Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Respecting Differences Teaching Children to Respect and Appreciate Differences

Parents all have values that are important in their lives and they want to find ways to share them with their children. One that is important in our family is the value of respecting differences in others.
Our grandson, Josh, graduated from high school on a military post last weekend. He is a fine young man and we are all proud of him for many reasons, but one of the most important is his awareness of and respect for others’ thoughts and feelings. Josh exemplifies this by being an advocate for others. Because we are his grandparents, we are not terribly objective; but we do want to share one story with you that clearly demonstrates this value of respecting differences.

One of the boys in Josh’s class was a soccer team-mate. When this young man transferred to the high school on post, he became the recipient of a lot of bullying from the other guys on the team because he appeared to be gay. Josh recognized this and became his friend and supporter and stood up for him throughout the season.

On graduation night, because of Josh’s placement on the class roster, he and this same young man led the recessional. As the boys exited their rows and greeted each other, Josh grabbed his friend’s hand and swung it vigorously as they marched out. Then he lifted their hands high … in solidarity and in accomplishment as they led the rest of the graduates out of the gym.

Later that night, when we were talking with Josh’s mom about the experience, Josh’s 10 year old brother, John, looked up and said “what is the big deal about gay?” He is already respecting differences.

We agreed with John … choosing a partner of the same sex is a difference a bit like having blue eyes or brown, brown skin or white, being right-handed or left-handed, smart in school or good on the soccer field. It is not a choice, it is just how one is and these differences do not make any one person better or worse than any one else.

Josh and John have, intrinsically as well as environmentally, the ideas and values of appreciation and respect for differences. This is an idea that is valued and taught by their parents, grandparents and friends. They have a faith community that also shares these ideas.

When parents are able to create an environment of respecting and appreciating for differences, it matters in so many ways. Not only is there more respect among family members, but children often feel positive regard for themselves and their own differences. (What teen does not need to feel that they can be respected for their differences which is a normal part of growing up and achieving autonomy.)

We would find it interesting to read comments that others have about this issue. How do you feel about teaching the value of respecting difference? How does it fit with your own value system? How would you feel about your child/grandchild/neighbor who visibly took such a strong stand as Josh did?

Counseling Relationships Online
Couples Counseling of Louisville

Tip of the Week

The more that you invest in your relationships, the more that you will get out of them.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Not In Love Anymore"

Staying in love throughout a marriage does not happen automatically.  Sometimes feelings of love just seem to evaporate.

As marriage counselors we frequently hear these words “I love him (her) but I am NOT IN LOVE with him (her). In this blog post, we want to share with you the reasons why people make this statement and say that they are not in love any more.

Why DO people fall out of love?  

It is upsetting to become aware of these feelings, "not in love" and really not know how this developed or what with what to do to fall BACK in love.

A lot of people contact Couples Counseling of Louisville and Counseling Relationships about love and marriage.  They report that they have fallen out of love with their spouse, or believe that their spouse is no longer in love with them.

The words we often hear are “I love him (her) but I am not in love with him (her),” most often with a disbelief that these feelings can change. One of the places to start is to begin to understand a little about how those feelings eroded within the marriage. 

Click here to read the rest of the article "Not In Love Anymore".

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tip of the Week

How many times have you heard someone say ... " just want you to listen, not try to solve the problem!"

Click here to view a humorous video that brings that point home.