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Character-Courage-Conscience
07/27/2010
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The Future of Parenting
Five Key Trends in the Future of Parenting

By Caron B. Goode
www.acpi.com


The future is uncertain. So is the future of parenting. The aftermath of disasters such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina has cast a shadow of doubt over our lives. This pervasive sense of insecurity and vulnerability has prompted many people to reevaluate and reclaim what is most important to them#151;their families. We instinctively reach out to our families for comfort. But is it possible to give that feeling roots? Is it possible for parents to give their children a sense of strength, security, and faith in the future?

According to Caron B. Goode, director of the Academy for Coaching Parents International, it is not only possible, it is imperative.

Five Key Trends in the Future of Parenting
  • Family First. Although statistics indicate a 10% increase in the number of stay at home parents, the majority of children today are raised in families where both parents work. While economic pressures make this situation hard to escape, parents have begun to give voice to their desire to put family first. According to a 2004 study by the Families and Work Institute, parents are starting to say no to overtime and yes to family time. In fact, a recent survey found that among working fathers between the ages of 22-37, 52% have no interest in taking on more job responsibility, as compared to 68% in 1992.

  • Fostering Resiliency. While parents may have never considered fostering resiliency in their children before, they do now. Resiliency is the ability to navigate stressors, major or minor, and then return to the business of living. Studies have shown that children who have close, supportive families and caregivers are more apt to deal with stress or trauma in a positive manner than those who do not. Having supportive, sensitive, and responsible parents helps ensure that children are equipped to handle life's stressors, now and in the future.

  • Raising Compassionate Children. More and more, parents are concerning themselves with raising compassionate children. As borders blur and the global community expands, parents feel it is important for their children to be understanding, empathic, and willing to help a neighbor in need. To be compassionate, one must first be capable of identifying with another, which is best taught by example. Parents who treat their children with kindness and respect, will see those same children treating others in kind. By nature, children are caring and compassionate creatures, but it is up to parents to nurture their altruistic behavior.

  • Finding Faith. Increasingly, parents are becoming interested in helping their children develop a spiritual base. A growing number of parents are turning to spirituality, whether it is religious, iconic or mystic in nature, to help them navigate rough terrain and master the uncertainty that inevitably visits every life. Teaching children to believe in something greater than oneself fosters a sense of community and reinforces the tenets of tolerance on many levels. The very nature of spirituality shows children that no one person is more important than another. It illustrates that we are, in fact, all part of a greater whole, and that this whole can be a powerful source of strength and a vital instrument for change.

  • Reducing Stress. Today many adults and children suffer with chronic stress which has been linked to a number of physical conditions such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition to the adverse health consequences, overexposure to stress may, in part, inhibit the development of healthy resilience. Scientists believe that our ability to manage stress is formed in childhood through a combination of genes and experience. Everyone must learn to deal with stress, and to a degree stress is necessary to a healthy, productive life. This generation of families is aware of this fact, but they are also starting to say enough is enough. Mothers and fathers are beginning to recognize that they can't nor do they want to do it all. Parents are spending less time on the things they feel they must do, and making room for the things they want to do, like spend time with their family. They are starting to insist that their children assume responsibility within the family, which in turn is helping their children learn how to manage time, become part of a whole, and develop a strong sense of community. They are also starting to replace the propensity to over schedule their children and acknowledging that kids need time to be kids. This shift in attitude is leading to a less stressful existence, and is putting the emphasis back on the family functioning as a unit.
Dr. Caron Goode is a parenting expert and the director of the Academy of Parent Coaching International. The Academy offers a parent coaching certification program for individuals interested in helping families nurture and grow their children. For more information, visit www.acpi.biz Receive a free online parenting magazine, visit www.InspiredParenting.net. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageValuesWomen's Point of View
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07/27/2010
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"PASS OR FAIL"
Strengthen Your Marriage with a Simple Daily Exercise

By Winn Claybaugh
www.beniceorelse.com


I don't know about you, but I've found that on many days it's easier to smile at strangers than at the person at home. However, if you want a better marriage, then you need to practice every day with total strangers. Imagine that in the course of one day you come across fifty people. They might include strangers you pass in a parking lot, a waitress, or a bank teller. What if you looked at all of those relationships as a "pass or fail" exercise?

