Making Families Work and What To Do When They Don't : Thirty Guides for Imperfect Parents of Imperfect Children book cover
1st Edition

Making Families Work and What To Do When They Don't
Thirty Guides for Imperfect Parents of Imperfect Children

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ISBN 9780789001276
Published October 23, 1996 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

Making Families Work and What To Do When They Don't offers specific recommendations for increasing family harmony through more effective parenting practices. This important new book helps parents improve family understanding and relationships by reducing the emotional interference--anger, betrayal, guilt, shame, and fear--that blocks healthier and happier family connections. Each chapter is laced with knowledge and therapeutic humor that examine dimensions to family living in a way that helps parents lighten up a little rather than tighten up a lot. Parents will find that encouraging family members to take one another less seriously increases their opportunities for more constructive interactions.

Marital and family counselors, social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, psychiatrists, and other human service professionals can use the valuable information in this book to help families view their interfamilial relationships more objectively and to take each other less seriously, creating more constructive interactions and happier, stronger relationships. Therapists will learn to encourage clients to question and challenge conventional ideas of the family that often lead to demands, exaggerations, irrational expectations, personalizations, and self- and other judgments, all of which contaminate the family relationship.

Using the scientific principles of rational thinking, Author Bill Borcherdt questions the relationship between parents and their children and the degree of influence parents have over their children. He places the focus on a parental advocacy model by which parents are encouraged to give themselves some emotional slack and to develop a sense of humility for what they can and cannot do for their children. This starts the process of family members learning what to realistically expect and accept from one another. Borcherdt shows readers that by taking the sacredness and “golden” rules out of the definitions of family living, emotional upset and oppositional behavioral obstacles can be minimized and more emotional well-being and family fulfillment can be experienced.

Each chapter in Making Families Work and What To Do When They Don't is lined with knowledge and therapeutic humor that examines dimensions of family living in a way that assists families in loosening up a little rather than tightening up a lot. This improves family members’understanding of and relationships among one another by reducing the emotional interference--feelings of anger, betrayal, guilt, shame, fear--that blocks healthy, happy family connections and by offering specific practical recommendations for increasing family harmony. Through his analyses of 30 topics of family living, presented under the umbrella of learning what to realistically expect of imperfect parents of imperfect children in an imperfect world, Borcherdt reveals to readers that:

  • individuals are active participants in creating their own emotional problems and disturbances
  • people exaggerate the significance of past family disturbances
  • emotional slack and fewer unrealistic demands of self and others leads to a happier family
  • family members often disturb themselves unnecessarily by escalating family values into sacred demands
  • families don't shape character, they reveal it

    Unlike other books about family living, Making Families Work and What To Do When They Don't analyzes the dysfunctional ideas that family members hold about themselves and others rather than the dysfunctional relationships that naturally exist between fallible human beings. In this guidebook, readers learn creative, new ways of approaching old family problems,and they gain succinct explanations of how they can help their own and other families do things differently and do different things to improve emotional and behavioral well-being within the family.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction

  • Say It Ain’t So: Forty-One Irrational Beliefs of Family Living, with Rational Counters and Commentary
  • Examining Your Child's AQ (Appreciation Quotient): Facing and Accepting Ingratitude
  • The Role Model Fallacy: De-Sacredizing the Copycat Philosophy
  • Communicating Better and Getting Along Worse: When and Why It's Better for Family Communication to Draw a Blank
  • When It's Cruel to Be Kind: The Mistake of Linking Favorable Regard for Your Child to Human Worth
  • Never Deprive a Child of the Right to Go Without
  • The Door Swings Both Ways: When Children Double Bind Their Parents
  • Fifteen Unmannerly Actions tThat Represent Responsible Parenting
  • Minding Less When Your Child Doesn't Mind
  • The Merits of Extracting Emotional Dependency from the Parental Equation
  • With Kids Like That, You Don't Need Enemies
  • Eating Humble Pie: Guaranteeing Your Child Opportunity Without a Guarantee of Success
  • Why Treat Children the Same Way When They Are All Different? Individualism Reconsidered
  • Aspire and Inspire: Do It Yourself, Hire Someone Else to Do It, Forbid Your Child to Do It
  • The Real ME-Coy: Implications of Fraudulently Living Your Life Through Your Child
  • Doing to Your Child vs. Failing to Accept What Can't Be Done for Your Child
  • Is Behavior Gone Unnoticed Really Less Likely to Occur? What the Behavior Modifiers Fail to Tell You
  • Nature vs. Nurture in Children
  • Is Blood Really Thicker than Water? Loyalty, Love, Obligation and (Dis)Agreement in Family Relationships
  • Having a Sense of Humor in Proportion to What Ails You as a Parent
  • Questioning the Advisability of Unconditional Parental Love
  • You Can Lead a Child to Water But You Can't Make Him Drink: Thirty-Four Guidelines for Effective and Efficient Parenting
  • The Ugly Duckling Syndrome: How to Duck Around and Over It
  • When Baby Makes Three: Children as Intrusion
  • The Ultimate Childhood Daydream: Being Able to Order Parents on a Silver Platter
  • When It's Good to Set a Bad Example: Learning Manners from Those Who Have Few
  • Parenting as a Nice Place to Visit, But Inadvisable to Stay: Working Yourself Out of a Job While Retaining Its Joys
  • Haven on Earth: Protecting Yourself From the Oppositional-Acting Child
  • The Only Golden Rule of Parenting
  • Wiles of My Own Parenting to Date
  • Index

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