Parenting Challenges and Tales During Intergenerational Living

August 01, 2019

Every summer, my little family of four heads travels to the family cottages in Northern Michigan. Once there, we meet up with three generations of cousins, two sets of grandparents, and a multitude of friends. The friends’ cottages are also full of multiple generations across their family trees. Intergenerational living in cottages is a lot of fun, but it can also have its share of challenges.

What does this have to do with you? Intergenerational living is subject to a long list of struggles—and joys—that others don’t have. But at the heart of this complex dynamic, the challenges are the [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why Should You Care About Emotional Regulation?

July 30, 2019

Emotions. They can get the best of us, sometimes triggering primitive, short-sighted and impulsive actions. Yet, unlike animals, humans have the ability to express and choose their emotions, as well as anticipate how other people will respond. Our emotional nature can be confusing and overwhelming with many conflicting emotions swirling simultaneously; therefore, emotional regulation is key.

When regulated, emotions provide us important information. If we approach them with a curious and accepting attitude, they can be used to avert danger, solve problems, and bring us comfort. [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

5 Behaviors that Guarantee a Leader Will Fail—and What to Do About It!

July 25, 2019

When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, an acquaintance was working for a large company that, like many companies, laid off employees to remain profitable. However, in his particular department, an unusual thing happened—instead of clinging to their jobs, employees jumped ship (and had been for years)! These employees preferred to risk being unemployed during a recession without unemployment benefits than to stick around under the management of one of the company’s vice presidents. He was impossible to please, didn’t provide adequate direction for projects, and criticized all ideas before [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

Dealing with Teenage Defiance—Your Teen Says, "I Hate You!"

July 23, 2019

Have you ever tried looking for your reflection in a lake with white-capped waves? Nope. We don’t do that, do we, because we know we wouldn’t be able to see our reflection.

Teenage rebellion and angst can create a lot of waves in our relationship with our teen. So much so that parents can react fiercely in knee-jerk ways that backfire and fixate rebellion. Like it or not, it's a teen's job to push the limits and to individuate.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

The Meaning of Empathy and Sympathy—and How to Tell the Difference!

July 18, 2019

You’d be forgiven for mistaking sympathy and empathy for synonyms. Much of pop culture and even many dictionaries confuse the two. On a basic level, they are similar. But in a very meaningful, practical way—empathy and sympathy are two separate practices and distinct emotional responses. We'll identify the difference between empathy and sympathy by exploring their roots and meanings.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, How to Build Empathy

"Look What You Made Me Do!" How to Avoid the Blame Game

July 16, 2019

Blaming is a common reaction. The blame game used to be one of my primary arsenals. Years ago, whenever I felt helpless or overwhelmed, I blamed the dog, my kids, or even the chair in the way when stubbing my toe. Anything in earshot received a rant of blame. "Look what you made me do!"

Hmm. Does anyone or anything really make us do anything?So why do we blame? Think about it for a moment. An intense feeling boils up and out comes the biting remark. It's easy and takes the heat off of us. And what's the heat? Painful and uncomfortable feelings. Phew! The hurt stops temporarily. 

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

How to Take Care of Your Greatest Resource in Business

July 11, 2019

No business operates in a vacuum. It requires the input, support, and services of other parties, including customers, vendors, and, of course, employees. Consider for a moment, the person with whom you have the best working relationship. It may be a colleague you’ve dubbed your “partner” or “work spouse.” Alternatively, it may be a reliable vendor that you always turn to. When you work together, you get into a flow and a rhythm where strengths are enhanced, and differences respected.

However, what about relationships where this type of connection and trust is lacking? What does it cost you [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

Self-Compassion and Acceptance Can Ease Anxiety

July 09, 2019

I was a thumb sucker. I needed soothing right from the start.

As a small child I would rub my thumbs and fingers together, back and forth, incessantly. It drove my family and friends crazy, yet no matter how much they asked me to stop, I couldn’t. I didn’t understand my behavior, and I certainly didn’t know how to manage it. All I knew was that I couldn’t stop, no matter how much I wanted to.

As I grew older, this particular behavior dissipated, but the feelings didn’t. Instead, they turned into continuous, overwhelming, and negative self-talk. Without realizing it, I had turned on myself [...]

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Put Vitality Back in Your Relationship!

July 06, 2019

I swung into the grocery store on my way home the other night to grab a box of My/Mo Mochi ice cream. As I reached the freezer section, I stopped as if frozen myself. My eyes gazed down the long aisle with hundreds of choices of frozen desserts: dozens of flavors and brands in every imaginable size and shape. Wow, how common prolific choices have become in stores and in our lives!

We live in a culture of instant gratification and continual titillation of our senses. Every moment confronts us with zillions of choices for eating, drinking, working, recreating, and traveling. Let's take the [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Essential Cornerstones of Cultural Transformation in Business

July 02, 2019

When a business needs a culture overhaul, you know it. Profits and employee retention fall, while client complaints climb—there’s a constant sense of dissatisfaction and conflict. On the flip side, when a company’s culture is built with intention, consistency, and dedication, the company’s reputation is enhanced, and the benefits are bountiful.

Consider, for a moment, the example of Southwest Airlines where culture has been a top priority from early on. Sure, they have competitive rates, but more than that, their leaders have sought to value their employees. Employees in turn work to [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership