Tension and conflict in a marriage inevitably lead to a phenomenon called triangulation. What that means is that a third person, usually a child, is unconsciously drawn into the parents' conflict as a means of diffusing it. In other words, a wife who feels angry with her distant husband might compensate by becoming closer to her son.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I have been married for 27 years and have three children and two grandchildren. For the past four years, I have had nothing but difficulty with each of my children. My 22-year-old son is spoiled and abusive and one of my daughters stole $6,000 from me while she was pregnant. My eldest daughter lies to me in order to get what she wants, but I have to overlook her behavior since I want to continue to have a relationship with her children.
My friend Elaine is 36 years old but she has not yet learned to sit. She can stand, occasionally, but generally, she's in motion. She is chasing her two-year-old, wiping chocolate off her four-year-old daughter's lovely face, or teaching her seven-year-old to ride a bike or her nine-year-old to jump rope. She is outside with them all afternoon, or inside, baking or doing projects. When the kids go to sleep, Elaine cleans or paints something. Thursday nights, she cooks two full meals (feasts, really) for her frequent weekend guests.
Losing a parent, at any age, is difficult and painful. It clearly marks the "end of innocence" for us as children. Our aloneness and vulnerability become painfully clear. Most of us face this emptiness as a natural consequence of our own aging process. If we are lucky, the tragedy and loss of a parent is forestalled until we have created alternate sources for unconditional love. That often helps us to put the pain into some sort of acceptable perspective. However, when this type of loss occurs prematurely, there is often no opportunity for reflection, or guides willing and available to help instruct us in a healthy mourning process.
It was strange growing up with a mother who was a healer. For one thing, when I got sick she never took me to a doctor. Instead, she offered to do Therapeutic Touch on me. In Therapeutic Touch the healer waves her hands over your body, about six inches away, and "clears the blocked energy fields." Lying in bed, moaning with the flu, I would snarl, "No, I don't want a healing. I want a box of tissues, some aspirin and a bowl of chicken soup.
Q Dear Dr. Sylvia, While visiting my 29-year-old son recently, I realized that he may have ADD. He still has difficulty paying attention when someone is talking, his eyes drift around the room, and he often interrupts the person who is speaking, asking questions completely off the subject. When he was in kindergarten, his teacher told me that he daydreamed and didn't pay attention in class. His second-grade teacher told me I should get my son drum lessons or tap dancing classes because he couldn't sit still. All throughout his growing years, he watched a lot of TV, played with his Star Wars toys, and had difficulty making friends.
I am so glad I found this web site. I am in a terrible situation. My husband is a "loud," yelling person. He thinks that this kind of discipline works. It just makes things worse in our home. We have two children. Our son is 12 and our daughter is 11. The yelling has been going on for years and now our children yell, especially our son. There is so much anger in the home. I am looking into family therapy for my children and myself. My spouse will not go. I have spoken to my husband numerous times before about this problem.
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