutching my morning coffee” by massdistraction, on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

The good news? Whatever my most overwhelmed moment was up until this point, I clearly made it through. So have you! You may have felt broken, trampled, and/or lost…but you made it. You survived. And, hopefully it made you stronger, more resilient, more ready to take on those feelings that are way to ominous to be embodied by one tiny word.

For those of you who struggle with feeling overwhelmed, who find themselves giving up when those feelings begin to build, let me share with you how I manage it.

Many people ask me how I do it. How I raise a very young family, work part-time, and work towards my doctorate degree. I usually tell them, I just do. But, that’s not the real answer.

I choose to fight the feeling of being overwhelmed in these ways:

  • I do my best to bar negative feelings from clouding my successes, erasing my hope… Granted, this is not an easy process, but I look at it as choosing to survive rather than worry over my ability to meet every demand.
  • I take my semester one day, one assignment at a time. I start each day with my girls as a new day. When I feel my patience slipping–which it seems to be doing by 8:30 am these days–I hold whichever one is starting to drive me crazy (if they allow me to) for a full minute, reminding myself that not every moment with her is a mini hell.
  • I remind myself–force myself, rather–to believe that there is an end in sight. That I am alive, that things can be so much worse, and that those things that are weighing down on me are actually things I am so very grateful for, that I would be lost without, that I could lose if I do not continue to fight and survive.
  • I take ownership. I am an individual who thrives when overwhelmed, who purposefully adds and adds and adds to my plate until it is at that point. I admit that am overwhelmed because I want so much out of life, and life wants so much out of me. It’s a give and take.

My plan, humble as it may be, is to not only allow life to take what it needs from me, but to give it my all. I have the hope that pushing into it allows me to receive more resilience and strength when it is time for the pendulum to swing back in my direction. And it always swings back.

When were you at your most overwhelmed? How do you manage? Do you see it as an obstacle to overcome or a learning and growing process? Talk about it in the comments.

Read more about raising three kids under three while pursuing a PhD at my blog.