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Fathers guide to knowing child custody rights…

A new handbook is out that helps dad’s know about their rights when dealing with child support and custody. As a therapist with 20 years experience, this is probably the most confusing area for parents and one of the most painful experiences for the whole family. Outcomes on fatherhood studies show that when children have engaged dad’s, their mental health is better than children without dad’s in their lives. 

Get more info here:


The Black Sheep of the Family

Some people call them the “black sheep” of the family and are content to let them stay that way. Others try to change them and take them to psychologists and doctors. A few give up on them all together. This child is the “identified problem child” and many homes spend a lot of time and energy dealing with the member of the family. This rebellious, acting out child is most often seen in dysfunctional homes, where substance or physical abuse is taking place. The identified problem child serves a very important role in this type of family by balancing out the imbalance and protecting the abusive parent from outside interventions. In a lesser degree, even nonabusive families have children who cause more stress and trouble than other children in the home. This child resists parent’s efforts at discipline, is constantly mischievous, and appears to enjoy the attention that getting into trouble provides.

Are you the “black sheep” of the family? How did you get that way and what function does it serve in managing the balance in your home? Read more here:

All Eating Disorders Can Be Deadly, Anorexia the Worst

Patients with an eating disorder of any type have a significantly increased risk for death, but anorexia nervosa appears to be particularly deadly and linked to the highest mortality and suicide rates, new research shows.

In a new meta-analysis, similarly elevated mortality rates were found for those with bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). However, the rate was even higher for those with anorexia nervosa, with a weighted annual rate of 5 deaths per 1000 person-years. Of those who died, 1 in 5 did so by committing suicide.

In addition, an older age at first presentation for those with anorexia, especially between the ages of 20 and 29 years, was found to be a significant predictor of mortality.

“It was not surprising to find out that mortality in eating disorders, particularly [anorexia], was high. It was, however, surprising to find out the high levels of deaths by suicides among this population,” lead author Jon Arcelus, PhD, from the Eating Disorders Service in Leicester and Loughborough University, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.

Does someone in your family have an eating disorder? Have you been concerned that they might be but are not really sure? Read on to get more helpful info on this very serious issue.

How satisfied are you as a parent?


Considering the effect of implicit motives, the current study examined the link between well-being in important life domains,
that is, job and relationship, and the satisfaction of needs as proposed by self-determination theory. Data on domain-specific
well-being, satisfaction of needs for competence and relatedness, and the implicit achievement and affiliation motives were
assessed from 259 German and Cameroonian participants. The achievement motive moderated the relation between competence and
job satisfaction. Furthermore, the affiliation motive moderated the association between relatedness and relationship satisfaction.
Satisfaction of the needs for competence and relatedness is linked to higher levels of job and relationship satisfaction,
respectively, among individuals with strong implicit motives. Effects were found regardless of participants’ culture of origin.
Findings indicate that implicit motives can be understood as weighting dispositions that affect how far experiences of competence
and relatedness are linked with satisfaction in relevant life domains.

What makes parenting or any relationship satisfying? Is it how much praise you get from other parents? Can you measure it from the number of hugs your child gives you or track it by how quickly they do their chores? The attached article suggests that satisfaction in relationships comes as a result of ones internal motivation.

The actual social psychology term is “implicit motives” and seems to a hot research term right now. Implicit motives are fairly stable, unconscious needs that reflect emotional satisfaction. A parent that feels a need for close, loving attachments will feel highly satisfied by a child’s hugs. A parent who has a motive to get a lot done in a day will feel satisfied by having chores completed quickly, to use our examples above.

A key word in this definition of implicit motives is “unconcious” need. Most of the time, the need to feel love and appreciated (another way of feeling satisfied as a parent) or respected by ones family is outside of our awareness. We don’t even know that we have this need but we do know when it is not getting met.

There is probably some overlay between implicit motives and our parenting styles. In my book “Love and Limits: Achieving a Balance in Parenting” I spend quite a bit of time discussing parenting styles. The two dominate types are Authoritarian and Permissive parenting styles. I compare each style to a certain balance between love and limits, two distinct parenting value or what we might call here as motives in parenting. Click here to get more info on these styles.

The Authoritarian style is characterized by “high limits and low love”. Love is defined as the need for affection by the parent or the level of warmth felt by the child from the parent. The Permissive style is characterized by “high love and low limits”. Each style, I believe, expressing a certain need that is mostly unconscious. This need translates into how satisfied a parent might feel. An Authoritarian parents will feel satisfied is a child is obedient or respectful towards them and follows the rules of the home. A Permissive parents might feel satisfied if the child is expressive of their affection and will have conversations with them or negotiate situations positively. The challenge comes when parents have opposite parenting styles and motivations about how they feel satisfied in their parenting roles. This can and often does result in parenting disagreements. If there is not resolution for “how one parents” children in the home, the children will begin to take advantage of the situation.

