10 Ways To Nurture Your Relationships

FamilyDoesn’t it feel good when someone you love rubs your shoulders or surprises you with a warm bath? Hopefully you know this feeling of being cared for and loved. It’s often the little things that make a big difference in our relationships.

I am definitely referring to romantic relationships, but also relationships with our kids can be included here too. In a continuing education seminar I attended a while back, the presenters shared some of their techniques for improving and reparing relationships between caregivers (parents, grandparents, foster parents, etc.) and children. One of the ways they did this was to have the child and their guardian display acts of nurturing. These acts included rubbing lotion on each other’s arms and feeding crackers to each other. So simple, yet so effective.

  1. Rub, scratch, or pat their back.
  2. Prepare a favorite meal and/or dessert.
  3. Communicate how you feel. Tell your loved one how much you love them.
  4. Draw a warm bath. Throw in some bubbles, relaxing scents, or candles too.
  5. Smother in kisses and give great big bear hugs.
  6. Buy them something special. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but make it a meaningful gift.
  7. Be playful. Life if full of stress and tension. Making a funny face, bumping their hip with yours, or playing a silly joke can remind each other of life’s joys.
  8. Show interest in their day. Ask questions about their day. Show interest in what they have to say.
  9. Stroke their head or play with their hair. Who doesn’t feel special when your head is rubbed or hair is played with.
  10. Make physical contact when you walk by, such as rubbing their shoulders or touching their back.

Try these acts of nurturing as often as possible with your loved ones and notice how they help strengthen your relationship. Feel free to share your experience and ideas as well!

For more information on my clinical practice, please visit www.kimscounseling.com. 🙂

Kingwood Counseling and Play Therapy

Two Happy Homes: A Great Resource for Divorced and Single Parents

Two Happy Homes (www.twohappyhomes.com) is a wonderful website for divorced and single parents. I was recently introduced to this site when I was asked to write an article on a related topic.

familyYou can view my article, titled When Your Ex Bad-Mouths You In Front of Your Kids, in the Co-parenting Community section. Please let me know what you think!

This website features a number of resources for co-parents, including expert advice, a forum for fellow parents to stay connected and support one another, and help with organizing your busy lives. I’m honored to be a part of this community as part of the expert advice section and look forward to writing more on this topic!

If you have an idea related to divorce, single parenting, co-parenting, etc. that I can write on for this site, please let me know!

Own Your Feelings With “I” Statements

background freedigitalphotos.netThis morning I was loading my toddler into the car and he was crying over not getting his way (shocking, right?). I caught myself after saying “You make mommy feel sad when you cry like that.

Can you figure out why I didn’t like how I said that?

What’s wrong with this statement?

I believe words can be very powerful, especially when we use them on a regular basis. When I told my son that he MAKES ME FEEL sad, I am implying he has some sort of control over my feelings. In a way, it’s placing blame on him for his mom’s feelings. Bad news!

What should I have said?

Benefits of Using I-Statements in Communication

  • Practicing and Teaching Boundaries: Healthy boundaries means that I own my own thoughts and feelings. Other people do not control my thoughts and feelings and I don’t control the thoughts and feelings of others. This is an important and valuable lesson for my kids, as welll as maintaining my own psychological health. Boundaries are so important I am working on a blog post devoted to this very topic.
  • Improves communication and conflict resolution: Using I-statements keeps the person you are communicating with from being on the defense. You will be better able to resolve conflict using I-statements, rather than stating “you did this” and “you did that!”
  • Great for all ages and communication levels. You can use this communication technique with anyone and any age. The example I gave above involved communication with my toddler and you can’t get any more basic that that!
How To Use I-Statements:

Start by identifying your feelings- mad, sad, frustrated, etc.

I feel …

State the reason you feel this way or what happened that led you to those feelings.

When …

Try to identify the reason you the person’s actions led to those feelings for you.


Let the person know what you want instead.

I would like…


Your spouse snaps at you during dinner and it really hurt your feelings. Here’s an I-statement to use with this scenario:

I feel hurt

When you snap at me like that

Because I worked hard to cook this nice dinner for us.

I would like you to use nicer words and tone with me, and to know if something happened today that has led you to be in a bad mood.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like anything else, the more you practice I-statements, the better you will become at this very effective communication tool. Use this technique with your friends, family, spouse, and kids. You can also make learning fun with a game!

