Important Life Skills to Teach our Kids

Posted by: momzeebitz in


Life skills cannot be learned overnight, or even a year. These are life's essentials that we can teach our kids through experience, and as they grow each given day. As parents, we have to take advantage of learning opportunities through small moments and things.

According to Christine Field's book - Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World, here are the life skills that our tots need to learn:


DOING HOUSEHOLD CHORES
Key Lessons: ability to assume responsibility, coping/self management skills

  • don't simply tell them to clean their room, demonstrate them how to do it.
  • provide them with labeled or color coded storage bins so packing away and organizing toys can be made easy.
  • teaching kids to help with household isn't just about getting chores done but serves the greater purpose of letting them take charge, allowing them to feel that they contribute significantly to the household, and teaching them about responsibility along the way.

HANDLING PLAYTIME SQUABBLES
Key Lessons: communication, interpersonal relations, negotiating and refusal skills, empathy building

If you see your kids fighting over a toy, stand back. Reserve your mediating prowess and let them try to work things out on their own first. however, observing them to become too hostile or physical towards each other, means time to intervene and ask them to explain what the quarrel is all about ONE AT A TIME so that they'll see the effectiveness of taking one's turn and hearing the other person out.

PARTICIPATING IN GROUP PROJECTS
Key Lessons: cooperation, teamwork, communication, interpersonal skills
  • propose a family project to give your kids the opportunity to see home teamwork, cooperation, and harmony in diverse skills are needed to meet a common goal. For example, ask them to work on a family scrapbook and let them delegate tasks among themselves.
  • Acknowledge your kids with their participation and encourage them as well of ways to be pro-active.

SELF CARE
Key Lessons: coping/self management skills, ability to take on responsibility
  • teach them the importance of taking a bath, brushing their teeth, clipping their nails and cleaning their ears - especially on their own. Discuss the consequences of skipping these routines.
  • show them how to prepare simple snacks like sandwich or make themselves a glass of juice. Then, show them how to clean up after themselves when they have finished eating: putting back the bread in the bread basket, bringing the used dishes to the sink.

MAKING CHOICES

Key Lessons: decision making, critical thinking skills
  • brainstorm pros and cons with them in every possible situation and explain the consequences of their choices so they can reach a sound decision.
  • parents can ask questions that prompt their kids to think and decide autonomously. (Would you like to help mommy set the table or water the plants with daddy?)

BEING THE HANDY TYKE
Key Lessons: problem solving
  • showing your kids how to do some handy works teaches them that they can fix things on their own. Basic problem-solving skills are instilled as kids eventually learn to evaluate consequences of present actions and determine alternative solutions to the problem.
  • kids may be too young to handle basic carpentry or garden tools, but by showing them that you are willing to do some gardening or simple carpentry, you are already inspiring them to want to someday be the family "handy hyke", who can sew their own buttons, glue together broken robot parts, or do routine maintenance on their bicycle.

HOLDING THE PURSE STRINGS
Key Lessons: critical thinking, coping/self management skills
  • with proper guidance, kids learn to work out a budget, plan for savings, or stay out of debt by buying within their means.
  • give them little allowances and allow them to decide how to spend it.
  • when kids are empowered, it encourages a can-do attitude, which makes them strive to do things better.

MANAGING THEIR TIME AND SPACE
Key Lessons: coping/self management skills, stress management
  • educate your kids on how to use clocks and calendars, and how the changes in season affect everyday living can help them value time.
  • draw up daily schedule with your kids where they can clearly see how a day is broken down into hours. Ask them which activity should be done first, next, and last -- this serves as their first brush with the concept of prioritizing.

Raising Money-Smart Kids

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

In order for kids to develop wise spending habits and to know the value of a day's wage later on as adults, it is important to teach them at an early age. Parents can start explaining money matters to their kids as soon as the little ones are able to speak.

So how can we teach and actually help them to be money-wise kids? Here are some tricks that I have read in Imelda Aznar's article "Money Smart Kids"


TEACH THEM TO SAVE ON ALL RESOURCES, NOT JUST MONEY.
Constant reminders to our kids to conserve water or to save electricity would impress upon them that saving on these things will also help mom and dad to save money for the household.

ESTABLISH A PESO-TO-PESO SAVINGS PROGRAM.
Match your child's savings for peso (or 50 centavos for every peso saved). It doesn't only help your child's savings to grow quickly, it's also a powerful incentive to encourage them to save regularly.

SET UP FAMILY PIGGY BANK.
Have a goal and save it as a family - say, a summer trip to the beach.

WHEN GIVING THEM MONEY, GIVE IT IN DENOMINATIONS THAT ENCOURAGE SAVING.
For example, if you are giving them P100, give 5 P20 bills and encourage them to save at least P20

DISSUADE THEM FROM BORROWING MONEY FROM FRIENDS.
Teach them instead to buy only the necessary things. If they are old enough to understand the concept of paying interest, charge interest on small loans you give them so they can quickly learn how expensive it is to "rent" someone else's money.

USE BOOKS, GAMES, AND MUSIC.
These are products in the market today that teach little children about money and saving. Such books include as Lucky The Golden Goose by John Wren or Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. There are also board games, like Junior Monopoly, Moneywise Kids, Payday and the Allowance Game, and simulation toys like cash registers and ATM machines.

ENCOURAGE THEM TO GIVE TO CHARITY.
Teach your kids to set aside a portion of their money for charity. It's a great way to teach them about sharing and compassion towards others.

KEEP A MONEY JOURNAL.
You can encourage your kids to keep a journal that features all her goals (with pictures), savings plan, or expense summary.

"I Won Mom!"

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

It has been 2 weeks since my eldest received a game board from his grandpa. It was the Snakes And Ladders that I and my 2 brothers used to play with when we were younger. Although the colors on board were bit faded, Lolo Tatay (that's how my eldest call his grandpa) preferred to simply purchase new tokens and dice for replacements rather than buying a new one. He wanted to instill the value of "valuing valuable possessions" by example to my eldest that's why.

Simple as it was, my boy's so excited to learn the game and play with daddy and I (well, with my youngest on my lap) for practice. Knowing that Lolo Tatay would drop by next weekend (or us to his place), he wanted to show him that he already mastered the game rules when they play together.

