54% of Children Ask Google Before Parents or Teachers

While watching the news this morning the following image came across the screen:

 


The majority of kids in this survey indicated they went to Google first before asking their parents or teachers.

Very interesting.

I do have concerns about the validity of surveys conducted these days. If I don’t know the exact questions that were asked, how they were asked, how they found the people to survey, what kind of training did the people conducting the survey have, etc., then I do not fully accept the survey results. I think it’s healthy to be a bit skeptical of surveys.

But moving on, this survey does have a ring of truth to it, doesn’t it. Our kids have moved further away from actual, in-person communication and are more and more immersed in the world of devices. Computers, laptops, iPad, iPods, smart phones, X Boxes, you name it. Use of text messaging has gone into the stratosphere with our kids.

It’s not important to me that it’s 54% of kids 6-15 as I accept the fact that this is a real situation. Read more »

Does Couples Therapy Work?

After reading an article by Elizabeth Weil for the New York Times, I felt compelled to share some important observations with you here. Her article was titled “Does Couples Therapy Work?” Here is a short excerpt:

The fact that couples therapy stresses out therapists has long been an open secret.

“It’s widely acknowledged that couples therapy is the most challenging,” says Richard Simon, editor of The Psychotherapy Networker. “You often feel confused, at odds with a least one of your patients, out of control.”

Part of the problem is that the kind of person who tends to become a therapist — empathic, sensitive, calm, accepting — is generally not the kind of person who is a good couples therapist. “The traditional, passive uh-huh, uh-huh is useless,” Dr. Real, a prominent psychologist, says. “You have to like action. To manage marital combat, a therapist needs to get in there, mix it up with the client, be a ninja. This is intimidating.”

“It’s frightening to be faced with the force of two strong individuals as they are colliding,” he says.

William J. Doherty, a University of Wisconsin professor of family social science, says, “A brilliant therapeutic observation can blow up in your face when one spouse thinks you’re a genius and the other thinks you’re clueless — or worse, allied with the enemy.”

Okay, first things first. A properly trained marriage counselor has absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  If the marriage counselor knows the precise reasons a marriage goes off the rails, fear of what patients may say or do never enters the scene. Read more »

Does Your Child Whine?

Whining jpgFirst things first, let’s decide what whining is and what whining isn’t.

If your baby is hungry, an item of clothing is pinching him, a diaper needs changing, this is different than a toddler sitting in a shopping cart demanding that you buy that candy bar.

We’re talking here about a child who can understand what you’re saying. Now I believe even a baby understands what you’re saying, but we’ll discuss that in another post.

So when your child doesn’t get his or her way and starts whining, what do you do?

Well, of course, you can simply just give in and let the child have whatever it is he wants. When the child whines and we’ve got a ton of things on our mind, we may just go ahead and give in.

I’m not here to tell you that you should “never give in” but I do believe you can get your child’s agreement to change his conduct. Let’s look at an example:

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More Marriage Quotes…and a Few Personal Thoughts, Part 2

Here’s another interesting piece of advice you’ll find on our marriage quotes page: 

“Ultimately the bond of companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”

This quote is from Oscar Wilde who was an Irish writer from the late 1800s. One of his accomplishments was the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

I really like this quote.

When you find conversation is high in a marriage, or any relationship, you’ll usually find a high level of affinity as well. Of course we’re talking about civil conversation here, not two people yelling and screaming at each other. Although some people will tell you that yelling at each other is better than not talking at all.

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Marriage Counselors…How Can You Tell You’ve Got a Great One?

When your marriage is in trouble, when you suspect infidelity, when things aren’t going well, the last thing you want is a marriage counselor who steers you in the wrong direction. So, how do you know what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” when it comes to working with marriage counselors. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If your marriage counselor lets both of you complain on and on about each other, you’re not going to end up with a great result. If the marriage counselor does not know what lies at the bottom of criticism, then the critical thoughts and comments will continue, even after the marriage counseling is “completed.”
  • If your marriage counselor EVER takes sides, this will always produce a non-optimum result.
  • If your marriage counselor ends a marriage counseling session and either of you are upset,  this is not only poor form and unprofessional, it will have a negative impact on the marriage counseling process.
  • Read more »

Marriage Quotes…and a Few Personal Thoughts, Part 1

In the next few posts, let's look at some of the marriage quotes that have been collected together on this blog.

The first one is:

"Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side." – Zig Ziglar

 

It took me longer than it should have to REALLY get that my wife and I were on the same side. I recall some of the strange notions I was operating with:

"I need to win this argument no-matter-what."

"If I persist long enough or sulk loudly enough, she'll give in."

"She just doesn't understand how important this is to ME."

There were other strange notions, but let's just say I finally got the idea my wife was not a member of the opposing team. She and I were (and are) on the same team. Sometimes this idea gets lost or diminished. I'm sure there are a variety of reasons this happens, but one simple solution is to just step back and look at our spouse and say: "Hey, we're on the same side. Let's work this out together."