You pass when you smile at a stranger in the parking lot and say, "Have a nice day," or go out of your way to cheer a grumpy waitress, or choose to ignore a driver who flips you off. You fail when you come across that stranger in the parking lot and do absolutely nothing, or when that waitress has a worse day after her experience with you.

Can you have fifty fails in a day and expect to go home to a successful, constructive, loving relationship with your spouse? Absolutely not. You can't be a monster in the world and expect to be charming at home.

Several years ago, I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, with a dear friend of mine, Kitty Victor, for a two-day seminar we were facilitating together. After landing at the airport, we had about an hour to grab our bags, get to the hotel, change clothes, and begin the seminar. We jumped into a cab but didn't tell the driver we were in a hurry. However, our cabbie was driving like a maniac and his driving began to frighten us. He darted in and out of lanes, honking and yelling at the other drivers. A driver next to us was talking on his cell phone, so our driver sped up, cut in front of the other driver, and slammed on his brakes-all in rush-hour traffic.

At that point I yelled, "What are you doing?" Our driver mumbled something about how he hated it when other drivers talk on the phone. I angrily quipped, "Oh, so you're going to teach him a lesson at the expense of our safety? Quit driving like a maniac! Slow down, and get us to our hotel safely."

At that point, Kitty asked me, "Pass or fail?"

I replied, "PASS!" Improving your relationships doesn't mean letting people walk all over you while you bite your tongue. Unconditional love doesn't mean unconditional abuse. Had I said nothing to the cab driver, I wouldn't have been honoring the most important relationship I have: my relationship with myself. Physically or verbally attacking him-"You're an idiot and the worst driver in history!"-would also be a fail.

If you want a better relationship with your spouse, you need to practice all day, every day, with total strangers. Every stranger you encounter was sent to you for a specific reason and purpose: They're your personal home-play assignments. So, which will it be-pass or fail?

Winn Claybaugh is the author of Be Nice (Or Else!) and "one of the best motivational speakers in the country," according to CNN's Larry King. A business owner for over 25 years with over 8,000 people in his organization, Winn is the co-owner of hair care giant Paul Mitchell's school division. Winn has helped thousands of businesses build their brands and create successful working cultures. His clients include Southwest Airlines, the Irvine Company, Vidal Sassoon, Entertainment Tonight, Mattel, For Rent magazine, Structure/Limited/Express, and others. Winn is a frequent guest on national radio and a regular contributor to online publications. Visit www.beniceorelse.com to sign up for his free monthly Be Nice (Or Else!) newsletter. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceValues
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07/27/2010
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Toddler Treat: Cranberries
By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers


Toddlers love to play with their food. Dipping sauces make foods taste good and provide your child with an activity that makes meals and snacks more fun. Here are two recipes for yummy dipping sauces - one for fruits and another for veggies, tofu and meats.

Creamy Cranberry Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:
frac34; cup 100 percent cranberry raspberry (or grape) juice
frac12; cup sour cream
frac12; cup vanilla yogurt

Directions:
Place juice into a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to a syrup (about 3 tablespoons). Allow to cool. Add syrup to remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Chill and serve with a variety of fresh fruit slices.

Cranberry Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:
frac12;cup jellied cranberry sauce
1 frac12; tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions: Combine ingredients in a small mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with raw/blanched veggies, baked tofu, chicken fingers or fish sticks.

All about cranberries

The cranberry is a Native American fruit that grows on trailing vines like a strawberry, and thrives in wetland areas, called bogs. Cranberries are harvested in September and October. The most common technique for harvesting is known as a "wet" harvest, which involves flooding the bogs with water to float the fruit for easy collection. During the winter the frozen water insulates and protects the vines.

