When I am trying to make sure the turkey doesn't dry out or the potato casserole doesn't burn, the last thing I want to hear is my daughters arguing about a ten-year-old slight or difference. Whether you are the host or a guest, family holidays resurrect memories and emotions—both happy and troublesome. The added stress that comes with the holidays increases most everyone's sensitivity. Your daughter announces she is spending the holiday with her in-laws; your brother claims the distance is too great to spend the holiday at your house. Divorced parents? With which one do you celebrate? Even if you worked out these details years ago, another issue will crop up to raise your hackles and test your mettle. Holidays touch a nerve and in the process your expectations can get squashed or dented. Preemptive "Strikes" Tip Sheet Preemptive "strikes" help you readjust, handle the unexpected, and avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings so you can have the best holiday you can possibly … [Read more...] about 8 Ways to Create Conflict-free, Fun Holiday Get-togethers
Celebrity family feud
Source: Karlyn Crowley Toy aisles divided into blue and pink are increasingly a relic. But as I watch kids in free play at houses, schools, playgrounds, the world seems forever gender divided. When I pick my daughter up from her after school program where kids get “free choice”--go outside on the playground or stay inside and make a craft--there’s not a boy in in the craft area and not a girl on the playground. At daycare, the morning begins with open play which really means girls doing art while boys stack towers. The everyday work of play remains gender segregated. With the holidays--however you celebrate--families and friends have an opportunity to help kids break out of limiting gender norms by choosing gifts that open worlds rather than reinforce patterns. Kids feel empowered when they’re whole. Kids not only learn skills playing across a gender “divide” but also make cross-gender friends which is essential to developing life skills and … [Read more...] about Last Minute Holiday Toys that Break the Gender Box
Source: ClkerFreeVectorImages/Pixabay We all know that the most cherished holiday memories and times family members look forward to year after year center around things we do together and especially with and for our children. Researchers at Cornell University found that experiences make people happier than possessions, both when looking forward to an experience and in reflecting back on it later. However, it is way too easy to get pulled into advertising hype and pressure from our children to buy them the season’s “hot,” must-have tech device or toy. Here are some effective suggestions to steer children away from “I have to have it” and toward meaningful, less stressful holiday celebrations for you and them: 1. Make wish lists together When you ask your children to tell you what they’d like this year, strive to make the process interactive. Don’t simply have them write down all of their wildest dreams and extravagant wishes, which can … [Read more...] about 7 Ways to Add Sanity in Gift-giving to Children
Did you stand in line on Black Friday to find bargains for those on your gift list? Still feeling the frenzied rush to get everything done? Most of us experience some pressure to locate the right thing at the right price, especially for our children. We are supposed to be happy and joyous, but the demands of the holidays can quickly sap energy and enthusiasm. Racing around with tired, cranky children, and attempting to please too many people in our lives within the same compressed period can be nothing short of overwhelming. As a parent, you will most likely identify with these parenting mistakes. I know I made most of them at different points in my children’s lives. Here are 5 easily made holiday parenting errors—and how to avoid them: 1. Giving into “I Have to Have it” Pleas Even with half of Americans dreading holiday shopping according to the Pew Research Center, some parents feel that holidays are a time for indulgence. After all, the idea of making … [Read more...] about Which Holiday Parenting Mistakes Will You Make?
Source: Wikimedia Commons It was surprising to read the title of the New York Post article "Brad Pitt and the New Alcoholism." This article claims that high-functioning alcoholics are just now starting to be recognized and reach out for help. However, in 2007 the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse released a landmark study that categorized alcoholics into five subtypes—one of which includes "Functional." The topic of high-functioning alcoholics (HFAs) has also been in the media quite often since. My book "Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic" was published in 2009 and since then I have had the honor of being featured in newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio shows by writing and speaking about this very topic. My mission has been to increase awareness about this "subtype" of alcoholic—and at this point, it is NOT "new." There have also been dozens of other articles around the country and world also written about about … [Read more...] about Why Brad Pitt’s Alcoholism Is NOT New