The secret to a successful marriage

Here is a great example of a Hollywood couple that has weathered the storm and is still happily married after a decade.  The key to their success is very simple.  Read the article below and let me know if you can find the answer.  I’m proud of Freddy and Sarah…..

I’ll give you a hint-

It’s not money …………….

It’s not the kids ……………

It’s __________________?

Caught in the Middle


I’ve always been a big fan of Deion Sanders.  He was an unbelievable football player and is a great NFL analyst but I think Deion fumbled the ball on this one.  He dragged his kids into his divorce.  According to the media, Sanders divorce from his estranged wife has been a nuclear one.   She was arrested today for domestic assault and unfortunately the attach happened in front of their children.  Deion retaliated to the assault by posting comments on twitter along with a photograph of he and his boy’s filling-out police reports (see above).  If that’s not “dragging your kids into the middle of your divorce” I don’t know what is.  Don’t get me wrong his ex-wife is just as guilty.   Attacking Deion in front of their children is also “dragging your kids into the middle of your divorce.”

I have worked with countless divorced families over the years and the thing that always amazes me is not only the alarming number of kids who are caught in the middle of their parent’s divorce but also the alarming number of parents who are in denial of it.

I’ll be interested to see how Deion reacts to the comments that are sure to come from involving his kids in his divorce—nationally.  Will he swallow his pride and admit to his mistake or will he be in denial and try to justify his actions?  I sure hope Deion does what’s right.  If he does, I’ll forgive him.  Will you?

Stopping Bullying

This is a sad case of another young life wasted because of the mean and cruel acts of others, so I feel the need to reflect for a moment on the topic of bullying.  Many of you may not know that In addition to all I do as a licensed mental health professional and as a person in the media, I’ve also been a school counselor for the last 17 years.  So there is literally nothing that I haven’t dealt with in regards to kids, including bullying.

In the State of New Jersey, legislation was passed requiring public schools to follow new protocols with regard to harassment, intimidation and bullying.  New Jersey schools now have the strictest anti-bullying laws in the nation.   As someone in the center of all this, I can say that the schools play an important role in the identification, intervention and prevention of bullying.

In my experience over the years, the public schools have handled acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying in a swift, zero-tolerance manner.   With smart-phones and computers now the weapons of choice for bullies, schools are confronted with an even greater challenge because the majority of bullying no longer occurs in the schoolyard playground; it occurs in the playground known as a bedroom, fully equipped with an assortment of toys like smart phones and computers for bullies to play with.

Just about all of the tragic stories we hear with regard to bullying suggest putting more pressure on schools to do more but I think the real solution to this problem lies elsewhere—at home.  Parents will need to rethink how they allow their kids to use media and technology, such as smart phones, social networking sites and television content.  Whenever I present to parent groups on the topic of media use among today’s kids, the first thing I tell parents is to immediately remove televisions and computers from their child’s bedroom and to reconsider the allowance of a “smart phone”.  Schools will need to continue enforcing strict rules with regard to the use of electronic devices during school hours.

The Gimme Generation

This is a must watch segment with Steve Doocey from @FoxNews interviewing Jack Cha, an economics professor from Valencia College.  Professor Cha asked his sophomore students to write an essay on “The American Dream”.  After they completed their essays he asked them what they wanted the Federal Government to do to help them achieve their American Dream.  Professor Cha took the essays from 3 classes, about 180 students, and went over their responses.

Here were the results:  Eighty percent of the students felt that the government should provide them with a job, pay for their college tuition, give them the money for a house, pay for their health care and fund their retirement.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you want to know mine?

First off, everything I have today – my house, my medical insurance, my retirement money and my education, I worked my tail off for and have funded all on my own.  To me, this level of entitlement by our American youth is extremely troubling because it leads to one place—apathy.  How in the world are these kids going to find the motivation to achieve anything in their life if their mentality is that everything should be handed to them.  Sorry folks but the tooth fairy isn’t real.

As an educator and psychotherapist, I work with a lot of teenagers and young adults and I’d have to agree with Professor Cha,  the majority of today’s kids feel entitled.  I believe most of it has to do not only with government but with media and technology.  Think about it, today’s teenagers and young adults are natives to our digital world; with the click of a button they get what they want instantly.  There is no work involved, no effort and their brains get used to this.  Go to one of my favorite websites and twitter pages,  @CommonSenseNews and learn some great tools to help you help your kids how to use media and technology the right way.

My advice to parents out there—make your kid work for and earn those extra things they want.  This way they will understand the following quote:  “Success Comes Before Work Only In The Dictionary.”  If you’re interested in having me present my “Digitally Distracted” talks for your group or organization, visit my website at and send me an email or call me.  I speak to lot’s of Parent Groups on this topic.