Monday, November 9, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

Monday November 9, 2009

“The question is not whether our kids matter to us. Of course they do. The question is whether or not our actions and attitudes communicate to them that they do”.

Ed Wimberly is the author of, Parenting with an attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents ask Themselves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

November 2, 2009
“It is important that from a very early age, we encourage and allow our kids to help, even though at first they may not really be of much help to us at all.”

Ed Wimberly is the author of Parentingwithan Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves.

Friday, October 30, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

October 29, 2009

Am I appropriately available to my kids?

"Being around our kids as much as is possible and appropriate is a
great start toward our being available to them. But availability requires
more than just physical presence. It takes our willingness to
spend the time and energy to actually tune in to what’s going on in
their lives.
Shaping and influencing your kids—taking that “unfinished
product” and “designing” them to become the healthiest person
they can be—is every parent’s responsibility. An important vehicle
we have for accomplishing this task is your willingness to be available
to them. If you are not around, you will miss the opportunity
to influence them; if you are present but yet not really available
because you are not tuned in to them, then you could still miss
that opportunity.
While meeting their needs for time and attention is essential
to their health and well-being, it is also possible to be excessively
and inappropriately available to them. When parents are constantly
available and believe that “no” should never be an option,
they run the risk that their children will grow up believing the
false assumption that: “Since no one else has needs that are as important
as mine, then the world must owe me something anytime
I demand it.” Needless to say, such an assumption leads to many
other problems."

Discussion Questions

1. Were your parents appropriately available to you when you
were young?

2. How did their degree of availability affect you as a kid growing

3. Is your availability to your kids today appropriate and

4. Do you ever wonder if you are too available to your kids, or do
you need to work on being more available than you are?

5. Do you see any affects in your kids from your being either too
available or not available enough?

6. If you believe you need to make some changes in this area of
availability, what are they?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“If we teach and encourage our kids to ignore, deny, and cover up their feelings and emotions while they are young, in the long run they will be less likely to control how they act on them”.
Ed Wimberly is the author of Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

Monday, October 5, 2009

“Kids who are able to laugh at themselves once in a while tend to have more self-respect and self-confidence than do those who have learned to take themselves more seriously.”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #7

Each consistently checks out their assumptions before acting on them.

Making assumptions in the process of communicating with others is inevitable. And the assumptions we make in everyday conversation are shaped and formed primarily as a result of the many experiences and relationships we have had throughout the course of our lives.

When our assumptions are correct, they serve us well; when they are incorrect (or when they are false assumptions as I will refer to them here), they can wreak havoc in our relationships with others.

As an example, suppose as a child you were constantly challenged by Mom and Dad (criticized, confronted and corrected on your behaviors or attitudes). And to show their displeasure of you, they would consistently withdraw, give you the silent treatment, and generally withhold their love from you for a period of time-perhaps to drive home their disappointment, and to get you to “shape up”.

Today in your current relationship, when you are challenged or in some way criticized, (a natural and inevitable thing from time to time in the best of relationships) you project on to your spouse the rejection and emotional withdrawal that came along with the criticism you received from your parents. As a result, in response to the criticism from your spouse, you react as if you were rejected and actually told you were no longer loved, when very likely, all that happened was that you were in some way challenged or maybe criticized by him/her.

Another example might further clarify the connection between past experiences on our current assumptions:

Suppose as a little girl, your daddy was a consistent help around the house and that you were told that the reason he was so attentive to what needed to be done was that he loved his family so much. This is not a bad or inappropriate message to have heard in and of itself. However, now as an adult woman you are married to a man who…well let’s just say that helping around the home is not exactly his strong suit. While your need for him to be more helpful may certainly be a problem you are justified in addressing, it may be a false assumption that his “task-passive ways” are a reflection of his lack of care and love for you.

If your response to his less than helpful ways is based on your early childhood experience with a daddy who was helpful because, “he loves us so much”, then rather than appropriately addressing the issue of your need for more help, you will likely respond on the basis of the false assumption that…”if he REALLY loved and valued me (the way daddy did) he would be more helpful around here.”

There are two reasons most of us will usually give as a justification for not checking out our assumptions:

First, we are usually convinced that we are right in our assumptions so why bother bringing them up? Over time, this just leads to a further break down in communication, a deepening conviction that our assumptions are true, and a further justification for our reactions.

The second reason is a bit more subtle but every bit as damaging; what if we find out the assumption we hold really is true? “What if her criticism of me really is her way of withholding her love!” “What if his refusal to be more helpful around the house really is his way of saying he doesn’t care much about me?” To hear that our assumptions are actually correct is always painful, but at least then we have reality to deal with, rather than the fears and insecurities we have held privately to ourselves.

So take the risk of checking out your assumptions before acting on them. The results might pleasantly surprise you.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D. Author of, Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

Monday, September 28, 2009
"Touch is important in our role as parents to our kids. When we touch, we may communicate warmth, compassion, understanding, support, a sense of being heard; our touch can also communicate disdain, rejection, disappointment, and a great deal more that can hurt and harm."

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Friday, September 25, 2009

An excerpt fro Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

September 25, 2009

Do I excessively protect my kids?

Virtually all of the experiences and relationships we have had during the course of our lifetime have an influence on our outlook, our behaviors, and our attitudes—
and ultimately, on our role as parents. So it is natural for a parent who as a child may have experienced any form of traumatic experience, to err in the direction of being an overprotective parent to their own kids.

It is also understandable, since childhood patterns have a way of
following us into our adult lives, that if our parents were overprotective,
we will be more likely to be the same. It is important however, to remember that we can make new decisions in spite of our past experiences.

In order to avoid becoming an overprotective parent, it is helpful to
understand our past experiences and relationships. Otherwise we run the risk of robbing our children of the opportunity to live life to its fullest. As is so often the case, all of this is easier said than done, but it is nonetheless an important
goal for all parents to strive for. If it is our goal to raise healthy kids, then
we must not hold them back because of our irrational and displaced fears.

