Relationships

These articles focus on relationship issues and communication.

The Surest Way Not to Teach Kids Respect

I’m still on holiday this week, but in my absence I wanted to leave you with something nutritious to chew on. Since I’m too busy whooping it up on vacation to moderate comments, they’re not available for this post. However, you can leave comments over on PsychologyToday.com: Shaming Children Is Emotionally Abusive Next week I’ll …

Getting Out From Under Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) develops in a child when one parent poisons the child’s attitude toward the other parent, usually during or after the dissolution of the parents’ relationship. Children develop PAS when used as pawns in a war between their parents. Symptoms  include anger, behavior problems and rejection of the alienated parent. The biggest …

Forgiveness Tips If You’ve Been Wronged

If you’re nursing a grievance, you’re not alone. Without a heartfelt apology (which isn’t always available), or even with that apology, sometimes it can take a long time to feel better. Being wronged is like being injured physically. Healing takes time. No one expects a broken bone to heal overnight, nor should we expect ourselves …

6 Tips for Better Boundaries

Today’s post is essentially a letter to myself, in that it’s about something I struggle with personally: Boundaries. Check it out. It’s like I wrote myself a boundaries to-do list, and you just happen to be reading along. If you have trouble with boundaries sometimes and can relate, that’s awesome. But basically I’m writing for …

4 Tips for Dealing With Stubborn People

Have you ever offered perfectly good advice to a loved one and been baffled as to why it fell on deaf ears? I have. When the best course of action is clear and yet remains ignored by the person who most needs that knowledge, what’s going on? This week I had the privilege of reading …

Are You Emotionally Available?

“If only my partner were more emotionally available.” Have you heard this before? Have you said it yourself? Whenever emotional availability becomes an issue in a relationship, it’s wise to take stock of both partners’ emotional styles. Why? Because if you’re with a person who’s emotionally unavailable, it’s an inescapable fact that, well … you’re …

“Why Is Estrangement Always the Parent’s Fault?”

I recently received the following feedback about the estrangement article on my website (which is not specifically about parents and children, but rather any estrangement). It’s so similar to the theme of other comments on that article, and to those posted here in When Adult Children Won’t Talk to Their Parents and Estrangement Takes Two, …

What To Do When You’ve Made Someone Angry

Once again, I’ve come across an article by Peter Bregman that I wish I’d written myself. If you’ve read my post on how to apologize, you might have found yourself thinking, ‘Yeah, but I didn’t mean it that way. Can’t I just explain what I was thinking?’ Bregman explains why it’s consequences, rather than intentions, …

Listening Is the Cheapest Medicine

Psychotherapy has been called “The Talking Cure.” It might be more accurate to call it “The Listening Cure.” Being listened to is healing, because it’s a way to be understood. And being understood is like a tall, cool drink on a hot summer day. Marriage & family therapist Cynthia Lubox speaks eloquently about the power …

Differentiation, Part 2

In last week’s post I talked about how differentiation can contribute to estrangement between parents and their young adult children. This continuation of that post talks about the married adult child, and offers some tips to help you trust the process. Remember, differentiation is a normal and healthy part of human development. It’s not due …

Differentiation: “Normal” Estrangement From Parents?

Do you have an adult child under 30 who’s pulling away from you? It could be part of a normal process of development called differentiation. We all know that children eventually (or rapidly!) grow into adults, but not without going through some developmental stages. It’s easy to see these stages in kids’ behavior when they’re …

When You Say the Wrong Thing

The minute it’s out of your mouth you wish you could take it back. But words are like toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Once it’s out, it’s out. Sometimes, when the stakes are low, you end up with just a slightly awkward or even humorous interaction rather than a damaging one. Never Assume When …