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Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

My stepson has ADD, but his mother doesn’t want him on medication so I have to put up with his bullshit.  It’s affecting our marriage.  Any advice? This one is tough as there are a lot of parents who don’t believe in medicating their children (for various reasons) and your wife sounds strong in her belief.  First, do you feel that you have adequate information from which to make the decision to medicate or not?  I tell people that you can always find an “opinion” on the Internet that will “fit” your belief in what you should (or should not) do, but that doesn’t make the information accurate or reliable.  That said, you need to first agree on what resources for information on managing ADD you will use to base your decisions on.  That can be anything from the Medical Pediatric Associations, Behavioral Therapists, the local Shaman, Nutritionist or Energy Healer.  Believe me, when it comes to health, people have strong opinions on what methods to use and to this I say…do what works for you! After you gather the information, you can begin the process of discussing with your wife a plan for making your home life more peaceful.  Research on effective step parenting lays out a plan that looks like this:  set up specific and clearly defined house rules; together, present the rules to your children; have consequences for breaking the rules; administer consequences together as a united front.  Take the time to set up rules and boundaries that are appropriate and healthy for your child with ADD.  Honor the fact that your stepson’s mother has the final say in how her child will be treated both medically and in your home.  Together, make this plan for how your home will function and your marriage will reap the

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

When I became a grandmother I quickly discovered that my sons wife was not going to agree with any of my grand parenting methods. She has imposed so many rules that I barely feel free to enjoy my grand kids. No paddle boating or jet skiing at the lake (too dangerous) no snacks unless she approves first (my grandma cookies might be unhealthy)?!  Our relationship has always been tense but this is ridiculous!  What’s a Grandparent to do? Let me guess…she wouldn’t be happy with you building a sand castle, finger-painting or baking cupcakes with your grand kids?  You don’t feed them, dress them, or potty them the right way, and its amazing that you successfully raised your son to adulthood?!  She’s either a nervous helicopter parent or a control freak or simply being passive-aggressive with you…for your sake I hope it’s not the latter. Wise grandparents have told me that its best to follow the rules set by the parents and keep your mouth shut!  Who likes to do that when we all know that you are the wiser and more experienced caretaker, yet, did your parents always agree with the way you raised your kids?  Were you happy when they kept their parenting advice to themselves unless asked for?  Try adopting an attitude of loving support as you follow the lead of your son and his wife. I sense that trying to change your daughter-in- law will only cause a rift and may cost you precious moments with your grandchildren. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What have you learned about keeping the peace with your Daughter-in-law? What does she say or do that really triggers you and raises your ire? How can you anticipate and embrace yourself for those triggers? What action, inaction or stress reducing

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

My spouse sneaks off to smoke cigarettes. I know they’re trying to quit but whenever I confront them they lie about it. What should I do? In my opinion, there is NO place in relationship for lies!  When you allow even the little lies to go unchecked, how do you know what other truths are being withheld from you?  I’ve heard it said that whenever you are in a relationship where you are being lied to, your whole relationship is a lie.  If lying is a problem in your relationship, think carefully about that statement because it carries a deeper truth… Moving on from Joan’s pontificating…if your partner doesn’t feel safe telling you the truth about relatively innocuous things, they are more likely going to lie to you to avoid conflict.  Be clear about your feelings on lying and try to get your spouse to agree to never lie to you, even if they sometimes need to “plead the fifth”!  If your agreement does allow for his answer to your questioning to be “no answer”, you have to leave it at that. No badgering, cajoling or whining for more information or fessing up. There will come another time to discuss the issue.  A word on smoking: quitting smoking is said to be as difficult an addiction to break as heroin.  If your spouse is trying to quit take a page from the Al-Anon book on how to “confront” with care, concern and kindness.  Express your concerns from you heart and you are more likely to be heard. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ How can you support your spouse’s efforts to quit smoking in a way that doesn’t cause friction between the two of you? What can you do to minimize the distress this habit causes you? In what

