Posted in comfortzone, coronavirus, emotion regulation, grief, isolation, loneliness, motherhood, parenting, social distancing

Feeling the Uncomfortable Grief

It’s late Sunday night and I am rewriting this blog for the fourth time.

I’ve been realizing today just how sad and scared and helpless I feel. I’ve been feeling frozen – sitting somewhere in the middle of the exhaustion of being stuck at home trying to work from home with my two small children, feeling envy towards my single friends who are enjoying their free time, feeling overwhelmed by the toll this virus is taking on crisis workers, and helplessness in knowing that there is so much about the future that I cannot control.

I have been frozen because I have been putting off feeling grief.

Scott Berinato, a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review, wrote an article two weeks ago entitled, “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief.” In his article, Scott interviews David Kessler, “the world’s foremost expert on grief.” I won’t list all of his qualifications here, but David is definitely the guy I would want to be talking to right now about grief.

The first question Berinato asks Kessler is to clarify whether or not what we are all feeling is actually grief. Here is Kessler’s response:

“Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”

“We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”  This is the strangest part of the crisis for me. I am used to seeing, talking to, and helping people in crisis all of the time. I am not a stranger to experiencing crisis myself. But this new experience in which we all feeling and experiencing crisis together is a little disorienting.

Kessler describes this kind of grief as anticipatory grief, or “that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain.”

There are certainly many uncertainties about the world now that this virus exists within it and Kessler observes: “I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.”

On some level, I’ve known that the grief I am now allowing myself to feel has been coming since the beginning. I have seen the losses that have already been accumulating – from the loss of hugs to the loss of lives – and I know that many more are to come. But until now, I haven’t really let myself feel it. And I’m glad that I finally have.  

Kessler continues:

“There is something powerful about naming this as grief. It helps us feel what’s inside of us. So many have told me in the past week, “I’m telling my coworkers I’m having a hard time,” or “I cried last night.” When you name it, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through… If we allow the feelings to happen, they’ll happen in an orderly way, and it empowers us. Then we’re not victims.”

So here I am, acknowledging and naming what I am feeling it and sharing it with you. Feeling what is inside of me and hoping that it will empower both you and me to keep feeling and to keep moving forward.

Together.

With you,

Selena

To read the full article: Berinato, S. (2020, March 23). That discomfort you’re feeling is grief. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief.  

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Posted in comfortzone, coronavirus, emotion regulation, isolation, loneliness, motherhood, parenting, social distancing

The Waiting Game

The last few weeks have been filled with uncertainty, fear, restlessness, and change. COVID-19 has defined much of our everyday lives, and we are uncertain how much longer it will change our world. Over the past two weeks, we have addressed how to best parent through this pandemic and cope with emotions produced from thought patterns centering on COVID-19. Now, over two weeks into this virus drastically changing our world, how do we wait in a season of unknowns?

Unknowns

How much longer will my life be like this?

How much worse will this get?

Will this affect my family or loved ones?

When will I be able to work again?

How much longer can I afford to go without getting paid?

When will the kids go back to school?

Will the big life events we are missing take place at all?

When will I feel settled?

WHEN WILL IT ALL BE OVER?

Waiting in Uncertainty

We all want to know answers to those questions. Thinking of those questions evokes many thoughts and emotions. All those emotions are okay. What may help us wait in this uncertainty, is accepting that we do not and will not know. We may be able to breathe a little bit more if so and rest in the uncertainty.

Many of us loathe waiting in line in the grocery store or at a drive through on a normal day, so waiting it out at home is very difficult. Just in the time that I started writing this blog post until I finished, the “shelter at home” order was extended two and a half weeks. More waiting! All of this waiting can be overwhelming and lonely. How can we wait with purpose? Let’s remember this time of unimaginable waiting and not living our lives as normal is a season. Seasons change – they do not last forever. Just because we are not living normally does not mean we cannot fully live.

Choose a Word

I am working on using this season to work on some things and define this “shelter at home” with words that can help me. For those of you barely surviving to a few of you who may be thriving, I recommend this. Maybe the word is “peace, surrender, rest, mindful, or present.” With so much going on in the world and in our cities, we do not want to miss what is going on in our homes. Our kids are feeling it.

A few nights ago when I told my four year old we were having spaghetti for dinner, he told me, “Mom, the spaghetti got cancelled.” He’s heard me say school, church, a field trip, his sister’s birthday party, visiting with family and friends, and outings to the park are cancelled. His four-year-old brain has interpreted this to mean so many of the good things in his life, including spaghetti are cancelled!

