Teenage/Parent Conflict can Cause Emotional Outbursts and Do Great Family Harm - How to Avoid Them #FamilyLife

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Parenting, Relationships, Children, Family, Values, Culture, FX777, FX777222999, Emotions, Parenthood

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Teenage/Parent Conflict can Cause Emotional Outbursts and Do Great Family Harm - How to Avoid Them

How often do we find ourselves saying painful things in the heat of the moment to those we care about that we then regret? Words that cut deep but later realize we don't really mean. But once uttered the damage is done. No matter how bad we feel about what we've said these words can never truly be retracted. So what to do about it? Well, relying on set strategies to curb irrational outbursts in these emotionally charged moments doesn't always work for by then we're out of control and it's too late. There are two ways I know to avoid this disastrous state of affairs. The first is don’t keep pressing the emotional hot button of the person that presses yours! And the second is keep in mind the heavy price others have paid for ill-considered words in the heat of the moment and learn from their mistakes. A telling example of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can make us think twice about what we choose to say to avoid a similar thing happening to us.

Let’s look at the first one of not pressing those emotional hot-buttons. For years our family has enjoyed each others’ company at the tea table. But for some reason when my eldest daughter was nineteen we began fighting with each other over trivial things to the point where everyone ended up being upset and just wanted to get out of there. The friendly atmosphere we’d be used to for years was shattered, everyone ate their food with pent up bad feelings and left the table as soon as they were finished. It got to the stage where I would dread tea time and my relationship with my daughter was at rock bottom, not to mention the affect on the other members of our family. It just wasn’t fair. I couldn’t even open my mouth without her hitting back with some cutting remark. Then it dawned on me that I was part of the problem. The tone of my responses to her comments and the hurtful things I’d find myself flinging at her just added fuel to the flames. And of course she’d retaliate in kind. The whole thing was spiraling out of control.

Here’s how I turned the situation around. Now this took some effort! I decided that I would let the things that normally upset me pass me by and not make a big deal about them. I tried very hard to keep whatever I said positive and not hit back when a barb came my way. Mostly I just kept my mouth shut. And guess what? Almost overnight things began to change for the better. But it’s an ongoing thing I have to keep working on for I now realize that I am the one who controls the way I behave and think, which in turn has an influence on others. The wonderful thing is I can now sit back and learn instead of being the judgmental father. I now enjoy the friendly banter of those I love instead of upsetting them. All because I now understand that young people have their own challenges as they navigate life’s difficult journey.

This neatly brings us to our second point: Having things we learn the hard way reinforced by what we learn from others.

Heather Thompson* was just like any thirteen-year-old teenager experiencing the normal joy and pain of growing up that we've all been through. On this particular night she had exchanged especially harsh words with her mother over some trivial observation her mother had made about the untidiness of her room. This heated exchange culminated in Heather storming off to her bedroom screaming, 'I really hate you!' and slamming the door behind her.

Feeling extremely angry with her lot in life Heather then took herself to bed. But she didn't sleep peacefully. Tormented by the hurtful words she had thrown at her mother, she tossed and turned for hours and finally fell into a fitful sleep in the early hours of the morning.

Unbeknown to Heather, in the middle of the night her mother quietly passed away.

Days later a grief-stricken Heather found a letter addressed to her in the drawer of her mother's dressing-table.

It read:

Dearest Heather,

Mummy has been sick for a long time now. I've tried to keep it from you in the hope that I'd get better. Please forgive some of the things I've said and done over these past twelve months as I've never meant to hurt you.

I love you very much and will forever,
Your loving mother

Now a grown woman, this letter remains one of Heather's most cherished possessions. Painfully, she reflects: 'If only we could turn back the clock, I'd make sure the last words I shared with my mother were words of love rather than words of hate.'

In times of great emotion keep your experiences and Heather's story in mind and choose your words carefully. You alone have control over the way you think and what you say. Good family relations depend on you biting your tongue instead of lashing out. Not only could your words be the last thing this person hears you say, you're the one who has to live with them for the rest of your life.
*(Not her real name)


Source: Laurie Smale

Pheromones: What They Do? #FamilyLife

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Photo Source: "Pheromone Lotion by panther_926, on Flickr">


Pheromones have long been hypothesized to influence sexual attraction in humans. They have been subjected to years of research and scientific studies to determine the facts behind them which make them critical elements of human sexual behavior and as precursors of sexual intercourse and eventual reproduction. Although these naturally emitted chemicals are also behind the sexual behaviors of dogs, pigs, flies and butterflies, humans are far more complex.

Human beings, both of the Adam and Eve population, produce natural pheromones that send important chemical messages to potential mates. Males in the human species are more known to produce these chemicals that the female species receive and process through their olfactory system and through an accessory organ called vomeronasal organ (VNO). Some scientists refer to the VNO as Jacobson's organ that lies between the nose and the mouth.

In some cases, women can use both of these said organs to interpret subliminal messages. It is more active in other animals and although it is also present in humans, it is still subject to arguments of how active it is and whether it is vestigial or not. Another important human body part that is essential in pheromone signal interpretation is the hypothalamus. This is where the chemical signals are sent immediately after by passing higher organs of consciousness. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain.