Discussion questions

1. Were your parents overprotective with you as a child?

2. If they were, how did their overprotective behavior affect you
as a child?

3. What affect might their overprotection be having on you

4. As a parent, are you overprotective with your kids, or do you
provide them with appropriate and necessary safety?

5. How would the friends who know you best answer that

6. If you are an overprotective parent, what possible fears might
lie behind your behavior?

7. If you are an overprotective parent, is unrealistic fear or a lack
of self-confidence showing up in your kids?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 21, 2009
“Our kids will be shaped and influenced more by how we respond after we have made a mistake with them, than by the actual mistakes we make.”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #6

September 17, 2009

There is little-if any-competition for, “the good times”; each is happy for the other’s
fun, fame and free time.

A common earmark of an unhealthy marriage relationship is a pattern of keeping track of and competing for, the “positive life experiences” that come to the other person. In an unhealthy relationship there is almost always jealousy, resentment, and the tendency to hold a grudge when good things happen to the other.

The common reaction of a jealous spouse who wonders when it will finally be their turn for a bit of fun, fame, or good fortune is often subtle and can even be imperceptible by others at first. Nonetheless, the one holding the grudge over the good time had by the other usually knows. And it is more often than not just a matter of time until others begin to notice the subtle signs of tension developing over keeping track of whose turn it is for a little fun, free time, or 15 minutes of fame.

On the other hand, we have all been the admiring observer of the genuine happiness and enthusiasm experienced by a spouse when good fortune has come their partner’s way. Rather than resenting the good time experienced by the other, there even seems to be a vicarious pleasure when the other is on the receiving end of something good.

Compare the following conversations:

1. “Well, it looks like YOU had a very carefree and relaxing day around here while I was out slaving to make a living.”
“I’m glad you were able to take a breather today. Don’t worry about what you didn’t get done. You deserve a relaxing, care free day.”

2. “Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that you’re taking another day trip with your girl friends? When’s it MY turn?”
Yeah, I know you were gone not too long ago, but I’ll catch up with you one of these days. Go and have a great time”.

3. “I get a little tired of hearing from others what a nice guy you are. You know, you’re not exactly perfect, and they don’t have to live with you.”
“I am very proud of the fact that I’m married to a person who is liked by so many people. Yeah I know, you do have your faults, but I’m one of your fans too”.

4. “You seem to get so many comments about what a great mom you are. Don’t they know it takes two to parent?”
“I’m very proud and grateful that you are such a great mom, and that your efforts don’t go unnoticed by others. Our kids are lucky to have you for a mom.”

5. “Okay, so you got yet another achievement award at work this year. Don’t forget that I gave up a good career of my own to stay home with the kids.”
“Your company knows a great human asset when they see one! I’m proud and thankful that you provide so I can be a stay at home Mom to our kids.”

6. "You mean to tell me you're going to lunch with a friend AGAIN!? Do you have any idea how long it has been since I was able to take time out for a leisurely lunch?"
"I'm glad you can find regular time in your schedule to conne ct with friends. Have a great time."

Certainly not an exhaustive list of the every day conversations that take place in our marriages today, but these examples do provide a glimpse into one of the key differences between healthy and unhealthy marriages when it comes to competing for the good times.

It is easy for the best of us to fall into the pattern of competing for positive life experiences and even resenting our spouse when they seem to be getting what we think is a little more than their fair share. But if it is our goal to have a healthy and more satisfying relationship, then it is important that we learn to experience a bit of vicarious pleasure when our spouse reaps some of the rewards and benefits of life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 14, 2009
“Holding a grudge when our kids have disappointed us sends the message that our love and acceptance are both conditional, and that they must somehow earn back the privilege of being loved by us again”.
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Sept 10, 2009
Raising angry-free kids who are confident and independent
Raising confident kids who are free of chronic anger requires parenting
skills that instill an appropriate sense of independence and
self-reliance. From the very moment our children are able to walk,
we must begin allowing and encouraging them to do for themselves.
To do so does not mean that we are lazy, nor that we do not
love them. It does not mean we are unavailable when our input is
needed. In fact, it usually takes more time and energy to help, assist,
and guide children than it does to simply do things for them.
The goal is not to raise kids who are so self-sufficient that they
do not need others. Certainly having an appropriate need for others
is the basis for healthy relationships, and it is true that “no
man is an island.” But it is essential to their health and well-being
that they grow up to be adults who are capable of taking care of
When we consistently do for them what they should be able to
do for themselves, the final outcome will be kids—and eventually
adults—who are not only angry at us, but at the world as well,
because they are unable to do for themselves.
Discussion Questions:
1. When you were growing up did your parents encourage you to
remain dependent upon them?

2. How did their attitudes regarding independence/dependence
affect you as a kid? In what ways are you still affected?

3. Do you agree/disagree with the idea that parents must avoid
allowing kids to remain dependent upon them?

4. How would you assess the issue of dependence/independence
in your relationship with your kids?

5. If your kids are excessively dependent on you, what might
possibly motivate you to encourage them to be?

6. Do you see any unwanted side effects developing as a result of
their dependence?

7. If there is excessive or inappropriate dependence on you, what
are some ways you could change the pattern?

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 7, 2009

Focusing on the positive
“As we focus more on the positive in our kids, many of their negative and unacceptable behaviors may begin to fade."

Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting With An Attitude....21 Questions Sucessful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Healthy marriage Characteristic #5

September 3, 2009

Both are willing to take the risk of being vulnerable with each other.

Vulnerability defined: “Allowing yourself to be in a position with another person who if they chose to, could hurt you; when they don’t, then the result is an increase and improvement in relational and emotional intimacy”.