On their first game, my kid was so confident to win. He seem befriended with the dice! He took advantage of the ladders for about three times and Lolo Tatay never landed on any ladder through out the game. Unfortunately, on my son's supposedly "for the win" turn, he landed on the 98th square -- where he was "bitten" by the snake, and went back on the 78th space. So upset, my 4 year old did not finish the game and cried.

Lolo Tatay pacified him, and patiently explained that it was just a game. That sometimes, he may win, sometimes he wont. The important thing was that he played fair, and enjoyed as well. Lolo Tatay added that if he would agree to play again with him and this time with daddy, each win will enable him a "ticket" to choose between an "arcade pass" for a play in an arcade on next weekend, or a "toy store pass" for a chance to choose a toy he wanted on next weekend, provided it's a hundred pesos or less. If he lose but manage to stay on the game and reach the end of the board, he would still be allowed for a "food pass " -- a chance to choose ice cream or chocolate bar or chips to eat for merienda.

While I was in the kitchen preparing our meryenda, I heard him shouting with joy while heading my way.

"I won mom!"

I excitedly asked him, "So what did you choose son, the arcade or the toy store pass?"

"I won a food pass mom! I want a chocolate bar! Can I have 2? One's for baby brother. If he can already play, I'll tell him to finish the game first before I will give him his food pass."

I saw the happiness in my son's eyes. And truly, that glimpse brought so much joy to my heart as well. I knew, more than the "pass", he learned a very valuable lesson of life and living. He may not know the deeper price he had gained from the game for now, but in time, he would.

Before going home, I hugged my father a little tighter than I used to. Just to convey my warm thank you for being a wonderful dad to me and my brothers, and a loving Lolo Tatay to my kids. And of course, a kiss on the chicks to end the precious day...

I love you Tatay... We Love you so dearly...




My 360 Degree Turn...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Yes, I was into a lot of things lately -- so much that I needed time to think, to pause, to heal.

So as much as I wanted to visit and "sit" with you my fellow moms -- here in our little hub, I decided not to -- until I could.

I wanted to remain truthful in every single word I keyed in. And being in a stressful situation then, I decided to face the inevitable, then I'll get back in time to share my lessons and recollections. And here I am now! So so sooo happy to be back.

Here are some that I wanted to share...

  • I realize how our life has been beautifully crafted by our Almightly. He has given us so much joy -- enough not to dwell on the gray ones.
  • I realize that truly there is sunshine after the rain. Our family is our most valuable and most effecient umbrella, and their love and care are our blanket.
  • Every problem has a lot of solutions. Every person has his own way and pace. Let him/her solve it his/her own way. What matters is facing any trial with positive outlook, solve it and not dwell on it, then move forward.
  • We are the drivers of our own cars. Our Dear Lord entrusted to us our own vehicle, and He gave us the gift of wisdom on how to take good care of it. So once in a while, we have to re-fuel our car, constantly check its engine to ensure its efficiency, clean it (or even detail it if necessary), and ensure that it maintains its great shape so we can be in our destination on time.

I hope, I am still welcome in our little sacred hub, my fellow moms. For you are all my treasures and you simply touch my heart in different ways.

Looking forward to share with you again. Take good care of you!

with much love,
momzeebitz

P.S.

My special thanks to my fellow moms who continuously touched my heart by sharing their thoughts despite my "absence"...

Mom of Four (oneprettymother.blogspot.com)

Tey (mydaysinmymind.blogspot.com)

Farrah (wifeandmomeof3.net)

blessedmom (noahandkaeden.blogspot.com)

Spaceofgrace (homemakerslibrary.blogspot.com/)

How Much Do I Love Thee...

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

I wrote this poem straight from my heart -- just a written expression of my love for my two wonderful boys. Someday, i wish they will have a glimpse of this post, so they would know how much I love them and how much happiness and color they have brought in my life…


The first time I saw you,
my heart was filled with so much joy.
I felt so blessed that God gave you to me.
You were His very special Gift that completed me...
When I held you close to mine,
It seemed that your heart beats with mine...
From that very moment,
I committed myself to love you,
to take care of you,
to protect you -- until my last breath...

Remember when you had your first step?
I guided you until you gained your balance.
At times that you fell but I didn't pick you up,
I wanted you to learn standing by your own.
I wanted you to grow up strong, dependable, and responsible...
But remember –-
when you stumbled so hard and couldn't stand by yourself,
I never wasted any second to carry you back home.
Because I love you... I love you... I love you...

Remember when you had your first day in school?
I took you to your second home but only stayed for awhile.
I wanted you to learn adopting new things by your own.
I wanted you to grow up with confidence,
To create friendships, to discover new things...
But remember –-
when you had hard times to comprehend with these things,
I never wasted any moment to explore each with you.
I will never, ever get tired to guide and guard you.
Because I love you... I love you... I love you...

Time will pass and you’ll see a wider world.
Yes, I will let you fall in love.
I'll let you shed a tear too...
I want you to learn from life.
For feeling pain will teach you giving more importance to laughter.
I want you to discover God's wonders to deepen your faith...
But remember –-
If there’ll be times that you can't hold your tears back,
I will wipe each drop for you.
I will embrace you so tight
To let you feel how special you are.

And if at some point, you’ll be in your deepest hour,
And you’ll need me to be with you…
Just to stay by you...
I'll never ever hesitate…

Just like when you’re still a baby,
I'll hold you next to mine,
I'll embrace you with all my love,
I'll let you feel how happy I am to have you
Because you are God's gift to me,
And that you completed me...

And I will kiss your forehead and tell you,
how very proud I am to have you...

I'll never leave your side –-
Until my last breathe...
Even beyond…

Because I love you…I love you... I love you...



Our Little "Helpers" on Housework

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Getting the entire family to help with housework can be quite challenging. But teaching our kids the importance of cooperation and the effects of doing or not doing his/her own tasks is essential because in this way, we can inculcate to them the sense of self-responsibility.

Here are some tips on making our little "helpers" work more organized.


MAKE A LIST OR CHART OF TO-DOS.
Either assign or ask volunteers for different tasks. You may also create job charts that kids can check out for their respective tasks. Color-code your charts just like teachers do in school. Organize tasks and prioritize what to accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly. Set a time frame.