Source: Liz Hemmingway

To Trust Or Not To Trust: That Is The Question #FamilyLife

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To Trust Or Not To Trust: That Is The Question #FamilyLife

Trust is something that has become harder and harder to find. We don't trust our government, we question our doctors, we worry about the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat. We lock our doors at night because we don't trust our neighbors, the people who live down the street or anyone who may be traveling through our area. In this escalating environment of fear and distrust that we live in, our ability to trust each other has also deteriorated. Instead of trusting someone until we are wronged, we unconsciously assume the opposite, that they are guilty until proven innocent.

As we live our lives, there are many things that can create feelings of distrust toward others in our psyches. Growing up in a volatile environment of emotional pain, abuse and neglect can set the stage for distrusting others from our earliest of days. As an adult we may suffer the pain afflicted by others though their put downs, belittling or victimization, where we lose our self esteem and ultimately learn that we cannot believe in ourselves let alone others. Over time, the scars that we carry around from this deep emotional wounding cause us to shut parts of ourselves down, where we are fearful of opening ourselves up to others and only to be hurt yet again.

Trust is very important if we want to have healthy open and caring relationships with others, be they personal, professional or intimate. Trust is not something that comes automatically, but is something that is built through time and repetition. When we do trust, we are willing to be vulnerable. We are willing to let others know who we are on the deepest level of our being and recognize that they will treat us fairly, honestly and will not take advantage of us. With this, we are given the opportunity to drop our guard and show our real selves, our strengths and weaknesses, our problems and concerns as well as our silly and sometimes stupid mistakes all without fear of reproach. When we trust someone, we are also given the opportunity to help create an environment of mutual respect, caring and concern for the others wellbeing and personal growth.

It is when we break the trust within any of our relationships that problems can occur. As I said before, trust is something that develops over time and once broken, trust can be a hard thing to re-establish between two people. Some people think that trust is something that is granted to you or should automatically be present in a relationship regardless of the acts and behaviors of the participants. When we first meet someone and develop a relationship with them, this can be true, however, the reality is, once trust between two people is broken, it is something that needs to be nurtured and rebuilt.

The level at which the trust needs to be re-established in a relationship depends on how severe the precipitating offence was, that is from small, where we are not greatly bothered to severe, where our emotional wellbeing is put at risk. There is a world of difference between distrusting someone who accidentally damages or breaks something of value to you and when a important promise, such as faithfulness is broken. Once our trust is violated, we first have to recover from the emotional stress that the violation has placed upon us. At that time, we can choose to take steps to ensure that a similar offence will not occur or not.

For example, if it bothers you that your spouse flirts with a coworker, ask that he or she keep their relationship professional. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then it is up to you to determine if you want to reconcile the relationship. Yes, it is up to you, not them to determine if you want to recreate a relationship where your trust has been broken.

When developing trust in a relationship, there are a number of things you can do to help facilitate its recreation. If you are the one who violated another's trust, first of all, be truthful. Don't lie to your friends and loved ones. Once caught in a lie, everything you say and do becomes suspect. After that, follow through on your promises, big and small. This will let your partner know that you are making an effort at keeping your word and that your word can be trusted.

If you are the one who has been violated, establish boundaries. Let your friend or partner know how you feel and what acts or actions will help to rebuild the trust between you. In addition, don't accuse of them of bad behavior or assume everything they say or do is one way or another breaking the promise they made to you. It is essential to give them the chance to show you that they can be trusted. Now if they give you a reason not to believe them, that is again another story.

If you are wondering if you should trust someone or not here is what Tony Schirtzinger has to say about trust. In his article: ?Who Can You Trust?, he evaluates trust by how often an individual breaks their word. If they never or rarely break their word, then they are trustable. If they break their word on a few things, but not everything, then trust them in the areas in which they do keep their word. If on the other hand, if they break their word 50% or more of the time, then this person is probably not trustworthy.

In many situations, the individual, that is the person we question their ability to be truthful isn't intentionally lying to or trying to deceive us. Instead they are lying to themselves in different areas of their lives and as a result, we end up being lied to as well.

For many, rebuilding trust in others can be a long and painful process. It forces us to face our fears, release negative and hurtful feelings and experiences from our past and asks us to be willing to open ourselves up to potentially being hurt again. Without an ability to trust, however, we block ourselves off from experiencing a wide range of emotions that are part of our being. Trusting also allows us to let our guard down which frees up our inner energy and resources, which we can now be used in more positive, healthy and whole way.

Before we go, let me reiterate this here. It is up to you to decide who you want to trust vs. those you will hold at arm’s length. Just because someone wants or expects you to trust them, doesn’t mean that you should, especially if their words and actions don’t warrant it. Trust is an important component in our ability to interact with others. When it is not there, we are limited by our expression and our ability to interact with them. When it is there, we are afforded a level of intimacy that creates bonds that can last forever.

Are you unsure if you should trust someone? If you are, then try listening to your heart. If you feel safe in trusting someone, then trust. If on the other hand something within you is telling you withhold this gift from another, then listen to and follow your inner knowing. This is especially true because it is your heart that can be freed when you do open yourself up by trusting another, as well as broken.


Source: Dr. Rita Louise, Ph D
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