What to Say When… He Is Uninvolved at Home

Saturday rolled around, and Ashley needed some help. All week, she had balanced work, the kids, and a long To-Do list. Her husband, Ryan, had a busy week, too. But, she was hoping he’d lend a hand with their weekend activities. Frustrated, she found Ryan sitting in his man cave watching sports. How could he just sit there for hours when she was so overwhelmed? What Doesn’t Work: Boiling inside while your partner is uninvolved and oblivious to the problem. Most couples have different levels of energy and different priorities. Accusing one another of being in the wrong without understanding their perspective can backfire. Don’t assume that your spouse is too lazy or too uptight. Mutual solutions are found when both parties openly express their needs.

7 Simple Steps For Teaching Kids How to Apologize and Actually Mean It

If adults need to apologize (And who would argue that?), then the art of apology needs to be learned in childhood. Here are the steps we recommend for parents, grandparents, and teachers:

  1. Help kids to accept responsibility for their own behavior. Our adult patterns of sweeping issues under the rug and shifting blame can often be traced all the way back to childhood habits. My own two-year old son passed gas and then blamed it on his diaper, saying, “My diaper burped!”
  2. Teach toddlers that their actions affect others. When you pull our pet’s tail, you hurt him.  When you rub our cat’s whiskers, he purrs.
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Insider Scoop: My Focus on the Family Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman

A while back, Gary Chapman and I traveled to Colorado Springs for a taping of their daily broadcast. Here are some of my behind the scenes memories: During the session, the interviewers asked some great questions about the five languages of apology. Gary and I have developed a rapport for interviews like this. Generally, we take turns giving the answers. If we have something to add to the other’s answer, we lift a finger or point to ourselves. When we are asked about teaching kids to apologize, Gary usually points to me and I step in to answer because I have young kids. When theological questions pop up, I point to Gary because he’s a pastor. Read More »

Dear Mom, You’re Fired

Dear Mom,

I want to thank you for all you’ve done for me. You gave birth to me and you raised me with loving care. A person couldn’t ask for a better mom than you.

However, I’m  firing you. You’ve brilliantly worked yourself out of a job and I’m fully grown now.  I’m thirty years old but you treat me like I’m only ten. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” You offer reminders at every turn this feels like control more than support and I don’t think you intend this.  Read More »

What to Say When… You Don’t Want to Sound Like an Anxious Parent

I counseled Anna, a single mother with two preschoolers. She realized she was overly cautious with her kids and she wanted to change. One day, her son wanted to run down a steep hill. She stood aside and let him do it but she couldn’t resist calling after him, “BE CAREFUL!” We talked about something more positive she could say to him the next time he asked to do something outside of her comfort zone. Here is what we came up with:   Read More » When Sorry Isn’t Enough.

7 Simple Steps For Teaching Kids How to Apologize and Actually Mean It

If adults need to apologize (And who would argue that?), then the art of apology needs to be learned in childhood. Here are the teaching steps we recommend:

  1. Help kids to accept responsibility for their own behavior. Our adult patterns of sweeping issues under the rug and shifting blame can often be traced all the way back to childhood habits. My own two-year old son passed gas and then blamed it on his diaper, saying, “My diaper burped!”
  2. Teach toddlers that their actions affect others. When you pull our pet’s tail, you hurt him.  When you rub our cat’s whiskers, he purrs.
  3. Instill the concept that there are always rules in life. The most important rule is the Golden Rule – treat others the way you would like for them to treat you. But there are other rules; many rules, and most them are designed to help us have a good life.  Read More »

Buzz About Our Apology Book

A fan just gave me permission to post her letter about improving her bond with her adult son.  Enjoy! “A few years ago, I was flying home from Colorado.  My flight was delayed and I thought I’d pick up a book at the airport:  Would you believe? “The Five Languages of Apology.”  As I began getting […]