Monthly Archives: June 2017

Problems Parents and Teen Relationships

The teen years are fraught with conflicting feelings and thoughts as these almost-grown children head closer to adulthood. Parents are often left wondering what happened to their delightful kids who went from happy-go-lucky to moody, frustrated, conflict-ridden adolescents. KidsHealth from Nemours advises distinguishing the difference between emotion-driven adolescence and puberty, which is physiological.

During the teen years, children naturally move toward establishing independence, according to The F.U.N. Place website, or Families United on the Net. Most teenagers are heavily influenced by people outside their family with music, what to wear and other fads that their parents may not approve of.

As the teen gets older, she is likely to fight for control, which may create conflict with her parents. This can leave her parents feeling hurt and rejected, creating stress because there is a constant battle of wills. As the teenager asserts her independence over friends, clothes, music, curfew and other issues, she's taking a risk to overcome her fear of not gaining control and becoming an independent adult.

Parents have expectations of their children with everything from grades in school and how they dress to college and career choices later on. Parental disappointment creates conflict and problems in the relationship between them and their teenagers. It often comes across as anger, giving teenagers the feeling of rejection from the people who were once the most important figures in their lives.

The teenage years are also the time when kids start experimenting with risky behaviors, such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco and sex, claims the KidsHealth website. Without a foundation of knowledge and understanding of expectations from the parents, the teenager is more likely to be confused when the parent expresses disapproval after the fact. Parents need to communicate and educate their children before they hit the teen years, and communication lines need to remain open, or the problems will escalate. The Psych Central website states that a high-quality relationship between parents and their teenage children appears to lead to teens postponing trying alcohol until a later age.

Teenagers struggle with role confusion and identity, claims groundbreaking developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erickson, according to Theravive. Teens are constantly trying to filter confusion between society's labels of who they should be versus who they really are as individuals. Teens need to feel as though they belong to a unit while remaining a unique individual. Theravive claims that this struggle is responsible for many teenagers being attracted to gangs.

When parents argue, teenagers may feel that they were somehow the cause, according to Teen Advisor. This can lead to alienation if the parents allow their words and actions to escalate out of control. Teens may feel that their parents don't love each other anymore, leaving the teenagers to wonder how it will affect them. Although arguing can be a healthy way of airing differences and working through problems, mean-spirited fighting with harsh words can leave a lasting negative impression on everyone in the family, including the teenagers. If the parents can't work out their problems and wind up separating or divorcing, the teenagers' world is further rocked and thrown off balance as everything in their lives changes.

4 resolutions for a sweet and steamy love life

Her hubby’s New Year’s resolution has been to cut out screen time in the bedroom, which has already improved their intimacy levels.

Here are five other tips to help spark your love life this year.

1. Date yourself.

This one applies to everyone, regardless of relationship status.

Toronto relationship expert Natasha Sharma tells her patients they’ll never be able to get everything they need to be happy solely from their partner. There’s also a tendency to sometimes spend a little too much time together.

She encourages people to schedule alone time for themselves and do things they enjoy on their own. That could be anything from a yoga class to maybe even a trip without their partner.

2. Limit complaints to two minutes per day.

It’s important to communicate with your significant other about what’s going on in your life. If you feel the need to vent, however, sexologist Jessica O’Reilly has a two-minute rule.

Once you exceed that limit, time’s up and you have to move on.

“Negativity sucks the life and eroticism from your relationship, and complaining makes you less attractive,” she explained.

In the grand scheme of things, O’Reilly adds, complaining about things like traffic, weather or customer service to your partner isn’t worth the energy. Plus it can be draining.

The only exception would be if you’re “talking through challenges and problems with the goal of identifying actionable solutions.” For O’Reilly, that “doesn’t qualify as complaining.”

It’s the venting about encounters and behaviours over which you have no control that should be curbed.

3. Stop bringing up things from the past.

Dredging up the past is one of the most toxic habits for a relationship, according to Sharma.

It causes you to keep score, which isn’t healthy. You shouldn’t feel the need to “win” in your relationship.

When you’re stuck in that “same argument,” try to think of something you love about your partner, like the way he makes you laugh or that nice compliment he gave you.

Don’t get sucked into the negative zone.

If you can’t seem to get beyond a certain issue, you may want to set up a couple’s counselling session.

