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Jackie Goldman, M.S.

Jackie Goldman, MS, a guidance counselor, has been working with adolescents for 25 years and has joyfully raised four of her own.

QHow do you communicate with teenagers who keep seeing each other in a bad light? Two of my children, aged 17 and 19, attack each other verbally every day. There is lots of blame and negativity and it rips me apart. I try to teach them to give the benefit of doubt, but they consistently assume each other's intentions are bad. How can I effectively help my teenage siblings to get along with each other? Guest Expert, Jackie Goldman, M.S., answers: My feeling is that you cannot play the role of judge and jury.

Having "survived" teenage syndrome of two older children, I am now well into my 15-year-old daughter's phase. Of course, I should know better by this time -- and of course I don't! Knowing all the pitfalls, why do I feel so depressed and at an utter loss when she: * Leaves her room in a totally destructive state. * Screams at me for no apparent reason * Takes everybody's belongings without warning and fails to return them * Treats her younger sister badly and finally... * Totally ignores me at times, with a ruthlessness that only the young can achieve. So...help! Not for HER but for ME!! How should I feel? What should I do? A desperate Mum Jackie Goldman, MS, replies: A First of all, I want to reassure you that the way you feel is completely appropriate.

QOur 16-year-old son is at boarding school and comes home on weekends. When he does, he and his 10-year-old brother fight like cats and dogs. The dinner table, which used to be a nice place with easy give-and-take, has turned into one long argument. I know this is because the little one wants the attention he's used to and the big one wants to talk to us because he's not home most of the time. How can we satisfy both their needs and end this constant fighting? A Guest Expert Jackie Goldman, MS, answers: Your children are at different stages in their lives and while it might appear that the older one doesn't need as much attention as the younger, the fact that's he's away most of the time means that when he is home, he needs more attention than other kids his age would normally need.

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