As engaged, loving parents, we all want to support our children and cheer for their successes. Unfortunately, in our super competitive world, cheering for your child can easily veer into movie villain territory. Slate Advice columnist Mallory Ortberg – aka “Dear Prudence” -- has a response she often gives her letterwriters. She asks, “Did what you said sound like something the villain in a Reese Witherspoon movie would say?” If yes, she says, you may want to re-examine your words and actions.
The internet’s positive response to a Michigan-based web developer’s email to her team letting them know she was taking two days off to tend to her mental health was refreshing, surprising and sad. Refreshing because of the woman’s honesty and her CEO’s support, surprising because it went viral so quickly, and sad because the response reflected just how infrequent open and supportive conversation about mental health occurs.
A 2016 report by the Associated Press stated that 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren, and about one-fifth of those have incomes that fall below the poverty line, according to census figures. Their ranks are increasing. At the time the article was written, the number of grandparents raising grandchildren was up seven percent from 2009, and the trend is holding.