Co-Parenting, Uncategorized

“Should I get my 10-year-old a smart phone?”

“Alan” in Green Cove Springs, FL asks us:

“Should I get my 10-year-old son a smart phone? I hate even asking that question because I’ve dreaded this coming age because of the social media influences. However, if I want to talk to my son, I have to call my ex-wife’s cell phone. She either doesn’t pick up or she’s always sitting right there when I talk to my son. He’s always very guarded, and the conversations feel forced. Should I get him his own phone? BTW, I would be paying 100 percent for the phone, of course. I appreciate any advice you can give me.”

What advice would YOU give Alan?

Stepfamily Consortium will reply with an answer later this week.

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Verses For The Journey

My Lord Goes As A SHIELD Before My Enemies! – A note from site administrator and Coach Lynnette Flatt

This verse means a lot to me. The word “shield” was first revealed to me when I cracked a Bible as a struggling 12-year-old. I was facing some harsh enemies, a.k.a. the “mean girls” at school. After one particular emotionally exhausting day, I sat on my bed with my mother’s Bible. I was desperate to read any verse that would guide me through a dark night. I placed the Bible across my lap and I let it fall open. I looked down and saw it was open to the Book of Psalms. I started reading. The tears flowed as I lifted my eyes upward. The Lord, My Shield. He was my shield during that dark time. He remained my shield in many more dark times throughout my youth and adulthood. This word and this verse show up without fanfare or expectation. This is the verse. I hope you feel protected and “shielded” by God’s love also.

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for her in God. BUT YOU, O LORD, ARE A SHIELD FOR ME, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord Sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God!” Psalm 3:1-6

Client Stories

True Client Stories by Dr. Jeannette Lofas

THE PSYCHIATRIST AND HIS LADY:  OWEN & ALEXANDRA

Names and data are changed to protect their identity

                  Owen is a psychiatrist.  He is tall, handsome, quick, friendly, and sometimes ill tempered.  His wife Alexandra is lovely – blonde, womanly, and an elegant hostess.  She has a quick and sharp tongue; she is witty and sometimes sassy.  A few months into their marriage they came to see me.  Alexandra related:  He doesn’t listen, he doesn’t understand.  He was wonderful before we got married, attentive and caring.  What happened to my love?”  Alexandra was uncomfortable and angry.  She shifted in her seat and looked at me.  Owen was losing all his patience with her about what he should and shouldn’t do.  I could see his eyes glaze over.  I could see his mind leave the room as Alexandra went through a lengthy litany of complaints.

                  As I listened to them I noticed all the hallmarks of gender related problems.  He stopped listening to her as she got more and more into her feelings, as she used more and more words and described her pain to him.  Just like the current thinking, we should let it all hang out, we should tell the truth of how we feel.  She related this event and that event.  What he did, what she did, and what others said.  I stopped her.

                  Then I talked to Owen.  We discussed his opinion in the latest findings:  Prozac issues with insurance, data facts.  Owen seemed to perk up and we had a good discussion together, linear-to-linear, task-to-task, solution-to-solution.  After a bit I said to him, “now listen how I talk to Alexandra.”  I began to talk to Alexandra about my new rug, new movies, the weather, the newest fashions, did she want more coffee, and then about my rug.

                  I noticed that as I spoke to one the other one focused away and grew bored and annoyed.  And then I told them what I had just done.  With Alexandra, I talked the way women talked.  With Owen, I talked about the way men talk.  “Now Alexandra”, I said, “what did Owen and I talk about?”

                  “Oh you know, medicine and boring stuff”, she said.

                  And Owen, “what did Alexandra and I talk about?”

                  “The rug,” he said. After the rug and the movies he hadn’t been listening hard enough to notice anything else.  I had video taped the session.  We watched it together.  We took note of Owen’s face as Alexandra and I talked.  We saw that on the video that when she noticed him scowling, her response was to talk faster, and use more words.  Using the film I showed Alexandra how she had lost Owen.  He wasn’t following her circular mode of thought.  He looked overwhelmed and annoyed.

                  Owen unable to follow her did what men often do when we use too many   words/thoughts/messages, he zoned out. Unable/unwilling to follow he left the space.

Also it is said that woman’s verbal contact/way of speaking can actually overwhelm a man’s brain causing what therapists call flooding.

                  I told Owen that what he needed to do was to say something like I love you, but I am not following…could you use less words? Could you give me the headline about what you want. 

I want to hear you but I cannot.  MORE?

                  It is abundantly clear to me that Owen and Alexandra had a classic problem of men and women.  They do not organize or speak the same language.  In fact they use language quite differently.  It took only a few more sessions to teach these two intelligent people their different modes of communicating.