metr >> family counseling
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the future of awesome'
ho does the chores in
Instead, it is the responsible person
your family? Many fac-
who often ends up taking on a heavier
tors determine how chores
load. Over time, tolerance diminishes
are divvied up. An individual's special
as frustration increases. Quarrels with
ability or preferences may play a role.
the shirker and/or parents can lead to
Some families use a wheel to
resentment and refusal to do
distribute the work load equi-
the extra work. The poor per-
tably. Others assign one job to
former can become isolated
the same person in order to
from others who retaliate by
increase competence and reli-
refusing to help with home-
ability. Parents impose sched-
work, give rides or share per-
ules and rules to improve the
likelihood that everyone will
Even when chores get done
do his or her part and all tasks
they can create problems in
will get done in a timely man-
a family. Parents who give
special commendation can
Ideally, all members make
create competition for atten-
the family's needs a priority.
tion; others may gripe when
PhD, L MSW
Conflicts arise when one per-
not adequately recognized.
If little or no credit is given,
son impedes those priorities.
Moreover, when parents allow their chil-
some will decide that there is no benefit
dren to abandon their household duties,
in doing the job at all.
they substantiate the child's self- impor-
The overarching goal is to recognize
tance, which over time can poison family
all who contribute to a task, emphasizing
how important is it for family members to
Whenever a person shirks his or
work together as a unit.
her duty, tensions increase and ami-
Acknowledging the effort, rather than
cable family management is disrupted.
the person, lets younger siblings feel that
Someone else must step in to do the job.
they contribute also, even if just a little.
When others have to pick up the slack,
Older children gain a sense of accom-
arguments occur. Children will even
plishment. This can produce greater
demand that parents punish the non-
rewards when they exceed expectations.
To instill a sense of affinity, parents
Resistance to doing work has many
can encourage family members to work
reasons: Some may do a job so poorly
together, even in teams. Sharing tasks
that no one will ask again, therefore
gets them done more efficiently and
avoiding the expectations that come with
reduces task-dodging. When working
responsibilities. The offender will be chal- together in a coordinated way, older
lenged about a sloppy or incomplete job.
ones can teach skills and pass on experi-
A common retort is that the chore was
ence to younger ones. In addition, work-
done without accepting culpability for
ing together provides time to interact,
poor quality. Someone else gives in and
something that often is missing in our
redoes the job, reinforcing how deficient
effort can eventually pay off.
Lastly, it is imperative to say "thank
Another different strategy to avoid
you" for any energy expended, even for
work is to delay the task until it is no
everyday tasks such as clearing the table
longer feasible. For example, someone
or taking out garbage. Some people feel
will decide to empty the dishwasher
it's unnecessary; family members should
just as dinner is being prepared or start
contribute willingly to the overall good.
vacuuming late at night when others
Acknowledging the contribution of oth-
are studying, watching TV or sleeping.
ers creates an atmosphere of apprecia-
While appearing willing to do the job,
tion that can permeate all facets of fam-
it is only done on one's own timeframe.
Blaming others for demanding timeli-
Dr. Daniel Rosenbaum is a clinical social
ness and consideration effectively
worker at Counseling Associates Inc. in West
achieves the goal of never having to do
Bloomfield, where he counsels children,
teens and adults experiencing family or
The person who accommodates the
personal psychological problems.
family's goals should be rewarded.
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24 September 12 • 2013
Confab Sept. 21
enetic testing can help
determine a person's risk
for developing certain
cancers. Identifying cancer genes,
the presence of BRCA 1 and 2 muta-
tions, is the first
step. This test-
ing allows the
For patients and families at risk
for hereditary breast and ovarian
cancer due to BRCA mutations,
which includes Ashkenazi Jews,
the information gained from
genetic testing not only provides
answers, but also raises questions.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, Beaumont
Health System is hosting a day-long
conference for patients and families
seeking information and support.
"This is the only symposium of
its kind in Michigan that combines
education and support for those
with BRCA genetic mutations,"
explains Dana Zakalik, M.D., cor-
porate director, Cancer Genetics
Program, Beaumont Health System.
"We're connecting, reaching out, to
the BRCA community statewide"
The conference will address
• Cancer genetics overview
• Updates in cancer risk manage-
• Targeted treatment
• Breast reconstruction
• Sexual wellness
Lisa Schlager, vice president
of community affairs and public
policy, Facing Our Risk of Cancer
Empowered, also known as FORCE,
will be the keynote speaker.
The symposium will take place
from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Beaumont
Hospital in Royal Oak in classrooms
Al and A2 on the main level of the
Administration Building, 3711 W. 13
Beaumont Health System's Cancer
Genetics Program provides patients
with the most up-to-date informa-
tion about hereditary cancer risks
and guidelines for cancer screen-
ings and treatments. The multidis-
ciplinary team includes certified
genetic counselors, oncologists and
While there are no fees to attend
the symposium, registration is
required. To register, call (800) 633-
7377 or go online to www.classes.
beaumont.edu and search for
BRCA. Lunch will be provided.