Category Archives: family

Miss Congeniality’s Sister: Sandra Bullied

When Ms. Bullock’s forgotten sister gets bullied in school, more hurtful gossip’s sure to be on the horizon than usual. Bringing up sister.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have two daughters and one of them gets cyber bullied and bullied in school, while her sister is Miss Popular. This makes the picked on one feel even worse. How do help her? — Torn Dad

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Dear Torn Dad,

I’m sorry to hear about your family’s pain and your daughters’ (both of them) situation. While it’s pretty easy to see how difficult your bullied daughter must have it, it may be less obvious what your more popular daughter is feeling around her sister’s situation at their school. Some of her feelings might surprise you — they may have common ground in shame while experiencing/expressing it very differently. Aside from informing and involving school officials (and why not any other support groups your family may be involved with, such as your church or cyber bullying organizations), holding regularly scheduled supportive and strategic family meetings towards encourage your daughters (and by extension, your family) to work as a team (solidarity, identifying and less loneliness for both) to soothe if not conquer the abusiveness, and build up self-esteem. From A-Z in the process, enable the sisters’ truthful sharing by embracing both seemingly positive and negative emotions offered. Shedding light on them is the most important part, not that someone may have what may on the surface appear to be “inappropriate” feelings (i.e., shame or embarrassment of either the situation or her sibling). If they weren’t close before, sharing this experience may help them forge a bond that could long outlive your family unit.

Some previous GWBW posts (search “bully” at our site for others):

Bull Dozing Billy

Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

(building character) Dodgeball, In or Out of Bounds?

Basic cyber bullying TIPS:

• Delete messages from offenders without reading them

• Don’t try to seek revenge or cyber bully back, or someone else

Awareness of why teens bully:

• It gives them attention

• They think everyone cyberbullies

Stay aware of your kids’ friends on- and offline. Talk openly and regularly about their online activities, and restrict computer time to homework and approved sites and (email) lists.

No Bully Zone,

BadWitch

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Your Witches are in a period of time when family issues are omnipresent for us each. Send some love and light to GoodWitch and her fam today especially. Thank you.

Image: Chris Whitehead, Getty Images

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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A Degree in No Meaning 101. Son Most Likely to Be College Dropout

When the going gets tough…this son wants to stop going…to college. Is a college degree worthwhile in today’s job market? Is a degree from Harvard as valuable as one from Online Masters Degree or your local community college? How much effort should be spent on higher education?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our son wants to drop out of college. He’s a senior but since most of his junior year, this former high school straight-A student has been barely passing his courses. He feels getting a degree in this market is meaningless as there are no jobs. What do you think? Pre-qualifier

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Dear Pre-qualifier,

All things equal, this is what I believe: to go further in life, finish what you start. While I’m fully aware that there may be many reasons to dropout and that  college is not for everyone, this doesn’t seem to have been your son’s case as he qualified with a strong GPA, kept his grades up for his previous three university years, and only now seems to have decided he’s done and is throwing in the towel (attitudinally if not literally, yet). Investigate to make sure something else (that wasn’t his choice) hasn’t happened to him that triggered such a behavioral change — something that may require your (or professionals’) help — like an illness or abusive incident. Barring such external situations, your Pre-qualifer needs to slow down to step up and look at his real motives against the long road before him that is his future.

Yes the job market is down and college loans are expensive to pay back, but both are achievable with his diligence and tenacity. He’s so close now, why handicap himself needlessly (an undergrad degree (BA/BS) is a minimal requirement for most jobs today)? I picked up a great life character assessment tool inadvertently from a long-ago writing workshop: Character isn’t what he says, but what he does. Your son has barely made his appearance in Act 1.

Stay in school,

BadWitch

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Dear Pre-qualifier,

Your best bet is to help your son move beyond apathy. Basing your future on a pessimistic outlook is betting on failure. And why play the game without a winning hand of cards?

Your son is so close to the finish line. maybe he’s not a star ‘A’ student anymore, but if he’s still passing it’s worth completing the journey. The future available to a college graduate has more possibilities than one without. No matter what the economic future is in this country, it is better to be more prepared for greatness rather than less.

Help your son see the possibilities he may be giving up. It’s time to realize that the future starts now. If you want all the opportunities, you have o take the one’s available to you in the now. Cause really that’s all any of us have—now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Pushy Wannabe Grandma, “Pregnancy Now!”