SET UP A FAMILY COUNCIL ON WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, AND WHY.
Point out why everybody benefits from doing chores together. Give pep talks on why everyone needs to help out. Find out what interests each family member. If one enjoys cooking, then assign it to that child.

GIVE AGE-APPROPRIATE TASKS.
Chores should increase in difficulty as the child gets older. Younger children have poor fine motor skills, so don't assign tasks requiring small-muscle coordination. A toddler could be trained to pack away toys, and older kids to wash the rice for dinner.

PUT FUN INTO HOUSE CHORES.
Play a game of cleaning up. You may have two baskets ready for kids to separate the white and colored clothes into. Ask children to pair socks off in a same/different game while singing. Try color-coding hangers, letting kids categorize the clothing to be hung.

GIVE PRAISE AND REWARD.
Recognize the effort of everyone who helps out. This builds self-esteem and motivates them to do their best. Provide a family day-off treat if they manage to keep th house spic and span.


Truly, teaching values to our kids is best when started off young. At the end of the day, let's just remember that our housework "helpers" are still "little" so set realistic expectations for what has to be accomplished by each member. Perfection takes practice and practice takes time.


Source: an excerpt from "Cinderella Moms", written by Alice Bustos Orosa of Smart Parenting

Teaching Our Kids To Buy Their Needs, Not Their Wants

Posted by: momzeebitz in

With more purchasing power given to children nowadays, parents need to inculcate the correct consumer habit to their kids during their formative years. Otherwise, it will be hard to correct misguided consumer behavior later on. Parents should not underestimate their kids. Kids nowadays respond surprisingly well to financial boundaries and rules if these are introduced early. If parents can explain clearly to their kids why they cannot have a certain item, they can understand why.

Parents can do a lot of ways to teach their kids become responsible consumers and buyers -- buying only things that they need, not what they want.


HELP YOUR CHILD DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT SHE REALLY NEEDS THE TOY OR ITEM.
Explain to your child that shopping is not a hobby. It is something we do when we need something important. Remind her of the times she went ballistic over a certain item then simply did not want to play with it anymore one day.


ACKNOWLEDGE THE DESIRE.
In children's minds, a fancy dancing doll or a pair of cool new sneakers is a way for them to fit in with their friends or impress their classmates. Try not to be flippant when you say no, yet careful in acknowledging their desire for an object. Say "Yes, that does look like a good pair of shoes," while preparing them for possible disappointment, "But your sneakers now haven't worn out yet. We need to spend on things that you really need. Maybe next time, when we have extra cash."


STAY FIRM.
Sometimes, it is hard to say no, but parents have to stay firm. If your child finds that a particular tactic works, he'll do it again and again, and you will get stuck with a whining child every time you set foot in a mall. He has to learn the value of waiting or working for something he wants.


HELP THEM EARN THE ITEM THEY WANT TO BUY.
Giving a few extra pesos for doing simple chores like cleaning their room or helping groom the dog trains them to work for something they want. With kids who are not in school yet, you have to set a specific goal -- like when their money reaches a certain amount, they can buy the toy they want. That way, children see where the money they have earned is going.


SHOW THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE.
Bring your child to places such as an orphanage where kids don't have the privilege of owning toys. Let her share her old toys to help her appreciate what she has.


TALK TO YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER ABOUT HER NEW TOY CRAVING.
Your child's teacher can help reinforce the lesson you are trying to teach. If the child thinks that it is not allowed by mommy, and is not also allowed by teacher, then, it is not really allowed.


SPEND MORE QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR CHILD.
This will dramatically lessen your child's demand for toys. Parents must try to spend more time with their kids, not more money with them. What kids really want and need is time with their parents, not more consumer goods


Source: Pester Power by Maan Pamaran of Smart Parenting

A Teary and Very Happy Mommy...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Since I started posting, a lot made suggestions that I might as well consider changing my Profile Image. Yes, I know they just wanted it to be more appealing and personal. If I may share the story behind the picture, and express how important and personal it is to me...

My eldest is 4 years old and a preschooler. A lovable, smart, and "naughty" young boy, who sometimes drives me crazy yet inspires and energizes me every single moment of my life. For the first 2 months of his schooling, I would always ask him "How's school? What did you do in class?" and he would constantly respond "Nothing much mom?", "We just sang mom", "I can't remember mom", "Seat works mom", "Writing mom" and so on...

At times, I would ask his teachers how is he in school, and they would tell me that my son is doing well and always participates in recitations.

And then came their first quarter evaluation and grading card distribution. He was one of the Top 5 students. When his teacher handed in his grading card, she told me to open it for she had inserted something which my son has made during one of their art sessions...

There I saw a rose -- cut and pasted, and colored red by my son, with few words under it that says... "I love mom"

I love you much much more Son... more than you'll ever know and imagine...


Helping Our Children To Be Positive Despite Problems

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Just a year ago, one of the most tragic news reported in both print and broadcast media was the suicide of a 12-year old female child in one of our country's provinces. Allegedly, she ended her life by hanging herself in their home. It was also reported that she had a lot of scribbles in her school notebooks, telling mostly her feelings towards hardships and poor living thus wanting to end her life. Despite her young age, her awareness and experiences of life struggles, problems and pains, are the key points on why she allegedly committed suicide.

A good social support system in the family and an optimistic world-view are the two strongest weapons that we can equip our children to guide them in becoming a more positive individual despite problems, thus their weapon too against suicide (or even attempts). We can develop these through the following habits:

OFFER SUPPORT. Only in being present in your children's lives can you show that you are truly available for them. Make it known to them that you are there when they need you. For working parents, setting aside a reasonable and predictable time when you can be present for your children may be advisable.

BE ATTUNED. Attune yourself to the reactions and moods of your children. This will enable you to give emotional support when they most need it.

ENHANCE SELF-ESTEEM. Develop a positive self-esteem by praising your children and letting them know that you appreciate them. Show them that they have resources to solve simple problems, so that they are encouraged to try out more difficult ones.

