Kiss Your Kids

Young children kissingKissing is one of the best tools parents have in their parenting tool kit. Kissing has been known for ages to make miracles, to heal a wound and to get rid of worries and pain, particularly for children.

Would you not want the power to get rid of worries and help ease pain?

The real magic lies in what children think about the kiss. It is the same kiss you get when you are older, but it has somehow lost its magic for many people. Maybe we grownups need to re-adopt our childhood beliefs about kisses and to kiss more.

My family was not a kissing family. I have watched my mom kissing her little grandchildren constantly, which made me think she believed it was appropriate to kiss kids, but not grownups.

This belief seems to be similar in different cultures. One of my clients said to me once that every two to three years, when he meets his dad, who lives overseas, they shake hands.

Gal and I have always kissed each other when we to up in the morning, left home, came back and whenever we had a good time or wanted to make each other feel good.

When I was 27, we visited Gal’s host family in Connecticut (he was an exchange student there in his Junior Year of high school). Sally and Sam were an amazing couple. When they went to bed, they gave us a hug and a kiss as if they had not seen us for a long time, although we had come that same day. When they got up in the morning, they did the same. At first, I thought it was just for the first day of our arrival, but they continued to hug and kiss us every day. I loved it!

Read more about the importance of kissing children

Advertisements

Easy Divorce

Happy seniors hugging

Everybody also knows that divorce is painful to all involved. Regardless of your circumstances, both partners and all their children get hurt. Yet, the rate of divorce is soaring and being single again after having children is now part of many parents’ lives. Divorce seems hard to go through, but awfully easy to choose.

In the past, divorce was unacceptable in many societies. Once people got married, which was often by parental arrangement, they were stuck with their partners for life. Marriage was literally “until death do us part”. Being married for life was what everybody did. The average divorce rate was 0%.

Believing that ending their marriage while both partners were alive was not an option, the only available course of action was to make the marriage work. Sometimes, that was just as much fun as digging holes, but everyone dug 7 a day and kept their mouths shut.

Now, when you try to make a marriage work and you are committed to it for the long haul, you make decisions accordingly. You join bank accounts, split the responsibilities for best household performance and comfort, do your best to get to know your partner and try to be accommodating. In return, you could also rely on your partner to be there for you in times of difficulty, simply because he or she was as committed to the marriage as you were.

Read more about how to keep your marriage strong

Save your marriage (19): Best Marriage Quotes

Loving coupleMarriage today is not what it used to be. I believe some of it is due to couples believing that they cannot fix their marriage, heal from conflicts and overcome the challenges they go through as part of life.

Couples that are still together do not have fewer difficulties. They sort them out before they get out of control.

In my relationship coaching program, I hear many couples use statements that make fun of commitment, mock stability and relationships and encourage giving up the marriage as an easy, accepted and preferable thing. They have read them on the Internet, seen them in “funny” PowerPoint presentations or watched them in video clips.

One of my clients is going through a divorce over something that could be easily fixed if both partners could sit together and talk. They had an argument over money. She wanted 150K, he wanted to give her 90K and to sort this out, they have had to hire lawyers, go to court and pay the 60K the argued over in fees. So forget about it, because divorce is never easy!

If you check the beliefs of divorcées about marriage, you will find that they always have the wrong ones – those witty, mocking, sarcastic beliefs.

My suggestion is to make sure you swap them with good beliefs. To help you do it, I have gathered the best marriage quotes I could find. I hope you will find some you like and can adopt, and I hope you can make good use of them.

Read these inspiring marriage quotes

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Scene from Crazy, Stupid, LoveThis is NOT a film review. It is a post on love and romance and marriage and kids and family and parenting. But it is inspired by the fact that Ronit and I watched the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” this week and it has been running around in my mind to the point where I just had to write about it.

Steve Carell makes movies that are full of embarrassing moments and this usually turns me off. I see him as the American version of Mr. Bean. I also find his acting melodramatic and externalized and I generally prefer subtle and deep. In this film, he was not only the main character, he was also the producer, which should have had me running in the other direction, except I only found that out in the final credits, and by that time, I already had a lot of respect for him.

If you have not seen Crazy, Stupid, Love, it starts with a marriage breakdown and divorce, continues through the attempted recover of both partners and their children and at the same time, weaves in the generational difference between the old one-partner-from-a-young-age and the new ongoing-partying-and-casual-sex-until-thirty-something.

