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When You Say It Right (But Things Still Go Wrong)

Parent Is Depressed or Overwhelmed

When a parent's ability to take control is hampered by illness or depression, that parent's listening skills deteriorate. A depressed father will tune out the kids or limit his interactions with them. He may also interpret a child's misbehavior more harshly. The more overwhelmed a mother feels, the less capably she will handle any child situation.

Since dissatisfied couples are 25 times more likely to become depressed than are happy couples, it is important for a depressed person to look closely at the state of the marriage. Antidepressant medications can be very helpful. Support from other adults is also necessary when a person feels overwhelmed. Single parents have a very difficult task because they are on the job constantly.

When You're a Walking Contradiction

When you teach "do as I say, not as I do," your credibility diminishes. You may want your children to obey rules, to put things back where they belong, to clean up their mess, and to show consideration, but you may act in the following ways:

  • You change your mind about a supermarket item and place it back on the wrong aisle shelf for the sake of convenience.
  • You find an expensive item on the ground and keep it instead of trying to locate the owner.
  • You remark at a restaurant how the waiter forgot to charge you for something, and you say, "That's his problem, not mine."/li>
  • Your car is a mess.
  • The top of your dresser is a mess.
  • You routinely speed on the highway.
  • You are frequently impatient with other drivers or when standing in a checkout line.
  • You postpone work projects until the last minute.
    You are often late.

Children watch their parents carefully. As kids mature they are more likely to adopt a more casual set of values when their parents have done the same. Parenting will become more difficult.


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