THINK POSITIVE. Look at things from the bright side at all times. Instead of seeing the glass to be half-empty, think of it as being half-full. Model this way of thinking with your kids.

SEARCH FOR THE SILVER LINING. Constantly look for the silver lining to every dark cloud that comes your way. It could be a lesson learned or the presence of a good friend. Anything that makes the burden lighter is always good.

HOPE, FAITH AND TRANSCENDENCE. Nurture hope and transcendence in your child. Even the most terrible of tragedies can offer some glimmer of something better in the near future. This is where faith in something beyond us can be very helpful.



Great Fun, Less Cost

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Here are some tips and tricks from real moms on how to have a family fun time together on a budget.


FIND A CHEAP SPOT.

Lessen mall outings. If it has been a once a week malling for the whole family, you may just have it once a month and have some cheaper, but still fun alternatives. You may take the kids to a beach instead, where entrance fee is cheaper, bring your own food and drinks, and spend the whole morning till lunch at the beach.


DINE OUT.
You do not have to go to the restaurant to eat out. You can dine out -- al fresco! You may set up a table and chairs in the garden for dinner under the stars. To add up a little coziness, you may set up a gazebo in the garden and have dinner with the whole family.


ENJOY THE OUTDOORS.
Your family may also go to a vacant lot near a mall to play ball or badminton for free. Similarly, you may also go biking in a park with the kids.


PREMIUM ON STORYTELLING TIME.
Revive the tradition of storytelling -- it does not cost much and it enriches young minds. In addition to reading fairy tales and children's books, you can also share true stories of yourself, your partner, the kid's grandparents, and other close relatives.



Tips For HeaLthy EatinG...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

EAT SLOWLY. Chew food slowly and put the eating utensils down between bites. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness.

FOLLOW THE 15-MINUTE RULE on cravings. Try drinking a glass of water first -- you might just be thirsty. If after 15 minutes the craving does not pass, settle for a small portion. Control your appetite, don't let it control you.

AVOID GRAZING and raiding the ref every so often. If you really want that bar of chocolate or piece of cake in the ref, sit down and eat it.

USE THE NON-DOMINANT HAND when eating finger foods to avoid overstuffing.

DON'T MIX EATING WITH OTHER ACTIVITIES. Mindless eating (like when watching TV) loads your body with excess calories -- and no real feeling of satisfaction.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER throughout the day. It will give you the feeling of being full but minus the calories. On hot days, have an extra glass every now and then.


Source: excerpt from Tip Sheet
by nutritionist Luchie Callanta.

Popeye's Secret

Posted by: momzeebitz in

“Popeye the sailor man,” was the cartoon character who magnified his strength by eating spinach. Even so, spinach never was, nor is now considered a delicacy.

It is virtually a forgotten vegetable, as mothers say to their children, “Eat your broccoli!” That’s fine, but other than the iron in spinach, just how valuable is it to our bodies? Is it in the iceberg lettuce category (low value) or in the powerhouse broccoli-cauliflower league?

It’s very, very valuable, according to new discoveries by teams of medical scientists at three university medical centers. One group, from the departments of Chemistry, Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University, of Miami, found that taking the nutrient lutein (found in spinach) significantly raised its level in the blood. This is important, for other scientists have found that a deficiency of lutein is a risk factor for the development of cataracts.

A second group, from the Department of Preventive Medicine at U.C.L.A. and the Atherosclerosis (hardening of the Arteries) Research Unit of U.S.C., both in Los Angeles, discovered that the lutein reduced the appearance of arthrosclerotic disease in animals.

And surprisingly, another group found that lutein inhibited tumor growth and even enhanced immunity against disease in general in animals.

Source: Popeye’s Secret by William A. Kent,
Health Bulletin: Using Foods Instead of Drugs for Health

"Honey, I Wanted Our Relationship To Work"

Posted by: momzeebitz in


Who wanted a failed marriage? Who dreamt for a miserable partnership?

From the very moment we decided to spend the rest of our lives with our partner, we committed ourselves to a life long journey... Of course, roads aren't always smooth. And there'll always be tough times. But being a wife (or a husband) and being a parent as well, we are not only living to benefit our own but twined our life for the ones we love.


So why not try the following ways to keep our partnership successful and harmonious.


  • Have a 5:1 ratio or five positive interactions to one negative moment.
  • Show interest in what your partner is saying; try out some of his/her interest though it may not be totally in your field.
  • Be affectionate. Have many moments of tenderness and physical affection.
  • Show you care. Show random acts of thoughtfulness.
  • Be appreciative. Think fondly of your partner and the positive moments in your past.
  • Show concern, especially when your partner is distressed or worried. Be there for her/him.
  • Be empathetic by genuinely matching your partner's feelings.
  • Be accepting. Respect your differences and disagreements.
  • Joke around. Having private jokes and being goofy with each other helps.
  • Share your joy. Let your partner know you are having a good time.

Are You Blocking Effective Communication?

Posted by: momzeebitz in

In our relationships within the family, strong feelings can make it difficult to keep steady, healthy communication. Strong emotion also makes it difficult for us to listen effectively and to stay on the course of understanding the other person. Strong emotion can aggravate the fight or flight response and make us become, at the moment, self-protective and self-centered.


Dr. Dale Simpson, a licensed psychologist practicing from Christian perspective, stated in his article "MOM & DAD, ARE YOU BLOCKING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?", that, there are a number of blocks to effective communication we must overcome.


ADVICE: Advice is best used when it is asked for and after showing understanding of the person. In fact, most people will not ask for advice if they do not feel understood. Many of us assume that when a person shares feelings, we are being asked for advice and that telling people what they need to do is the primary goal of the encounter. This is rarely the case and rarely what the other person needs.


CRITICISM/JUDGMENT: Criticism and judgment come from strong emotion that we are not managing effectively. Ask yourself what happens if you feel criticized by someone else. Defenses usually go up and openness to the information goes down.


USE OF ABSOLUTE WORDS: Words such as “never” and “always” exaggerate inflamed emotions. Absolute words often hide the truth since rarely is it the case that something ever happens or always happens. It is much better to say “frequently I feel ignored” rather than “you never listen to me.”


