Parents and Sleep Away Camp

Sometimes it’s the parents who need to learn how to separate. 

NYTimes article  Dear Parents:  Please relax it’s just camp.

Eight Health Myths De-Bunked [Thank God!]

Count on Jane E. Brody to set the record straight.  Some of these I’ve heard before but some I just didn’t believe it until the eminent Ms. Brody declared it true.  Now I know that…

  1. You do NOT have to drink eight glasses of water a day.  Thank God, because I have to go to the bathroom often enough as it is!
  2. Poison Ivy is not contagious.  I wish I knew this when my son had this heinous rash recently and I refused to hug him.  Bad Mommy Moment.
  3. You shouldn’t use cotton swabs to clean your ears.  OK, but then how do I clean them?  Does anyone know a good professional ear cleaner?
  4. It’s OK to swim after eating.  That implies I dare expose my swim-suited body after eating.  It’s not stomach cramps that scares me.
  5. Shaving hair doesn’t make it grow back faster or coarser.  Fearing coarse hair never stopped me shaving, it was coarse enough to begin with.
  6. Colon cleansing does NOT wash out poisons.  Colon cleansing procedures and diets are so popular these days (Et tu, Oprah?) I was considering one a while back but I got the stomach flu instead.  It cleansed everything squeaky clean!
  7. You don’t have to think ‘natural’ has it over man-made.  The label “Natural” can be today’s “Snake Oil” so we need to be careful.
  8. Take pain killers before the pain is unbearable.  We can be so pill averse we wait until the pain is beyond the reach of medication and then say the medication doesn’t work.  My doctor taught me that if I took half the dose before the pain got bad even over the counter Tylenol worked just fine.

Read the whole article:
Health ‘Facts’ You Only Thought You Knew.

Parenting Camp

Editor's Note:  This is a guest post from a Mom of two living in Southern California.

Mom, Mamá,
Maman, Mum, whatever you call that woman in your life who pulled beans from your
nostrils and did her best to fix your haircut after you did a little
experimenting with the scissors, was a pretty amazing woman. So what happens
when you find yourself in that role?

Though my children are already 10 and 5, I am still at once awed and
distressed at the thought that they see me, at times, the way I saw my mother,
provider, protector and healer of owies. 
I was reminded of this last week when we went camping at Sequoia
National Park.  1290563217_86ae0aab6eEvery night there was
negotiation over who got to sleep next to mommy.  I quickly realized that when sleeping in the
wild I was a precious commodity.  Daddy's
job was to keep the bears at bay while doing shots of tequila with our friend,
Bryan.  Mommy was there to soothe and
comfort the offspring as they drifted off to sleep.

While I dearly wanted to switch jobs with my husband, I was
content and warmed by my children's desire that I should be the one they wanted
to cuddle up with them.  Maybe I'm doing
something right after all.

Oh, and I do
have to say, that night after night, the guys always had a shot and a slice of
lime waiting for me when I crawled back out of the tent.

You’re Exceptional! The Song

The Real Deal: Ravin’ Reviews

Hey, there guys! Vanessa here with another addition to The Real Deal: Ravin’ Reviews. Today, my mom and I will be reviewing a song sung by Joanna Levesque or as she is more commonly known amongst teenage fans, and magazine reporters, JoJo. The song is entitled: “Exceptional”

~*~ Vanessa’s Take ~*~

    This song is insanely helpful during any case of self-doubt, and I can say this from experience seeing as just a few years ago three girls, one of whom I had known for three years, turned on me for absolutely no reason. And that wasn’t even the worst part, I mean obviously it hurt a lot that they would do that, but what hurt even more was how they would whisper and make fun of me at school, and obviously it wasn’t like the kind of teasing that is shown on television, the clichéd tough bully praying on a small defenseless dork. No, it was three girls going around, and being sly and evil, which in my opinion is worse. During all of this I felt miserable, I even cried myself to sleep a few nights. I most definitely let these girls get to me and I began to question my beauty and other things. So one day, as I was listening to my iPod in my room, as I do almost everyday, I came across this song, and suddenly the meaning behind the words sunk in. And I realized that these girls could do anything they wanted, but they would not destroy my self-esteem, because really I, as well as every other women on this planet, am beautiful, smart, interesting, and deserve to be treated with respect no matter what.

-Vanessa <3

Dr. A's POV

I am so glad Vanessa had this song to sustain her during a rough time.  We all have times like that and I find this song 'exceptional' in that it's love song but it could be to anyone, a mother to a daughter, a friend to a friend, even to oneself. 

Self-Esteem in Recession? Six Steps to Recovery

ConfidenceHow would you rate your self-worth?  Many of us were reared to be self-effacing.  "Oh, no, I'm not pretty, clever, smart, nice…"  To do otherwise would be conceited.

 Maybe the criticism was so awful it amounted to verbal abuse, "You're stupid, ugly, a failure, [fill in the blank]."  And somewhere along the way you started to believe it.  "I'm just stupid, ugly, a failure."  The harsh voice took over your true voice.