Improving intimacy by increasing vulnerability

The desire for vulnerability seems to be a basic need that all of us human beings were born with. If you doubt this, just spend a little time observing a toddler over the course of several months of his or her early years. As he learns to navigate both physically as well as relationally, he seems to be fearless; he isn’t afraid of falling, doesn’t seem to fear water, dogs, hot stoves or criticism from others. And-much to the chagrin of Mom and Dad-that little kid doesn’t at first seem to fear strangers either.

But ever so slowly, and as a result of imperfect relationships and life experiences, he begins to conclude that, “this vulnerability thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! I just got hurt! I’d better start protecting myself from any further hurt in the future”.

Just like that toddler, all of us have learned over the course of our lives to trust less and to guard ourselves more from being hurt by others. And for many of us, it becomes easier and safer to simply settle in to a life of self-protection, rather than to pursue a life that involves taking risks in the relationships we value most. And needless to say, it is easy to bring this baggage of guarding ourselves from being hurt into our marriages. When we do, we miss out on the benefits of greater intimacy that being vulnerable can bring. And this self-protection and fear of being vulnerable can prevent the development of deeper relationships-something I believe we all want and value, but don’t always attain to a satisfactory degree.

The key (in a nut shell) then, to overcoming your fear of being hurt, disappointed, let down, (or whatever your specific fear might be) is to step outside what you have grown to feel safe with-your comfort zone-and to call the bluff of any “catastrophic expectations” that you fear might come along with being vulnerable. Doing this will go a long way to weaken any life long patterns and fear-based behaviors that are negatively affecting your current relationship.

Needless to say, all of this is easier said than done, but it IS possible. And your efforts are bound to bring significant changes for the better to the most important and potentially most satisfying relationship you will ever have. Step outside your comfort zone with each other, take risks, allow yourselves to be in a position with each other where you could be hurt. If you are hurt, then address it and use it as a vehicle for growth; when you are not hurt-even though you could have been-then the intimacy between you will grow, and your relationship is bound to grow as well.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 31, 2009
Am I available to my kids?
"Just because we are physically present does not necessarily mean that we are available to our kids when they need us”.
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Friday, August 28, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 28, 2009

Avoiding the mistakes our parents made with us
"While it may at times be a difficult task emotionally for many of us to tackle, it is important in our parenting efforts to look at and to consider how our parents raised us. While we may have grown up vowing to avoid making the same mistakes with our kids that they made with us, it can be an easier promise made to ourselves than it is to actually keep. Simply stated, it is important-especially for new parents just starting out-to consider and evaluate the job our parents did with us. What did they do well, and what did they do that may not have been done so well? How were we affected, and how was our relationship with them impacted? Only then are we able to, 'take the best and leave the rest'. Take advantage of books, friends, professionals, as well as your own instincts, to create the most effective style of parenting for your kids. It can even be helpful to draw from your parents and how they raised you. But to either blindly apply, or to blindly reject their efforts will not serve you well in your quest to be a successful parent."

Ed Wimberly, Author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Succcessful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion questions

1. How did the mistakes your parents made with you affect your
relationship with them?
2. Do the mistakes they made when you were growing up affect
you now?
3. Do you ever find yourself making some of the same mistakes
with your kids that your parents made with you?
4. If you do, how do those mistakes you are repeating with your
kids affect your relationship with them today?
5. Do you remain a victim of the mistakes your parents made, or
do you feel you have let go and moved on?
6. Have you forgiven them for any mistakes they may have made
as your parents?
7. If not, what do you think it would take for you to forgive

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 24, 2009
“While we must be diligent in protecting our kids from harm of any kind, it is also important that we recognize when our efforts to do so have gone beyond simply providing appropriate security, to a futile effort of creating guaranteed safety”.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Friday, August 21, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 21, 2009

Am I motivated as a parent by guilt?
"Understandably no parent wants to be motivated and manipulated by their feelings of guilt. However, if our kids realize just how strongly we may want to avoid those feelings, we become
easy prey and will be handily manipulated by them. Pleasing and constantly gratifying our kids for the sake of avoiding the feeling of guilt that may come when we say 'no' does not a good parent make.

We simply cannot afford to be influenced by our own need to avoid feeling guilty. Being the parent our kids need does not always mean being the parent they want. We can’t always be the good guy. That means sometimes saying no, sometimes not pleasing them, even though we may be left feeling guilty because we have deprived them. Naturally, this can bring about occasional and illogical feelings of guilt in the best of us, but we must avoid being shaped and driven by those feelings."
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D. author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions
1. If your parents used guilt to motivate you when you were
young, how did it affect your relationship with them?
2. If they did use guilt in an effort to motivate you, did it work?
3. In addition to affecting your relationship with them, in what
other ways were you possibly shaped by their use of guilt?
4. Do you ever find yourself, as a parent, being motivated by your
own guilty feelings with your kids?
5. If you do, what are some possible negative results of your being
motivated by guilt in your parenting?
6. If your kids are able to manipulate you through guilt, what
are some possible consequences to their overall growth and
emotional development?

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 17, 2009
“Chronic anger in kids usually goes hand in hand with undue dependence on us, so raising kids who are not angry spirited requires that we encourage them from the beginning to be independent and self-reliant”.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., Author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

August 11, 2009

Parenting by guilt-it works, but does it really?
"Motivating and shaping our kids is certainly an important part of being a good parent. And instilling a sense of right and wrong-helping to influence and shape their conscience development-is also a big part of our task as parents to our kids. But what means we use to motivate them will play a vital role in how they grow up viewing and valuing themselves in their world.

If our efforts to shape and to motivate them brings about immediate desired changes but at the same time creates in them unhealthy patterns of guilt-motivated behaviors, then we run the risk of 'winning the immediate battle, but of losing the war' in the long run.

If on the other hand, we value and strive for not only appropriate behavior change in our kids, but for the healthy and productive shaping of their character and conscience as well, then we must find constructive and growth producing ways of challenging them without employing the destructive use of guilt. Since our goal is to raise great, healthy and angry-free kids, there is simply no place for the use of guilt in our parenting tool box."

