Here are some things that we know are real about relationships:
- Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling are toxic to relationships. The Gottman institute shares a brief overview of these toxins and their antidotes in an animated clip on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o30Ps-_8is (2:12)
- Empathy opens the brain to relationship. Read more about parenting with the brain in mind from Dr. Dan Siegel http://www.drdansiegel.com/books/no_drama_discipline/
- Clear and consistent boundaries communicate safety and are necessary in relationships. “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of your Life” by Cloud and Townsend is an excellent resource addressing boundaries, especially in adult relationships.
- Humans learn primarily though example and experience (which means “do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective parenting strategy). The Love & Logic Institute offers many ideas for helping kids learn through example and experience: https://www.loveandlogic.com/articles-advice/what-is-parenting-with-love-and-logic
Pay attention to what’s real about the relationships in your life. How can love and compassion make those relationships stronger and healthier?
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