Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Kristin and Diana have been together eight years, and married for seven. Between the two of them there they have two children, Kevin, age 12, and Megan, age 15.
Kristin and Diana are actually doing pretty good. Their problem lately has been with Megan. She has a boyfriend who’s 20. Kristin and Diana are wondering what to do about this. Most the time their private parenting conversations go well. Sometimes the conversations don’t.
Kristin and Diana come to couples counseling using our method about once every eight weeks, just to keep things sharp.ng pretty good.
Their problem lately has been with Megan. She has a boyfriend who's 20. Kristin and Diana are wondering what to do about this. Most the time their private parenting conversations go well. Sometimes the conversations don't.
They cannot agree about how to deal with Megan's older boyfriend. They both notice that every time they bring up the topic with Megan, the teenager digs her heels further into the ground. Sound familiar?
We had Kristin and Diana discuss when Megan's behavior started to really change. They have been feeling disconnected from her, and have also noticed a decline in Megan's grades. Also Megan wants to frequently argue about getting a driver's license permit.
Kristin noticed that they have stopped having dinners together as a family. In fact, many of their old family rituals have fallen away.
Did you know that regular family dinners end up being one of the main predictors of healthy family functioning?
A New York Times article put many of the research together nicely. It said that regular family dinners are associated with: - Lower alcohol use - Lower marijuana use - Lower feelings of depression, suicide, and eating disorders
Teenagers that have regular, frequent family dinners have less friends who are sexually active, and boyfriends/girlfriends who are frequently NO MORE THAN TWO YEARS OLDER. (Megan!)
When Kristin and Diana learned this, they stopped off at the store on the way home. Diana said, "Starting tonight we will have a new family ritual! Thursday nights are taco night!"
We saw them again eight weeks later. Eight taco nights had passed. (Actually, one week was a pasta night to break the routine). Kristin said that her relationship with Megan was getting better. The 20-year-old boyfriend was still in the picture, but now Megan was able to talk about it with Kristin.
This was a great start.
So..... when is your next taco night?
(Note: The names and relevant facts above have been changed to protect any confidentiality issues.)