Use your I’s is one of my favorite therapeutic games. I play this with my younger clients and families and I also recommend this game for parents to play with their kids. You can buy it online at Childtherapytoys.com. The players draw from a stack of cards with various scenarious that challenges the player to identify how they would feel in that scenario and turn it into an I statement. It is a great tool for teaching 1. Feeling identification, 2. Turning these feelings goointo an I statement, and 3. Role playing to practice the communication tool.

More good references on this subject:




So, go out and use your I’s today! 🙂

You May Also Like:

Simple and Effective Tips For Meeting Your Goals

Using Signs To Teach Your Toddler About Feelings

Determining Natural Consequences for Inappropriate/Unwanted Behaviors

Friday Wrap Up 8-24-12: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

1. 10 IPad Apps for Counselors is featured on JYJ Counselor. Here are a few of my favorites she mentions:

Puppet Pals HD (free but there’s a paid $2.99 version): My students LOVE this app, another story creation app where students can take pictures of themselves from the iPad camera roll and insert themselves into a story.  There was so much interest from the students in this app that I purchased the $2.99 version.  It was well worth it.

Breathe2Relax (free): Neat calm app that helps students inhale and exhale with their breathing to relax or calm down.

You can handle them all ($1.99):  Great tips on how to handle children’s inappropriate behaviors.  This app is so popular/helpful that all the school psychologists in my district have iPads and this app is on each one!

2. Ten Secrets of Happy Couples.
Don’t we all want to know the secrets to a happy relationship? This article by Red Box goes into more detail for each secret, but here is the summary to give you a peak:

  1. The celebrate a unique anniversary. Other than the wedding anniversary, they celebrate private moments, such as the date of a first kiss or the first time they met.
  2. They stash pleasure money. This is spent for a vacation, date night, or anything else the couple can enjoy together.
  3. When the going gets tough, they don’t call mom or dad. They talk about how to handle the problem together before reaching out for others to intervene.
  4. They don’t nickel-and-dime about chores (less nagging). These couples don’t keep a score card.
  5. They never loose their sense of humor.
  6. They get busy, period. Regular intimacy is important for the relationship.
  7. They never withhold nooky as a punishment.
  8. They use terms of endearment.
  9. They are grateful for the ordinary. These couples didn’t take one another for granted and noticed the every day things that were special.
  10. They take at least 10 minutes out of their day for one another without distractions.

3. Small Straws in a Soft Wind, by Marsha Burns is a beautiful reminder of staying present in our lives and Living in the Moment, which I wrote about a couple months ago.

“Many of you, My people, will be seduced into going back in time to relive the past on some level. But, be aware that when you do that you will be opening the door to entertain old places of rejection, failure, and disappointment. This is not good for you and will hinder your walk in the Spirit. What you must do is stay present with Me, and what I am doing in, around and through you right now. You can do nothing about the past, but you can be strengthened and encouraged in the present, says the Lord.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

4. Pet Therapy. I am an animal lover and this picture is such a sweet reminder of the power of a pet’s love and devotion in our lives. Pets are actually used in all kinds of therapy and you can read more about that here.

5. Too Funny!

3.. 2.. 1..


Friday Wrap Up 8/17/12

Friday Wrap Up 8/10/12

Friday Wrap UP 8/03/12

Friday Wrap Up 7/27/12

Friday Wrap Up 8-17-12: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

1. Psychoanalyzing Batman. I love superhero movies. To me, they are more than a hero flying around saving people. There is always a story behind the superhero and how they transformed to a stronger, more powerful self. This post on Psychcentral.com is a good psychoanalysis of Batman. Good read. Here’s a clip:

Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne, lives through the trauma of watching his parents murdered in front of his eyes as a young boy. In order to find some kind of retribution, he becomes a superhero who tries to save his city, Gotham, from crime.

And not just that – he also picks a disguise that is reminiscent of what was once his greatest fear: the fear of bats.

As a kid he found himself trapped in a well, surrounded by fluttering bloodsuckers who seem to want to attack him. But as a young man, he wasn’t going to continue giving in to that fear. He wanted to overcome it.

So (after a long and hard training period somewhere in a faraway Asian country) he exposed himself voluntarily to a swarm of screeching bats, standing still in the midst of the tornado, until he had overcome his fear. And thus, the legend was born.

But Bruce Wayne doesn’t just attempt to move past what used to haunt him by looking straight at it. He transcends it into his greatest strength, and embodies what once was the source of a severe phobia.

