Learning Unit – Japan and Natural Disasters

We have all watched the news reports from Japan with horror and sadness. Some of us have children old enough to understand the ramifications, and some of us have children too young to comprehend. I suggest using this monumental event in our world’s history as a study unit in our homeschools. Geography –pull out maps or our globe and discuss where Japan is, what its major cities are, and learn what other countries surround it. Social Studies – learn about the culture of Japan and what makes it such a strong, proud country. Learn to make some traditional Japanese dishes … Continue reading

Family Influence on Mental Health

I’ve been wondering and I’ve come to the conclusion that like so many other things in life, our mental health often represents our upbringing. I look at one side of my family. At my grandmother’s level of the family tree there were ten siblings. They were raised in a strong Catholic family, learned to help take care of one another (with ten of them, what more could you do), rely on one another, and be open and honest. Family was the focus of their lives. They had twelve people in a three bedroom house, so there was no choice but … Continue reading

Are You Walking Hand in Hand in Your Marriage?

Yes, I mean the physical act of being hand in hand when walking together, but also the idea of as the 1950s song says traveling ‘Side by Side.’ By that I mean, are you working together at your marriage? Are you working as a team? It makes a huge difference to the way we cope with the pressures of life, when we can share the load and when responsibilities aren’t left to one person. To me that’s one of the secrets to a successful marriage, traveling ‘the road, sharing our load, side by side.’ No matter what happens and tragedies … Continue reading

Hugs and Mental Health

Remember those corny old cards, bookmarks and bumper stickers that proclaimed “Hugs Are Healing”? Well, no surprises for guessing that the authors were correct. Researchers at the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University in England have concluded what we all suspected: hugs are healing. But scientists warn we are caught in an epidemic of a non-hugging culture where we are either too time-poor to hug, or political correctness gets in the way. This is a sad but true reflection of our times. Teachers are no longer permitted to touch, much less hug, their infant charges, who might benefit from having a hug … Continue reading

A Necessary Dose of Mommy or Daddy: Visitation and the Special Needs Child

It’s a very difficult thing to do: packing your child up for a weekend, two weeks, or even a whole summer to spend time with his other parent. This is especially true if your ex-spouse is not willing to work agreeably with you as a parenting partner. A child with special needs is particularly hard to send away for any extended period of time. He or she may have certain challenges you’ve been working on, and you’ve just started to make some progress when it’s time for his departure. How do you see that your ex-spouse continues with the parental … Continue reading

A Hug a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

If this past year has taught us anything, it should be that we need to hug our kids more. Actually, we should hug anyone who means anything to us or needs encouragement. Studies have shown that hugs can improve both our physical and mental health. I challenge us all to get in at least one hug a day, if not more. For extra credit, hug so much that others think that you are a little eccentric. Isn’t it funny, how the world works. While I was typing this, my husband interrupted to tell me that there was an ambulance across … Continue reading

The Office Bully: It Doesn’t Stop in the Classroom

Although the term “bully” immediately sets off an image of a kid in the school playground holding court with his or her power, bullying actually continues well into life and surprisingly even exists in the nursing home environment. It seems, once a bully, always a bully. Although much is written on bullying in the playground, the office environment is a haven for bullies. As just as everyone knows in the playground who the bully is and who the victim or victims are and are afraid to speak out, this phenomenon also occurs in the office. Let’s look at the case … Continue reading

The Power of Touch

Did you know that there is power in touch? According to some mental health experts’ touch can alleviate tension, anxiety and other psychological problems. Some believe that touch can even bring about physical healing. I remember how it felt when I stopped breastfeeding my youngest son. I knew he was going to be our last child and the thought of not having that special bonding experience anymore really bothered me. But I also knew that I would get to enjoy closeness in other ways. When my children were younger I enjoyed those times they would jump into my bed and … Continue reading

Are You Too PC to Hug?

Remember those corny old cards, bookmarks and bumper stickers that proclaimed “Hugs Are Healing”? Well, no surprises for guessing that the authors were correct. Researchers at the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University in England have concluded what we all suspected: hugs are healing. But scientists warn we are caught in an epidemic of a non-hugging culture where we are either too time-poor to hug, or political correctness gets in the way. This is a sad but true reflection of our times. Teachers are no longer permitted to touch, much less hug, their infant charges, who might benefit from having a hug … Continue reading

Is Your Spouse Missing Out?

Is your spouse missing out on valuable family time and a real bonding experience with your children? In an article published earlier this year it was reported that only 1 in 30 men in the UK found time to read a bedtime story to their children. I suspect the situation wouldn’t look that different in the USA or Australia either. Reasons for the lack of bedtime reading were cited as long hours and work commitments and tiredness. When women were interviewed the results were 9 out of 10 still found time to read to their children. I admit this is … Continue reading