Special Needs Trust Funds

Raising a child with a disability takes a lot of energy, perseverance, patience, and most of all–planning. You plan your nightly meals based on the color because your dear one doesn’t eat anything, red, crunchy, round or grainy. The same goes for where to shop, who to visit, when and if we vacation, and what TV programs to watch. However, the most important factor we contemplate is who will take care of our child with a disability when we’re gone. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but one day, a child with significant disabilities will not have his parent with … Continue reading

Are You Jealous of Your Child or Children?

As parents, we may think of jealousy as something we have to manage in our personal lives, or one of those green-eyed problems to teach our children about. We cope with sibling rivalry, co-worker rivalries, and other forms of jealousy but we might not think about whether or not we are actually jealous of our own children and whether that is affecting our family dynamics or not. I try to teach my children (and remind myself) the difference between envy and jealousy. As I simplify it for my kids, “envy” is when we want something that someone else has and … Continue reading

Accepting Our Children’s Pain

As a parent, I know that there is nothing more difficult and upsetting to me than when my children experience pain. I want to stop it; do anything I can to keep them from suffering and feeling pain and it can be incredibly hard to be present, listen, and be compassionate without getting angry and wanting to jump into revenge mode. In order to be able to be truly available for our children, however, we may need to be fully present and accept their pain first. It can be especially hard when we have done something that has caused our … Continue reading

Sleep Issues In Adopted Children, Part Two

In Part One of this blog, I talked about sleep issues in adopted children. This blog will focus on the ways parents try to manage sleep issues, and why some of these approaches may be either more or less appropriate for an adopted child. First of all, keep expectations realistic. It takes time to adjust to new schedules and new time zones. If you are a new parent, read up on how much babies typically sleep. There is a lot of variation, and many books consider a five-hour sleep stretch to be “sleeping through the night” for a young infant. … Continue reading

Teen Challenges: Lying

This blog is a kickoff to a little series I will be doing on teen challenges.  While some of the issues we face in parenting teenagers are different for each family, there are many common ones that we deal with. So let’s start off with a big one—the juicy lies that sometimes come out of our teen’s mouths.  Oh, this is one that I have the most difficulty in dealing with.  Because I have taught my children from early on that the consequences will be much more severe if caught lying. By now my teens should have figured out that … Continue reading

Finding Your Identity in Your Marriage

I never thought much about my life growing up. At times in my adult life when I’ve considered getting married, having kids, I didn’t have anything but my own thoughts at that time to rely on. It’s strange because I’m an obsessive planner for short-term details, but I can’t think of any point in my life when I’ve had a vision for the future. As a kid I always had dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up: veterinarian, zoologist, reporter for National Geographic Magazine, but those were always just fleeting childhood whimsies. I never pictured myself … Continue reading

Why Faith Makes All the Difference to Your Teen

Faith or religion may not be anything you talk about in your home or with your teenagers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t think about it. Teenagers are in the midst of asking important life questions, such as “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” These are spiritual quests, regardless of whether they’re thought of in a traditional religious sense. I believe that every person, whether self-identified as religious or not, has these spiritual thoughts. It’s why my counseling philosophy is called ‘whole-person’ – emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual. When you treat the whole person and address each of … Continue reading

Are You a Meddling Mom?

The other day I was reading a devotional that really convicted my heart. It was about trusting in your own ways and interfering in other people’s business. Almost immediately what came to my mind were my children. It dawned on me that I had become a meddling mother. One of the things this devotional said was that if you are frantically trying to figure out what to do—panic mode—then this is a clue that we have to slow down, take a deep breath and most importantly…take a giant step back. There are many occasions as a parent in which we … Continue reading

Timing is Key

According to a new study, I was destined not to be a Rhodes Scholar. In addition, researchers say because I was born in the month of August, there is little chance I would have graduated at the top of the class from Harvard, Yale or Oxford. They’re right. In fact, I didn’t even get accepted to Harvard… then again, I never applied. I was doomed to be a failure and that goes double for the rest of you Leos, or so says the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The group just released findings from a study it conducted, which shows that … Continue reading

The Good and the Bad of Social Networking

As with almost anything in life, social networking can have its good sides but it can also have its bad sides. Sometimes the decision to allow your teen to engage in social networking will depend on whether or not you think the bad outweighs the good or vice versa. We have to first acknowledge that social media is likely here to stay. It is not a fad that will die out anytime soon. Keeping up with the world is sometimes the only direction to go. In fact in my career as a writer, you usually need to have knowledge of … Continue reading