Does long-standing sibling rivalry really have an impact on a marriage?

So where does sibling rivalry start in the first place? According to academic professionals at the University of Michigan Health System, the most fundamental effect and characteristic of sibling rivalry is jealousy. Constant arguments between siblings create a strong feeling of tension in the household that’s felt by everyone.

It’s also been suggested that rivalry between siblings has negative effects on the marriage of the parents, as the problems experienced between the siblings begin to make the parents more likely to disagree about who is right and who is wrong in different situations. So what is the best way to ease the tension and quell the rivalries?

Today’s guest is Dr. Kristen Wynns, a child psychologist and parenting, testing and custody specialist and the owner of Wynns Family Psychology. With extensive experience in child and parenting issues, Kristen has seen her fair share of family tension derived from sibling rivalry. According to her, spouses can reduce the negative effects of the rivalry by communicating with each other and presenting a unified front to the children.

The Wynns Family Psychology ‘Sibling Strife’ workshop will be held September 23, 2013 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

To find out more about Kristen and her practice, visit their website or call (919) 467-7777 to schedule an appointment.

Pets can be a source of joy, or a nightmare. Which kind of pet should you get, if any? How many is too many? Whose responsibility is it to take care of them?

The issues of pets are fairly easy to work out on your own, but when you and your spouse disagree about how many pets to have or what kind of pets to have or who will take care of them, then you might run into a whole lot of trouble. Should you be responsible for cleaning up after the dog your wife had from before you were married? Are your husband’s three cats driving you insane?

Today’s guest is Dr. Susan Orenstein, and she’s joining us to discuss how couples can come to an agreement on how to manage the pets they already have, and how to compromise on any desire for new furry friends. Susan says you can learn a lot about your partner by how he or she is with your pets or pets in general. For instance, if your partner is allergic to cats, the issue is about the cat. If your partner doesn’t think it’s important to make sure the dog gets a walk, you’re learning how he or she values animals; and if your partner is immune to your pet’s crying/pain, this could tell you how compassionate he or she is in general.

Susan is the Director of Orenstein Solutions in Cary, NC. Susan specializes in adult relationship issues and has worked extensively in treating couples and individuals

To find out more about Susan and her practice, visit their website or call (919) 428-2766 to schedule an appointment.

Is there a way to gain respect from your stepchildren without turning into an evil stepmonster?

We’ve all heard the famous stepmonster horror stories… like that of the workings of Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother. And they don’t turn out well… for the stepmoms, that is. Luckily it doesn’t have to be that way in real life. You, in fact, can have wonderful relationships with your stepchildren without overstepping your boundaries but while also maintaining a level of respect and admiration.

In many situations, couples that are married for the second (or even third) time find themselves bringing children into the mix and wondering how to raise and guide the children when there’s more than two parents involved. Oftentimes there are many unrealistic expectations placed on stepfamilies that can lead to a chaotic family life and destruction of the relationship between husband and wife.

Today’s guest is Claudette Chenevert, author of ¬†31 Days to Better Communication for Stepfamilies.¬†Also known as the Stepmom Coach, Claudette is a Master Certified Stepfamily Foundation Coach helping families and stepmoms gain a better understanding of how to manage stepfamily life.

To find out more about Claudette and her work as the Stepmom Coach, visit her website or call (703) 915-2470 for one-on-one coaching.