The North American cranberry has a distinguished history. Native Americans used cranberries as food, in ceremonies, and medicinally. Revolutionary War veteran Henry Hall planted the first commercial cranberry beds in Dennis, Massachusetts in 1816. Today they are farmed on approximately 40,000 acres across the northern United States and Canada.

Cranberries are available in a variety of product forms including: fresh, juice, dried and sauce. Cranberries are considered a healthy fruit. They contain no cholesterol and virtually no fat, and are low in sodium. In addition, they contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer, aging and other diseases. Cranberries also contain bacteria-blocking compounds that are helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, and possibly ulcers and gum disease.

Age to introduce: Over 12 months (cooked/juice/sauce). Over 18 months (dried).

Cranberries for the family
Cranberry up your Thanksgiving meal by trying some of these tasty and simple ideas.
  1. Football snack: Add dried cranberries to any nut mixture.

  2. Salad: Sprinkle dried cranberries on mixed green or spinach salad. The sweetness of the cranberries is terrific with any vinaigrette dressing and is a great compliment to crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.

  3. Side dish: Add dried cranberries to your favorite stuffing, wild rice, or couscous recipe.

  4. Veggie: Sauteacute; onions, diced zucchini and dried cranberries in olive oil. Season with a dash of turmeric, cinnamon, and rep pepper flakes. Great taste and awesome color!

  5. All American apple pie: Add frac12; cup of fresh cranberries to your favorite apple recipe.

  6. Treat the whole family to fresh cranberry sauce. Here is a simple recipe that can be made ahead of time.
Easy Cranberry Sauce:

Ingredients
16 ounces fresh cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
frac12; cup cranberry juice
frac12; cup fresh orange juice or water

Directions:
Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open (about 10 minutes). Skim the foam off the surface with a metal spoon and discard. Cool to room temperature.

Storage: Refrigerate, covered, for up to three months.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). Raised by parents who love fresh foods and entertaining, their mom, a gourmet cook, ensured that they were well-equipped with extraordinary skills in the kitchen. Both with long track records of business success, they decided to combine their skills in the kitchen with their knowledge of healthy foods and children to create Fresh Baby. Cheryl and Joan put a modern twist on the conventional wisdom that when you make it yourself, you know it's better. Their goal at Fresh Baby is to make the task of raising a healthy eater a little bit easier for all parents. Fresh Baby's breastfeeding accessories and baby food making supplies provide parents with practical knowledge and innovative tools to support them in introducing their children to great tasting, all-natural foods easily and conveniently. Visit them online at www.FreshBaby.com and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter to get monthly ideas, tips and activities for developing your family's healthy eating habits! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com

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07/27/2010
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The Great Crib Escape
By Armin Brott
www.mrdad.com


Dear Mr. Dad: My year-old child has begun to climb out of the crib at night. How do I keep her safe?

A: Start by thinking about her environment in larger and larger circles, from the crib to the door. First, the crib. There get rid of all those bumpers (those oh-so-cute fabric pads that used to protect your baby from banging her head against the inside of the crib). Bumpers make great stepping stones for climbers. Also, take all those big stuffed animals, pillows, and heavy comforters out of the crib. These items were dangerous as suffocation hazards when your baby was small. Now that she's bigger, they're tickets to freedom.

Start by explaining to your child that this is her very own, safe, special bed, and that she can sleep there all night, just like Mommy and Daddy do in their bed. Then, if you haven't done it already, adjust the crib's mattress so it's at the setting closest to the floor. If the lower mattress and lack of climbing materials still don't prevent escape, you have a few options.

You might consider buying one of the commercially available safety nets that fit over the top of the crib like a large dome. These nets always seem a little like you're imprisoning your child, but they're a temporary solution (they're also excellent for keeping roaming pets out of the crib).

If safety nets aren't your style, consider installing a gate across her doorway or using a doorknob safety cover that your child won't be able to open. If you go this route, though, be absolutely sure that your child's room is completely childproofed.