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions:
1. Did your parents use guilt to get you to do what they wanted?
2. If they did use guilt to motivate you, how were you affected as
a child?
3. Does the fact that that they used guilt (or not) have an affect
now—on your life as an adult?
4. Do you use guilt to get your kids to do what you want? If so,
how does it seem to be affecting your relationship with them?
5. How does your use of guilt seem to be affecting them in their
relationships with others?
6. If you consistently use guilt with your kids and want to change,
what are some other ways you could motivate them?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #4

Both are quick to laugh at life, and at themselves as well.

They say that laughter is good for the soul. While this is certainly true, I suspect that laughter is good for our marriage as well. At the risk of sounding a bit pessimistic however, it seems to me that as we grow older, it can become more difficult to find the humor in life-as well as the humor in our marriages-the humor that in our youth, we might have found with great regularity.

Or maybe there is a better way of saying this: as time passes and the seriousness of life increases, these inevitable life circumstances can overshadow many of the things that at one time we found so much humorous pleasure in.

I’m really not a pessimist and I do find lots of life experiences that are worthy of a laugh or two. I must confess however, that as I grow older I have to be a bit more dedicated in my search for the funny moments in life. And I think that most would agree with me that as they age (something most of us are doing!) they too have to work a bit harder to find the humor in life to laugh about.

Husbands and wives who are in healthy and vibrant marriages are intentional in their efforts to keep the machinery of laughter well oiled and often used. While they may have to overlook and peer beyond some of the natural heaviness that can happen as they age, (work, health, family conflicts, disappointments, failures, and of course, the national news to name but a few), they are usually quite successful at laughing out loud-and often-with each other.

Most of us are drawn to people who can laugh at themselves from time to time. Possibly an even more difficult challenge than finding life circumstances to laugh at and about together, is being able to actually laugh at ourselves when it is appropriate and called for. Not only do men and women who are a part of a healthy marriage laugh more in general, they also seem to be able to laugh at themselves, and to allow the other in on the “fun at their expense”, so to speak. Each is careful, though to distinguish between laughing at, and laughing with, the other person. Somehow they are able to detect with regular success when their laughing in response to the blunders, imperfections and glitches of the other is welcomed and appropriate, and when it is not.

It seems that emotionally healthy and well balanced children have learned the knack for doing just that at a very early age; they have somehow learned that it is ok and even appropriate to find a little humor in their own occasional slips and goof-ups. I doubt that for most of us human beings, laughing at ourselves comes naturally, but rather, it is learned at an early age and then needs to be practiced as we grow older.

So not only is laughter good for the soul, it is very good for the health and well-being of our marriage as well.
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

July 27, 2009
Do I respect my kids?
"Respect is caught by our kids more than it is directly taught to them by us. Their need and right for respect is not based on age, nor is it earned by performance or ability. While rights and privileges are earned and certainly can be lost, respecting our kids—just because they are our kids—must be a constant, a right that is never taken from them.

Respecting them, while not always easy or natural, is a fundamental necessity if we are to help our kids have a sense of their own self-worth. If we are able to respect them just because of who they are-in spite of how they act or behave-then they will be more likely to grow up with a greater knowledge of who they are and what it is they have to offer. They will also develop a greater capacity and desire to respect others as well.

Bottom line: raising great kids requires that parents show them they are respected just for being who they are.

A good question that might help in assessing the quality of respect you have for your kids is this: do I treat my best friends and my kids in a similar manner when it comes to respect?"

Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions:
1. As a child growing up, were you respected by your parents?

2. What signs of respect do you remember from them?

3. What impact did their respect/non-respect have when you
were growing up?

4. Do you treat your best friend and your kids in a similar respectful

5. Do you agree or disagree with the idea that respect is caught
more than it is simply taught to our kids?

6. Are you succeeding at instilling in your kids a respect for

7. What signs do you see that suggest that you are succeeding?

8. In what ways do you show respect to your kids?

9. In what ways do you see your kids showing respect (or disrespect)
toward others?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #3

The personality differences and characteristics that exist between each other are recognized and appreciated rather than criticized or seen as a threat.

Have you ever noticed that we humans are usually drawn to people who are most like ourselves? We are naturally more comfortable with other people whose characteristics are similar to our own and who act, think, feel and respond to life in ways that we ourselves do. I suppose there is more than a bit of truth in the Greek mythology where Narcissus, who saw his reflection in a pool of water, immediately fell in love with himself. While not always the case, often when we see another person who is a reflection of ourselves, we are drawn to them.

And so it can be in our marriage relationships, that we are drawn to, and most in love with those characteristics in our spouse that are most similar to how we see ourselves..

In healthy marriages the differences are celebrated rather than criticized. And this is possible because those differences are not seen as a threat, but rather, as differences that can help “grow” an exciting and more fulfilling relationship. Although those differences may at times create tension and difficult times of working through conflict, in the long run both recognize the value that is found in being married to someone who is their own person and not always just like they themselves are.

So the key to accomplishing this in our marriage is to see the differences that exist between our spouse and ourselves as challenges to grow by, rather than as threats to ourselves or to our relationship.
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“Kids who know their parents not only love them but respect them as well, are more likely to grow up showing respect toward others”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Monday, July 20, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

What do my kids hear me say about them?
"It is inevitable that the expectations we have for our kids will be their first and most significant road map for developing a sense of who they are and what they have to offer the world. Having absorbed what they have observed, heard and concluded about what we expect them to be, they then set out in life to perpetuate what they heard about themselves as kids. This in large part, is how personality develops.

Since childhood patterns-both healthy and unhealthy-tend
to continue throughout their lives, giving our kids positive and
healthy expectations to live up to is essential. Our words, messages,
and attitudes—as well as our physical expressions—will either
convey messages and expectations that will shape, mold and
encourage them to think well of themselves, or contribute to their
becoming self-doubting adults who are less prepared to deal with
life and the struggles that will come their way from time to time."

Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Discussion Questions:
1. What is one message you consistently heard as a child that you
are either living up to, or down to?
2. In what way does that early childhood message you heard affect
you today?
3. What are some of the messages you are sending your kids
that are shaping and influencing their conclusions regarding
4. What is the most common message your kids hear from you
regarding them?
5. What affect does that message currently seem to be having on
6. How is that consistent message from you likely shaping how
they will be as adults?

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“Kids who are motivated and shaped by guilt are more likely to be parents later on who are easily manipulated by the use of guilt by their own kids.”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“In spite of our determination to avoid repeating the mistakes our parents made with us, we may still be influenced by them in our parenting efforts with our kids today.”

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting With An Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

guest authors

So Busy Parenting we Forget to Love and Cherish our Children
by Stephen Frueh, Ph.D.

Parenting is way of life. It demands consistent consciousness and attentiveness. There’s safety, health, learning, relationships, play – all needing our guidance and focus. We want a lot for these little people who are on the way to taking their place in the world’s scheme of things.

Our own ‘tween’ delights, confounds, amazes and enchants daily. She’s clearly becoming a force, a ‘future’ woman in whom it is not difficult to see the early outlines – the promise of beauty, intelligence and craft of her coming full maturity.

We work hard to ‘be there’ for her. We work to supply the necessary substance for school, music lessons, sports, clothes and so on. We work equally as hard at tuning into her needs. She needs a good ear available, needs inspiration for her need for continuity with her music and other projects. She needs guidance in the many challenges of peers, challenges of usage of time, challenges of fitness and health.

All this takes a lot of energy and we recently have been talking about missing ‘lap time.’ Here’s a story. I’m a marriage coach. The other day I was invited to sit with a family of four – mother, father and two early teenage girls. There was a great deal of anger and misunderstanding. Some shouting. Plenty of defensiveness. A little scolding. Everybody was scolding everybody else.
As they worked through the many challenges things calmed down. The father motioned to his daughter to come over and sit on his lap. She did. As soon as that happened the other daughter was invited by the mother to sit on her lap. Soon we were all full of tears of gratitude.

It wasn’t hard to see that a good part of the tension, the anger and frustration, was related to a longing for closeness. Their upper middle class lives are full of demands. It’s easy to miss the simplest need to be touched, held, seen, loved.

Cherishing our children takes as much attentiveness as seeing that their homework is done and their teeth are brushed. And, if you’re worried about peer influence taking them in the ‘wrong’ direction, focus on spending some close unfettered time (no radio, no ipod, no tv) with them. Focus on offering a lap, a hug or even a simple caress on the cheek. It works wonders for everyone in the family.

Stephen W. Frueh PhD is the author of With These Rings and From Marginal to Magnificent: How to Make your Marriage Sing (August 2009). He is coach for couples who want to realize the full possibilities of their marriage. Stephen also is a leadership coach working with business leaders and executive teams to fully realize their potential.
805 338 4286

You may reprint and use this article freely. Just attribute it correctly. Thanks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

"Raising kids who are self-confident and free of chronic, self destructive anger requires that we start encouraging them from the beginning of their lives to be independent and self reliant" Excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude.......21 Questions SuccessfulParents Askscss ask themselves

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“While using guilt to motivate, influence and correct our kids may bring about the behavior changes we would like to see, we create a pattern for them to be more easily motivated by guilt in their relationship with others; when this happens, we will have, 'won the battle but lost the war'”.
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., Author of Parenting with an Attitude......21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

“What our kids hear us say about them goes a long way in creating a road map for how they see themselves, and what they decide they have to offer as human beings”
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude………21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Monday Morning Thought for Good Parents Who Want to be Better Parents

"Kids who are able to laugh at themselves once in a while tend to have more self-respect and self-confidence than do those who take themselves more seriously"
Exerpt from Parenting With An Attitude........21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Healthy Marriage Characteristic #2

Both avoid grudges by keeping short accounts with the other.

by Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.
There’s nothing like a grudge to drive a wedge in relationships between people who otherwise love and care for each other. Whether in a professional relationship, a friendship, a relationship between parent and child, or in a marriage, grudges can damage and even destroy relationships.

There is probably no relationship that holding a grudge can wreak havoc in more than in our marriage. And ironically, when we hold a grudge, the fallout that occurs from not keeping short accounts does more damage to the very relationship we value the most.

Husbands and wives who want to protect their marriage from the potential destruction of unspoken resentment and frustrations make it a priority to keep short accounts with each other; they speak and deal with what ever it is that is bothering them in order to clear the air. Of course, it is important to first consider whether the issue really does matter before addressing it (take a look back on characteristic #1 of a healthy marriage), but once they determine that it really does matter, they address their concern.

So since dealing with important and potentially destructive issues can have such positive results in our marriage, what interferes with our keeping short accounts? I suppose laziness or indifference are both possibilities. What I have found however, is that there are several other reasons behind our temptation to sweep under the rug what should actually be brought into the light and addressed. Here are just a few that come to mind:

-Fear of the response we might get from the other;
-we may be convinced that airing our grievance will do no good;
-we may have been taught to not complain, but to “suck it up and move on”;
-we may hold the misconception that if we have a gripe or complaint, then our marriage must
have serious flaws-flaws that we might not want to face;
-we may believe that if we complain, then we must be selfish.

There are no doubt other reasons we may resist the idea of keeping short accounts, but whatever the reasons for doing so, it is important to keep in mind the damage over time that may occur. Simply stated, there is no room in a healthy marriage for holding a grudge and the only way to avoid doing so is to keep short accounts about the things that really matter.

As always, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Healthy Marriage Characteristic #1

Both ask the question, “does it really matter?” before reacting.

by Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.
The 21 characteristics of healthy marriages I will suggest to you over the weeks ahead will not be in any particular order of importance. That said I do believe that none of the characteristics that are found in healthy marriage relationships is more important than this first one.