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

The biggest arguments my husband and I have are over spending.  I like to spend and he likes to save.  I grew up in a family where my Dad spoiled me and I got everything I ever wanted.  Sometimes I wish this were not the case because I know this has set me up for the number one stress my marriage of 27 years has had.  Will this bickering over spending ever get resolved?  Maybe before we hit our 50th anniversary? You may think you’re asking a question, but I think you’re telling all of us a beautiful love story!  I’m sure you know the answer to your own question, which is to say that “no” you will never stop bickering with your husband over money.  After 27 years of relating to each other in this way, neither of you are going to change.  One marriage research project I read found that every long-term marriage has that thing (or those things) that they bicker about until “death do us part”.  The issue never gets resolved (a key point to take note of…) and couples are good to not expect it to.  Yet, over time, they find their own way of staying connected in spite of their differences.  Ahhh…feel the love?  I do! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ Has the way that the two of you bicker about money changed much in the past 20 years? If not, why would you want to change things now? If the bickering has escalated, are there other stresses in your marriage besides money? What is your pattern for coming back together after disagreements? How can you shorten the time you spend cussing and discussing, and get down to the business of reconnecting? Please SHARE this on Facebook and lend your COMMENTS ~

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Vacation Tensions?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Vacation Tensions?

How do you deal with a family vacation where part of the family want to lie on the beach all day and the other part want to see the sights? …and your problem is??  Yes, this is a family vacation where your expectation may be that you spend time together, but do you feel that you have to spend every second of every day together?  I’m sure that this rarely happens in your daily lives back home!  You’re on Vaca so try to be flexible, chill, relax, let go, and leave your inner bossy boss at home.  Isn’t this why you planned this getaway?  Let each individual enjoy their vacation in their own way.  We are not cookie cutter people who all want the same thing even when we are genetically related.  The adults can split up for part of the day and let the kids choose whom they’d like to do things with.  Older kids will be happy to have some of the same freedom away from you that they enjoy at home.  Don’t sweat it!  You will still be spending most of your time together as a family, and people will be happier when they’re not being pushed to do things they don’t want.  Personally, I don’t understand why a college kid would want to sit inside watching sports on TV while in Hawaii…but, we left him behind and had a superb day at the beach boogie boarding, snorkeling and swimming with the endangered sea turtles!  He enjoyed his day…and so did we! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ If you don’t want to split up your family activities for the day, what other options for compromise (such as taking turns deciding what activity you get to do) can you employ to keep the peace on vacation?

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Disagrees with Donation for Tornado?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Disagrees with Donation for Tornado?

The tornado in Oklahoma has really affected me, especially the loss of children, and I’d like to donate to the cause but my husband doesn’t think this is necessary.  He got so angry just talking about this that I’m not sure if I should just forget donating.  I’ve always been the one who wants to help others, but he’s just not that way.  What should I do? I say screw him and shame on his selfish, self-centered attitude!  While that is my gut response to your question (I know it sounds harsh), I understand that you may not be able to take this stance and keep the peace in your marriage.  Marriage is a partnership, and both you and your husband deserve the right to spend a portion of the family money on the things and causes that are important to each of you.  Does your husband spend money on things just for himself?  Does he spend money on things you don’t agree with?  What I hear from couples works best is if each person has a set amount of money out of the monthly budget; that they can spend without their spouses approval.  If you could negotiate this strategy for spending, then you could donate from your monthly discretionary income.  I hope that you can successfully negotiate having some of your own spending money otherwise, to be honest, I have concerns about the health and mutuality of your relationship.  Thank you for your generous spirit.  The world needs more people like you! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ In what way might your husband be open to negotiating you having your own money to spend in any way that you like? Where do you and your husband agree with how the family money is to be spent? Where

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Negative Family?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Negative Family?

I’ve tried to raise my own family in a positive environment but whenever I’m with my parents and extended family all they do is sit and talk poorly about the family members who aren’t present.  They’re so critical I don’t like to have my kids around them.  How do I protect my kids from their negativity? First of all, I’m sure you realize that you’re not going to change your family of origin.  You’ve been witnessing and living this negativity your whole life and that may be the reason you’re focused on keeping things positive with your own children.  Kudos to you!  It’s never too late to change negative patterns! Depending on the ages of your children, you have a few options here.  When they’re small you can probably distract them away from the grown-up conversations.  As they get older, they may choose to join in on the adult conversation, which means they will get an earful of negativity.  The good thing about older kids is that they are aware enough, and mature enough, to understand the differences in the way people act, and re-act, around others.  This can be a good opportunity to teach your older children that, in life, we all have to learn how to deal with negative people.  We have to develop strategies for either minimizing our time with them or minimizing the impact they have on our lives.  Others may choose to be negative, but we always have the choice of how to act, and how to re-act.  The choice is ours and within our control.  To quote from the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…”Choose Wisely!”. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What life lessons can you teach your children as they witness the exchange of negativity in your family? Is there

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Husband Neglecting Family for Golf?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Husband Neglecting Family for Golf?