TWENTY QUESTIONS: Some people confronted with an issue ask one question after another, trying to get to the facts or uncover who is to blame. This strategy does not work well and should be avoided. A question or two that follows the acknowledgment of the person’s emotion in order to sincerely try to understand is the best strategy. “You must be really upset with Mrs. Johnson, your Sunday School Teacher. What sort of thing happened today?” would be a well-placed question after the acceptance of the emotion.


TALKING TOO MUCH ABOUT OURSELVES: Often when someone shares something in a conversation, the other person says something like “Oh yeah, I felt that way back in 1990” and they tell you their experience. Taking the attention off the other person and drawing it onto us is a communication stoper if it is done right after an initial sharing.


USING “YOU” STATEMENTS: Starting a sentence with “you” unless it is said I an empathetic way like “you must really feel sad” tends to be a blame and marshals defensiveness. Avoid “you” statements and be sure you use “I feel” statements. These “I” statements are not selfish but offer information rather than blame.


BODY LANGUAGE: A closed or disinterested posture can communicate far more than one realizes. Be sure when you are listening or responding to someone that you square your shoulders to him and give him reasonable eye contact. Researchers say that far more is communicated through intonation and body language than through the actual words themselves.


MIND READING AND PLAYING PSYCHOLOGIST: It is important to think about why people say and feel what they do, but it is usually unwise to make interpretations of motive early in the conversation. “You’re just saying that to get back at me” or “You’ve been angry at men ever sine your dad left your mother” could possibly be true statements, but quite ineffective at communicating.


DEFENSIVE REACTIONS: The fear of failure and the natural tendency to blame others keeps us pursuing not the truth but what tickles our ears and pleases us. Often we just don’t want to face ourselves and this destroys ongoing communication when we need to face something.


“WHEN I WAS A KID, I WALKED 5 MILES THROUGH THE SNOW” STORIES: Every generation relates from their own perspective and explaining how it was in your generation will not necessarily solve a problem for this generation.

Take time now to commit to changing one thing in your communication to make it more person- oriented and less problem oriented. Tell someone in the family what you are working on and ask him/her to watch for changes. Mutual accountability will help you back up the desire to change. And besides, you need someone to cheer for you when you say it right.

A MotheR's LovE

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,


Before we even became moms to our own children, we were only once a child of our respective mothers.

Years back, have we, even just for a moment, ever thought of how much we have loved by our moms and how much they have done for us?!

Had we reminded ourselves then, that inside her womb, she carried us, she nourished us? That on the day she gave birth, she lay on deathbed, grimacing in pain and with superhuman courage and endurance, delivered us into this world?

And even though we were breathing on our own, somehow having the independence, we’re never really truly apart from her. She continued to pamper us with care, and encompassed us with her warmth and understanding.

Day in and day out, she toiled to help us be strong in all aspects of life and somehow attained the totality of being a righteous individual.

A mother’s love is a parasol in the pouring rain, a warm blanket on a cold, chilly night, or a soothing cool breeze in a hot and humid afternoon. A mother is always there to lend a helping hand.

When we soar to greater heights and take hold of our dreams, wouldn’t our mom be there to rejoice with us? But when we lose our grip and stumble, wouldn’t she be always ready to break our fall? And when we were down and sad, wouldn’t she be the first to shed a tear? All thru her life, she is there for us with her un-relentless counsel and support.

BUT,
AGAIN, have we ever stopped for a while, and looked her in the eye, and whisper to her, that we appreciate her love, and that we do LOVE her also?

If not, I guess it’s never too late…

In fact, we are even blessed that we can do a lot of ways to do so…

WE are MOMs now after all…

Disciplining Boo-Boos

Posted by: momzeebitz in

It's true that as parents, we only want the best for our kids. We want them to grow as better individuals and a disciplined person. But sometimes, our children's naughtiness push our buttons and we end up doing things we often later regret. By being aware of the dont's, we can try to omit them from future interactions with our children.


CRITICIZING OUR CHILD'S CHARACTER
It is ok to say "I get very angry when you do that", but never add, "Don't be so stupid!"


GIVING LENGTHY LECTURES
Keep your explanations of the guidelines or why their behavior is unacceptable short, simple, and to the point.


PLEADING
"Please clean up your toys. It would really make my day" doesn't cut it. Keep personal pronouns and your feelings out of your requests. "It's time to clean up. When you're done, come downstairs for snacks, please".


MISTAKING AN ACCIDENT FOR DELIBERATE BEHAVIOR
Know the difference between an accident and aggressive behavior, and discipline only the latter.


HAVING UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
It is unfair to think that a two year old can sit quietly at the dinner table for an hour. Understanding your child's emotional development and what is developmentally appropriate will help you distinguish unbecoming behavior from a lack of social skills or simple curiosity.

What Love Means...

Posted by: momzeebitz in


"I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains -- but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned -- but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear."

-- Apostle Paul, I Cor. 13:1-10, The Bible --


Is Your Child Disciplined? (Embracing Basic Guidelines)

Posted by: momzeebitz in

It may be true that disciplining a child nowadays is more difficult, but guiding and teaching our children to be disciplined individuals is our commitment as their parents. Perhaps, concentrating on the basic discipline guidelines is something essential to be more effective in teaching our kids.


SETTING LIMITS
Although kids of all ages naturally push the limits to see if they can get away with a bit more, they need to know where to stop. Whether it is a physical limit (like watching tv only for a certain period of time), or an action limit (not pushing, or hitting), setting limits is the first step to a disciplined child.


BEING CONSISTENT
Parents must be consistent in setting guidelines. Though it is really difficult to be perfectly consistent on rules, we should be reasonably consistent in maintaining limits in order to help children know what to expect. So if it is not alright to stand on furnitures in your house, then it is not also okay to stand on Grandma's furnitures. If it needs to impose punishments, a lighter and consistent one is more effective than waiting until anger builds and enacting an overwhelming penalty.


MODELING GOOD BEHAVIOR
As parents, we are very powerful in our kid's lives, more than we ever know. So it is important that parents become good models for good kinds of copying.


PARENTS PRESENTING A UNITED FRONT
Children are less likely to try and push and bend the rules when parents are united in their approach to discipline. Obviously one should never unite with an abusive parent. But if two reasonable parents have differences in how to raise their children, it's extremely important that they compromise and discuss their differences away from their children.

