Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Every Boy is Some Mother’s Son

posted by Linda Mintle

I love this story. I read it in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. A reporter recalled a story that touched my heart. It went something like this.

A mom was waiting for her daughter to return from a dance. The daughter sat down to talk to her mom about her evening and began with a story of some ugly, nerd-like boy who tried to dance with her. The daughter was offended and couldn’t believe the boy asked her to dance.

Her mom, listening to this story, stopped and thought a moment. I loved her response (I am paraphrasing).

Right now, that boy’s mom is waiting for him to come home from the dance. But when he enters the house, she will see the hurt on his face. Her heart is broken for her son when he recalls the pain of trying to ask a pretty girl to dance. So the next time you turn down a boy for something as simple as a dance, remember, every boy is some mother’s son.

Ouch! But this mom’s words made an impact. The daughter and her friends recited those words before they went on every date.

Thanks to a teaching mom, the daughter learned a great lesson in compassion.

Jerry Sandusky: Should His Wife Be Clueless?

posted by Linda Mintle

With the Jerry Sandusky case in the news, I heard a well-known radio commentator ask, “If these accusations are true, how could his wife not know what he was doing?” It’ a good question that people may wonder. If someone is guilty of doing the things Jerry Sandusky is accused of doing (there is no verdict yet), would the wife really be so clueless?

Often we think of pedophiles as dirty old men in trench coats offering children candy. We think we should be able to immediately spot them. However,  the profile of a child molester may surprise you.

According to the Department of Justice and  psychological experts, these are some of the characteristics that are common among pedophiles:

1) Usually male and married.

2) Prefers to be with children over adults.

3) Finds employment, opportunities, charities, volunteer organizations that involve children.

4) Usually non-violent with no criminal history.

5) Seduces children he knows through subtle and persuasive tactics.

6) Goes to great lengths to conceal his activity and presents self as an exemplary person.

7) Rationalizes his behavior and tells self that what he is doing is not harmful. Lacks empathy for the children involved.

8) Can be any age and from any socioeconomic class, and can be religious.

9) Has deviant sexual interest (like watching children dress), arousal patterns and interests.

10) May or may not have been sexual abused himself. Dr. Marshal, a leading sex offender expert points out that the literature does not support the notion that all sex offenders have been sexually abused. Some have been, and some have not.

Unfortunately, there is no typical profile of a sex offender. So it is difficult to know who is doing the offending.

So back to the question, “Would a wife know if her husband was sexually molesting children?” Very often, the wife is taken aback when she finds out the truth. Because her husband isn’t a “criminal,” it is hard to believe he could be acting this way. People who know him are also surprised.

Can you spot a pedophile? Not always. Even when a spouse has suspicions, they are usually cast aside because the behavior is usually concealed. Denial is powerful when you have little reason to expect anything that would lead to such humiliation.

 

 

 

College is Coming: 8 Summer Talks to Have With Your Teen

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s the beginning of summer, the last one until that teen heads for college in the fall. How can you use this time to prepare your son or daughter for what is coming?

Begin now to talk about anticipated changes. Don’t wait until the week before they leave home.

Here are 8 suggestions:

1) Talk to them about the importance of immediately getting connected to faith-based organizations. Studies show that students who connect within the first 72 hours of being on campus, do best. He who hesitates, well, could get lost.

2) Encourage your teen to find a church near the campus. Staying active in his or her faith helps a person stay grounded in a college community that doesn’t share your values. Churches even pay college students to do nursery duty or help with technology. Getting involved in a church community reinforces your values.

3) Discuss the on-going pressure of premarital sex. Previous sexual relationships can ruin a future marriage. And of course the risk of sexually transmitted infections is very high and could cause life-long problems. The cavalier attitude towards casual sex is wrong and has much emotional and physical fall out. This source of temptation is ever present. Arm your teen with ways to resist and flee.

4) Help your teen relax a bit on immediately knowing his or her major. Encourage taking more general education classes until he or she has a better sense of  interest or passion.

5) Choose your friends wisely. Just like in high school, who you hang out with impacts who you become.

6) The new freedom of college life can create an anything goes mindset. Yet the decisions you make in college can impact your future. For example, posting partying pictures on-line can cost you a job or internship. Poor academic performance can lose a scholarship, etc.

7) Avoid situations that place you in danger. I know teens feel invincible, but remind them that their brains aren’t fully developed yet and they need to avoid situations that impair their judgment or place them in physical danger.

8) Have your teen investigate college organizations and find those that allow a person to contribute and build a resume and character.

5 Quick Ways to Improve Your Relationship

posted by Linda Mintle

I’m often asked to give a few tips on how to make your relationship better. Here are five quick tips:

1) Turn off media and engage with your partner. Looking at the person instead of a screen sends a message–you are important, important enough for me to get off these screens and focus on you.

2) Open up your life to another person. Relationships are about doing life together, sharing the good, bad and ugly with someone you love, like and trust. Take a risk and open up to a trustworthy person.

3) Connect with your partner daily. You don’t need long, drawn out talks. Just take 5 minutes a day when you are both home and update each other on your day.

4) Make time for fun. Laugh and love. It’s a winning combination. Watch a funny movie, get together with friends, play a silly game, visit a park and eat sloppy hot dogs…anything that creates fun memories. And laughter is a big stress reducer!

5) Go outside. In my blog, The 3 Best Ways to Unwind, I talk about how being in nature impacts the mind in a good way. Get out there people!

 

 

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