Monday, October 30, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
2. Everyone is struggling to pay bills and get ahead. Make a budget and stick to it. The earlier you start to shop the less likely you will fall victim to overspending.
3. Listen to the words you are singing or saying while you are celebrating and spend time this holiday giving to the disadvantaged people in your town. Make a difference in at least one less fortunate families life.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Be seen and briefly heard. Pretend you are a neighborly friend dropping by to say hello, greet the children politely and then become quiet and smile a lot. Dating someone with children is after all in the children's mind a job application. To either fill a beloved but lost parent place or to fulfill a child's fantasy of their new parent. Both are impossible roles to play and eventually the child will feel disappointed because you are just a regular person. They are scrutinizing you for any and all defects. The best strategy upon meeting your date's children is to minimize your importance by making your meeting casual and quick, doing and saying less helps reduce this emotionally loaded event.
Less is so much more right now. Try too hard and you will be dismissed rudely or morph into the bogeyman to a toddler. The relationship is with the parent and it your developing feelings for each other that will help to turn these critical dominating mini detectives into real people that you can learn to enjoy.
Set up by your Date
Often, desperate to have their children not alienate a new (and probably the first in a long time) romance, the parent may try to convince the children how great you are. This will only increase the inevitable crushing disappointment and threatening jealousy that they feel when they meet you. The parent should instead downplay your arrival and refer to you as a friend.
Control the sexual attraction and reserve any romantic gestures or nervous giggling until you are safely away from the kids. Kids have radar when it comes to anything that diverts attention from their parent away from themselves and they will lie awake plotting how best to recover their position of control and influence on their parent usually including getting rid of the usurper, you.
During the initial dating period it is very important to have a sense of humor as much as possible, for the times that the eight year old suddenly feels sick as you arrive to escort their mom to the dance, or when the four year old talks incessantly about his or her wonderful missing father, or when the eleven year old loudly point out your receding hairline and bad breath, or the teen simply make up creative lies about you. You are a threat and they are protecting their territory.
You are not the parent
Remember you are a visitor to their home and it is not important to pay much attention to their antics or try to correct them. Just observe them and remain detached as you would while observing any other misbehaving children that you encounter like at the next table at Starbucks.
Your Date is worried about other things
Their parent is probably a nervous wreck and so stressed out trying to go from diaper-changing mode to glamour queen or king, that they are probably trying to ignore the children's antics as much as possible as should you. It takes several years to blend into an established family with children, so let the parent do the work and discipline with the children until you earn real power and respect from just hanging around a lot.
Avoid spending the night as long as possible. Their parent's bed is a private and personal territory that will set off alarms in the children's head. Be prepared to pay more for babysitters and for a few hours at hotels, but the privacy is worth every cent.
What you see will not be what you eventually get
The children are changing every day and the brat you see today will be an angel tomorrow or vice versa. With Herculean patience, time and tolerance, your new date's baggage, may one day turn into your most treasured bounty.
Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choices in Love. She is a leading forensic expert and authority on relationship issues and a licensed mental health counselor. A member of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Molly has appeared on NBC, PBS, KTLA, GO-CO feature film My Suicide, WGUF-FM, the documentary "Ready to Explode," and interviews for Psychology Today, Newsday, O Magazine, MSN.com, Match.com, The Orlando Sentinel, Hitched and The Nest. For more information, please visit: www.askdrmolly.com
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Author of Matchlines: Many speakers insist on using the words gay and pedophile interchangeably. Isn't this a stark insult to confuse the minority who are in relationships with other consenting adults of the same gender with people who are attracted to children or worse, criminals who hurt children. The selfish preying on children with total disregard for the welfare of the child helps to distinguish criminal behavior. Our society must take a stand to never allow crimes against children to be justified or rationalized away. Sexual abuse behavior is often passed down generation to generation without intervention. The root cause may be mental illness, shame, violence, anger, revenge, or anxiety. The sadistic dominance of the adult corrodes the victim's childhood and can destroy their quality of life. A child learns to be a man or woman in stages and may appear to be ready physically for sexual experience, but emotional and mentally, they are still children. The adult must be the gatekeeper. Children do not understand the repercussions of flirting or adult interactions. The younger the child, the more horrifying the adult's behavior. No excuse can be tolerated for the pedophile, whether the perpetrator is straight or gay, male or a beautiful blond female, a Senator or a relative, or someone who believes their abuse helped or was encouraged by the child. Do you remember how frightening it was to anger, question or talk back to adults when you were young? If an adult uses their power and influence to sadistically manipulate the malleable child, what is sufficient punishment? There are neighborhood lists, laws, incarceration and neutering programs for the perpetrator. Nothing can replace innocence lost. What would an eye for an eye be for a pedophile? How to protect your child? Perhaps responsible adults could parent with Universal Precautions for Children. Never place children in potential harms way with someone not yet proven trustworthy. Parents and supervisors, err on the side of being too careful. Most importantly, educate even very young children about "wolves in sheeps clothing."
PRPR retained to represent Dr. Molly Barrow in print media.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Wait until you calm down and can discuss the issue rather than start a war. In attack mode, you may throw wounding comments at your spouse that may take years to get over. Avoid doing more damage to each other, even though you feel hurt and wronged. The goal here is a positive resolution, not revenge for what he said. Later, when you are both calm tell him that you would like to discuss the subject of children with him and let him give you a time to talk.
