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We Cannot Sit Still. We Cannot Be Silent.

Two days ago I posted on my Facebook page how my heart is bleeding for events in the US as it pertained to the immigration ban and campaign of hate.

The next day I was told on Twitter to stick to sociology and leave politics alone. I responded that we cannot be silent and that the political is social.

Today I wake up to the news that two gunmen attacked people while in prayer in a Mosque in Quebec.

While I wrote my heart was bleeding, expressing how politics affects real people, the blood of real people has since been spilled in Canada.

The blood has been spilled by other Canadians incited to hate by political rhetoric that demonizes people based on racial, ethnic, sexual or gender differences.

This is unacceptable. This is poisonous to individuals, couples, families and children as to the society as a whole.

Politicians, particularly of the far right conservative use coded language to set policies of discrimination. Their policies are set to limit and/or exclude people who are different from themselves – predominantly white and male.

The hate and divisiveness seen in the US is sadly alive and well in Canada.

I find that the conservative parties of today are not the conservative parties that I knew growing up. Today’s conservative parties have been infiltrated by far right faith groups who seek to politicize women’s rights, science, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, race and color. This is not theology, but extremism. Extremism in any faith leads to the events seen overnight in Canada.

If conservative parties cannot purge themselves of far right extreme factions within their political groups, then all Canadians should be wary of who they vote for.

Canadians must learn to understand the coded language of hate where hate is disguised as economic or safety concerns.

Canadians must be wary of the politics of distraction when we are told how a political leader is bad while offering no discussion on actual policy.

If we think solely about personal financial costs in any election and fail to pay attention to the impact of the political party on the very fabric of our society, we will wind up with events seen in the US and now in Canada.

We saw this risk in the last federal election. The former Prime Minister sought to advance a policy banning the niqab. This distraction of hate hid the fact that the Conservative Party of Canada dismantled services for women – and by extension, children and dismantled our scientific governmental agencies and put media bans on governmental agencies so that policies could more be set on personal, business and religious ideology.

There is a quote often attributed to Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.

Every four years or so in every community, province and indeed country, there is a new political cycle.

Please vote. Voting matters.

Events in the US are teaching us what happens when enough good people don’t vote, when enough good people do nothing. As you vote, think less of your wallet and think more of the kind of society you want for your family.

My society is inclusive and accepting.

My society is not advanced on hate, but compassion.

I will not vote for the party that advances it’s goals on a campaign of hate or distraction or divisiveness. I will ask to hear actual policy and discern if that policy is coded in such as way so as to discriminate against others.

I can only hope that the society I envision is shared by you.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

When Children Become Pawns in the Parental Custody Dispute

Some issues between separated parents are unimaginable. I have heard stories of children coached to call the other parent names; to misbehave; to not eat their food; to be mean to step-siblings.

Indeed, over the years, I have interviewed children who have told me that and worse.

Some parents in a bid to curry favor with their child will actually let them eat junk food as they want; miss school; stay out late; use drugs or drink alcohol or otherwise do as they wish just to make the reasonable parenting of the other parent seem inappropriate.

In other words, there are parents who mess with their children’s minds and well-being just to thwart the other parent’s relationship with the child.

In the scheme of things, these are rare situations, yet they do occur in sufficient numbers so as to clog courts and child protection agencies with terrible parental disputes. What is the other parent to do?

The challenge in these situations is to remain calm. It is so provocative when the child comes to your home to intentionally misbehave, tell outrages stories, position you as the bad parent.

It is almost as if you have to turn off your emotions to what is being thrown at you to act nonchalant and never appear upset, angry or defensive. If you do appear angry, upset or defensive, from the child’s perspective your behavior will reinforce what they are told about you. Your behavior in that regard will reinforce in the mind of the child that you are the bad parent. You cannot give this impression to your child.

Instead, act unphased, look at the child and say something like, “Well that’s an interesting thing to say” and then redirect to the task of the moment. Do not fight, cajole, punish, yell or scream at your child. When the child is not listening to what is expected, you simply say, “OK… When you want or when you are ready, you can do it… or not… It’s up to you.”

When the child tells you what you do in your home is wrong (healthy meals), you simply look at your child and say, “You may be right, but this is what we have to eat.. You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to.” Non-defensive and non-controlling parenting.

This is not to say you are giving permission to not listen or misbehave, but that you are not getting inducted or provoked into the child’s self-fulfilling prophecy that you are the bad one.

