Family

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad

In the short span that I have been a father I have discovered and come across a few truths that every new or soon-to-be Dad should know. I have compiled them here and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

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1. Aside from breast-feeding and actual child birth, there is NOTHING that Mom can do that you cannot do. Probably the most profound piece of advice ever given to me relating to becoming a dad. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and never shy away from your duty as a father. You can do anything and everything for your baby (with the exception of those first two, physically-oriented tasks). Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know what you are doing. You know just as well, and perhaps even better, than they do.

2. YOU WILL GET UPSET/ANGRY/FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR NEWBORN. Don’t feel guilty, it happens to everyone. What’s important here is to remember that the baby is just that – a baby. Your baby is helpless and cannot verbalize what’s needed. They will scream and they will cry. Add a sleep-deprived male in the mix and frustration is unavoidable. Have systems in place – if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the baby it is okay to gently put your baby down in the crib (or other safe place), take a step back and take a few breaths. You can then re-approach with a calmer mind. Some couples have a code word they use when they are getting frustrated so […]

The Murder of Our Children | Orlando Child Abuse Counseling

The Murder of Our Children | Child Abuse Counseling

The headlines for child abuse are glaring and unbelievable.  One story in particular has stayed with me and I haven’t been able to let it go.  In February of this year, a Detroit woman was arrested for murdering her two children and putting their bodies in a refrigerator.  At her trial, she showed no remorse.  Obviously, she is mentally ill.  Unfortunately, my search for ‘child murder refrigerator’ brings up too many other similar stories.  These are blatant examples of child abuse.  They are happening today, in our midst.

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For those of us who love our families and children, and live to make a sincere effort to give our families the best, these stories make our stomach churn.  This kind of evil is unfathomable.  I don’t have a hard time convincing anyone that the above story is a case of child abuse.  But, it is very often that I have a hard time convincing the wounded soul in front of me in a counseling session that they suffered from parental abuse, even when all of the evidence is there to prove it.

Abuse is not just the torture and murder of a child.  Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse happen along a continuum that can make it hard to discern exactly what abuse is.  After all, some people consider spanking to be abuse, others consider it to be a swift and just discipline for poor behavior.  A father believes he is doing his best parenting when he offers his children ways to improve and gives them what he believes are healthy critiques to help them succeed, but […]

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

With Father’s Day approaching I was struck by just how “father” figures are under appreciated in our society. Think about it, do most of us actually recognize all that a father truly embodies to a child? I took this question to the source and I asked my son. I received a plethora of answers ranging from “a love giant”, “superhero” to “booboo kisser” and “my bike rider helper”. These titles may seem childish and somewhat inconsequential at a superficial glance, but with a deeper look these qualities truly are the core of what a father “should be” to a child: a care giver, provider, supporter, teacher, friend, protector.  Unfortunately, there are many children, both young and grown up, who are missing this key figure in their life.

ID-10063601Yes, a mother can, and often will, take on many of these core roles, but research has shown children still need a strong “father” figure in their life. For many the good news is this “father” figure does not have to be the biological father. Realistically, many children who are still in the care of their biological father, are receiving more harm or neglect than good.  Being present, physically is not enough on its own. Many times men who are “not required” to love the child, can take extra steps to be amazing “father” role models.

A recent article on Today.com highlights how imperative non-biological “father” figures can be in this fatherless epidemic.  As the article states caring step-fathers and even boyfriends can be a huge asset to children. Additionally, uncles, brothers, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, etc. can be […]

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    Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

    Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

By: Veronica Concepcion

Divorce is not an easy process to go through but children fare better if parents can limit conflict associated with the divorce or at least minimize the child’s exposure to it. Children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those who are living in high stress high turmoil environments with both parents. The ideal situation for a child is to have two healthy parents working together in a shared custody agreement. As a divorced parent of an 8 year old I have seen firsthand that it is possible to raise a child who is happy and well adapted in spite of a divorce. Regardless of how her father and I felt about each other we made a decision to work together and put her needs at the forefront of our decisions. It has not been easy to keep peace and take the high road because there is a reason we are divorced but I’m glad we have treated each other with respect for her sake. I’ve had to bite my tongue and smile at times but I decided to be motivated by her and not my own pain, anger, disappointment, etc. You get the picture. At first I was concerned about her going back and forth between two homes but she needs both of us and we both meet a different need in her life. The back and forth has not been as much of a disturbance as I had feared. What is important to her is that she has time with both her parents and the divorce although difficult has actually given both of us the opportunity to have an even more […]

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

By: Zuleida Herba

Somewhere in my decades old subconscious, I have a memory of being somewhere in the age range of 9 years old and throwing some kind of pre-adolescent temper tantrum. (Well, actually I’m sure that I had more than one of those, bless my parents). It was the kind of tantrum where I was determined to make everyone in the house as miserable as I was.   But in this particular memory, I must have been making every one in my home a little crazy that day. The situation must have gotten to a point of no return because my mom had to step in, but I don’t remember many other details. The only thing I clearly remember is what she said to me that day. It is a thought that is lasered permanently in my psyche. She said to me, “Zuleida, you would treat strangers better than you are treating your own family today.”