4. Practice seeing things from your partner’s point of view.

Another way to cruise through disagreements is by putting yourself in your other half’s shoes.

Once you step back and take your partner’s viewpoint, you’ll probably realize he or she didn’t mean to hurt you.

The next time you start to feel upset, take a moment and consider what might be behind the upsetting comment or action. Could your partner be hungry? Tired? Stressed because of work?

If you’re able to — in a gentle tone — voice how you think your partner feels to him or her (a “mirroring” technique McCance trains her clients in). This will help your partner feel more understood and will likely de-escalate things.

For example, you could say something like: “I can imagine you feel frustrated and hurt when I am on my phone during date night. I want you to know you are important to me, sometimes I just check my phone without even thinking of the impact on you.”


Parent-Child Problems

Building and maintaining a relationship with a child takes work. Even the most loving parents must put a lot of time and effort into developing positive relationships with their children. Yet parents can still have problems with their children, even if they’ve done everything they can to avoid them. When problems arise, don’t spend time lamenting the broken relationship. Instead, take the necessary steps to fix the problems, and start rebuilding a healthy relationships with your children. Whether the children are four or fourteen, it’s not too late to start to make the relationship right.

While there’s no recipe for building a healthy parent/child relationship, parents can do a few things to help build a positive relationship and prevent many of the common relationship problems.

  • Parents should communicate with their children, encouraging their children to express their emotions and share their needs.
  • Parents should provide for their children, meeting both their physical and emotional needs.
  • Parents should provide consistent discipline, setting healthy boundaries and making sure kids follow them.


Children who do not respect their parents often show their lack of respect by failing to obey their parents or showing a disregard for their emotions and feelings. This lack of respect may transfer to a child’s self-respect, causing him to make bad choices. It may also transfer to how a child respects others, making him treat others poorly. While sometimes a lack of respect simply comes as kids begin to rely less on their parents and more on the world, parents can continue to foster a sense of respect by:

  • Setting rules and following up with reasonable consequences
  • Showing respect to their children
  • Modeling respect when interacting with others
  • Parenting with confidence; make a decision and stick to it

A lack of communication can be one of the most frustrating problems for both parents and children. Parents feel like their children don’t listen to a word they say, while children feel like their parents don’t understand them or never take the time to listen. When this happens, instead of working harder to communicate, parents and kids often stop communicating entirely, leading to anger, sadness and a host of other negative emotions.

Parents who have trouble getting their kids to listen should follow a few guidelines when talking to their kids:

  • Get on the child’s level
  • Use positive phrasing
  • Offer choices
  • Keep it short
  • Stay calm

Parents whose children complain they never listen to them should:

  • Regularly take time to let children talk
  • Avoid responding with strong emotion
  • Focus on the child’s interests and feelings
  • Give children full attention while they’re talking
  • Not all physical and verbal abuse leads to hospital visits, nor does it always take place in the open. In fact, even good parents can occasionally be guilty of abuse. They may hit a child or inflict pain on a child during a moment of stress. Other parents may use words to demean their children, regularly putting them down, yelling at them, or telling them they are not good enough. While an abusive parent may not always recognize that he is being abusive, there are few things parents can do to stop abuse should it happen:
    • Look for signs of fear when a child approaches
    • Listen to a child and stop negative behaviors if a child cries or says she is hurt
    • Pay attention to other adults who express concerns
    • Take a moment to step away and breathe when tempted to act out of anger
    • Use only positive words and phrases when talking with children
    • Ask for helpRebuilding a positive relationship with a child takes three main components: love, structure, and time. “Kids need a balance of things in order to grow and thrive. They need love and warmth and they also need structure and consistency. Frequently, when parents and children report feeling dissatisfied with their relationships with each other, the balance between love and warmth and structure and consistency is thrown off. Kids also need time from their parents and they need to know that they will have time from their parents when they need it,” says Tebben.

      Solving Your Problems

      While some parent/child relationship problems may require a professional, such as a social worker or counselor, to step in, most parents and children can solve their problems on their own. Parents need to communicate to their children that they love them and that they have their best interests at heart. They also need to take the time to interact with their children, figure out what may be at the root of the problem, and also give children time to share their emotions and needs. When parents and children take the time to communicate with one another regularly and act out of the mutual love they have for one another, most problems will become temporary obstacles rather than major roadblocks in the relationship.