Win the War on Boundaries with Kids and Teens this School Year

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2019

Terri was having problems with her thirteen-year-old son Josh not doing his homework. I helped her come up with a plan that would require Josh to set aside a certain time each night to do homework. During this hour Josh had to be in his study place with nothing else but his work, and he was not to do anything else but study. Terri had no control over whether or not Josh actually chose to study during that time. What she could control was that he do nothing else during that time but sit with his homework.

[RELATED: 3 FREE TOOLS TO HELP YOU STOP ENABLING.]

When I saw her the next time, Terri looked sheepish. She had not lived up to her end of the plan. “What happened?” I asked. “Well, we were all set, and then he got invited to go to a baseball game with his friend. I said no, that his hour was not up yet. But he got so upset, I could not talk him out of it. He seemed so mad and sad.”

“So,” I said, “that’s what he’s supposed to do,...

Continue Reading...

No Matter How Bad It Gets, You Have Options

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2019

A woman complained to me about a coworker who would always interrupt her while she was trying to get her job done. She acted as if her tendency to be behind in her work was her coworker’s fault.

“Why do you talk to her?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

“When she comes in and interrupts, why do you get into a conversation with her?”

“Well, I have to. She is standing there talking.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that you have work to do, or close your door and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign?”

The woman looked at me with a blank stare. To have choices and to have control of her own behavior was a concept that hadn’t occurred to her. She felt that if something happened “to her,” then that was the way it had to be.

There was nothing she could do to change it.

[RELATED: You Don't Have to Be a People-Pleaser. Here's Why.]

When I suggested that she had many choices, she quizzed me...

Continue Reading...

How to Stop Feeling so Exhausted

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2019

Talk to enough people and you will find that exhaustion is widespread, especially during this time of year. Managing a fulfilling life at home, a successful career, maintaining friendships, staying on top of your health and physical fitness, and getting enough sleep — it can seem as though there simply isn’t enough time for all of these things. Trying and failing to find balance leads to feelings of exhaustion.

[RELATED: THE HABITS CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR EXHAUSTION.]

Humans have always combatted exhaustion. Previous generations had much more demanding, physical labor-oriented jobs. Earlier still, humans had to hunt and gather to survive. Of course these strenuous physical demands have been attenuated by modern conveniences that allow us to live in comparative luxury. And yet, exhaustion persists. In fact, it may be more widespread than ever before.

Exhaustion is the result of a confluence of factors, some that originate within you and your developed capacities, physically...

Continue Reading...

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Someone Struggle

Uncategorized Aug 22, 2019

I want to share a story with you on how NOT to be ruled by fear.  
 
"I know that I hold on to people too long, way past when I know I have to make a change," a CEO told me. "I have always done that, and it costs me." 
 
"What are you afraid of?" I asked. 
 
"I don't think I'm afraid," he said. "I just don't want to hurt them, and I always try to protect them." 
 
"What's the fear?" I asked again. 
 
It took him a while to get to it, but underneath it all, he was afraid for others to have to go through a struggle. 

[RELATED: Get 3 FREE Tools to Stop Enabling and Codependent Cycles] 

The problem is that the brain is wired to avoid pain and anxiety. Over time, when you continue to avoid things that cause you fear or anxiety, such as this CEO's fear of letting someone struggle, a pattern builds up, causing you to respond almost automatically to any situations that would cause you anxiety. But you cannot allow a pattern of fear...

Continue Reading...

Confront That Toxic Person About Your Boundaries

Uncategorized Aug 21, 2019

Being emotionally present and connected while we are confronting another person is the first essential of a good conversation. It truly requires a work of grace in us.

[Related: How to Defend Yourself Against Someone Who Gaslights You During a Confrontation]

Being present refers to being in touch and in tune with our own feelings as well as those of the other person. This is an important skill, because when we are “there” – that is, emotionally present – we are available to the other person. He is not shut off from us while we are telling him a difficult reality about himself and the relationship. It is hard for anyone to absorb a confrontation. Presence and connection help to make that tolerable.

A boundary conversation is very difficult because it feels unnatural – and it is unnatural, in that the natural person within us does not think this way. On our own, we seek to protect ourselves from discomfort. We don’t want to be vulnerable and...