2. Dads Pass “Trust” Hormone to Kids

Interesting article that suggests giving a parent oxytocinis can help improve a child’s emotional or social growth. I look forward to seeing more research in this area.

Often called the “love hormone” or “trust hormone,” oxytocinis a chemical that helps parents and children bond to one another and works on children’s emotional development.

A recent study has found that giving fathers oxytocin not only increases their bond with their child but also increases the amount of oxytocin found in their children.

The finding means that some children’s conditions related to social or emotional growth might be able to be addressed by giving a parentoxytocin without having to give any medications to the child.

3. Reframing!

4. Cute ideas for new family traditions here by Elaine Ng Friis. Here are some of my favorites!

Meal Under the Table
Once a month or so, have meal or snack under the table and bond with your child.

Family Devotion Time
Once a week, worship God, pray and read the Bible together as a family.

Family Night
Once every two weeks, let the children drag their mattresses to your bedroom floor and sleep together with you.

Super Family Night
Once a month, drag all your mattresses downstairs and sleep in the living room floor altogether with your children. (There’s no good reason why as we all have our beds other than it’s great fun.) Switch off the lights and light candles (you can use the fake candles for safety). The candle lights somehow helps to create a cozy conducive environment for family-togetherness. You can spend the evening talking about old family memories, or future aspirations.

Spring Cleaning
Once a year, do spring cleaning of the home together as a family. Let the children put on swim suits and slide on the wet floor while you are mopping the floor.

5. Feelings Darts

I always like finding unique activities to use with kids in therapy. This post on the Play and Child Therapy Blog is a fun one!

With families, each family member gets a Dart Gun, or they share if there are not enough, and they take a turn targeting and shooting a feeling card. Sometimes, families will target a feeling they want to talk about. Other times, everyone in the family will share a time they have experienced the feeling. The cards are great because the pictures are vibrant, fun and help little ones, who do not read yet, understand the emotion represented. Fantastic conversations and shared information have
come from the use of this activity. “Hard stuff” has proved easier to bring up
and talk about with this “game.”

This activity is also very popular with tween/teen boys and girls. With teens, I usually post the lashcards individually around the room with Poster Putty. Then, they can move around the room, target and shoot an emotion they want to share. Some kids like to throw play-doh or clay at an emotion/card. All ages love this activity. I have used it with four-year-olds through seventy-year-olds.

You can make the chart with poster board, Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards (feelings posters work very
well – http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/Play_therapy4.html, and I used clear contact paper to laminate, and keep the whole thing together. To make a whole chart, you need to purchase two Todd Parr packs, as they are double sided.


Friday Wrap Up 8/10/12

Friday Wrap UP 8/03/12

Friday Wrap Up 7/27/12

10 Expectations For Expecting Couples

Whether a couple has been together for many years or just starting out together, welcoming a new baby to your relationship means big changes. This is usually the point in your lives when you refer to yourselves as a “family” rather than just a “couple.” Knowing you will be adjusting to changes is one thing, but knowing what those changes are helps prepare you even more. You will be able to navigate through the parenthood journey together a little more smoothly.

So What Kinds of Changes Can You Expect Once Baby Arrives? 

1. Differences in Parenting Styles

You may agree on everything now, but when it comes to parenting, there will likely be some differences in opinion. What may surprise you is how protective you feel about your kids. If your spouse is disciplining in a way you don’t approve, or not paying enough attention to the child, this can bring up very strong emotions. Talk about your parenting philosophy now. Discuss issues such as whether you agree on spanking, organized sports, one parent staying home to raise the kids, and so forth.  Respect the other parent’s opinion. Remember, you are in this together and differences are normal. It’s how you work through these differences that will define parents who are a team versus parents who operate separately.

2. Less Time Together

Children take a lot of time, attention, and energy so this is not a surprise. If you were used to quality time as a couple, you will now have to enjoy that time with a little one at your feet. Enjoy every moment together, even if the kids are around. Your baby will be a very special connection that only the two of you can share together. Also, schedule time for one another. Making these arrangements (babysitter, packing items, and money) can feel overwhelming at first, but spending that quality time with your spouse is a must.

3. Changes in Roles

Some couples redefine their roles after having kids. The man or the woman may shift their priorities from career-focused to family-focused and take on more of a domestic role in the home. Before kids, I was very career driven, and was highly surprised to find that after kids, I wanted more of a role in caring for my kids, my husband, and my home. Every couple is different and it can take some time to find the right fit for your family.

