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a paper that says "try something new"

Time to try something new?

Reruns were part of my childhood. From Gilligan’s Island and I Love Lucy to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, I kept up with them all. In the 1970’s and 80’s, many people in American culture grew up with sitcom theme songs running through the soundtrack of...
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three children holding hands

Helping children learn to get along

As the oldest child of three, and also having a child of my own, I can say first-hand that children are going to argue, not get along, and even fight sometimes. When facilitating parenting classes, the topic of how to prevent children’s arguments was brought up often. Fortunately, getting along...
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family playing a game

Building traditions as part of a "family night in"

The holiday season is approaching, and many families are feeling the pressure building.  How can everything get accomplished?  Do I have a low-fat recipe for pumpkin pie?  Instead of trying to do it all, set aside a “family night in” to enjoy the season. In previous articles, I have shared lots of...
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a family playing a board game

Take time for a "family night in" this April

April is here and brings many changes. The temperature. The clock. Even our clothing.  Why not add one more change to the list?  Get out your calendars and pick a night for a “family night in” to relax and spend time together. What children really want is more time with friends and family. What...
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Decision Making Sign

How to make difficult decisions

Most of us make minor decisions every day. What do I want for lunch? What should I drink for breakfast? Coffee, tea, juice, or milk? There are more complex decisions that we make as well. These decisions weigh more heavily because they impact our lives in many ways. As we transition into 2023,...
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Two candy canes making a heart

Manage 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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view of someone in military boots standing behind child

Tips to help military families cope with stress

While family members of our military service members do not actively serve, they do have a very important job – holding down the fort. Military service members put their lives on the line to protect and serve our country while their families adapt, miss their loved ones, and support them from home...
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man and woman pointing at each other and yelling

Five ways to refine your co-parental communication

Growing up, my family had my half-sisters every other weekend, but the co-parenting relationship never took a break. I witnessed many different conversations between co-parents on many different topics like schooling, child support, drama, and even discipline. While the conversations were often...
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Man and woman embracing

Age My Way is theme for Older Americans Month 2022

We traditionally celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM) each May. OAM is a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons in our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month...
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the word family written out in baking flour

Starting a family as LGBTQ+ parents

During my first year of college, I had a professor in the middle of the adoption process with her partner. I will never forget the day she shared the news that their adoption agency had found them a child & would be meeting them within the next week. Her happiness was contagious, but I couldn’t...
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family with children and baby smiling at each other

Helpful hints for unifying a blended family

While conflict is bound to happen in all family structures, blended families encounter many unique challenges. Knowing what to expect can help address issues before they spiral out of control. Growing up in a blended family was anything but simple. I witnessed arguments between co-parents, legal...
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glass half full with water, block with the word half

Is your glass half full or half empty?

As a new year is upon us, sometimes we say that we hope the new year is better than the last.  As the saying goes, are you looking at your glass half-full or half-empty?  Our outlook may be grim, or it could be positive. If your tendency is to find the less optimistic view, then you might want to...
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four people outside laughing in the snow

Making the holidays memorable and meaningful

Every year the adults in my family have a Christmas gift exchange. Around October we draw names with wish lists to prepare for the exchange. A couple of years ago my brother wanted to change it up a little, and suggested we give experiences rather than actual items. We had so much fun that year!...
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Man and woman shouting at each other.

Time Out!

“It’s your turn to take the kids to practice after school today,” she says to her husband. “I can’t take the kids to practice today, I have a late meeting,” he says. “That’s the second late meeting this week!” she shouts. “Why are you raising your voice?” he asks as he points towards her. “Why...
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two people sitting at a table talking

Tips for effective communication

I originally wrote this article a few years ago, but always feel it is worthwhile to share it again periodically as a refresher. People are highly passionate in their beliefs and on behalf of groups they are a part of, and in our current culture, differing beliefs or create quite the stir....
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children outside of tent in backyard

Summer family fun

As we are now officially in the summer season, it can be very easy to overschedule our children and ourselves. This is especially true this year as COVID restrictions begin to lift and more events are becoming available again. Enjoyable but exhausting family vacations, summer sports leagues, day...
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Holidays at home

Most years, many strive to go home for the holidays. This year, many will spend their holidays in their own home. The home may be a place they live alone, a place with a significant other, a place with children, or a home filled with multi-generations.  Whatever home is for you, and however you are...
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bench with paper bag that has inspirational saying on it

Feeling grateful during difficult times

Things have not been easy for any of us during these past few months – or “unprecedented times.” We may feel like we’ve had many losses: loss of security, loss of contact with others, loss of freedom to come and go where we would like, maybe even loss of health and loved ones, among many more. Many...
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