Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is the Digital World Damaging Your Family Relationships?

posted by Linda Mintle

The technology invasion has happened. Too often we hear how social media and other media have taken us captive and ruined our relationships and lives. Teens texting at the dinner table, kids obsessed with gaming and never giving an adult a glance, adults constantly checking sport scores, messages or texting. We are all guilty of allowing technology to control us, rather than controlling it. An unintended outcome of not being in control of our choices is that our family relationships could suffer.

Advertisement

So what is our role in taming the technology giant? We are responsible for managing our choices and creating the lives we want when it comes to engaging technology.

Here are two principles to balance your healthy family life with technology:

1) Disconnect from technology for brief moments and unplug to talk, read, do homework or even play as a family. Determine not to take technology interruptions, look at your phone or engage technology in any way. This can be 30 minutes at dinner, a drive in the car together, or just a family time. See what a difference this makes in the quality of face-to-face interactions. You can unplug for brief seasons. And the benefit to your family will be felt.

2) Spend time with the people you love. You can have hundreds of “friends” but no real quality relationships. So we must be intentional about connecting with family/friends in person. Look each other in the eye, talk and share. We have to work at sustaining long-term relationships and that takes being with someone. There is no substitute for real time relationships.We need to practice the skills of interpersonal relationships. A smile at the end of text does not compete with a smile and touch in person.

Advertisement

Technology won’t ruin your relationships if you think of it like a tool, not a substitute for real and honest relationships. Using technology, we often present our best side to people. But in authentic relationships, families see our flaws, our weaknesses and learn how to love us anyway. And that is worth a moment of  shutting down the technology!

 

Advertisement

Peace During the Storm

posted by Linda Mintle

Today, the east coast is being slammed  by the impact of hurricane Sandy. I lived on tidal water and know the fright of those storms, especially  during high tide. The winds sustain and the full moon creates atmospheric problems.

How do you stay calm when the winds rage around you, knocking down trees, power lines and flooding your home?

In the natural, it is almost impossible. The mind gives way to anxiety and worry. We see the power of the storm and feel helpless to stop the damage.

Advertisement

But with God, there is a way.

When we face storms beyond our control, we must remind ourselves that God is aware of the raging. He  is with us. We don’t face difficulty and uncertainty alone.

With the sea raging around him, the apostle Peter had to step out in faith to meet the Lord. The minute he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. For a moment, Peter underestimated  Jesus’ power, presence, and knowledge of his troubles. But to his credit, he shifted from doubt to what he knew to be true. Only God can calm the storms in our lives and bring peace.

Today, whatever storm you face, keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Don’t sink into worry, anxiety and distress. Panic makes us sink. Faith lifts us up!

Advertisement

Today the storms rage. But God is aware and can calm your heart and bring peace. These are not empty words. Peace in the storm is what God promises.

Psalm 112:7-8–He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look triumph on his foes. 

 

 

Advertisement

Stressed? One Way You Can Stop It

posted by Linda Mintle

“Sure I’ll cook for the spaghetti dinner.”

“Yes I can baby-sit your children for the day.”

“Yes, I can chair another committee.”

“Since no one else will volunteer, I guess I’ll do it.”

 

Do you ever find yourself saying these things and then realize you’ve taken on too much? You’ve committed to doing more than you can realistically handle. As a result, you are stressed and kicking yourself for not saying no.

Advertisement

When we don’t say NO is usually because we are afraid to speak up; don’t feel we have the right; need to please others; want to be loved for what we do; or think we have to be super person and do it all! Time to turn in your cape! Learn to say “No” and not feel guilty. You’ll reduce the stress in your life.

Saying “No” to things requires assertiveness. Assertiveness is behavior that falls somewhere in the middle of giving in and aggressiveness. It is not giving in to the wants of others or keeping silent and expecting people to read your mind. It is also not yelling at people and demanding your way. It is a practiced skill that helps you manage stress. Contrary to popular thought, you don’t have to be angry to be assertive. In fact, I prefer you stay calm.