4. Early to Bed and Early to Rise

I have yet to meet a couple with kids who sleep late any more. Kids wake up early, and they don’t care if it’s Saturday morning or whether you were up late the night before. Staying up late all of a sudden doesn’t have the same appeal because you will always suffer for it the next day 🙂

5. Weekends at Home

Going out on the weekend can be a task with kids. You have to find childcare, and then make sure they have everything they need before you go. Unless you have family or other free childcare, you are also spending an extra sum of money for your night out. Like I mentioned above though, alone time will be important, so try to plan for once a month or as often as you can. It will be worth it!

6. New Social Circles

If you were hanging out with kid-free friends before, chances are you are going to see them less and meet other couples with kids. Why? First of all, other couples with kids understand when your toddler throws a tantrum over dinner and when you call it a night at 8:30 instead of 12:30. Secondly, kids can entertain one another. If your kid has a friend to play with, in a kid-friendly home, you can sit back and relax (your new definition of relaxing).

7. Financial Changes

This goes without an explanation. Having kids is an expense. It will be important to get ready for this before you baby arrives.

8. So Much Laughter!

I have never laughed so much in my life as I have since having my kids. When I think back to life pre-kids, I have plenty of good memories, but I never felt the kind of joy I feel with my kids. As a couple, you will be able to share these moments together. No one else will find the story or expression as comical as you do, so this will be a bond that only you will share as parents.

9. You Learn A LOT of Patience

I added this one in at the last minute. I realized how patient I have become when my toddler was throwing a classic terrible-two tantrum during dinner this week. It didn’t rattle me like it used to and I was actually able to tune it out and continue my conversation with my husband. Wow, this is an accomplishment!

10. You Kinda Loose Your Mind

Something happens between pregnancy and kids where you loose the sharp mind you used to have. There is so much on your mind that you can only keep track of so much. A friend of mine once told me “with kids your mind is never free.” So very true.

What Makes It Worth While?

This is a question that can only be answered once you have your kids. It’s a journey like no other, and one that fills your heart with joy!


The Bump

Ask A Mum

You May Also Like:

Fostering a Healthy Infant Attachment Bond

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Preparing for Post-Partum Adjustment

Do Your Expectations Meet Reality?

Have you ever noticed how much easier things are the second time around? Once you know what to expect of a situation, or a person, you are more emotionally prepared for how to respond. I recently had a second baby, and while there are differences between my first and second child, my experience has been overall much easier. I was prepared for the late night feedings, funny baby sounds, strange rashes, and even my own physical adjustment.

Sometimes,we don’t always adjust our expectations to reality.  And when this happens, it can lead us to feel disappointed, frustrated, angry, or sad.

Here’s an example- You know your co-worker is not a morning person, but you still insist on talking to them before they finish that morning cup of coffee, and then get your feelings hurt when they tell you to “get lost.” I’m not focusing on the right or wrong of the snappy co-worker here, but if you continue to attempt conversation pre-coffee time and get your feelings hurt every morning, it’s time to adjust your expectations of early morning interactions with that person.

Disclaimer: this post is not about setting high expectations for your kids to make good grades, or for you to meet your weight loss goals, etc. This is about the emotions that we feel when we expect one outcome and we get another. I believe that if our emotions are appropriate with the situation, we can respond that much better in finding a solution.

When I was an intern, one of my supervisors had a great illustration for expectations versus reality that I have found to be so true. The idea:

The greater the gap between your expectations and reality, the greater the emotional distress you will feel.

I did some searching online to find the perfect illustration for you (because I have no idea how to create my own or time to learn). I didn’t find exactly what I needed, but I found something pretty close. (although, it’s a pretty good post so click on the picture for a link to the source).

For the purpose of this post, pretend the “Opportunity” is not there. Just focus on the area of disappointment. Assume that “Disappointment” here can also be anger, frustration, or sadness. You can see from this illustration that the farther away your expectations are from reality, the greater the emotional gap will be. Now, visualize the “Expectation” and “Reality” lines moving closer together. The “Disappointment” line gets smaller.

Expectations and Relationships: At some point in your life, you have probably felt let down and angry about something your significant other did or said, even though you should have expected it based on past experience. Men and women in relationships with someone with ADD/ADHD report feeling extremely frustrated when things don’t get done. The couple may struggle for years, while patterns persist and emotions continue to rise. Knowing your partner’s personality, patterns, strenghts, and weaknessness will help you in setting expectations realistically.

