Leonora and Joshua are having disagreements about Leonora returning to work after staying home with their child, Christa, who is now 3 months old.
There is constant rejection and retaliation as Leonora demonstrates anger by yelling at Joshua. Joshua continues expressing his opinions about the cost and care of day care centers and wants Leonora to wait until Christa is 5 years old and starts kindergarten. Leonora feels that if she is out of the workplace for 5 years it will be extremely difficult for her to re-enter and will have to start her career from the beginning and move backwards with salary and benefits. They both feel stress because of the economic
pressures as well as freedom to continue the lifestyle that they were accustomed to before Christa arrived.
Tension and conflict continue and this problem is unresolved. Your assignment is to work through this conflict in positive ways by using the Ten Guidelines. Under each of the 10 guidelines you must outline what both Leonora and Joshua needs to say or do to work through this problem.
Guideline 1: Express Anger Directly and with Kindness
Guideline 2: Check Out Your Interpretation of Others' Behaviors
Guideline 3: To Avoid Attacks, Use "I" Statements
Guideline 4: Avoid Mixed, or Double Messages
Guideline 5: When You Can, Choose the Time and Place Carefully
Guideline 6: Address a Specific Issue, Ask for a Specific Change, and Be Open to Compromise
Guideline 7: Be Willing to Change Yourself
Guideline 8: Don't Try to Win
Guideline 9: Be Willing to Forgive
Guideline 10: End the Argument
Joshua I know you want to go back to work, but our daughter, Christa, is
only 3 months old and needs you. I’ m not against you returning to work, I just think you should wait until Christa is in school, say kindergarten? Then she will be a little more settled in a learning environment and kind of in the groove both of us working while she is in school.
Leonora You want me to wait 5 years? Don’t you realize I won’t have a job at my present workplace? My employer won’t hold a job opening for me, let alone my position. I will lose everything, including benefits. Then how long do you think it will take me to get a job? Re-entering into the work force is problematic. It is very difficult for a woman after childbirth.
You are just not getting it, are you? Christa would start preschool at 3 years old and kindergarten at 5 years of age. Do you honestly believe that waiting 3 years instead of years is going to make a difference in everything I just said or did you even listen to what I said? Or are you just set in your ways for you to be the breadwinner and me to be the psychological parent? That is the “stay at home mom psychological parent? What about our finances? Have you even considered the loss of income if I don’t go back to work? You know you have not received an increase for a couple of years and we have depended on my income for many of the financial issues we have had to deal with!
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