As your child approaches two, she'll begin associating climbing and jumping with the possibility of falling, and may become more cautious on her own. You can help the process along by reminding her#151;'Remember how you fell down and bumped your head and cried?"

Whatever you do, don't just give up and put pillows around the crib, as some people do. Because pillows can shift around and expose the bare floor, this is not a good long-term solution.

The next step is a "big girl bed," which can be a mattress on the floor or a twin bed. The twin bed should be pushed against the wall, with a bed rail on the outside. This all applies until it is time for potty learning, when the world gets even bigger!

Armin Brott, hailed by Time as 'the superdad's superdad, has written or co-written six critically acclaimed books on fatherhood, including the newly released second edition of Fathering Your Toddler: A Dad's Guide to the Second and Third Years. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, American Baby, Parenting, Child, Men's Health, The Washington Post among others. Armin is an experienced radio and TV guest, and has appeared on Today, CBS Overnight, Fox News, and Politically Incorrect. He's the host of 'Positive Parenting, a weekly radio program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit Armin at www.mrdad.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

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07/27/2010
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Fears Of A Clown
by Bob Schwartz


There are certain words spoken by a child that can send a shiver of panic through every parental nerve ending. I've discovered that the words causing the greatest consternation were not "Don't worry, the tattoos can always be removed with a laser" or "Can you believe putting in six eyebrow rings barely hurt?"

Rather, the words which sent me quickly into a panic attack were, "My Gymbo's gone!"

Most children, sometime in their early bedtime careers, take a liking to sleeping with a stuffed animal, cuddly clown, small blanket or even something out of the ordinary like one of my children's predilection for nightly embracing a deck of Rugrats Uno cards. Don't ask.

Our son fell into the clown category, and while putting him to bed one night during a family vacation in Canada, we discovered the terrifying experience of finding that his Gymbo the clown was gone. Vanished. Without even a trace of stuffing left behind or a crayon scribbled note.

After ransacking the room and coming up Gymboless, it was clear that he was most likely the victim of an involuntary dollnapping. We concluded he must have been inadvertently scooped up with the sheets that day by the hotel staff. Poor little Gymbo was lying innocently on the bed one minute and then, suddenly, his world was torn asunder with the disengagement of a fitted sheet.

Apparently, he was abruptly wrapped up in the bed linen and tossed down that dark and seemingly never-ending chute to the basement laundry facility. He went from his sheltered suburban upbringing, to being quickly exposed to the giant underbelly of a hotel building. He was naively left to wonder what he'd done to be cast aside and jettisoned into the dungeon of the sheet and pillow case world he was then forced to call home.

The immediate focus was damage control by one parent and Gymbo retrieval by the other. As our son broke out into hysterics, he made it painfully clear that no Gymbo for him meant no sleep. For everyone. And after a long day of nonstop vacationing movement, no sleep was simply an untenable concept for me.

My wife quickly got connected to the hotel laundry room and explained the dire circumstances. She was advised that they'd not seen him yet, but amazingly, they requested she provide them a description of the victim.

This caused us to immediately wonder just how many stuffed dolls they had lying in that basement. Was there some international black market for stuffed cuddly things going on down there? I grabbed the phone and interjected that we'd be able to pick him out of a lineup, so please just let us know how many cotton clowns they'd seen recently. Or perhaps they'd like us to come down and do a composite watercolor painting for them.

I handed the phone back to my wife who patiently provided the laundry staff the unmistakable physical characteristics of a stuffed blue and yellow clown #151; a missing button on his body-hugging suspenders, frizzy red hair, a frayed right leg, about twelve inches long, a bow tie, and with an unwavering cat that ate the canary smile on his face. I felt very confident they wouldn't confuse him with a mattress pad.

As we anxiously paced back and forth, the phone finally rang. In a thick French Canadian accent, the unemotional voice said, "Vee have located your clown."

The words, spoken so solemnly yet somewhat muffled, forced me to become fearful they would next demand a ransom? Or, worse yet, advise us that after a violent fifty-minute foray in the tumble dryer his arm was hanging by a thread?

