Archives for June, 2011
...For they shall not break in half when they are faced with unexpected change and challenges. Ladies and gentlemen, it's a lesson I'm working on right now. I'm sure many of you have had periods of time when just staying upright took all the energy you had. When the winds of change come, they often come at gale force. Will you bend or will you break?
You may be one of many people in this world with some family pain. I don't mean just some embarrassing moments and childhood challenges. I mean some real gut-wrenching pain, pain that could overwhelm and consume you if you let it. It's not easy to do, and you may not believe me, but family pain and good living can exist at the same time. It's easy to think that good living isn't possible because you can't go a day without being reminded of your awful past (or present). Or, that people who have a good life just don't have much (or any) emotional problems with their family. For some, holding on to the pain means that they hold on to "something." And if they let go of it, they won't have much left of their family at all. Something's better than nothing, so the pain gets a long-term invitation. It's too hard to face the reality of their situation and move forward.
I get a lot of comments and questions about difficult family situations. One of my first thoughts is "Have they been to a family counselor?" Yes, I have worked as a family counselor, but I'm not just saying this to boost my profession. I'm saying it because good family counseling can really work. The Opportunity Of Family Counseling A lot of times, I read about these really difficult situations that have gone on for months or even years. Often times, people just get used to the chaos and problems. They may think that they are beyond help, they've heard from a friend that counseling didn't work for them, or they simply don't know what's available to them. I used to work with families who had a child about to be removed from the home. It was either me or their child went under state custody. That's probably a tougher situation than many families face, but the stress and unhappiness of family problems still affect everyone.
How soon should your child start wearing deodorant? How often do your kids floss? And will they ever remember to do this stuff themselves?? Personal hygiene is an important collection of habits. It can take time to develop routines to the point where things seem more automatic. (I hope I'm not still reminding my 7-year old to brush her teeth when she's a senior in high school.) Certainly, every kid may need a different amount of support for these tasks. But by mid to late elementary school, you should be able to stay at least somewhat hands-off.