Tag Archives: Jean Illsley Clarke

Spoiled for Life

kid in jail straightened

Jail time is a common occurrence for John. Why is that? He has a nasty habit of picking fights and throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way. Even in jail, if people don’t cater to John’s demands, he resorts to threatening and hostile behavior.

John’s behavior hasn’t changed much since he was a small child. That’s because his blustery, bullying temper tantrums weren’t nipped in the bud before he became an adult. Instead, such displays were rewarded—he got his way. Unsurprisingly, he still expects the world to bend to his every whim.

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There are many stories like John’s—please share yours. Or if you have questions or comments, feel free.

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Filed under General Interest, Parenting

The Latest Wow: “Get over it!” Really?

chasm

According to the late theologian Paul Tillich, “The first duty of love is to listen.”

I rank listening right up there at the top of requirements for a well-running relationship. This includes love partnerships, parent-child relationships, friendships … you name it.

Listening is a lot bigger than the mere act of hearing with our ears. It entails reining in our straying thoughts, our knee jerk assumptions, judgments and impatience. It entails listening from a heart-space, not solely from an intellectual space.

It’s hard to master. I find that true both personally and professionally. One couple comes to mind—Ross and Sara. Ross expressed … no, he wowed me with a complaint common among many of my female clients:

“Just because someone says, ‘Get over it,’ doesn’t mean it stops hurting.”

He directed that comment to Sara after she discounted his feelings in our counseling session. He was sharing a painful incident, and instead of taking his pain seriously, she trivialized it.

Another client, Mindy, feels exactly like Ross. Her husband, Sam, not only discounts her feelings, he’s frequently sarcastic and has an explosive temper. In one of their marital sessions he said, “She cries over anything. I’m convinced she’s incapable of controlling her feelings.” I challenged him: “You accuse Mindy of being too emotional and incapable of controlling her feelings. Isn’t anger an emotion?”   Read their stories here.

Whether the one we love is our partner, our child, a friend, relative or acquaintance, statements like “Get over it,” “Why let that bother you?” and “You’re too sensitive” fail to relieve the hurting heart. Not only that, they can create a chasm between two people—a chasm that, if allowed to continue, may not be bridged.

I welcome your thoughts!

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Filed under Client of the Week, Couples, General Interest, The Latest Wow!

Who’s Running Things, Anyway?

bossy child 3

“The inmates are running the asylum.”

Mary, a teacher, was referring to our culture’s epidemic of overindulged kids. She and many other teachers are seeing the evidence of overindulgence in the classroom every day.

According to Jean Illsley Clarke, Connie Dawson and David Bredehoff in their book, How Much Is Enough? Overindulgence isn’t merely “about too much stuff or too many privileges. It’s also about too much attention and wobbly rules.”

They also write about the impact of overindulgence on adult life. Far from possessing low self-esteem, these people possess inflated self-esteem. They carry around the notion that the world owes them—that they’re entitled. When their expectations aren’t met, they lash out, or they just simply ignore the rules. Read more about this in an earlier post, Spoiled for Life.

Additionally, these grown-up children are ill-prepared to face the demands of independence and the responsibilities of adulthood.

Mary was able to avoid this all-too-common parenting misstep. Click here to read about how she accomplished that.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Filed under General Interest, Parenting

Spoiled for Life

kid in jail straightened

Jail time is a common occurrence for John. Why is that? He has a nasty habit of picking fights and throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way. Even in jail, if people don’t cater to John’s demands, he resorts to threatening and hostile behavior.

John’s behavior hasn’t changed much since he was a small child. That’s because his blustery, bullying temper tantrums weren’t nipped in the bud before he became an adult. Instead, such displays were rewarded—he got his way. Unsurprisingly, he still expects the world to bend to his every whim.

 Read more…

There are many stories like John’s—please share yours. Or if you have questions or comments, feel free.

2 Comments

Filed under General Interest, Parenting