We don’t often think of how parenting can improve partnering. Usually, we think of just the opposite…how parenting makes partnering harder. We instantly think of all the demands parenting makes on our time, money, energy, and resources, and how those demands complicate marriage. [Read more…]
In this post, let’s talk about how parents can bring out the best in their teens. It starts when you’re aware of your own issues of control, self-esteem, memory loss, fears, and aspirations. (Check out the previous post for more on this.)
Once you have addressed those things in yourself, there are some things you can do to bring out the best in those opinionated, strong-willed, hormonally challenged aliens we refer to as teenagers: [Read more…]
I typically write posts focused on marriage, but this post is going to veer more into the area of parenting. Specifically, parenting teenagers, and more specifically, how teenagers bring out the worst in their parents.
As a former youth pastor, I have a special place in my heart for parents of teens. And, as the father of two grown children, I still have the twitches that can only come from teens or Turretts. [Read more…]
But I realize I’ve brought you into the middle of the story, so let me go back to the beginning and catch you up. [Read more…]
At the beginning of every year, we look at things we can do to make the new year better. But when it comes to marriage, what you do now will not only effect the new year, but generations to come.
There’s a story about a young wife who always cut off the end of the ham before she baked it. When her husband asked why she did this, she responded, “I don’t know. My mom always did it.” This made the husband curious, so he went to his mother-in-law and asked her why she cut off the end of a ham before baking it. His mother-in-law replied, “I don’t know. It’s something my mother always did when baking a ham.” The mystery went unresolved for some time, until one day the young couple were visiting the wife’s grandmother. [Read more…]
It’s Christmas morning 2016, and I’m up early. Not because there are children clambering to open presents, but because I received the gift of a sinus infection and my head couldn’t take being horizontal any longer.
Actually, the days of clambering and chaos on Christmas morning are gone for my wife and me. We are now moving into the quiet Christmas years. [Read more…]
Sometime back I was listening to a news report about a school shooting when I heard the newscaster say, “It only took 80 seconds for a high school senior to enter the high school, shoot a fellow student and then kill himself.” 80 seconds! Less than a minute and a half! That’s all it took to take two lives, irreversibly devastate two families, and traumatize a school and community forever. Just 80 seconds!
Listening to this story, I was struck by the power of a few seconds and I began to think of other situations effected by the power of a few seconds. A few seconds of distraction behind the wheel. A few seconds of inattention to a safety valve. A few seconds of leaving a child unattended by a swimming pool. There is power in a few seconds.
The same is true for marriage. A few seconds can make all the difference. [Read more…]
Maybe it was that person who seemed so good on the first couple of dates that later left you asking, “What was I thinking?” Maybe it was training for that half marathon that caused you to say, “What was I thinking?” Or maybe it was that job change that looked good on paper, but left you wondering, “What was I thinking?” (For more ideas, take a look at your high school yearbook pictures.)
Having kids can be one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but can leave you wondering, “What was I thinking?” [Read more…]
It’s Monday morning, I’m walking in our neighborhood, and it’s the first day of school. School buses are crisscrossing the neighborhood like bees swarming a hive. Parents and children are gathered in groups along the streets. Kids are dressed in new school clothes and toting new book bags. Parents are lining up fidgety kids for those infamous first day of school pictures, while cheerily encouraging them about what a great day it will be and what a great year they’re going to have. It’s the first day of school!
Do you remember your first day of school? What about your first day of high school? Your first day of college? Your first day on the job? Your first day of marriage? Your first day as a parent? Your first day as an empty nester? Your first day of retirement?
Life is full of “first days.” As the cliché goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” [Read more…]
When I stepped into the waiting room, I noticed that Bryan and Christine (not their real names) were sitting in separate chairs and weren’t talking. As they took separate seats in my office, I asked them why they had come to counseling. The question was met with sighs and silence. After some awkward attempts to get Bryan to go first, Christine finally said, “We’re really struggling in our marriage. ” From there, the story began to roll out.
They were once good friends and playful lovers who talked, laughed, and spent time together. But now they were more like room mates who only talked when they needed to. Christine was focused on their 3 active kids and the mounds of laundry and homework that came with them. Bryan was focused on the increasing demands of providing for their family, and the occasional game of golf. Their time together was spent discussing kids, schedules, or money. This seemed to be the only thing holding them together. [Read more…]