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Tips to a Loving Relationship

download-24Following are some simple tools you can use to improve your love life—and who doesn’t want a better love life? If you begin to employ these in your relationship, you should soon see positive changes—and if any of these qualities are missing from your relationship now, work on adding or restoring them.

  1. Care.Showing your partner that you care is as simple as opening a door or cooking a meal, but you also have to verbalize it. Some people never say those three little words, and that’s hard on your mate, so find a way to let your loved one know you care. Be there a little more, and create a random act of kindness. It doesn’t take much.
  2. Consideration.Some may think of it as care on steroids: Being considerate means that you go out of your way to make your other half feel that he or she is loved. And when you go out of your way, your actions speak louder than words.
  3. Communication.A willingness and desire for communication is paramount in any successful relationship—it is truly the most important thing. Given that we have so many
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Family Reunion Gifts Ideas

_tnpersonalized_party1Family get-together or reunion is an occasion to bring all the members of a family together and have a memorable time in each other’s company. Such occasions strengthen the bond in family relationships. Whether it is a small or a large family, a reunion is surely unforgettable. If you are the host, you can select an apt location, send out invitations, plan interesting activities, etc. Exchanging gifts also forms a part of family reunions. Here are some ideas.

Gifts for the Entire Family

  • Take pictures of the reunion and send copies with quotes, messages or captions to all family members. You can even make an entire scrapbook out of the pictures of the entire event, or pictures showing each member from earlier times to the present.
  • Make a family tree chart, and distribute the copies amongst the group when all the members are together. You can even decorate it and adorn a wall. Formatted family tree charts can be prepared using printable templates.
  • You can even have custom-made personalized magazines having photographs of your family on the cover. Inside you can
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Ways to Take a Spring Break Vacation

images-15When my son Eden was first diagnosed with multiple and life threatening food allergies I was overwhelmed and assumed I wouldn’t be leaving my Tri-State New York habitat for years to come. How to fly with a peanut allergy? How to eat in restaurants with if Eden can’t eat butter or eggs? But I soon realized that embracing family travel and new experiences is in fact an essential when managing a chronic health condition. All families benefit from breaks in their routines. Families like mine, with special dietary needs, get especially tired of being tied to their kitchens. While the following tips are by no means exhaustive, start with these basic measures wherever you plan your spring break.

When travelling by plane:

Call Ahead: Before booking your flight, read the airline’s allergy policy. Many airlines post their policy on their website. Then communicate these issues:

I.D. Your Food Allergy—When booking your flight, notify the reservation agent about the food allergy(s) and ask if your information can be forwarded to other personnel such as the gate agent, catering/food service, and flight crew. You can reconfirm with the

Choosing Outdoor Family Games

Every family, once in a while, needs to spend some quality time with one another. Not just parents, but even children these days have tons to worry about. With work, school, and chores at home, it won’t be wrong to say that hardly anyone gets to eat a meal together. If this is the situation at your place or you are the kind of family that loves to spend their weekends having some fun and adventure, then you should organize some outdoor family games. Kids used to play out before the invention of video games and cell phones. But now, all that has changed and they have become less active. You can kill two birds with one stone. Playing fun games will not only provide everyone with a great physical fitness, but also bring your family closer. So what are you waiting for?

Games for Families

One of the best things about planning a family reunion or a family weekend together are the games. Family games are fun for all ages and give you a chance to interact with one another. Check out these great outdoor games.

Musical Chairs
For this game, you will need one less chair than the total

Best Tips for Happiness Inspired by a Family Vacation

My college roommate was a dedicated journal-keeper. She once told me, “Every once in a while I have a big insight into myself, or have a major epiphany about life. The thing is, when I look back in my journals, I realize that I had exactly the same idea a few years ago — but I forgot it.”

I feel the same way; it’s hard to remember the lessons I’ve learned. For that reason, because I’m going away on my family vacation next week, I went back to see what I wrote last August’s vacation.

1. Fun is important to happiness. Is there such a thing as “fun for the whole family”? I think so, but I’ve learned that on vacation I need to make sure I make time for the things that I find fun – which in my case means reading. Sometimes I think, “Why am I just lyinghere, reading, on such a beautiful day? I should be going for a run/playing in the ocean/learning to play tennis.” But it’s a Secret of Adulthood – Just because something is fun for someone else doesn’t mean it’s fun for me. I love to read, and

What are Importance of Family Vacations

A world inside a world, families are what make your life complete and worthwhile. In today’s fast-paced world, people are becoming more and more embroiled in their careers, striving to establish a position of security and power in their professional life. While the dedication to work is commendable, the flip side is the weakening of human bonds. There is hardly anyone who spends quality time with their families as of today. Work, school, extra-curricular activities, responsibilities, and bills have given way to a standstill in one’s personal life.

