In this social media-saturated, smart phone world, it’s harder than ever to be present. And healthy relationships require presence. Giving someone your full and undivided attention makes them feel valued and secure. If we never turn off our phone and really focus, how can we expect our children to do so?
Here are some ideas for how to be present, and how to model that for your children.
Once you’ve been burned (especially if it’s by a parent in your early life), it can be hard to open up again. In some cases, with some people, you really shouldn’t open up. But how do you know who you should trust, and who you shouldn’t? And how can you learn to trust yourself to make that determination?
You love your spouse, but do you work well together? Unfortunately, many people find that the answer is no. This can become painfully evident once we become parents, and suddenly we have to rely on one another in a different way than ever before.
Here are some strategies on how to reduce tension and conflict, and improve teamwork.
Parents a generation ago didn’t have to worry about online predators, but today’s parents need to be aware. What are the signs your teen is getting in over her (or his) head in social media? How do we keep our kids safe?
This is not the same as finding a “good” couples therapist. I used to believe in the myth that therapists are either good or bad; now I think that there are some good therapists who are just a mismatch for certain clients.
So how to find the right one?
In my novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me” (due out July 8), 14-year-old Marley runs away, leaving her mother Rachel wondering how she missed all the clues. Did she really know Marley at all? And has Rachel’s oblivion put Marley in harm’s way?
For those answers, you’ll have the read the book! But if you have a teenager of your own, here are some ideas of how to assess where you are in your relationship.
Toddlers can be mystifying beings. You’re cruising through a good morning, and then suddenly, they melt down at what seems like an entirely insignificant event (the loss of a sock would not be unheard of.) What’s happening in that toddler brain?
I know this might sound oxymoronic: If a crisis is sudden, how can we prepare?
There are ways to strengthen yourself and your relationships so that you (and they) will bear up better under the strain of a crisis. Here are some ideas on how to increase your resilience.
There are a lot of reasons couples might procrastinate about entering therapy. It might feel shameful, like an admission they can’t do it on their own. They might be afraid of what will come out in the room, and more comfortable maintaining some level of denial about just how distressed their relationship is. They might feel overloaded and overwhelmed with all they have to do in their week, between jobs and kids and other commitments.
They might also hold the belief that if things get really bad, they can just do therapy then. They might as well wait, they reason. What difference could it make?
A lot. And here’s why.
It’s not an easy proposition. An essential parenting duty is to teach, and to facilitate growth. That involves change. But sometimes, we might find ourselves trying to mold instead, and we might also find our kids fighting back.
What’s the difference between molding and teaching? And what does it mean to truly accept your child?