Tricks and Tips to Help with Dyslexia

I was not diagnosed with dyslexia when I was a child. I was never taught how to work around my dyslexia. Instead, I found what worked for me, mostly by trial and error. Some of these tricks will help the dyslexic person in your family, too. If you search the internet, you can find several different websites that are filled with pages of tips and tricks . Some help with letter recognition, or letter sounds. Others help with basic math skills. Some are “life skills”. Here is what has consistently worked for me: Write down a phone number vertically instead … Continue reading

Calling in My Assistant Dog Wranglers

As much of a handful as my dogs can be at times, I’m mostly able to take care of them without too much extra help. But this April, I’ll need the dog care backup team to take care of Moose and Lally for me. In case you don’t follow the Health Blog, here’s a quick recap: I’ll be having a hysterectomy thanks to some rather sizable fibroids (one is the size of a mandarin orange, one is the size of a football). The surgery requires a three to four day hospital stay, plus a grand total of ten days with … Continue reading

People Who Can Help You

This is not going to be an article about how to get people to do things for you or how to be opportunistic about using people. Instead, I want to talk about how important it is for single parents to be open to, and seek out those individuals who can add to our lives in different ways. Not just those people who can connect us to a great job or provide childcare, but having people in our lives who can be helpful can make all the difference! We all need a hand now and again. It took me a long … Continue reading

“Help me! Help me! And Leave me Alone!”

What parent has not experienced the mixed messages of a child? They want us close; they want us to butt out. They need our help, but they don’t want to admit it. As a parent, it becomes a challenging dance to know when to step in, and when to stand off to the side AND to learn how to interact with our children when they are sending us those mixed messages. The thing with young children is that they tend to be pretty black-and-white thinkers. It is not until a child is nearly grown that he can really tolerate ambiguity … Continue reading

The Neighbors Are Moving: What Would You Do?

Our new neighborhood is a very quiet one. People are very friendly, although everyone tends to keep to themselves. Still, I have to admit that I was a little surprised when a bunch of moving trucks pulled up at my neighbor’s house, the one across the road from ours. I noticed the trucks as my eldest son and I waited for the school bus. The neighbor’s yard was a swarm of activity. There were three large moving trucks plus several SUVs, pick up trucks and cars; the people loading them all. I didn’t want to be a busy-body, but all … Continue reading

Interviewing Potential Mentors

I know that it can be awkward trying to find and get to know mentors and colleagues who we think COULD be mentors. When I sat down to write this, I thought about how a few years ago, someone I barely knew called me and asked to take me to coffee in order to ask me questions about my work. It was someone who was interested in making a career switch and doing the sort of work I was doing at the time and he wanted to find out more about what I did, how I felt about it and … Continue reading

Are They Bossing, Butting In, or Helping?

It is often common for single parents to talk about their “support system”–we know how important it is to have people around us who can help out and be supportive of our situation and circumstance. Not everyone is really helpful, however, and it can sometimes be a good idea to evaluate those people who are closest to us and in our “support system” to see if they are really being helpful, or if they are adding stress to our already stressful lives. I am not suggesting that you dump people from your inner circle, but it can’t hurt to figure … Continue reading

Even When They Ask for Help, Expect a Little Resentment

I wrote the other day about how, as children get older, it helps if parents ask before offering up suggestions and opinions. In reality, I thought it would be fair to mention that even when they solicit our opinions and ask for our help, they may not be particularly happy about it! I find that with my teens the opposite is often quite true–if they have to ask for my help, they are rather irritated about it and they are just as likely to exhibit resentment as they are appreciation. This brings me back to my number one golden rule … Continue reading

Expect the Unexpected

Expected the unexpected seems to be the motto of this Christmas. My husband’s Christmas gift had been planned. I knew exactly what I wanted to buy and where to find it in Nowra. But on Friday when I reached the shop where I’d seen it earlier in the week, they didn’t have what I wanted. That required a whole re-think and casting about for ideas, which I didn’t have time for on Friday as my husband and I had another appointment to meet up with friends in Huskisson. So yesterday, armed with a new set of ideas for gifts, I … Continue reading

How Not To Give Advice

If you want to know how not to give advice, take a look at the book of Job. For anyone who finds themselves in a counseling situation, this book is invaluable. We have been studying the book of Job in our home bible study group. Rather than going through it in a chronological way, we were encouraged to read the book through to get an overview, then we have been looking at each of the characters and what they have to say. Job’s wife is only seen once during this book. It is far from a flattering picture. She is … Continue reading