Expectations and Kids: My toddler has a routine, and part of that routine is his meal and snack times. I know that if he misses lunch or a snack and feels hungry, he is a very cranky little man (like most of us). However, I will admit that I have thrown out this bit of knowledge on occassion and become very frustrated with him for getting fussy, only to remind myself that dinner is late (or whatever the chaous may be that day) and punishment is not the solution… food is the solution! It’s important to remember the needs and patterns of our kids because it can help us to maintain some sanity when they are behaving inappropriately.

Expectations and Ourselves: Many people are harder on themselves than they should be. When I was an intern, just starting out in counseling, I pictured myself in my first session as comfortable, confident, and recalling all the techniques and theories I learned in graduae school. Boy, was I let down. I was nervous, awkard, and all my graduate school classes swirled around my head like a tornado! It took some support from fellow counselors to reassure me I would be better with experience. A more realistic expectation for myself would have been one with the expectation that I was inexperienced and trying something for the first time.

Expectations and Circumstances: Like I mentioned above about the second baby being easier than the first, it was because I knew what to expect of my life after having a baby. What if I had convinced myself that this baby would sleep through the night, or that I would be back in my skinny jeans in two weeks? There would have been a huge HUGE gap between those expectations and reality and I would have been very VERY disappointed.

So how do we make sure our expectations are close to reality?

  • Consider past experiences/behaviors
  • Consider patterns
  • Consider an individual’s abilities and limitations
  • Be flexible with new situations, understanding there will be surprises along the way

There is so much more that can be said on the topic, but hopefully you get the idea. What areas of your life have you been repeatedly disappointed? Maybe it’s time to evaluate your expectations and save yourself some frustration, disappointment, or more.

You May Also Like:

Mom, Dad, and Toddler Adjust To a New Baby

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Our Times of Struggle

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

1. In honor of the final week of the 2012 London Olympics, I found a good post by a sports psychologist on what he thinks will make for a successful Olympic experience. We can actually ALL use these tips when striving for a goal!!

Here are some of my initial tips for an athlete’s success at the Olympics:

  1. Arrive psychologically ready having developed your psychological skills
  2. Keep your goal(s) in mind for the event. Ensure these are realistic (SMART)
  3. Know your Olympic Game(s) plan – how  you will manage your sports time during the competition and training times
  4. Know how you will manage your downtime – take it easy, relax, chill, put your mind on other things
  5. Be confident – recall all your preparation, training sessions, markers that you are ready for this, trust your preparation
  6. Manage pre-competition nerves
  7. Review each performance in a balanced way, so you can spot opportunities to tweak your plan while you are still at the Games (but be careful not to over meddle)
  8. Focus on you and what you need to do to perform well (don’t get too distracted by other athletes or the ‘circus’)

2. This website has some great downloads for therapeutic activities. Here are a few of my favorites, but there are many more so check it out!

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3. What a great reminder and visual aid for the power of exercise on our physical and psychological health!

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4. I thought this was a cool visual of the categories of anti-psychotics. Here’s the visual link.

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

Helping Children Cope with the Aurora Tragedy by Momaroo

A senior Psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Denver gives some great advice on helping children cope with the tragedy. It’s a good read and here are a few clips that stood out to me.

“First, parents have to compose themselves,” Dolgan said, stressing that parents should think carefully about what they want to say to their children before they begin what will likely be a difficult conversation.

Second, Dolgan recommended that parents actually let their children lead the way. “Kids are all over the place with where they are developmentally,” he said. In order to deal with these differences, creating an atmosphere in which your children feel comfortable approaching you with questions would be optimal. Dr. Richard Marafiote, another psychologist who has worked in Aurora for many years, stressed how important it is for parents to “tune in” to their children in moments like these.
“By and large I think about the importance of parents allowing their children to speak about how they feel rather than having those parents put on their children what they believe their child may think or feel,” he said. Finally, Dolgan suggested parents should try to “normalize” the situation as much as possible, while limiting media exposure. “What we’ve found with many studies is the more kids and parents see the same kind of visuals, the more traumatizing it is,” Dolgan said.

10 Affirmations to Help Parents Accept Themselves and Their Children by KidsDiscuss.com

The author reminds us that it’s important for children to have parents who are accepting of themselves, as well as the children.