My husband spends so much time on the Golf course I feel like he’s neglecting his duties as a father and husband.  How can I get him to spend more time with us and less on golf? Balance.  That’s the first word that came to mind when I read your question.  I’m a big believer in that we all need our leisure activities, our friends and hobbies, but if the balance of time we spend with others really does neglect our family…or is perceived to be neglecting our family…then we have a problem.  Maintaining a good relationship requires good negotiation skills.  Both parties need to get their needs met, but they should not look solely to their partner to meet those needs.  This is where negotiating with your husband for what you want and need comes in to play. First, I suggest that you honor him by accepting his passion for golf.  Let him know that you support him in spending time with activities that make him happy.  If that sounds like a hard thing for you to do, start by looking at the things you do that he’s not crazy about but has to accept in relationship with you.  You know, girlfriend, that he’s got his list too!!  Also, make sure that you are living your best life and not depending on him to satisfy something that you feel is missing inside you or in your life.  That said, if he is not being a true partner to you, bring on your Power Woman and go after what you need.  Get it?  Got it!  Good!! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ How do you show your husband that you honor his independence and leisure time away from you and the kids? Only you know what works with your

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Empty Nest?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Empty Nest?

My son graduates this year and I’m already a mess just thinking of him leaving for college.  I’ve been one of those moms who helped with all the school events and was really involved.  I’m not dealing with this very well.  It hasn’t even happened yet but this empty nest thing is already worse than I thought.  How am I going to get through this? This can be really tough on moms, and some dads have a real tough time with this as well.  You will get through this, even if it means having a good cry each day for a while!  Give yourself the space and time to process this change.  As you let go be mindful that your college student will let you know how much support they need from you their first year away from home.  Listen for their cues; some want to hear from you every day and others will tell you to quit calling so often.  Continue to support them as you always have, but give them their independence if they’re ready. Approach this change with a positive outlook! Look at this transition as a time to re-create yourself and your life.  Use this opportunity to focus on that hobby you set aside, or take that class you always wanted to take.  Marriages are often revitalized once the last child leaves home.  I know of many couples that see this as their opportunity to travel.  I had a friend send me flowers with the simple note “Enjoy” when our youngest left home.  After the initial unrest subsides, I expect that you will come to enjoy your newfound freedom!  Enjoy!   Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What can you do to show kindness and empathy toward yourself (yes!~yourself!) as you go through this difficult

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach: Can’t trust after Foster Care?

Joan Jerkovich "Your" Life Coach: Can't trust after Foster Care?

I grew up in foster care. I never had a permanent family for more than two years. People were always in and out of my life.  I almost gave up on getting too emotionally involved with anyone.  How do I learn to trust that people will be there for me when no one ever stuck around? When your trust in others has been as stripped down as you share in your story, you have to take yourself to the root of all trust, which is trust in yourself.  Trust that you can emotionally handle this ebb and flow of people in your life.  Trust that there will be times of stable relationships and times of turmoil, these too you can emotionally deal with.  When you trust yourself to make the best decisions you can and trust that you can effectively deal with the rewards or consequences that come with those decisions, you are on your path to building and growing as a person.  You will make a better life for yourself.  Believe that and you have already succeeded! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ Recall a time when you made a decision you were proud of. Review in your mind the steps you took toward making that decision. What comes to mind when you look within yourself regarding trust? If there are negatives (and there will be) can you set those aside? Focusing only on the positive attitudes you have regarding trust, can you make a list of ways you can keep your “eye on the prize”, keep the positives your primary goal? Have you done research on how you can build trust (books, internet)? Will you schedule time each day to work on building you inner trust? Joan Jerkovich is a Board Certified Life Coach who takes your

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