All We Really Needed To Know We Must Have Learned In The Kindergarten

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Most of what I really needed to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in the kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm Cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play every day.

Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for the traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plants goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic -- they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Every thing you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or we had a basic policy in our nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old we are, when you go out into the world, it is better to hold hands and stick together.


-- Robert Fulghum --


More Than A Good Practice: Ethics and Etiquette

Posted by: momzeebitz in


As parents, we use every device at our disposal to encourage ‘polite’ behavior in our young children. Surely one of our objectives is to raise citizens whose behavior reflects basic respect for others. Attempting to ‘do the right thing’ while being singularly unable to treat others with consideration is likely to lead ethical decisions that reflect an inhuman approach.

If you take a walk through one of your local big-box bookstores, you might conclude that we are currently experiencing a veritable renaissance of etiquette consciousness. Business moguls have arisen to take up the battle cry. Good manners mean good business.

Do you consider yourself to be polite? Are you well-mannered? Are you respectful of others no matter what their place? Are you ethical? Perhaps we need to stop here. What is the relationship between ethics and etiquette?

If we examine the dictionary definitions of ethics and etiquette, we see striking similarities. Funk and Wagnall’s define etiquette as ‘rules conventionally established for behavior in polite society or official or professional life’. Removal of the words ‘polite society’ results in a definition of ethics that resembles those frequently seen in textbooks. Indeed, another dictionary provides one definition of etiquette as ‘…the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other.’


HOW ARE YOUR MANNERS?


Since etiquette is concerned with correct or appropriate behavior in personal as well as business situations and has, at its root, respect for others, it seems that possessing good manners is a key part of being able to behave in an acceptable manner. And we certainly expect that individuals learn manners from direct instruction by parents and teachers, personal observation of others and trial and error.


TEST YOUR MANNERS

1. Do you always say please and thank you even when the person is ‘just doing his or her job?’

2. Are you always careful to especially acknowledge when someone goes out of his or her way for you? If you cannot do it at the time, do you remember to d it later?

3. Do you always seek privacy for unpleasant encounters?

4. Do you always control your temper?

5. Do you refrain from using profane or rude language even when under pressure and even in business e-mail?

6. Do you refrain from making sexist or ethnic remarks or forwarding jokes that contain either?

7. Do you refer to others with degree of formality that you expect to receive?


If you answered NO to any of these questions, you need to reexamine your basic manners and do something about it!

Perhaps, Fred Astaire was right when he said, ‘The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.’ If your manners are now what should be seen by children, you might want to do a bit of soul-searching before you even consider the next step in our staircase to respect: demonstrating professional respect for others.

Source: Ethics in Public Relations: A guide to Best Practice by Patricia Parsons.



Immunizations Aren't Just For Babies

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Although our immune system grows stronger as we grow older, we might still be at risk of catching infectious diseases. There are factors that make us more susceptible to illness, such as aging, chronic illness, poor nutrition, unhealthy environment, or a genetic predisposition. Sometimes, our behaviors makes us more likely to get infected -- eating unclean food, leading a stressful lifestyle, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, travel, extreme sports, or not seeking medical care when ill.


WHY IS IS GOOD TO GET THOSE SHOTS?

To fight off infectious diseases. No one wants to get sick. It feels bad; it cuts productive time; you can't be close to people you might infect. Why risk suffering, disability, or even death?

To stop the spread of communicable diseases. Infectious disease jumps from one vulnerable person to another. Because you can't infect other people when you are disease-free, you break the cycle of transmission, and slow down what could be a raging epidemic. The technical term for this is herd immunity. If a high majority ( as much as 90 percent) of a population is vaccinated against a disease, then the disease can't go very far and everyone (even the unvaccinated ones) is protected.

To ensure health and safety at work. Health care workers are at high risk for getting a wide variety of serious infectious diseases every day, and must receive all the important vaccines. If your work involves close contact with people, you should get vaccinated. If you have a physically demanding job that carries some risk of injury, make sure your tetanus immunization is current. Advocate for inclusion of vaccinations in your employee benefit package.

To ensure health and safety at play. Look closely at your hobbies, interests, and sports. Tetanus vaccine is important if you engage in physically demanding adventure sports like climbing, camping, hiking, or scuba diving. Your immune status should also be solid if you do volunteer work for people who might be sick.

For extra insurance while traveling. If you travel overseas, it's important to check on the immunization requirements of the country you are visiting. The longer you plan to stay, the more important it is to decrease your risk of catching a communicable disease. As an overseas contract worker, ask your recruiter or prospective employer about vaccination requirements. Costs might even be included in your employment benefits. Get your shots at least a month before the trip to give your body time to build up immunity.

To protect your unborn child.
You can decrease the risk of miscarriage or birth defects by building up your immunity before you get pregnant. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, measles/mumps/rubella, chicken pox, pneumococcus, and polio can't be given during pregnancy because they might harm the fetus. Have the immunizations scheduled many months before a planned pregnancy. After immunization, make sure there is no possibility of pregnancy for several months. There are three vaccines that are relatively safe to receive even while pregnant: hepatitis B, influenza, and tetanus+diphtheria.

For your peace of mind. You know your body and lifestyle best. If you are at risk for certain preventable diseases, then get those vaccinations done.

Twist Your Tongue!

Posted by: momzeebitz in



Tongue Twisters are excellent for sharpening enunciation -- to give a statement or speech that explains something clearly. They make your lips, jaw, and tongue exercise and increase your ability to articulate. These exercises are very simple and can be interesting and fun!


Tongue Twisters For: B, P, M, and W

These consonants demand Active Lips! Say "Boom". Explode that "b". Bring those lips down hard, quick, and sharply for B, P, M. For the W, pucker the lips.

FOR B: A big black bug bit a big black bear, made a big black bear bleed.
FOR P: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
FOR M: Military malarkey makes monstrous madmen into maligned martyrs.
FOR W: If a woodchuck would chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck would? But if a woodchuck would chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could and would chuck wood?

Th (thing) and TH (thou)

Touch the tip of the tongue to the rim of the upper teeth. The tongue tip should protrude ever so lightly.