Tick tock!, she don’t stop. If you wait, will it be too late?  When moms pushes you to make her a granny now.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — As a single woman in her mid thirties, my mother keeps warning me that if I wait even a day longer to have children, she will never be a grandmother. To what extent is this true or untrue? What should I do to ensure that I have the option for motherhood in the future?Pregnant Pause

 

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Dear Pregnant Pause,

Firstly, I can’t think of too many choices in this world more important than whether or not to have children…except maybe when to have them. With all due respect to your mother, she’s already had her time as one, it’s now completely up to you as to if and when to you will become one. Own that fact, exemplify that feeling.

As to when, if you’re healthy, fertile and want a family, make Pros and Cons lists if you need help with more clarity. Obvious considerations include your health, wealth, practical and strategic career accounts (day-to-day childcare options versus your availability to remain work-relevant and competitive), and the often under-considered urges/desires and assumptions/notions you may or may not have about your “family.” Siblings to trusted spiritual leaders may help with this last one.

Future options protection? Here’s one idea if you can swing the finances (I’m sorry I didn’t grab the link when I recently heard about a young woman’s brilliant and controversial plan!). She knows she wants kids ultimately, but not while she’s competing and building her equally important career. She had her own eggs harvested and frozen for IVF when she is ready for motherhood. Dissenting religious beliefs completely respected and aside, I have to tell you that I didn’t understand why this was a “news” story in this day and age, except for suggesting that many people in our society still don’t actually “family plan,” or may have some misunderstandings about the challenging but viable IVF process.

Far more important than making your mother vicariously happy, please make sure you are happy about your own parenting status by deeply researching and considering all the options available to you specifically.

Gestate on that,

BadWitch

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Dear Pregnant Pause,

More and more women are waiting to start a family. This is not the 50’s anymore—where  women marry straight out of high school or go to college to find a husband and then hit fast forward on the family planning.

That being said, age can affect fertility. A woman is born with all the eggs she will have in her life. These eggs age as we do, sometimes forming a hard outer shell, which can keep sperm from penetrating the egg. So what does this mean?

It means that you may have issues getting pregnant without assistance as you start to age past late thirties. However, reproductive endocrinology (yes, the science of test tube babies) has come a long way. Single women, same sex couples and fertility challenged heterosexual couples are making their family dreams a reality through IVF (in-vitro fertilization). In other words, though the science is not fail-proof, success rates show it is a viable option.

So, though your mom is ready for grandkids right this moment, do what is right for you. You can start with a conversation with your OB/GYN and perhaps a consultation with a well-respected reproductive endocrinologist to determine if there are any other issues besides age, which may be a fertility challenge for you.

Sadly, in the world of fertility, age does matter. And, yes, being called “older” at 40 may be one of the more annoying side-effects, but know that you may yet have a child in a few years. I had my first child at 33 and my second at 36. So, apparently my mid-thirties were quite fertile. Does that mean I’m done at 44-not necessarily. Egg donation is also an option, as is adoption. In other words, if you want a family, there are ways and means. Don’t step on the gas now to make someone else happy, because it’s you that have the responsibility for growing a responsible member of society for the following 18 years—at least.

Be happy where you are and know your options and opportunities for the future,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Match Point: Bringing Up Equal Girls, Boys

Are strong girls or enlightened boys more at the disadvantage? Raising Cain and April.  — BadWitch

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! CHINESE NEW YEAR OF THE HARE

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — What an interesting blog you have. My question is this. Is it better to raise strong girls or enlightened boys? My friend and I debate this a lot and I think you’re doing a boy a disservice in our society if you raise him to be too sensitive to women’s equality. I’m not an anti-feminist, just the opposite and a die-hard since the 60’s. I don’t know if this matters in the least, but we’re both 64 and looking at our grandchildren. Power Nana

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Dear Power Nana,

Hmm, you’ve confirmed my previous suspicions that this is a generational thing. I was really surprised when I first heard this being debated in my early 20s, and it still surprises me as I’ve been afforded the ability to sustain my delusion that things have changed for the better in our society for both genders. My main suggestion is that you not project your own stereotypical gender biases on your grandkids.

Tow your (what I perceive is your real albeit conflicted) own line consistently, that both genders are better served when males are made more sensitive by being enlightened to other people’s challenges, and that independently strong girls are made even stronger when there are enlightened males around to attract and work/live with. They sound like Yin-Yang to me, as in physics, you can’t have one without the other. I don’t mean any of this in an idealistic Nirvan-y sort of way, but purely as (if you’re going to (attempt to) raise them with your consciousness) a logical extension of this thinking.

Raise them all up,

BadWitch

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Dear Power Nana,

I’m interested why you believe raising boys sensitive to the issues women face with inequality would be a disservice. To who? Listen, in this case you’ve got a boy that is sure to be popular with the ladies, may later lead an important charge regarding paycheck fairness or the equal rights amendment (that has yet to be ratified) and sees the world through the glasses of balance and respect. Where’s the issue?

