Relationships


28Dec 2009

The Problem with Trying to Be "Fair" With Your Children

In my role as a family coach for wealthy families, one of the common issues that arises is the parents’ desire to be “fair” with their children and grandchildren. (I put “fair” in quotation marks because it really is an unusual term that is defined differently by many people and is almost totally based on perception.) For whatever reason, and

17Dec 2009

Creating New Family Traditions Around the Holidays

A “new tradition” is sort of an oxymoron. By definition, (“a long-established, inherited way of thinking or acting”), a tradition is some action that you have been doing for a while. But I believe it is both possible and helpful to intentionally create new traditions for your family. We need to recognize that families go through a variety of life

13Sep 2009

Father & Sons — Some Observations

Most of the work I do is with families — family-owned businesses, families who work together, families who have sold businesses and now manage the resulting assets together, and just plain families. And in my everyday life I have the opportunity to interact with and observe families of all configurations. Add my own personal life, of being a son, and

02Sep 2009

Keys to a Long Term Relationship — Reflecting on 30 Years of Marriage

This week my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  Neither she nor I can believe we have been married that long — part of it is that we just don’t feel that “old”! (To keep the edge of reality a bit less sharp, we usually comment that we were only 12 when we got married.) But as we

16Aug 2009

The Pride and Pain of Success in Parenting

When I talk to parents, either in family meetings, counseling sessions, or lectures, I always describe one of the main goals of parenting is: “to raise independent functional adults”. First, you try to keep them alive so that they will at least become an adult (e.g. avoiding fatal car accidents as teens). Secondly, you want them to move toward independence,

02Aug 2009

Subtle Aspects of Life That Wear Us Out

Part of my job as a psychologist is to observe — observe patterns of behavior, be attune to my own thoughts and feelings, and to derive some potentially helpful information form patterns I see. In recent months and weeks, I have observed some factors in life that really wear people down — they are not really hidden but are often

29May 2009

Family Reunions — Celebrating Unity & Diversity Across Generations

This past week we had the privilege of attending a family union with my wife’s family in Chicago.  There were almost 40 of us, ranging in age from 3 to 74, including my wife’s parents, six of the seven adult siblings (and spouses), and 23 of the 25 grandchildren (and two spouses).  Although it was a cool and sometimes rainy

12Mar 2009

Healthy (and Less Healthy) Responses to the Economic Situation

As a psychologist, I naturally find myself observing people’s behavior — their choices, what they are saying, and how they are feeling.  And this is the case now, in the midst of the difficult economic times in which we find ourselves (I am consciously choosing not to use the term “financial crisis”.) There are three core aspects to any situation

11Jan 2009

When Bad Things Happen: Times for Family Closeness

Part of life is the fact that “bad things happen” – a car accident, serious physical problems, death of a family member, loss of a job,  — all kinds of events are possible. Recently, I have had a number of family members and friends struggle with serious physical problems:  brain tumors, breast cancer, back problems, vertigo, depression, kidney malfunctions.  (I

28Dec 2008

Transferring Values Via Storytelling – An Opportunity Over the Holidays

A much talked about issue in the area of wealth transfer and family business succession is the desire to “transfer our values to the next generations”.  This is a valiant goal and one which should be true for every family regardless of wealth status — training your children and grandchildren in ways that they will instill values that are important

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