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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Parenting Tips

We would all like to think the children we raise listen to everything we teach them and abide by the rules they are taught, but we all know this isn't always the case. However, if we are modelling, not simple just telling them the things we are asking of them, they may understand and abide by these pricinples more readily. They will have a greater chance at making better decisions in the future.

Also, talk with your children. Don't just talk at them, talk with them. Furthermore, listen to your children because it will allow them to come to your more readily when they have an issue they need to talk about. Being a good listener means making eye contact with your child and not interuppting him or her, but it also means asking questions to make sure you are clear on what they are saying.

Children need choices as well. To foster independence and defend against rebellion, offer your child choices instead of demanding he or she do something. With this idea, you must know you are the parent and so must your child. You have the final say because you are the parent, but make sure to first offer a reasonable choice. Don't let your child negotiate the choices. Stand firm to what you have said.

Hope these tips help. If you would like specific parenting tips, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Innocence of In-laws

So my sister-in-law wanted me to address the topic of in-laws! I guess she is trying to tell me something? No, I have good in-laws, and we all get along well or at least I hope so!

Anyway, when dealing with your in-laws it can be difficult because sometimes they can get in your business. For example, they may be telling you how to raise your children or how your marriage should work or telling you how you should clean your house. So in dealing with these things, you should be honest with your in-laws about how you are feeling. Let them know you are hurt by their comments or angry at them for trying to run your life, instead of enlisting your husband or wife to be the go-between person. Being honest with them is important. Also, be patient and know that they may be unaware that they are doing anything wrong. Explain to them how you feel and what is causing you to feel that way.

Also, acknowledge that they may be excited about having grandchildren and want to know that their grandchildren are being taken care of adequately. Furthermore, acknowledge that they are excited for their son or daughter to be married, but afraid they won't be able to be as important to them anymore.

Moreover, figure out your real feelings about the situation. Why do you really feel the way you do about your in-laws? Why does it bother you? Is it because it is truly inappropriate? Do you feel threatened? Maybe discussing it with your husband or wife can give you some insight into why you truly feel the way you do. Then, put yourself in your in-law's shoes. Feel empathy toward your in-law and see if this can give you a new perspective to help you understand their point of view.

Another key point is to support your spouse if they are having trouble dealing with your parents (their in-laws). It's not necessarily helpful to be defensive either when your in-laws hurt your spouse. If their parents, siblings, or relatives are hurting them, ask your spouse how you can support him or her rather than getting angry at your in-laws.

Always listen to the other side-listen to what your in-laws have to say. You will get your turn to speak, so offer them the same respect by listening to what they have to say.

On another note, holidays may be tough because you have several different places to go, so it is helpful to come up with a compromise in this situation. That may be alternating holidays, spending only short amounts of time at each place, or inviting everyone to your house so that you can all be together. However, it is important to not overextend yourself, so compromise if the situation becomes overwhelming, too expensive, too time consuming or too hard to get to every place you need to go. Deciding on a schedule where you can spend equal time with each family is a great compromise, but make sure to let everyone know what you decide, so they won't be shocked when the time comes to split time. This may also be a time when you develop your own family traditions. Keeping your own family traditions with your spouse is most important, especially when holidays are held at your house.

Furthermore, you may have to establish spending limits with your in-laws if you feel gifts and giving has become too outrageous for your taste. Have them check with you before they buy you or your children any high dollar items. If they do not adhere to your wishes, set up consequences for not following your guidelines. If they consistently insist on buying you or your children an overly expensive item, you can let them know you have the right to donate the item to charity if they buy it anyway or return the gift and donate the money to charity.
Dealing with in-laws can sometimes be frustrating, but being open and communicating effectively can reduce stress and problems associated with your in-laws. Leave your comments about ways you have effectively communicated things with your in-laws below. Please let me know if you have any other questions about in-laws as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Some of you may not know, but there is a great resource out there called "211". It is for health and community resources in your area. You simply dial 211 on your phone-just as if you were to dial 411 for information or 911 for an emergency.

211 provides resources for those who cannot afford the things they need. They can assist you with getting clothing, discounted or free doctors and dentist appointments, food boxes, and many more items you may need. It can help you get furniture for a discounted price if you qualify as well. They also have a list of discounted mental health services and substance abuse services available to all who need it too. It can also assist you if you have been a victim of a natural disaster, such as a tornado or flood, and resources if you have been a victim of a fire as well. Also, if your house is going into foreclosure or you are having trouble paying for your mortgage or rent, it can give you resources to aid with those things as well. If you would like information on getting your GED, it can provide you information for this service also. They also have services for discounted or free legal aid if you are going through something that requires that assistance. If you need transportation, they can provide you with information about that service as well. Furthermore, when April comes around and you are dreading your tax payment, call 211 and they can help you find free tax services if you qualify for it. This is just a start to the list of services they provide, so if you are in need of anything or know someone who is, call 211, and they can assist you.

There are all kinds of programs out there to assist people; it's just people don't know about the programs.

Unfortunately, there are people out there that cannot even provide their own basic needs for their family. If you know any of these people, please share 211 with them. If they are looking for mental health services, please have them call me. I have a self-pay rate that is reasonable for those in the area, and have a sliding scale in addition to help work with those who cannot afford that fee.

"A person is a person, no matter how small!"
- Dr. Suess

Check out Tennessee's 211 website:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Before You Say, "I Do"

We all know divorce rates in the U.S. are way too high! What you may not know is that if you do not have premarital counseling, you have a one in four chance of making your marraige last.

Premarital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by about 30% by educating you on how to make your marriage happier. It helps you strengthen your relationship and helps you prepare for conflicts you may encounter during your marriage. The stress of marriage can be overwhelming, but premarital counseling helps you prepare for it.

You can get premarital counseling from pastors at your church or counselors in the community.

If you need premarital counseling or have questions about premarital counseling, please contact me.

"The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes."
Amy Grant