It seems obvious that one solution to this is increased awareness. Hopefully, reading this blog post makes you more conscious of your parenting style and how you feel satisfied as a parents or to state it another way, why you don’t feel satisfied. Implicit motives can be changed by education and learning experiences. One quickly realizes that your teenager isn’t as willing to show physical affection as he did just a year or so earlier. Consequently, the level of satisfaction, based on Permissive parenting alone is not enough and some change on the part of the parent is needed. In this situation, adapting to some clearer set of limits that are age appropriate and fair is necessary. Standing your ground and applying consequences is too. Neither of these are going to make a permissive parent feel loved but there are going to be necessary.

In my book I make the argument that a “balance” in love and limits in parenting is necessary. To be more specific, a balance of high love and high limits are the best way to parent children over the course of the developmental roller coaster ride of parenting. Parents with difference styles can use their individual strengths to compliment each other instead of dividing one another. If a defiant teens needs some structure, a more authoritarian parent can step in to set the rules of the household one more time. This parent isn’t needing validation from the child to feel satisfied. They feel it by setting the limit. Conversely, a permissive parent can step in when arguments are boiling between parent and teen and a more delicate hand is needed to get through the situation.

Share your thoughts on what makes you feel satisfied as a parent? How do you and your partner compliment each other in your parenting styles?

Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities 2009

The Child Welfare Information Gateway just released a study of Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities for 2009. It was reported the 1770 deaths occurred due to physical assault or severe neglect. Other issues, such as illness and accidents due to neglect are more difficult to track. Get the full report at and share your thoughts on the subject.

Get more tools to deal with anger and prevent abuse at

Ten Ways the Parenting Toolbox Helps You Become A Better Parent

“Raising a family today can be an almost overwhelming challenge with the diverse differences in the family both socially and culturally. We are a society of single parent families and mixed families that do not fit within the parameters of the traditional, two parent family. When tackling everything from step-parenting to behavioral problems with children, the unprepared parent can feel as though they are drowning.

To provide solutions for this social chaos, family therapist Ron Huxley enters the fray with his phenomenal system called the Parenting Toolbox. By utilizing the vast array of services and educational tools available with a subscription to, struggling parents can find the information and resources that will equip them to face the challenges associated with raising their children in today’s world. The Parenting Toolbox offers an array of tools that will enable you to become a better parent:

  1. Knowing that the most important role that you can have in life is being a parent and learning to express the value of parenthood everyday provides the beginning steps to face all of the challenges that children can bring into life.
  2. You will learn new and variable ways of disciplining children without always resorting to corporal punishment that will stimulate the mind and instill respect.
  3. Either open or improve the lines of communication between parents and their children.
  4. You will be able to learn what more about the ways you were brought up affect the way you raise you own children and provide the means to change these parental patterns.
  5. Not only will your own self-esteem get a boost that it needs, you will be able to teach your children about their own innate value.
  6. Parents are given healthy ways to deal with their anger and stress in ways that will be helpful and non-abusive.
  7. Creative strategies are introduced to deal with challenging behaviors in children in safe and productive ways.
  8. Games, puzzles, and other creative exercises both strengthen the parent’s ability to communicate important concepts to the child but also enable the child’s ability to think and reason in social settings.
  9. Parents no longer have to be in the dark when it comes to ways to raise their children that will promote spiritual growth. Parents can learn ways to incorporate their spiritual heritage into the lessons and sources provided by the parenting toolbox.
  10. More than this, Ron Huxley and the parenting toolbox will equip you with something even more valuable: guaranteed life long support. This is the real commitment that makes. It will be there through every stage of a child’s development to provide not only just the right tools to make you a better parent but also support through groups of parents and professionals who have been there before.

Whatever the situation, you will be able to count on the resources of this amazing system to give what you need when you need it.”

Looking for help at your next parenting conference or event? Talk to Ron today on providing a keynote address or workshop today. 


Is Happiness Always a Good Thing? | Brain Blogger

Happiness is a component of subjective well-being, and is typically thought of as leading to positive outcomes. But, researchers now report that happiness may not always be as pleasant as it sounds. A review published inPerspectives on Psychological Sciencereports scenarios in which happiness is not a good thing. The authors claim that not all types and degrees of happiness are equal, and that the pursuit of happiness can actually make people feel worse, instead of better. In fact, people who set a goal of achieving happiness often fall short, leading to unhappiness and depression. When it comes to seeking happiness, setting low expectations might be the key.

Is it possible to have too much happiness in life? How do you achieve a happiness balance?