Archives for April, 2011


Severe Weather Is Afoot – Take Care Of Your Family’s Mental Health

As a resident in aptly named "Tornado Alley," I've been through a few tornadoes and plenty of severe thunderstorms (even a few blizzards and harrowing ice storms).  But the tornadic destruction in the South just takes my breath away.  The death and destruction is hard to take in, even when I'm a thousand miles away.

Tornadoes Pack Terror and Surprise In One Package

People experience severe weather all year round, and each kind can be dangerous and frightening in its own way.  As a person with some experience, I'll say that tornadoes have terror and surprise wrapped up all in one package.  You can't get much notice that the destruction is on it's way.  And when you do, you can't stop it from rolling through.
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Setting Financial Boundaries With Your Children

As a parent, you want to help your kids.  You also need to plan ahead for your own financial needs.  You'll find some great advice in this financial article I found on Yahoo news.  But here's the thought I had running through my mind the entire time I read it - the title of this article is really missing something.

Protect Your Money From Your Children

What?!  That's what I thought when I first read the title.  It conjures up an image of your children stealing and sneaking your money behind your back.  But that's not the real story here.

The title makes it seem like the children are largely at fault for wanting their parents' money.  Yes, it may be selfish and fairly childish (even for an adult child).  However, the only way they will get the money is if the parents willingly hand it over or allow their kids direct access to their accounts.
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Relationship Rituals Strengthen Family Ties

The little family routines in your day may seem predictable and mundane.  But these rituals are the glue that keeps your lives connected.  Ever wonder why it seems more difficult to really "catch up" with someone you haven't seen very often?  You're missing the tiny connective details that make your experience richer and more familiar.

Little Relationship Rituals Make The Difference

Pick up your kids from school and you'll probably ask how their day went.  Meet your spouse at home near dinner time and you'll probably give a little report on how things went.  Email a relative every few days and you'll share and receive news about the week.  Have lunch with a friend every week and you'll visit while enjoying your favorite foods.

Maybe your life isn't the stuff of adventure novels, but your connecting rituals keep you and your loved ones close.  You share the unique context of your life over time, letting friends and family know you better.  Since they care about you, it all matters.  You build familiarity and fond memories.  You make that little snippet of time together something they can count on.
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In the News

Breastfeeding Stigma Still Lingers

I always thought I would breastfeed my children, even long before they were born.  It turns out I had a few unexpected challenges, but nothing that stopped me from doing the best I could.

I thought I had seen trends of improved acceptance for what I was doing.  My coworkers seemed OK with it.  I saw some articles in the newspaper about moms being proud about their breastfeeding.  So many friends of mine and moms in my family were breast feeders as well.

Because of this experience, I'm somewhat perplexed as to how this could have happened.  Perhaps the people I know are biased in the other direction, shielding me from the other end of the spectrum.  Maybe things have swung back since my breastfeeding days and I wasn't aware of the change.  Maybe I'm the one who's out of touch and overestimating its acceptance in our society.  I'm not sure, but I'm really disappointed to hear what a recent report had to say.
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Essential Stress Management Plan For Parents

This may sound like a broken record that I've played many times before, but stress management for parents is something I feel compelled to proclaim.  Testy teenagers, parental disagreements, sibling squabbles, and tearful toddlers are just some of the challenges you may face as a parent.  It's easy to think you'll just "handle things" when they come up, but let's be honest.  You aren't Superdad or Wondermom.

Come on, it's time for you to get a stress management plan.
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We’re All Still Growing Up

A couple of nights ago, one of my daughters asked me a question about the trouble she'd had with her sisters that day.  She said quietly, "Mommy, why do we fight so much?"  Just another day in the life of a kid with a sibling (or two).

What Does Growing Up Really Mean?

I talked to her about what growing up meant.  Generally, I said it was about seeing the bigger picture and understanding what other people need.  It was about doing the right thing for yourself and others.

The more I talked about growing up, I realized that was a tall order for adults, too.  Sure, we adults have had more practice at cooperation and problem solving.  But are we really getting it right?  Just take a look at the daily selection of reality TV shows and gossip magazines and you'll have your answer.
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