The Number One and the New Year Counselor’s Corner by Sharon Scott, LPC LMFT
The Number One and the New Year
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
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This time of the year we think of the number one. January’ the first month of the year. New Year’s Day’ the first day of the month. Do you remember the hit song by Three Dog Night ‘One is the Loneliest Number (that you’ll ever do)?’
Actually I don’t think one is a lonely number. In fact as a family counselor I encourage my clients to spend one on one time with each family member. First, you spend time with yourself to relax, rejuvenate, and renew yourself. It’s important to have some time for self-reflection to bring order and harmony to the family.
If you are married, it’s critically important that you also make the time for one on one time with your spouse so that the relationship can thrive. No kids nor friends, just the two of you! In my private counseling practice, I see far too many couples with seriously troubled marriages because what time they have is given completely to the children.
They think they are wonderful parents. However, they may be on a slippery slope and not even realize it. As time goes by, the husband and wife begin to live parallel lives, each doing their own thing, and slowly begin growing apart. Their once close friendship is waning and the marriage could be at risk.
And when there are children in the home, each child needs his or her special alone time with each parent (and not just when telling them goodnight). Family time is fun and important, but the kids don’t need to be always together. For each child to feel special and unique, they must have some ‘mommy and me’ and ‘daddy and me’ time.
You may wonder where are you going to find this time? That’s a very good question in this hurried world in which we all live. I don’t have all the answers nor know your particular situation so you’re going to have to brainstorm this yourself.
But I do have a few suggestions which include:
- turn off the TV, computer, cell phone, video games, and other distractions;
- make it a goal to find a good baby sitter or find another couple who will switch out with you watching each other’s children while the parents have a night out;
- meet your spouse for a relaxing lunch with great conversation that excludes any discussion of problems;
- when you and your spouse have date night, do not talk about work, finances, or the kids, talk instead about your dreams, revisit fabulous memories you share, joke and laugh!;
- to consolidate time you might consider that you and your spouse do ‘mommy and me’ and ‘daddy and me’ at the same time each week, this could be as simple as sitting with the child over hot chocolate and talking about whatever interests them or grabbing a donut or playing a game together or even going for a walk.
Copyright Sharon Scott, 2018. No reproduction without written permission from author.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
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