Here is the tricky part; the moment the child moves in an appropriate direction, you provide kind but subtle attention and feedback, “Thanks for coming with us… Thanks for joining in… Nice to…” There can no note of sarcasm in your voice. You must come across as sincere.

The point of all this is to behaviorally present an experience of you that is different than the impression being projected on you by the other parent.

You are seeking to create a cognitive dissonance – a discrepancy in the mind of the child between what the child is told by the other parent and what they experience with you directly. We are hoping that the child internalizes an impression of you based upon their actual experience of you. That is why your behavior matters most and your appropriate behavior must be consistent, calm and non-offensive and non-defensive. Challenging situations require challenging solutions.

As for missing school or poor hygiene or poor nutrition, all you can do is document the information provided and to whatever extent possible, gather tangible evidence.

Tangible evidence of school attendance is available in the child’s report card. Tangible evidence of poor hygiene or being sent inappropriate clothing could include a friend or other family member documenting or taking pictures of clothing sent with the child. Tangible evidence of poor nutrition could be grocery store sales receipts although that could be difficult to obtain.

The tangible evidence is for use at court or by child protective services. At times the only way to make one’s case, to get out of the cross-allegations is through tangible evidence.

The best tangible evidence is that information provided by other people or services or agencies who have direct knowledge, observation or data – such as the school report card. When gathering such information, it is vital to not be perceived as angry, intrusive or seeking to involve the third party in your court or child protection matter. Reasonable people will seek to avoid your conflict.

If you appear emotional or demanding, this can serve to reinforce a negative impression of you. If you are a pain to the people who have to work with your child, you will be ostracized and those working with your child may develop a tainted view of your child as well. We want your child’s service providers (teachers, doctors, dentists) to concentrate on nicely meeting the needs of your child and not view your child as the source of distress by way of your behavior as an intrusive or demanding parent.

Throughout, we keep the child out of the fray. We do not retaliate and we do not say mean-spirited things about the other parent. We don’t so much as bristle or roll our eyes or let out a sigh.

Not only do these strategies serve you in a court or child protection mater, they also serve your child directly. By your not getting inducted, by your not losing your cool, then the child has one parent who demonstrates self-regulation and doesn’t co-create a toxic environment for the child either in their own home or in the community in which the child lives.

Situations such as these do not resolve easily.They almost always involve court intervention and often the intervention of child protection agencies.

The reasonable parent in this unreasonable situation must have a long term perspective.

There will be many battles along the way, many of which will be lost. However, the long term perspective is knowing that your child will grow up. We want your child to grow up as unscathed as possible with the hopeful view that come adulthood and a more mature mind, they can come to appreciate their childhood experience and then forge a better adult and life-long relationship with the reasonable parent. If you have not been reasonable along the way, you diminish your chance of that adult life-long relationship. This is not to say it will happen for certain, but this is all about doing whatever you appropriately can to improve the likelihood of that adult relationship.

To sum up, play to the long game and worry most about managing yourself versus the behavior of the other parent. You can only control you and determine what you expose your children to.

If you need help or support in a situation such as above, the service to look for is a separation or divorce coach.

Feel free to download and print this article.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

12 Tips to Turn Around a Child Custody Battle that Could Otherwise Lead to a Child Protection Matter

That conflict over the care and residence of your children could just land them into the custody of child protective services.

There is a subset of separating/divorcing parents whose inability to settle differences between them earn them the moniker of High Conflict Parents (HCP). To earn that moniker several traits about their conflict are often seen. Among those traits are:

  • An inability to resolve conflict;
  • Conflict at times over seemingly minor issues that then take on huge proportion;
  • Involvement by child protection agencies;
  • Allegations of abuse be it in the form of domestic violence, child abuse or sexual abuse;
  • Police intervention;
  • Court involvement;
  • Multiple agency, school or other services involvement;
  • Lack of communication or communication that is filled with blame, shame guilt-tripping.

Not uncommonly people involved in contentious high conflict battles over their children are either brought to the attention of child protective services by police or school or by the report of one parent complaining about the other or both actually complaining about each other. At times these allegations are frivolous, such as an unreturned article of clothing and at times the allegations are serious such as in the case of alleged physical or sexual abuse or neglect. More often than not, the serious allegations are unfounded although the minor allegations are often true although typically inconsequential from a child protection perspective.

However, there is a point in time in which parental complaints can trigger a more serious investigation which in turn could result in the apprehension of children from both parents.

