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July 31, 2017

This week’s family-related news included research on the harmful effects to children of on screen smoking, the benefits of being well informed when getting divorced, the high incidence of violence towards women in intimate relationships, German’s celebration of gay marriage, the difficulty many parents have letting go of their children at summer camp, a TV show that tackles ‘singleness’ in a unique way, tips on how to build resilience in midlife, the importance of beginning couple’s therapy when issues first arise, and finally a look at how ‘motherhood’ has always been under the microscope of judgement.

Why Smoking in Films Harms Children Perry Klass, MD, The New York Times, July 17, 2017 Research shows that when it comes to smoking, children are heavily influenced by some of the folks they consider the coolest of the cool: actors in movies… epidemiological studies have shown that if you control for all the other risk factors of smoking (whether parents smoke, attitudes toward risk taking, socioeconomic status, etc.), younger adolescents who are more heavily exposed to smoking on film are two to three times as likely to start smoking, compared with the kids who are more lightly exposed.

A Fairy Tale Divorce: America’s Struggle With Breaking Up Stephan Rabinov, Forbes, July 17, 2017 Modern divorce can be an overwhelming legal and logistical undertaking. However, mounting scientific evidence points towards potential long-term benefits of amicable separations for both partners and children…People need to get information about divorce as soon as possible

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands and Boyfriends, CDC Confirms Melissa Jeltsen, The Huffington Post, July 21, 2017 It is already well-established that women in the U.S. are far more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by any other group of people. As HuffPost previously reported: It’s not strangers, friends or acquaintances who pose the biggest threat to women’s lives. It’s the men they date and marry.

Gay Marriage Backers Celebrate in Germany: ‘We Don’t Need to Hide’ David Shimer, The New York Times, July 22, 2017 Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed marriage equality into law, and the nation’s first same-sex marriages are set to take place in October. Now, activists and lawmakers say that the next steps include revising the Constitution’s anti-discrimination article so it provides protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Such a change would require approval from two-thirds of Parliament’s 630 members.

Are Helicopter Parents Ruining Summer Camp? Anya Kamenetz, NPR, July 24, 2017 The people who have the hardest time letting go of technology, say camp directors, aren’t necessarily the campers themselves. It’s the parents of campers, the young staff members, and sometimes even the counselors parents as well. Summer vacation is a time of growth and change. Understanding the relationship between tech over-dependence and parent-child interdependence may be key to untangling it.

Insecure’s Nuanced Take on Singleness Megan Garber, The Atlantic, July 24, 2017 The HBO show’s Season 2 premiere treats a breakup not just as an event, but as a kind of physical space. While many of its fellow comedies treat newfound singleness as a matter of tragedy and melodrama (tears, couches, tubs of ice cream) or of insistent liberation (clubs, hookups, pep talks from friends), Insecure is offering something much more subtle, and much more realistic: singleness treated as a simple fact of life…

How to Build Resilience in Midlife Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, July 25, 2017 While resilience is an essential skill for healthy childhood development, science shows that adults also can take steps to boost resilience in middle age, which is often the time we need it most. Midlife can bring all kinds of stressors, including divorce, the death of a parent, career setbacks and retirement worries.

When Is It Really Time for Couples Therapy? Ian Kerner, CNN, July 26, 2017 Couples should seek therapy long before they think they “need” to. Most issues within a couple start small and then grow in size when they don’t get resolved. “Ideally, most of the work gets done, in my experience, outside of my office,” psychotherapist Samantha Manewitz said.

The Dangers of Over-Policing Motherhood Chris Millard, The Atlantic, July 26, 2017 Attracting the praise of being a “good mother” was always accompanied by the threat that you might fall from the perch at any moment and cause devastating harm to your child. Hence the amplification of mechanisms of control, censure and punishment that go hand in hand with the valorization and surveillance of parenting.

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