Family Activities for Holiday or Moving Day

November 30th, 2022

How can you both corral the kids, but also get them to be helpful and useful during stress-filled holidays and moving days. These two letters tackle this question to help frazzled parents get through family transitions and difficult times. Check them out.

Time off from School can be Time On for Fun

November 4th, 2022

Holidays can be chaotic, with kids home from school for chunks of time. Beginning with a family meeting, these times can be fun for everybody. Getting everyone involved from planning to completion is the ticket to having holidays go well for your family. In my second letter, mom is having a pity party about not having "me-time." I helped her distinguish between selfish and self-caring. Getting "me-time" is about planning for it, keeping kiddos supervised and occupied, and making the time for yourself.

Moving onto a Rental?

October 26th, 2022

Transitions of any kind are stressful. Moving your family into a rental can be the worst! The following article comes from contributing podcaster Cheryl Conklin. Check her work out at  Great stuff!!

Summer Plans that can Fill all Family Needs

June 14th, 2022

Families aren't supposed to be win/lose propositions. We need to build them to be win/win for all members. Making family plans for the summer can be taxing and stressful, where one or more family members feel left out. Enter the family planning meeting. This process gives everybody voice. The first letter addresses this. In the second letter, mom fears not getting her own needs met. I encourage her to switch her mindset from either/or to both/and. As long as kids have supervision and accountability, mommies can get their needs met too.

Being There in Tough Times

May 28th, 2022

This pandemic has taken its toll on all of us. While things are much better, we're not there yet. How can you be there for your kids and for others in these tough times? The first letter is from grandparents who want to be active again. I counsel, go, but go slowly and with safeguards in place. A mom writes me about her son's best friend who is very ill from this pandemic. While encouraging her son to talk our his feelings, in his time frame, I also encourage creative ideas for the boy to be there for his best friend in these tough times.

Planning Summer Fun in Critical Times

May 15th, 2022

Summer is almost here. Kids almost out of school. What to do? What to do? A mom shares her frustrations and worries about planning amidst pandemic and world crises. Active listening is the tool to use to help calm your kids down. After you have their attention, use brainstorming techniques to open up a family planning meeting. Any and all options are on the table, within family time and money constraints. As an extra, I've included my own family meeting activities list to activate the brain cells. Blessings, Jon

Tending to kid health issues

May 8th, 2022

Tragedy can befall any family at any time. In the first letter, mom wants help not with her elder son who is quadriplegic, but rather with her younger son, whom she fears will be left out. There's a place for all in the family, no matter what the trauma. In the second letter, how could a sweet, adorable, little 5-yr old girl suffer from migraine headaches. Mom is fraught with worry and concern. I helped her come up with options to help ease her daughter's pain.

Pandemic Parental Fatigue

April 21st, 2022

Parenting a special needs child is challenging under any circumstances. Add COVID-19 and the situation compounds. This podcast is not letters, my usual format, but rather an article sent to me that I'm passing on to you. Take heart. You can both self-care and tend to your special needs child.

Holiday Challenges

December 21st, 2021

What to do when one of your kids embraces the awe of Santa Claus, and her older brother intends to burst her bubble by saying that Santa is "not real?" As parents, we are to respect our children's developmental stages and convictions, while guiding them away from power plays. Also, how do we keep the family and spiritual side of Christmas alive in our family? In the second letter, mom is frustrated with the disruption to kid bedtime with the change of routine around the holidays. Ideas?

Kid Health Issues

December 9th, 2021

Stuff happens. As parents, we are charged with helping our kids when stuff happens. In our first letter, mom asks about psychosomatic tummy aches her 6 year old daughter is having. Yes, psychosomatic illness is real, not "all in your head." I give her some hints for easing her daughter's pain. In our second letter, mom wants help with her middle schooler having to wear an eye patch the rest of the school year. Cognitive reframing is at tool mom can help her son use to adapt to his awkward, difficult circumstances.

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