Dr. John Duffy's Blog

Why Texting Rules: The Silver Lining Parents Are Missing

My son George, my one and only child, is now an 18-year-old man. In a few short months, we will be dropping him off at college. He’s busy focusing on his senior year in high school. That moment hugging his Mom and I goodbye on some quad a few months from now isn’t remotely on […]

Foster the Big Moment: A Parent’s Mandate

My son George is a high school swimmer. He was a swimmer, I should say. The area Conference meet was held this past weekend, which also marked the final meet of George’s high school career. As my wife Julie and I approached the pool, I was filled with anticipation and no small degree of bittersweet […]

Nurturing Your Inner Adult

I have a brilliant young client who, in a burst of insight, offered the following in a recent session:

"When you spend all of your time nurturing your inner child, you are that child."

Man, he is so right.

In this particular instance, the young man, we'll call him 'Tim,' was referencing his own mother, who had suffered […]

The Bright September Sun: Teenagers Remember 9/11

There is hope.

Those of us who were normal workaday adults on Sept. 10, 2001, making lunches, sitting in traffic, watching the clock, checking inventory, we remember. That was the last ordinary day.

The fear, anxiety and despair that marked the next morning will be forever etched vividly into our collective memories. The trauma has evaporated with […]

The Devil You Know: Embracing Your Teen’s Screens

A few months ago, the "NBC Nightly News" ran a very informative piece on the effects of electronics on the brain of today's teenager. We all know that teenagers have abundant access to technology that was considered far-off and space-aged just a few short years ago. Further, many teens alarm their parents, concerned that they […]

The Case for the Family Vacation

I write this from the road, literally. I am in the midst of a good old-fashioned family road trip. Now, the nature of my work dictates that I spend a lot of time thinking about the ways in which families work, those things that create a cohesive unit. And I’m suddenly thinking that we may, […]

The Evolution of the American Father: Dad Redefined

Thinking back, my father and I exchanged precious few words in a given day. Some days, Walt and I hardly even saw one another. I feared him as a kid. “Wait till your father gets home” worked on me. It took me many years to learn who he really was and figure out that he […]

Bin Laden and the American Teen

To this day, I’m not sure whether it was a good idea to go in to work that day. The second tower had just fallen, and there were rumors that another runaway jet might be headed for the White House. And we weren’t sure how many planes were still out there. We were paralyzed with […]

A Tribute to Bad-Ass Moms

Being a mom is one bad-ass job.

I worked with the mom of two teenagers last night. She came in alone, with nothing in particular on her mind, no pressing issue, no crisis to resolve. She wanted to talk about the way in which she parents her kids, a gut check to ensure she was making […]

Avoiding the Parent Trap: How to Change Your Thoughts About Parenting Teens

It’s hard to say how it started.

I know for a fact that we parent teens today with more fear, ego and judgment than calm, confidence and openness. There are countless theories as to why.

Maybe it’s a lack of familiarity with their lightning-paced world of Facebook, texting and YouTube. Maybe we’re worried about what other parents […]