Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Disciplined Parents, Disciplined Kids

oday we will hear from my assistant Liz Bailey, who has some insights on how disciplined parents influence their children to become more confident, disciplined, likeable adults.

When my children were growing up I used to tell them, “I love you unconditionally… but I want other people to like you, too!” I wanted to raise them to be adults who worked hard, got along well with others, showed respect and behaved with courtesy to everyone. The question was, what does a parent need to do to instill those qualities in their children?

Here are a few things that come to mind as I think back over raising my smart, strong-willed, hilarious and, at times, exasperating children:

First and foremost, be the example!

When you are in the throes of parenting – whether you’re in the toddler or teen stages – it can seem at times as though your children don’t hear a word you say, and if they do, they disagree passionately. But don’t be discouraged; they...

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Dealing with Disagreement

Do you ever wish we could all agree on everything? Wouldn’t that stop all the arguing and fighting? Maybe, but it would also stop a lot of progress and prevent important changes from being made. While disagreement can be uncomfortable, it can also be beneficial if it’s handled the right way. Here are some keys to making it work for everyone involved.

Clarify the Issue – I’ve seen couples, work teams, business partners and family members get embroiled in arguments that escalate into hostility, only to find out they’re not even fighting for the same reason. Begin your discussion by making sure you all have the opportunity to say what your concerns are and what you think the “win” will be once the conversation is over.

Respect – No conversation works well if one or more individuals speaks or behaves in a disrespectful manner. It’s critical to acknowledge that everyone has a legitimate right to their own opinion and that...

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Holiday Traditions Can Strengthen Your Family Ties

Have you heard this one? During a discussion of holiday traditions, the teenager complains, “We don’t have any traditions. We just do the same old things every year!” While we smile at the kid’s perception, we recognize the value of giving the family a sense of continuity that ties them together through the years.

I am reminded of a holiday a couple of years ago. The host of the family gathering that year was dropping hints that they planned a surprise “non-traditional” dinner, and the person most distraught about the prospect was a 17 year old boy! Just when you feel as though a child wants nothing to do with the “old-fashioned ways” it becomes apparent that it actually matters to them – a lot!

Traditions don’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, it is often best if they are not so they won’t be difficult to carry on. When the children grow up and establish their own homes, it’s heart-warming to see them...

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How to Exercise More Patience

Patience is a virtue, they say. If your patience is being tested and tried, it can be hard to see what value you receive from your situation. Being “good for goodness’ sake” may seem like a low return on your investment of frustration, but in reality you gain significant value by exercising patience.

People often confuse patience with apathy or being a wimp, so I looked it up in a thesaurus and found an impressive variety of synonyms – words like composure, endurance, perseverance, poise, tolerance and self-control. None of those words suggest weakness or indifference – and in fact, those two words are actually listed in the thesaurus as antonyms (opposites) of patience!

A misunderstanding of patience can lead to the notion that when a challenge arises, you should simply not respond, but that can cause more problems – unresolved issues, resentment, bitterness, and the expectation that things will never get better.  Patience is better...

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Honesty Builds Strong Relationships

When my youngest daughter, Kathryn, was four-years-old I asked her why she wrote her name on our front door with a pencil. She responded by saying, “Because I couldn’t find my marker.” Although her behavior was unacceptable, I found her honesty to be quite refreshing. It was one of many times I had to bite my lip so I could maintain a serious expression while disciplining one of our kids.

Unfortunately, there are many people today who don’t value the virtue of honesty. Every day we witness the dishonesty of public officials, high profile athletes and many others who are role models to our children. Many people don’t think twice about telling a lie if it will keep them out of trouble or from having to experience a painful consequence. Too often, people are unwilling to stand up and take responsibility for their actions.

People often justify dishonesty by rationalization, or inventing a reason why doing something wrong is actually right or at least...

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How to Be Your Daughter's Hero

Heroes are often people who face seemingly impossible odds, set personal wants and needs aside, and run to the rescue of someone who isn’t strong enough to help themselves. That’s also a pretty accurate description of a good father, don’t you think?

Dad, do you want your daughter to make smart choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol, sexual intimacy, boyfriends, academic performance, how she dresses and developing a strong faith? If so, I want to encourage you to read the four tips from Dr. Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters below.

  1. Make a plan.

Your aspirations for your daughter will be clearest when she is young. When she’s an infant, you know with crystal clarity what you will expect from her: everything from what she will be allowed to say and do to whom she can date. Write it down now, and keep it clear in your mind and in hers. Teens love to tangle with your thinking. So have your rules inscribed like the Ten...

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Are You Together or Unified?

You can certainly notice when a sports or business team is unified because they tend to experience a great deal of success. Each player focuses on their role in creating a well-coordinated effort to win as a team.

The same is true for marriages. In my work with couples I find that one of the major contributing factors to relationship dissatisfaction has to do with the fact that they are together but not truly unified.

Many couples are together in that they live in the same home, share the same financial resources, sleep in the same bed, attend their kids’ Saturday soccer games and go out on an occasional date. These things are good, but they don’t necessarily reflect unity. Let me explain.

Unity is defined as the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole. This definition applies so perfectly to marriage! It goes deeper than simply being in proximity to one another. Unity in marriage is characterized by several...

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A Dad's Greatest Influence Is His Example

parenting relationships Jun 13, 2018

When I was a child there wasn’t anyone more important to me than my dad. The influence he had on my life was profound and the love he demonstrated was genuine and unconditional.

Although my dad was often busy working two jobs, keeping up with house and car repairs and helping to raise seven kids, he was able to consistently instill important values into my life.

It was my father who helped teach me about honesty, the importance of a strong work ethic, making good on promises and the difference between right and wrong. As I reflect back on the lessons learned from my dad I realize that most of them were taught through his example – not by lectures.

My dad was far from perfect, but he knew what he believed and how to demonstrate those beliefs through his actions. Dads, how are you instructing your children? Remember that the training and instruction you give through your example will have a much greater impact on your children than just your words alone!

Live, Work and...

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How to Be a Person of Influence - Part II

Last week I shared the first 5 tips for how to be a person of influence, so here are the 5 remaining tips. I encourage and challenge you to review all 10 tips frequently so that you will become a person of influence who makes a positive difference in the lives of those around you.

6. Accept people for who they are, where they are. All people long to be accepted and to experience a sense of belonging. Accepting and respecting people regardless of their position or station in life is a gift for them and for you. You don’t have to accept someone’s negative behavior, but recognizing their value as a human being will help you find ways to be a positive influence. We know that it is easy to love those who love us, but we are challenged to love the unlovable. Unconditional love is often a catalyst for positive change in someone’s life.

7. Take a stand for what is right. Have a back bone! Don’t assume someone else is going to do it. One of our great...

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Creating an Educational Advantage for Your Children

parenting relationships Apr 10, 2018

Many American parents are angry because of their belief that our public educational system is in shambles. In federal and state political arenas, education is a hot topic and emotions run high as parents, teachers, administrators and politicians wrestle with the issues, and sometimes it’s the children who get caught in the crossfire in the battle over education.

Many parents complain that political correctness, waning values, liberal philosophies and a lack of appropriate discipline has permeated our public schools, rendering them ineffective and even harmful to children and families. The news outlets publish attention-grabbing headlines about students who are severely punished for minor or unintended infractions and others that blame the failing schools for kids who inflict violence on their fellow students. There’s no doubt that our educational system has deteriorated and that it needs an overhaul. However, before we give in to despair about the effects that the...

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