I share that story to remind all of us that we want to remember our kids are adjusting too. I do not want my own stress of keeping two kids four and under while working from home to define this next month for me. I want the word(s) I choose to define this season. There is a C. S. Lewis quote that would also be good for us to remember, as our kids are home full time. “Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the most important work.”  

Waiting with you,

Andrea

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Posted in coronavirus, counseling, emotion regulation, motherhood, parenting, social distancing, therapy

All the Feels: practicing emotion regulation in a time of uncertainty

All the feels.  All of them… or so it seems.  After the rapid changes, cancellations, social-distancing, decision-making, scrambling to meet work and school requirements, rushing to gather food and supplies that could be necessary, and facing potential loss of job and income, it’s normal to be left feeling all the feels.  This pandemic has left us all in uncharted waters.  And for many, that means responding to day to day life scenarios in less than helpful ways.  Tempers shorten, patience withers away, frustration boils over, grace is in short supply, and peace remains just out of reach.  When experiencing an influx of emotions, we must harness them and use them for the wonderful and helpful tool they are, lest they run amok and cause unintended damage.  

Emotions themselves are not bad, though they can often feel that way.  Emotions are intended to serve as a check-engine light for the soul.  When the check engine light appears on your car, you schedule a time for someone to take a look under the hood. To ignore it is to risk further, and much more costly, damage to your vehicle.  Emotions are our check-engine lights.  When they’re firing off, it’s time to take a look under the hood, lest we endure more costly and long term damage.  So what should you do when you notice your check-engine light is on? Ask yourself these three diagnostic questions to get things back on track. Free worksheets are available below to help guide you and your child through this process.

Adult Emotion Check-In Worksheet

Feelings Check-In Worksheet for kids

What are you feeling?  

You have probably experienced a plethora of emotions over the last week of rapid change and global concern.  Don’t leave the emotions swirling around unnamed.  Take a moment to tame your emotions by naming what you’re feeling.  By labeling a feeling, our emotional response is calmed and we gain control and insight to move forward. 

What are you thinking?  

Emotional reactions are most often a product of the thoughts we allow to take up residence in our minds.  Have you ever willed yourself to do or not do something? How did you do that? How did you create the inner determination to accomplish what you set out to accomplish?  You thought your way to it.  You changed your thought from, “I have to have that piece of cake,” to “I will not eat that cake.  I will not eat that cake.  I will not eat that cake!”  The same is true for any emotion.  They are born of our thoughts.  After you identify what you’re feeling, take a moment to investigate what thought gave birth to that emotion. 

What can you change? 

Now that you know the source of your feeling, you can more easily regulate your emotions by examining the thought. Once you’ve identified the thought, ask yourself, Is this thought true, helpful, realistic, and kind? If not, consider alternative thoughts or how you might modify the through so that is true, helpful, realistic, and kind. 

Taking the time to do an emotional check-in can make a dramatic difference.  If you notice yourself cringing at the thought of writing out your thoughts and feelings in this format, then I urge you: journal, draw, paint, talk to a friend (at least 6 feet away, for now), just find some way that allows you to regulate “all the feels” and navigate the waters ahead.  If you experience higher anxiety than most, it might be helpful to take breaks from media, your phone, and even thinking about the current pandemic.  Set times to break from the information when appropriate and enjoy your family, nature, or being creative.  Laugh and be active.  Enjoy the life that is yours today.

Navigating all the feels with you,

Tiffany Raley, M.A.

Resources

Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.). Guilford Press. 

Bradberry, T. & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. San Diego: Talent Smart.

Siegel, D. J. & Bryson, T. P. (2011). The Whole-Brain Child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. New York: Random House. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Five Things about Parenting During COVID-19 Crisis From a Therapist

The world seems to have turned upside down. It feels as though we are living in a science fiction movie, waiting for a zombie outbreak to occur. My nerd is showing…moving on. This situation is unlike anything most of us have handled before as individuals, or as parents. It can be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to consider while enduring this pandemic. 

ANXIETY PRESENTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS 

The “obvious” presentation of anxiety is sweating, shaking, butterflies inside, tense muscles, and racing thoughts. However, one of most predominant impacts of anxiety, for situations like this, is irritability. Fuses are short. Snapping at your partner, friends, family and kids is very normal.

Be aware of your tone and the increased frustration as it is unconsciously seeping into your mood. Knowing to pay attention to the increase is only half of the battle, but it can be helpful to know you are not alone. It is coming from an elevated place of concern for your family and the unknown that is before us. Take a moment. Breathe. Life feels out of control, but you are still here.

