Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

The To Write Love on Her Arms movie has been out a little over a week now. Today’s post is the second in a two-part series answering commonly asked questions about Renee, us, David, and the movie. You can rent or purchase it from RedBox, Netflix (as of March 13th), itunes, Amazon, twloha.com, or Walmart online. It deals with sensitive subjects: Addiction, mental illness, self-injury, suicide, and sexual trauma. For individuals who struggle with self-injury, counselors recommend they watch it with a supportive community and have opportunities to talk about it afterward so that it won’t trigger them. Go to my blog from March 8th for part 1.

Were there any other hobbies Renee had that helped her cope with the inner pain?

Renee sports.Yes. Sports. She was always an athlete from the time she first started playing soccer at age 5. She and her siblings all loved soccer. She played on her school’s team all the way through high school and it was a great outlet for her emotions. In middle school she played on each team they offered (soccer, volleyball, basketball and track) and won the coveted all-sports award in eighth grade, a feat not many could attain (although I like to brag that her sister, April, accomplished the same thing that year as a sixth grader!). And her dad and I never missed a game unless we were sick.

How is your relationship with Renee today?wedding rehearsal - momma and her girls (more…)


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boundariesDo you find it hard to say no to your son or daughter? You know you should, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it? You give in too many times. I have. You want to be strong. You say you’re going to say no the next time, but . . .

I’m not speaking of a mature, responsible teen or adult child. Of course you help them if you can when they need it. I’m referring to the son or daughter who’s irresponsible, has addictions, or other patterns of destructive and dangerous behavior.

When you say yes to the latter, you think you’re being loving and helping but really – you’re not. Love needs to be tough. Helping only keeps them dependent on you, and it prevents (more…)

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Today’s post is part two in a three-part series by Ellen Gee,  guest blogger and author. She’s writing from her personal experiences to parents who have a son or daughter who is incarcerated. Need hope? Need fresh ideas for how to love with boundaries and stay close? This post will help.

As the months went by, my husband and I realized we couldn’t help our son, Daniel (serving a six year prison sentence), by ourselves. But in order to initiate our friends and Ellen Gee family blog photofamily’s involvement, we had to convince them he wanted help. And the best way to do that was to connect them.

One by one, we called each close friend, cousin, uncle, aunt, and grandparent. We asked a simple question. Would they be willing to receive a collect call from Daniel once a week for the next six years? (more…)

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MaldivesAre you a parent who has walked through turbulent waters with your child? Maybe things are better today, yet something’s “off”, strained.

Is it difficult to have a healthy conversation? Do you feel like you’re walking on egg shells? Does the tension between you never quite go away? Does your daughter frequently seem to be a little angry or annoyed with you?

Does your son repeatedly make negative comments toward you — correcting you, telling you that you’re wrong, implying he’s right? Have you struggled to put your finger on what’s going on? Have you wondered what you could do about it?

If you have, then you’ll be happy to know there is a technique you can try. Therapists call it containing. Here is a layman’s description: Containing is when you give a person who has been holding in a lot of negative feelings the opportunity to fully express them to the individual they have the feelings about. This is done without interruption; letting them vent freely, for the purpose of receiving positive benefits in the relationship. With all the pent-up anger released, a healthier relationship may be the outcome.

This is a detailed explanation from a friend of mine who tried it with her son at the recommendation of a counselor:

1. Choose the right time and place when no one is rushed and you have privacy.

2. Tell your child you want to ask them a very important question. Say, This may sound strange, but I want you to tell me everything I’ve ever done wrong as your parent. Everything that you’re upset with me about or that bothers you about me and our relationship. I want to hear it all.

3. Then just listen. Bite your tongue. Put duck tape over your mouth if you have to. Don’t defend yourself. Don’t try to explain. Don’t get mad or offended. Don’t cry or look shocked. Just take it and stay calm. Maintain eye contact and offer body language that lets them know you hear them and are validating their feelings. Brace yourself, they may explode all over you. It may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.

4. Usually, after about an hour — yes,that long — they will begin to calm down and say something like, “Wow, you didn’t get angry, or cry or ______ (you fill in the blank). I didn’t know what to expect when you asked me that question.” The hope is that then they will begin to think that maybe they can have a relationship with you.

5. Now you can begin to build a bridge. You’re more approachable. As God leads, you may ask forgiveness for some things that seem appropriate, but don’t cower or apologize for what you shouldn’t — like having healthy boundaries or refusing to enable — or for things that weren’t your fault. You did you best. No one is perfect.

6. If they don’t calm down and begin to soften towards you after you’ve listened and received their criticisms,  if they have the need for you to agree with how bad a parent you were — how controlling, how absent, etc.– then say, “I would love to have a relationship with you, but I’m going to have to limit my contact with you. I will always love you, nothing will ever change that, but I can’t be around you too much as long as you feel this way about me. It hurts me too much. I hope that some day you will change your mind.”

God, I don’t know if this will help in the relationship I have with my child or not, but I’m willing to try. I guess it can’t hurt. Who knows, it just might become the bridge to new beginning with them. I’d love that. But I’m so afraid of what I might hear. Please help me. Give me the courage I lack to ask this question and then give me the strength to simply listen.  Amen.

Scripture: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6  NIV

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