We’re Returning

Sorry for the hiatus. I had some family issues that required her attention and Ann – well she’s the busiest person I have ever met. Look for an August 2020 issue coming soon. If you have topics you would like to explore, please let us know. And, as always, if you would like to submit an article in any of our topic areas (and only our topic areas) please let me know. – Beth

Teaching Children to be Grateful

Life is not fair, and sometimes it’s up to us parents to bring up a child who will be able to appreciate the little, and big things, that life has to offer. Most parents strive to teach their children to be grateful for the small and big things in their lives. True gratitude can be instilled through small principals.

Contributor: Bob Tom

Life is not fair, and sometimes it’s up to us parents to bring up a child who will be able to appreciate the little, and big things, that life has to offer. Most parents strive to teach their children to be grateful for the small and big things in their lives. True gratitude can be instilled through small principals.

Gratitude is having an appreciation for everything you have been blessed with and acknowledging that these small gifts are a blessing, regardless.According to research, when gratitude is instilled in the early ages of our children’s lives it leads to happier lives. This happiness shows at school, at home, and in the relationships they build with their loved ones, as well as their friends.

When a child is taught to be grateful from an early age, this positive characteristic is portrayed even in their adolescence and adulthood. Many people who were not raised to be thankful from a tender age tend to struggle with the concept, especially when they reach adulthood. So, how can you teach children to be appreciative of all things in their lives – big or small?

Teach by Action

One of the simplest ways to teach your child to be grateful is by exercising the same concept yourself. Children, from an early age, tend to mold their behaviors based on how they see grownups behaving. “Grownup” here means parents, relatives, teachers, and any other adult that your child has constant interactions with.

Have you ever heard the term “practice what you preach?” This is one of those occasions where it’s advisable to show your little ones that you not only expect them to exercise this act, but you are willing to do the same.

Raising children requires patience, kindness, compassion, responsibility, and the list goes on. When we practice this, our kids absorb it. Leading by example is the finest and hardest lesson in raising good people. Giving one’s self to a higher purpose, such as teaching gratitude, is one of the best things we can do for our little ones when they are at a tender and impressionable age.

A simple way to achieve this is by introducing a family routine where everyone sits down on a daily basis and says what they are thankful for, regardless of how small. This will eventually set the wheels in motion and hopefully, show your children that there is much in this world to always be appreciative of.

Spread Love

There is no better way to teach your kids about love than by caring for those around you. Being generous with what little you have allows your kid to start being considerate of others’ feelings, and not just their own. Encourage your young one to share with the less fortunate or their friends. Instead of always considering what they would want for Christmas, why not encourage them to also think of other presents they would like to give to the people they love?

We all want to give our kids everything they want, but sometimes buying everything for them can cause more harm than good. You need to teach them to value what they receive without expecting more. If your child winds up having as many toys as they please, they will not appreciate their possessions. They will always want something shinier and newer because they have been brought up with the notion that all they need to do is point and it’s theirs.

Depending on their age, your young one can start giving back to the community. Make helping a community part of your family activity. Start volunteering at a nursing home, at homeless shelters, etc. When your children start interacting with those who are less fortunate, those with health problems, they will begin to be appreciative of small things such as their health, their family, their home, which they would have otherwise taken for granted.

Another lovely tradition to introduce would be encouraging your children to donate their old toys to charity. Perhaps instill a “one in, one out” policy where, if they are to get a new toy, then they’ll have to part with an old one. Children tend to form tight bonds with their toys so that this lesson can be very educational for them.

Instead of just donating these old toys to charity via mail, why not take your child with you to a charity home where they will be able to see first-hand the joys their old toys bring to a less fortunate child? This lesson will not only teach gratitude but compassion as well.

Let Them Work for It

You need your kin to understand that things don’t just magically appear when they want them. An excellent way to instill this is by letting them earn their rewards. Start distributing simple chores for their allowance.

Teach them to save up for what they want and only then can they buy it – this will educate them about money and its value. It’ll also enable them to care for their possessions and appreciate what they have. This lesson will also allow them to get a realistic perspective on what their parents do them.

Encourage “Thank-You” Notes

Sending handwritten ‘thank-you’ notes is a dying profession and one that we think children should be encouraged to participate in. When your kid receives gifts, parents should help them to send out thank-you notes to every single person who bought them a present.

This doesn’t only have to be practiced when gifts are involved. Encourage them to give thanks to their teachers, their pediatricians, family members, etc. – there are tons of opportunities for your child to recognize a kind gesture and be thankful for it. If they start young, this habit will become a part of them as they transition into adulthood.

