3, 2, 1…Contact!

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“You can never get enough of what you don’t need, because what you don’t need cannot satisfy you.” This observation discussed here two weeks ago (Sept 16) has many applications and implications, and goes a long way toward explaining how we can easily become stuck in the very behaviors that cause us the most grief.

What if parents kept that in mind when responding to their children, and the behaviors that concern them? Instead of using rewards and punishments to nudge ...

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Bidding Farewell to a Great Man

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My wife’s father, my father-in-law, passed away Sunday morning. It was not entirely unexpected, as he had struggled with health problems for a few years. But his passing does leave a sort of hole in the world. It certainly makes me pause to reflect on what makes a man or woman great.

By most measures Ron was not remarkable. He lived most of his life quietly here in Eastern Idaho. He served a very short term in the military, but did ...

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Why Mick Jagger Can’t Get No Satisfaction

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Since 1965 we’ve heard Mick and the Rolling Stones wailing about their inability to get a sense of satisfaction. Could it be that Mick is making a mistake—I mean, in addition to slaughtering the English language?

Always remember this: You can never get enough of what you don’t need, because what you don’t need cannot satisfy you.

This axiom goes a long way toward explaining human foibles. We can become fixated on behaviors that have no real capacity for meeting our very ...

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The Cure for Adult-Onset Discouragement

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Several weeks ago I wrote about discouragement—the condition in which one finds it difficult to move toward a worthy goal for fear it may not be accomplished as hoped. In that column I discussed ways of helping our children to overcome discouragement. But as a fifty-one year old with frequent pimples I know that many “kid” problems don’t necessarily go away with age. Discouragement can be a big challenge for adults, too.

Michael Popkin—one of my favorite authorities on parenting issues—points ...

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Responding to Your Responses

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Last week the Standard-Journal published thoughtful and respectful responses to my last two columns. At first I was a bit self-conscious of the critiques. But since I am a licensed therapist I scheduled some time to talk to myself, and I’m okay now. (Too bad I can’t bill my insurance!)

As these responses were written to appropriately challenge my thoughts in the public forum, I hope it is okay to respond in like manner. I have hoped that my columns would ...

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