There is a concept of emotional harm.

Even if neither parent is directly emotionally abusing the child with putdowns, name calling and such, children exposed to parents’ constant criticism of the other and being put in the middle of parental conflict affects children adversely. Parents create the conditions for children to take sides, lie, misbehave with the other parent and withhold information all while the child is also subject to the expressed disdain of one parent for the other. This is disastrous for children who recognize themselves to be a product of both where any normal child would otherwise choose and hoped to be loved by both parents.

Children seen to be suffering emotional harm may present with symptoms such as depression, anxiety, withdrawal, anhedonia (lack of feeling pleasure), inability to maintain attention and focus – easily distracted, behavioral problems, incontinence, sleep disturbances and eating disturbances. In common terms, they are stressed out by their exposure to the parental conflict and show the strains of that stress. That stress often affects mental health, relationships, behavior and academic performance.

Every time a parent makes an unfounded allegation or a frivolous allegation or uses the child as a messenger and does not protect the child from overhearing or being told directly matters not suitable for their ears, their children are at risk of emotional harm.

When parents continue to engage in behaviors known to create the conditions for emotional harm particularly when cautioned, it is clear to child protection agencies that these parents are demonstrating an inability to keep their children safe despite any assertion that they are acting in the so-called best interests of their children. Very often the thinking of this parent is that their actions can help them prevail in a custody/access battle. All the while they are harming the very children they purport to keep safe.

As parents continue and at times escalate their unfounded or frivolous issues they are inadvertently providing child protective services the evidence required to apprehend the children. Ironic.

If you are the parent in such a battle and involved with child protective services, engaging in the tit-for-tat allegation game is not the answer.

If you want to present yourself as the better parent, then resist the game. If there is a legitimate child protection issue, you better have clear evidence and not just your say-so.

If you are worrying about defending yourself against spurious claims, you can consider attending for assessment on the matter. If after one or two or three assessments on issues claimed and there is no supporting evidence, then you actually are able to present a clear pattern of false accusations. If however there is any basis to an allegation about you or your parenting, then rather than fighting allegation with counter allegation…. address your issues.

When these matters go to court and in these circumstances many do, you want to be able to show the judge how you have addressed any allegation made against you rather than just fighting fire with fire.

Parents should be forewarned. Judges have in the midst of trials where there are nasty counter-allegations and where there may be some truth or evidence in support of the allegation or where the evidence demonstrates the child is affected by emotional harm, to directly refer the children to child protective services. That’s right. In the midst of trials where both parents have lost it and the child is affected by the stress of exposure to nasty parental behavior, children have been taken into protective custody.

If you really want to present yourself as the better parent, then appear reasonable, learn to modulate your emotions and behavior and address any issue you may have that may otherwise be reasonably used against you. Demonstrate how you have improved. In so doing, then you are advancing the needs and well-being of your children while keeping them out of the fray- at least on your end.

Isn’t that what good parenting is about – managing ourselves in their interest.

If you are concerned about your child custody/access battle becoming a battle with a child protection agency then consider the following;

  1. Don’t let yourself get inducted into conflict;
  2. Keep your interactions with the other parent brief, non-accusatory and positive;
  3. Manage your own emotions;
  4. Limit contact with the other parent and consider using someone else or an on-line program to facilitate your communication where their will be an electronic record of communications;
  5. Do not make false allegations regarding the other parent;
  6. Do not use the child as a messenger;
  7. Address your own issues;
  8. Do not badmouth the other parent to your child and do not let anyone else do so either;
  9. Minimize or abstain from illicit drug use and if you consume alcohol consider limiting your consumption to no more than 6 per week and no more that 2 to 3 per occasion.
  10. Live within the letter of the law. Be mindful not to act in any manner that could be used against you;
  11. Concentrate on your own appropriate parenting.
  12. Enjoy your time with your children by engaging with them and meeting their direct needs in the moment with you such as having healthy meals, getting homework completed, washing/bathing and getting to bed at a reasonable time.

Truth is, this is just good old plain advice for parenting. Follow those suggestions and at least your child will have one parent acting reasonably. That is already 50% better for the child.

Feel free to download and print this article.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

Facebook
Linked In
Twitter

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

Rising Above the Political Dilemma in Families

There’s an old adage that says friends should never discuss sex, politics or religion. But what if your family is involved in politics and what if members of the family are of different political persuasions?

