Your Family Matters

August 6, 2016

Who remembers real, live, face-to-face communication? All right, it’s a bit dramatic. But the fact is that we have become used to relating to others without the benefit of our senses – sight, hearing and touch – and our relationships could be richer and more fulfilling with them. Today’s tip is ...

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Every so often I find myself looking back, trying to understand where my beliefs and behavior patterns come from.  After all, I am a product of my past, and the people in my past.  Awareness is a good thing, and  what we do with it is even more important.  This is your wake-up call to use the past ...

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Be Switzerland.  What does that mean?  Switzerland is known as being neutral, the country that doesn't take sides in a war or conflict.  It stays neutral and doesn't get involved. When I say 'neutral' I don't mean that you have no feelings about what's going on.  Of course you do.  The trick is ...

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The puzzle starts out in 1,000 tiny pieces, and all you have is a small picture to help you navigate the confusion.  Take a look at the puzzle I finished, and the new one just started. Having kids is like doing the jigsaw puzzle.  You have a picture in your mind of what their life and yours will ...

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"If I only knew then what I know now."  I can't tell you how many times I've heard that from parents (and how many times I said it myself).  We tend to put up with a lot until we just can't stand it anymore, and find our family in a jam, or worse.  We have the best of intentions, but those ...

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Do you want your kids to be able to make friends, influence people and be seen as a leader?  One of the qualities of a respected friend, influencer and leader is the ability to give others credit when it is due. Is this something you are able to do?  Do you model it in your own family or on the ...

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Last night I slept for seven whole hours — that’s seven hours without waking up. It’s pretty darned close to miraculous.  Can you identify?  If you’re like me, most nights include one or more of the following:  a brain that won’t shut down, waking up for a bathroom run, or the constant chatter of ...

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It’s never too late to establish guidelines around technology, but the earlier you do it, the better. Today’s tip covers multiple aspects about introducing younger kids to technology and social media. If your kids are older, the genie is already out of the bottle; however, you can revisit the rules ...

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I love Pharrell Williams’ song “Because I’m Happy”. It’s an upbeat, catchy tune, and you have to love the videos of all those people dancing. But… in real life, there’s way too much emphasis on our kids striving to be happy. It just breaks your heart when they’re sad or disappointed, doesn’t it? ...

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Wouldn’t it be great if every day was a happy day?  Sometimes there’s lots of positive energy out there, and other times, not so much.  How you handle the grumpy people and your own moods is entirely up to you.  Remember, you can’t control anyone else, but you can control how you react and respond.

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Some folks say that routines and predictability are boring. That may be true, but boring can be a good thing. In today’s article, we’re going to explore the benefits of routines for everyone, from toddlers to adults. Resource links are included throughout the article. I’ll reveal a few of my ...

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I retweeted this message from Emily Roberts (therapist and author).  "Parents, ask your kids, 'Would you say that to her face?' When texting, pause before you post." There's a big cyber-world out there, where what should be private becomes dangerously public.  Our children are especially at risk ...

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My husband and I recently spent an evening out with friends. We had a great time, and did a lot of catching up. Then I asked an innocent question about a member of the family and WHAM! We were hit with an outpouring of anger, sadness and loss about that relationship. The point is that you never ...

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I once asked a mom about what her 13-year old son did to help around the house.  “Oh, nothing,” she replied. “All I ask is that he do his schoolwork and get good grades. I take care of the rest.” In a way, this young man was encouraged to believe that he was not an integral member of the family and ...

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There are no secrets to being a ‘good’ parent. There are no truly “new” ideas out there. It’s all about a few basic principles: respect, responsibility, truth, flexibility, resilience, courage. Show it in words and actions so your kids know exactly how it looks and sounds. Those are the building ...

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Anger has the power to derail you and the people around you. Staying in anger keeps you estranged from your creativity and greatest potential.  Who doesn't want to be creative and self-actualized? Knowing how to effectively manage anger is part of Emotional Intelligence, a topic I've been ...

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A parent submitted the following question: How do parents make decisions on older teens through early 20s who want to go away on vacation with friends or their sweethearts? Is it an age-related matter? Is there a fine line? What should parents consider in their decisions? The 18-and-Under ...

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New Year’s Day is not the only time to think about change. Every day brings a fresh start. And, of course, since my focus is parenting and family, my questions for you are, “What could be better in your family, and how will you get the ball rolling?” “When the ball drops at midnight, what do you ...

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When you rescue, fix or overindulge kids, they begin to believe that they cannot do for themselves.  They question their own worth and competence.  They depend more on you, less on themselves.  This is when you begin to label them as lazy, unmotivated and apathetic, with no sense of self or ...

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That got your attention, didn't it? The expression "F-bomb" (you know, the "F" word that we write f*#@ in public) is now an official word in the dictionary.  It reminds me of a client who said how upset she would get when her son "dropped the F-bomb." She'd react in such a strong, negative way ...

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Every so often my computer or iPad has a glitch, or hiccup. My husband's advice is to shut it down and start over again. The computer resets itself and I go on with my work.  (What's really ironic is that this is my second attempt at typing this tip. The first time, a brand new glitch appeared: it ...

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Want kids who can solve problems on their own? Essential questions are the answer. Kids have come to rely heavily on parents and teachers to do their thinking for them.  They have become unwilling, or unable, to go beyond rote learning. In the classroom, lesson plans and curriculum are now ...

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You know when you're lecturing. You can see it on your child's face… or in the eye-rolling… or in the sigh. But you keep going because now they're being disrespectful and you're going to make your point if it's the last thing you do! You've lost this round, in more ways than one. You're ...

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Technology and the amount of time our kids spend in front of screens is astounding. You can’t control what goes on ‘out there’ but you do have a say in how and when the devices are used in your home… especially when you’re paying for them! Join me on October 14 for "Teens and Screens: Putting ...

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You're trying to make a point, or tell your child about a decision you've come to. How many times do you find yourself in a give-and-take that goes nowhere? Kids are experts at deflection. I hear the frustration of parents. I saw it and struggled through it countless times in the classroom. They ...

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"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do."   Dr. Benjamin Spock It's so true. You have an innate wisdom that is 'spot on' most of the time. So why do you have so much aggravation about how to handle raising your kids? Quite simple, really. YOU'RE NOT LISTENING to that inner voice! ...

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Do as  I say, not as I do. As a child, I heard this phrase a number of times from my parents.  At the time I thought it was great advice.  Now I recognize it for what it is — an admission that actions don’t always meet the high standards of the words we speak. A coaching tool I use with ...

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A college student puts all her expenses on her dad's credit card -- all her expenses, in addition to the tuition he paid with it. The card is maxed out, charges are being declined, and his credit score is plummeting. The solution? Now he gets reports from a credit-monitoring service so he can keep ...

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Do you know that praising your child can backfire? You're probably trying to boost his self-esteem, and make him feel better about himself. When you praise the child, however, you are filling him with your own hopes and desires about who you want him to be. He may also feel incapable of living up ...

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One of you may be unable to tolerate the kids’ nonsense and is easily frustrated, while the other is more even-tempered. Or maybe your partner is consistent with discipline and you are the ‘soft touch’.  In a two-parent home, it’s common for each of you to have different strengths, challenges and ...

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