Avoid Being Battered – Recognize The Signs Of A Violent Person

Being in a relationship with a violent person is very dangerous. Not only are you endangering yourself, but you’re also putting your children in harm’s way. Although a person does not want to get into a relationship with someone who has an aggressive nature, a violent individual can hide his true self quite cleverly. So, it’s common for victims to only find out that they are with aggressive partners only after being with them for a while. Some even find out after they are already married.

Whether you’re a woman looking for a man or a guy searching for a nice girl, you will most likely have a picture of your dream guy or girl in your mind. But make sure that you assess a person carefully so that you won’t end up being a battered girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband. A violent person or someone who has the propensity to turn aggressive exhibits certain traits. Here are a few examples.

Wants a Relationship to Progress Rapidly

When asked, a person who got into a relationship with a batterer will most likely say that they had a “whirlwind romance.” A batterer moves quickly, often convincing his partner to get engaged, live together, or get married in just a couple of months. The batterer will profess undying love and will usually declare that he has “never loved anyone as much before.” Although these things may sound sweet, they are often used to manipulate victims. Also, once a person tries to break off a relationship, the violent individual will make the other party feel guilt-ridden. This is a ploy that batterers use to convince their partners to come back or stay with them.

Has a Short Temper

Someone who exhibits a relatively short temper is likely to be violent. Bursts of intense anger are quite frequent, and such instances are often followed by remorseful behavior.

Always Blames Others

It doesn’t matter if it’s his fault or not because a person with a violent personality will often blame others for his problems and his feelings. To illustrate, if a person fails to do his job correctly or if he is late for an appointment, he will always find another individual to blame. He can also blame his girlfriend or wife for any positive or negative feelings. He might say – “You are the only person who can make me happy.” This may seem like a delightful statement. But if such types of declarations are coupled with other dubious behavior, such as being controlling or irrationally impatient, then an individual should think twice about pursuing a relationship with a person who conducts himself in such a manner.

Isolates Partner

A batterer will often isolate his partner from her friends, co-workers and even family. This way, the woman will have no one else but him. Because she is dependent on her abusive partner, the female will have less determination to fight back. Furthermore, isolating a person allows a violent individual to better control the other party.

Controls Everything

If you notice that your boyfriend always tries to control your actions, even the way you dress, then be wary. Batterers usually like to control everything. They like to be in charge of transportation, finances, as well as a person’s relationship with others. An aggressive person controls who his partner talks to, where she goes, how she dresses, or how she conducts herself. If she tries to do things her way, the abusive partner can quickly turn violent.

Some of these qualities present in a violent boyfriend can also be seen in an unfaithful boyfriend. If your partner is not showing signs of being violent but you instead suspect him of being in an affair, visit Are You Cheating to learn more about what you can do.

Dumped

The end of a relationship is always tough to handle, but tougher still is to be the one to go through the process that is known as being dumped. There are numerous reasons for a relationship to end. But all the reasons in the world won’t help to show you how to get through the pain of getting dumped. If you have never been dumped, the chances are you will be. But have no fear, it is all a part of love and life. You find ways to move on, of getting over being dumped and on with your life. After being broken up with, there are several emotions that you may feel. Some of these emotions are healthy ways to deal with the genuine and heartfelt pain that is a broken relationship. Some of these emotions are not so healthy and want to be avoided at all costs. Three of the main emotions that are usually felt by a person who is on the receiving end of a break up are anger, sadness, and self-doubt. The emotions are difficult, but what sets you on the path to recovery is the way to start responding to getting dumped and the emotions that go along with it.

Anger might possibly be the swiftest most readily available emotion that a boyfriend or girlfriend will react to when they are being broken up with. A sense of “You can’t dump me!” is felt and it is extremely easy to fall into the trap of becoming enraged. It is definitely natural to feel angry after you have invested so much into a relationship and it is falling apart before your eyes. The thing that is not natural is being so angry that you hurt someone in violence in your rage. Advice for severe emotions like this are to take a break from the issues and take some time to gain a cool head before continuing. If you have any hope of working things out with the person or of moving on to lead a normal, healthy, and happy life, anger is not the right emotion to feed. Though it is difficult sometimes to gain control over such a volatile emotion, control is a necessity to be able to keep one’s composure. Remember, the more obviously angry you are, the more control over your emotions the other person has over you. That is the very last thing that you want to happen. If you need to vent, there are many getting dumped chat rooms on the internet that you can go to. Also, there are support groups that help you move on with your life.

