In between his sweatin’ and grunting, a colleague at The Gym was telling me about the problems he was having at home recently, with his family. It started with the fact that things weren’t going all that great with his wife, and then it went downhill from there. Their communication had eroded to the point of practical non-existence. “And now,” Jon said with a breathy sigh in between sets, “our kids are acting just like we are. And it’s not good.”

With my encouragement, Jon pressed on about how the break he felt in his heart every time he thought about his two kids was getting bigger. Tim and Susie, ages twelve and fifteen, were getting caught up in all the adult negativity at home. They hardly spoke to each other, nor their parents for that matter, and when they did, it was usually as if it came out of their parents’ mouths: harsh words filled with sarcasm and resentment. To make matters worse, the tension the family and children were experiencing at home had now spilled over to school. Tim and Susie’s grades were declining in rapid fashion and they both had been guilty of acting out on numerous occasions in and out of class. When I pressed Jon about how he was reacting to all his newfound family adversity, he replied simply, “Not very well.”

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