One in a zillion. To procreate or not to procreate, that is the question. This is only one of countless issues in your marriage that you will discuss, overcome or just choose to differ about even in a great relationship. How you handle conflict is what is important to the future of your relationship. Can you listen to him spill his guts about his feelings even when you completely disagree? Can you listen with respect and belief that you will work this out as a couple somehow? Does he allow you to have a different opinion about something very important to him like finances, friends, his parents or the weekend without shutting you up with criticism or domination? The more important the issue the more carefully you proceed.
Talking means listening. Tell him that you are very certain that you do want children and that you are concerned that he does not know if he wants kids. Ask him to tell you why he thinks he may not want kids. Listen and do not react or respond. If you freak out while he is explaining himself, he will hesitate to tell you the truth about anything in the future. No matter what he says, just listen and even write it down so you do not put words in his mouth later.
Think through his side. Thank him for talking about it and say you want to discuss it more after you both have some time. Then go away and take a few days to think about his side. Talk again and ask what would help him be more comfortable with having children, suggest babysitting for a nephew, if its finances, suggest creative financial solutions or solicit advice from trusted friends or family. He is entitled to not want children whether it is because he is selfish, wants to live free, believes the world is over populated or is simply “scared to death” to be a father. He can be all of the above and still be a husband of great merit.
Was there an existing verbal contract? Did you have a previous discussion that led you to believe your husband agreed to have children with you? Do you feel misled or betrayed? On the other hand, did you make an assumption based on your own strong desire to have a family? If he previously agreed and now has changed his mind, you need to know what made him change.
Are you jumping to conclusions? If you are aware of serious problems in your relationship, and are hoping a child will help mend those rifts, the opposite is more likely to occur. Is his comment really a symbol of something awful? Perhaps, you wonder if he regrets his commitment to you. Do you worry he cannot imagine tying himself to you for the rest of his life with children? He did not say any of those things, and you could hurt him by suggesting that he does not love you enough to want children. Anyway, do you really want to put that idea in his mind?
What Time is it? Are you young and just starting out? If you are young, realize that both of you will go through many changes in the next few years. Maturity and responsibility are important necessities for the “three a.m. rocking to sleep again.” Your partner may need growing time before they are confident they can be a good parent. Or, are you a thirty-five year old newlywed with a loud ticking sound from your tired ovaries? If you want a child, no one can stop you from having that experience. You know in your heart if your relationship is more important to you than your need to have a child. You may have to make that difficult choice.
What did he really say? He said, “He doesn’t know.” The day that a baby comes to you will change your life and his forever. Men do not often come with a nesting instinct. They have aggression, sarcasm, adorableness, but rarely the strong call to have an antiseptic bathroom. The nesting instinct is alive and well in the female of nearly all species. Yet, many men and a good number of women do not have measurable paternal or maternal instincts before their child’s eyes meet their own. Then suddenly, a parent would kill to protect that little person. Nature kicks in and you are a parent in every sense of the word. Until it happens to you it is difficult to imagine that the relief and appreciation in a babies face when you change their diaper for them is a moment of bonding and love that fills your heart and soul with purpose. The down side is that we are talking about diapers and not fancy cocktail parties or adventurous trips to exotic places. Being a parent is the hardest and the best job in the world. You both have a right to be afraid, cautious, and hopefully someday, willing to try your best.
Dr. Molly Barrow, author of the new book, “Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choices in Love,” is a leading forensic expert and authority on relationship issues and mental health. A member of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Molly has appeared on NBC News, PBS IN FOCUS, KTLA, GO-CO feature film MY SUICIDE, WGUF FM TALK, READY TO EXPLODE Documentary, and interviews for Psychology Today, Newsday, MSN, Hitched, Lavalife and O Magazine. For more information, please visit: http://www.askdrmolly.com/.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author ofthe new book, “Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking atRelationships and Making the Right Choices in Love.” She is a leadingforensic expert, authority on relationship issues and a licensed mental health counselor. A member of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Molly has appeared on NBC, PBS, KTLA, GO-CO feature film My Suicide, WGUF-FM, the documentary "Ready to Explode," and interviews for Psychology Today, Newsday, O Magazine, MSN.com, Hitched and The Nest. For more information, please visit:www.askdrmolly.com
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The downtime between relationships is important because it gives you the confidence that you can thrive even when you are not in a relationship. This ensures that you never stay in a negative or abusive relationship because you are afraid to go it alone. The 20’s are only one time that may be a growth time. Downtime is often easiest in your early twenties when a spouse or children do not depend on you, but it can come at many other times of your life as well. Such downtimes provide an opportunity to focus more on the discovery of who you are with less compromise for the needs of others. Time away from your school or career or even after the tragedy of a divorce or a death of a spouse are important opportunities to concentrate on you.
If you jump right into another relationship after a failed one, then you may reach too low for a good match. Once you recover from heartache or grief or simply learn to do things on your own, what you have to give in a relationship grows. Ultimately, after you experience self-esteem building downtime, and you are at the top of your game, you will seek out a better match. Intense work on yourself is advantageous at many different times of your life and will serve you well in all your relationships.