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Family Files 2019

Glass half full

Are you optimistic about the future?

The other day I was visiting with a friend about the importance of feeling optimistic about the future. It is only fitting to think about the future and having a positive mindset as we move into 2020. Being optimistic doesn’t mean to forget about the struggles or issues that you might be...
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pouting little girl

Prevent tantrums during the holidays

We talk a lot about stress during the holidays and try to find ways to reduce or make that stress more manageable. However, we usually talk about it in regards to us – the adults – and sometimes forget that holidays can be difficult for children as well. Parties, shopping, and other activities may...
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woman standing under lights

Managing Holiday Stress

With the anticipation of the holidays, there can also be that feeling of dread – how are you going to get everything done on an already busy schedule? For many people, the extensive preparations they engage in to pull off those picture-perfect holidays create so much stress, that they can’t even...
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upset woman

Substance Use Disorders Affect All Family Members

In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD). SUD’s are defined as the recurrent use of alcohol or drugs that result in problems such as being unable to control use of the substance, failing to meet work, home or school obligations, having poor...
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older man pushing older woman in wheelchair

Celebrate National Family Caregiver Month

We all know someone who is providing care for someone else. They may be caring for an older parent, a disabled adult child, or a spouse suffering from a traumatic injury or chronic illness. Even parents raising children are considered caregivers. Caregivers give of themselves without expecting...
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harvest scene

Farmers Can Feel the Stress

Since most of the farmers in my area are deep into harvest season, I thought it might be a good time to touch on the topic of farm or agricultural stress. Those in the agricultural industry can face unique pressures, many of which are beyond their control. Some of these include:   Break...
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Fall decorations

Decluttering the Decorations

I find that most of my decorations are for events and holidays in the months of October, November, and December.  Every year during these months as I drag my decorations out, I inevitably see the same ones that I don’t use, and l leave them in the same box to go back into storage for another...
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kids reading books

Helping Kids (and Parents) Adjust to College

Since my son (only child) recently moved to college up north back in August, I have felt like maybe someone has died. Friends, family and acquaintances will ask how my son is liking school, and then they lower their voice, get real close and grab my arm, and ask in a serious tone “and how are YOU...
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Scam signs

Don't Be Scammed!

You may get a call from the “police” saying your grandchild is in jail and needs a certain amount of money to be released. Or a call from “Microsoft” telling you that your computer has a virus and they need remote access to it so they can fix it. Or you are contacted by your “bank” saying there was...
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Grandparents have an important role in a child’s life

National Grandparents Day is September 9th. Since August 3, 1978, the day has been set aside “to honor grandparents… and help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”  Grandparents can offer all of these things and typically when we think of...
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A Family Night In

Overwork and over scheduling can take a toll on families and relationships as we find less time together, especially just to hang out.  Taking a break to spend some relaxed time together as a family can be a way to reconnect.  A “family night in” is doing something together at home that...
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school car line

Back to School: Proceed with...Mindfulness?

As the school year approaches, parents and children experience a rush of emotions. Sadness that the carefree days of summer are ending. Anticipation of seeing friends and learning new things. Curiosity at what new opportunities the new year will bring. Excitement of new schedules, new routines, new...
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Parental Stress

Parental Stress

Children returning to school can be such an exciting, busy time. For some parents, it is relieving to get back into a pattern. For others, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time. Parental stress can be triggered by monetary spending on school supplies and registration, ...
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Are You Guilty of Distracted Driving?

It's happening more and more. You are driving along and the car you are meeting is slowly drifting into your lane only to be jerked back suddenly – and you see that the driver is busy looking down at their phone rather than the road. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away...
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Too Much is NOT a Good Thing

Originally printed in March of 2017, but thought it would be worthwhile to release again. While on vacation a few weeks ago, I noticed there were many elementary and middle school aged children present at our resort. I also noticed that many of them had something in common.- their...
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Getting Ready for Kindergarten

It can be an exciting and emotional time for children and their parents when a child officially begins his school career with kindergarten. However, is that child ready? And, how do parents prepare their child to be ready? The Illinois Early Learning Project has a great tip sheet on this topic that...
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Fun at Home with Preschoolers: Getting Ready to Read!

Used with permission through a partnership with the Illinois Early Learning Project.  www.illinoisearlylearning.org Is your child between the ages of 3 and 5? If so, you can do a lot to make getting ready to read a natural part of daily life. Most 3- to 5-year-olds still have a way to go...
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Would You Want to Know?

There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) being the most common, accounting for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Although the biggest risk factor is increasing age, Alzheimer's and other dementias are not a normal process of aging. AD in particular can be difficult to clearly...
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Would You Want to Know?

There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) being the most common, accounting for 60-80% of all cases of dementia. Although the biggest risk factor is increasing age, Alzheimer's and other dementias are not a normal process of aging. AD in particular can be difficult to clearly...
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Safety in the Pool

Preventing Swimming Disasters Many children love to cool off on a hot summer day in a swimming pool. Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States? Swimming is an ideal way for children and adults to stay physically active, and just two...
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