Another very common emotion to experience when on the receiving end of a broken relationship is sadness or grief. Along with the anger, instead of the anger, or perhaps after the anger comes grief. You feel as if something you have nurtured has died. Grief is a way for us to mourn the loss of something that has become very special to us that is now over. As with anger, grief is another very natural thing to be feeling after separating from a loved one, especially in the case of a long-term, serious relationship. More unnatural than feeling grief would be to feel no grief at all. While in small manageable doses grief is often necessary to move on, if possible, avoid overwhelming grief. In these cases, such grief that you feel like you can not live without the person is obviously unhealthy, bordering on codependency. A great way to beat this sort of feeling is to understand and help yourself become a decent, intelligent, strong person that can make it on his or her own. This involves getting to know yourself extensively, hopefully before you are in a relationship. Having a friend that has gone through this before help you with your feelings and can also show you how to deal with getting dumped.

One thing that goes hand-in-hand with co-dependency is another common break up emotion, self-doubt. Like anger and sadness, these are natural, normal emotions that may be felt after the loss of a relationship with someone you care deeply about. The reason co-dependency goes hand-in-hand with self-doubt is because you lack the self-confidence to know that you are able to handle life by yourself and on your own, when the situation calls for it. A good way to get rid of self-doubt is to do positive reinforcement. Thinking positively is very underrated and can be very powerful when used to boost self-confidence. If you have low self-esteem, and you project that feeling, this is yet another area of your life and relationship that can give the lion’s share of the control of the relationship to the person who will take up the reins. In other words, if the person knows that you will be a pushover, it makes it easier to push you into being dependent. Being in this type of position is a very uncomfortable and unhealthy place to be. The only person that should have control over the person’s actions is that person him or herself.

There are a myriad of other emotions that are very common in the situation of two very close people in a relationship breaking up. Experiencing these emotions is not bad if you handle the feelings in the right way. Handling them in the wrong way, or allowing them to take over is a bad way to end a relationship. Unfortunately I can only speak from the perspective of women getting dumped. Fortunately as humans this advice can help you with a bad break up. The best thing for both parties is for the break up to be handled in a calm and collected manor. If this is not the case, scenes tend to turn very ugly very quickly. Rule your emotions, don’t let your emotions rule you after getting dumped.

On the other hand, if you haven’t been dumped yet and are instead worried about your spouse considering ending the relationship due to infidelity, visit Are You Cheating to learn more about what you can do.

One very important thing to remember is that you will love again. Do not consider this the end. You may feel like it now, but there will be a special someone out there for you. The task ahead of you is to heal and become a person that can contribute to another relationship someday – a healthy relationship. When you do find that special someone, get to know each other and look for date ideas that will strengthen your bond and bring you closer in your relationship. The ultimate goal is happiness.

Existential Psychotherapy

Existential psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy based on the existential philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries and has been developed as a therapeutic school under Otto Rank.

According to existential psychotherapy, people are unhappy and live in an unauthentic manner due to the fact that they are permanently under the pressure of existential anguish. According to Yalom (1980), one of the most highly regarded exponents of contemporary psychotherapy, the anguish is caused by the inevitability of death, the concept of freedom, the responsibility for one’s own existence and, finally, by the feeling of a supreme meaningless (Diamond, 2009).

These preoccupations are analogous to the four dimensions of human existence – physical, social, personal, and spiritual and the problems that arise in one of these dimensions turn out to be when thoroughly analyzed, most probably caused by its respective anguish.