Family vacations bring the family members together, as one unit. The happiness and peace that one experiences when spending quality time with one’s family is beyond words. Following family traditions and rituals imparts a sense of belonging, a feeling of being cared and nurtured. The paragraphs below explain how important family vacations are as well as the importance of family traditions.

The Importance of Traditions

A tradition is something that is handed down and followed in a particular way, a particular method. We have been handed down several traditions and rituals by our ancestors, that were once followed for a specific reason, and which later became traditions. Every family does have a tradition,

Fun Ideas for Best Family Weekend

It is very important in today’s world to stay connected to the people in your life – for it is so easy to lose contact in the fast-paced lives we live every single day! With the in-time and out-time of each family member being different, it is often on Twitter and Facebook that you come to know about what’s happening in each others’ lives! One good way to stay in touch with everyone and keep the family bond strong and alive is to plan a family weekend. You know what they say, heart is where the family is.

So, let’s take a look at all the fun things you can do with your family over the weekend.
Fun Family Weekend Ideas

Bon Appetite!
Making a trip to the kitchen, to cook rather than to eat, could be a fun way to spend a lazy afternoon indoors! Involve the family in the cook process. Make really simple dishes like pasta, garlic toast, or something elaborate like a five-course meal. Give your hand at cakes, cookies, sandwiches and the likes. Cooking together will give you a lot of opportunity to actually work on something together.

Home Improvement
Weekends are perfect for improving the

Ways to Deal With Holiday Stress

It’s easy to get stressed out during the holiday season, especially if you try doing too many things at once and expect all of them to turn out perfect. Stress can undermine your health by making you more susceptible to illnesses. Hence, it’s important to know how to minimize stress, or learn how to handle it better.
Stress is inevitable during the holidays. However, it is not very difficult to deal with. With a few changes in your thinking and routine, you can avoid it easily.

Causes for Stress During the Holiday Season

Finances: It can happen if you didn’t bother to make a proper budget for the holidays and have ended up spending more than you can afford. Now you know that you are going to have to slog for the next 6 months to recover all the money that you have spent on gifts, food, travel, and entertainment.
Mental Exertion: You have too many relationships, some of them complicated. That put together with the whole circus of family misunderstandings and conflicts, and it becomes stressful.
Physical Exertion: If you’re spending your holidays running around shopping, visiting people, attending parties, and programs, it is not good for

Ways to Create a Set of Family Boundaries

How to Create A Set of Family      Boundaries.  Well-adjusted children come from homes with clearly established boundaries.  The happiest children live in households where rules and boundaries are clearly enforced with love and respect.

BOUNDARIES:  I found a plethora of research on family boundaries.  The following are some of the more important points of agreement:

  • Highly functioning families have clearly defined boundaries agreed upon by the family members.
  • Boundaries between parents and children must be clearly understood and roles must never be reversed.
  • Structure and routine provide a sense of predictability that bring safety and security to the home.
  • When boundaries are crossed natural consequences are most effective.
  • Executive decisions for the entire family are made by the parents.

BUILDING BOUNDARIES:  Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, labels highly functioning families as having Clear Boundaries in them.  Clear Boundaries define the authority of parents while allowing the children to develop appropriately for their age.  Most of the articles were about building boundaries between individuals.  I found very few articles that gave step by step assistance to develop a set of boundaries for a family.  I suggest that a family might follow the following steps to create a set of functional family boundaries.

Ways to Make Holiday Traditions More Fun

I want to do something more with the Fourth of July. When I was growing up, this was always a very fun holiday. We were often on vacation in my parents’ hometown, North Platte, Nebraska, which was a great place to celebrate the Fourth. We bought a lot of family-style fireworks – sparklers, snakes, poppers, wheels — and shot them off in my grandparents’ backyard, plus North Platte had various town activities. July 4 is also my mother’s birthday, so that lent the day an extra air of festivity, and we ate a lot of cake and ice cream. It felt like a special day.