My wife and I were so thankful that Gymbo was soon delivered to our door in one piece and wearing that same cockeyed grin, but to me, he had a little shell-shocked look. I could only think of the horrors he must have seen down below, tossed in amongst the giant spinning washer along with stained tablecloths and thrown about in the whirling dryers with a bath towel pressed against his face.

We could only hope that the familiar rhythmic breathing of his sleeping owner in the footed pajamas would soon erase the memories of his emotionally charged excursion into the outside world.

We did learn to avoid any unchaperoned Gymbo excursions in the future by tying one end of a shoelace around his waist and the other end around the bedpost each morning. I know that doesn't necessarily look all that loving, but hey, he never stops smiling. And it does eliminate one potential for bedtime parental panic.

Once was enough #151; for all of us.

Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com

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Tags: Adult Child-ParentCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMilitaryMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsRelativesReligionValues
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07/27/2010
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Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy at Home
by Lesley Spencer, MSc; Founder President HBWM.com Inc.
http://www.HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com


Many Americans these days are finding themselves out of shape and overweight. Why is that? The bottom line is we are taking in more calories than we are burning. It takes a conscious effort to reduce calories, eat healthier and get regular exercise.

Exercise does not have to be a dreaded word either. The good news is that exercise gives you more energy, stress relief, better health, clearer focus, sharper mind, better sleep, better bone health, better sex life, and it decreases the risk of cancers, heart attacks and heart problems. Forget the benefits of just looking good and realize exercise not only makes you feel good, it can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Here are some tips to get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle:
  • Put your workout clothes on first thing in the morning. You'll feel more "obligated" to exercise once you are dressed in your workout clothes.

  • Use music to energize and motivate you to exercise. Get a few great CDs that energize you. Turn it up and jam out! The music will motivate you and help the time pass by more quickly!

  • Always keep a water bottle and a healthy snack with you. When you get hungry, go for the healthy snack instead of heading to the pantry. Try to keep your water bottle full so that you can drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Follow the two-bite rule. If there's something you absolutely must have, take two bites and be done! You'll get your fix and be proud of your will power to put it down!

  • No time for exercise? Make a goal to walk for 30 minutes at least three times a week. You'll find if you make it a priority, you can fit it in. Try going right after breakfast or after taking your kids to school.

  • Need to be motivated to exercise? Find one or two workout partners to motivate one another. If you don't have anyone near by, find a virtual workout buddy on the http://www.HBWM.com Self-Care message boards. Share successes, motivate one another and just enjoy doing something for yourself!

  • Keep a diary of what you eat for a few days. Calculate your intake and decide where you should cut back. (You can find nutritional charts on the Mom's Assistant section of http://www.HBWM.com.)

  • If you have cravings for something sweet, try eating something tart to curb the craving such as a pickle. If you crave crunchy salty snacks, try having an apple instead.
Take the leap. Commit to exercising a few days a week and before you know it, the benefits will be their own motivator! You will feel better, look better and be better.

Lesley Spencer is founder and president of the HBWM.com, Inc. Network whichincludes: http://www.HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com, http://www.WorkAtHomeKit.com, http://www.edirectoryofhomebasedcareers.com,http://www.momsworkathomesite.com, http://www.HBWMconferences.com, http://www.HBWMcanada.com and http://www.HireMyMom.com (coming soon!). She has a Master's Degree in Public Relations and has been featured in numerous media outlets including CBS News, Forbes, Business Week, Parents, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She has been working from home for over 10 years and has two children whom she absolutely adores! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com

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07/27/2010
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Trust Your Heart
By The Love Goddess
www.thelovegoddess.com


Dear Love Goddess: I keep going outwith men who look great, have good jobs, etc., but who are really,really strange once they're in a relationship. I KNOW this is nottrue of all men, but of the men I'm choosing#133;.but is there a way ofspotting these guys? -Miserable Earth Girl

