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The Big Ones

We all have times when everything seems to go wrong in our families. We're under the gun at work, which is the worst possible time for things to be going wrong at home—but you know they are. Your spouse is on edge from layoffs at his or her corporation, and the kids, seeming to pick up on the tension, have become miniature monsters. You barely recognize them for their fangs! They are acting up at school and your teen has decided to press that issue of the belly button piercing. In addition, your paycheck is just barely covering your living expenses, you're not saving enough for college, and now your son wants to join a travel hockey team, meaning a big outlay of dollars. But in reality, in modern life, this is a pretty common scenario. Add into the mix 150 emails a day, your cell phone ringing at all hours, and a little technological stress.

But there are also “big issues.” We can joke and be playful with some of the scenarios we've outlined—mostly because we ourselves have been victims of them. In our last book we shared about little ones covering the dog in Post-its, or the time Kathy's kids stripped naked and danced on the front lawn while she was trying to do a live radio interview. But there are some issues we just can't joke about and these are the ones that can throw you for such a loop you're left gasping—a teen experimenting with drugs, a child withdrawing into a deep depression, or a mother-in-law who drinks enough to be unsafe around the children. There's no parenting manual for some of these big issues, and in truth, if you are facing a crisis of very large proportions, you may find that it's time to consult a therapist.


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