History

Existential therapy was founded as an orientation at the beginning of the 20th century, when Otto Rank, Freud’s student, broke off from his mentor and started analyzing patients in a new way, that places greater importance on the personal and spiritual dimensions of the individual. The principles of his analysis had their roots in the thinking of great existential philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, or Sartre. According to existentialist theory, people are constantly in a state of anguish, and the need for believing in God or in science are ways of coping with anxiety. People do not really need morals (Nietzsche, Husserl) and, in order to get rid of anxiety, they should have the courage and the freedom to explore the world and themselves without prejudice, through their own means of analysis and their own understanding of the world.

The principles of existential psychotherapy

People are fundamentally alone in the world, yet they still have a burning need to be with others. People need a purpose in their lives, yet they come to the realization that there is no supreme purpose to existence, and this brings on anxiety. People have a need to be appreciated, to feel that they have a purpose in the world and for those around them. This need for validation cannot, however, do anything for them but harm because they seek an external validation that will never be sufficient in the absence of internal validation. Psychological dysfunctions are explained through a heightening of anguish when confronted with the four major existential problems (death, freedom, responsibility, and meaning) up to the point where it can no longer be managed by the individual alone.

In order to live a healthy, satisfying life, people need to accept their condition and live their lives as a wonderful exercise in freedom, in which they can do whatever they like and be whatever they want as long as there is no destiny or universal purpose. Accepting the idea of an inevitable demise, of a fundamental solitude, but also of the freedom to live the way you choose and of a responsibility for your own life and actions is the only way through which people can make their existence not simply bearable, but even valuable to themselves and those around.

The three modes of the world

According to May, Angel & Ellenberger (1958), existential analysts take into account three dimensions of the world: world-around (umwelt), the environment or the biological world, with-world (mitwelt), the world of being of one’s own kind (humanity) and own-world (eigenwelt), the mode of the relationship to one’s self.

Furthermore, May et al. (1958) believe that anxiety can be caused by any of the dimensions of the individual and, avoiding living in the present moment, may increase that anxiety. By confronting and exploring it, the individual comes to transcend the anxiety and enrich his/her life experience (Dasein).

Is it for me?

Existential therapy is focused on the present moment and attributes minimal importance to the past. Even though it does not dismiss life experience, values internalized in the past, or the fact that people from our childhood influence our life views, existential therapy has the purpose of connecting the client to who he/she really is now, in the present moment and to what he/she can do in the future for a better life. The healing comes as a result of connecting the client to his subjective way of perceiving the world and of making the client accept this personal way and not through forcing the client to accept reality for what it is.

Existential therapy believes that there is no complete objectivity for humans, and to encourage them to search for it is only a way of encouraging their anxiety towards life.

Thus, if you are somebody who wants an innovative therapy oriented on results, that does not set out to dig up your past in order to exorcise your personal demons, a therapy that rather teaches you to accept your fear, your anxiety, and your pain towards life (which is inevitably difficult and naturally causes anxiety), it could be that existential therapy would fit perfectly with you and would help you with changing your existence for the better.

If you want to learn more about what psychology can do for you, visit Estadt Psychological Services.

Emotional Abuse is Emotional Bullying

The Silent Treatment – Making Changes to Break the Silence

The silent treatment is a damaging form of nonverbal communication in an interpersonal relationship. Abuse victims need to make changes to stop this abhorrent mind game.

Interpersonal communication is a learned skill. Children learn their communication skills mostly from watching their parents. Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills are developed by observing how parents interact. Some schools teach how to resolve problems and conflicts but the situations are peer-based. Children view their parents as teachers in how to behave in an intimate relationship. If the learned skills are amiss, and not corrected, the cycle of abusing or becoming a victim, will continue.

The Silent Treatment

Emotional hijacking happens too frequently in many relationships. For some, the abuse is infrequent, for others the abuse is consistent and it erodes the victim’s well-being.

The silent treatment may last anywhere from hours to weeks. Ironically, the recipient ultimately gives power to the abuser by begging for the silence to stop. Even though the silence may cease, further damage is inflicted on the victim due to unanswered questions that fill the head with frustration and confusion. The victim internalizes negative feelings in fear that expressing his thoughts will ignite verbal abuse or another round of silent treatment.