YOUR CHILDREN WILL FEEL IT 

No matter their age, children can feel emotional changes. The disruption of routine will make an impact on their behavior. Some children can utilize their words to express their emotions. However, if we have difficulty identifying complex emotions, how much more will our children?

Children often feel out of control, because they have very little control. When anxiety becomes more saturated within their home and life, children often act out. 

This may look like more disrespect and disobedience, or more neediness. They may insist that they cannot do something on their own that they have been doing for many months. This tells you that they need a minute. A moment of your attention, and maybe a hug. Our children need to know that we see them and we are taking care of them.

IT IS OK TO TAKE A BREAK

Things are spinning. The days are moving swiftly and the information is always changing. Working parents are scrambling without school, and there is a panic regarding toilet paper (seriously guys.. put some back). It is ok to need a breath. Start bedtime a little earlier, let them watch a little more screen time, give them crayons in a high chair, or set up that iPad game. 

If you are unable to regulate yourself and take a moment to engage in your coping skills, you will be unable to help your children. This is out of the normal, usual routines will not necessarily work. Give grace to yourself. Having a situation that increases anxiety can cause suppressed anxiety to surface. It is a difficult time. You are a wonderful parent that loves your kids. Needing a break and giving yourself permission to take one, can actually benefit your household.

THIS CAN BE A GREAT LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

Children observe. They observe everything and they see your emotions. Seeing the adults in their life feeling and expressing their emotions is not a negative. Often, parents assume that their kids should not see their anxiety, anger, sadness, etc because they will know something is wrong.

News flash. They know. When they are able to observe your emotions, it gives them permission to experience their own. Also, they can see you utilizing coping skills. This can be a great opportunity for children to see you take a deep breath after you’ve yelled at them, apologizing to your partner or them for losing your temper, utilizing music or stretching to loosen tense muscles, or any variety of coping skills.

Having children learn how to cope with emotions by observing their parents? That is more important than I can emphasize. It can be helpful to find some coping skills you can engage in as a family. This can be finding kid yoga on a streaming platform, dancing to music, mediation, coloring, or even deep breathing together. Teach them that emotions are ok to feel and there are ways to manage them. 

TALK TO THEM ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON

We try to shield our children. We want to keep them innocent and free from any concern. However, like I’ve stated before, they know something is happening. It is important to tell them in an age appropriate way, but it is ok to have a conversation. This is especially true due to schools being closed. 

Also, getting information from their parents is better than their friends or the internet. You are able to be calm and give them facts rather than hysteria. Here is a link that can be helpful in starting the conversation: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus

Remember, it is okay to be concerned. It is okay to be anxious. It is okay to contemplate hoarding toilet paper. The important aspect of parenting during this time is that how you resolve and cope with your emotions, can be a positive influence for your children. You can reach out for help. Many therapists are offering telehealth counseling for a limited time due to the virus. Also, FaceTime with friends, have virtual playdates and stay connected to others. We are a community. Social distancing does not have to mean isolation.

Washing hands together, 

Allyson

Image Credits Creator: 4X-image Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Posted in counseling, motherhood, parenting, therapy

Risky Business

If you decide to see a therapist, there is a good chance that their paperwork will include a section called “Potential Risks of Therapy.”

Risks of therapy? I wasn’t expecting that the first time I went to see a therapist. I had heard so many positive stories about therapy before I went that I hadn’t even thought about the risks until I read his paperwork.

Almost everything in life includes some element of risk, from driving your car to backpacking to using your credit card at a gas station. Most of the time, it is healthy for us to know the potential benefits and risks of an activity and have the chance to decide for ourselves what we are willing to risk.

Therapy is no different. There are countless benefits to therapy, but there are risks as well. If you have decided that therapy might be right for you or for someone in your family, there are a few potential risks that you should be aware of beforehand.

Vulnerability Hangover

Coming to therapy takes a lot of courage.

No, seriously. Like a lot of courage.

Even before you walk into the room for your first session, you have to be courageous. It takes courage to sit with yourself and decide to ask for help. It takes great bravery to sit in front of a stranger and choose not to impress them, but to let them see the messiest bits of yourself, your family, your marriage, your kids. It takes hard work to break patterns and to start to interact with the world a little differently.

And if you’ve ever had to be braver or more courageous than you wanted to be, then you know all too well the feeling that comes afterwards.

A vulnerability hangover is a gut-wrenching feeling that happens the moment we decide to get real about who we are, what we want, and how we express it. –

Andria Park, Shine

Brene Brown first coined the phrase “vulnerability hangover” and it’s the perfect term to describe the mix of fear and exhaustion that can sometimes come with going to therapy. It’s kind of like the mental health version of going to a class at the gym after you haven’t worked out in two years. It’s messy, it’s hard, and it’s uncomfortable, but if you put in the time and the effort, then you know it will make a difference.