But in my life now, Fourth of July isn’t particularly special, because I haven’t tried cultivate traditions. Every year, we spend the weekend with my in-laws, which is fun. But we don’t have a particular meal we always serve, or an activity we always do. We don’t shoot off any fireworks (which may actually be illegal in New York, I’m not sure), and we don’t go see fireworks. My older daughter was scared of fireworks for a long time, plus both my children become raging terrors if they stay up much past

How to Create Conflict-free

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 have. Set up some lines of defense in advance. Here are a few possible ways to cope with different potentially disturbing scenarios.

1. Lower your expectations. Tell yourself that “perfect” isn’t

How to Resolve Conflicts in Your Relationship

If you’ve ever worked with a good salesperson when buying a car or an appliance, there were two things that made them effective at their job. The first, which you probably noticed, is that he or she listened to what you were saying and asking for, so they could steer you in the right direction.

The other thing the salesperson probably did, which you may not have caught, wasstay in lock step with you. When she mentioned that a particular car was a few hundred dollars more, but came with a side view safety feature, and saw you shake your head ever so slightly, she probably stopped and asked what you thought about this safety feature, or pointed you toward a car without it in your price range.

The art of selling involves getting positive responses from the customer all the way through the negotiation and pitch. Any potential objections that go unnoticed or unaddressed can result in a customer saying, “I’ll think about it,” when it’s time to close the deal.

Staying in lock step—to be able to counter resistance as it arises—is important when doing what is called non-sales selling, such as trying to persuade your partner to help out more with the kids

Ways to Improve Memory Kids

Studying for tests is tough on kids and parents. I’m frequently asked to speak and write about how parents can help their children remember things they need to learn for school. From my perspective as a neurologist and teacher, I’ve evaluated theneuroscience research about how the brain learns and remembers most successfully. This article brings together the strategies I’ve suggested, based on that research, reported by parents and educators to be most helpful.

Multisensory input for best memory retrieval\

Guide your children to learn important material through multiple sensory learning pathways (hearing, seeing, touching). They can visualize the earth orbiting sun, imagine an electron orbiting the nucleus of an atom, mimic the buzz of electricity as it whizzes by, or feel a tingling associated with a static electric charge by rubbing a balloon against their arm and feeling their hair move.

 Encourage your child to create visual imagery of history events or scientific process. Describe by example how you might visualize the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, adding details you imagine in the scene. The more dramatic, bizarre, and memorable the image, the better.

Children can then draw a sketch of their

Steps to a Family Vacation

Did you know that there’s no cell phone service and no reliable wifi in Grand Canyon National Park? This means that if you’re going there this summer, you won’t be able to check email, texts, or social network sites, even if you wanted to.

And actually, I’d already decided I didn’t want to. Ah, now doesn’t that sound like vacation?

And so here I am, the night before our trip, and I’m locating the car charger, packing the plug-in charger, charging the phone, charging the iPad, charging the old Gameboy, charging the camera battery, packing headphones, wiping my SD cards, downloading music for sleeping (who can take all of those nature and camping generator noises?), downloading movies, and giving the Nook one last go as I try to download my ordered books.  All to prepare for my tech free family vacation.  I’ve even downloaded AAA’s triptik onto my mobile.

Wait a minute – wasn’t this supposed to be a tech free vacation?

Well, yes.  But it’s also supposed to be a stress-free vacation.  And so, the first step for a stress and tech free vacation is:

1. Discuss with your family what it

Making a Family Vacation Great

Why do so many family vacations fail to live up to our expectations? Family vacations usually seem great when we’re planning them and yet more often than not, we return home feeling… well, that we really need a vacation.

Somehow, despite our best efforts, arguments, stresses, and the inevitable assault of unexpected-things-going-wrong, contribute to making our family vacations experiences we would rather forget than ones we would like to cherish, or even remember.

The trick to making a family vacation great is anticipation and planning. While we cannot predict what might go wrong, we can predict that something probably will. Yes, we might hope we won’t encounter stresses and tensions, but we can make good guesses about where they are likely to occur and take steps to avoid them.

Following these steps will help minimize stresses and tensions and give you tools for getting through such moments with the least disruption to everyone’s mood and good-time when they occur.

The Family Vacation Survival Guide

1. Create a family vacation packing list: Which are you more likely to forget to pack, your daughter’s favorite doll, your son’s allergy medication, the new book you were

Ways to Help Someone With Anxiety

Helping someone with anxiety can be intimidating.  Often the anxious person feels completely overwhelmed by their anxiety, especially if they experience panic attacks or find themselves gripped by anxious thoughts (e.g., in health anxiety where the person has an obsessive fear of having or developing a health problem, or social anxiety where the person is intensely bothered by thoughts about embarrassing themselves in social situations or being judged or rejected by others.)

