If you are a parent of young children or teens, then you cannot afford to be unhealthy. Futures depend on your personal health. For many of us, it feels like chasing after the wind.
My wife and I are in our mid-forties, and our health is not even close to what it used to be, even though we live a relatively healthy lifestyle. We eat healthy. We exercise. We are not overweight and don’t smoke. Sometimes it seems futile, but it’s just mid-life. We can do the right things, and yet our bodies are just going to be breaking down from here on out.
In this second half of life, there are some things that just won’t heal, that lifestyle won’t fix. Neither my eyes nor my ears will be getting better, no matter how healthy I try to live. It’s just decay. We get wrinkles, cysts, and gray hair.
In addition to the natural aging process, stress is slowly killing most 40-somethings. Continue reading “Chasing Health”
Once again, his room isn’t clean, not by any standard. Her backpack, jacket, and shoes are scattered about the floor of the hall, again. His grades are sub-par in math, again. She is making the family late to school, again. He seems to be nonchalant about his music audition this weekend. She isn’t running enough to prepare for soccer tryouts next week.
How do you approach the lack of motivation: carrot or stick?
What’s the best approach: direct confrontation, positive affirmation, a new system of consequences? Push hard or back off? Constructive criticism?
Who knows? It’s a minefield, to say the least.
It’s a thin line between motivating your child and provoking him or her to rebellion. Motivating a child, especially a teenager, is not an easy road. There will be resistance, mistakes and regrets, and that is if you are doing it right.
Continue reading “Motivate. Don’t Manipulate Your Kids.”
Perhaps this video is a bit of an overstatement. It oversimplifies the problem, but I like the main theme. Train yourself (and your kids) to live beyond the net. Don’t overuse your phone.
Video by Gary Turk.
2014 is the first year in American history in which everybody has a mobile device. We are at the saturation point with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs. They are in our pockets, purses, cars, backpacks, and bedrooms. We all have screens with us throughout our days, and some of us are never without a screen.
Now we are considering how to live well with the screens. Most of us are not yet comfortable with where and when and how to use our devices in a healthy way.
Today, I received an email from AT&T about how to become better connected. This is their vision of the ideal family connection.
At first glance, it looks great. Happy parents. Kids sitting content nearby. Well dressed. Clean home. No worries.
But on further review, how ideal is this? Continue reading “The Connected Family”
My wife and I struggle with what I call productionism. It is a variation of perfectionism. It is the belief that a man’s value comes from his ability to accomplish or produce something, or that a woman’s worth is found in the amount that she can get done in a day. In other words, a good man is productive every day, while a lazy man is a lousy man. A good day for a good woman is measured in the amount of to do’s accomplished before her head hits the pillow at night.
Productionism is a little different than perfectionism because things don’t have to be done perfectly, they just need to be done efficiently. A productionist is practical and efficient, always trying to accomplish a lot in a little time.
In stressful, busy situations, productionists follow these mantras:
- When the going gets tough, the tough gets to work.
- If you feel overwhelmed, just do the next thing. You can do that much.
- If you can’t do a big thing, just do a few small things. You will feel better then.
Productionists brag to others about how much they accomplish. They make lists, check them off, and congratulate themselves. Some will even keep as trophies their old lists with all the crossed out tasks.
Being a productionist is not all bad, of course, but it’s a major problem when tasks overwhelm the ability to love others and enjoy life along the way. When tasks are more important than people, we are way off track. Unfortunately, the productionist will often choose the tasks over people, since there is more control and more pride in doing than in being. Continue reading “The Peril of Productionism”
Watch this video first, then read on.
I applaud Apple for making a video that affirms the family. This ad does an excellent job of showing how wonderful family can be. Yes, it’s sentimental and pulls at the heartstrings in ways that some would call cliche, but it’s very well done. It’s a beautiful portrait of a family that loves each other and enjoys life together in the everyday mundane socks-on-the-kitchen-floor sort of way. And I love that. In addition, it shows how blessed the boy is to have such a wonderful family. In the end, he affirms and accepts the blessing. Even better, he reciprocates the love in his own special way, a way which is deeply appreciated. He is actually contributing to the family by chronicling and highlighting its beauty. It’s a wonderful family. We need more portraits of functional families on TV. So, thank you, Apple, for bringing some warmth to TV.
On the other hand, I wonder if this depiction is based in reality. Continue reading “Phone for the Holidays”
Everyone has at least one book in them. Critical Connection is mine.
Ever since I was ten, I wanted to grow up and have a happy family. Since I was sixteen, I wanted a career in which I could help teenagers to grow up well. As a teacher, coach, and parent, it has been my privilege to do so – often ineffectively, of course. One of the things I have learned along the way is that there are very few good books out there about parenting early adolescents (10-14 year olds).
In 2009, I started blogging here at Growing Up Well, and over the next few years people would say to me, “You really need to write a book.” Continue reading “The Story of the Book”