How to Talk to Your Kids about the Economic Crisis

“How can I talk to my kids about the economic crisis?” It is a common question that most parents face today. As prices on consumable goods rise, from food and gas to the cable bill, and families feel themselves pinched, even the youngest children are starting to notice that things around them are changing. Neighbors and friends may be moving away, favorite stores and restaurants may be closing, and everyone seems to have to sacrifice something they enjoy just to get through this time. Parents should see this time in our history as a teaching moment, but the lessons should … Continue reading

Protecting Your Eyes

One of my favorite journalists – heck, who am I kidding? – my favorite journalist, Anderson Cooper, suffered temporary blindness this past week. Did he have some genetic condition that caused this blindness?  Did he splash something in his eye?  No, Cooper sunburned his eyes while in Portugal. Sunburned his eyes?  Just the mere thought of that makes my eyes squint in horror! Awakened by pain, Cooper originally dismissed it as sand in his eyes.  But, he realized when he was blind that it was something more serious.  Cooper lost his eyesight for 36 hours. That must have been pretty … Continue reading

Detoxing your Life

The other day, I was on the phone with my best friend. We were complaining about aches and pains and how we didn’t think it could be stress because we just didn’t feel stressed. Then, we proceeded to complain about different things in our lives for the next 30 minutes. She laughed and said, “But, we aren’t stressed about anything!” Stress can affect our health – both mental and physical. But how can we detox ourselves of poisonous stress? First, ask yourself some honest questions. Do you get irritated easily? Do you always feel like you are rushing from place … Continue reading

Stand Up for Yourself Already, Cinderella

Charles Perrault’s “Cinderella,” the particular version of the story adapted by Walt Disney, is another fairy-tale-as-morality-lesson. Disney ditches The Brothers Grimm when he makes “Cinderella;” even more strangely the credits cite Perrault’s story as the “original,” when in fact the rags-to-riches trope is an ancient and global motif. Even ignoring that the Brothers’ Grimm version predates Perrault’s. The reason I’m so fixated on the issue of adaptation is because I found Perrault’s “Cinderella” odious. The main moral (which cannot be mistaken; the end of the story is followed by an explanatory poem titled “Moral”) is that it doesn’t really matter … Continue reading

Do You and Your Spouse Sleep in Separate Beds?

In the days of black and white television, it was scandalous to show a man and woman in the same bed. I remember seeing episodes of I Love Lucy and wondered why Lucy and Ricky had twin beds—the world just wasn’t ready for anything more suggestive. Today when we hear of a man and woman sleeping in two separate beds, our thoughts immediately leap to the conclusion that they are having anger and/or sexual problems. But is that the only reason for sleeping separately? Some people are driven to the couch or to the guest bedroom by their spouse’s snoring … Continue reading

SpongeBob: Bad for focus and concentration?

SpongeBob SquarePants is the most-watched TV show among kids between the ages of 2 to 11. Quoted from Time Healthland article, “Study: Fast-Moving Cartoons like SpongeBob May Impair Kids’ Focus” September 12, 2011 by Bonnie Rochman. I admit I was surprised by this comment. I had no idea so many children as young as 2 were watching SpongeBob Squarepants. In SpongeBob’s defense the show is not suggested for viewing by children under the age of 6. Parents need to vigilant when allowing a preschooler to watch television that they are exposing the child to only age appropriate shows. In addition, … Continue reading

Encouraging Your Child to Keep Going

We sign our children up for activities and sports because of the fun and the education. Often we allow the child to pick a sport or instrument to gage their interests. Some parents get discouraged when a child seems to have a lack of interest in any extra-curricular activities. The reason is simple. A child does not have the experience or knowledge to know what he may like. The same way we make them try different foods or know the right Christmas gift even when the child gave no direction is how we guide extra-curricular activities. Yes, you simply pick … Continue reading

How to Cope With Your Child’s Diagnosis

Your child has just been diagnosed with a developmental disorder, or with a mental disorder, or with a serious health condition. This is going to be a traumatic experience for any parent to go through. Here are some suggestions about how to cope with this knowledge. Perhaps you always had a “feeling” that something was “different” about your child. Maybe you have taken your child to see doctors and specialists, in order to confirm or deny your suspicion. You might have visited with a psychologist or other mental health practitioner who observed your child. After all this, you finally get … Continue reading

Taking Advice about Your Marriage

None of us are born knowing how to be married. It’s something we have to figure out. We come into our marriages with the ideas we gained by seeing how our parents handled their marriages, and sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not. With divorce rates what they are, and even what they were when we were growing up, not all of us were raised in two-parent homes, and those who were often saw discord that wasn’t handled well. Sometimes we learn more about married life from television than we do from reality. We don’t always have a … Continue reading

Are You Married to a Bad Dad?

To answer the question we must first define “bad.” Are we talking Alec Baldwin bad, Jon Gosselin bad, Mel Gibson bad or “Slumdog Millionaire” dad bad? Or, do you lump your child’s co-parent into the “bad” category due to his lack of participation in the daily upbringing of the child he clearly participated in conceiving? If you selected the latter, then you might be interested in the results of a new study that examines the gap between genders when it comes to “unpaid economy” or what us lay folk refer to as the daily grind of housework and childcare. The … Continue reading