A. Dear Miserable Earth Girl: Spotting men unfit for human consumptionfrom afar by just looking at them? No. They do not, unfortunately, wearsigns saying, "I'm a loser and a creep." They can look reallygood. They can sound really good. They often, in fact, look and soundbetter than the really terrific guys do, because they've madeincredible adjustments to the fact that they ARE losers and creeps (andthey do know it; they've been told by untold numbers of women) and knowthey have something to hide. So they make an extra effort to look good,sound good, come on to you politely#151;and often aggressively-- seemincredibly interested, promise a good time, and so forth...all thethings they hope will ensure that you'll go out with them. But despitetheir camouflage, there are two sure ways to tell which men are likelyto turn out, as you put it, "really, really strange."

First, you really must trust your instincts. How do you feel whenyou're with him? Do you feel good#133;.or anxious? Do you have the sensethat you're really connecting#133;.or that you really want to butaren't? Does he seem too aggressive, too sure that you're the oneand only, too pushy about making a date? Pay attention to yourgut....it is inevitably right. Then, if you make a date, does he alwaysshow up late, leaving you a little miffed? Does he always expect you tocook? Does he bring wine, or offer to cook or take you out? Do you feela little on edge, or like a drag? Do you find yourself constantlywishing you (or he) were in a better mood?

Next, how do you feel between dates with him? Does he check in to sayhe had a nice time; to see when you'll meet again, or does he kind ofdisappear for days or weeks? Does it feel as if the relationship isgetting traction#133;.or do you a have the sense, each time you see him,that you're starting from square one? Does he disappear? Is his life asecret? Does he seem to want what you want in this relationship or doyou have the sense that you're always trying either to make him comecloser or to get him to back off somewhat? Does he seem to behaving trouble being involved with you#133;.as if it's not something thathe truly enjoys; not something he can keep up without being giveninstructions? Do you have the sense that he's peddling something ("I really want marriage and a family with a woman like you") that hecan't deliver ("I think I'm going to spend next year in Alaska"). Hashe been in a long-term relationship?
I know you can't answer all these questions, and my aim is not to haveyou drill him. I just know that the hardest thing to learn is to trustyour gut about someone. So listen to your inner voice, and then to goby what a man DOES, not what he says. It's so hard to resist thecompelling urge to make him become someone you want him to be when thesigns point to the fact that he never was and never will be. Thesigns, I believe, are inevitably there. But they're not visible on hisperson; they're telegraphed subtly, and can only be felt by you by yourown senses, your own heart.

Dalma Heyn, M.S.W., Founder of The Love Goddess, is the author ofseveral bestselling books on marriage and relationships. Dalma is awidely read columnist and sought-after speaker. She hasappeare--without her wings--on national talk shows including Oprah, The View, Charlie Rose, GoodMorning America, and Larry King Live. For more information visitwww.thelovegoddess.com or www.dalmaheyn.net. Permission granted foruse onDrLaura.com

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07/27/2010
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Ditch the Negative Drama
By Winn Claybaugh
www.beniceorelse.com


Years ago, a lovely woman who works for me made it almost a dailyritual to tell me all the negative drama and complaints from people atmy business. She truly believed she was doing me a favor, and I thinkshe thought it was a compliment that people brought her their problemsand complaints.

One day I asked her, "Why are you so available for this information?Why do so many people want to dump their negative drama onto you?"After a long conversation and a reminder about our company's veryeffective and positive system for expressing grievances, she finallyrealized she was not helpingthe individuals work out their problems, she was not bringing me information I coulduse, and she was instead bringing stress and bitterness upon herselfand her coworkers. This lovely woman is now no longer available fornegative gossip and drama.

To eliminate stress from your workplace, try these four ideas forreplacing stress-producing drama with fun, positive activities.

1. Create a "Caught Ya" board.Whenever a staff member sees a coworker doing something wonderful,they're encouraged to "write them up." A "Caught Ya!" message couldread something like, "To Derrick: Thanks for surprising me by cleaningup the stockroom." Keep preprinted "Caught Ya" cards near your boardand display it in the lunch area or break room where the "spoons"usually hang out-people who are back there stirring things up.

