Friday, February 27, 2009

From the desk of Coach Bill McCartney

Coach Bill McCartney Chairman of the Board/CEO

Dear Friends,

Please join me and thousands of other men to hear about our vision for PK's future; Saturday March 14, 2009 we will meet in Orlando to kick off the vision for our 20th anniversary event. This event will RE-LAUNCH THE MINISTRY back to our roots as a catalytic event ministry that calls men to be better followers of Jesus Christ. This event is free, but you have to pre-register at

As PK's founder, it is exciting and challenging to return as Chairman of the Board of Directors. I would like to speak on behalf of our PK team. Thank you for your commitment to Promise Keepers over the years! I want to take this opportunity to share with you how I believe God wants Promise Keepers to accomplish its ongoing vision of “Men Transformed Worldwide.”

First, it's important to say that our Statement of Faith is our firm footing. Second, The Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper remain central to what makes Promise Keepers a unique ministry in the world, and our plans will advance the mission of “igniting and uniting men to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ.”

Our 20th Anniversary event will take place in Bolder, CO this summer and will model practical, scriptural ways to address three important needs in the Body of Christ today:

We are calling on men to bring with them the important women in their lives. There is a very real gender divide in the Christian church today that has produced a significant amount of brokenness and inequity. As promise keepers, we can be an example of how honor brings healing. We will “let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31 (NIV)

· We will honor the spiritual fathers of the faith. Honoring the families of these first apostles has never happened before, so those attending the anniversary celebration will literally be making history! Paul confirmed spiritual fatherhood when he reminded the gentile believers in Corinth: “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Jesus Christ I became your father through the gospel.” I Corinthians 4:15 (NASB)

· We want to tangibly, creatively and effectively honor and minister to the poor, oppressed and needy among us. We will have a hands-on opportunity to do that, as well as to catalyze men for ongoing service alongside their pastors and congregational leaders. As promise keepers, we want the King of Kings to say about us, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 (NIV).

You can tell this will be an exciting time, so join me in Orlando to hear more about the vision for PK's future to impact the lives of men world-wide! And tell your pastor and the men in your life to come out for a few hours on a Saturday morning to hear great praise and worship, and the teaching of some great men of God like Raleigh Washington, David Uth and more. It won't cost you anything, but you'll leave fired up in your faith and stronger as a godly man. Help me spread the word and I'll see you there!

Your Friend,
Coach Bill McCartney
PS: remember the tickets are free, but you have to pre-register to save a seat at

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chill Out Mom & Dad... It's Only POT!

Chill Out Mom & Dad... It's Only POT!

As I was talking to my son Brandon's girlfriend today I realized I ask her quite frequently "is this what is really going on out there?" Even though I am a therapist who sees a great number of adolescent girls for various issues and keep current with the latest research, culture news, and internet social web sites--well, to be honest, sometimes it all seems too much for even me to believe. Moms, dads, grandma's, and grandpa's what I am finding out is that sex, drugs, and inappropriate internet use is the juggernaut in lives far to young to know how to deal with these life altering choices. Elizabeth has been my outside voice many times confirming" yes indeed Dee, all that you are hearing inside your office really is going on out there". So, as we spoke this morning an idea was born and we have decided to share it with you. Elizabeth is young, intelligent, and very well plugged in to what is happening in the youth culture right now.

Not a label to be proud of, but it seems that more and more often kids are wearing it like a medal of honor. In junior high, I saw very few people trying pot, in fact, most of us only heard of it through the D.A.R.E. program when we were in 6th grade. We also knew that it was something very popular in the hay days of the "hippies", but that's about all. In high school, we always knew which kids did drugs. They hung out just off the property of the school in the east parking lot. They were forever labeled, "The Easties". In college, kids had zero supervision and pot, in some cases, turned into coke. A very good friend of mine worked so hard all day long throughout college, and then at night, blew all his money on pot. I couldn't feel sorry for him when he didn't have the cash to see a movie. These days, pot is glorified by television and movies on a far too constant basis. Movies like Pineapple Express, which is named after a type of pot,&nb sp;was one of the top grossing films of 2008. I'm not gonna lie either, that movie was hilarious, but not something I would want my 14 year old cousin to see. This generation of 30 and under truly believes that pot is not even really a drug. I have been to parties where a joint is passed along as if it were a regular cigarette. I have seen tents used as giant bowls. I have heard bragging about the amount of pot that is smoked in one day. Although we were all taught that marijuana is a drug, plenty of people treat it as if it were just another cocktail. For some reason there doesn't seem to be the same weight of consequence given to smoking weed, as there is for driving drunk. Even though, having a drink over 21 is legal, but smoking pot at any age is illegal. Come on! If you are in your late 20's, and you're still smoking pot, and bragging about it, how can you not think it's a drug. Clearly these "adults" are either in serious denial or they are just plain stupid. Maybe they should stop killing brain cells.
-Elizabeth Whittemore

The closest I came to marijuana was in the late 1970's as a twenty something dating another twenty something who smoked a lot of it. He had only two major goals which were to retire and to have a huge pot farm hidden inside his little house. I hated everything about pot but loved everything about him. So, I would listen and watch for hours as he drew up floor plans and talked about how much money he was going to make with this fail safe plan. I really did think he was crazy and that his pot farm was a ridiculous idea but, well, you know what they say about love.

I stayed with my little pot farm planner for awhile but my good sense prevailed and I left him. He never followed through on the farm, or college, or much of anything. And the last I heard he was still smoking pot. When I share this story with my young clients they laugh because they all know how stupid growing a pot farm inside a house is but none of them know how stupid smoking pot really is. If you think a child of yours may be a pot head here is some important information to be considered.

Research out of The University of Cincinnati states "chronic, heavy marijuana use during adolescence-a critical period of ongoing brain developmemt-is associated with poorer performance on thinking tasks, verbal memory and planning ability". Dr. Lisdahl Medina, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of psychology further states "adolescence is a critical time of brain development and that the findings are yet another warning for adolescents who experiment with drug use". She says more study is needed to see if the thinking abilities of adolescent marijuana users improve following longer periods of abstinence from the drug".