Usually in healthy and growing marriages, both have the ability and willingness to consider just how important their gripe, criticism or complaint really is before bringing it up as an issue. And usually, they get it right; they disregard what is of little importance while they express and address those issues in their marriage that do matter and need to be talked out.

Interestingly, in unhealthy and struggling marriages, each may ask the question, “does it really matter?”, but they invariably come up with the wrong answer! Too often, the issues that really do matter that need time, attention and discussion are ignored, set aside and placed into the category, “it doesn’t really matter”. And it is usually with an unproductive attitude (hurt, anger, resentment, etc.) that the issue is declared unimportant and then set aside. Likewise, those issues that are really unimportant that could be disregarded, become the focal point and reason for an argument.

In short, men and women in healthy marriages make it a priority to pick their battles, and by doing so, appropriately ignore what is not important, while dealing with the issues that really do need attending to.

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Dr. Laura reviews and recommends Parenting with An Attitude

Dr. Laura recently reviewed and recommended my book, Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves, on her radio talk show. If you are interested in hearing her comments go to my website at

An Introduction to Punishment vs. Discipline, Parental Power vs. Parental Authority

To read all 14 articles:

Is there really a difference?
It's no secret to any of us parents that kids are all so very different from one to the other. And personality characteristics vary from child to child, even within the same family. One might be more willing to take risks, while another tends to be cautious and less adventurous. One may be moody, while the other is known for being consistently care free. How our kids interact socially, the amount of ambition and drive they have, the ways they learn, the degree to which they are dependent or independent, are but a few of the characteristic differences in our kids, and these distinctions are what make each one of them the unique individual they are.

How our kids respond to discipline can also be quite different from one to the other. What works with one to bring about a desired change in attitude or behaviors might not work as well with another. And what may work well for us in our family and with our kids, might not work as well when tried by another parent in another family. All of these and other response differences in our kids is what makes knowing how to discipline successfully yet another challenging task we take on when we make the decision to become parents.

Our two daughters were quite different from each other in many ways. Ashley, our oldest, seemed to be born in neutral. She wasn't lazy, but she certainly was content much of the time simply being still and quiet. Allyson, on the other hand, was born not only in gear and ready to go, but turbo charged as well! They were both quite different from each other when it came to discipline too. What it would take from us, and how they would respond was quite different most of the time, and it was because of these differences that as parents we had to respond in different ways to each of them much of the time.

We were never spankers as a general rule. Usually we felt that there was a better way than having to take up the rod. When our kids were very young-two to three year's old-we would occasionally resort to a light swat to the backside (it really did usually hurt us more than it did them) to let them know we meant business, and that we wanted some sort of behavior change. It was our way of giving a warning and getting their attention in order to avoid some further, more extreme measures.

I can count on one hand the number of times during her entire childhood that we had to warn Ashley in this manner. Most of the time, a certain "look" from one of us conveyed to her all the warning that was needed to get her attention. I can also count on one hand the number of times we had to warn Allyson in this physical manner-that is, on any given day! She was not particularly defiant or out of control. It was just that she needed to test more than Ashley in order to find out what was expected and where the guidelines were-the guidelines in which she could then freely and safely live her life.

So kids are different in many ways. And how they will respond to our discipline will vary from one to another as well. It is for this reason that it is necessary for us to individually design, at least to some degree, how we discipline our kids.

And these unique differences are what make our task of disciplining them so difficult at times. It is for this reason too, that there is no book that I know of that gives us a recipe on how specifically to discipline, and what to do in each and every situation we will encounter. Unfortunately, the fine art of disciplining kids is not an exact science.

There really a difference between discipline and punishment
In our every day conversation, most of us use the words "punishment" and "discipline" interchangeably. We naturally assume that both words describe the same behavior. The purpose of what follows is to suggest that there are significant distinctions that we must make between the two if our goal is to be successful parents.

While making the distinction between discipline and punishment in every day conversation with others may seem unnecessary, the differences between the two are actually what often separate the successful parent from the one that is unsuccessful in their efforts to raise great and healthy kids.

So it is important for all of us to have a practical and working understanding of the differences between discipline-based parenting and punishment-based parenting. It is perhaps even more important that we understand how the results of using one rather than the other may affect our kids in very different and unfortunate ways.

There really is a difference between parental authority and parental power
There is usually another confusion that occurs when we talk about “parental power" and "parental authority". When we hear "authoritative parenting", we usually think of it as negative and connect it with the idea of power. When we refer to someone as being an authoritative parent, we usually picture an over powering, controlling parent who has dictatorial attitudes, and is overly strict with their kids.

My objection to the negative connotation that usually accompanies this concept of "authority" is that we parents are indeed an authority in the lives of our kids. We must be in order for them to develop into healthy adults. What we must not be is over powering. So authority and power must not be used in the same breath and as if they were the same.

So in an attempt to recapture the positive and necessary qualities of parental authority, I will be using authority as a positive and much needed parental characteristic, and distinguishing it from parental power, which I believe interferes with our efforts to raise great kids. If you are skeptical of such distinctions, I invite and encourage you to read on before concluding that any differences are merely a matter of semantics.

I must confess to just a little "mischievous glee" that comes over me when, at the beginning of parenting workshops I teach, I declare that, "in American homes today, there is far too much punishment and parental power taking place". Most parents in attendance respond with a glare, a shake of their head, or a quiet whisper to the person next to them. Or, some will quickly raise their hand, eager to express their disagreement with my declaration. Seldom do I get a sign or indication from any of the workshop participants that they agree with my notion that too many parents overuse punishment and power with their kids these days.

What I most often hear back is a corporate disagreement that just the opposite is true; that what parents today must use is not less punishment and power, but rather more of both! Perhaps more punishment, so the reasoning goes, would finally bring about a change in the attitudes of irresponsibility and rebellion that is so common in kids today. And perhaps more power from parents would go a long way in "designing" kids who are more self-controlled and well behaved.

