Friday, November 15, 2013

The Rich Kid Has Problems Too

If your child experiences poverty before the age of 5 research shows that there are serious negative outcomes that will most likely be coming their way. These negative affects could results in:

  1. Protracted Stress (long-term)
  2. Behavioral Issues (conduct disorder, anger regulation issues, getting into fights...etc)
  3. Social Problems (social anxiety, body image issues, giving into peer pressure, bullying...etc)
  4. Emotional Problems (depression, anxiety...etc)

Does this mean that American's are forced to make more money in order to ensure that their child will grow up to be "normal". The short answer, NOPE. I am afraid to say ladies and gentlemen but, 
Before getting into this next section I would like to take a second to say that the facts, findings, research, and opinions expressed are not to minimize or criticize any individual's parenting. The following is used to serve as a platform for discussion and questioning on this very important topic. Parenting is an extremely arduous process and by no means has anybody perfected it. I applaud parents that try their best with what they are given and can ask for help when necessary. I hope these findings allow you to ask the important questions to help your family, friends family, and children. 

Recent research is showing significant increases in the social, emotional, and behavioral disturbances of the children that come from affluent families. Kids that come from families that make $150,000+ (over 2x the national average), have parents in high-status careers, attend the most prestigious schools, and have well-educated parents are at risk now too.

Some of the findings of this research shows that kids coming from affluent families are at risk for:
  1. Substance abuse (high alcohol use, binge-drinking, marijuana use, and other hard drugs)
  2. Delinquency from school 
  3. Wide-spread cheating
  4. Stealing from parents or peers
  5. Maladjustment in school and social environments

A common misconception amongst affluent parents, and this is reinforced my many sources of media, is that money and education will prevent these events from happening or even solve them.

"If facts alone were enough to change an individual's behavior long-term, then there would be no overeating, alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking, or drug use. There needs to be more then just the facts."


I want your opinion.

Share your thoughts below as to why children coming from affluent families may be experiencing more depression, anxiety, social problems, and substance abuse issues then before.

Some questions to think about:
  • Why is this happening to kids coming from affluent families?
  • Why is the magic school year 7th grade for most of these issues to present themselves? 
  • Are you experiencing these issues? If so, how has the experience affected your family and what words can you offer others?

In the next blog, I will share with you the findings of some on-going research that breaks down why this may be happening and how to fix it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ABC Is As Easy As 123

Dr. John Norcross is a Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry as well as an expert on changing human behavior. With over 30 years of backed research the "Stages of Change" have been developed and have helped thousands of individual see sustainable personal/professional change. 


Stemming from research based out of my undergraduate alma mater, University of Rhode Island, the "Trans-theoretical Model" became the go to formula for successful change.

One aspect of change is to conduct a little detective work in identifying what may be wrong and why it is happening in the first place. This is commonly referred to as your "Behavioral Chain". 

Behavior, Antecedent, Consequence, Change, Behavioral Chain

A Little Bit About the ABC's

  • Occurs prior to the event and may trigger you to act a particular way. 
  • Can include your environment, the people around you, the interaction with the individuals with you, and your mood. 
  • Some detective questioning could include; Who are you with when you experience this behavior? What mood are you in when this behavior presents itself (sad, stressed, happy, bored, anxious...etc)? What time of day does this behavior typically come out (morning, day, night)?

  • The problem behavior
  • Also, the healthy alternatives to the problem behavior.

  • Occur after the problem and usually rely on what the specific problem is. 
  • *BEWARE* Short-term consequences can be very rewarding (taste good, relaxing...etc)
  • *BEWARE* Long-term consequences can be painful and destructive (heart disease, stroke, cancers, obesity, diabetes...etc)
  • We favor instant gratification rather then delayed gratification.
  • Recording long-term consequences is just as important as recording the short-term.

A few tips on how to use the ABC's to change your behavior
  1. Explore the antecedents to your behavior and find healthy alternative environments and social groups to prevent triggers that promote your problem behavior.
  2. Create new healthier alternatives and substitutes to meet your need for variety, fun, and freedom. Learn a new relaxation technique or coping skills to get you through triggering antecedents. 
  3. Reverse the consequence to your problem behavior and work backward through the ABC's to see what new antecedents and behaviors are necessary to end up with this new outcome. 

Check out this great worksheet for your 
ABC's and behavioral chain:

Secrets to Change, Socrates, Beliefs

*Derived from Changeology By: John Norcross, PhD

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Insight Fallacy

Have you ever explained something to a friend or family member and their response is, "I know, I know, I know"? They seem to fully grasp the idea, concept, or reason for something that is happening around them all too well. 

