Tag Archives: conflict

Questions from My Readers

I love to take questions from my readers. Here are some recent ones: How do I stop my son from constantly biting my daughter? A toddler’s bite usually has an underlying motive—he’s frustrated, afraid, exhausted, has pent-up tension, or is craving adult attention. Regardless of the reason, biting needs to be addressed immediately. I’ve found these methods to be effective: Using a calm, firm voice and few words, say, “There is no” Put a single finger on his lips to […]


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 […]


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 […]