The truth of that statement hit me hard, in that moment, in a very good way. It stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me pause. Was what she was saying true? Yes! I would have been more polite and loving to someone who I didn’t know in those moments. Actually, if I were honest, I would probably have stopped treating my family so badly if a stranger had simply stepped in to witness how badly I was acting. I might have snapped to better behavior quickly! So what did that say about me? Simply, I cared more about what people who didn’t love me thought then the ones that did.

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Well, in my mind, that wasn’t […]

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Well, it’s everywhere. Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie) officially comes out this Friday, the day before Valentine’s Day, and everyone’s abuzz about seeing the steamy “love story” come to life. It seems like people are pretty divided about whether or not this is an erotic fairy tale or a story of abuse and power. The word “submission” is being thrown around a lot because of Christian Grey’s preference for BDSM; however, a healthy, Godly relationship also requires submission. But what is the difference between Christian Grey submission and Christian wife submission? Let’s take a look.

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The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 3:7 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands.” God intended our marriages to look like His love for our church. The word submission can be taken of context; however, it is not meant for oppression, but to build a healthy, strong relationship.

A Christian Grey MANIPULATES, while a Christian husband EMPOWERS. Manipulation is used for selfish gain. A good husband empowers his wife for the gain of herself, her family and most importantly the will of God.

A Christian Grey INTIMIDATES, while a Christian husband ENCOURAGES. Christian Grey uses intimidation on a naive Ana to get what he wants out of her. A loving husband will encourage his wife to strive for better and go after her own dreams.

A Christian […]

10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families

10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families

As a young woman, I knew instinctively that I had some ground to cover if I wanted to one day live out my dream of being a part of a harmonious, happy family. My family gave me a great schooling in what not to do, but that left me very lacking and unsure about exactly what to do to one day have an emotionally healthy family of my own. Most of us have heard the statistics that over 50% of American families end up in divorce, and sadly that trend is not decreasing. So, it stands to reason that I have not been alone in my quest to understand how a healthy family functions.

When a person comes from a foundation of dysfunction, it can be easy to become so fixated on the dysfunction that one forgets to lift their head up and believe that there may be something better. Those of us who come from a place of longing for the safety and security of an emotionally healthy family because we’ve never known it, may want to know that it is possible to take concrete steps today. After over 10 years in various aspects of ministry and as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I want to share with you what I have observed about the habits of those couples who succeed in creating a lifelong, healthy, loving, and emotionally healthy family.

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Let’s face it. Family life is tough. Men and women have multiple roles and juggling acts to carry on their own. We live in an age where support systems for families are no […]

5 Indicators That You Need Relationship Counseling

In relationships it is normal to have ups and downs; moments when you feel close and times when you feel more distant. You may have heard the saying that couples fall in and out of love, I believe this to be true. However, there comes a time when a relationship may be facing more serious issues that if not dealt with will lead to the detriment of your union.

Below are five indicators that you may need relationship counseling.

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#1 – You are wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.

By this I mean you are entering into a dangerous zone that could lead to an affair. It is not uncommon for individuals to fall into temptation when they are not happy at home. Emotional distance can leave us feeling unwanted so when someone comes along showing interest and easily gives you attention it is easy to wonder if you could be happier with someone new. Before you make a decision that will have lasting effects on you and your partner it would be wise to resolve the issues within your current relationship and figure out if it’s really over before you start something new.

#2 – You think your mate may be having an affair.

It is easy to become suspicious or even paranoid about what your partner is doing when things are not good between you. However there is a point where things start to add up and you may begin to feel that your relationship is in real danger. Trust your intuition and don’t ignore the signs. It is time to do something before things get out of control.

#3 – He or […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year; and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself. I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In […]

5 Questions To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist

5 Ways To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist | Life Counseling Solutions 

Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?

Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you.  It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.

ORLANDOBESTTHERAPISTLife Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem. If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists.   Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:

  • How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
    • For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
  • Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
    • Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception […]