Fall semester topics
- Week 36. Benefits of volunteer work
- Week 37. Living with learning disabilities
- Week 38. Personality disorders
- Week 39. Setting up healthy boundaries
- Week 40. Learning to improve concentration
- Week 41. Suicide prevention – learning to help
- Week 42. Phobias – dealing with fears
- Week 43. Sleep disorders
- Week 44. Sexuality – the biochemistry
- Week 45. Addictive relationships
- Week 46. UNESCO day of tolerance
- Week 47. Improving self-confidence
- Week 48. Helping friends or others in distress
- Week 49. World AIDS day – living with illness
- Week 50. Value based decision making
- Week 51. Being assertive in a diverse world
- Week 52. Spirituality – spiritual growth
- Week 1. Dynamics of intro- & extraverts
- Week 2. Orientation – a career that fits!
- Week 3. Living in a foreign country
- Week 4. Overcoming test anxiety
- Week 5. Understanding dysfunction in a family
- Week 6. Smoking – giving up methods
- Week 7. Valentine’s day – commitment
- Week 8. Communication – focusing on skills
- Week 9. Domestic violence
- Week 10. Work-life balance – expectations
- Week 11. Loneliness and feeling alone
- Week 12. Understanding of joy and happiness
- Week 13. Racial discrimination
- Week 14. PTSD
- Week 15. World health day
- Week 16. Panic disorders
- Week 17. Academic honesty – authenticity
- Week 18. Death and dying
- Week 19. Job interviews - good impression
- Week 20. Characteristic of sound families
- Week 21. Celebrating cultural diversity
- Week 22. Growing up in a single parent home
- Week 23. Act of love (self and others)
- Week 24. Focusing on personality tests
- Week 25. Childhood traumas
- Week 26. Relating to the elderly
- Week 27. Grief – dealing with loss
- Week 28. Drug and substance abuse
- Week 29. Dealing with depression
- Week 30. Procrastination
- Week 31. Recovering from shame and guilt
- Week 32. Perfectionism
- Week 33. First generation university students
- Week 34. Compulsive obsessive behaviors
- Week 35. Body image – eating disorders
- Week 36. School bullying - mobbing concerns
Spring semester topics
Growing up in a single parent homeWhen your parents split up, it can be really difficult. Sometimes parents break up after long periods of fighting and unhappiness. Sometimes it happens suddenly, which makes it hard to understand why there should be change at all.
As family relationships change because of your parents breaking up, there may be a lot of adjusting to do. Everyone affected will have their own thoughts and feelings about what's happening. People may feel anything from being upset to relief.
Understanding parental separation
It's not uncommon to feel angry with the person(s) who decided the family can no longer live together. - You may even feel like you're alone and frustrated, not being sure what is going to happen next. Changes in family relationships may cause parents to become distracted. - They may be arguing and fighting more often, which can interfere with their time with you. - It can be especially difficult if you have to hear one parent complain or argue about the other. However, whatever is happening between your parents does not change the way they feel about you.
Family break up
Often when parents break up, this means moving back and forth between your parents. Having to spread your time, friends, clothes and other things between two places may be hard. You may just want to stay in one place with friends or in the space you are used to.
Things to keep in mind
- It's not your fault
You may feel it's your fault that your parents are breaking up. You might tell yourself, "if only I had done what my parents asked me and didn't cause those arguments…" Remember, the reasons for your parent's break up are always about problems between them. It has nothing to do with anything you might have done.
- It's OK to be upset
If you're upset about your parents separating, it's OK! Sometimes parents may try to make you take sides, and you feel split because you love both of them. You have every right to be mad and upset if you're made to pick between a parent, or pick which place you'd like to live once a parent moves out. You may feel sad that some of the things you did as a family do not happen anymore. Just remember, no feeling you experience is ever wrong.
- You can keep doing the same things you did before
Sometimes during a separation, parents may be so caught up in their own changes it can feel like your own life is on hold. You might feel like you need to change what you like to do, try to cheer up your parents, or that you have to fix their relationship to try to get them back together. It's not your job to fix your parents' relationship or try to mend any parental problems. Your job is to take care of yourself during this hard time. Your parents may be sad or angry about the situation as well, but you can still have a meaningful relationship with both of them. When all of these changes at home are happening, keep things, such as school activities and friends, the same.
Tips on how to deal with parent separation
- Talk to your parents
If you're having a hard time dealing with the arguing, or even want to just tell them how you feel, talking to your parents can help. They may not realise that you know about all their arguments, or that they are arguing so frequently in front of you. They may also not realise how hard it is on you. This can be a good time to get out some of your feelings. Listening to their responses may also help you understand why the split is happening, and let you know that they do still love you. Also, if you have a preference to live in one area, or with one of your parents let them know and why. - Surround yourself with friends
If your parents are arguing a lot, it's easy to want to just hide up in your room alone. Being around other friends can help cheer you up. Keeping to yourself too much, can make depression and stress more likely to occur. Friends can lend an ear, and give you a chance to vent. They can also serve as a good distraction when you need to think about something other than your parents' divorce.
- Make a plan
If you're involved at activities in school and/or sports, you may want your parents to come to these special events like plays, concerts, games, etc. Your parents may feel awkward about attending if the other parent is going to be there. Talk to them about how important it is to you for them both to attend. Also, you may worry about future plans that involve money. Separations are expensive, with legal fees and the cost for each parent to live on their own now. This may mean less money towards school, clothes. university, new sports equipment, or upcoming trips. Don't worry about adding extra stress to your family's situation by asking them about it. This needs to be worked out for all of you. However, do pick a good time talk about these plans. Express your concerns, you do have a right to know what to expect in the future.
- Find out what works for you
Make sure you have an outlet to express your feelings like anger or sadness. Whether it be hanging out with friends, talking to a therapist, writing in a journal, or playing music. Find something! Pay attention to what helps you feel better and what doesn't help. If something isn't helping you feel better, try something else. Read how to manage stress for this difficult time. Source info
Recommended booksSusan Forward: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life - 2002.
Katrina Nsheiwat: Fatherless: growing up with a single parent - 2010.
Karyl McBride: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers - 2009.
Jasmin Lee Cori: The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed - 2010.