This research supports my belief that early teen use of marijuana is extremely dangerous to the young, still forming, brain. And unfortunately, that young brain is also more vulnerable to addiction.
Young teens cannot comprehend consequences so they cannot intuit how "just one hit" could turn into a serious addiction.

If you think your young teen is into pot (approximately 30.2 % of young teens are given, offered, or sold drugs in high school and middle school) don't hesitate to take action. Talk to them, test them if necessary (you can buy a drug test kit at any pharmacy), and get them into addiction therapy if the problem is determined to be serious. And please do not believe them if they look at you with a blank stare trying to trivialize with "chill dudes-it's no big deal-only a little pot". It IS a big deal.

Elizabeth and I welcome your comments and stories.

Here are some warning signs that may indicate your teen is using pot

The come home smelling like:
Pot (a musty, woody odor)
Clove Cigarettes are often used to cover up the smell of pot
Mint Mouthwash
Excessive Cologne or Perfume

They come home looking like:

Eyes are red with dilated pupils

They come home acting like:

Lack of eye contact
Eating large amounts of food
Running right to their room to avoid you

When they are not home you find things in their room like:

Rolling papers
Little baggies
Lots of eye drops
Any type of hand-blown pipe/ bubbler contraption

Deedra Hunter is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has also published a book called; Winning Custody: A Woman’s Guide to Retaining Custody of Her Children. She has been a mental health professional for over 20 years and specializes in the counseling and treatment of eating disorders. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida International University, and her Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Thomas University. She also holds a Certificate in Chemical Dependency from University of Miami’s School of Continuing Education

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet Fearful Fred

Dr. John C. Maxwell

Maybe you know him. Meet Fearful Fred. He takes to risk like a cat takes to water. Fred is constantly undermining himself with a built-in fear of failure. Fearful Fred means well, but more than anyone on your team, he needs your support.

Start by listening to him. Take Fred aside and encourage him to share his fears. Once you've identified his fears, try to help him determine why he has them.

The next step is to help Fred tap into his desire to overcome his fears and succeed. As his leader, you must endeavor to help him harness that desire.

As soon as Fred is ready to take the plunge, lead him in a project that will give him a win under his belt. To maximize Fred's chance of success, be sure to include the following elements:

1. Strategy: Begin by planning a project together; including Fred increases his ownership and confidence; including yourself insures success.

2. Structure: Once you have a plan, give Fred very specific guidelines to follow. Remember, Fred's problem is fear of failure. Make this first project like a follow-the-numbers painting. That takes the doubt out of the process for Fred.

3. Safety: Be sure to pick a project that is easy, and for which the stakes are not too high.

4. Security: Do as much with Fred on the project as you can. This will give him confidence and build your relationship with him.

5. Success: If you begin with a project that you know is winnable, then you guarantee Fred a personal success. And nothing succeeds like success. When a Fearful Fred overcomes his doubts, he can become a Faithful Fred. Even a Fearless Fred.

Dr. John C. Maxwell is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker on the subject of leadership. His 30+ books include two recent New York Times bestsellers, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Failing Forward. John is also the founder of The INJOY Group, an Atlanta-based organization equipping leaders around the world. To order Dr. Maxwell's products, visit

Men in Mid-Life have a choice- Mature or create a Crisis

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach

The middle years of life create massive changes for men and women. Both go through a major shift physically, spiritually and psychologically. Women face more of a physical change as they go through menopause, while men face more of a psychological change during the time commonly referred to as the middle years, or simply, mid-life.

The Bridge of Mid-life is not always a crisis

Every man goes through a predictable series of physical and psychological changes. So it's helpful to view this process as a series of bridges that men have to cross at different stages of life, beginning in youth and going all the way to the senior adult years. All men will cross a bridge in the middle years of life, (somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s for most), but not all men will experience a crisis because of it.

This bridge is positioned halfway through life, so it’s a time to mature into more of an elder statesman, family patriarch or community leader. It is also a time that some men run from this bridge back into attempts at a second youth, or just decide to jump off the bridge of growing older into self-destructive behavior. This way they avoid taking on the additional responsibility of growing into another season of life with the greater expectations that usually comes when hair turns grey and one is considered old enough to finally have pulled their life together.

Expectations can be tough on a man and sometimes his fear of not measuring up can create impulsive decisions to escape the fear of failing. Every man has to face this bridge as a life passage and eventually must cross it; but not every man has to have a crisis. The reason it becomes a crisis is due to feeling overwhelmed by too many challenging factors without having enough support to cope.

Why Mid-Life becomes a Crisis

Here are some common reasons men crash their lives or create a crisis on the bridge called 'mid-life.'

-Stress and relationship pressure are at peak levels during a man's middle years due to the responsibilities of parenting teens on one side and beginning to care for aging parents on the other

- A man may be making more money than ever before, but it spends faster too, which creates huge worries or fights about money and the fear that he will eventually financially fail

- The massive responsibilities of the middle years can cause men to fantasize about running away from the harsh realities of their live today to swap with a younger man's life, which they wrongly believe will be easier than sorting through their own life. The old saying is still true- “the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be watered.”

- We live in a youth oriented culture which places great value on the 'package' outside instead of the 'product' inside because an aging body or balding head is viewed as a weakness by some

- Some men focus on looking back to the simplicity of their youth, instead of developing the inner strength to look ahead past the pressures of today to face the rest of their life with boldness and confidence to make big decisions and then make those decisions work

Running away from reality

Some guys think about escaping pressure by getting a sports car, others about getting a ‘young babe' to sit next to them and still others chase mental fantasies of one day having enough cash to afford the car or the girlfriend, while knowing that if given the choice between these options, they probably would just take the money and be happy alone riding a bicycle.

Don't miss the fact that fantasies aren't real and time wasted on chasing a mirage is time and energy that never comes back. If a man is afraid to cross into the next logical stage of life he may choose to create a crisis to avoid aging, which will definitely complicate his life, but it won’t make him any younger. Reality eventually forces the decision that every man at some point has to decide to grow up.

How to cross the bridge with strength

Men can’t go it alone through the middle years and cross this bridge successfully. They need to stay close to a group of guys they can relate to, (through hobbies, sports, religious or charitable activities, accountability groups, professional and business networking groups, Master Mind or inner circle development groups). Half of a man’s anxiety and pressure can be relieved if he reaches out to plug into groups with other healthy men who are moving in the same direction. Watching others successfully cross that mid-life bridge gives him the courage to cross it with strength when his time comes.