I found myself in just such a dilemma.

My nephew is seeking to be the Progressive Conservative candidate for our riding in the next provincial election. To become the political candidate he must first be nominated through the local Progressive Conservative Riding Association.

I have been asked to join the association so I can vote him in as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the riding. However, I am not Conservative politically. As such I cannot see myself joining the Progressive Conservative Riding Association, yet I do wish to support my nephew.

In a field of candidates he would be my choice more than just because he is my nephew.

This young man has expressed an interest in politics at such a young age that his then peers were watching cartoons. From him being at least 6-years-of-age, we would actually discuss politics and policy and how it impacts people. These were remarkable conversations to behold with my nephew as then a little boy both for the topic and the depth of content.

As my nephew grew and developed, his political interest grew and he leaned Conservative. Given his interest when about 13 or 14 years of age, I suggested he volunteer for a local riding association or in the office of a local Member of Parliament.

He took the suggestion seriously as intended and actually went to volunteer for the local Member of Parliament. After working many years as a volunteer he later became a paid employee of the MP’s constituency office. My nephew has since also worked on both federal and national campaigns and even lent support to conservative candidates in the US.

My nephew has come to be respected within the party as a go-getter steeped in conservative thinking. As you may well imagine, we have had many good debates over the years, particularly given our views are at times opposed. Throughout, love and respect.

While I cannot join the Conservative party to elect him as the candidate in our riding, I can say that in the field of Conservative candidates, he is my choice. I know him to be hard working both in his paid employment and also through his now many volunteer activities. His generosity of spirit is a testament to his parents and grandparents before him who all were equally engaged in community support and activism.

If you are a conservative and live within the Hamilton West – Ancaser – Dundas riding, please join the Progressive Conservative Riding Association and vote for Ben Levitt to be the local candidate in the next provincial election.

If you want to meet Ben yourself to decide about you voting him in as the Progressive Conservative candidate, then please attend his “Meet and Greet”.

While the Conservative Party is not my choice, I do believe that the Conservatives are likely to form the next provincial government in Ontario. If they do, then I would want people like my nephew to be part of that government.

How do we rise above political dilemmas in families? We rise above our differences by finding common ground. We continue to be loving and supportive. We are family.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

Facebook
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Twitter

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

An Open Letter for Separated Parents and Children

I received the letter below via email. It was written in response to an article I wrote. I was so impressed by the ability of the person to speak her mind so clearly with such insight. Her message struck a chord in me, validating my work trying to help separated parents resolve their differences peacefully. Her writing points to the impact and tragedy of parental conflict on the child and how it carries on into adulthood. She has graciously granted me permission to make her letter available in an effort to help separated parents and their children understand these issues.


Hi Gary –

This is a very interesting article.

I am the adult child of divorced parents who hate each other with a passion.

They hate each other more than they ever loved me it seems. I am now 59 years old, never married, no kids. I am not rich and have not enjoyed particularly good health. Generally I have a positive view of what life is supposed to be about and that I am a worthy individual.

It is very disconcerting to me that my selfish parents express their disgust for one another more than they have ever express their appreciation for me.

Somehow – I learned that I am great and lovable. I am happy to be on this Earth. I did not choose my parents. They chose one another.

I wish they would address their hatred of one another directly to each other.

By always expressing their hatred for one another to me, it diminishes my capacity for my own joy and also makes me respect them less and less.

They are both old now (in their 80’s).

I try to make peace with them but they are impossible. How can either one expect me to express hatred for the other – like I have to choose which one I would rather die first? And then in the next breath tell them I love them. It’s really an untenable situation for a child – small or grown.

I suggest you bring this point up when discussing family conflicts with children of divorce and their parents. I am sure the parents have no idea that their offspring has a wish that one/both would die because of their hateful attitude toward one another.

Recently my father – who has never been very nice to me – was hospitalized. I mentioned this to my ailing old mother (who I speak to regularly). Her reply was so nasty. I told her he was the only father I had, by her choice, not mine. She seemed pissed off that I didn’t wish he dropped dead in the hospital. I pointed out to her that when she had a stroke some years back it mentioned to my father. He reacted with compassion for ME – because he knows that is the only mother I have, because of HIM. He is far from perfect, but at least he made a diplomatic remark. How would he feel if I said I wished HIS mother would drop dead?

Do you ever hear children of divorce wish their parents would drop dead? This is the reason why. The parents have no respect for the children’s feelings.

