Navigate / search

Handling A Narcissistic Mother: Studio 5

Studio 5 Contributor & therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW of Wasatch Family Therapy answers a viewer email on how to begin healing…


Have you ever dealt with a narcissistic family member? Do you have any recommended books or resources to share?

What’s the best age for girls to wear makeup?

I was invited to weigh in on the subject of daughters and makeup for a popular woman’s website SheKnows.com. Having gone through the makeup transition several years ago with my 16 year old daughter, and having dealt with parent child struggles in my therapy practice, I had a few things to say.

“Makeup often represents an adolescent girl’s eagerness and excitement to become a ‘grown up,’ and explore her attractiveness to peers, but for parents, it can bring up fear and stress relating to their child maturing and becoming interested in boys,” says Julie Hanks, a psychotherapist specializing in family relationships. “It may also represent a daughter pulling away from her parents to focus more on peers, which may feel scary for some parents.”

Read the entire SheKnows.com article

Quoted in E! Online about spoiled kids

I responded to a reported request yesterday for an “expert” to comment on spoiled kids. When I got the questions it was about Suri Cruise’s being seen, at age 4 using an iPad and my comments ended up on E! Online article “She Has an iPad – So is Suri Cruise Spoiled?” Kinda fun.

Read Article HERE

How do you define a “spoiled” kid??? Post your comments below…(email will not be made public)

Life lessons from a 3 year old

Life lessons from a 3 year old

As I sat this evening on the sidelines watching my daughter’s lacrosse game, I was exhausted and looking forward to sitting down, unwinding, and watching the game. Quickly, my expectations for an hour of relaxation were dashed when my hungry and thirsty and energetic 3 year old daughter Macy began climbing on me, asking for food, refusing to wear her jacket, and sprinting across the long stretch of grass in the opposite direction. I didn’t have the energy to chase her. I didn’t even want to move. 

I made a few idle threats like “You need to stay by me or you’ll have to go to the car” as I wondered, “How long do I have to stay and watch the game so my older daughter feels supported before I can leave to go home, eat, put my feet up and put this little one to bed?” I was emotionally and physically drained (for a variety of reasons and I will spare you the details).

3 Year Old

As I was planning my exit strategy I noticed Macy, with her fair skin, yellow pigtails, and no jacket grinning with delight as she ran. Her boundless energy stirred a twinge of jealousy in me, as if somehow her glee was a threat.

Feeling a bit winded Macy sat down on my lap me and noticed that the family sitting next to us had fruit snacks. She asked if she could have one and they gladly shared.  Macy danced and made silly faces while eating it. I thought to myself, “I wish I could be so joyful about small things.” 

As she savored her fruit snack I noticed her slowly moving toward the little girl sitting next to us, trying to get her attention. Within a few minutes Macy had made a new friend and was nestled up in the same chair while the older girl read a book to her.

Over the next 45 minutes these two little girls chased each other, rolled around in the grass, and made a tent with the blanket and chairs, and pretended they were puppies. I marveled at how open Macy was to reaching out and connecting to this girl without fear, and how easily delighted she was by the attention and the playful interaction. It dawned on me that the game was almost over.

During the final few minutes of the game I realized that while Macy was frolicking with her new friend, I had been sitting by this little girl’s mom and we hadn’t exchanged more than a few words. Taking the lead from my 3 year old, I turned to this lovely woman and introduced myself, and began to ask about her and her family. As the final whistle blew, we continued chatting and gathered our chairs and blankets, and mentioned that we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of each other throughout the season. As we walked to the parking lot I felt energized, thanks to my 3 year old.

Alone time? What’s that?

I slept in this morning without interruption. I got ready for the day without interruption. These are rare occurances since becoming a mother 19 years ago. I’m not sure who thought that Dec. would be a great time to have a conference. That person must not be a mother. Can you think of any time of the year more packed with programs, parties, projects than December? It’s the WORST time of the year for a mother of 4 to go M.I.A. and head off to CA for an 8 day therapy conference. Or is it? Maybe it WAS a mom who chose this date at this time of year! The relief I felt excitement and relief as I addressed the last Christmas card, packed my stuff (only my stuff & not several other bags), and headed with a colleague to the airport.

Now my dillemna is whether I will go to every possible workshop with 70000 other people and soak in all the knoweldge and inspiration from psychology gurus from across the globe or should I take time this week to relax, relish silence, nap, and be…alone? I’m sure I’ll find somewhere in the middle.

But at this moment, I am alone and I like it.