Have you ever seen that same friend or family member that "understood" what and why something was happening, never change anything about it? Well, there's a name for that.

In the field of Psychology it is referred to as the "Insight Fallacy". 

Insight Fallacy: The belief that understanding a problem will solve the problem.

When gaining insight into a problem it may help us by,
  1. Providing comfort, security, and safety in understanding what is wrong.
  2. Assisting in the development of new problem-solving strategies. 
  3. Giving meaningful new understanding which will create harmony between our thoughts, emotions, and actions.

However nice this may sound, insight alone will not change the problem. In order to take effective steps in changing the problem, you must first identify a few things by answering these questions.

  • Is there a problem at all? If so, what is it?
  • Have a tried changing this problem in the past 6 months?
  • Do I plan on doing something about this within the next 30 days?

If you have not identified a problem, you are most likely not going to do anything about it, besides saying "I know, I know, I know". If you said "YES" to there being a problem, you must start thinking about how you are going to try and change it. Take a look at the "Stages of Change" and get a feel for where you may be. 

Stages of Change, Jim Prochaska, Transtheoretical Model, Change

For each stage there are different tasks to complete, so make sure you are honest in which one you may be in. Being in the wrong stage at the wrong time will lead to frustration, relapse, and a decline in confidence. 

Take it one stage at a time, be patient with yourself, and know that there will be bumps in the journey. 
You got this.

Friday, August 2, 2013

What Am I Missing?

Recently, I came across a TED talk video that featured a mother and father (Roberto D'Angelo and Francesca Fideli) who were happily married in 2002 and gave birth to their beautiful son, Mario, in 2011. For many parents, children are a continuation of themselves, their lives, their ancestry, their story. Parents truly feel as though they have produced a miracle and a thing of absolute beauty to be cherished for many years to come. 

What happens when the same beauty, child, and miracle has a stroke?
stroke, perinatal stroke, brain, brain injury, head injury

Mario experienced what is known as a "Perinatal Stroke" at only 10 days of age. He was unable to control the left side of his body. While Mario lost some control in his newly formed life so did his parents while they were ambushed with a flood of emotions ranging from the feeling of failure, anxiety, depression, and confusion. What can a parent do in order to instill a sense of certainty, security, and safety? 

Mario's parents worked hard to help their child recover. They began a pilot program for Mirror Neuron Rehabilitation

As D’Angelo explains, “The theory of mirror neuron says that, in your brain, as you watch me do this, you are activating exactly the same neurons as if you do the actions.”

The goal for this program was to show Mario items, demonstrate how to pick them up, and use them. This would in turn be mirrored by Mario himself. What they discovered was that Mario was paying just as much attention to his parents emotions as he was to their body movements. 

Following this discovery Roberto and Francesca thought, what are we missing?

What am I missing? What is wrong? 

These questions come up quite frequently for parents and their children. Fortunately, Roberto and Francesca made the necessary shift in mindset to help their son Mario, but many people stay stuck in the "What is missing?" head game. 

What Mario's parents did, and what I encourage you to do RIGHT NOW is restructure that thought of "What is missing?" to "What can I offer?".

What is missing? vs What can I offer?

Stroke, Roberto D'Angelo, Francesca Fideli, Milan, Mario, Perinatal Stroke, Brain Damage, Hope, Confidence, Mirror Neuron, Neuron, Mirror Neuron RehabilitationAsk your self important questions such as, "What do the individuals that know me best think I have to offer?" and "What can I offer to other people, my environment, and this world?"


From now on, when you are faced with the question, "What am I missing?". Ask yourself,"What can I offer?"

Look at little Mario now!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Left Lane Closed Ahead

When driving out to see clients I frequently take Interstate 93 to get out to them. Those in the Boston area know very well that 93 is home to two major things, the infamous "Big Dig" and major traffic jams. 

93, boston, traffic, salem, new hampshire, traffic alert, news, merging, traffic jam

Just as you leave Boston on 93 South the left lane closes and everybody is forced to merge. I drive this exact route 4-5 times a week and still run into the same problem. I get all the way over into the left lane and forget that I will need to merge back into the original lane I was coming from. 

Merging, sign, traffic, traffic sign, merging sign, anger, frustration

This typically causes frustration, stress, a small amount of time, and sets the tone for the remainder of my drive, "pissed off with a headache". One day I chose to do something different. Not only stay in the middle lane, BUT change to the right lane. My thought process was, "I don't want to deal with merging, or the lane that needs to accept and let in those merging assholes." 

This changed my world! I saved a very little bit of time, a lot of frustration, and actually had a pleasant remainder of the ride. Unbelievably different outcomes from just one small change. I realized quickly that individual's typically do 3 things when asked to merge:

  1. "Pumping the Breaks": Slow down to get behind somebody 
  2. "Pressing the Gas": Speed up to cut someone off and/or get ahead of somebody
  3. "Go With the Flow": Merge in line with everybody else when forced to come together.

These occurrences led me to form a theory, known as "Merging Syndrome".


Merging Syndrome 

Individual's that suffer from Merging Syndrome experience difficulty in effectively making important, timely, and valuable decisions.

  • Irritation
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Frustration
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Aggravation
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Use of the middle finger
  • Poor control of language
  • More extreme cases experience crying, blurry vision, and accidents.

These individuals are typically separated into three categories (although people can experience variations of them):

I. Pumping the Breaks: Individual's that pump the breaks tend to avoid making important decisions and procrastinate. This can result in increased anxiety levels, poor decisions, missing out on fulfilling experiences, and missing potential growth opportunity. Individual's that typically indulge in "Pumping the Breaks" value certainty, safety, and security.

II. Pressing the Gas: Individual's that press the gas tend to rush into important decisions without proper planning, readiness, and regard. This can result in poor decisions, placing yourself in high-risk situations, and increased vulnerability. Individual's that typically indulge in "Pressing the Gas" value variety and significance. 

III. Go With the Flow: Individual's that go with the flow tend to allow others to make decisions for them and lack regard for how this may affect them in the future. This can result in increased anxiety, feelings of being "out of control", lack of fulfillment, and poor sense of identity. Individual's that typically "Go With the Flow" value the need for connection. 

When making important, timely, and valuable decisions in your life it is important to properly prepare yourself for the mental and physical rigors that may come your way. Making these decisions hold great potential for growth, contribution, and fulfillment. At the same time they have the potential to cause anxiety, doubt, pain, and confusion. Learn how to prepare, adapt, and acclimate to your new environment to help ensure a smooth transition. 

If you or anybody you know is suffering from Merging Syndrome, please contact YouTime Coaching by emailing

*Merging Syndrome is not a recognized syndrome by the current DSM or any body of literature. Merging Syndrome was created by Jonathan Wolf, through his own life experience and presented to help others identify their decision making process. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey Boston Marathon,
Give Me Some Post Traumatic GROWTH

In light of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon and the massive numbers of individuals returning from war, our culture has become all too familiar with the term "post traumatic stress". What most people are not as familiar with is the concept of 
"Post Traumatic Growth"

Military, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Veterans, Trauma, War, Home, fatigue, Boston, Marathon, Boston marathon, bombings, violence, terrorism

Research involving individuals and their relationship to stress, pain, fear, and trauma have been around for thousands of years but the interest in Post Traumatic Growth began to steal some of the limelight in the 1990's. 

Post Traumatic Growth involves an individual's path in adapting to sets of negative experiences that would normally cause psychological distress or harm. These events could include experiences with death, abuse, serious injury, natural disasters, relationships, accidents, and other potentially traumatic events. 

Simply looking at this list you can understand why some individuals experience post traumatic stress. 


What if there were a way to experience growth following traumatic events like those mentioned above?

Softball, Wheelchair, handicap, paraplegic, paralyzed, sports, PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, stress, happiness

Post Traumatic Growth Characteristics:

  1. Greater appreciation for life
  2. Shift in sense of priorities
  3. More genuine connections and relationships
  4. Increase sense of personal strength
  5. Recognition of new life paths and possibilities

Are you sold yet?

hope, excitement, happiness, growth, change, flower, asphalt, new things, potential, perseverance, persistence

How can I get some Post Traumatic Growth?

1. First, you must have a belief system that supports growth.

Spirituality is a characteristic that has been closely linked to experiencing post traumatic growth, but the core concept behind this connection are the empowering beliefs a spiritual individual may possess. 

Keep these in mind:
BELIEVE that you can grow from this 
You are capable of this change.

success, failure, belief, attitude, potential, action, results, outcome, cycle, hope, desire, confidence, happiness

2. You must have support

Support systems have been linked in post traumatic growth on many levels. Therapists, counselors, and life coaches (with proper training) can have great impacts on your ability to experience this growth, post traumatic event. 

Surround yourself with genuine, insightful, and caring individuals that you feel comfortable sharing your life with. This could be the difference between growth and stress. 


  1. Be confident and open to being able to grow
  2. Develop a belief system that empowers and supports you in experiencing growth.
  3. Seek out opportunity to develop new genuine relationships and connections.
  4. Sniff out your most precious support systems and use them.

During the Boston Marathon I was watching the race in Kenmore Square (15 minute walk to the finish line), when I had heard what happened followed by a massive number of text messages, phone calls, and emails making sure I was okay. I want to thank those individuals and extend my heart and support to the families that were affected by these horrible events. 

There is hope and there is strength within you to grow from this. Never loose sight of that.

Growth, goals, hope, happiness, change, ptsd, post traumatic growth, trauma, plants, seeds, lava, green

All the best,

Jonathan B. Wolf, Ed.M.
Vitality, Performance, and Parent Coach
YouTime Coaching
Boston, MA


Boston, Strong, Boston Strong, marathon bombings, terrorism, ribbon, bean town, boston marathon

If you would like to donate to The One Fund click the ribbon above:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This Is Recommended

 What factors need to be in alignment for somebody to make a good decision for themselves

This link could possibly, in the most easiest way possible, align those factors intantly.

The Best Advice
Martha Stewart Ever Received

Where do you get your advice from? Most people get advice everyday and never choose to use it. Well, these well known millionaires used the advice others gave them and look at the outcome.

Jonathan B. Wolf, Ed.M.
YouTime Coaching
Vitality, Performance, and Parent Coaching
Email YouTime Coaching

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Train Your Brain

Everyone is faced with making multiple decisions each and every day. Some of these decisions hold high importance to the outcome of our day, week, month, or even life. While on the other hand, most decisions will have little to no impact on such things.

Or could they?

While the big decisions can have a lasting impact so can the smaller ones. It all comes down to whether or not you have programmed your mind in the correct way. 

Watch the video below to find out how to program your mind for successful decisions, reactions, and outcomes.

Were you programmed for success before watching this video? 

Share in the comments below how you have used this method to train you brain for success!

Jonathan B. Wolf, Ed.M.
YouTime Coaching
Vitality, Performance, and Parent Coaching

Friday, March 15, 2013

Is a Penny Worthless?

If you were to be walking along the sidewalk and saw a penny, would you pick it up?

Is the value of the penny enough for you to stop in your tracks, reach down, and grab it? 

What if it was a heads-up? 

Maybe it would be worth it then. 

A single penny is virtually worthless and cost more to manufacture then it's face value. 
So what is this copper and zinc alloy truly worth?

 I will share with you a truly remarkable story to help answer this question.

The Tall Tale of Bipsy the Dog

Bipsy was brought into this world December 1st, 2012 by an abandoned and neglected pregnant mother roaming the streets of Louisiana. She is one of five puppies brought up to New England by the Great Dog Rescue. 

On January 25, 2013 Bipsy became part of Kate's and my life. A cute, cuddly, mix breed that we couldn't quite figure out. We started house breaking, food schedules, buying pee pads, walks, and all the other fun activities associated with raising a puppy (more like a human baby). What most people know is that puppies, like babies, become extremely curious. 

Bipsy was finishing up a weekend adventure at Kate's parents house, where she was able to run around and enjoy the outdoors (not that easy in Boston). 

When Kate went to pick up Bipsy her parent's said, 
"Bipsy may or may not of swallowed a penny, 
just keep an eye out".  

When Bipsy returned back to the North End in Boston, she resumed her normal routines of acting hyper, sleeping, going to the bathroom, sleeping, acting hyper, and more sleeping. Only this time she added in an additional piece, massive amounts scratching. This caught my eye and I decided the next day to bring her to the Vet

When we went in to see the Veterinarian, she wasn't too worried about the itching and prescribe some Benadryl. I wasn't going to mention the penny, but I did.

"Oh by the way, she may have swallowed a penny."

The Vet responded with, "Now that worries me, the thing about pennies are that they contain zinc and zinc is toxic. We need to do an xray."


As I return back to the Dr.'s office, the vet confirms that Bipsy indeed swallowed a penny.

The Vet lays out the next set of steps

1. Induced Vomiting to get the penny out
If that doesn't work,
2. Endoscopy
If that doesn't work,
3. Stomach Surgery

They induced vomiting...
No penny.

$37 for vomiting? Where do they come up with these prices?

They completed the Endoscopy...

No penny.

They completed surgery,

The aftermath...


Being a Life Coach, it was absolutely necessary for me to find the meaning and take home message from this. During a long drive to see a client, I tried to wrap my mind around the concepts of  
value, silver linings, luck, and beliefs  

I realized the major lesson in this is,
(besides having puppy insurance)

Many individual's undervalue their abilities, skills, and strengths. You tend to designate these qualities as "useless" and never utilize some of the most powerful tools you have to offer. 

I challenge you to complete a skills and strengths inventory on yourself. Take the information you now have and explore what other settings or environments those skills would be most valuable in.

Explore your value, discover your value, maximize your value.

Bipsy the Wonderdog