Manifestations of emotional abuse can deepen to include: anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, drug or alcohol dependency, and eating disorders. In time, the tension in the home becomes unbearable. Life with a person who inflicts emotional abuse affects the nerves and this has a ripple effect on children, who are exceedingly intuitive. These learned skills can ultimately cause them to become an abuser or to become a victim.

Stop the Abuse

Stopping abuse is easier said than done. In many abusive relationships, the victim still loves her partner, but not his actions. Setting the scene for change is difficult and time-consuming. If children are involved, this makes the task even more onerous.

  • Keep a journal and record everything. Journaling on a computer is not safe, but handwriting a journal and keeping it in a safe location is highly recommended.
  • Develop a support network of family members or friends.
  • If there is no one who can be implicitly trusted, call a helpline or crisis line as often as needed to get the anger out. In the journal, log the date and time when each call is made and to what helpline. After each call to a helpline, hang up and dial any another number. This is important in covering tracks.
  • Create a backup plan should violence erupt. Talk to family members and friends to ensure there is an available bed and if this is not possible, know what shelters are close by. It’s more important for men in having a backup bed with family or friends as shelters for men are rare.
  • When a plan is in place for the worst case scenario, choose a moment when the partner is in a good mood. Start off the conversation with positive points about the relationship. Slowly, and with taking ownership of feelings, let the partner know how “I feel changes need to happen in order for me to stay in this relationship.” While in conversation with the partner avoid using “you” as much as possible.

Letting a partner know the seriousness of the situation has three possible outcomes:

  • The partner will be receptive to getting help and making positive changes.
  • The partner might become violent.
  • The partner may walk out and ignore the conversation.

If the partner walks out, let a day or two go past, then using effective communication, revisit the talk. If there is no progress, then following through with action will speak louder than words.

Healing is not easy and will take time. No matter the outcome, if getting professional help is not a financial option, there are many web sites that can assist with self-help. Local libraries have many books that can also assist in the journal to healing.

Which Contact Lenses are Most Comfortable?

Are Soft Lenses More Comfortable than Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses?

Soft contact lenses are worn by most people who prefer lenses over glasses, but gas permeable lenses can be a more comfortable option for some wearers. Here’s why.

Millions of people wear contact lenses, with around 80% choosing a soft lens as prescribed by their optician. Advances in technology in recent years mean that soft lenses are now available as daily, weekly and monthly disposables requiring a minimum of cleaning, rubbing and disinfecting.

Disposable contact lenses, made from ultra-thin plastic, are immediately comfortable to wear and are cost-effective as most do not require anything more than a single multi-purpose contact lens solution for disinfecting and storing lenses when not in use.

The technology behind rigid gas permeable lenses or RGPs is actually newer than traditional soft lenses and was invented to replace the old-fashioned “hard” lenses made of a substance called PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate). RGP’s are made of plastic containing silicone, which, unlike PMMA, allows oxygen to pass through the lens, offering greater comfort for some wearers than traditional soft contact lenses made from plastic containing water called polymer hydrogels.

RGP Contact Lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses have a smaller diameter than soft lenses and sit within the iris rather than extending beyond it. Many users find them easier to use as, being rigid, they cannot be inserted inside out or torn with a fingernail. Whilst removing them takes a little practice, as the lens needs to be “flicked” out by pulling the eye upwards rather than “pinching” out the lens, this is also preferred by some wearers who hate the thought of touching the eyeball with their fingers.

Other advantages include greater clarity of vision and cost-effective longevity as with careful use, they can last for 2 to 3 years, provided the patient’s prescription does not change. Add to that the comfort advantages of wearing a lens that covers less of the eye, thereby allowing eyes to breathe more easily and the question has to be asked why more patients do not wear RGP lenses?

Why Wear Disposable Contact Lenses over Gas Permeable Lenses?

