Actions speak louder than words

Life is a puzzle

Life is a puzzle

My friend Mary has been in despair about her 29 year old son Jeff for some time. He often treats her with contempt.

Jeff has been living in Vancouver for the past five years where he works as a manager for a large department store. He stays with Mary when he returns to Ottawa to visit family and friends.

When she asks him how his day went, he might reply that it is none of her business, or he gives a one word answer. He leaves dishes in the sink after making himself some food and ignores Mary’s request that he clean up after himself.  When Mary planned a pot luck birthday party for his sister, Jeff told Mary she just wanted to get out of work.  (And what’s wrong with that, I might ask!)

Jeff also fails to return his mother’s telephone calls or e-mails.  Mary is always the one to initiate contact and then she waits, hoping she will hear from him.

The most recent of Jeff’s transgressions is that he failed to answer a previously arranged telephone call with Mary. There was no e-mail advising Mary that he wouldn’t be available and no follow-up e-mail apologizing for not answering the call.

Mary decided that it was time to act. She sent him this e-mail: Read More

Book review: When Parents Hurt

One of the most painful things that can happen to a parent is when an adult child treats you with distain or contempt or refuses to have any contact with you at all.

When Parents Hurt is a wonderful book full of how to strategies to help you when you and your grown child don’t get along.

The author, Joshua Coleman, is a California-based psychologist who works with parents, families and couples. He, like many others, faced issues parenting adult children when, for several years his young adult daughter had little contact. He calls those years the most painful and confusing years of his life.

Coleman takes a non-blaming stance and yet provides insight about why difficult relationships develop. He provides strategies for parents to accept the relationship and find peace even if it cannot be healed, as well as strategies to regain a positive relationship with the child, if that is possible. Read More