FOR TH: Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles. If Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles, where is the sieve of sifted thistles Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted?
What dost thou think of those that go thither?

S, Z, and WH

These sounds require extremely tenuous coordination. To pronounce "S", you raise your tongue, groove it, and arch it toward the hard palate. Force the breath through the narrow fissure. The same for the "Z" -- except it is vocalized. For "Sh" and "Zh" the fissure is broader. For "Wh" purse the lips as you blow the breath through the extended fissure.

FOR S: Suzy Schell sells sea shells by the seashore.
FOR Z: Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes amiss. For Moses knows his toeses aren't roses as Moses supposes.
FOR WH: What whim led Whitney White to whittle near a wharf where a whale might wheel and whirl?

T, D, N, L, and R

A lazy tongue will get you in trouble with these twisters. The first four of these consonants are made alike. Your tongue should snap as a whip. The tip of it should SHARPLY TOUCH the hard palate-- just above the upper teeth.

On the R, he entire tongue arches itself along the roof of the mouth-- without touching it.

FOR T: Thomas Tattertoot took taut twine to tie ten twigs to two tall trees.
FOR D: Double bubble gum bubbles double. Non double bubble gum doesn't bubble double.
FOR N: A snifter of snuf is enough snuff of a sniff for the snuff-sniffer.
FOR L: Likeable Lillian loves lovely luminous aluminum linoleum.
FOR R: Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.


Debts Slashing Tips

Posted by: momzeebitz in


When debt gets out of hand, it becomes a major source of stress. But with patience, determination and these 15 strategies, you can be debt-free in no time!


1. KNOW HOW MUCH DEBT YOU HAVE.
How much do you owe? List down all your debts and make a repayment plan. Finish paying the debt with the highest interest rate, and so on. A debt is "healthy" if the total amount you owe is about a third of your net take home pay or net income. Although you can pay more to close the debt, you need a buffer in case of an emergency or an increase in interest rates.

2. MAINTAIN A BUDGET.
Debt is borrowing against the income you expect to receive. So don't overspend. Record your income and projected expenses to keep yourself in check.

3. SET ASIDE MONEY FOR LOANS BEFORE SHOPPING ON PAYDAY.
Make sure that your debt gets paid before you make any more purchases.

4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR CREDIT CARD'S FLOAT.
That's the time between your purchase and its apearance on your billing statement. You may only need to pay for the item up to 51 days from the date of purchase.

5. DON'T BORROW MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD.
Credit cards can give you a false sense of wealth. Put off that purchase until you're ready or you can afford it. A debt is "healthy" if you believe you can recover the amount you borrowed; earn a reasonable return or profit off a loan; and secure goods or services you ned now.

6. UTILIZE CREDIT CARD INTEREST-FREE INSTALLMENT DEALS.
Buy appliances and gadgets through this promo. You have the luxury of paying for them in fixed amounts over a set period of time.

7. IF YOU CAN, PAY THE FULL AMOUNT DUE ON YOUR CREDIT CARD BILL.

8. ALWAYS PAY ON TIME.
You will be charged about five percent or at least P500 for late payments. If you can't pay the entire amount, then at least pay he minimum.

9. SHOP AROUND.
Look for credit card companies and banks with low rates. Check if they have longer repayment periods, faster processing, fewer requirements, more flexible terms, and better customer service.

10. CUT BACK ON SPENDING.
Citibank's Use Credit Wisely booklet advises to reduction in spending by five to ten percent a month.

11. SELL SOME OF YOUR STUFF.
Organize sales to help pay off your loan. Jewelry, unused furniture, books, and an extra car are some of the things you can turn into cash.

12. DIVEST YOUR INVESTMENTS.
Divest your investments in time deposits, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It's likely that you're earning less than what you owe. So it doesn't make sense to hold on to your investments.

13. TRY TO INCREASE YOU INCOME.
Citibank's Use Credit Wisely booklet also suggests improving your salary or taking on a second job.

14. REFINANCE YOUR LOAN OR DEBT.
Devise a repayment plan with your creditor's help. Tell them you want to pay but need more time.

15. TRANSFER BALANCES TO A LOWER RATE ALTERNATIVE.
Read the fine print and check if you will really get a lower interest rate. Consider getting a lower-priced loan like the one from SSS to pay off your debts.

source: Good Housekeeping




Building Self-Confidence and Self-Worth to a Child

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Being mothers, we play a great role in raising our kids with confidence and self-worth. From “I’ll be the parent, you be the kid” by Paul Kropp, he has pointed out the following guidelines on how parents can help their kids in building confidence and self-worth.


IN BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE

  • Include your child in what you're doing. Let the child yearn from experience. Remember that not every nail in the deck has to be straight.
  • Don’t set the hurdles too high – kids must learn to build a bird-house before they tackle a grandfather clock.
  • Don’t rescue too soon – give your child a chance to feel honest frustration first.Make sure there are challenges outside the home – Scouts, swimming teams, music lessons.
  • Within reason, praise the final results. When you can see in your children’s eyes that they think something is good, put it up on the metaphorical fridge.

IN HELPING THEM DEVELOP A REALISTIC SENSE OF SELF-WORTH


  • Pay attention to what your child does and says – you don’t necessarily have to agree, but you do have to listen.
  • Find plenty of time to work together on projects, keeping the child’s abilities in mind.
  • Remember that activity and success build the self, not false praise.



Secrets on How To Live Longer

Posted by: momzeebitz in


In his article “How to Live Forever – Secrets of longevity from the Island of 100-year-old men”, John Hodgman shared facts on why Sardinians managed to live a longer life.


DON’T WORRY, BE GRUMPY. Sardinian’s Centenarians expect little and take what life offers with fatalistic equanimity. They do however, exhibit a deep sense of duty to those around them – and a sense of humor as dry as their wine. It’s theorized that this wry blend of existential altruism lowers stress and protects the arteries. The day’s work will disappear, but family, town and a good joke go on forever.

EAT LIKE A SARDINIAN. Everything the Sardinian Centenarians ingest is the very definition of organic. “Organic produce has much less water than the standard supermarket variety, and less water means more nutrients,” says Chris Speed, dietician for the Oldways Preservation Trust, a Boston-based group that advocates traditional Mediterranean eating. “And with meat and cheese, the difference in healthy compounds is even more dramatic.”

