The former approach entails a readiness to attack, confront, criticize, or cast aspersion, and quickly escalates a conflictual exchange that could be so much more easily resolved. The latter promotes a sense of powerlessness in the relationship, self-pity and self-victimization, sulking, withdrawal, internalized and growing resentment, and does little to move a situation or dynamic in new directions.
There is ripple effect in a family with an autistic child, an astronomical one in terms of family dynamics. Dr. Cecelia McCarton, founder of The McCarton School and Center for Developmental Pediatrics in New York notes that family members — parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended family members, are all affected by a child’s autism.
The following pointers are abridged from a lovely online piece by Melanie Haiken, writer, editor, and former Executive Editor at BabyCenter.com. She advises new grandparents on how to handle their new role to ensure ongoing smooth relationships.
At the core of her wise advice is a respect for boundaries: As much as you love this new infant, you are not the parent.
While these tips are intended primarily for divorced parents, they are most certainly helpful for all parents – as very few parents share the exact same style or approach.
Mental health counselor Debbie Pincus reminds us that when we know where we stand as parents, it is easier for us to figure out what we will and won’t put up with from our child. If we define our boundaries and try to stick to our principles rather than reacting to our moment-to-moment emotions, we will create a home environment that benefits both parent and child.
In a Washington Post piece (7.18.14) entitled “Are You Raising Nice Kids?“, Amy Joyce helps us focus on raising kind, caring children, rather than over-emphasizing achievement. She shares recommendations from Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the Graduate School of Education, and the Making Caring Common Project about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults.
Several clients and friends have asked for recommendations for good books on parenting adolescents. I hope you find this list helpful.
Many couples struggle with the giving and receiving of criticism. Often framed in ways that shame, blame, belittle or humiliate, criticism is rarely well-received and usually results in defensiveness and disengagement. A helpful way to get around these pitfalls is to think in terms of constructive, honest and engaged feedback.