There are several reasons why wearers prefer soft disposable contacts:

  • Users have to build up to wearing RGP lenses gradually, starting with 2 hours per day and adding an hour or so per day until the maximum wear time of around 12 to 14 hours is reached.
  • RGP lenses cannot be easily alternated with eyeglasses as they need to be worn every day for maximum comfort; users who leave them out for a week have to get used to them all over again.
  • As they are reusable rather than disposable, they need greater care including weekly disinfection with protein removing tablets, which is time-consuming and means lenses cannot be worn again for several hours after disinfection.

This last reason is probably the main one behind the dramatic growth in daily disposable soft lenses; wearers simply insert a new lens every day and only need to buy small bottles of contact lens solution for occasional wetting or cleaning of lenses during the day.

New Silicone Hydrogel Soft Contact Lenses

The latest generation of disposable lenses containing the silicone used in RPG’s now offers even greater comfort for wearers. Hydrogels alone can only let a certain amount of oxygen through to the eye via the water-based portion of the lens, whereas the addition of silicone allows up to seven times more oxygen through, and the moisture cushion makes them leading disposable contacts. Daily users will almost certainly find these new lenses more comfortable and the technology has introduced a much safer extended wear lens of up to 30 days, previously considered unhealthy due to the high risks of eye infection.

Most Comfortable Contact Lenses

Whilst it is harder to get used to wearing RGP lenses, some wearers find them more comfortable to wear and use and, with clearer vision and durability, a better option than more expensive disposable lenses. The latest advances in silicone hydrogel soft lens technology, however, offer far more comfortable disposable lenses, which can be alternated with eyeglasses and require minimal contact lens care.

 

Child Abuse 101: Signs to Watch Out For

Child Abuse 101 - Signs to Watch Out ForIf there is one thing parents and families should be educated about it’s child abuse. Not every family will have to deal with this horrible blight that is hidden even from the closest family members, but some families need to wake up and smell the coffee. Child abuse can be happening anytime, anyplace, and with any person–even close family members or friends.

In the United States alone, thousands of children are victims of child maltreatment cases annually, an an estimated 3,000 children die due to child abuse and neglect each year. Those numbers are sobering. Parents, family members, and friends of families need to wake up and be more involved in preventing child abuse.

The Problem of Child Abuse is a Everybody’s Problem

In spite of all the efforts to publicize, educate, and make folks aware of the child abuse problem, statistics show that child abuse and maltreatment is on the rise. With the exception of 2005, the incidence of fatalities due to child abuse have increased every year for the past five years.

Many researchers, doctors, teachers, and professionals associated with children believe that the number of deaths each year from child abuse are underreported. Some studies report that as many as 50 to 60 percent of child deaths resulting from child abuse or neglect are never reported.

signs of physical abuseHow to Know When a Child May be Experiencing Physical Abuse

There are basically four types of child abuse and these can be identified through simple observation. Physical abuse is a non-accidental injury to a child from a caretaker or parent. Frequent, unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns. Sometimes the child might be inordinately fearful of a parent or caretaker’s reaction to bad behavior.

Physical neglect is an obvious failure of a parent or caretaker to provide adequate food, medical care, clothing, or hygiene. These may be very young children left at home alone and unsupervised. A child may show up dressed inadequately for a particular type of weather or their parent has told them to stay away. Be cautious, these may also be simply signs of poverty or poor judgment.

Signs of Child AbuseHow to Know When a Child May be Experiencing Sexual Abuse

Sexual child abuse can include fondling, inappropriate touching, promoting prostitution, using a child for pornographic materials, or even intercourse. The signs may manifest as sexual behavior beyond what is typically age appropriate, difficulty going to the bathroom, pain, itching, bruising, or bleeding in the genital area.

Sometimes kids will just come right out and tell an adult what is happening. Typically, kids who are sexually abused are either too ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone else what is going on. Some sexual abusers will threaten kids with harm if they tell anyone what is going on. Watch for unusual swings in kids behavior, such as a normally happy child being continually depressed or angry.