The game of life isn't over at half-time, but play time is. That’s why so many men use the middle years as a chance to regroup and refocus on what matters most to them. This allows them to gain new confidence from beginning to live out what author Rick Warren calls, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. The strength these men experience by not wasting time, energy and money chasing after mid-life fantasies gives them deeper spiritual and psychological power to accomplish greater success at an earlier age. This choice gives a tremendous advantage to men who view mid-life as just another bridge in a longer race called ‘life’. That’s why they eventually finish as men of strength and power instead of growing older, but never growing up.

Reprint Permission- If this article was helpful you are invited to share it with your own list at work, church, forward it to friends and family, post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following in your reprint.
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About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. He is a member of the National Speakers Association who partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference in our culture.

Too Damaged to Love Again?

By Linda Riley, LMFT and Certified Sex Therapist

Stories of trauma and pain are part of my normal day as a therapist. I hear about hurt that starts in early childhood for some and continuing throughout life for others. Have you ever wondered how early childhood pain or trauma affect ones capacity to love? And to those who have been serious hurt, it possible to be so damaged emotionally that you actually can't love again?

To start answering that important question, let's look at the research. There seems to be a significant increase in the number of people in our culture who exhibit narcissistic personality traits. They learn to deal with their hurt by over loving themselves. While there may be a difference between traits of a narcissistic personality and full fledged narcissistic personality disorder, it is getting harder to diagnose and distinguish. When I was a graduate student narcissistic personality disorder was commonly believed to be present in only about 1 % of the population. The other day I ran across a recent statistical analysis that suggested we are now looking at 1 in 25 people with narcissistic or self-loving personality disorders. This obsessive self-love creates huge roadblocks in real loving relationships. Consider the narcissistic traits I most commonly see in clinical practice:

1. The lack of empathy towards partners
2. Manipulation and exploitation of partners
3. A sense of entitlement which results in unrealistic expectations of partners
4. Inability to recognize and take responsibility for unhealthy behaviors and choices, which means projecting all the blame on partners
5. A diminished ability to love.

Lack of empathy can start early

I recently attended a conference on Cyber-bullying where a child Psychiatrist stated that the real problem of those who bully or manipulate others was the lack of empathy in children and teens. They appear to lack the ability to feel the hurt, pain and fear of the kids they were bullying. The field of Infant Mental Health has demonstrated through brain scans of infants that empathy is something that first develops from the infant-mother bond. If for various reasons there are problems with this bonding process, attachment disorders develop. How do we teach empathy if it isn't learned or developed in infancy?

In our culture today many children are raised in day care centers or left with a variety of child care providers which are not there long enough for any significant attachment to occur. To love another one must first experience being loved. In the past when kids were raised with lots of extended family around to pick up the gaps in connected relationships; like aunts, uncles or grandparents. With so many people around to show love there was more likelihood that a child would experience a secure attachment with a primary caretaker. The problem is that if this connection never takes place, then the child will have difficulty attaching or bonding to their significant other as well as to their own children. Consequently, this is passed on from one generation to the next. People literally can get further and further apart emotionally since attachment isn't an automatic process from just being born into the same family or having the same last name.

Keys to relationship connection

At the very core of connection is ones ability to empathize. Good marriages and healthy families are all about connection. The inability to empathize with others also results in a lack of an integrated sense of self. If a person is missing a solid sense of who they are they tend not to develop a real sense of self-awareness and may feel they are either all bad or all good. Many things can disrupt this bonding process. A mother who is depressed or emotionally not available herself raises a child that doesn't learn to connect very well emotionally, (just like their mom).

If an infant or child is exposed to high levels of fear and stress, like many abused or neglected children, than this can possibly predispose a child to a latter need for recreational drugs or produce an aggressive or self-destructive child. The skills necessary for achieving an intimate relationship are both the ability to be self-aware enough to be in touch with your own feelings and than be able to relate to the feelings and experiences of the intimate partner. Lacking these skills leaves one with a diminished ability to both give love and receive it.

Microwave Love misses out on real Intimacy

We live in a fast paced culture and the result is we want everything to come as a quick delivery. Love takes time to develop; it is not a process that can be accelerated. Loving someone deeply requires taking the time to truly know them. It takes honesty, it requires some risks and it takes a tremendous amount of trust. Yet many people think they can just fast forward the process like some steamy scene in a romance movie and begin a real relationship with sex instead of communication. It is doomed to fail because microwave love misses out on real intimacy. Like Frank Sinatra advises in his classic song lyric, “Lets Take It Nice and Easy” and that lovers need to slow down and “take all the steps along the way”.

Could it be that we hurry through love, rush relationships, speed up sex, and race through life in general because we are all too wounded to be willing to take the risk of loving someone deeply? Or could it be that our culture has just lost the ability to love because we have become too narcissistic and self-centered? Hurrying through life keeps us so busy that it steals the important solitude that we need to be healthy and whole, both psychologically and spiritually. In other words it keeps us from fully feeling our emotions of loneliness and emptiness. Maybe that's why some people stay so busy and never take a minute to slow down, because if they did it would mean getting honest about what's missing in their life and that would be too painful, so it's off to another busy activity to avoid getting real.

Giving up on love before it's over

The other day I was talking to a man who has gone through a serious of unsuccessful relationships and he actually used the word “DONE” when he was describing how he felt just before ending a relationship. Just simply “I was done” like when you are done with something and you throw it away because it is no longer useful to you. It just struck me as strangely sad that he was referring to a woman that had loved him. She loved and he wasn't able to feel it anymore. Just another sad ending that is common when someone gives up on love before the relationship is over, and when that happens usually both people are going to get hurt in the process.

As a therapist who specializes in relationships; I frequently witness how diminished people’s capacity to love is these days. Everyone claims they want someone to love, yet so many mindlessly walk away from love. They just move on to the next relationship or what appears sometimes to just be another “victim” of failed love. What are they looking for I wonder? Why can’t they see the value of the person they are with or the relationship they are in? Why aren’t they willing to stick around and make the effort to create something beautiful and lasting? What happened to “real” love and “real” commitment?

