Posts tagged ‘parents’

August 6, 2015

A note to dads….

by Rod Smith

I’ve heard these themes (these are not actual quotations) time and again from young people. The spin varies depending culture and economic status.

  • I wanted my father to talk with me – not only teach me or tell me what he expected or to tell me his stories from the past that seemed like ancient history to me – but to engage with me.
  • I wanted a dad, not just a sports coach – although I loved it when he coached me sports.
  • Even though I was trying to be very masculine and self-sufficient I needed to know my dad had my back.
  • Sometimes it felt as if my father was really trying to get close to me but that he didn’t know how – like he was afraid of me. I only know that now – I couldn’t see it then.
  • All I wanted was for my parents to be friends – the divorce didn’t stop the fighting.
  • When my parents were friends everything was hopeful about life – when they fought, even over the smallest things, it would feel like my life was falling apart.
  • “The thing I remember the most was when he’d ask my mother to leave the cooking up to him and to me – those are the times I really treasure.” (Actual quotation)
August 4, 2015

Terrible twos…..

by Rod Smith

“I am dealing with the so-called ‘terrible twos’ but mine seems to be worst than most – she has regular temper tantrums, she screams in public places, stamps her feet when she doesn’t get what she wants. Please help. How long does this last?”

See your pediatrician and relate everything you have related to me (and I am sure there’s more). There may be something else going on other than what people commonly refer to as the “terrible tows.”

Many of these behaviors last for as long as a parent is willing to tolerate them. I know many parents (myself included) who simply refused to allow children of any age to misbehave and the children for the most part, responded and did not routinely engage in the behavior you describe.

While my children were far from perfectly behaved they certainly, even at two, knew better than to engage in such outbursts.

That said, as I reflect, I recall nicknaming a brief period when each boy was thee the “thunderous threes” – but that did not last. I was very clear about what would be acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Stand up to your child – it may take a few meltdowns, but I believe it is a battle worth winning.

July 28, 2015

Mothering Ends

by Rod Smith

“My son (23) seldom talks to me anymore. We used to be very close in his young years. He’s cut me out and it is very painful for me. He talks a little to my husband but it doesn’t seem to bother my husband too much. How do I get him to trust me again?”

Mothering ends.

Yes, you will be his mother forever but the acts of mothering him have ended – he’s apparently made that decision.

When the mother (or the father) needs to provide mothering (or fathering) more than the adult son or daughter wants or needs, there is a problem (for the parent).

Your adult son and everything about his future is in his hands.

It will be a good thing for him (and you) if he included you in his circle but he has clearly decided he needs more space than you were ready for.

This is one of the essential reasons I have encouraged parents to have a full life OUTSIDE of their babies and children from DAY ONE.

This said, I believe your son will return and include you in his life – once he’s shown himself that he is capable of designing his life on his own.

December 7, 2008

A challenge to dads: read this to your sons and daughters….

by Rod Smith

dsc_06421. I am fully equipped for the task of being your dad. I have what it takes to love, encourage, discipline, and help you to find the most productive and fulfilling track for your life.
2. Quite apart from its significant impact upon you, I will continue to respect and speak well of your mother no matter what circumstances arise or already exist between us.
3. While it may not always appear as such to you, I have your highest interests at heart.
4. I want you to be more successful than I am; to out-pace me, to go higher, further than I have in every way and in every good and worthwhile endeavor that has ever captured my attention.
5. Where I have failed, I want you to succeed. Where I have shortcomings, I want you to be strong. Where I am ill tempered I hope you will be patient. I want you to be a better person than I am.
6. I will love without manipulating, I will guide you without dominating, and I will correct without intimidating.
7. I will love, accept and support you at every stage of your life and eagerly await the day that you will be fully adult, and we are capable of being close friends.