The actual numbers of all child deaths may never be known due to the difficulty in acquiring such data. People should make be aware of the symptoms of child abuse and not afraid to report possible child abuse. Many times, child abuse goes unreported because the abusers may be parents or relatives afraid of the legal consequences or embarrassment resulting from such actions.

Encouraging Female Friendships

Encouraging Female Friendships

Cultural Norms. We live in a “trash and bash” society. Reality TV shows and magazines have helped to normalize a communal celebration of each other’s failings. We find a perverse satisfaction in the stories of crumbled relationships, emotional breakdowns, and drug addictions. Bodies are examined and criticized, accusations and assertions are made based on entertainment value rather than truth, and celebrities’ worst moments are set prominently in the spotlight for all to jeer and ridicule.

Girl vs. Girl. Female celebrities, in particular, are often positioned against one another, cattily duking it out over men, jobs, or other “prizes.” This image of girls and women helps to support the existence of a “pecking order” whereby girls are able to move higher on the social scale by maligning or embarrassing each other; noticing and pointing out the flaws in others is not only tolerated, but also expected. Such representations normalize the portrayal of women as competitors rather than allies.

Commercial Values. The combined pressures of the fashion, beauty, diet, and wedding industries send the same messages: Men are the prize, and other women are the enemy. Popular magazines and television shows often define girls in terms of their appearance and popularity, playing down the importance of other qualities and abilities. Most teen magazines regularly feature headlines like How to Win His Heart or How to Catch the Guy of your Dreams. All of this winning and catching means that someone somewhere is losing, perpetuating the rivalry.

InsecurityInsecurity. This competition stems partly from insecurity, from a fear of not measuring up to the idealized version of “girl” that’s trumpeted about our culture. This insecurity builds into a pressure to collect boys like trophies, not really because of the boy himself, but because of what “getting him” means in the larger context; that she is worthy, popular, beautiful, sexy, better. Girls often learn to be suspicious of other girls, to doubt the trust level in their relationships, and to prize romantic relationships above female friendships.

Learning to value friendships. In a culture where girls regularly choose boys over friends, we hardly talk at all about how powerful female friendships can be in the life of a girl. Authentic, strong, female friendships are important for girls’ social and emotional development. With the proper role models, girls can learn great lessons about loyalty, cooperation, and empathy from these relationships. Girlfriends often know each other inside and out. Boys may hold their hands, but girls will hold their souls.

What can you do? How can you help girls build healthy, strong friendships with each other? build strong friendships

  • Focus on the positive. Help her to see the qualities she values in her female friends, and how those friendships deepen over time.
  • Help her verbalize messy feelings. Anger in relationships is normal. But without an avenue to express these feelings, they can surface as gossip and backstabbing. Help her put her feelings into words, and realize that it’s okay to do so.
  • Help her learn conflict resolution skills. Relationships can be destroyed by everyday arguments; help her develop the tools to work out problems before they become overwhelming.
  • Help her look at the long term. Help her realize that a good friend is one she can confide in, cry with, and tell her dreams to. Her girlfriends are the ones she will be able to count on long after the boys have come and gone.

Helping Teenagers Overcome Stress

Helping Teenagers Overcome StressMost people think that stress-related problems do not emerge until towards the end of high school or the onset of college, where academic and social forces work hand in hand to stress out an already jittery young adult. Contrary to that, stress is commonly manifested in tremendous loads by the time a person hits his or her teenage years. The academic subjects and social dilemmas for your children at this age level are many times more stressful as it was several decades ago. A tween might be experiencing problems with stress, but there are some things that a parent can do to help out.

Identify the Stressors in a Teenager’s Life

Teenage Stressors

The first thing that a parent ought to do is to identify the stressors that are present in a teenager’s life. It may be of varying kinds, including:

  • Academic stress
  • Social stress
  • Family situational stress
  • Other factors that can cause stress

It could be just one, or a combination of several kinds. What matters is that a parent should try to identify the different sources of stress afflicting the child, in order to help alleviate some stress in the child’s life. Once these have been identified, try to find out what ways the tween has been coping with the stressors on her own, and then develop more rational ways to help her cope with the stressors better.