If the parents hate one another so much, they should talk to one another about it.

I got so sick and tired of listening to each parent tell me how horrible the other one is.

Don’t they know I already know that I have two parents that are a real disappointment in many ways? Try that psychology on the parents and maybe they will let the children have the peace they deserve.

I did not marry nor did I divorce either one of them. They made a lot of trouble for me. They should shut up about it already. I am sick of listening to their negative remarks about one another. I have eyes and ears of my own. I have experienced their hurtful conduct quite enough without having to listen to them trash talk one another and expect me to be happy about it.

That is why kids of divorce wish their parents would die. Because each of the parents can never shut up about how horrible the other parent is.

I know this sounds very harsh, but is a real feeling among children of divorce. Because I am an adult I try to have an understanding nature. But no child could be expected to comprehend this. And frankly, it is exhausting as an adult. At least I am partially equipped to identify and articulate these things. Dependent children are in an extremely vulnerable position.

Good luck with your work in family therapy. You are doing a great service.

Lynn Ann


Respectfully received. Thank you for permission to make available to others.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

Facebook
Linked In
Twitter

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

Addressing a Serious Concern with the School Principal

I received a frantic phone call from a mother. Her daughter in Senior Kindergarten had been fondled aggressively by another girl in the classroom.

When the mom discovered the fact, she soothed her daughter and spoke to the teachers the following day.

The mother was concerned that the teachers hadn’t taken the matter as seriously as they should and wondered about next steps. She didn’t know what to do.

I suggested she speak with the school Principal although not in an accusatory manner, but informationally. The challenge in this conversation for the mother was in managing her own upset so that the Principal could concentrate on the message.

I received this text message (printed with permission) advising of the outcome:

I went in like you suggested and the principal and vice principal ushered me in and talked with me.

I explained everything like you said including how I was also concerned about the little girl who did it. They agreed and told me they are investigating and are keeping a close eye on..her parents are also going for a meeting.

I explained I didn’t like being fluffed off by the teachers and I started to say “The teachers claimed they always have eyes on them” and he finished my sentence by saying “but you and I both know that’s not possible”.

I explained how in our family we closely guard our children’s Internet access and even television and that this behavior was not something we take lightly and how we are very confident it will never happen again.

He told me he started a safety plan and has been checking on our daughter slyly (he doesn’t want her to feel likes she’s in trouble or being watched). He also explained he knows this must be devastating for us as he has daughters too. I feel better now and he said he will keep me in the loop and gave me his work cell number for if there is ever another issue.

I had also offered some guidance about managing her daughter who was distraught and as a result, acting out a bit. I wondered if her behavior settled down. The mother advised:

Yes actually it has! She’s acting more like herself.  Thank you so much.

Good ending. Pleased to be of service.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

Facebook
Linked In
Twitter

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

Counseling – The Value is Your Well Being

I see people in the comfort of my home and we have a medium size dog, a cock-a-poo.

This is the first dog my wife and I ever owned. Kugle’s good behavior and our ability to train him didn’t come naturally. We really didn’t know how to train him.

Because we needed help, we went to McCann Dogs – a reputable dog training school. We went with our dog. We trained our dog as they trained us.

While we could have satisfied ourselves with just the introductory puppy class, we went through their entire program over the course of about a year and at a cost of about $1,500.00.

We realized that the more we invested in him as a puppy and young dog, we would have a more manageable and well mannered dog for the rest of his life.

As a result, Kugle is remarkably well-mannered. Kugle lays down when people enter our home and must receive our permission before greeting. We respect that not everyone is a dog lover and others may have allergies, although this breed is less allergenic. With permission, Kugle enthusiastically makes his greeting. People are amazed how he awaits permission and follows instruction.

Although some have spent more, on average most people typically spend less on counseling with me than we spent to be trained with our dog. However, people are often reluctant to attend counseling because of the cost.

I can only tell you that while no counselor is always helpful to everyone, we are helpful to most and I encourage you to consider counseling as an investment in yourself, your relationship, your family, your children. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one or a relationship, please do seek help.

Value yourself and your relationship enough to figure out how to better manage or cope or get along or improve behavior. This is your investment in you.

Kugle is a star. On a weekly basis we take him to a local seniors’ residence where he spreads the joy as a certified therapy dog through St. John Ambulance, Therapy Dog Program. He now has more than 300 visits to his credit.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships