Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

7 Habits of Successful Families

What a change 20 years has made in our lives!

Does it seem to you that life is more complicated than when you were growing up? Do you think that in many ways your parents had it easier? Certainly seems that way to me.

Not only has technology increased opportunities, both good and bad, but there are also a lot more complicated relationships in families as well as increased temptations for drugs, alcohol, and early sex. Bullying is another problem that is seen with increasing frequency in our schools and neighborhoods.

The changes in families and family structure are significant. What we used to think of as a “normal” or typical family (2 birth parents and 1 – 3 children) is no longer the “norm”. Today we have step-families (parents and grandparents), same sex couple families, adoptive families, bi-racial and multi-ethnic families, single parents, grandparents rearing grandchildren, and many others.

A beautiful act of kindnessParenting does not come with instructions, either, and it is often hard to figure out how to rear emotionally healthy and intelligent people, and yet this is an important skill required of parents even more today than in the future. Children have to learn how to think clearly and make healthy decisions for themselves. Successful families require a common sense and open approach to life and parenting.

A new book, “The Secrets of Happy Families”, by Bruce Feiler was recently reviewed on NPR and that story, along with my experience with many families over my years as a therapist, leads me to suggest 7 habits of successful families.

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Counseling Relationships Online. com

Couples Counseling of Louisville.com

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March 14, 2013 Posted by | children, family communication, Parenting advice, parents | Leave a comment

When Parents Disagree: Discover 8 Ways to Come Together

Sandy, at 13, is a master at finding her way around her parents’ rules.  She knows how to ask her mother for permission to stay over at a friend’s home or out late at night.  She knows to ask her dad for money for shopping or to take her to the mall.  While she also knows that her parents will get mad at each other or argue about these differences, she can always count on generally getting her way.

Jim and Jenny have a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to handle 9 year old Hannah and 14 year old Sam.  When Jenny is around, she usually handles things the way that she feels is right while Jim will be tougher, especially with Sam.   The differences in their styles is frustrating, sometimes maddening, for both of them and they really do not know how to manage these differences.

We have some advice for parents who disagree.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with your co-parent to help you navigate and gain confidence in your skills at parenting together.  These will probably have to be conscious steps to take in the beginning.  With ongoing success, they will get easier and may even become a habit.

Coming together when parents disagree.

1.  Recognize that differences are normal and most parents disagree at times. See the differences as just “a difference”, without a right or wrong.

Most couples who come together have different experiences as children.  Their own parents’ styles may have been different and each may have learned how to live a healthy and productive life in a different way.

Think of the problem as a puzzle, maybe a pretty complicated one, but one that requires “putting your heads together” to find a solution.

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Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

Healing from Affairs

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Parenting advice, parents, Parents disagree | Leave a comment

Parents and Children: 7 Ways to Enhance Your Relationship With You Child

1.  Enter your child’s world rather than trying to get your child to enter your world and enjoy what is interesting for you.

Enter your child's world.

Enter your child's world.

Listen to a couple of your teen’s favorite artists.  Find something positive to say about the music and ask questions of your teen about how this music speaks to them.

Sit on the floor with your young daughter and get her to teach you her favorite game or tell you the story of her dolls.

2.  Parents are better off when they give specific, clear and direct recognition of a child’s strengths.

Tell your child what you have noticed and appreciated just that day.  Global comments like “You are a special girl” make less of an impression than “The way that you thought about your friend and made those cookies and took them to her because she was having a tough day was so loving and caring.”

3.  As a parent, listen, really listen, to what your child is telling you, even if you are not happy with what he or she is saying.

This does not mean that you listen if he is being rude or disrespectful; however, it does mean that you allow your child to have a different opinion and you listen carefully and respect him and his thoughts, even if you do not agree.

4.   Parents can score points if they communicate electronically.

Send your child an email with an article about something that you know that she is interested in.  Make a few comments about what made you specifically think about her and her interests.

Send him NPR’s song of the day or an itune that you think that he might like and make a brief comment about why it made you think of  him.

5.  Parents should walk into a child’s room, but make sure to knock if the door is closed,  sit on his bed and ask about his day.  If he doesn’t seem to want to talk, talk a little about your day and then just sit quietly.  Find something specific to say about him that is positive (see tip # 2) and, after 5 minutes, loving leave. Be sure to repeat this exercise the next day.

6.  Do something just with her.  Do not include your spouse or any of the other children.  Go for lunch, a walk, a movie, ice cream.  Find something that she likes to do.  Let her lead the conversation and just be an attentive listener.

7.  Create a ritual, something that you do regularly, just with him.  You might also want to include your spouse, but this should be something to recognize your child.  This might be “his day” on his birthday and half-birthday.  It might be Sunday morning trip to the bakery for pastries together.  You could have a regular game that you watch together, either on television or preferably in person.

The idea for all of this is that you want to find ways to recognize and acknowledge your child as special and your relationship as important.

Counseling Relationships Online
Couples Counseling of Louisville

July 31, 2009 Posted by | children, family communication, parents | 1 Comment