Make Small Adjustments in Your Schedule

Your son or daughter might have, for example, coped with somewhat low grades by cracking the books during the late hours of nighttime, but instead of helping with grades has found herself too tired to pay attention in school. As this is not a good way to handle working on better grades a parent should be able to come up with a better way to carve out study time at home. This could mean having a later dinner, dropping just one extra curricular activity a week, or making a schedule for TV or computer time. It is quite surprising how much better a teenager will feel knowing there are rules in the household, and the rules are meant to help balance life.

Offer Solutions to Specific Problems

Avoid talking a teenager’s ear off about how he or she should handle the stressors in life because they will always be there and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This could bring even more anxiety and stress to the child. On the contrary, offering a simple “What can we do at home to help?” works wonders. Ask if there are simple things that the parent or other family members can do to help her with specific areas of her life that are causing problems. For example, if in a social pickle in school because most teens feel they have no friends, the parent could probably offer to host a party or a sleepover at home. The parent could take care of the food, drinks and movies, while the teen works on warming up to the other kids in class.

offer solutions during stressful situations

The bottom line is that these things might seem trivial at first, but make a world of difference in the lives of teenagers. If the parent has the power to make things happen, even things that are not really that challenging on the parent’s part (just a matter of coordination), then do them. Teach teens that they do not have to face every problem alone, but rather, they have a support system in place to help them come up with productive and healthy ways to handle such problems.

Exerting effort to help also means checking up on your teenagers after some time. Catch up and encourage them to give an update on things happening in life. See if the stressors have lessened or are gone altogether. This practice offers clues as to whether or not any more assistance is still required.

A parent can never completely take the stress away from a teen because there will always be stressful situations popping up. By being involved in your son’s or daughter’s life and helping them overcome stress in specific areas, they will quickly learn that they are not alone and have someone to turn to. Simply lend a listening ear, talk about solutions, and be there to make sure things are getting better.

The Belief Behind Teenage Behavior Problems

The Belief Behind Teenage Behavior ProblemsTreating symptoms doesn’t often cure behavior issues with teens. According to Adlerian theory, teen discipline problems will continue until parents address the underlying reason for the problem – what Adler called, “the belief behind the misbehavior”.

Teenage Behavior Problems Stem From Underlying Issues

Some parents address the same teenage behavior problems over and over with little results. Other parents’ efforts seem to stop one misbehavior, but another behavior problem surfaces soon afterwards. A new behavior may look different on the outside, but often is still related to the same underlying belief. When parents treat only the symptoms and not the cause of teen discipline issues, teens usually continue to misbehave. Adlerian theory tools can help parents get to the root of the problem.

Adlerian Theory about Teenage Behavior Problems

Teens are trying to determine their value in a relationship. All teens want a feeling of “belonging and significance”, one of the main concepts in the Adlerian theory of behavior. The idea of “belonging and significance” is Adler’s way of saying that teens want to contribute in meaningful ways to others and feel needed in relationships. Although teens appear to focus on “taking” from parents, teens (as do all people) want to give in their relationships as well.

Contributing to a group or relationship helps teens feel valued. Most teens don’t realize this need for contribution and instead adopt alternative beliefs about relationships. Adler called these alternative ideas, “mistaken beliefs” because teens are mistaken about how to achieve significance and value in their relationships. Preventive teen discipline includes offering opportunities to teens for meaningful contributions to their family and to other groups.

The Mistaken Beliefs Behind Teen Discipline Issues

Adler divided the mistaken beliefs into four categories: Undue Attention, Misguided Power, Revenge and Assumed Inadequacy. Teens may focus on one or more of the four mistaken goals and are usually unaware of their mistaken beliefs. The mistaken goal categories and their respective underlying beliefs behind the misbehavior are:

  • Undue Attention: I count or belong only when I am getting attention, when others notice me or when I keep others busy with me.
  • Misguided Power: I count or belong only when I’m boss, in control, or proving no one can boss me.
  • Revenge: I don’t belong or count and am hurt. I’ll hurt others as I feel hurt.
  • Assumed Inadequacy: I don’t belong or count, no matter what I do. I give up.