5 Affirmations for Helping Parents Accept Their Child

1. I accept my child is different.

2. I accept my child is quiet.

3. I accept my child can be stubborn.

4. I accept my child takes time to warm up to things or people.

5. I accept my child gets upset quickly.

5 Self-Accepting Affirmations for Parents

1. I accept I am a human being before I am a parent.

2. I accept I have limitations and many shortcomings, and this is okay.

3. I accept I don’t always know the right way.

4. I accept I can be selfish and unthinking in my dealings with my child.

5. I accept I don’t always know how to respond to my child.

8 Bucket List Questions to Ask Yourself, by Alice Boyes, Ph.D. on Psychology Today

Have you thought of jotting down a bucket list, or do you already have a bucket list? This is a good guide for us to use to help stimulate some ideas!

1. Who would you like to meet?

2. Where would you like to travel? If you could only do 3 things when you got there, what would you pick?

3. What challenges (if successfully achieved) would give you the biggest confidence boost?

4. What bucket list goals have you thought about but not pursued because you’d feel embarrassed if anyone knew you had that goal?

5. What do you like consuming that you might like to have a go at producing?

e.g., writing or acting for TV, writing a song, making a film, writing a novel, cooking foods you like to eat, writing comedy.

6. When you imagine yourself as really, really relaxed and happy, what are you doing?

7. When you imagine yourself as awestruck or giddy with excitement, what are you doing?

8. What was unique about you as a little kid? What were you passionate about as a little kid that you stopped exploring as you got older?

Advice From A Tree- I love this!

Miniature Building From Around the World from toysofthetrade.com. These would be great to use for sand tray therapy.

You May Also Like:

Steps to Improving Inattention in ADHD

What To Say To Someone Who Is Grieving

Parents: Educate Yourself on Cyberbullying

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

33 of the Deepest and Coolest Thoughts About Life, by Single Dad Laughing

SDL asked his readers to share their coolest thoughts about life they have had or heard. There are some really good ones, but here are a few of my favorites:

“When I was about six or seven years old, I was watching ants on the pavement and wondered if some giant was watching down on us as if we were the ants.”

“When I was a teenager my mom told me that there were 2 things in life that would eventually become apparent to me: 1.Not everyone likes you and 2.You’ve stopped caring.”

“I hope to one day be the person my children see me to be.”

“You’ve got to have a little rain before a rainbow.”

How Kids Can Save Your Marriage, by Dr. Craig Malkin on Psychology Today

Dr. Malkin brings up some really good points about marriage and kids. Good read!

Kids invade your bedroom.  They rule your schedule. They dictate where you go and how you spend your time. They spark squabbles over matters as trivial as where to put all the stuffed animals or which living room arrangement will lead to the fewest head injuries (the correct answer, by the way, is to remove all the furniture and sit on bean bags). Despite all this, I have one simple message to share: Kids don’t kill marriages; adults do.

Taming the “Nasties” In Your Children, by help4yourfamily

Kate Oliver, a Clinical Social Worker, reminds us to consider why our kids are behaving negatively. Many times we assume it’s because they are just acting out, but she offers some alternative reasons that we should keep in mind as well.

The first thing to do when the nasties are tearing through your house is to assess what is causing the nasty behavior.  I had a professor once that said the most important piece in addressing any behavior is to find out it’s cause, and while you may not be very curious about the root of the problem when your child is yelling at you, perhaps I can persuade you by pointing out that figuring out the root cause is way more pleasant for you than beating yourself up over having such a mean child.  Here are some ideas to take into consideration when you are trying to figure out what is going on:

“What To Do” Guides For Your Kids, by Houston Family Psychology

I have never heard of these books before, but definitely think they are worth checking out. Thanks Dr. Weiss!

Did you know that your body is like a car that you need to learn how to steer, worries are like tomatoes that grow when they’re fed, and disappointments are like hurdles to be jumped? By the time you’re done with these books, you will! Using these and other similarly accessible analogies, Dr. Huebner brings the concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy to life, making them easy to understand and fun to practice.

Dr. Seuss on Love, another Pinterest find, and too great not to share!

IKEA Shelves Turned On Side Make Great Shelving, by IHeart Organizing

What a cool idea! I pinned this on Pinterest, where I find so many great ideas. This would work well in a play therapy room or child’s room and less expensive than building a bench with shelving underneath!