Continue Reading...

I Never Thought I'd Learn This From My Daughter

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2019

It was a holiday weekend, and I was at a celebration that included a memorial “paddle out” on surfboards in the Pacific Ocean to honor and remember my brother-in-law, Mark. He was a Navy SEAL, a great American, husband, father, hero, brother, and a friend. Mark died on a mission in Iraq in 2008.

My daughter, Olivia, was 10 at the time, and she wanted to participate in the paddle-out to honor her uncle. So, we borrowed a surfboard and began to walk out to the beach where the surfers were gathering, with me carrying the board. I was excited for her to take part in honoring her uncle Mark and was inspired by her fearlessness in wanting to paddle way out into the ocean with all the adults. She did just great and when we came back to the beach we hugged.

She was very proud and thankful for her uncle Mark, and we spent a moment talking about all of it before everyone gathered their things to make the long walk back up the hillside to the main event. Everyone, that is, except...

Continue Reading...

3 Ways to Practice Saying No – And They All Work!

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

Jenna used to believe that she would never learn how to say no and make it stick. But, as she sat at her kitchen table with a teacup in hand, she felt amazed. It was an unfamiliar sensation, but a pleasant one. Her mind wandered back to the events of the morning. Her eight-year-old son, Bryan, had begun the day with his usual waking-up shenanigans. He sulked and pouted his way to the breakfast table, announcing, “I’m not going to school — and no one’s going to make me!”

Normally Jenna would have either tried to talk Bryan into attending school, or blown up at him in frustration. However, this morning was different. Jenna simply said, “You’re right, Honey. No one can make you go to school. That has to be something you choose to do. However, if you don’t choose to go to school, you are choosing to stay in your room all day with no TV. But that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, like you did last week.”...

Continue Reading...

Fewer Fights and Better Boundaries: 3 Steps to Seeing Improved Behavior in Your Child

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2019

Children need more than a parent who will talk about boundaries. They need a parent who will be boundaries. This means that in whatever situation arises, you respond to your child with empathy, firmness, freedom, and consequences. But, sometimes parents contribute to the problem by trying to justify their kid’s behavior, rather than addressing the issue.

Setting boundaries with kids isn’t about “making” your child do anything. It is much more about structuring your child’s existence so that he experiences the consequences of his behavior, thus leading him to be more responsible and caring. Use the following three key steps to help begin the process with your kids:

Step 1: Acknowledge that your child is not perfect.
All kids are immature sinners; this is our human condition. Some parents have difficulty with this first step. They deny their child’s behavior. They rationalize genuine problems. For example, smarting off becomes a cute sense of humor....

Continue Reading...

How to Teach Your Kids to Connect with Others

Uncategorized Aug 10, 2019

One of the coolest things we ever see is children playing together, having fun and laughing with joy. It’s a pleasant feeling when we see children playing together in unity. It warms our hearts.

But as a parent, as wonderful as it is to see my kids playing with their friends, I also see it as a psychologist. And the psychologist in me knows that it is not just a nice thing to see our children having friends. It is crucial for their future, as the ability to create and maintain good relationships is one of the most important skills that anyone can have. Research has shown that it is related to our happiness, goal achievement, success in almost every area of life, physical and spiritual health, financial well-being, stress resilience, and on and on. So, I want my kids to have fun with their friends, but I want it more than for today. I want it to be a part of learning an ability that they are going to need for the rest of their lives.

And that brings us to a question, “How...

Continue Reading...

Wise, Foolish or Evil: How to Know Who You're Dealing With

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2019

If you believe that you’re a responsible and loving person, it’s easy to assume that other people think like you. You think that they care about other people and how their actions affect those people. Since you have a concern about how what you do affects others, then it makes sense that everyone else is just like you, right? The truth is that not many people take responsibility for themselves or care about how their actions are affecting other people or the mission. Moreover, some are even worse than that, and they’re actually out to do you harm. If you don’t want to accept this reality, then you’re going to waste time, money, energy, and resources on people who will either squander or destroy it.

There are three types of people in the world, or rather, three styles of behavior that a person can exhibit in a particular time or context. Depending on whether you’re a psychiatrist, employer, a spouse or a judge, there are different ways of...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.