Category Archives: Teens

Leaking is a Toxic Behavior Parents should Avoid: Part 1

Leaking is a Toxic Behavior Parents should Avoid: Part 1

What is leaking? Leaking is a term coined by Dr. Patricia Papernow, step-family and post-divorce expert, which describes what parents do and say to blame and/or undermine the other parent in the presence of their children. In my practice, I hear examples of leaking from many parents contemplating a divorce.

Parents attempt to justify this toxic behavior of leaking with hard evidence that what they are saying is true or they use it as a retaliation of the other parent’s behavior.

Often, the leaking behavior is a result of the history of conflict, betrayal and hurt each other has caused. Parents who are in significant emotional distress over the fear of losing their marriage, also fear the loss of their children and may advertently or inadvertently use leaking tactics to secure the closeness of their relationship.

Leaking can occur at any time during conflict between parents.

Parents are most susceptible when they are experiencing overwhelming emotions and often are unaware of their toxic behaviors. Although leaking can sound subtle and not intended to be harmful, it can have a lasting negative impact on your children and their relationship with the other parent.

Below are a few common examples of the leaking behavior. Use these to increase your awareness in an effort to stop.

  • “I can’t afford to buy your favorite toy. Your mom/dad hasn’t given me any money this month.”
  • “I wish I could spend more time with you, but your mom/dad won’t let me.”
  • “Your mom/dad made the decision to separate our family.”
  • “If your mom/dad loved you and our family, they would stop drinking.”
  • “Your mom/dad is so difficult to deal with. Their anger is out of control.”

If you find yourself or the other parent using these or similar comments, now is the time to take ownership of the part you play in leaking. Part 2 of this blog will discuss in further detail the negative impact leaking can have on your children’s emotional wellbeing. It will also provide examples of protective ways to avoid leaking behaviors. Therapy can also be a valuable resource to assist parents with healthy co-parenting and emotion regulation skills during this difficult time.

Written By: Porsha Jones, LMFT

Suicide Myths That Every Educator And Parent Should Know

Suicide Myths That Every Educator And Parent Should Know

Suicide in America is not age specific. Sadly, teen suicide has become an American epidemic. Adults are no longer the only ones that experience mental health issues, millions of children in our country struggle with mental illness. One of the biggest challenges that face schools, parents, and medical professionals in identifying children who may be…

Disabilities Types – How Can Counseling Help?

Disabilities Types – How Can Counseling Help?

Intellectual and developmental disabilities include a wide range of disorders. Some, like Down syndrome, begin before the individual is born. Others, like the Autism spectrum, can have their onset later in life. Disabilities can affect the individual intellectually, physically, or both. Some examples of other disabilities are Cerebral palsy, ADHD, Fragile X Syndrome, learning disabilities, seizure…

Understanding Empathy

Understanding Empathy

Empathy has gotten a lot of press recently, and rightly so. Empathy fosters relational connections that transcend age, race, sex, culture, experience, belief, and circumstance. Yet it can be difficult to express empathy in the midst of interpersonal conflict. Here’s a quick primer on empathy and using it effectively: Empathy is a way to leverage…

Ways to be an Advocate and an Ally on National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Ways to be an Advocate and an Ally on National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

I have the best little sister in the world. I’m not bragging though…this is just a fact! She’s kind, caring, a member of the Foster-Schmidt dance company, a huge fan of slapstick humor, and a devoted employee at the Johns Creek Police department. She also happens to have Down syndrome and a bonus 21st chromosome.…

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