Losing your heart- one broken relationship at a time

I watch so many people take their partners for granted and under-value a relationship that should be meaningful. For many this is a warning sign of a failing relationship, which I realize means they are losing another piece of their heart. Sadly many people don't know that with every breakup they lose a part of their heart, but they don’t slow down enough to actually feel or grieve the loss of their own intimate connections.

How many pieces of your heart can you lose and still retain the ability to deeply and fully love? The answer is not as much as you think because the more break ups, the more scars and the more scars, the harder it is to open up next time. How ironic, our culture is always drawn to watch great love stories but are we are often too cowardly to write ourselves into the script. How about you? Do you have the courage to open your heart and really love, or are you too damaged, wounded or narcissistic to love again? You get to choose the level of intimacy in your relationships. I hope you choose love.

Reprint Permission- If this article helped you, you are invited to share it with your own list at work or church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following paragraph in your reprint. -
"Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews, (Copyright, 2004-2009), To receive this valuable weekly resource subscribe at or call 407-647-7005.
About the author- Linda Riley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist, woman's support group leader, divorce recovery expert, and guest lectures for medical staffs around the country. She is a radio and television guest, with over 25 years of experience in marital conflict and intimate communication between the sexes.

Access more counseling and coaching resources designed to save you time by solving stressful situations by visiting their counseling blog with over 150 complimentary articles and special reports at

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Recession hurts most when you are Married to an Unmotivated Man

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach;
With Linda Riley, LMFT & Certified Sex Therapist

Right now you know a woman working at least two jobs, (not counting parenting children and running a household), who is married to an unmotivated man. It may be a co-worker, a sister, a neighbor or friend at church, but you know this woman. Here’s what you don’t know.

She’s hurting more now than she ever has before. Why? Because recession hurts the most when you’re married to an unmotivated man.

These women have a major problem, they believe they really love the guy on the couch who just can’t or won’t keep a job. This causes another major problem, because they don’t want their children to suffer or do without the basics, like new shoes, school supplies or playing little league. And so they do the only thing they think they can do- they work, and work and then they work some more. Work is all they do because an average family needs 60-80 hours of income to take care of their home budget, which means that both parents are working 30-40 hours per week, or one person is working two jobs just trying to keep their family afloat.

Obviously not every man who is temporarily out of work is an unmotivated man who makes life miserable for his wife. In fact, a highly motivated man will always find something to do to support his family during tough times so his wife usually feels emotionally secure that he will provide for her and the kids. This article isn’t about guys who dig in during tough times to live out the words of their wedding vows to be there, ‘in sickness and in health, for richer- for poorer’, no this article is about a very different kind of marriage, and one that gets much worse during difficult economic times. Let’s start by looking at both of the major problems this exhausted woman faces, and then a third problem that is often overlooked.

1. Lazy men or just Losers?

First, what’s up with the guy on the couch who isn’t providing enough income to meet the needs of his family- what makes guys like this so unmotivated? Well, some guys are just lazy- they grew up without any self-discipline, or self-respect and they just won’t keep gainful employment.

Their mother’s didn’t do them any favors since some guys never grow up, and marry someone to take over where their mother left off… they expect hot meals, clean clothes, healthy children, the bills to be paid and someone to function as an attractive personal assistant- but they refuse to give back to the relationship. This type of marriage isn’t a partnership at all, it’s sort of like the medieval system of a master and peasant, and the woman is basically expected to be a slave to meet his every need. 100% about him- and 0% left for her.
Then there is another group of unmotivated men, simply put, the ‘losers’. They may have failed in their education, or failed in their career aspirations, and have just given up on finding a good job to meet the needs of their family. Some guys in this group will go out to work at a job well below their potential just to avoid feeling like a failure again, which is better than nothing, yet eventually the bills will overshadow the gap in their income, leading to another major financial failure if they don’t change.

Often women want to make excuses for their husbands continual failures, or blame it on his low self-esteem, but there comes a time in life where a man has to step up to the plate to become a man, which often means him going out to seek some help from others so he doesn’t have to not fail again. However, many times he just keeps repeating the same mistakes, which just dumps more problems onto his wife to fix while he escapes by watching sports on TV.

It should be noted that sometimes a man is unmotivated because of substance abuse issues. Potheads, alcoholics and porn addicts don’t think about providing for their family, they think about themselves. Sometimes what may look like a motivation problem is actually due to bigger psychological or substance issues, which would take professional intervention, diagnosis and treatment. The problem is that addicts don’t usually seek help until they crash, and if they are enabled by others, they can stay addicted for years while creating terrible pain and hardship for those around them.

The last group of unmotivated men aren’t lazy or losers they just never learned which career path to take so they take the first job available. They may work hard for years, but will struggle to get ahead because they haven’t found career coaches, leaders or mentors to guide them in moving up the career ladder.

They end up being unmotivated because they feel the desperation of being alone yet often are just too afraid to seek out help to discover their career strengths, so they slowly sink financially, while watching other more motivated guys get ahead.

An interesting problem is that this guy might actually sabotage any efforts to try and help him because he feels so hyper-sensitive about even discussing how he is trapped in a dead end job. He may fight against those who reach out with good advice on making some positive career changes to experience the financial freedom to provide for their family in a stable way. Oddly enough, even though it’s their greatest fear, they can often be so prideful that they don’t let anyone come alongside to help them face it with courage and so they stay stuck in a downward career spiral, leaving the growing financial burden on their wife. Their fear of making a career change hurts the people they say they love the most.

Good guys – or unmotivated men in disguise?

Many of these guys may appear to be clean-cut, all-American, likable husbands and fathers who volunteer at church, mow the grass, don’t act mean, hateful or abusive, but they are still married to an exhausted woman. This is because recessions are tougher when a woman is trying to bridge the financial gap in their family budget by overworking to make up for the areas where their husband is unmotivated to change.

2. How much is enough?

The second major problem this woman is facing deals with a combination of expectation and entitlement. There is tremendous pressure placed on parents to ‘do the right thing’ for their kids, which often is interpreted as being forced to provide the latest and greatest cell phone, elaborate birthday parties and expensive forms of entertainment for their kids. It is not a sign of bad parenting to say ‘no’ to things you cannot afford it’s actually a sign of strength and will help a child learn that you can’t have everything you want. Part of being a responsible adult is learning how to control and manage financial impulses.