EAT 10 TO 20 PERCENT LESS. The example of the Sardinian Centenarians suggests that you may be able to prolong your lifespan significantly by eating as much 8000 or even 8800 kilojoules a day. It comes down to figuring out how much your body ideally wants to eat, and then trimming that amount by 10 to 20 percent. Spend a month cutting out junk food and paying careful attention to eating only until you’re full. What you’re eating at the end of the month is your ideal diet. Now you can start counting kilojoules and gradually adjusting the setting down by ten percent.

A GLASS OF MOUNTAIN WINE. In 2002, British scientist Roger Corder spent two weeks hiking the Sardinian Hills drinking wine. At 600 meters, the altitude of some of the vineyards he studied, grapes protect their skins against UV radiation by pumping out more of polyphenols, the antioxidants that promote health and stimulate production of sirtuins, the same life-extending enzymes sparked by kilojoules’ reduction.

DON’T EXERCISE SO MUCH. To live long life, don’t waste time competing in marathons. Stick with the relatively modest activity loads that let you realize the health benefits of exercise with less stress on your body. In the world-famous Harvard Alumni Health Study, for example, the biggest longevity bounce – associated with a reduction of as much as 40 percent in heart disease, colon cancer, and stroke – came from burning as little as 4000 kilojoules via exercise per week.



A Simple Pause Can Make A Difference

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,


There comes a point in our lives that we need a pause from all that’s happening; from all that we do in routine; from all that we encompasses as days go by. Being a mother and a homemaker is not an easy responsibility after all.

As moms, we touch our kid’s lives, trying our best to give them all that they need to have a better life. We guide them to become the most passionate and good-hearted person that they can be. We nourish them with much love and affection to grow up with passion and positive outlook towards life and their journey.

As homemakers, we make sure that everything in the family is in order. We are trying everyday to be the superwoman that we could be. We organize things in such a way that every member of the family would be in their utmost comfort. We make sure to make each day a healthy and happy day for everyone around us.

But, what if there comes a point when we feel that every thing we do seem not good enough? As if, our day is not much of a typical day without any stress in it? As if we feel that we are not giving the best shot in all our duties and that not all are into its proper places?

At times like these, we need to pause for a while -- just a pause -- to recharge ourselves of all the emotions and feelings that we are trying to convey to others. Just a very short break to think only of ourselves, and nothing else. We can’t give something that we don’t have. And we can’t touch other’s lives by not touching our own.

Our heart beats to its finest when we don’t rush doing things but instead, moving on with life with calmness and moderate phase. Our muscles function to its best as well when we don’t push so hard on things even beyond what it can actually capable of.

There are times when we best enjoy life by embracing it as it is. Sometimes, it's better to have a sit with your hubby and kids, make sharing time together, have a blast of laughter over shallow things, or play crazy game with wacky themes as a family, than trying so hard to make a difference in this world – thinking the "how"s and the "must"s of life, then getting back on realities and finding ourselves saddened once again on how the world became chaotic, or thinking whether or not our children in the next years to come can still breath (or would even know by experience the definition of) a single fresh air.

Amidst all that's happening, life in general is still the most beautiful journey of all. It is still a special gift from the Creator that we received. It's still the greatest novel and the best-selling book of all time. There are still so much blank pages to fill in -- Let's be the best author that we can be, and make each page heart-warming and enjoyable to read.



A Recipe For A Miserable Marriage

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Here are some surefire ways to sabotage a marriage:

  • Stay committed to your right to be right. Argue for your point of view, making sure you never entertain the possibility that your spouse may have a valid point of view.
SOLUTION: Often in a marriage, there is a choice: You can be right or you can be happy, but not both. Choose wisely. As a friend of mine said after his first year of marriage: “I finally figured out that the sun will come up tomorrow if we do it her way.”

  • Make it up as you go along. Don’t talk about any of the important stuff, such as how you want to handle children, money, the future, in-laws, where to live, etc. Believe things will just work out.
SOLUTION: Talk about the important stuff. If you get stuck, ask or hire someone to help. Crate a relationship vision by asking the question “If we could have it exactly like we want, how would it be?” Build from there.

  • Never forgive. Remain convinced that staying angry will actually help your partner change.
SOLUTION: Forgive as much as more than you would like to be forgiven. Forgiveness can release you from the pain of the offense.

  • Complain and criticize. A lot. Raise it to an art form. Make sure that each and every time your spouse messes up, you not only throw the current issue in his or her face but also bring up every mistake ever made, in detail
SOLUTION: Celebrate what you want to see more of. Appreciation can go a long way.

  • Always put yourself first. Selfishness is a sure and rapid marriage killer. Believe that the marriage exists to meet your needs. Become offended when your needs are not met.
SOLUTION: This is radical, but it works. Commit to out-serving your partner. If one of you does this, it can be nice. If both of you do this, you’ll create a great place to be.

  • Compare your partner to others. “I wish you were more like (whomever)” worked so well when your parents said it to you; surely it will work on your spouse.
SOLUTION: Create an environment where your spouse can grow to his or her full potential. Focus on strengths and encourage your mate in the areas in which he or she struggles.

  • Believe that because you know how to talk, you also know how to communicate. If someone does not understand you, it must be his or her fault. They even might be stupid.
SOLUTION: Two sentences: “What I think you’re saying is… did I miss anything? And “Please, tell me what you think I just said.”

  • Blame your partner for any problems. Get your friends and relatives to see it your way.
SOLUTION: In 20 years of doing marriage counselling, I’ve yet to see a problem that didn’t have two sets of fingerprints all over it. Take responsibility to change your contribution to the problem, whether it’s what you are doing or how you are responding to what your partner is doing.

  • If things are not going well, refuse to get help. Hold onto the notion that you can solve this all by yourself.
SOLUTION: Everybody needs a coach. Go find one. It’s a lot less expensive than divorce, financially and emotionally.

Source: Recipe for a Miserable Marriage, by Jeff Herring (a marriage and family therapist and clinical hypnotherapist in Tallahassee, Fla.