January 22, 2013
Would you like to teach your family how to handle anger in a positive way? In my book: Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, I suggest that couples write the following words on an index card and put it on the refrigerator. When they feel angry toward a family member, they get the card and read it to the person at whom they are angry. Here’s what the card says: “I’m feeling angry right now, but don’t worry. I’m not going to attack you. But I do need your help. Is this a good time to talk?” It brings a little humor into the tenseness, and it reminds me what I am not going to do—lose my temper. It also asks for help in dealing with my anger. Try it! It may become a family tradition.
January 18, 2013
Q: I want to encourage my teen daughter to not make the same mistakes I made. What are some good starting points?
A: I think it’s healthy when a parents looks back and realizes that when they were teenagers they did some things that were detrimental to their development. Certainly, we would like out children to avoid that. Honesty, I think, is a good policy. That is, be straight forward and honest. You could say to them, “You know, I made a serous mistake when I was your age and I’ve never told you this but want to tell you because I do not want you to do the same thing I did.” If that teenager feels loved by you and feels that you really are concerned about them, then they are likely to hear that in a possible way and you may well keep them from make the same mistake that you made.
January 17, 2013
Adults and youth alike are attracted to the young man who goes out of his way to serve others. True greatness is found in serving. No parents challenge their children to be like Hitler, while thousands challenge their children to be like Jesus. The hallmark of Jesus was service to others. Peter said of Him, “He went about doing good.” Would you like for that to be said of your children? It all begins at home. If your children hear you ask, “What can I do to help you today?” They will learn to ask the same question. As they see you experience the satisfaction of serving, they will follow your model. Service will become a way of life and your children will bless the world.
December 27, 2012
The most important building block of parent-teen relationships is love! Most parents sincerely love their teenagers, but thousands of teens do not feel loved. For most parents, it is not a matter of sincerity, but rather lack of information on how to effectively communicate love. We are so concerned about the teens behavior that we often come across as condemning. And, the teen feels rejected. When you need to instruct a teenager, make sure you speak love before you give the instructions. Give affirmation before you give information. For example, “I really appreciate the energy you spent in washing your car. It looks nice. Now, let’s be sure to keep that shiny car below the speed limit; otherwise, it will be my car for the next two days.”
December 25, 2012
You would be surprised to learn how many teens feel unloved by their parents. It’s not that the parents don’t love them. The problem is that the teen does not feel loved. When teenagers feel unloved, they are far more likely to become sexually active, start using drugs, and get involved in trouble with the law. The answer? Learn to speak the love language of your teenager. What are the five love languages? Words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Out of these five, your teen has a primary love language. If you speak it, your teen will feel loved, if you don’t the love tank will be empty. Much of the teens miss-behavior comes from an empty love tank.
December 21, 2012
Q: Every year my wife and I butt heads on whose family we’d prefer to be with. If we can’t visit both, how do we resolve this?
A: Well, you’re talking about a common holiday problem in the early years of marriage. But it sounds like you haven’t gotten it solved yet even though you’ve been married for a few years. Here’s my suggestion: decide that one year you ‘ll go to her parent’s for Thanksgiving and your parent’s for Christmas and then next year you’ll switch it. That can be a final solutions. Parents will live with that and you can learn to learn to live with it. We don’t have to be at both parents’ homes every Christmas but I think if we’re fair about it and we do it on an equal basis, you’ll find your in-laws will accept it and the two of you can accept it.
December 13, 2012
Did you wake up this morning and ask yourself: “How can I serve my spouse today?” If you did, you probably live in a healthy family. Nothing stimulates a positive family atmosphere like an attitude of service. And, if you have it, it’s contagious. Your children will pick up on it and your spouse will begin to reciprocate. Everyone takes delight in serving. Jesus said, “Whoever will be great among you, let him be your servant.” Jesus set the example. We are His followers. Tonight, let your family report on ways in which they served others today. It will focus your family on what is important. Your family can impact the world for good, and it all begins with an attitude of service.
December 6, 2012
The most essential ingredient in a healthy family is learning to serve each other. Jesus said about Himself, “I did not come to be served, but to serve.” In a healthy family, that will be the attitude of the husband, the wife, and the children. Young children want to serve. What mother has not heard these words, “Mommy, can I help you?” If the child is allowed to help, and affirmed for helping he/she will develop an attitude of service. This attitude is fostered by the model of the parents. If the child hears the father ask his wife, “How may I help you?” And, hears the mother reciprocate, the child will learn that “serving others is important in our family.” Teach your children to serve and they are on the road to greatness.
December 4, 2012
We hear a lot about dysfunctional families, but what about functional families? What does a healthy family look like? The most fundamental sign of a healthy family is an attitude of service. The husband serves the wife and she serves him. Together they serve the children and children learn to serve parents. Does that sound like your family? You don’t have to possess warm feelings for your husband in order to serve him, but you do need an intimate relationship with God. God does not want you to serve out of duty, but out of a heart that has been touched by His love. Through you, God’s love flows to bless your family. It all begins with a prayer, “Father, give me the attitude of Christ toward my family.”
November 9, 2012
Q: I took your Language Quiz online, but I still can’t ID my primary Love Language. They all seem equal to me!
A: It’s not unusual that people will sense that all five of these are important to them. It’s probably because you have received all five of them throughout your life time, and you’re not quite sure of them which one stands out, but you do feel loved.
The question is: Is your love tank full? If your spouse is speaking your love language, or if you’re single and your parents and others are speaking your love language and you feel secure, then I wouldn’t worry about it. However, if you don’t feel loved then it’s essential to discover what would make you feel loved because what would make you feel loved is your primary love language.