I do believe that raising boys to be too overly sensitive, i.e. overly coddled is not at all a good thing. There is a great book called “Nurture Shock” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman that talks about the issues for children unable to experience life’s little disappointments who later are unable to cope when big issues like job and family are on the table.

As the adults raising children it is important to instill them with the very qualities we hold dear. Our job is to help them become the incredible people they can be by giving them all the guidance we can—especially where it comes to fairness, equality and respect for all.

Teach them what you know. There future girlfriends and spouses will thank you for it.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Out of the Closet: Unwanted Makeover

Your mom’s just trying to be helpful but she’s messing with your closet/your head. De-cluttering how to tell her to stop before it becomes your dirty laundry. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I come home and my moms “reorganized” my entire closet Now there’s one shoe downstairs and one upstairs. She turned my whole closet upside down like that! That was 3 weeks ago, and I’m still searching for my things every day. What can I do about this?  — Closet Case

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Dear Closet Case,

What a great question about setting appropriate boundaries. And whether you’re 13 and your mom is all up in your grill, or you’re 45 and living with a senior mom who requires your assistance — doesn’t matter. Same relationship dynamic thing, different time. Moms who need to do your thing their way, is…classic.

You know your BadWitch wants you to tell her like it is (but keep in mind that for you, her action was annoyingly intrusive, while to her, just helpful), but I understand that this may be both difficult for you to say, and for her to actually hear (whether because of big ego or legit cognitive reasons — if the latter (which your searching up and downstairs for stuff alerts me to), immediately get her under a geriatric physician’s care). Still, together you should set down some rules for happy co-existing in this house.

Whatever your age, calm the heck waaay down and then ask you mom why she felt she needed to help you get organized. Ask questions to hear past “it was messy”-type responses to what her perception is about your organizational skills, how you live. If any of it resonates with you, think then act to improve yourself. Thank her! If it doesn’t feel true for you, then try substituting her “you” statements with your proper name and repeat them out loud. If most or all of it still doesn’t feel true to you, then consider what is actually important to you a la values, and then calmly set enforceable boundaries. Remember, one huge lesson living with people we love can teach us is how to reasonably compromise.

Setting boundaries: Let your mother know clearly that you respect her, but that you and your territory must have her reciprocal respect, too. Just because it works for her, deosn’t mean it does (or has to!) work for everyone on the planet. Find the most effective way to say it so your mom can hear it. Find a way to enforce it (expectations > consequences). If you don’t, you can expect that she will repeat this closet makeover episode (in one form or another) and that will be on you, later. In the worst (and last case) scenario, put a lock on your door.

Lights on in that closet,

BadWitch

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Dear Closet Case,

OMG!!! And I mean that! I don’t know what’s more horrifying, the idea of your mother seeing every nook and cranny of your inner wardrobe or the idea of someone else reorganizing the items that should very specifically be categorized by the wearer. Shocking.

Well, first and foremost you must sit down with your mother to discuss this fiasco. In a loving (which means practice A LOT before the face-to-face), calm voice (A LOT) let her know in no uncertain terms that though you believe her “helpfulness” in regards to your closet was born from the most loving thoughts and ideas, in truth it felt like a disrespect for your privacy. You know that was not how it was intended (see why you have to practice?), but in fact reorganizing someone else’s closet without their prior notice and consent is best left to parents of small children not yet capable of organizing sweaters together, etc.

Let her know that you are still searching for some much need items. In truth, though you two are so similar, your organizational styles are very different….and, well, it makes life more difficulty when getting ready for (school/work/obligations).

Be clear before your bathroom cabinets are reorganized and those much needed daily products disappear! This is an important opportunity for you to set boundaries like an adult. Show her what you’re working with. But show it with love and respect. She birthed you. She deserves heaping helpings of both.

Also, your mom may be somewhat bored. Is she older and needing to get out to the local centers to play with people her own age while you are at work? Or maybe the stay at home mom is discovering a latent passion for interior design. Whatever the root cause remember compassion—not anger—will get you the respect you crave.

Good luck (sincerely),

GoodWitch

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Image: Touchstone Pictures

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Divvying Up Splitsville

Equal piece of the pie. The spoils of war. Everyone wants theirs. But in the division of property, is winner takes all really the goal in a war of hearts?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I finally did it!!!! I broke up with my assh*** long term (relationship). Now we’re divvying up property. The fights are starting all over again. Help! — Fractionator

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Dear Fractionator,

It sounds like congratulations are in order for successfully completing one cycle in your lessons. The trick for you two (and individually) is not to repeat the same trial-and-error homework but to repeat the successful outcome — in your case, a mature ending of something that was no longer serving you. Do the same thing with your things. After all, they are only as potent and valuable as you your selves assign and infuse them with. Keep the power you give freely to the things low, especially as to your emotions they represent (i.e., “That CD you bought me on our first date is mine,” but only because you are still attaching the old sentiment of his taking care of you to the plastic disc, etc. Fill in your own actual emotional ties). Set up rules before re-visiting this property division task (involve an impartial third party, if necessary). Agree to divide things fairly by BR and AR dates (Before Relationship and After Relationship), receipts, and/or any other empirical, pragmatic data or reasoning you can agree to.