I am always quick to point out and explain (in order to avoid a mass exodus), that, while we parents must not rely on punishment and power to extract changes from our kids and their unacceptable attitudes and behaviors, we must instead be willing to learn the fine art and use of healthy and creative discipline and authority instead. While there may be too much punishment going on in today's family, there is certainly not enough discipline taking place. Likewise, while too often there is an over abundance of parental power, we must be a healthy, well-balanced authority in the lives of our kids instead.

While the differences may seem minor, the impact on the lives of our kids when we use punishment rather than discipline, and power rather than authority, can create havoc in their lives and in our relationship with them.

Stated in general terms, if we practice discipline-based parenting and authority-based parenting, we will not only succeed at bringing about desired behavior changes in our kids when it is necessary, but we will at the same time be more likely to raise great kids who like and value themselves. In short, the use of both discipline and authority will help us shape the will of our kids, while leaving their spirit to grow and prosper.

If we choose punishment-based parenting and power-based parenting as our model, we may find that we still get immediate behavior changes that are needed from time to time in our kids. Both are also more likely however, to tear down their self-esteem and leave them feeling insecure, angry, and at best, only temporarily motivated to behave, and for the wrong reasons. Their immediate behaviors may improve, but it is less likely that their attitudes and long-term behaviors will. The use of both punishment and power in raising kids tends to tear down their spirit and create a rebellious will.

It is not so much our actions, but our attitudes and motivations that set discipline-based parenting apart from punishment-based parenting, and authority-based parenting apart from power-based parenting, A spanking, as an example, does not necessarily fall under the category of discipline or punishment. Nor does the act of spanking automatically fall into the camp of either authority or power. And being grounded may fall under the category of either as well, depending on what else we parents do and say along with our act of grounding the guilty party. Being sent to their room for a period of time can also not be automatically described as one or the other.

If behavior and attitude changes in our kids were our only goal and concern, then making a distinction between discipline and punishment would not be needed. Likewise, considering the differences between authority and power would also be unnecessary. Even though power and punishment will often bring about immediate changes and compliance in kids, our concern must be about what harm might also be brought as a result of using parental power and punishment rather than discipline and authority.

Since initially, both the use of discipline or punishment, and authority or power are likely to get the changes we want in our kids, and since punishing and using power is usually easier and far less time consuming for us weary parents, then why argue the merits of discipline over punishment, and authority over power? Such a discussion and consideration of the differences is necessary because there is more to this parenting thing than just shaping our kids into a behaving person. Shaping their spirit is every bit as important as shaping their will.

It is likely that some might still believe there is little or no difference between our use of discipline and punishment, and between our exerting authority and power in our efforts to be successful parents. To those skeptics who are still reading in spite of their doubts, I ask that you withhold your conclusion until you have read further.

I have written a series of 14 articles in hopes of more clearly distinguishing punishment from discipline, and parental power from parental authority. In this series you will read about some of the characteristic differences, as well as some important outcome differences that I believe set discipline-based parenting apart from punishment-based parenting. You will also find descriptive differences as well as outcome differences that I believe distinguish authority-based parenting from power-based parenting.

To read all 14 articles, go to my web site at: and click on "punishment vs.discipline/"power/authority"

An introduction to excerpts from Parenting with an Attitude

It's likely that many of you parents out there could be interested in some of my ideas that relate to parenting and the notion that our attitudes toward our little kids is every bit as important as the parenting approach we've chosen to parent by. But some of you might not be SO interested that you would be motivated to buy the darn thing. And that's ok, since I wrote it not so I could give up my day job, but because I am so very convinced that the attitudes we have and convey toward our kids plays a major role in who they will become.

If all you do is occasionally tune in to consider some of the ideas in my book via the short and limited excerpts I will post here-even if you never buy the whole thing-then I will be a happy camper! Of course if after reading some of the postings here, you decide it might be worth your while and a few hard earned bucks to buy and avail yourself of the whole cover to cover book, then I'd REALLY be a happy camper.

Either way, I hope you will follow along here once in a while, and that you will be challenged to look a little more closely at the attitudes you carry and convey toward your little ones. What we communicate to them goes a very long way in shaping how they view and value themselves.

In addition to an occasional short excerpt gleaned and posted here, you will find what I hope will be several questions designed to stimulate thought and perhaps conversation with other parents as well.

As always, feel free to weigh in with any comments you might have in response to the ideas I will be presenting here.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D.

An introduction to A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents-Introduction

Every Monday (or there abouts) I will be posting a very short and simple thought about parenting that I think would be good for all of us to consider. OK, I admit it. I will glean my weekly entries directly from my book, PARENTING WITH AN ATTITUDE....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves. I hope you find them to be worthy of your consideration.

So tune in every week or so to see what has been added to Monday morning thoughts and ideas for good parents who want to be better parents.

Ed Wimberly, author, Parenting with an Attitude......21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves.

An introduction to The things kids say and do that make us laugh and smile

Have your kids ever done or said something that made you laugh or smile? You probably thought about writing it down so you could remember it later. But if you are anything like me, most of the times you never got around to it.

Well here's your chance to record your stories and at the same time, share them with others. I'd like to invite any of you who have a story to tell about a time one of your kids, grand kids, nieces or nephews (or any other kid for that matter!) said or did something that made you laugh or smile. If you'd like to share with the rest of us (100-300 words) on this blog, simply email it to me at I will try to post your story as you have written it, but must reserve the right to edit slightly if necessary. And by submitting your story, it is understood that I do have your permission to post/print it. If you include your name, I will print it as well; otherwise it will be posted anonymously. Feel free to change names, etc. if you would like.

So "tune in" regularly to read the funny and touching stories that kids around the country will provide us with. I hope you enjoy them.

Below is the first of what I hope will be many stories about how our kids have made us laugh and smile.

