Real Relationships

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 (2:12)
  • Empathy opens the brain to relationship.  Read more about parenting with the brain in mind from Dr. Dan Siegel
  • 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:

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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