Archives for Conflict

Boundaries

Are Your Kids Ruling the Roost? Parenting A Strong-Willed Child

Do you have to raise your voice, lecture or repeat yourself to get your kids to behave?
Do your kids ignore normal, everyday requests when they just don’t feel like listening?
Have you tried to avoid spanking and yelling but nothing else seems to work?
Are you exhausted and upset because your kids seem disrespectful, entitled or ungrateful for all the things you do for them?
 Are you feeling frustrated and defeated despite your best...
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Communication

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!

I am constantly shocked and reminded just how easy it is to hurt or be hurt by our loved ones due to problems of communication. Communication is supposed to consist of both talking and listening in somewhat equal measure. But regrettably, sometimes there is one but not the other. Sound familiar?

In some families, everyone seems to be talking but no one is listening. In others, members of a couple or family feel alone, left in...
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Communication

Do You Want to Avoid the Next Fight?

Most people are now aware that high levels of conflict--loud, angry or bitter fighting--can be tremendously destructive not only to marriages and intimate relationships but can cause lasting harm to the children caught in the crossfire.

As painful as divorce can be for kids, what we know now is that excessive fighting is what troubles kids--whether the family remains intact or not. On the flip side, disagreements and differences go hand in hand with any relationship...
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Change

How to Eliminate Envy & Practice Empathy


The White family overwhelms my office with noise and activity from the first moment they arrive for family therapy. The three boys, aged 6, 10, and 13, immediately begin to argue over who sits where.

Pouncing on one another's laps, they push and poke. The youngest one screams as though he has been mortally wounded. Mom and Dad make a feeble attempt to create order out of chaos but they are clearly outnumbered.

Is this normal sibling...
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Communication

6 Tips for Breaking the Blame Barrier

Hardly a day ever goes by when I don't hear someone blaming someone for something. It is one of the most common--and one of the most frustrating patterns that confront couples and families. Blame can destroy a good marriage, wreak havoc on our friendships, and put innocent kids in the middle of their parents' arguments.

Not only are families besieged by this destructive pattern, the whole culture is mired in it. We blame the...
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Anxiety

Stressed to the Limit. No End in Sight.

"Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time." -Alvin Toffler

I received a call from a distressed mother last week asking if her whole family could come to see me. "I'm really worried," she explained. "Every one of us in the family is completely stressed out, and we need to find out how to cope better."

I am...
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Anxiety

Unhappy Relationships and Depression Go Hand in Hand

"What is the opposite of two? A lonely me. A lonely you." -Richard Wilbur

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." -Friedrich Nietzsche

The TV ads would have all of us believe that the best cure for depression is the latest and greatest medication. First it was Prozac and now it's Pristiq and Abilify. Although medication is a life saver for many, for others the side effects are...
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Communication

7 Warning Signs Of a Troubled Marriage

I've been counseling couples and families for over three decades and one thing stands out. Most people wait too long before they reach out for too long. Problems that might have been solved in five to ten sessions become crises that break up perfectly good relationships.

Since only a precious few learned the necessary skills to weather the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, it is easy to slip into negative patterns of relating--either...
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Communication

Has Contempt Crept into Your Communications? Watch Out!

Contempt is a relationship killer. It can and does destroy marriages. It can wound a child's self image, poison the workplace, and push your friends away.

If you don't know exactly what I mean by contempt, it is disdain for another, openly acting patronizing, insulting, and disrespectful. Contempt is criticism with a twist. When I have contempt for another, I put myself above them. It is criticism with a holier-than-thou attitude mixed in.

Who could possibly act...
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Boundaries

Honesty Rules: 10 Steps to Get There

If you ask parents to name the most important values that they want to instill in their children, honesty is almost always high on the list. The same is true of qualities that we look for in a mate or close friend. In order to build trust, we need to believe in someone's word. How many times have you asked a loved one, "Please, just tell me the "

If your goal is to build honesty...
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