Story #1 submitted by Ed (that would be me)
As we took in a small town July 4th parade with our family and close friends this past week, our two grandsons-Ben who is 3 and Sam, 1 1/2-gathered up their fair share of the many pounds of wrapped candy tossed from almost every float that passed. On any normal day in the lives of our two wonderful grandsons, candy is not a regular menu item. But to the credit of their mom and dad, there are a good number of exceptions to the rule; July 4, 2009 was one of those special days.

As I stood on the curb next to Ben, I felt a gentle tap on my leg, letting me know he had something to tell me. As I leaned down and looked into the eyes of a very happy little boy who was mentally preparing an important statement, I couldn't help but notice in one of his hands, a piece of wrapped candy. In the other was an unwrapped piece, ready for consumption- just as soon as he could find a little room in a mouth that was busy finishing off a tootsie role pop. As he began to speak, his mouth could not contain the sweet and sticky substance produced by all that candy, and it oozeed from both sides of his mouth as he spoke these words:

"Papa", he said with a full and sticky grin, "this is a good day".

Yes Ben, it was a good day-a very good day.

*Got a story? e-mail it to me at

An Introduction to Guest Authors

I hope to keep a fresh supply of articles written by others who have had experience in the area of parenting, marriage and relationships in general. If you would like to submit an article or know someone who might be a good contributor, would you e mail me at with an article or name of someone to contact who might be interested in contributing.

Joe Bruzzese, MA, is the author of A Parent’s Guide to he Middle school Years and co-founder of Thinking Forward, the online resource for parents navigating the middle school years. Visit the web site at

Chapter 3 – “Getting Ahead in Class and Staying There”
Building strong ties with teachers and connecting with a positive peer group set the stage for your child’s successful middle school experience. After the school day ends, kids face the reality of a full night of studying. Some middle schoolers report spending upward of five hours a night completing assignments and studying for tests. Creating a plan for tackling the rigors of a middle school day begins weeks ahead of ever setting foot on the school campus.
Mind mapping the road ahead
In the weeks leading up to school, find thirty minutes of uninterrupted time to share with your child in mind mapping. The goal of this activity is to create a vivid picture of your child’s year-long goals. Ask your child to choose a location for the mind mapping activity. A trip to the park or a favorite restaurant for lunch may set the stage for a productive brainstorming session.
A road map is most useful when you can identify two things: where you are and where you are going. Knowing what you have already accomplished is a valuable step toward achieving a goal. Most teachers, parents, and students focus on where they’re going, often beginning with the end in mind. However, there is great value in first thinking about where you are now, and then setting your sights on where you would like to be—the goal.
Choose the medium (talking, writing, or drawing) that best fits your child’s personality then guide him through the following steps:
Step One: Ask your child to think about his experiences as an elementary school student. Brainstorm ideas in the following areas: learning strengths, weaknesses, challenges, interests, and dreams. When your child begins to run out of ideas, ask if it would be OK for you to share any additional ideas.

If the brainstorming format doesn’t produce any ideas, consider free-writing for five minutes, in response to the following questions. If talking seems easier than writing, consider recording your child’s ideas on a voice recorder.

1. What do I really enjoy about school? What do I like to learn about?
2. What has been easy for me to learn or do in school? What challenges me?

3. Where would I like to see the greatest change in my academic success?

4. If I could study anything at all, and learn about it, what would it be?

The ideas from your conversation, free-writing, or brainstorm will become the road map for defining your child’s year-long goals.

Step Two: Take all of the ideas from step one and suggest that your child choose one of the following activities: write a letter, create a collage, or draw a picture that includes her ideas. Encourage your middle schooler to post her mind map in a visible location as a continued reminder and source of motivation for achieving dreams and meeting challenges. As new ideas and achievements emerge, your child can add them to the map.

Step Three: At the end of each academic quarter, take thirty minutes to review the map with your child. Add any recent accomplishments as well as new challenges for the coming quarter. A mind map has incredible power to focus a child’s activity and achievement during the year, much as an atlas has the ability to guide us on a direct course toward our destination.

Step Four: At the end of the school year, take a few moments with your child to reflect on the many challenges, goals, and achievements that added up to a successful middle school experience.

[sidebar begin]Coaching Tip
Follow your child’s lead during this activity. If you sense he would rather write than talk, give him an opportunity to jot down his thoughts on paper. Even kids with a preference for talking about ideas need a chance to record their thoughts in writing or in pictures, so remain open to a variety of different strategies for collecting and recording the information.[sidebar end]

Creating a plan for the future will help your child plot a smooth path to achieving her goals in the coming year. But plans alone won’t be enough to complete the journey. Move from planning into the action portion of the middle school year with an efficient and economical trip to the school supplies store.

An introduction to 21 Characteristics of a Healthy Marriage

When it comes to looking at marriage, it is natural for most of us to focus on what’s broken and what needs fixing. There is certainly nothing wrong with looking at what areas are weak and need improvement, but I believe we can also benefit when we look at what goes right-what works well in the healthy areas of our marriages.

Over the past 35 years, I have had the privilege of being intimately involved with struggling marriages. Through my professional experience I have gained a perspective in understanding what often goes wrong when they fail, but I have also been in a position to see what goes right as they begin to improve.

So over the weeks ahead in this section of my blog I will be sharing with you some of the characteristics that often show up when these struggling marriages begin to grow and thrive. Every couple of weeks, I will add another relational quality, behavior or attitude that usually begins to come about when faltering marriages begin to improve. And who knows, by the time we reach the end of the 21 characteristics that stand out as important to me now, I may have come up with even more to suggest to you.

And of course, you are always welcome to weigh in with your thoughts, ideas, and personal experiences and observations about what some of the healthy characteristics you see in your marriage. Your comments may even help someone across the country who is struggling in their marriage.

I hope you will be a regular and that you will share any thoughts and ideas you may have that might be helpful to others.

Ed Wimberly