The Glass is Always Half Full

It’s human nature sometimes to view the world in a negative perspective. Many of us complain and despair about small matters (this is very normal), but it can be helpful if, as a parent, you could perhaps try and always find a silver lining. Teach your child/children to find something positive in every circumstance.

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Family Who Eat Together Experience Success Together

Children need an opportunity at home to communicate their frustration, accomplishments and memories. Family conversations help combat a number of problems faced by today’s youth including loneliness, overuse of social media, and low grades. The efforts to spend time together as a family for dinner has many benefits that should not be overlooked.

Contributor: Reed Markham

Our family has a dinner tradition that began when I was a child. At a preset time, we turn off the technology – television set, iPad, video games, and computers. And we each do our part in preparing for the meal. The tasks usually include emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, and preparing the food. We enjoy our meal and pleasant dinner conversation. At the end of the meal, each of us assists with clearing the table and moving the dishes to the sink.

As a child, I lived through the Star Trek era. Life was simpler back then. Dinner time was set at 6 p.m. every day. I was raised with six brothers and one sister. My mother had to prepare large amounts of food that was quickly consumed by my hungry father and brothers. My least favorite foods were red beets and lima beans. Leftover food was saved. The leftovers were combined at the end of the week for a meal we called goulash. I have great memories of interesting dinner conversations.

Do you remember the last time you had dinner together as a family? I came across an interesting study on family dinners from the University of Florida. The researchers found that taking the time to have dinner together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development. The researchers also found that eating dinner together on a regular basis reduces the chance of your child becoming involved in substance abuse. Parents can also monitor the health of a child and make sure they are getting a nutritious meal. Families that eat together have a less obesity and problems with weight.

In my discussion with many parents, family dinners has one of their most cherished memories. I have great memories of my mother spending the time to provide my family members with a delicious home cooked meal. I remember numerous dinner table discussions about school, work, politics, and relationships. Communication skills of family members are increased with this activity. America is moving away from healthy face to face communication. Having family dinners together is worth the sacrifice of time and effort.

It’s often difficult for parents to schedule a time when family can gather together to enjoy a meal. Take control of your household technology. Today’s families have many technological distractions – from video games to countless hours spent on Facebook. Some researchers say that the average student spends over an hour a day on some form of social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Recent studies indicate that teenagers spent about nine hours a day on some form of media. Some families struggle with children checking their cell phones while eat a meal.I highly recommend a no technology zone during dinner time. The no technology zone would include television, cell phones, tablets, computers and video game players.

Family dinners can provide a boost to your child’s self-esteem. Many children suffer from low self-esteem. The average child in school today will receive over 200.000 negative messages by the time they reach their eighteen birthday. Children need an opportunity at home to communicate their frustration, accomplishments and memories. Family conversations help combat a number of problems faced by today’s youth including loneliness, overuse of social media, and low grades. The efforts to spend time together as a family for dinner has many benefits that should not be overlooked.

Reed Markham is a speech communication professor at Daytona State College.

What is your favorite family meal memory?

Personal Growth Exercise To Increase Your Attention Span

Personal Growth Exercise To Increase Your Attention Span

Contributor: Cynthia Ann Leighton

Stretching exercises for your mind increase your attention span. That makes a difference in your life!

That’s why I do certain tasks. I’ve created specific small exercises for myself.

These are mostly simply silly little things. Yet it makes a difference. It increases my willingness and ability to focus!

For example, I like to read.

Therefore, I’ve chosen to use reading as one way to stretch my mind.

That might work for you.

Do you like to read?

If so, choosing reading as a way to stretch your mind might work for you, too.

It’s a good way to stretch your mind if you’re enjoying yourself.

I believe it’s best to choose an activity that you enjoy. Thus, if you don’t experience reading as a pleasurable choice, I believe you need to choose something different for yourself.

Reading increases your ability to focus.

For example, if you read a little bit each day, your attention span will grow stronger and longer.

If you don’t like to read, you can find other ways that will work for you.

Not TV!

Commercial television programs tend to reduce your attention span.

I suggest you avoid TV. Avoid it at least for this particular purpose! That kind of activity won’t work.

The short scenes of commercial television are more likely to shorten your attention span. Thus, even when you cut out commercials, you’re not doing yourself any favors by using commercial television as a personal growth strategy.

On the other hand, if you’ve got educational films, that might work.

It depends on how the film is organized. Specifically, the length of segments that hold your attention.

The idea is to find something that has a beginning, middle and end timeframe for you.

That way you begin focusing. Once you begin, your attention stays with what you’re doing. You learn to continue participating in the task of observing the film you picked.

As you approach the midpoint of your time focusing, your attention stays put.

Keeping your attention alive and real for all that time matters.