This situation can create a downward spiral of spending because some moms try to over-compensate for the lack of parenting from their passive husbands, then add the guilt she may feel from being gone so much of the time trying to make more money to pay the bills and you have a recipe for a spoiled child, strained marriage and pending financial disaster. The financial reality that some activities can’t be done in a given month may be hard to deal with in the short term, but it’s a lot better than collecting massive debt to create an artificial lifestyle to keep everyone feeling happy for a while. Some women live in continual fear that the credit card lifestyle they secretly use to fill the gap of living with an unmotivated man will one day come crashing down, so they keep this credit spending hidden like an addiction inside, hoping every day that she will make it to the mailbox before her husband discovers her secret.

3. Hidden roadblock to living with an unmotivated man

Mark Twain said, “If the truth hurts- it should.” Women married to an unmotivated man often don’t want to hear the truth about their husband. They may fiercely defend his lack of employment, his bad luck with bosses, speak up about how he loves the kids but just doesn’t have time for them, because once they openly acknowledge that their husband is an unmotivated man, it makes it real, and once it’s real, it means that something has to change.

It’s hard to face this reality, and it’s hard to confront a man they care about, so to avoid the risk of hurting his feelings they just carry the burdens inside. Another common way women avoid making their husband uncomfortable is by secretly asking their parents for money to make it another month, and grandparents are suckers when it comes to providing for the needs of their daughter and grandkids… so it goes on month after month until someone runs out of cash. No more cash means things eventually will crash.

Recessions quickly force things out into the open that might have gone unnoticed in a better economy. Unmotivated men are a big one. Exhausted women feel desperate when they reach the end of their financial rope… without access to lines of equity, retirement accounts or the inability to get a family loan from parents who may be financially stretched from a deflated stock portfolio or undervalued real estate market. When she runs out of options a woman has to face a painful reality. Get honest about the problems caused by the unmotivated man in her life and then confront them boldly, or silently find some negative way to cope, (like overeating). She will slowly and silently drown in her sadness if someone close to the situation doesn’t step in to ask some direct questions and offer real help.

This isn’t about blame shifting or attacking a man’s character as a human being, it’s about the basic financial reality of a shared financial partnership to run a family together. It’s about sharing marital responsibility instead of dumping everything onto an exhausted women going through life alone like a single parent, (except she just happens to be legally married to a non-producer who financially drags her down).

Sadly, it may take an exhausted women feeling completely overwhelmed to finally take action and say, ‘listen Mister- I desperately need help running this household and it’s time for you to grow up’. A husband-wife partnership requires both people yet some women are so used to the dysfunction of living with an unmotivated man that she is almost numb to the idea that things could ever change.

Change requires Confrontation

No one likes conflict, but this type of relationship problem can’t improve without direct communication and confrontation. Most women won’t be able to do this alone, because most women have tried many ways to get their unmotivated husband to change and it didn’t work. So if talking to him doesn’t work, a woman has to have some back-up to confront in a way the unmotivated man can begin to hear. This may come from a parent, a trusted friend, pastor, counselor or career coach.

Be sensitive to this tired woman, she needs someone to help her turn her husband around, but she doesn’t need to be judged or criticized- she does enough of that against herself every day. If you want to really help her, don’t blame, just point out the realities of the situation and ask how you can help. There is a biblical principle that says, “in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom and safety.” And this woman needs both… wisdom and safety, so be kind as you move forward to gently, but firmly offer help.

Sometimes it may involve the unmotivated man having someone come alongside to create a step by step approach of accountability that includes building confidence through attending men’s groups, leadership events, personal development seminars, career coaching or church retreats on learning new skills as a healthy husband and father. The information for unmotivated men to change is available- it’s out there. He still has to be the one to go out and seek it.

Often he won’t begin to change until being hit with some very hard realities. The most severe that he may lose everything of value to him if he doesn’t take bold action to turn things around for his family before it’s too late.

Leading families in partnership together

He has to move from being an unmotivated man to becoming more self-disciplined as a leader for his family, and if you say that word very slowly, you will discover the real answer to solve many of the problems of an exhausted wife… she needs someone to ‘lead –her’. Not a boss lording over her- she needs a partner. She needs a motivated man who wants to build a great family by her side, no longer like a married ‘single parent’ no- now as partners building memories, instead of being in misery.

When a man learns how to be a motivated leader things can turn around rapidly, and no matter how deep the recession, if a husband and wife are working together they will not just survive it, they will thrive from the blessings of being partners pulling together through the toughest of times, instead of slowly drifting apart.

Someone you know is the woman in this article. May these words challenge you to reach out with God’s love and a gentle heart to let her know that she is not alone and that she can count on you for support as she takes action to finally end the crazy problems that come from being married to an unmotivated man.

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About the authors-
Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Certified Family Law Mediator in practice over 25 years with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. He is an author and member of the National Speakers Association who partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference.
Linda Riley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist, woman's support group leader, divorce recovery expert, and guest lectures for medical staffs around the country. She is a radio and television guest, with over 25 years of experience in marital conflict and intimate communication.

Access more counseling and coaching resources designed to save you time by solving stressful situations by visiting their counseling blog with over 150 complimentary articles and special reports at

In- law wars causing Continual Conflict?

What to do when a mother-in-law is at war with her son’s new wife

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Family Law Mediator

Dozens of times a year I am involved in mediating a common, but often rarely discussed major family dispute. This virtual 'civil war' tears apart a family for years and occurs between a very unhappy new mother-in-law and her equally unhappy daughter-in-law. Basically the battle is over who will be the main influence in this young man's life, and the younger he is, the more likely he will cut out of the conflict to let these two most significant women in his life just vent on each other. That's a terrible plan, since it only creates more hurt feelings for everyone. There are no winners in this type of conflict, only wounded survivors.

This is a very common source of conflict, and one that frequently pops up to worsen around holidays or special occasions where traditional family functions are forced to change and make some major adjustments to add a new face at the table. Sadly in bitter in-law disputes, no one really wins the ‘war’ it just becomes a time of misery without any positive memories for anyone. It’s sort of like Jane Fonda's character back in the film "Monster-in-law" because that persona is actually not a character at all because some mom's actually try to bully new brides with manipulation to keep control of their adult son. Thankfully most women are mature enough to not become a complete ‘monster’ about the major change in the mother/son relationship. And if given some guidance, a young man learns how to be a stronger man to set healthy limits to protect his new wife, while honoring his mother in the process.

