Category Archives: Conflict

Empathic Listening

Our parenting roles with our adult children and their families can at times be complicated and conflictual. The ever-present vestiges of sibling rivalry live long in most of us. Often I talk with my therapist about ongoing issues with my five children. She smiles sympathetically and replies, “Joan, you have too many children.” Thankfully, my clinical training has prepared me well for my lifelong occupation as the resident complaint department. I have developed and refined the art of empathic listening […]

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Tired of Being a Twin Referee?

My identical twin sister and I frequently reminisce about our worst fight. Although we both remember the incident with slightly divergent perspectives, the upshot of the argument was that my sister ended up with a few broken fingers after I pushed her and she fell down onto the pavement. I believe we were about seven years old at the time. When parents seem surprised and dismayed about their twins’ incessant bickering, I wonder if they are under the spell of […]

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Puerto Rico, Por Favor

I had the pleasure, honor, and good fortune to speak at the beautiful Teatro Raul Julia at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan. The museum is an incredible venue that offers a myriad of events for all ages on the island of Puerto Rico. Dr. Lourdes Ramos, the museum’s tireless executive director, has inspired the museum’s impeccable reputation for excellence and innovation. I stressed key points in my presentation that provoked thought and self-reflection. The first […]

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Give Credit Where and When It’s Due

A friend of mine shared a story about her seven-year-old twin girls that highlights how important it is to enlighten people who work with twins about appropriate management of the twin connection. She told me that one of her daughters clearly excels in the gymnastics class that she attends with her twin sister.  Mom is convinced that the gym teacher has not moved her daughter to the next level because her twin sister has not demonstrated the required skill to […]

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Guatemala Dreamin’

I recently returned from a glorious ten-day trip to Guatemala. The idea of the trip was sparked about a year and a half ago though an Internet exchange I had with a psychologist from Guatemala City researching twin issues. Beatriz Cadena de Schwank was treating an eight-year-old twin in her practice and sought a consultation. She belongs to a private mental health group that she founded with six other women colleagues about five years ago. Their practice is called Proyecto […]

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