January 30, 2008

I don’t want my parents smoking in my home….

by Rod Smith

“My parents are heavy smokers and I don’t want them smoking in my home. I am Biblically constrained to obey my parents and therefore feel I cannot ask them not to smoke when they visit me. Please help.” (Letter shortened)

You are an adult and therefore you are not “Biblically constrained to obey” your parents. Children are commanded in Scripture to “obey” their parents – and you are no longer a child. You, an adult, are to honor your parents and I’d suggest you could honor your parents while also requesting your mother and father to not smoke in your home.

Go ahead: speak up! It is your home and you are the one who must live with the lingering odors. An adult son or daughter who can engage in adult-to-adult conversations with his or her parents is indeed behaving in an honorable manner!

I am “constrained” declare that the Bible certainly does not expect any child to be blindly obedient to a toxic parent, and therefore be submitted to danger or abuse or unacceptable behavior of any kind. Integral to honoring anyone, is the ability to stand up to that person and refuse to be manipulated or intimidated, especially in the name of love or obedience.

January 14, 2008

A woman writes, after ending her affair…..

by Rod Smith

“Wow! I happened to fall upon this site and I am so amazed at all the responses on this matter. I am not proud of what I am about to say but I fell in love with a married man. It started out as a professional relationship, but he flirted and pursued me and eventually I relented.

I believed him when he said, “nothing would change between us professionally.”

I believed him when he said “I have never done this before”….but little clues led me to believe different.

The fact that when his wife called him on his cell and he answered (while I was present) he would look me straight in the eye and not act nervously at all. Another time (I tested this) by hugging him while he was conversing with her, and he did not wince, or push me away at all!

So, either, he really hated her, or he is very used to this situation.

I wised up and left this relationship. She caught on, and I could tell that she had dealt with this before. She wasn’t even angry, it was more like: “Here we go again.”

I feel sorry for her. He is (so-called) “high profile.”

He makes a good living and they have several young kids. It hurt to leave, because I did love him. I probably still do,…but bottom line is it was so wrong!

One doesn’t intentionally try to get into these situations….at least I didn’t….it just happened, and like a fool I fell for his charm.

Don’t be stupid like I was…..realize…that if he really loved you. He would leave her for you….but then…..”buyer beware”….you just might get what you wished for! Hmmmm………? No Thanks. I don’t want to spend MY marriage looking over my shoulder and babysitting my husband…..just like it has been stated previously….if he did it to her? What is to stop him from doing it to you? What makes you better? You are NOT the mother of his children, you do NOT own property together, you do NOT have a history together….so why wouldn’t he cheat on you too?? Just an FYI….take it from someone who knows….

Here’s an update: AFTER I broke it off with him I ran into a girl at a nightclub and she told he that he had sex with one of her co-workers! Now who would have thought?”

This comment was left on the article found here:

December 9, 2007

Woman seeks guidance from other women….

by Rod Smith

Here’s a letter from a woman seeking help from other women. Please Email me with your suggestions:

“Until yesterday I was having an affair with a married man with children. I never pursed him. He pursued me like a wild man. He called me over 20 times a day. I caved in. Throughout our affair he told me how his wife didn’t like to make love. He said the fire was out. He liked to make love a lot every day. A few weeks ago his black book fell out of his pocket and I found it after he was gone. I thumbed through it and discovered his wife is pregnant. When he came back and asked me if I had looked at it. I lied. He has clearly said he and his wife were done having children. He is selfish and was expecting me to continue the affair even after all this. Has he lost his mind! I am so sorry to have ever gotten involved. Should I contact his wife and come clean or should I keep my silence? What would a wife want to know? Please if there are any wives in this situation: tell me what you would want me to do.

November 11, 2007

My wife and best friend had an affair…..

by Rod Smith

“My wife (15 years) and my best friend of (45 years) had an affair. It was sexual relationship for 5 years. I finally realized what had happened three years after the fact. I find myself in a situation: Do I confront both my wife and my friend? Do I tell everyone about the affair? Do I suggest his wife and I do the same in retaliation? I know that retaliation is not helpful and will only create larger problems. Living with the knowledge by myself is increasingly difficult. My friend and my wife (whom I deeply love) have betrayed me. At this juncture, she seems to be unaware that I know and does not seem to be remorseful enough to ask for forgiveness. Of course, why would she? It makes more sense to deny at all costs.”

