Small stuff is just that—small
It’s always important to keep perspective on what is truly meaningful and will impact your life. This is, of course, sometimes hard for teenagers to remember, but parents, too, could also use the reminder. It’s far too easy to let the small stuff get to you when you’re asking your kid to clean his or her room for the 37th time. But, again, many of the issues that cause us the most agitation are…small. Find out 50 small but powerful ways you can encourage your kids every day.
Live without regret
Never put off doing something today for tomorrow. Many of the families I’ve counseled have expressed regret about not spending more time together or having important conversations about life and relationships. And still others worry they could have done more to protect their child from getting a terminal disease. They are not unique—families everywhere feel similarly. Here’s what I tell my patient families: Don’t feel guilty if something bad happens. If you do everything you possibly can to be present and involved in your child’s life and something bad still happens—that’s not because you didn’t try hard enough or weren’t engaged. It’s because sometimes, bad things happen and they’re not your fault. That said, make the most of what time you have with your family whether it’s chatting at the breakfast or dinner table, taking a quick walk together, playing a fun, non-competitive game, or snuggling while watching a movie. It is these interactions that will sustain you in difficult times. Try these family dinner conversation starts to get kids chatting.
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Because of what I do, I know life can change in an instant. One minute a child’s nagging headache turns out to be a potentially devastating brain tumor. As a result, I take each moment in front of me seriously, and I don’t allow life “just to happen.” I plan activities and conversations I want to have with my son and daughters. Sometimes these outings are just sheer fun. Other times, I might talk with them about issues like immigration or faith so we can share our feelings on the topic with each other. Sometimes our talks are about something very practical like social situations that happen in junior high. Whether it’s an outing or a conversation, being intentional with my children ensures we are making the most of every minute.