Lastly, the other grey-area items should be put in the middle of the living room and “auctioned” for (I’m suggesting reasoned (vs. argued in the aggressive sense) for; best rhetoric prevails) in front of a pre-determined, mutually agreed upon impartial third party. All decisions final.

Lighten your spoils to move on fully,

BadWitch

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Dear Fractitioner,

Congratulations on standing up for you! Don’t stop now! Parsing out property is no easy feat!  There will be times that you must lay down a firm boundary and stake your claim and others when you will need to concede. The key to successfully “divvying” up the property will be your own presence with yourself and what you refuse to let go of and what you are ok with handing away.

Before your next “splitting up the goods” meeting, write out a list of property and star those items that you believe will be contentious creators. Decide ahead of time what your best outcome would be. BE FAIR!! Do not decide you need the thing you know your partner wants most. That will only cause more contentious moments. Decide what items you need to move away or be paid for giving away. For backup, create a second list of negotiating items—those items which you know your partner wants, you don’t care about that you can hold back as bargaining chips to negotiate for the pieces you really want.

Remember, in the end you would be better off walking away from a bunch of property littered with negative associations than putting yourself through hell for CDs or an arm chair. You are more important than any store bought item. In the end, you could just ask for a payout for the bulk of items and start fresh.

You have already started the process of taking care of you. Keep going!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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First Time Job, Earner’s New Costs

We all had one: a first time job. What we all don’t have is the exact same views on money, responsibilities and how those things go together. Figuring out the “new allowance.” — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My mother reads your blog so I’m hoping she’s reading this. I’m 16 and just got my first job, and she’s already making me pay for gas and my cell phone now! Does that seem right to you? I’m ok paying for my car insurance so I drive more responsibly, but she makes me pay to get to work and come home. That seems seems backwards to me. Shouldn’t she want me to want to go to work and make money to begin with? — First Time Worker

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Dear First Time Worker,

That you share your mother’s interests enough to know to come here and try to “sway” her is…ehem, your work skills showing. I do, however, appreciate your understanding about the cause-affect relationship of your paying for your car insurance. This shows you do understand how things work.

Now take those mad skillz to the next level, and have a meeting with your parents to figure out what items you should be paying for by discussing to understand each other’s priorities. They will include: cost-to-use, time and money, prioritizing values, and your safety. Maybe it is valuable to them to pay for all things school related. Maybe only you can afford that $350 bat to keep playing, etc… I’m going to keep this one very short because I believe just having this little pow wow will open your parents and your own eyes as to how the other actually sees the world…and mmoney and responsibilities.

Time spent together is time well spent,

BadWitch

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Dear First Time Worker,

Congratulations on your first job!

So now that we’re done with niceties, let me give you the down and dirty truth of life as an adult. Life costs money. Gas, car insurance, car payment, tolls—all cost money. The roof over your head costs whether in mortgage, rent or upkeep. Clothes, toiletries and toilet paper all cost and we’ve not even discussed lights, heat, water and garbage.

Your mother has been covering these costs. Now that you have a job she is asking for your help. She’s not even asking for you to cover living expenses, just the gas you need to go where you want to go and the cell phone you need to set up those play dates. In other words, she’s having you cover the cost of your play and travel to and from work. Really, not a lot in the grand scheme of the many hundreds of dollars needed to survive.

Of course, one hopes that these costs do not take the entirety of your weekly check. Now is the time to start the lifelong habit of saving some of your income for a rainy day (or Cabo Spring Break).

You have the opportunity now to create new lifelong habits that will serve you in the years to come. Yes, life comes with bills to pay—and we also have to pay our fair share—but it also comes with compounding interest. Read (or listen to) David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. Don’t bemoan paying for the life you live. That’s life. Be grateful for the opportunity to have money coming in that helps your mother and helps you live the life you enjoy. These days, not everyone is as lucky.

New responsibility will often chafe, but it will not choke if approached with level head and grateful heart. Realize that your mom’s burden is heavier than you have bothered to note, but now you have the opportunity to help, where it is appropriate.

Blessings on a bright future,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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