Category Archives: Relationships

On staying together for the sake of the kids

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“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.
So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”

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Trouble Saying No?

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It’s a teeny weeny little word and yet it can be so hard to say! (unless you’re a toddler..)

I used to have a lot of trouble with this one – sometimes I still have trouble, truth be told. Why is it so hard?

For most of us saying “no” means riddling ourselves with guilt and being terrified of judgement. People who habitually say “yes” are approvingly described as “selfless” – like that’s a good thing. But is it really a good thing? (more…)

Is it ever OK to argue in front of kids?

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Sulking = NOT arguing well...

Sulking = NOT arguing well…

I think so yes. Because there are ways to argue ‘well’.

(Hint – sulking isn’t one of them – but we’ve probably all done it!)

 

And not only do I think it’s OK, I think it’s important.

 

 

This is the subject of my latest piece for the lovely folk over at Family Friendly HQ and you can  read more by clicking the green button:

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I hope you find it helpful and as always I am interesting in feedback and further suggestions!

 

 

 

 

 

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Abusive relationships: know the signs

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Valentine’s day is here and for some, it’s not a rose filled mushy warm day. For some it’s just another day of surviving a relationship that feels difficult, or even abusive. It can be hard to know how to define abuse, and when we are ‘in’ an abusive situation, it can be hard to ‘see’ that it’s abusive. But you might have a niggling feeling, your friends or family may have expressed concern.

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Hello Guilt, my old friend…

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I’ve been meaning to talk about guilt for some time now.

Guilt is a feeling that is familiar to most of us – some more than others of course. And I find  that it’s something that comes up in therapy a lot. We in Ireland just love our guilt – we are literally born with the stuff if we are Catholic, which most of us are.

But is guilt ‘good’?

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Is you child’s behaviour your responsibility?

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“Genetics and epigenetics are important. Decisions – they are more important.” – HaleyBop

I’ve been pondering recently about the phrase “the apple never falls far from the tree”. We tend to have a lot in common with our parents of course – they are among the first to teach us how to be people! Assuming that the apple never falls far though isn’t always helpful. Sometimes it does fall far though – very far!

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How to discipline more effectively

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I have a bit of a fascination with the origins of words. As I grew up every new word I asked about was explained to me by my mother in terms of its origin – origin, from the Latin ‘Origo’, meaning beginning, source, rise. You get my drift…

The word ‘discipline’ originates from the Latin to teach, or instruct. When the Middle English folk came along it morphed somewhat into the punishment, ‘mortification’ scourge flavour we are more familiar with today.

Falling on deaf ears

Falling on deaf ears

And I find that the words discipline and punishment (from the French Punir meaning rough handling) are often used interchangeably. Which isn’t a great thing, because we now know that punishment isn’t necessarily a good way to discipline. So I prefer the original meaning of discipline, it’s more effective as a means of changing or adjusting behaviour in the long term. FAR more effective.

So I wrote a piece on the (real life and practical) differences between discipline and punishment, with some ideas on how to do the former more effectively.

You can read it here and I hope it’s helpful!

Sally O'Reilly Counselling & Psychotherapy