I’m enjoying the heck out of this lovely August and I’m hoping you are all grabbing the very last minute of this lovely laid-back time before the frantic pace of life starts up again, with the start of another school year.

It feels right to take a look at a pet topic of mine, one that comes up in my practice so frequently that I ought to give out copies of Taylor Swift’s song “Mean.”

Kindness is the bandwagon I’m going to ride today. It occurred to me that if children saw their parents being really consistently kind to each other, there could be a lot less bullying that went on in the schoolyard. Parents squabbling and “sticking it” to each other become the perfect role models for a kid going into school full of bile and vitriol to “stick it” to their prey. So as your children prepare to reenter their new year, perhaps a little reminder of what a kind and considerate relationship looks, not one in which Valentine’s Day is the only excuse to show yearly affection, will be helpful.

Women frequently complain that their partners only provide affectionate touch when they want some, but I’ve seen remarkable healing from simple hugs, an affectionate pat on the bum, a kiss on the cheek, an arm over the shoulder … ”Yeah right,” I can hear you say, looking daggers at me.

“When things don’t work well in the living room, they don’t work well in the bedroom either.”

—Masters & Johnson

So, how can you get started when you are in opposite corners, or have avoided kindness and comfortable touch for a while (for some, a long while) – you know who you are!

I’ve heard clients say, “I’m shocked how easy it is to change a horrible atmosphere at home into happiness and peace.”

Whoever is reading this article has to take the initiative and simply share it with your partner. It’s a conversation starter, and if you who are reading this sit still for one minute and recognize that the reason that this resonates with you is because of some recent unkind altercation — of which you were 50 percent — then you will instinctively know what’s coming next. You have to ‘fess up! I would suggest you say to your partner, “I’ve read this article and it’s made me aware of how mean I was to you … ” “What’s in it for me?” is the most human response to this advice. The answer is, peace in the living room, and you’ll be astonished at how quickly that translates to rumpy pumpy in the bedroom … trust me, I’m a doctor.

“Live in Joy, Live With Passion,” Dr. Fran