As a family law mediator, I've seen way too much pain from not dealing with this new relationship directly, so here are some insights to as to why the conflicts occur and more importantly, what to do to create positive change. These basic principles will help you go from family battles, to experience new extended family blessings.Since new marriages are full of changes for everyone involved, here's some relationship advice directly for the newest member of a family system, the daughter-in-law to save years of tears or heartache and pain as well as to help clear the air to prevent a mother-in-law from being portrayed as a monster.

Remember, the first year of marriage is the toughest year, and statistically the most common time that people will divorce. No question that it is a time of major adjustment, yet the good news is that most new relationships gained by marriage can grow stronger over the course of a few years, so you actually can expand your family and have more people to love, instead of staying exhausted in a continual dispute over meaningless power struggles.

1) She's your husband's mother, not yours

Keep a realistic perspective on just how close you can get to this other woman who really did love him first. The faster you try to push into his family circle, the more you find some strong minded women pushing back.

2) She won't like you sometimes in the beginning and may show it

Some women have a tendency to overprotect their sons, while others tend to over-provide for them. Helping his Mom see that you are already on the job as a loving wife who deeply cares for her son, and that you are taking good care of him can build trust. This way she doesn't have to sit around worrying about him now that you are in the family.

3) She needs time to build a relationship with you

It took time to grow in your love to your new husband and you had the advantage of being motivated by romance. It will take a longer time to build a relationship with his mom and you may have the disadvantage of time or distance. Think of how you built friendships with the other women in your life- lots of phone calls, cards, meals, trips, shared holiday's and shopping! Take realistic steps to build a relationship with your mother-in-law in the early years and you might gain an additional supportive mentor for a lifetime.

In most cases a new daughter-in-law should try to flow with the relationship changes her husband is going through, since typically it will grow into the sense of belonging to his extended family within a few years. Understand that if you only invest an hour a year at Thanksgiving into actually connecting with your new mother-in-law that it may take a very long time to get to a heart-to-heart friendship, if ever.

A new daughter-in-law can control much of the timing of how close this relationship will be so she should honesty consider the situation and think through the steps to move beyond an angry or attacking 'monster' to move toward gaining another mother's love and respect which benefits everyone for a lifetime. Good trade if you have the courage to try.

Reprint Permission- If this article was helpful you are invited to share it with your own list at work, church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following in your reprint. "Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews (Copyright, 2004-2009), subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource at "

About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference in our culture.

5 Reasons Character Sustains Leaders

by Dr. John C. Maxwell, Best-Selling Author

A critical mistake that I made as a young leader was that I used to think that charisma was the most important aspect of leadership. In the beginning, I focused on charisma because I know that leadership attracts, and leadership influences people. Therefore I thought, "Well, if I'm going to influence people I've got to develop charisma in my life." I've been around enough boring leaders to say that is a desire that most of us should have!

What I learned is that character is the most important aspect of leadership, not charisma. Charisma attracts, but character sustains. In fact, I think charisma, in the area of leadership, is overrated.

Character embodies who you really are. It's the inner fiber of your being. It is your inner self in action. It reveals what you are truly made of, it's your substance. Character is, as D. L. Moody said, "What you are in the dark."

If you have charisma without character, it's only a matter of time before people find you out. Without character you cannot sustain meaningful relationships, and without relationships your ability to lead and influence others is anemic.

So what is it about character that really makes a difference?
1. Character sets you apart. There was a time when people who lacked integrity stood out from the crowd. Now the opposite is true--charisma can make people stand out for a moment, but character can set them apart for a lifetime.

2. Character creates trust. Leadership functions only on the basis of trust. If you pull out trust, then you will lose your leadership foundation.

3. Character promotes excellence. If you lead people, good character sets a standard for everyone who is following you. People will eventually become like their leader. If leaders compromise on their standards, cheat the company, or take shortcuts, so will their followers.

4. Character gives staying power. During the tough times that all leaders face, character has the ability to carry you through, which is something that charisma can never do. When you are weary and inclined to quit, the self-discipline of character keeps you going.

5. Character extends influence. Charisma, by its nature, doesn't last long or extend very far. It's like a flash of gunpowder. It produces a quick, blinding light, but then it's gone. The only thing left is smoke. Character, on the other hand, is more like a bonfire. Its effects are long-lasting. It produces warmth and light, and as it continues to burn it gets hotter, giving fuel that burns brighter.

If you're currently leading people, you probably have some measure of both charisma and character. The question is which one are you relying on to lead? The answer can be found in your response to this great question, "As time goes by, does it get easier or harder to lead?"
Without character, leadership becomes harder to sustain. You constantly have to perform to get people to notice you; but with character, as time goes by, leadership strengthens, builds, and continues to attract the people. And best of all, the ones who do come to enjoy your fire stay with you a lot longer than the ones who only want to see a show.

About the Author:
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World's Top Leadership Guru by He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.

"This article is used with permission from Leadershp Wired, Mi's premiere leadership newsletter, available for free subscription at"

Friday, February 06, 2009

Strategies to change ADD into a blessing instead of curse

by Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life CoachIs ADD a blessing or a curse?

The answer is probably going to be different depending on who you ask. For some teachers and school systems, it may be a curse because of the difficulty motivating highly creative and over stimulated kids. However, for the parents of these high energy children, I believe ADD can be a great blessing when the parents or guardians learn what to do to guide the steps of these supercharged kids toward greater success, instead of feeling greater frustration and stress. ADD is the common acronym for a medical condition called Attention Deficit Disorder, (ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, which is similar to ADD, but with considerably more difficulties in controlling physical impulses.) According to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health, and published in the September 2007 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

An estimated 2.4 million children between the ages of 8 and 15 in the U.S. have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but fewer than half of them have been diagnosed or are receiving appropriate treatments, researchers report. Previous estimates from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that ADHD afflicts as few as 4% and as many as 12% of school-aged children in the U.S. The new assessment places the figure at 8.7%. This new figure indicates that almost 10% of school age children may be negatively impacted by undiagnosed and untreated ADD. While researchers, teachers and parents differ widely on the factors that may cause ADD, (too much caffeine, sugar and food additives in junk food, to genetics, or addiction to high energy video games, over-stimulated from aggressive forms of entertainment or even a lack of parental structure and discipline), there are three things that all researchers in this field agree on and they are the three basic symptoms of ADD, which are clear and unmistakable.

These three primary symptoms are used to track and identify ADD, so if you are reading and thinking of a specific child, or adult, here are the factors to consider. And remember, the more serious the symptom, the more seriously ADD is negatively affecting the life of the individual and their family and likely causing more pain than releasing the potential available in a child with elevated levels of creativity and energy.

The 3 major symptoms of ADD include:

1) Impulsiveness –
which involves reacting without thinking. This can commonly be seen by individuals who blurt out answers, talk when it's not appropriate, make rapid decisions without considering any consequences or find themselves doing and saying unhealthy things that show no forethought or planning, (like spending money on things that don't really matter, or watching a TV movie or playing video games when a major school project is due).

Symptoms of inattention, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manuel include:- often blurts out answers before questions have been completed;- often has difficulty awaiting turn;- often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).- associated features depend on the child's age and developmental stage, may include other symptoms like- low frustration tolerance, temper outburts, bossiness, difficulty in following rules, disorganization, social rejection, poor self-esteem, academic underachievement, and inadequate self-application (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

2) Inattention –
which is the difficulty of focusing on any one subject for any extended period of time. Another common factor in this category is that individuals with inattention or high levels of distractability may swing back and forth from lack of focus to an incredible ability to super focus on topics or activities that are of extreme importance to them, (remember that ADD is diagnosed in boys 75% more often than with girls).

Many counselors believe that this ability to super focus isn't inattention or distractability at all, rather it's a filtering problem because many people with ADD have difficulty concentrating on some topics at specific times because they are paying attention to dozens of other topics or situations in their environment happening at the same time. This might explain why incredibly creative minds like Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein were kicked out of school and labeled 'too stupid to learn' when in fact, they were more than likely bored with the lack of mental challenge in relation to their ability to think really fast
Symptoms of inattention, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manuel include:
- often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
- often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
- often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
- often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
- often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
- is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli;- is often forgetful in daily activities. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

3) Hyperactivity –
which is the inability to sit still. People with this hyper kinetic ability are often restless and frequently moving something physically. This could be as simple as taping their fingers on a desk top to pacing the room like a caged tiger.

Symptoms of inattention, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manuel include:- often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat;- often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected;- often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness);- often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly;- is often "on the go" or often act as if "driven by a motor;"- often talks excessively. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Remember, ADD can only be diagnosed by a licensed professional, however a wise parent can track these symptoms to better work in partnership with their counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist to achieve better results for the child. Once you and your healthcare provider have determined that your child may have the major symptoms of ADD, then here are some behavioral factors to consider adding to the treatment plan from your child's doctor or counselor to further stabilize and calm their moods so that the child or adult with ADD can move forward with a stronger motivation to experience positive change as they use their high energy and creativity to accomplish more, instead of only creating frustration and aggravation for themselves and others.

1) Structure –
Keeping kids on a regular and predictable schedule is one of the simplest and yet most powerful ways to protect against impulsive behavior, because almost anything can be placed onto a scheduled routine at home, or at school. Creating positive and predictable habits, including adequate sleep will help your child excels in any school or sports environment.

2) Safe People-
Keeping kids around healthy adults, (like coaches, teachers and clergy), who reach out to support and encourage that child, in spite of their high energy and sometimes annoying habits. These healthy adults become a safety net to provide additional guidance, love and support to move a high energy child forward toward their potential instead of staying stuck in frustration and fear.

3) Strength –
Finding the best 'fit' of natural talent and strength in a child will allow you to then focus time, energy and other resources onto developing those strengths into self-discipline and skills that can be trusted, regardless of the circumstances and stimuli surrounding the child. If your child is dramatic, musical, athletic or shows leadership potential, then begin to guide them toward involvement with those natural abilities to bring out their creativity and energy in the right environment to achieve a greater result.

Once you know your child's talents and abilities, begin to look for natural places those gifts can be developed through scouting, Girls & Boys Clubs, your local YMCA, community theatre and drama, youth sports like Little League or church youth groups and choirs. These safe places can provide multiple ways to further develop your child's natural strengths which will draw out their gifts for good, instead of leaving the entire family trapped in the grief of a household filled with chaos instead of the growing confidence of a child growing strong because of growing on their strengths.

(Side note: in reading about the childhood lives of people like Jim Carey, Robin Williams, Steven King, Michael J. Fox and Mark Lowery- they all experienced the frustration of feeling like they didn't fit in, yet their parents guided them toward their strengths which led to career choices that kept them focused on future success... instead of staying stuck in the stressful situations at school.)

Whatever signs or symptoms you and your child are facing, know that you are not facing them alone. There are positive resources available at our website, ( as well as from the web links below. Knowledge is power so if you know you are facing and know what to do about it, you can turn the letters ADD from being a curse in your son or daughters life into ADD becoming a great blessing.

For further study on ADD, check out these
Reprint Permission- If this article was helpful you are invited to share it with your own list at work, church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following in your reprint.
"Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews (Copyright, 2004-2009), subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource at "

About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference in our culture.

Teen Rebellion or Conduct Disorder?

~ A Special Parenting Report from Dwight Bain

Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach

Likely everybody has heard about or knows a teenager or young adult who has experienced trouble with the law or who has been expelled from school or perhaps even threatened someone at school, sometimes with a weapon. People know these teens have problems, but they may not know these behaviors can be symptoms of a very real psychiatric illness affecting approximately 9 percent of all boys and 2 percent of all girls under the age of 18 in the United States.

Rebellion- is open opposition to authority or tradition.

Usually the word rebellion implies disobedience when there should be obedience. The ancient French word for rebel is 'rebelle,' which means “to wage war again.” ~ Webster's Dictionary

These symptoms describe what is commonly called a “conduct disorder,” or "Oppositional Defiant Disorder," which is a behavioral problem characterized by uncontrolled anger, rebellion, resistance to discipline and a pattern of violating the rights of others and the laws set by society. Conduct disorders like ODD are becoming more common these days for both girls and guys, so gaining insight into these types of disruptive behaviors might be lifesaving to a teen in your life.