I don't know you, but I do know this, you are not stupid, ugly or a failure.  You know this, too.  Your true voice whispers, "I am good, I am smart, I can succeed."

The opposite of a low self-esteem is not high self-esteem.  It's resilient, hardy self-esteem.  So how do we get us some of that?

1)  Tune in, like you would a radio dial, to the voices in your head.  How are they sounding?  Supportive or nasty?  Sometimes we aren't even aware of how cruel we can be to ourselves until we detach just enough to hear it as an observer.  Write some of it down and let that help you realize the extent of the verbal self-abuse you've been sustaining.  During an episode of depression I did this and was surprised to learn how unkind I was to myself.

2)  Whose voice is it?  It isn't yours, because yours is thoughtful, even when you need a kick in the butt.  Often the harsh voice is a parent or other adult caregiver.  When we're kids our brains are sponges that soak everything up including the repeated criticisms.  It helps defuse the negative voice further by identifying where it came from, to realize its origin was outside of ourselves.

3)  Talk back.  Challenge the put downs.  Dialog boxes are helpful to exercise this new skill.  On a piece of paper draw two columns, on the left write whatever the nasty voice is saying (try to keep it to a sound bite).  On the right come up with a more reasonable response.  An example of this might be:

"You are such a loser!" vs. "I could do better and I will next time. That doesn't make me a loser."

Go back and forth, from left to right, writing the dialog, until you feel a sense of mastery over the negative voice.  

4)  Stop using absolute language, and I don't mean the vodka.  Avoid words like "always, never, can't, forever."  These words leave no room for hope; they are toxic when applied to ourselves.

5) Turn the volume up on your true voice. A good friend pointed out to me that the way I was talking about myself was unacceptable.  "No one talks to my friend like that!" was what she said.  This was such an eye opener I took it a step further.  If it were my friend who felt like a failure what would I be saying to her?  It sure as hell wouldn't be "Yeah! Loser!"  Wouldn't I be busy pointing out all her strengths and good qualities, bucking her up, showing support?  Yeah, that's what girlfriends do. 

6)  Cope Don't Mope!  This is straight out of Dr. David Burn's, Feeling Good (pages 70-80).  We are none of us perfect, we all could improve in some way.  Instead of focusing on the unreasonable notion that we are always bad, doesn't it make better sense to say, "I'm not as good as I'd like to be, I'd like to do better.  How can I do that?"  Then devise a reasonable plan to improve.

Do these exercises faithfully by yourself, with friends or family if that helps, even with a therapist.  Like exercising muscles, you get stronger bit by bit, day by day at first sort of awkwardly, until one day you automatically think the positive, not the negative, and surprise yourself with good self-esteem.

Watch your stock go up!

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

~William Shedd

Your Room for the Spirit

Thanks to everyone who responded with delightful descriptions of rooms enjoyed now and in the past.  Every room brought to mind a place of simple beauty, tranquility and unique magic.  Lisa's grandfather's sun room with the spiral staircase and grape vines, Gladys's silo room, the high vaulted ceilings of Ginger's condo, I can imagine each so well and be inspired.  A room with aImages
view is uplifting too, like Walt's Florida home and ST's balcony overlooking the ancient live oak.  Linda cherishes her kitchen as a gathering place for her entire family while Michele and Sheryl love the quiet calm they find in their bedrooms. And while some people may not consider a barn a place of sanctuary, Steve's memories of his ponies' barn echo mine of an old hay barn filled with horsey and hay smells and lots of cats and kittens.  All so different, all so special.  Steve summed up my pleasure in reading all your contributions,

"It's corny but home really is where the heart is!"  

Room for the Spirit

DSC00139Do you have a favorite room in your house, now or from your childhood?  What is (was) it like?  Please let me know in the comments!

When I was reading Susan Martin's blog, From The Home Front, I was reminded about how there are certain rooms in our homes, and the homes we grew up in, that touch us in a special way.  For me it was the screened-in porch of my childhood and the one I enjoy now as an adult.  I will often ask my clients if they have a room in their home that is their special place.  If they don't, I encourage them to create such a place.  In Shelter For The Spirit, Victoria Moran says
"A house can reveal the extent of your assets, but a home reveals the expanse of your heart…"   A special room in such a home is a sanctuary.  Where is yours?  Please let me hear from you.

via The Buffalo News

Five Things I learned Today

Images1)  July is Ice Cream Month!

2)  The stuff you get at the grocery store comes in smaller packages but costs the same!

3)  People love lists!

4)  I can still delude myself that I’m a size S as long as the waist band is stretchy.

5)  The Nutrition Facts on Breyers Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (see #1) say a serving is half a cup!  


Lust Is Easy

“Lust is easy.  Love is hard.  Like is most important.”

~Carl Reiner

© Copyright Explore Whats Next - Designed by Pexeto