Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Welcome!  This is the space where Dr. Joan replies to your questions and dilemmas.  To submit your communications, please use the "Contact Us" page. 

If you are searching for a reply to a communication you submitted before September 20, 2012, please click on "News" and then click on "Reader Harmony Needs and Solutions."

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 09/23/2012

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Gardner Loves Boss Lady

Dear Moon Struck Gardener:

Falling in love with your employer generates a set of difficult dynamics which can lead to a disharmonious relationship.

The lady hired you to design and maintain her grounds and you say she pays you well. She's your boss and gives orders which you carry out to keep her happy. If you become lovers, will she still give orders, or will the two of you develop a partnership at that point?

Please send me another email and elaborate on why you think you stand a chance with this woman. Do you have money of your own? Does she love to garden and will she join you occasionally in that activity? Do the two of you have things in common at any level? What kind of listener is she? And you?

Think about the questions I have raised and try to answer them for yourself. Then tell me more.

Dr. Joan's Harmony Key: Move like a garden snail on rocky ground.

Date: 09/22/2012

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Dreading Homework

Dear Done with Drama:

Yes, homework time can breed stress for the entire family. Dramatic breakdowns between parent and child can be the result. It is critical to interrupt the cycle NOW before the avoidance tendency becomes ingrained in your son.

Try these tips to build a positive attitude all the way around:

*Have a face-to-face talk with your son about a NEW method for doing homework. Let him talk about all his worries. Lead him to see that it is his responsibility to get his homework done, not yours. Explain that he will do homework every school day, even when none is assigned. Set the timer. Usually 10 minutes per grade level is acceptable. So a 4th grader will do 40 minutes. When the bell rings, he is excused, finished or not! Over time, he will learn to focus and finish all of his homework within the time period. Then he is free to chose his own activities, without guilt or shame.

Request a conference with your son's teacher before starting this new method. Your common goal is to build your son's sense of responsibility.

Let me know your progress. You are not alone.

Dr. Joan's Harmony Key: Learning breeds respect.

Date: 09/25/2012

By: Done with Drama

Subject: Re: Dreading Homework

Dear Dr. Joan,

I already see a change in my son! We had a good talk about our new plan and he is very open to taking on his homework with less fuss. He wants to be more independent so this is a good first step: giving him more responsibilty!

I will keep in touch with our long term progress. Thank you for your great advice!

Date: 09/22/2012

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Job Performance Feedback Needed

Dear Merry-Go-Round:

Sometimes I feel the way you do: running in circles, spinning my wheels, and dissatisfied with my accomplishments. You are putting in long hours on the job but you are not happy with your progress. Moreover, you're worried about what your boss thinks.

I sense you have a good relationship with your supervisor, yet he/she has not given you enough feedback it seems. This omission could be due to a heavy schedule, and/or your boss is pleased but hasn't said so, or management is planning to let you go.

Here is my suggestion:

*Write a brief note to your boss and request a 10 minute meeting. State that you would like to know how to better meet your job requirements and surpass them. Go to the meeting with a smile, a handshake, and a notepad. Then put the feedback to work for you.

Let me know your progress.

Dr. Joan's Harmony Key: Shake the hand that pays you.

Date: 09/22/2012

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Political Squabbles

Dear Tired of Politics:

So you and your adult children have different ideas about who is a worthy candidate and who is not. I encourage you to block your feelings that you are "outnumbered" and "your opinions don't matter." Be assured that your perceptions have value. Each person's observations are worth plenty. No one sees anything with your two eyes except you, or hears anything with your two ears, except you.

You don't say when you grew up, or where, but each of us is strongly affected by our circumstances and struggles starting with our earliest memories.

I implore you to keep conversations going with your children ... listen to their opinions, and be confident that your views enrich your children's understanding of the political scene and of YOU.

Dr. Joan's Harmony Key: Open eyes and open ears lead to an open mind.

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