With Will Ross
Meaning of Life
This is where you will find my answers to questions that readers have asked me about improving the quality of their lives.
If you have a problem and would like my advice, you can , and I'll post your question and my reply on this site. Naturally, I'll ensure that any identifying information that you provide me with is not published, so you can be assured of complete confidentiality.
I have a 10 year old whose behavior has got worse recently. He is normally a good kid with a great personality, however it is getting very different lately. Any tips on 10 year olds are greatly appreciated.
Ideally, we want our kids to develop a value system that will hold them in good stead, even when we aren't around to supervise them. By far, the best value system is one where we are guided by the consequences of our behaviour.
Your son probably sees some advantages in his misbehaviour, but he hasn't thought about the full consequences. Therefore, your role as a parent needs to be educative rather than punitive.
You haven't elaborated on the type of misconduct that your son is exhibiting, but I've found that there is a general, six-step formula, that seems to work with a variety of misdemeanours.
I feel that your advice is real good, but sometimes it is not that easy to forget, or forgive the people that hurt you.
It sounds like you've had a really painful experience that has caused you great anguish. When someone else has caused this pain, it is often -as you point out - difficult to forgive and forget. And when you can't forgive, the pain and sadness linger, sometimes for the rest of your life.
The real tragedy is that you end up being hurt twice - you have two pains for the price of one. Firstly, there is the pain of the original injustice and then there is the lingering pain as you struggle to get on with the rest of your life. Meanwhile, the person who caused the initial injury remains unaffected by your ongoing suffering. You carry the burden of their behaviour - it's as though you are punishing yourself for the sins of another.
That's why learning to forgive - and yes, it is a skill that you can learn - is so important. When you forgive, you release the burden from yourself. It's not the perpetrator of your pain who benefits from your forgiveness; it's you who benefits! But as you say, it's easier said than done. So how do you forgive? Here are some tips that will get you started.
These steps get easier with practice. I wish you well.
Will, I really liked what you had to say to MJ about the troubles that she's having with her son. What advice do you have regarding raising difficult children?
Being the parent of a difficult child is a learning experience. Along the way I've read or picked up a number of tips on how to do the job better. Here are some of the ideas I've found most useful:
Please help me Will. My husband treats me badly. He is very demanding and shows no respect for the way I feel. It's getting so bad that I want to divorce him, but I'm afraid to do that. I don't have the courage to stand up to him so he walks all over me. What do you suggest?
There is quite an art to standing up to people and it takes some practice. I don't know how much you already know about assertiveness training so I'll assume that you know nothing and start at the beginning. If you already know some of this, please forgive me, I don't mean to insult you.
There are two principles involved in dealing with others they are:
The first principle is self-explanatory so let's look at the second one more closely. Principle two is all about training people to treat you well. There are three rules for training people, they are:
Rule number 1 is common courtesy and is something most of us do naturally. Rule number 2 is a bit harder because most people don't know how to ask someone to change. To ask someone to change you have to be polite, but firm. There is a simple formula for doing this that I find very useful. It has 4 steps.
Here's an example:
"When you expect me to do all the housework after I've had a long day at work (step 1), I feel hurt (step 2), because you are not taking my exhaustion into consideration (step 3). Please don't expect me to take care of everything without help from you when I have worked such long hours (step 4)".
After you have said this, you don't need to say anything more; you have already said all that needs to be said. If your husband persists, then repeat what you have just said. But do not make the mistake of saying it more than twice. If he still persists after you have twice told him how you feel, it is time to move to Rule number 3; it is time to stop talking and take action.
Rule number 3 means that you must do something that your husband doesn't like. You must make him feel bad so that he knows how you feel when he ignores your requests to treat you more considerately. It takes courage to do this because when you treat your husband badly, he will probably treat you worse. That means that you will have to treat him worse. Most people don't like using rule number three because life gets very uncomfortable, but it is the only way to get someone to change if they refuse to change after you have already asked them twice. For a while things will get very tough in your house, but eventually, one of you will either give in or move out.
I can tell you now who will win and who will give up. If you love and need your husband more than he loves and needs you, you will give in first. But if he needs you more than you need him, he will give in first.
You might decide that this option is too uncomfortable for you. If that is the case, and you are unwilling to put up with your husband's unfair treatment of you, then divorce is probably your best option. If you decide that you want to go ahead with a divorce, that will present other problems for you, such as how your family deals with it etc that you may need some help with. If you'd like further assistance, please let me know. I'm here to help.