In 2017, we featured writers who offered deep insights into marriages, relationships, and parenting experiences. Their contributions included advice from clinicians, interviews with psychologists, and stories from spouses, couples, and parents about the day-to-day challenges and successes of their own relationships. We also opened submissions so that our readers can directly contribute, and we’ve received a number of inspiring stories from you.

We’re proud to feature the 10 most read articles on The Gottman Relationship Blog for 2017.

10. 10 Habits to Shape a Kind, Well-Adjusted Child by Rebecca Eanes
Many times, I see parents who are intently focused on discipline, and I’m talking about the traditional use of the word here with regard to modifying behavior. Sometimes we get very caught up in “What do I do when…” or “How do I get my kid to…” and we lose sight of the bigger picture. The truth is that there are many things that are more important in shaping our children than the methods and techniques we use to modify their behavior.

9. The Grass is Greener Where You Water It by Kyle Benson
Couples that trust each other understand that a good marriage doesn’t just happen on its own. It needs to be cultivated. They understand that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. As Neil Barringham says, “The grass is greener where you water it.”

8. 3 Daily Rituals That Stop Spouses from Taking Each Other for Granted by Verily Magazine
Couples with marriages rich in habits, rituals, and traditions will be better suited to avoid the trap of taking each other for granted and will keep the positive side of the relationship nurtured over time.

7. 10 Things to Try Before Giving Up on Your Marriage by Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW
The good news is that if you are willing to put effort into rescuing your marriage, there are things you can do that can give you a fresh start. Breaking the cycle of an unhappy relationship dynamic requires a radical shift in mindset.

6. How to Avoid the Pursuer-Distancer Pattern in Your Relationship by Steve Horsmon
Pursuers are known for being outcome dependent and have a hard time making changes without expectations. Distancers are known for being stubborn and have difficulty making the first move when under pressure. When one partner makes a commitment to change their approach and their responses, on a consistent basis, their relationship will change.

5. I’m Raising Girls Who Are “Includers” Instead of “Mean Girls” by Lisa McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, RYT
This is how we heal the “mean girls” culture: we hold, we include, we love, we empower, and we regard our girls. And we model this in how we treat other women.

4. How to Listen Without Getting Defensive by Kyle Benson
Long-lasting love requires courage. The courage to be vulnerable and to listen non-defensively, even in the heat of conflict. Especially when we are hurt and angry.

3. How to Strengthen Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence by Meghan Owenz for Parent Co.
Because emotional intelligence appears to be such a strong predictor of success, researchers have looked at how caregivers can encourage its development. Specifically, Dr. John Gottman observed how parents respond to their children’s emotions in an effort to understand how emotional intelligence develops.

2. How a Parent’s Affection Shapes a Child’s Happiness for Life by Sandi Schwartz for Parent Co.
According to Child Trends – the leading nonprofit research organization in the United States focused on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families – science supports the idea that warmth and affection expressed by parents to their children results in life-long positive outcomes for those children.

1. 10 Insights of Remarkable Parents from a Family Therapist by Angela Pruess for Parent Co.
These insights, collected over time and gleaned from experience, parallel what we know from current brain and behavioral research about what kind of parenting is most likely to contribute to the healthy development of children.

We look forward to sharing more inspiring stories and useful, effective advice with you in 2018. Please let us know which topics you’d like us to write about here, and if you are interested in submitting to The Gottman Relationship Blog, you can do so here.


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The Best Gottman Relationship Blog Articles of 2017

Christopher Dollard is the Editor-in-Chief of The Gottman Relationship Blog. A graduate of the Syracuse University MFA program in Creative Writing, he is a former professor of literature and writing and an accomplished poet and essayist. Check out more of his work at christopherdollard.com.