2.What's on your bulletin board? Take down anything negative andpost stories of hope and inspiration for everyone to see.

3.Devote time to a favorite charity. Doing something good forsomeone else brings your company together as a team and helpsindividuals step outside their own drama.

4.Give people something to laugh about! It's a medical fact thatstress can lead to ulcers and other unfavorable physical calamities.When people laugh and have fun, their bodies release endorphins-the ultimate "naturalhigh." Give your team a daily dose of healthfulness by making yourworkplace fun.

As a leader, you have choices in life. You can spend your day lookingfor problems, and guess what you'll find? Or you can spend your daylooking for reasons to celebrate your fellow team members. At the endof the day, you can go home feeling drained, exhausted, and bitterbecause of all the problems you discovered, or you can go home feelingenergized and grateful because you spent your day focusing on thingsthat empower both yourself and your team. The second choice makes you avisionary leader. Which type would you rather be?

Winn Claybaugh is the author ofBe Nice (Or Else!) and "one ofthe best motivational speakers in the country," according to CNN'sLarry King. A business owner for over 25 years with over 8,000 peoplein his organization, Winn is the co-owner of hair care giant PaulMitchell's school division. Winn has helped thousands of businessesbuild their brands and create successful working cultures. His clientsinclude Southwest Airlines, the Irvine Company, Vidal Sassoon,Entertainment Tonight, Mattel, ForRent magazine, Structure/Limited/Express, and others. Winn is afrequent guest on national radio and a regular contributor to onlinepublications. Visit
www.BeNiceOrElse.com to sign up for his free monthly Be Nice (Or Else!) newsletter. Permission granted for use onDrLaura.com.

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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRelativesValues
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07/27/2010
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TheGraduation Speech Your Kids Really Need To Hear
By Cliff Ennico
www.creators.com

Members of the Class of 2009:

I was sorry to hear that the children's TV show hostwho was to have been your commencement speaker today had to bow out atthe last minute due to an attack of terminal cuteness. I wasdelighted, however, when the Trustees called me about an hour ago andasked me to fill in.

Now, I've never done this before, and I wasn't givena whole lot of guidance, except that I was told to tell you to "followyour dreams" and "reach for the stars", since there's a federal lawrequiring those statements to be included in all graduation speeches[pause for laughter].

While I know some of you already have jobs and some,OK most of you, do not, I know that all of you are wondering today whatyour lives are going to be like. I know I did when I sat in oneof these chairs back in 1975. Let me tell you something it'sgoing to be a lot different than you think it will be. As JohnLennon once said, "life is what happens to you when you're making otherplans."

I have two pieces of news for you, and neither ofthem are fun to talk about, but I feel they must be said, and no bettertime than today. First, whatever dreams most of you hope toaccomplish in your lives, you won't be able to achieve them until youhave achieved some measure of financial security for yourself and yourloved ones. Like many generations before you, unless you wereborn wealthy (and sometimes even then), finding and keeping thatfinancial security will be the primary, if not the only, thing you willspend time on for the next 50 years.

It gets worse. The second thing is that it hasnever been a more difficult time to make a decent living inAmerica. I'm not just talking about the collapsing banks,bankrupt auto companies, or global warming. I'm talking aboutsome mega-changes in our economy.

Many of the career paths your parents andgrandparents enjoyed working for large corporations are no longerthere. Oh, many of the corporations are still there, but they'vegot a different outlook than they did in my day. To them, peoplecost money, and you have to keep your costs as low as possible to stayalive. So if you can buy computers to do the work of lots ofpeople, you buy the computers and fire the people. If you musthire people to do a job, because no computer is good enough, you hirethe cheapest people you can in Asia and Latin America. And if youreally must hire Americans, you "outsource" them as independentcontractors rather than employees. That way you don't have to paytheir health insurance.

The Government won't be there to bail you outeither. Social Security, Medicare and other government programsthat helped your parents and grandparents either won't be there whenyou are ready for them, or they will be so scaled back that only themost poverty-stricken Americans will qualify for them. Hopefullythat won't include any of you [pause for murmuring/dodge vegetables].

