I love interviewing guests on this podcast, but summer has been a bit difficult on the podcast schedule with so many people on vacation and needing to reschedule. But I have some great guests lined up for the future and we will cover some interesting topics. So for this week I decided I wanted to cover two questions that I seem to inevitably get when I’m out speaking on marriage and parenting. The questions come in a variety of forms, but they essentially boil down this this:
- When is a good time to go see a marriage therapist?
- How many activities can my kid participate in?
Those are the questions in essence, but often what isn’t being explicitly asked is really what the question is about. For example, in that first question, what is often being asked but not said is, “We have issues in our marriage, but I don’t know if we should get help.” Or, “I want to go in and see a counselor, but my spouse doesn’t want to.” Or, “Is it too late to go and get help.” I get the question a lot because marriages suffer from all kinds of issues, but people are often fearful to reach out for help. And the second question is less about how many it seems, but more about what’s happening in the family in my experience. What’s not being said is, “My child is overwhelmed from sports and school, but I’m afraid if I pull them out of things they will fall behind and not be able to compete.” Or something like, “Please validate the number of activities that my kid is in so I don’t feel like a bad parent.” You get the point…the questions are always about other things as well.
So in this podcast I address those two questions, but dive in a little deeper and discuss:
- marital drift
- the kid centered marriage
- what are some of the indicators that let you know it’s a good time to see a counselor?
- how do you identify the right marriage therapist?
- what is marriage therapy like?
- how I work as a therapist in the context of marriage counseling.
- the importance of a vision statement for a family.
- creating “white space” in the family calendar.
- anxiety, stress and depression in kids when overscheduled.
- how parents can model decision making skills by limiting activities.
- Meg Meeker’s after-school activity, per kid, per grading period.
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Resources/Topics Mentioned in the Episode
My colleague Corey over at Simple Marriage has a good article on Marital Drift
Meg Meeker’s one after-school activity per kid, per grading period rule
Last week’s podcast on creating a family vision/mission statement