If your anxious friend doesn’t understand their anxiety yet, they may not be able to be able to give you a clear answer about what you can do to be helpful to them. Use the ideas below as a starting point. The same advice applies whether the anxious person you’re trying to help is a friend, your spouse/partner, or another family member.  You can always show this article to your anxious friend/loved one and get their feedback on what applies to them and what doesn’t.

If you’re particularly looking for suggestions for how to help someone with anxiety attacks, you’ll find a specific section on that at the bottom of this article.  Much of the advice below also applies to how to help someone with depression.  There is a lot of overlap between depression

Ways to Restoring Trust in Relationships

How would you like to go through life without any meaningful relationships?

If you’re constantly stressed because no one “gets” you, you may be on the fast- track. It’s hard when you want to foster deep connections, but trust is holding you back. The good news is life doesn’t have to be this way. The bad news is your issue with others is not so much about them. You may be getting in your own way.

Allow me to explain.

Fresh from graduate school I got a job counseling angry and rebellious teens. Many grew up in the inner city and faced psychosocial stressors such as gang violence, drugs and single-parent households. In an effort to serve as many kids as possible, the chosen therapeutic modality was group counseling focusing on anger management and social skills. Because I was a rookie, I knew my best bet to understand and help these kids was to listen for themes, AKA, The Big Picture. This was it:

“Man, I don’t trust no one.”

Whether I worked with males or females, this was by far the most common thread, and the most challenging aspect of counseling these

Finding Healthy Relationship Patterns

For a TV show, the writers of ABC’s Modern Family demonstrate an astounding degree of insight into what makes relationships happy. Here are six ways the Modern Familycouples get it right.

1. Expressing soft emotions as well when expressing anger

For example, in the episode “Our Children, Our Selves” when Gloria is angry at Jay for embarrassing her in front of friends, she explains that she felt foolish while she’s yelling at him. Using the emotion word “foolish” communicates the soft emotions that are underlying the angry feelings. Communicating anger alone tends to elicit an attack or withdraw response from the partner (fight/flight/freeze), but communicating soft emotions activates the other person’sattachment system and makes a caring response more likely.

2. Making repair attempts after arguments

In almost every episode, there’s an apology conversation. When the characters apologize, they’re genuine apologies. They typically use the words “I apologize,” “I’m sorry,” or “You were right” in apologies. They don’t use an apology as a sneaky way of criticizing their partner or justifying e.g., “I’m sorry but you….”

3. The characters don’t only apologize after conflict. They also apologize after times they haven’t been perfectly emotionally responsive,

Best Tips for Mothers of Adult Addicts

Awhile back, we discussed several tips for dealing with your adult addict child. This is not an easy task due to the overwhelming guilt that many bring to the situation or the enormous amount of resentment of your child’s poor choices or weak will that you feel heraddiction represents.

Don’t Work Harder than the Recovering Addict

You may be investing a tremendous amount of energy into helping your child overcome his addiction. Oftentimes, parents invest a significantly greater amount of energy than the actual addict might do. That’s part of the need to either care for or fix your child that arise from the guilt or resentment. Unfortunately, as counselors learn early in their own training, until the client is ready to change, there is absolutely nothing that the counselor can do to make that change actually happen. There’s no pay-off for working harder than a client — or for a parent working harder than a child in recovery.

You can cajole your child, guilt your child, threaten your child, cut off your child, cover your child’s treatment center costs, dump their booze/pills/weed/drugs/whatever, take away their vehicle (if they’ve not already lost it), put them

Ways to Deal Difficult Daughter-in-Law

Dealing With a Difficult Daughter-in-Law
Be Welcoming

Your daughter-in-law is the new addition to your family, and it is your responsibility to welcome her. Your first impression will leave a long-lasting effect on your daughter-in-law. So, try to be nice to her, even if she may not be your choice of a daughter-in-law. You can stick around with her, and introduce her to all the relatives whenever a family gathering comes up. Give her the warmth and love she deserves, so that she feels comfortable in her new family.

Share Activities

The best way to understand someone is to spend time with them. You cannot simply expect your daughter-in-law to gel with you, like your girlfriends do. Find out her hobbies or the stuff she enjoys doing, like shopping, watching plays, etc. If you share similar interests, do these things together. You can go for shopping together. This way, the both of you will get to know each other better, and your differences can be resolved, if any.

Treat Her Like an Adult
It is a universally known fact that one will find their kids to be little children, no matter how old they are! The