Posts Tagged: “communication”

Emotional Flat Tire

Imagine you are running late to work and you are frantically rushing out the door. As you’re hustling down the freeway trying not to speed (at least trying not to noticeably speed), you suddenly feel the car start to vibrate followed by a low juddering sound. You recognize that dreadful sound and realize that you have a flat tire at the most inconvenient time. You now have a decision to make, you can either pull to the side of the

8 Ways to Break Through Teenage Walls

As a child and family therapist, I have met with many teenagers who have shut down. It looks like they have put up 2-foot thick concrete walls around themselves to keep their parents and other concerned adults at a distance. By the time parents contact me, months or even years of damage has already happened in the family and the interactions of shutting down and pushing away have become habits. Sometimes the parent and the child don’t even know or

Conflict, Then Resolution

Recently, there seems to be a pattern among the families that I have been working with as a therapist.  The pattern starts by the child acting rude and disrespectful.  The parent then gets offended and upset and eventually sends the child to their room.  Afterwards, nothing is really talked about or resolved between the parent and the child related to the situation that occurred. After a while of following this pattern, kids stop liking being around their parents and the

The 4 S’s in Resolving Emotional Problems in Relationships

Men, have you ever tried to explain to your spouse why she should not be as upset over a problem as she is?  Even though you may be right, and your logic sound, has your explanation ever caused her to get even angrier than she is and push you away? As men, we often respond to emotional problems logically – thinking that if the problem is solved, there is no need to be upset by it.  However, when our spouse

How parents can destroy the effectiveness of consequences?

Why is it that two set of parents can apply the same consequence but yet get very different results?  Is it because the child that learns from the consequence is good-natured while the other child who becomes resentful is just a bad egg?  Does it all depend on the temperament of the child or does the way the parents apply the consequences have any influence over their effectiveness? I am reminded of mother whose first reaction when her child did

Why is there chocolate on this doughnut?

Do your kids ever ask questions that puzzle you?  Not because you don’t know the answer, but because you are not sure of the answer to give them. I know of a father whose girl asked such a question.  They went out one Saturday morning for doughnuts and his little girl chose the one with chocolate frosting and colored sprinkles.  As she ate the doughnut she asked, “Daddy, why does this doughnut have chocolate on it?” This father was unsure

Small Change in Words – Big Change in Attitudes

It’s easy to fall into the trap of demanding and threatening as a parent – especially when you want your child to get something done quickly.  “If you don’t clean your room right now, you can forget about playing on the IPOD for the rest of the day.”  Or “If you don’t finish your chores in the next 30 minutes you’re not going to have any friends over today.” Or finally, “I am sick and tired of you leaving your