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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

10 Emotional Repairs for Relationship Conflict

posted by Linda Mintle

argueYou are in the middle of a fight. Temperatures are rising and you know this isn’t going well.

How can you bring down the tension and allow reason to prevail?

You make what we call in therapy, an emotional repair.

Couples who do this, stay together. In fact, martial researcher, John Gottman, calls emotional repairs the “life jackets of all romantic partnerships.” An emotional repair can move you from NASTY  to NICE  during a conflict.

Here are 10 emotional repairs that Gottman suggests to use during a conflict. These repairs don’t usually solve the conflict, but they do lower the tension enough for the two of you to have a better dialogue. And that is the point. All couples have conflict, but how they dialogue around the conflict is what matters.

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1) Agree to something your partner is saying. Is there one thing that has any merit? If so, agree to that.

2) Ask an open ended question about your partner’s feelings. This signals listening and understanding.

3) Express some type of affection during a conflict.

4) Change the topic to something unrelated or minor. This calms things down for the moment, then return to the argument with a better frame of mind.

5) Agree to make some positive change. Be responsive where you can.

6) Use humor. This usually breaks tension.

7) Talk about your thoughts and feelings regarding the conflict.

8) Take responsibility for your part of the problem. Conflicts are not usually one sided.

9) Communicate empathy and understanding.

10) Talk in terms of the relationship, WE not I.

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A Non Medication Strategy for ADHD Preschoolers

posted by Linda Mintle

children sleepingADHD is a legitimate diagnosis based on underlying neurological conditions. It is a brain-based biological disorder that can be detected by brain scans and imaging. Chemical differences are found in the ADHD brain when compared to non ADHD children. Furthermore, current evidence suggest that ADHD is genetic.

In terms of the rising numbers of ADHD children, positives explanations include better awareness of the condition and better access to care. Decades ago, we did not do a good job of identifying children with this disorder. Now, more children are benefiting from early detection and treatment.

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With the growing concern about overmedicating children on the minds of so many, preschoolers, who are correctly diagnosed do need intervention.

So what is being done to provide medication alternatives?

Perhaps a promising area to explore is solar intensity as it relates to ADHD. Sleep specialists tell us that children with ADHD often have sleep-onset insomnia and a delayed circadian phase. So a group of researchers looked at the relationship between environmental light exposure and ADHD prevalence. What they found was that higher solar intensity was correlated with lower ADHD prevalence. Exposing children to intense sunlight during the day and reduced light exposure at night may reduce some ADHD symptoms and act as a protective factor.[1]

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Based on this, it may be possible that a certain subgroup of children with ADHD would benefit from being exposed to natural light during the day, especially in states with low solar intensity. Maybe the addition of a sky light in the classroom, or more time outside could also help. The thinking here is that strong sunlight during the day may help reset the biological clock involved in sleep, since shorter sleep is associate with attention problems.

For a subgroup of children, more sunlight might help. Since there is nothing invasive about exposing kids to more light, seems like something to try.

 


[1] Arns M, van der Heijden KB, Arnold LE, Kenemans JL. Geographic variation in the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the sunny perspective. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Mar 20; [Epub ahead of print].

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Miley Cyrus Doing What Hollywood Taught Her

posted by Linda Mintle

Social media outlets have been ablaze with buzz about the gross and shocking “performance” of Miley Cyrus on MTV’s Video Music Awards. I watched and was deeply saddened. While Miley bopped around the stage like a porn star, others were also pushing the envelope of decency.

You know I love Lady Gaga’s talent, but her clam shell thong focused attention more on her naked bottom. And she sat in that costume for the whole show. Awkward. The male presenters did not comment on her talent, but on her naked derriere, not her creativity or her amazing vocal chops.

Darling Selena Gomez wore a dress with one side of her top practically see-through. She looked beautiful without nearly revealing a breast! Again pushing the envelope to say, “Hey, I am all grown up!”

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Cyrus got the memo–In order to be taken seriously as an adult star, you have to shed the clothes, create the lust factor and feature your body, not your talent. Cyrus just went over the top and blurred her lines of “decency.”  While she is getting all the negativity, one must ask, where did she learn to do this?

From her predecessors and peers who push their fame by selling sex, despite their talent. Beyonce doesn’t have to gyrate like a sex object on stage to showcase her talent. But she does.

Jennifer Lopez felt compelled to sex it up on her performance on American Idol, a moment when parents were covering the eyes of young faces.

What about Vanessa Hudgen’s new movie in which she pole dances–another rite of passage to more serious roles?

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Queen bee Madonna, and so many more….it’s a pattern that Miley had to notice.

I know stars want to grow out of their teen idol status, but do they have to do so by taking off their clothes or acting lewd? It seems to be the Hollywood way. To be serious, to be adult, to be mature, become a sex object!

So that is the conversation to have with yourself, your daughters, your grandkids. The rite of passage into adulthood is not turning yourself into a sex object, unless of course, you are the porn industry or media producers who want to capitalize on sexuality to sell your music, movie or product. And yes, this impacts our teens who feel they have to become girls gone wild to enter adulthood.

Women are being sold a lie–This is not the way to showcase talent or transition to adulthood.  It undermines your real talent and that was the tragedy of VMAs. There was lots of true talent lost in the indecency.

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Pray for Miley Cyrus. She’s lost, trying to find her way in a business that pushes this type of envelope. Hopefully, she will make better choices in the future and have someone to advise her who looks truly cares about her, not the almighty dollar.

The root here is major insecurity and lack of a true identity. The corrective factor? A relationship with Christ. He has the best for His kids and they have to prove nothing. Just accept the love and grace.

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Anxious? Don’t Avoid the Fear.

posted by Linda Mintle

Letting Go of Worry -- WebWhen Julie was a child, she was bitten by a dog and developed a terrible fear of dogs. She desperately wants to overcome that fear. Today, she agreed to visit a good friend who has a small submissive dog. When she rang the doorbell, she heard the dog bark and fear gripped her.

What should Julie do with her fear that the dog will bite her?

Should she avoid the dog and return to her car?

Should she resist the fearful thought?

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Should she distract herself from thinking about the dog?

Actually Julie should do none of the above.

The best thing Julie could do is face the fear and the anxious feelings. The more she tries to avoid or resist, the stronger the fear grows.

Instead, she should tell herself, “I feel really anxious but I can do this. I am sweating but I won’t die from this.”

Julie should stay in the doorway as long as she can. The key here is for Julie to tolerate that anxious feeling as long as possible. The more she can do this, the more she will tackle the fear.

When anxious thoughts come into your mind, identify them, and tolerate the momentary feeling. Then correct the thought with something more reasonable like, “Yes I am afraid but God is with me and will get me through this. I can take it.” As you correct the thought to something more reasonable and tolerate the feeling, the anxiety will most likely decrease.

 

 

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