Then when you reach the end of the time you’re investing in the educational program, you shift from what you’ve been doing to what you want to do next.

The idea? Go deep. That way you focus in a way that allows to be able to focus fully for a significant amount of time. Personal growth is your result.

While you’re here, do you want to learn more about this topic? If so, download my brand new free eBook 10 Steps to Improve Your Life by clicking here

Cynthia Ann Leighton is the author of Slow Self Improvement Guide, providing a message of hope and inspiration for personal growth.


5 Essentials for Life

How can we rebalance our energy and live life to the fullest?

Contributor: Tony Wilden

When mind/body/spirit are out of balance we become ill … diseased. How can we rebalance our energy and live life to the fullest? The ability to really relax is of utmost importance in our quest for health. When we are calm and relaxed we are free from stress. It then becomes much easier to concentrate, focus and achieve our goals. 

If we liberate our natural talents and go with the flow, we will have unlimited energy. A simple path to health must be found and the 5 essentials for life will give YOU the tools necessary to completely change your life for the better. 


The moment we cease to breathe, the physical body begins to decay. Breathing PURE air is therefore the basic root of existence, and as such must have prime consideration in any problem of health. Through the air we breathe we gain vital life force to promote healing. It is surprising we don’t give more attention to the QUALITY of the air we breathe. 


Most of the planet is covered with water and the human body is 75% water, so it is easy to see how vital pure water is for life. Every living cell requires water, air and nutrients. Water acts as a solvent in the body and the purer it is, free from pollutants and chemicals, the more toxins can be let into it for removal. How pure is your water? 


Today after a brief detour into science and inorganic medicines, humankind is once again being directed to the proper use of Nature’s products to restore to abundant health a dis-ease ridden world. What we eat is directly related to how we think, feel and act. We ARE what we eat ! One of the secrets to recharge your energy to gradually introduce raw organic fruit and vegetables to your diet. 


Everyone should take some exercise on a daily basis as part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is a process by which the cells of the body are placed under controlled stress. This stimulates metabolic efficiency as well as to increase vigour, strength and vitality. Research at NASA states that rebounding is THE complete exercise. 


Most of us counteract the benefits of sleep and relaxation, soft mattresses, television, eating before retiring etc. If we are using energy for digestion or processing thoughts, we are not using it to repair and recharge our vital life force. Rest and relaxation CAN be gained by lying immobile without sleeping, we sleep apparently to dream. 


Tony Wilden has a deep interest in spiritual matters, health and environmental issues and the creation of harmony between people and nature. YOU can use master strategies to achieve your success. For more information on his work visit : http://www.aikido-health.com


Happiness is Making it Independence Day Everyday

They took a stand. They said “no more!” No to oppression. “We will not be limited and we will not forfeit our right to happiness,” they said, “and no more giving up our power to choose the life we want.”

Contributor: Joseph Liberti

Making A Declaration

They took a stand. They said “no more!” No to oppression. “We will not be limited and we will not forfeit our right to happiness,” they said, “and no more giving up our power to choose the life we want.” 

The authors of the Declaration of Independence  put themselves at risk and in harm’s way. And they faced separation from friends and loved ones they might lose favor with. 

They wanted freedom that much. 

How about you?

How much do you want your personal freedom – your ability to determine the life you want? How will you get it?

Your personal freedom – your ability to choose your happiness is not something you need purchase or even develop. As the writers of the declaration said in the most famous sentence in US history: 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I say:

Your freedom is your right! And your power to create that life is your spiritual inheritance.  

Reclaim your freedom now! Declare your independence today, and everyday, from limitation and discontent. Say “no” to living for the approval of others. Say “no” to letting your fear keep you from going for what’s important to you. Say “no” to holding back. Say “yes” to speaking your true voice and expressing your magnificent authentic self. 

Some have said the cost of freedom is vigilance. Your freedom to be is won in small battles with your ego. So to be free you must be vigilant and determined. You must say “no” to self-criticism whenever it arises and say “yes” to self-compassion at every opportunity. 

You must say “no” to compromising your integrity in times of hard choices and say “yes” to living your values. You must separate yourself from fear and doubt in the face of challenge or change and trust your intuition. Say “no” to a job that promises the illusion of security and guaranteed misery and say”yes” to your passion and doing the right thing.

As you assert the truth of your freedom, your self-esteem and self-worth will naturally rise and your self-confidence will be expressed in a mindful way of being, ease and peace of mind.

Take back your power. 

Declare your independence – today and every day!

And choose your happiness now!

Joseph Liberti, President of EQ At Work coaches leaders and coaches to liberate the power and creativity of their authentic self.