Do you often feel like your child is a mystery and doesn’t open up emotionally to you as much as you’d like? You aren’t alone. Many of the parents of my youngest patients often ask me for guidance on how to help their children become more open and to share what’s on their minds. Understandably, they are looking for an easy-to-implement solution with instant results. But the key to getting your child to feel secure enough to confide in you is to build a foundation of trust with him. And building that foundation takes time.
“The good news is that it doesn’t matter if we find we have married the wrong person… We need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them… Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the 'not overly wrong' person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition." [Read Article]
"Recent research in the neurosciences has shown that the way parents interact (or fail to interact) with children becomes hardwired in their children’s brains, often before they are capable of formulating words to describe what they are experiencing... Almost all parents feel that they love their children. But what parents feel internally must have an external component in actions that are loving in order to have a positive effect on their children." [Read Article]
"The average marriage that ends in divorce does so after just eight years, which suggests that the first years are the hardest... The Church should build... support into a marriage plan, either by requiring enrollment in post-wedding marriage enrichment classes prior to the ceremony, or by requiring priests to follow-up personally with couples they have married on a scheduled basis for the first months or years of marriage." [Read Article]
"It had only been a few months since our son died, and I was depressed and desperately missing him...
Eventually, every marriage is tested to some degree. Maybe through financial troubles, infidelity, loss of a job, a spouse who is checked out, emotional issues due to childhood trauma or health problems... We certainly don't have it all figured out, and we struggle just like everyone else. But here are a few things we’ve learned about maintaining our marriage through this terrible time..." [Read Article]
"When partners take each other for granted and neglect their relationship, they put their partnership in jeopardy. When unresolved conflicts mount up, resentment, anger, a lack of respect, even contempt may form conditions that are an accident waiting to happen... No matter what their cause or nature, every betrayal does harm to a relationship and always requires repair work in order to restore trust and integrity to the relationship." [Read Article]
"Arguing is a part of every healthy relationship. You and your partner won't agree 100 percent of the time, and sometimes one or both of you will say or do something that upsets the other. When this happens and you have a fair fight, you both voice your issues, listen to each other, talk, disagree, talk some more, and come away feeling closer... In my 35 years as a marriage and family therapist, there are certain fighting words and fighting phrases I see couples use repeatedly to get a rise out of each other—or to shut the other down. [Read Article]
"All couples can enhance their relationship by learning the skills taught in couples therapy. 'If we have the tools to understand, empathize, listen to and connect with our partners within and outside of conflict, we can have the fulfilling relationships that we were meant to have.'” [Read Article]
"No child comes with a manual, and every child is unique. Feelings of inadequacy occur when we are jarred out of preconceived notions of what children need, what they should be like, or how they ought to respond to us... Feelings of inadequacy force us to stop seeing the child as a source of emotion for us and, instead, allow the needs of the child to teach us to be good parents of that unique child. Anger occurs when we blame children for doing their part in the interaction..." [Read Article]