I came away from the movie with a lot of love in my heart. In the past few days, there is more love in everything I do, more softness, more attention and more respect. I checked the patterns of my life against scenes from the movie and compared myself with the characters in it.

I want to share my discoveries with you.

Read more about Crazy, Stupid, Love

Parenting and the Loss of Privacy

Parents making loveParenting is the most wonderful adventure most of the time, but with the gaining of pride and joy, we lose one important thing – our privacy. Sometimes, this happens so slowly, we do not notice we got from giving up just some privacy to where we have very little of it left.

When I had my first child, I gave privacy up easily. Gal and I both wanted to spend all our time with Eden, but when she was 11 months old, we realized we did not really have a life and we could not blame anyone but ourselves. Every spare minute we had, we wanted to be with Eden, so she went to sleep at the same time we went to sleep. All our conversations were about her. At night, when we looked for a moment we could enjoy some privacy, I remember giggling and shushing each other, waiting for her to fall asleep, but by the time she was sound asleep, so were we…

When you have kids, privacy is not what it used to be anymore. Suddenly, intimate time is so rare and precious there is not a lot of opportunities to be spontaneous. Suddenly, you have to plan your private time together as a couple and the more time goes by, the more kids you have and the older they get, the harder it gets to find a private time to enjoy and love each other.

Luckily for us, we woke up when Eden was just 11 months old. We realized we needed to plan our time together if we wanted to enjoy each other’s company. We sat and thought of some things that would help us “keep the fire burning” between us and how to manage the loss of privacy that comes together with the joy of having kids. I recommend that every couple do these things, regardless of the age of their children. One important thing kids need is parents who stay together, so invest in your togetherness for the sake of your children too.

Read more about how to keep a romantic marriage

How to be Faithful

Newly wed couple

In the age of divorce aplenty, faithful partners seem to be going extinct. And that is a shame, really, because being faithful to your partner is not very difficult at all. In fact, with a little imagination, it can be both easy and enjoyable.

There is a barrier to breaking up with your partner, but once a couple separates, leaving becomes a viable option for both of them. If the pain of divorce is great, they make the next time easier by not getting married in the first place, saying they are “not ready”. Of course, if separation was done in a mature way without much pain, it makes the next time easier too.

One of my clients, I will call him Carl, is a young man who deals with many people for a living. Naturally, among these people are women and some of these women are in his age group. Occasionally, he likes one of them and finds her attractive.

This creates a dilemma for Carl, because he already lives with a lovely young woman. Sally has been by his side for a good number of years through “thick and thin”. In fact, Carl has made some serious personal growth thanks to her example and encouragement.

In our session, Carl admitted Sally was good for him. “She’s my best friend”, he said, “But I can’t get that other girl out of my mind. It’s making me question whether I want to be with one woman all my life and whether that woman should be Sally. Maybe I’m settling for less than I could get”.

Read more about how to remain faithful to your partner

Couples to Parents

Romantic movie sceneOK, parents, hand on your heart, how often do you do something romantic with your partner? Come on, don’t be shy, it’s all right. How often do you have a romantic dinner, go out dancing together or take time off just the two of you?

I bet your mind just filled with thoughts of “the children”, “my work commitments”, “that project I have to finish”, “how hard it is to get a babysitter nowadays” and various other seemingly-appropriate reasons for your romantic situation being what it is and why you should not be feeling too horrible about it. Besides, is this not what everyone experiences when they turn from a couple into parents?

Yes, they do, and yes, they all feel just as horrible as you do about it, but does that make it better?

Nope.

The natural progression of our life seems to be that we get really excited about finding a partner that turns us on and can be out friend at the same time. We dedicate much of our time and nearly all of our brainpower to finding that person. We embark on a journey of mutual exploration, during which we are typically so fascinated with the other person, they need to do something truly awful to turn us off.

Once we have found our body-and-soul mate, we go through what is commonly known as “settling down” (is this an ugly expression or what?), which includes some or all of the following: moving in together, getting married, joining finances, buying a home, getting a very large debt together (the mortgage) and, of course, having children. These steps seem to extract the interest and variety out of our life and replace them with certainty to the point of routine and with responsibility to the point of stress.

Read more about how to be romantic as parents