February 11, 2020

Are you growing apart from your partner by doing this one common thing?

If you are in a long term partnership or marriage, you already know how easy it can be to take each other for granted. We lead busy lives, and sometimes it feels hard enough getting everything done, let alone making time for our partners.

It can be simple things, like are you looking at your partner in the eyes, giving them a kiss or hug when you leave for the day? Or when your partner is talking with you, are you really listening and responding?

I had a client share a story with me recently about an incident with his wife when he was talking to her and she was on her phone. His feelings were really hurt by it, so he just stopped talking and walked away. In the moment that her husband first started talking, his wife made a choice. She could have walked away or ignored him. She could have reacted in an irritated way. Or she could have stopped what she was doing for a few minutes to engage with her husband. John Gottman, one of the premier experts on relationships calls this process by which you stop and engage in a positive way with your partner, "turning toward." You can read more about this in a Psychology Today article called "The Tiny, Easy Habit That Keeps Love Alive."

Pay attention this week to how often you are turning toward, turning against (expressing irritation) or turning away from (ignoring) your partner. Consciously find ways to turn toward one another. If you don't, you may find yourselves growing apart and feeling disconnected.

If you are struggling with your relationships and would like help, we have Houston Counselors who can meet with you. You can contact us 713 -591- 3612 or by email at Nancy @ wilsoncounseling. org. 

January 20, 2020

Letting your kids fail occasionally can teach them resilience

Guest post from therapist Sarah Bradshaw.

I had a parent call me monthly about her student.  She would call anytime he was close to failing and would ask how can we prevent him from failing.  She also told me that she emails his teacher almost weekly, and couldn’t understand why she hadn’t heard anything back.  I listened empathetically to her talk then asked, "What is the harm in failing?"  I think that was the first time she didn’t have anything to say because she never thought about failing as an option.  It's painful to see your kids struggle. Rescuing your kids is a completely normal impulse, but there are times when it might be unhelpful to your kids. 

Failure can teach your kid resilence

Grades are an important part of school.  How else do teachers measure a student’s progress? But,  grades are not the only point of going of going to school. School is a good time for your child to learn about resilience, hard work, how to change habits that aren't working, and how to successfully communicate.

Every struggle give you the opportunity for teachable moments

The way you react to your student's failure , can be the difference between helping them learn these skills for themselves,  or teaching them to be dependent on others. What do you do when your kids fail?  Do you get mad, get a tutor, call the teacher, or ground them?  

It’s ok to let your student fail.  How else are they going to learn?  How are they going to learn to ask questions and get help for themselves?  How are they going to self-advocate? 

You can still be there for them when they do fail.  

How to be supportive when your kids are struggling

Here are a few ways to be supportive when they fail: 

  • Help them with their homework when they do have questions or don’t understand (don’t do it for them), 
  • Be an assistant on projects or buy supplies (don’t do it for them), 
  • Ask them questions or help write practice questions for quizzes and/or tests, 
  • Make your student talk to the teacher when they don’t get something right (they are the ones sitting in class, not you), 
  • Make arraignments for after school (if needed) so your student can attend tutorials.   

And remember to give them a hug and tell them you still love them.  Failure is an option, and it’s part of growing up.

Get profesional help

If your child is struggling emotionally or academically, or if you are struggling with the stress of parenting, counseling can help. Contact one of our Wilson Counseling therapists today to schedule an appointment. You can reach us at 713 - 591- 3612 or via email at Nancy @ wilson counseling. org.