There may be some sessions that leave you feeling like a million bucks, but that isn’t always the case. Therapy probably won’t be easy, so give yourself the space to rest before or after sessions as needed.

There Might be Disadvantages of Change

Weird, right? But it’s true. Sometimes the problems we encounter are so big and take up so much space in our lives and in our families that they actually mask other problems in our lives.

For example, you may love your child so much that many of your conversations and interactions with your spouse center around a child in your family who is struggling with severe anxiety. This is a good thing; you are both committed to helping your child. However, what happens when all of your hard work pays off and you see your child improve? You might discover that your spouse has been struggling with depression or that you have been struggling with anxiety as well. You were both ‘fine’ before, but in reality your child’s problem was simply masking yours. One of the risks of therapy is discovering – and now having to deal with – problems that you did not realize were there before.

When or if this happens, it might actually feel like therapy made things worse. If you’ve seen improvement in the issue that brought you to therapy, then this probably isn’t the case. A good option would be to talk to your therapist so that you can decide together your next best step.

You Might Encounter Stigma

Popular culture in the US has developed increasingly positive attitudes towards therapy in the past several decades, but the stigma that only “crazy” people or people who “really need help” go to therapy still exist. I’ve had clients complain that things “finally got so bad that we actually need therapy now,” and others who feel like they have to keep therapy a secret from their families or risk being shamed. If the people you are closest to do not support you or your family going to therapy, then the reality is that reaching out to a professional for help may put you at the risk of feeling isolated. The good news is that there are many support groups, both online and in person, where you can find support from others who are going through similar situations.

Remember, there is no shame in getting help. We all need help at some points in our lives – that’s why many therapists also see their own therapists too.

Results are Not Guaranteed

One of the more common fears about therapy is that it won’t work. I get it. Therapy can be expensive, you may have to take time off of work, get a babysitter for your kids (or your other kids if you are taking one of them to therapy), or say no to other commitments. If you add the fact that many people do not seek therapy until they are in crisis, then therapy becomes a high stakes experience and the idea of it not working becomes truly terrifying.

The reality is, though, is that not every therapist or type of therapy is a good fit for you or your family. And sometimes, you might not realize that until you’ve made both time and financial commitments.

If this happens, please talk to your therapist. Almost every therapist will be familiar with the experience of feeling “stuck” with a client, but we can’t help unless you tell us what is and isn’t working with therapy. There are usually different methods that we can try, or we can always refer you to another therapist. Another therapist might have more expertise in what we’re working on in therapy or might simply be a better personality fit. A good therapist won’t be offended if you ask for a referral – our goal is to help you, and sometimes the therapist you are currently seeing just isn’t the best fit.

Another way that you can help protect yourself against this risk is to advocate for yourself. Do some research online, find online support groups, or talk to other professionals. Call a local therapist for a consult or do some digging into what kind of therapy works best for what you hope to accomplish in therapy. It’s okay to ask your therapist questions before you commit to therapy and it’s okay to be picky.

Whether you decide that therapy is right for you or not, it is always brave to want to grow. And that’s always a good place to start.

Being brave with you,

Selena

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Posted in coparenting, counseling, home, motherhood, parenting

Parents, We See You

Parenting is often our most challenging role of all. Of course it is filled with sweet and rewarding moments. It can also bring us to our knees and stretch us more than we thought possible. Parenting is a journey that is not linear and differs for all of us. This post is for all of the parents and caregivers doing the best you can. We hope you resonate with one or more of these statements and know that as we write, we are writing to all of you.

To the parent coordinating the multifaceted care for your child with a disability.

To the parent struggling to make ends meet.

To the adoptive parent.

To the parent who is praying the school does not call today with another negative behavior report about your child.

To the parent watching a child make a series of bad decisions and feeling helpless.

To the parent not on the same page as the child’s other parent.

To the foster parent.

To the parent who has lost his/her spouse.

To the parent crying for answers and seeking to understand your child.

To the parent who goes to bed feeling like a failure almost every night and senses the judgment of others.

To the parent struggling to control his/her emotions while juggling the stressors of life.

To the parent going through a divorce and in the midst of the grief and pain that goes with the changes divorce brings.

To the parent working tirelessly to help your child see his/her incredible worth.

To the parent watching your child struggle socially, academically, or in any ability.

To the parent who is barely able to take care of his/her basic needs due to having little ones at home.

To the parent grieving the unspeakable loss of child(ren).

To the parent who feels like he/she is not enough at work or at home.

