Archive for May 23rd, 2007

May 23, 2007

Attraction to a co-worker: should I tell him….?

by Rod Smith

READER: I am feeling very attracted to a co-worker. This attraction has not gone anywhere yet. I do not want to ruin my marriage. In the interests of honesty should I tell this man about my feelings to deflate the attraction?

ROD: Absolutely not – your feelings of attraction to this man are not about this man, in fact, (unless he is encouraging you) your feelings have nothing to do with him!

Here’s the axiom: You have the feeling – you have the problem.

If you are going to express this to anyone, in an attempt to “deflate the attraction,” it ought to be your husband. Such a conversation, were it to occur, must be handled with great care. Tread carefully. It takes great maturity for a couple to discuss matters that appear to be undermining their primary relationship.

May 23, 2007

Teen has become surly — and hardly talks to parent anymore….

by Rod Smith

READER: My talkative, pleasant, and loving child has become a surely teenager (15) who hardly says anything to anyone at home. We have made the home friendly and open so friends would feel welcome, but she chooses to not have friends over at all. I feel shut out of her life. I miss her. I do not want to control my daughter or monitor everything she does or pry into her private life. I just want to know her. She spends hours on the phone talking with her friends and yet can find nothing to say to her parents. What can I do?

ROD: Write her a letter about everything you feel and think regarding her relationship with you. Without judging or blaming her, tell her, simply, as you have told me, that you miss her, and want to be an active parent in her life. Your truth, lovingly and simply expressed, will be the most powerful and effective way of reaching her. There are no tricks or ploys that will have enduring results. Tell your daughter of your love and your desire to know her, then give her a lot of room to respond to you in her own time and manner.  My talkative, pleasant, and loving child has become a surly teenager (15) who hardly says anything to anyone at home. We have made the home friendly and open so friends would feel welcome, but she chooses to not have friends over at all. I feel shut out of her life. I miss her. I do not want to control my daughter or monitor everything she does or pry into her private life. I just want to know her. She spends hours on the phone talking with her friends and yet can find nothing to say to her parents. What can I do?

Write her a letter about everything you feel and think regarding her relationship with you. Without judging or blaming her, tell her, simply, as you have told me, that you miss her, and want to be an active parent in her life. Your truth, lovingly and simply expressed, will be the most powerful and effective way of reaching her. There are no tricks or ploys that will have enduring results. Tell your daughter of your love and your desire to know her, then give her a lot of room to respond to you in her own time and manner.

May 23, 2007

You know you’ve met a healthy family when…

by Rod Smith

1. It is frequently difficult to tell who, if anyone, is running the show.

2. There is a lot of noise and laughter.

3. The children sometimes form a healthy alliance against the parents, and the children often get their way.

4. There are frequent conflicts.

5. Differences are embraced, even encouraged.

6. Healthy families generate a degree of chaos almost everywhere they go. It takes a lot of energy to get the family to do anything together, as a group, because everyone is so busy with “outside-the-family” activities.

7. While such families intend differently, they are seldom on time for anything. They change their minds at the last moment and do something quite unexpected.

8. Roles and rules are not set in stone. Negotiation skills are highly valued.

9. Hurtful words and actions are avoided but quickly repaired when necessary.

10. The parents have a life together that frequently excludes the children.