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Is Compromise the Answer?

Today with most marriage counseling, the marriage counselor will advise the couple to compromise with each other.

In other words, learn to accept your spouse’s faults or quirks. If she burns dinner, that makes it OK that you lost $300 at the casino. If he or she cheats, well, that makes a good number of the other’s faults OK.

An article on Buzzle.com stated “Marriage is all about compromise. Compromise is hard. With or without marriage counseling, married couples need to learn to solve their problems. Counseling can be a place to learn these skills, but should never be the only thing used to save an unhappy marriage.”

But compromising doesn’t really restore the love and passion, does it? To be frank, compromising often doesn’t even restore the enjoyment to a relationship.

I believe that in order to save a marriage that is in trouble, you have to sit down and take a hard look at what your spouse has done to you that was difficult for you to experience or that broke the agreements of the marriage. But you also have to take a serious look at what you have done to your spouse that was difficult for them to experience or that was against the agreements and commitments of the marriage. Considerably more on this is available in my marriage book—and the eBook version is currently available at no charge.

It’s a 2-way street. Everybody knows about the Golden Rule, i.e. not doing something to someone else that you wouldn’t want to have done to you. Well those are the things that can wreck a marriage. If you look at it from both ways, it can really have a healing effect.

How Did My Child Get So Disrespectful?

Disrespectful_child This is a question too many parents are asking these days. And it seems the age at which this problem manifests is getting younger and younger.

Let's look at some of the apparent reasons for this:

  1. Peer pressure. Kids tend to emulate what the "other" kids are doing so if they observe their friends being disrespectful to their parents, this makes it easier for them to follow suit.
  2. Turbulent school environment. If the scene at school is rough and kids are learning not-so-wonderful character traits, this can rub off at home.
  3. Parents not around. When both parents work or spend too much time away from home, some children find ways to let their parents know they object to this. Disrespect may certainly be one of these ways.

Each one of the above most certainly can be factors, but let me suggest another possibility:

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You’ve Just Had a Big Fight…

You and your spouse just had a huge fight. You’re absolutely sure you’re in the right and most likely your spouse feels the same way. You have a few options:

  1. You could continue fighting.
  2. You could stop fighting and let the upset simmer for awhile (maybe days or weeks).
  3. You could both take a walk around the block (each in the opposite direction) until the two of you are extroverted from the upset.

I’m going to recommend Option Number 3.

When two people are very upset, it’s difficult to resolve things from that very upset state of mind. If the two of you take a walk around the block, the idea is to walk long enough until you are “extroverted” from the upset. In other words, you’ve popped out of the upset and you no longer want to strangle your spouse. While on this walk, each of you needs to put your attention on things in your external environment: look at plants, trees, houses, other people, clouds, etc. Put your attention on things outside of you and this will produce an extroversion from the upset. And, as mentioned, each of you goes a different direction on this walk.

When the two of you have successfully completed this walk, you can then sit down and take a fresh look at what’s upsetting both of you.

Do not underestimate the effectiveness of this “walk.” I can absolutely assure you it will put the two of you in a better position to resolve the upset before it gets too far out of hand (or goes onto the backburner where both of you stay upset for awhile).

In my book, When the Thrill Is Gone, additional procedures are given to resolve marital upsets. There is also an entire chapter to help people get over the loss and upset of a previous relationship that didn’t end well. The eBook version of this book is currently available at no charge.

Are Some Marriages Doomed to Fail?

No relationship is “doomed” to fail. I believe each person, through his decisions and actions, determines how happy and fulfilling his life will be. And I believe this holds true for married couples. I’m not big on fate or astrology. I’m big on personal responsibility.

Now, having said that, if two people with very little in common, who have spent very little time together race off to Vegas and get married, the chances of their marriage succeeding are not as great as the couple that has taken the time to know each other and who share many things in common.

I’m not against people meeting and having such a compassionate first week that they are absolutely compelled to tie the knot right away. I find that exceptionally adventurous. And I would never say such a couple is “doomed” to fail. With the right tools, every marriage can succeed.

How much should one know about a possible spouse-to-be prior to getting married? That depends on what each person considers important. Religion is extremely important to some and completely insignificant to others. Some consider opposing political beliefs a deal-breaker. How about each person’s ambition? Does the wife-to-be wish to have a full-fledged career and perhaps a child 15 years down the road? Does the husband-to-be want to continue in his current job that takes him out of town two weeks of every month?

It’s probably a good idea to talk over the main issues. The more things you share in common, the more points of agreement (and strength) you’ll have going in.

What if you’re married and you didn’t take the time to really sort these things out? Not to worry. It’s never too late to communicate. There is an earlier post on married couples setting goals. That will help.

A successful marriage is based on a few very key fundamentals. One of these is communication. The answer is always going to be in the area of more communication, not less.