This is because these behaviors when left untreated don’t get better by themselves, in fact they get a lot worse, even life threatening in some cases. The more you understand about what is driving these behaviors, the more you can react in a proactive way to help a young person move from self destructive behavior to spending their energy on more productive activities, leading to becoming self-disciplined and more responsible.

Psychologists and psychiatrists generally separate disruptive disorders into two main categories: oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorders. The term "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" or ODD for short, is used to describe a young person whose symptoms include uncontrolled anger, resistance to discipline, and open defiance; the teen with a conduct disorder displays these symptoms as well, but also behaves in a way that often violates the rights of others.

If an adolescent has exhibited the following behaviors, particularly illegal activities, an evaluation with a licensed psychological professional may be the first step in bringing hope and healing to the life of a young person spiraling out of control in your home. If you are ready to take steps to turn life at your house from a war zone back into a peaceful home environment then honestly evaluate the following warning signs and symptoms.

How to Recognize Dangerous or Aggressive Teen Disorders

- Loses temper frequently or shows fits of rage

- Manipulates others for their own selfish pleasure

- Consistently breaks rules and ignores consequences

- Stays out late or has large blocks of unaccounted time

- Gets into frequent verbal or physical fights

- Skips class, gets in trouble with teachers, or has been suspended or expelled

- Lies, cheats or steals with no respect for authority

- Has broken into a home, damaged or vandalized property

- Ignores authority figures or posted rules and regulations

- Has threatened another person with a weapon

- Has injured or killed an animal

- Sets fires or shows an unusual preoccupation with setting fires

- Uses cutting as a coping skill to manage hurt, pain or loss

- Abuses drugs, alcohol or tobacco

- Participates in aggressive, self-destructive or indiscriminate sexual activity

- Has discussed or attempted suicide

Dangerous Downward Spiral

Adolescents with this problem may never seem to fit into society. They have increasing difficulty at school and with making friends. Their frustrations and sense of isolation are often expressed as anger, first directed at parents and family, and then at peers, teachers or whoever gets in their way. They may turn to drugs for a “high” or as an escape, but substance abuse only leads to more trouble – at home, at school, and in the community. They are literally spiraling out of control toward complete self-destruction.

Unraveling the causes…and more importantly- discovering solutions

An analysis of a teenager with a disruptive disorder of rage or rebellion begins with a complete evaluation performed by a professional therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist. As part of identifying a diagnosis, a qualified professional will determine if any underlying conditions may have contributed to the teen’s abnormal behaviors. These include being bullied by peers, or psychiatric conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or in extreme cases there can even be traits of medical conditions such as epilepsy, Tourette’s Syndrome, mental retardation, schizophrenia or other brain damage from head trauma.

Environmental factors can also contribute to the development of a conduct disorder. A traumatic event such as a death, illness, divorce or abuse, or ongoing stress such as family conflict, physical or sexual abuse or a parent with a substance abuse problem, can also make a teenager more susceptible to behavioral problems. In the last few years we’ve tracked a pattern showing those who have been bullied by others can develop over-aggressive behavior as a negative coping response, which leads to other problems as well.

Rules without Relationships create Resentment and Rebellion.

~ Josh McDowell

Individual, family or group counseling can help stabilize this out-of-control behavior and help the teen better understand and take responsibility for their behavior, learn new coping skills to manage anger, or gain insights into how their aggressive behavior hurts other people in their life to use as a catalyst for positive change. ODD or conduct disorders do not have to destroy your child’s young adult years, but if left untreated it will steal a lot of the joy and fulfillment from their life, and from yours as a parent watching someone you love drown in their own out of control choices.

►Tracking the Characteristics of Teen Rebellion
___Aggressive ___Complaining ___Unbelieving ___Greedy

___Resistant ___Defensive ___Distrustful ___Independent

___Unbelieving ___Defiant ___Lying ___Stealing

___Hostility or resentment of authority figures

Once you have identified the warning signs and symptoms of rebellious behavior, you then are empowered to take positive action to change. Consider the following traits of the teen rebellion cycle to understand the most strategic places to reach out in a powerful way to the teen in your life.

Understanding the Teen Rebellion Cycle

tips from my friend & fellow counselor June Hunt

· Conceited—“I want what I want because I’m important.”
— independent living (“I” oriented)
— pleasure seeking (temporal values)

· Calculating—“I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.”
— deceptive (lying, cheating, stealing)
— manipulative (using guilt tactics)

· Condemning—“You don’t really care about me!”
— complaining (“You’re too hard on me.)
— blame shifting (“It’s all your fault.)

· Calloused—“I don’t care who it hurts.”
— apathetic (toward loved ones)
— resistant (toward any authority figure)

· Contemptuous—“I hate those who get in my way.”
— disrespectful (irreverent, disobedient, foul language, messy room)
— rule breaking (extremes in sex, drugs, money, hostility)

· Controlling—“I won’t give up what I have.”
— possessive (uses power plays because of emotional insecurity)
— abusive (verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually)

No matter how bad things seem right now between you and your teenager, there is hope. I believe that God never designed parents to go it alone in trying to raise their kids to be strong healthy young adults. If you or someone you love is battling with rebellion or a more serious conduct disorder, know that you have options to help your child move from self-destruction to self-discipline, however it's important to educate yourself with the best tools and techniques necessary to achieve a greater results and experience a better quality of life. If you get stuck helping your son or daughter past a relationship roadblock, remember that there are tremendous counseling resources to help you at parenting websites like,, or

Rebellious kids can become strong leaders, for good or otherwise. Strategically knowing what to do will help the young person in your life to get past the stress to spend their energy on building a life of early success, which is what we always believe to be the best for both you and your child.

Reprint Permission- If this article was helpful you are invited to share it with your own list at work, church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following in your reprint.

"Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group of Winter Park's weekly eNews (Copyright, 2004-2009), subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource at "

About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Life Coach and Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and partners with media, major corporations and non-profit organizations to make a positive difference in our culture.