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How to React to Porcupine People in Your Life

In the wild, prodding a porcupine with a stick or by yelling doesn’t work very well…it just makes the porcupine more angry. You risk being on the receiving end of some sharp, painful quills. It’s the same way in our relationships. If you prod a porcupine spouse, teen, or in-law, with your words, things usually don’t go to well. Saying things like “What’s your problem?” just makes them even more mad.  There are...
Sep 17, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

7 Common Trigger Points That Make People Prickly

Porcupines have trigger points that cause the sharp quills on its back to raise up. When it’s threatened or irritated, it can get really mean and shoot those quills into someone or something and cause a lot of pain. Well, I’ve got certain trigger points that cause me to get cranky and prickly. One of mine is unmet expectations. When I have crazy high expectations for others, and those expectations are not met, I...
Aug 17, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

6 Short Sentences Your Child Needs to Hear You Say

There are some short sentences that every child needs to hear, on a regular basis, from their dad.  These sentences can make or break their sense of identity, belonging, security and value. For example, tell your child “I'm here for you.” Being available to your child is incredibly important. And it’s more than just permission to come to you when times are tough…it’s an invitation with a welcome mat.  It tells...
Aug 15, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

5 Reasons Why Home is the Hardest Place to Lead

It’s tough to lead at the office. You have constant HR headaches, cash flow issues, and operational problems, just to name a few. But it’s a lot tougher to lead at home.  Why? First, you can’t fire your children. You’re a parent forever, no matter what your children say or do. Second, there is no paid or unpaid time off. You are always on the job, 24/7, doing their laundry, helping with homework, carpooling them...
Aug 10, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

6 Relationship Truths About Family

When it comes to relationships, communication can be emotional.  So it needs to be handled carefully. There are some basic truths that Susan and I try to keep in mind when we’re trying to sort through relational issues.  First, remember that we’re all made for relationships.  Maybe this is obvious, but we sometimes forget that life is not just all about “me.”  When we get stuck on ourselves, we lose perspective on...
Aug 07, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

Confession: I Am a Porcupine

I confess; I’m a porcupine…at least sometimes. The average porcupine has about 30,000 sharp quills that it raises up and shoots into another animal, or person, when it feels threatened or gets angry. Like a porcupine, when one of my trigger points is pulled, I can get pretty prickly, ornery and downright cranky.  One of those trigger points is unmet expectations. When I build up crazy high expectations for myself...
Aug 02, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

Huddle Up Questions

In a sports game, you huddle up to reconnect and get back on the same page as your team mates.  In the same way, huddling up with your kids is a great way to escape the busyness of life and reconnect with them.  So huddle up with your kids tonight and use our list of 10 Huddle Up Questions.  Try asking, “What was one of your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from it?” or “What is the most important thing I...
Jun 07, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

FAMILY FIRST PROGRAMS

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The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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