ATAQ: How do I let go of the past?

Letting go of things you’ve done or things that have been done to you in the past can be difficult. Let’s start with a definition of letting go to make sure we’re all on the same page. To “let go” of something doesn’t mean that you say that what you did or what was done to you is okay or no big deal, nor does it give you or the offender a pass. Like forgiveness, what it means is that you’re … [Read more...]

ATAQ: How do I find peace?

Take a look at everything going on in the world these days, and it’s difficult to be at peace. What it comes down to is this: Being at peace is a personal decision. It’s not necessarily a logical one, but it’s a decision nonetheless. There are several things you can do to find peace within, and I’ll talk about those in a minute. Ultimately, though, it’s a simple decision that gets you there. … [Read more...]

How Do I Stop Being Afraid?

ATAQ: How do I stop being afraid? When we are blocked from doing something, however big or small, it’s fear that’s in charge. Fear is generated by negative automatic thoughts, or NATs, as I call them. These NATs are far more annoying and troublesome than the winged-variety gnats—even when they’re in a swarm! So, how do we overcome the fear that blocks us? Check out these 3 steps: Start by … [Read more...]

How can grandparents be so much better than they were as parents?

Tonight’s ATAQ: “How is it that a set of parents who did such a poor job, were neglectful, were abusive, etc. can be such a great set of grandparents?” Well, you could always ask them in a tactful way. If you don't want to do that or they don't have an answer for you, here are a few possibilities: They learned a few things from raising their own kids. They've mellowed out over the … [Read more...]

What do I say to others’ parenting interference?

ATAQ: “What do you do when parents and grandparents in your family give unsolicited advice or even try to undermine your parenting? For example, my mother-in-law tries to argue with me about my son being grounded and unable to go anywhere, even another family member’s house. Sometimes, she even launches into a spiel about how she used to parent, with the implication that I should be doing it her … [Read more...]

How do I help and trust my teen?

ATAQ: “My teenage daughter informed me that she recently had an experience with alcohol. There is a history of addiction in the family, and she has become very afraid that she will follow in those footsteps. The experience seems to have really scared her. She is apologetic and knows that she’ll have to work to rebuild trust. She’s previously been in therapy for depression and anxiety as well. Do … [Read more...]

Hope, Trust, Self-Esteem and Love

What follows is just a quick snippet on each of these topics. Each one is a discussion unto itself, but I thought I would share the response I recently gave someone. Maybe it will generate additional questions or questions about deeper layers of these topics for you or someone you know. Just shoot me a private message if so. ATAQ: "How is it possible to lose something if you never had it to … [Read more...]

How do I handle teen rebellion?

Call it a Christmas miracle, but I finally had time to write over Christmas break! My apologies and gratitude to those of you who have been waiting patiently for answers to your questions. Without further ado… ATAQ: “We have a 12 y.o. who is very negative when he doesn’t get his way. He appears lazy and doesn't seem to take pride in much of anything. Do children at this age regress because of … [Read more...]

Should parents make their child stay involved?

ATAQ: Should parents make their child stay involved in something if the parents believe the child wants to quit for the wrong reason? This one is tricky, so I’ll give my most diplomatic answer: It depends. Honestly, it does depend on a number of factors, such as age, child’s interest level going in, whether it involves a team that he’s already committed to, type of child, what else is going on … [Read more...]

How do I set boundaries with an inappropriate family member?

ATAQ: When a family member has a mood or personality disorder, how do you sympathize while also addressing the pain they cause others? When is it appropriate to draw the line and say, "The way you are treating me is not ok?" Excellent question...it's very challenging when someone we feel love and concern for tests the limits of our compassion by being abusive. Actually, whether we love the … [Read more...]