To the parent who recently moved and is trying to get settled in a new community and help your children connect with new peers.

To the parent who has watched your child make great progress.

To the parent who is suffering from a physical and/or mental illness and fighting to have the energy to parent your children.

To the parent whose child has suffered trauma.

To the parent who really needs a vacation.

To all of these parents and so many more in circumstances that we have not mentioned. WE SEE YOU. We know that this parenting journey is full of bumps, twists, and turns. You may not have chosen the circumstances that you are in or the suffering you and your children have endured. None of us are immune from hard seasons or times of suffering. I wish we were. I wish I could make whatever you are going through better.

I told someone last week that I could not do my job as a counselor if I did not have hope that things could get better for people. You may not be able to change your circumstances or season of life, but there is hope. Many of us can benefit from taking a step back and doing this parenting role one day at a time. It is overwhelming to be responsible for the kids we have been entrusted with, especially when we want to do things well. You are enough. You may not feel like enough and no one is perfect, but you were chosen to be your child/children’s parent. Rest in that and pray for grace for the moment.

If you are at a loss, burnt out, and cannot even process life, counseling may be a great next step for you. Let a professional help guide and provide clarity for you.

Praying for grace for the moment,

Andrea

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Posted in coparenting, home, motherhood, parenting, Relatinships, Uncategorized, values

Five Things I Learned from My Parents

Children learn more from watching than hearing. Let’s face it, you remember more about childhood from the lens of what you observed and experienced than what was told to you. As we finish our relationship series, I wanted to reflect on the relationship you have with your partner and how it reflects to you children. All children absorb beliefs through witnessing the relationship between their caregivers, especially if it is seen daily through a domestic situation.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents that were not only together, but also very much in love. They still are and much of ingrained relational expectations are a result of all I experienced. Here are five things I learned about relationships though observing my parents.

VALUING TIME IS IMPORTANT

Date nights when you have small children is not always feasible due to time or finances. Some of my favorite memories surround getting to move the “small TV” to the back bedrooms, eat pizza and spend time with my siblings. In my mind, that was a treat and it is only now that I recognize its significance. I knew that it was so my parents could have date night, but I can now reflect on the intentionality of their decision.

As a parent I see that set expectation and understand how hard it must have been to follow through. It takes planning and dedication to making spouse time a priority when life with kids is exhausting. They would eat dinner and talk. In some ways, there was a security in knowing they spent time together. That they liked to spend time together.

ENCOURAGE YOUR SPOUSE

I do not ever remember hearing something negative said about my parents by one another. They did not bad mouth each other and did not tolerate anyone speaking ill of the other. Even when they did not agree, only body language would be the indicator and the occasional frustrated tone.

The biggest point of this experience was knowing they cared about one another and respected one another. They would praise each other to us kids and could be heard recognizing something positive the other one did. They were a team and it was obvious.

BE INTERESTED IN THEIR LIFE

Dinner time was spent together and my parents talked to each other as well as to the kids. It did not revolve around only kid conversation. They discussed their days. Many of the acronyms used due to my dad’s engineering job went over my head and probably my Mother’s. However, she would be attentive and ask questions. Genuinely interested in his day.

In the same way, my dad would ask about her day. All of my growing up years, my mother stayed home with four kids. It can be easy to overlook a stay at home mother’s day. However, he was interested in what she did, what she was learning in bible study, her thoughts on many things. He showed that he valued who she was and cared about her life.

RESOLVE YOUR ARGUMENTS

My parents seldom fought in front of us. We knew they fought, as stated before, due to observed coolness, but the “knock down, drag outs” were usually reserved for after bedtime (I think). However, their resolutions were obvious. We heard the apologies and saw the embraces.

This showed me that adults address their disagreements and repair a relationship disrupted by a disagreement. There was never any discomfort from hours of tension or days of frigidity between them. It was apparent that they worked hard to end fights swiftly and calmly, in a method that would strengthen their relationship.

THE RELATIONSHIP COMES FIRST

My parents made it clear that they loved their kids, but their relationship was the priority. It was evident in aligning with one another when we tried to manipulate as children do. They were always on the same page. They even made a point to always sit next to one another, no matter where we went. This was true at dinner, a movie, etc. We knew that they valued one another above anyone else.

The reality of their relationship was a stable force in my childhood. How they treated one another was important in ways I may not realize. As a kid, the world is big and unpredictable. However, due to how my parents handled their marriage, home was a safe place. How they treated one another influenced not only my growing up years, but also how I know to treat my partner. This ripple effect will hopefully shape my children, in the same way I have been molded.

Learning by observing,

Allyson

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.