The affair has ended but your marriage has not ended. Gently, kindly, individually (not together) and in a somewhat public setting — let (only) your wife and friend know, that you know, what has occurred. Keep details to a minimum.

Do not let your wife or your friend know you will talk individually to both parties.

Such conversations would be an act of love, courage and growth, on your part, and you’d be beginning the process of defining the (personal) hell out of yourself.

Do not look for a discussion with each person, or even for an apology – have the singular goal of letting each person know you know.

November 3, 2007

When counseling will be most effective….

by Rod Smith

I am listening....

I am listening....

Conditions under which counseling or therapy will be of most value….

1. Neither client nor therapist exaggerates therapist’s abilities or the client’s condition.
2. Therapist sees role as helping client steer toward a more productive, healthy future.
3. Client sees the “big picture” over the “long haul” rather than immediate relief in the “here and now.” (Patience, patience, patience).
4. Client and therapist maintain a sense of humor (a sure indication of health) while facing life’s inevitable challenges. Not everything can or will be better no matter how much therapy you throw at it!
5. Client and therapist call forth the client’s strengths and the innate human desire for adventure, rather than engage in the seemingly endless pursuit to understand a client’s pathological history, weaknesses, parents’ weaknesses, and debilitating reasonable, and unreasonable fears.
6. Therapist and client understand the limited benefits of empathy in exchange for the overwhelming benefits of challenge and adventure.
7. Client realizes that psychological insight without action (acting upon the insight) is a waste of money, time and useful therapeutic process. Sometimes a person has to actually DO something rather than be filled with insight about what needs to be done.
8. Client is willing to increase the ability to tolerate necessary pain (both within self and within others) and resist the understandable pressure to alleviate the very pain essential for growth to occur.
9. Therapist challenges the client repeatedly toward self-definition (to grow up!) in the face of life’s natural obstacles.

Conditions under which counseling or therapy will be of little or no value…

Time and again I hear “If I could just get him/her to see a counselor” as if a counselor can work magic to heal and solve all personal and relationship problems. Few trained counselors would see themselves as possessing such unrealistic powers. Here are some conditions (there are others) under which even counseling will be of little or no value:

1. When a person is forced, or cornered, or manipulated into seeing a counselor.
2. When a person has no motivation for change.
3. When a person agrees to see a counselor because he/she believes counseling will “fix” someone else in the family.
4. When the person’s mind is already made up over and issue (a pending divorce, continued involvement in an affair) and goes to counseling so he/she can say he/she tried it and it was no help.
5. When a person is resistant to getting help (doesn’t see the need for help) and offers counselors little or no respect in the first place.
6. When the person is combative from the outset and sees the therapeutic hour as time to show how clever (or funny, or morose, or argumentative, or stubborn, or intellectual) he/she can be.
7. When the person has already made up his/her mind that there’s no hope (”we’ve tried it all before”) or that counseling is a waste of time and money.

October 6, 2007

My elderly parents are putting strangers ahead of family…

by Rod Smith

“My elderly parents sold their house and are moving. We offer help but my mom says, ‘we have everything under control.’ The next day she says, ‘we could do with some help.’ Until the new owners take occupation my parents go to the house to switch lights on and off and close curtains. Running two households is draining for them. I asked my mom if my family could buy the garden tools and garden furniture. She said the new owners need them. So strangers suddenly mean more to my parents than family. For the first time I have been ugly to my mom. I told her that she should have offered things that they did not need to her family first, before she gave to strangers. I have been feeling sad for having words with mom and more sad that strangers mean more to her than family.” (Edited)

Your resentment over the new owners, garden tools and garden furniture is misplaced. I’d suggest your sense of being overlooked has a longer history than the sale of your parents’ house. Their move is shifting your world! This is something worth uncovering. Who gets an old hoe, rake or lawnmower is no measure of love! Rejoice that your parents have the wherewithal to do all they do.