Advertisement

There are two parts involved in being assertive: 1) know what you want 2) say it.  One of the reasons we don’t practice being assertive is because we don’t know what we want. We allow others to manipulate us in to doing things and then feel resentful because we have too much to do. Or we feel guilty and don’t believe we have the right to speak up.

When you address problems as they occur, you won’t build up anger and hold on to things that can grow into resentment. Often times, this is the root of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

The benefits from speaking up are improved physical and psychological health. Your relationships will improve and you will better manage stress. In addition, you will gain respect from people. They may not like your stance, but they will respect you for taking one.

 

 

Advertisement

6 Tips to Stop Over Scheduling Your Kids

posted by Linda Mintle

During a national TV interview, I was asked to give six tips to help families stop over scheduling their children. Here they are:

1. MOST PARENTS WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR KIDS, BUT ARE THEY LOSING SIGHT OF WHAT’S REALLY BEST? Yes, we are too competitive and worry we won’t have the edge we need. Giving kids opportunities doesn’t mean they have to be overscheduled. Decades ago, our parents were not so focused on accomplishment but on learning the value of family and connection. We don’t want to lose this. Value connection over busyness.

Advertisement

2. IS THAT AGE-OLD PHRASE, “MOM, I’M BORED” SUCH A BAD THING? No, it’s a good thing. Kids need to learn how to be still, quiet, read a book, and just look at a rock and start thinking about it creatively. I remember when I was a child, we lived near a ravine with a field of straw in it. I spend hours playing in that field, using my imagination to build houses and forts. It was magical.

3. IF YOU’RE A CRAZY/BUSY FAMILY, HOW DO YOU START SETTING LIMITS? You take control of the calendar and say NO to things.

4. WHAT ABOUT HAVING “FAMILY NIGHTS”, OR EATING DINNER TOGETHER? This is extremely important. We know that families that eat dinner together have kids who get better nutrition, do better academically and are less likely to act out with drugs, alcohol and sex.

Advertisement

5. HOW CAN PARENTS LEAD BY EXAMPLE IN CUTTING DOWN ON STRESS AND OVERACHIEVING? It’s interesting that when you pole kids, they say their number one stress is parents who are stressed. So the more we model how to take care of ourselves by eating well, exercising, taking time to meditate on God, control our emotions, feed our spirits, etc. the less stressed we’ll be and the better we lead by example.

6. DOES IT HELP TO CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS ON THIS FOR SUPPORT? If you can find other parents who will support the idea of slowing down, encourage each other. Usually it’s other parents that lead us to feel more competitive –we think we have to have the edge with our kids. So find a few friends who will agree to slow down the activity and keep the schedule reasonable.

Previous Posts

Angry: 7 Steps to Regain Control
Anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be controlled. If you struggle with anger, consider these steps to regain control. Admit that you are out of control. While anger is a normal emotion and not a sin, anger expression can be sinful. If ...

posted 6:00:25am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Secret To Building Persistence in Your Child
Persistence is a trait that most parents want to see developed in their children. We know from research that persistent children are less likely to be delinquent and more likely to be engaged in school. What parent wouldn’t want to build this ...

posted 6:00:44am Apr. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Reconciliation: The Willingness to Try Again
The pain of a broken relationship is often difficult to heal. Years of hurt and resentment can feel too big to tackle. And the idea of embracing emotional pain without being able to control the other person means an uncertain ...

posted 6:00:34am Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

8 Prescriptions to Resist Taking Revenge
Revenge is an angry response to being treated in wrong ways, but it is not a godly response. Scripture tells us that revenge is the Lord’s and we need to leave it to him. Revenge doesn’t solve anything anyway. It only ups the ante for ...

posted 6:00:37am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

10 Tips to Calm Anger in a Heated Conflict
One of the keys to resolving conflict is to keep anger in control, to stay calm and not allow anger to overtake you. Here are 10 tips to help that process: Use humor to break the tension. Nothing lightens the atmosphere of a fight or ...

posted 6:00:03am Apr. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.