You & Your Family

Change is more than a feeling or an intent

The final exam of a counselling course I teach involves my students analysing and proposing a plan of action for a hypothetical case. In addition to writing an essay to demonstrate their analytical skills, they do a role play.

How tough is your love?

Love is often associated with ideas of romance, roses, soft-focus pictures and gentle, kind words. Toughness, being stern and exacting, seem to be diametrically opposite. Yet many of us would have heard of “tough love”. What is it?

Surmounting differences with love

A scenario I sometimes use when training counsellors is one of a family in conflict over a daughter’s wish to live with her boyfriend. After a year of living at home after returning from three years of study abroad, the daughter says her boyfriend from overseas is moving to Singapore to work and they plan to live together.

Living with a “thorn in the flesh”

Some of you would have experienced getting a wood splinter embedded in your hand. As you try to extract the splinter, bits may come away but some remain stubbornly buried. You then fluctuate between finding ways to remove it and ignoring it while hoping that it will somehow disappear.

The apple does not fall far from the tree… or does it?

The proverb, “The apple does not fall far from the tree”, speaks of the idea that we each carry something within us that is from our parents. It could be a physical characteristic (like our eye colour), a food allergy, or a personality trait (like being particular about cleanliness or having a quick temper).

The realities of seeking reconciliation

As each new year begins, we may wish for different things. For some, it may be a promotion, finally getting to go for a dream holiday or finding that special someone with whom to spend the rest of their life.

Responding to “a-changin’ times”

Bob Dylan’s folk song “The Times They Are a-Changin'” was released in 1964 but still speaks to the times we are living in. In the last three years, one big change we all had to adjust to was Covid-19.

What grief gives us

On 8 September, Queen Elizabeth II passed on. The longest-reigning monarch of our time, she was a constant amidst all the changes of the past 70 years.

A single action with lasting effect

He came to see me wanting to work on his impatience and temper. When I asked my usual question of how he learned about me, he shared that it was through his wife.

Breaking free from a legacy of wrath

In last month’s issue of Methodist Message, I shared about three men seeking to free themselves from the legacy of harsh parenting. In their childhood households, love and care was only shown, if at all, when they met parental expectations.