Listen Up!

Listening is important. It’s a staple in relationships. It’s one of the fundamental building blocks of our day to day life. We seek it from our partners, our families, our co-workers, and even our social institutions. When we offer it to someone in distress, listening is also a fundamental act of kindness.

Worry: Trouble between parents and teens

I sometimes work with parents who struggle with their children’s behavior, especially teens. These parents are often in regular conflict with their son or daughter, and may complain that their child is ’lazy’, ‘irresponsible’, ‘makes bad choices’, ‘won’t listen to me/us’, ‘just doesn’t get it’, or even ’just  doesn’t care’. When teens take a turn for the scary, parents worry.

Women and relationships: Should I stay or should I go?

Many women are searching for romantic relationships that provide love, acceptance, respect, desire, emotional security, passion and intimacy, and understanding. These are building blocks of what is perceived as a “healthy” relationship. Why then, do women everywhere, choose to stay in relationships that no longer meet these basic needs? Several factors may contribute to this process, which will be further explored and discussed in this blog. I am dedicating this blog to all the women who need words of encouragement and motivation towards empowerment and self-advocacy.

The safest place to hide from marriage might be parenthood

On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, I visited the Fox 25 studios in Dedham to discuss a recent Boston Globe article about marriage and parenting. The article profiles a recent book by David Code titled, To Raise Happy Kids Put Your Marriage First. Code suggests that there is a rising trend in parents avoiding marital conflict by focusing on parenting. I’d agree that it happens frequently, however I don’t know that it’s happening more often now than before.

Shifting from complaint to request

“If I have to ask for it, then it doesn’t count.”

I think we’ve all had this thought at some point in our relationships, and are familiar with the sentiment behind it as well. If not, then you must be either very blessed or very lucky — blessed with an incredibly attentive partner, or with very few desires. In either case, you have good reason to be thankful!

Timeouts: Not just for kids anymore

Most adults are familiar with the idea of the timeout. You give a child a timeout when they get too pushy, too loud, or too angry. Ask a parent how a timeout is helpful and he or she might say, “I give my child a timeout so he/she can cool down. Kids listen and behave better when they’ve had a chance to cool off.” Why would adults be any different? Adults, as much as children, get a bit out of line when they get upset. When adults get angry, they cross lines, they say things they don’t mean, or worse, they say things they do mean and can’t take back. Adults can use timeouts just as much as children can. But as opposed to children, adults don’t have anyone to give them a timeout when they might need one.