Adlerian Theory’s Mistaken Goal Chart

The mistaken goal chart helps parents understand some of the basic concepts of Adlerian theory for teen discipline. One important Adlerian concept is that punishment only stops behavior in the moment and doesn’t address the root of teenage behavior problems. Punishment doesn’t teach teens how to give and contribute to the relationship. If a parent is dealing with a teenager who believes they only belong when a parent is doting on them (Undue Attention), punishment will not change the teen’s belief.

The mistaken goal chart helps parents determine a teen’s mistaken belief by targeting the parent’s feelings when the teen misbehaves. The parent’s feelings are clues that point a parent to identify a teen’s mistaken goal. Parents can look through the categories of feeling words and choose the words that best describe their feelings when a teen is behaving. Feeling words on the mistaken goal chart correspond to each of the four mistaken goals for teens.

Addressing Beliefs Behind Teenage Behavior ProblemsAddressing Beliefs Behind Teenage Behavior Problems

The mistaken goal chart also offers suggestions to help parents deal with the beliefs behind teen misbehavior. For the mistaken goal of undue attention, suggestions include that parents spend one on one time with a teen on a weekly basis as well as give a teen opportunities to contribute to the family.

Parents wonder why teens continue to misbehave. Teenagers, like all people want to feel they are valued for their contributions in relationships at home, at school and with friends. When parents use the mistaken goal chart to understand why a teen is misbehaving, they can change their teen discipline strategy to focus on a solution that teaches responsibility instead of punishes teens and deals with the underlying belief behind the misbehavior.

Former Agent Stories

Sales crew approaching customers on the street
Criminals within the door-to-door magazine sales industry are still exploiting their workers and it seems that nothing can stop them from luring children and teenagers from low-income neighborhoods out of their homes. Stories about what really traveling door-to-door magazine sales crews circulate around the internet and to call them heartbreaking is an understatement.

There were magazine sales agents badly bruised and beaten because they were forced to participate in a boxing match. Teens taught to deceive and exploit customers in order to make a sale. Deaths due to drug overdose. Reports of prostitution and sexual and physical abuse. A lot of former agents have shared their heartbreaking stories and call for help. Some were beaten because they couldn’t meet the quota. Other has to go without food for days without means to buy food thousands of miles away from their homes.

How labor trafficking rings do it

A company usually places an ad in the local papers with headlines such as “earn money as you travel the world.” Once a prospect responds to the ad, the company immediately secures a bus ticket to a different state where they will be meeting the newly hired worker. He or she will be trained for a fixed amount per day.

Training is not so bad but after that, things are different. Sales agent have to start selling subscriptions from 8:00 am onwards. Knocking on doors for 12 hours in an effort to sell at least six magazine subscriptions on a daily basis. After that, crew members were herded in a room where they all sleep. When they couldn’t sell magazines, food was scarce or they literally had nothing to eat.

Sales agents receive commissions for every subscription they sell. But the money didn’t go to them. It was kept by the team leader who had complete control over it. It’s like the crew had to ask for permission each time they needed to spend their earnings.

When they failed to sell, they were given a hard time by their handlers. It is not uncommon to see magazine crew members with a split lip, black eye, and bloody nose. When they are hurt, they are never even brought to the hospital.

Those who managed to get out and return home are lucky. In rare instances when they are allowed to go home for a while, agents were dropped off at a bus station without a cent.

magazine sales industry trafficking rings prrosecuted for crimesThe Clamor for Reforms

It is unclear whether state legislators can ever stop the labor and human trafficking rings operating within the sales industry but a few legislators are taking notice and are coming up with laws to combat the growing problem. A number of companies have been prosecuted and the people behind them made to pay for their crimes. Right now, the focus is to regulate the industry, impose sterner penalties to the perpetrators, and provide more protection to the victims of this practice that’s truly a form of modern day slavery.