And if you think you can scale back yourexpectations and work in a small, simple business, there's a massivewave of immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America who are only toowilling to take the jobs we Americans are too proud to take.

The terrible truth about your future, ladies andgentlemen, is that there is only one person you can rely on to help youbuild your future and success, and that is you. Sooner or later,you will find yourself running your own business, and you had betterstart preparing for that day now. It may happen next year, it maynot happen until you turn 50. It may be a part-time business,

Many of you, I'm sorry to say, are totallyunprepared for the challenge. While the American educationalsystem is still, for my money, the best in the world, the sad truth isthat most of you are totally clueless about what business isabout. Far, far too many of you, including even a few Phi BetaKappas and Rhodes Scholars, don't know the difference between revenueand profits, can't balance your checkbook, and couldn't tell thedifference between a balance sheet and an income statement if your lifedepended on it. To be successful in this brave new world, youwill have to learn how business really works on the job, with lots ofself-study, practical experience, and by making a few mistakes.

Now before you business students start thinking youhave a leg up over your liberal arts classmates, let me tell you thatyour education has been grossly deficient as well. You know a lotabout numbers and spreadsheets, but you don't know diddly about thehuman heart. Make no mistake to be a success in business, youmust be a keen observer of human nature above all else. To knowwhich customers are more willing to buy than others, and whenperceptions of your products and services are changing, is a lot morevaluable to a business than knowing the difference between "accountingprofit" and "economic profit".

What is probably worst of all, many of the best andbrightest of you have a dim view of business, period. Like manybefore you, you think you are too good for a business career, or thatone has to be unethical, greedy and unscrupulous to be a success. Sadly, it's hard to blame you for that, given all of the recentfinancial scandals, grossly overpaid executives and business' totaldisregard for the environment. But let me assure you that youdon't have to be ruthless, obnoxious, devious or even Republican tosucceed in business [pause for laughter/applause/murmuring/vegetables].

For those of you who think a business career isn'tchallenging, let me remind you that any activity that generates incomefor you and your family, is a business. If you are a collegeprofessor, getting published and being granted tenure is yourbusiness. If you work for a corporation, staying employed andimpressing the right people every day is your business. If youare an artist, creating works that you know will sell quickly (andpreferably have been paid for in advance) is your business. Whileit's admirable to look at what you do as a calling, if you neglect the"business side" of what you do, you are taking the first baby steps tofailure and ruin.

I have had the pleasure of working with over 15,000business owners in my career, and they are a more diverse group eventhan you are. They come from all walks of life andbackgrounds, and their personalities are all over the map. Contrary to what you may believe now, there is no such thing as a"success type". The beauty of this wonderful country ofours is that anyone - I mean anyone - can succeed in business with theright training, the right outlook on life, and the determination to dowhat others are too squeamish or hesitant to accomplish.

So by all means reach for the stars and follow yourdreams, for without faith, hope and passion your business will neversucceed, even if you're as smart as Einstein.

Just whatever you do, don't run out of money.

Cliff Ennico (cennico@legalcareer.com)is a syndicated columnist, author and former host of the PBS televisionseries 'Money Hunt'. This column is no substitute for legal, tax orfinancial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualifiedprofessional licensed in your state. To find out more about CliffEnnico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit ourWeb page at www.creators.com.COPYRIGHT 2009 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE,INC. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.


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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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07/27/2010
Icon



Simple Avocado MangoSalad
By Cheryl Tallman
www.FreshBaby.com


Ingredients:

Salad:
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 mango, cubed
1 graham cracker, crushed

Honey-Lime Dressing:
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1Tbsp Honey
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
Salad: Arrange avocado and mango cubes on a plate or bowl. Drizzle withdressing. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Serve.
Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of theaward-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade BabyFood in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips andSimple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at
www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.





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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMen's Point of ViewMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRelativesValuesWomen's Point of View
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