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47 on the Algebra Test

I was privileged to work in a hospital setting getting the experience of all kinds of psychological matters.

I facilitated multifamily groups of adolescents, children, and their parents. These children and adolescents were there for issues of behavior, drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, or other circumstances that cause life and families to be out of balance.

Many wonderful things happen in multifamily groups that do not happen in regular family groups.

In multifamily groups, the observers in the family can see the things that cause other people’s pain points and problems.

This observation allows them to identify their own blind spots because they can see things that other people are doing that they cannot see in themselves or in their own families.

About six adolescents and their families were present on a Saturday morning, and during this time, the adolescents kept the families informed.

After the group began, a father who had arrived late interrupted by asking his son how he did on his algebra test.

The boy replied, “47.”

Immediately, the dad almost left his chair and began to berate the boy about not studying, not being engaged, failing in life, not having his priorities straight, and on and on and on. [BLIND SPOT]

I noticed the boy wanted to say something but did not.

I asked the young man what he had to say.

Initially, he refused to reveal anything, but later stated, "I just wanted to tell my dad that 47 was the highest grade in the class."

A hush fell on the group.

The father sat back, his chin on his chest, and said nothing else.

Sometimes it is easy to overreact or fly off the handle.
Sometimes we don’t listen well.
Sometimes our intention of being a great parent gets overridden by our emotions.

This dad is not a bad dad. He genuinely wants his son to succeed, but he was unaware of how much he was impeding his son's success.

This kind of sustained parental behavior is a good example of how a child or an adolescent’s spirit gets broken. This creates the opportunity for the son to feel worthless and go through life with that miserable feeling of I don't matter, I’m not enough, I could never please dad, boss, spouse, or myself.

Family relationships are greatly impacted by times of conflict, anxiety, or chaos.

To build a better family, we must include the emotional effects that permeate all social systems.

We must also be aware of the emotions of others and deal with them appropriately. Failure to do so may cause the feeling of being controlled by others or create an opportunity for conflict.

An emotionally mature family is not a collection of emotionally mature family members.

Read that again.

Just because you have emotionally mature individuals does not ensure an emotionally mature family.

Every family experiences some level of underlying conflict and chronic anxiety, and if these issues aren't resolved, the family weakens and deteriorates.

Families are intricate social systems that require self-control, especially on the part of the parents. All family members must exercise self-control in order for their families to be healthy and emotionally mature.

A healthier family is the result of emotionally mature decision-making, increased creativity, original thinking, and higher morale. It promotes participation, cooperation, and collaboration and encourages each member to realize his or her full potential.

Best of all, it builds trust.

Keep looking for the blind spots and building a better you.

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Blind Spots in Relationships

What I don't know I don't know about myself

44 views2 comments


I know why I need to read your blogs every day, this touched a nerve.

Thanks, keep them coming.


S. Carol Majors
S. Carol Majors
Aug 19, 2022

Always wise counsel to open those blind spots. Thanks for sharing to help us be better.

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