By Barry Goldstein
Pajamies are put on, yawns are in abundance, teeth are brushed and your child is finally ready for bed. Every evening you take your child through this ritual, but are you truly ready to create sacred space with your child at bedtime? Are there steps that you go through so that you don’t bring your daily stresses along with you before you tuck them in or read that beautiful bedtime story? Children are very sensitive to our moods and emotions. Let them know this time is special! Here are some tools to use using sacred sound and visualization that you can create in a few minutes! Continue reading
Life’s lessons are sometimes best learned with an appreciative sense of humor.
As a follow-up to our story, recounted previously on HuffingtonPost, I had written that my spouse and I were ‘expecting’ a boy. While we made our journey through the red tape of the California Foster Care system, we experienced many roadblocks. To our surprise, older kids, whom we thought would be plentiful, were not being presented. We made several attempts and many calls to find out who was available …and where were they?
On one call, I was told to ‘not go shopping online’ to view available kids around the country. Since local county authorities trained us, they wanted their investment to pay off with a local placement.
But instead, after two years, we did do a little shopping and found Avery through the Foster Care placement website, AdoptUsKids.org. David, my spouse, reached out to the social worker about connecting with Avery to provide support to this openly gay boy who was suffering in one of the most repressive social climates possible… Mississippi.
David wrote to him and applauded his ‘fierceness’ and urged him to see himself as an ambassador of the LGBT community to people who probably didn’t even know another openly gay person. Continue reading
Curtis was not in control. In fact, he had no control with just about everything in his life. After all, Curtis was in foster care.
Thirteen year old Curtis was placed into foster care after suffering neglect from a mother who was addicted to and sold illegal drugs. The teenager had been separated from his other two siblings, a younger brother and sister, as there were no foster homes in the area able to take in three children at that time. The foster teen’s father had been in and out of the family’s life, just as he had been in and out of jail. When Curtis arrived in his new foster home, he was confused, he was lonely, and he was scared. Curtis had been taken from everything he knew. He had been taken from his mother, his father, his brother, and his sister. He had been taken from his bedroom, his toys, his baseball card collection, his pet dog, his house, his home. The teen had been taken from his grandparents, his aunts, his uncles, his cousins, his neighbors, his friends, his teachers, and his classmates. Indeed, Curtis had been taken from everything that was familiar to him, everything he knew, and everything he loved. Continue reading
By Samantha Madhosingh
Productive, confident adults…that is what we all hope our kids will develop into. There are very specific strategies that increase the odds of making that hope all parents have a reality, so let’s dive in.
Communication with Confidence
Empowering children with the skills of effective listening, self-advocacy, standing up for themselves, and the ability to communicate their needs, are some of the critical communication tools they will need from the preschool classroom to the boardroom.
These are the foundation skills of leadership development and can even prevent your child from being the victim of bullying and abuse. You want your kids to be able to say “No” to other peers or adults who may attempt to harm them. Practice with them through role plays, and show them how to be assertive, ask for what they want, and listen carefully to what others are saying. Continue reading
By Dr. Patricia Ryding
The involvement of your family is an important part of a healthy recovery from substance addiction—and that doesn’t just mean the adults in the picture. Sobriety is about love and connection, and if you have children, that love and connection is vital to creating a space in which your entire family thrives.
However, at the beginning of your journey, that connection might be damaged, especially if your children witnessed your substance-fueled behavior. Because the substance has stood between you and your loved ones for a while, it might be hard to bridge that gap, especially at the beginning. That’s completely understandable, but it doesn’t have to stop you from sharing with your children.
Children are highly aware of their surroundings, so they probably have picked up on some issues. A child might not be able to express what they have processed about your struggle up to this point, but rest assured that they have noted it. Now ask them to join into strengthening your lives together. You are building a new life walking away from those substance issues, so ask your children to join with you in your journey.
Here are some things to keep in mind. Continue reading
There was a moment in the middle of the Republican debate last night, while Trump was shouting, “Little Marco spews his crap about the size of my hands!” that I muted the television and asked my daughters, “Should we actually be watching this?”
We have watched, as a family, most of the Democratic and Republican debates. My girls and I watched Hillary Clinton at the Benghazi hearings. As a parent, I feel that these forums are allowing my family to discuss the issues, but also watch the body language, tone of voice, and how people treat each other.
My daughters are in 8th grade and 5th grade. They are intelligent, empathetic, globally aware children. As a family, we have always discussed difficult issues together whether it’s a girls right to go to school, the water situation in Flint, the lack of justice for the shooting of a young black boy or what it means to be a refugee from a war torn country. Our extended family is on a group text where we share articles and thoughts on current events. My 8th grade daughter participates in debate tournaments and is adept at researching both sides of an issue, gathering facts and cultivating sound arguments. My husband and I have never shied away from exposing our girls to hard issues – always mindful that we do it in an age appropriate way. At 14 and 11 years old, we have felt they are old enough now to not only process, but also participate in this year’s election.
Yet, the spectacle and degradation of last night’s debate made me pause. Just a few days before, Van Jones, a former Obama staffer and commentator on CNN, had an unbelievable interaction with Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, about the KKK. In his emotion, he mentioned that he felt it was no longer appropriate for his son to watch the media which glorifies the sensational statements of Donald Trump. Continue reading
By: Meghan S. Phillips
Gratefulness and thankfulness are both positive feelings and important factors when it comes to raising happy, responsible and authentic kids. When we think positively we attract more positive, which leads to attracting more abundance. And who doesn’t want a little of that?
Getting in the space of feeling grateful can help develop the habit of naturally seeing the silver lining, despite what you are going through. Surprisingly, it didn’t dawn on me until recently to start talking to my kids about the practice of gratitude. Continue reading
One of my favorite parenting books is Michael Thompson and Catherine O’Neill’s Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understand the Social Lives of Children.
Like most good parenting books, the advice turns out to be just as useful when dealing with adults as it is when dealing with children. (I think about Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish’s brilliant How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk more often in the context of adult than of child interactions.)
As I was reading Best Friends, Worst Enemies, I was particularly struck by Thompson’s warning against “interviewing for pain.” Continue reading
24 Hours in Washington D.C. with my father, Deepak Chopra
In my book, Living With Intent, Take Action is an important step in my path to INTENT. The insight for this step came to me when my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and I realized that the now is the time to live the purposeful and connected life I seek. (And for the many who have asked, the good news is that my friend is in remission.)
Loss has also reminded me to have gratitude and be present with those we love if we have the opportunity to do so. In my 40’s, many people I love have transitioned, and I have seen family and friends lose their parents, spouses, even children, to disease or senseless tragedy. My intent to spend time with loved ones is a priority for me. Continue reading
You arrive at the end of your day.
Do you know how many steps you’ve taken?
Do you know how many calories you ate?
How many minutes were spent on a phone?
How many spent on “you time” or wrangling kids or making dinner?
Where did the whole day go?
Sometimes our days are a cyclone at best. If we made it out alive, it’s cause for celebration. The trouble when we stay in a perpetual survival mode. We live constantly like we’re barely squeaking by- grab the cookie from the office kitchen since there’s not a second for lunch! Send one more email from bed! “What is this lady’s name?! I know I’ve met her before!!” Continue reading