Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

10 Tips to Deal With Difficult Family Members During the Holidays

posted by Linda Mintle

1. Anticipate your reactions. Because of past experience with those difficult family members, you know what to expect. So, anticipate how you will react ahead of time. Think it through. Imagine a scenario and how you will respond. This anticipation can help you feel in control of problematic situations.

2. Pick your battles. There will always be the relative that asks why you are not married yet, have kids or aren’t in a better job. Decide if you want to take this on or simply respond with a preplanned response like, “I don’t know. Got any ideas.” Sometimes it is best not to engage because it will upset you.

3. Practice restraint and extend grace. This is one time of the year that you may want to refuse to engage in conflict or deep family issues. Keep it light with the focus on the positive things of the holiday. Redirect conversation to subjects of gratitude and joy. If a difficult relative tries to pick a fight, don’t go there. Determine to show mercy and grace this time of year.

4. Limit alcohol. When some people drink they get belligerent and combative. This only makes matters worse so opt for an alcohol free celebration or make sure people are not over indulging.

5. Have enough variety in activities that everyone can find something he or she likes to do. Take a walk, start a card game, play touch football, join in on games with the kids, etc. Keeping people engaged helps stave off opportunities to get on each other’s nerves. Getting involved with the kids can relieve stress and get you out of difficult conversations.

6. With really difficult families, limit your time and have an exit strategy. If people start to become verbally abusive or drink too much and get combative, kindly excuse yourself and have some where to go. Asa  grown up, you don’t have to put up with this type of behavior.

7. Use this time to watch and learn. It may help to become an observer of your family interactions. Watch how people relate and interact. Study the family and decide if you are part of the dysfunction and how to make changes. Family get togethers can be learning situations if you are aware of the patterns of interactions.

8. Be realistic. Unless your family has been in therapy, not much will be different. But these are your relatives and do not have to be your best friends. Be respectful and kind but don’t expect too much if nothing has changed.

9. Know what triggers you. It helps to know your hot buttons and be prepared to respond calmly. You have control over your reactions so don’t expect others to change. You change how you respond to those hot triggers.

10. Pray and remind yourself that you are a grown-up now. Family get togethers can bring back painful memories. It helps to remind yourself that you are not that helpless child anymore, that you are not a victim and can behave in ways that take care of you. If you need a break, go for a quick walk, or in to a room and just deep breathe and get your thoughts together. Pray and ask God to help you be lovely to those not always so lovely. By God’s grace, you can do it.

10 No Nos For Holiday Office Parties

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s that time of year. Holiday office parties are on the calendar. So what should you keep in mind in order to insure you don’t make a fool of yourself or get in trouble?

Here’s my list. I suggest you check it twice–don’t be naughty, be nice!

1) Don’t say NO to going. Yes, you need to attend your holiday party. It shows cooperation and team spirit. Skipping the event is a bah humbug moment!

2) If there is drinking, don’t imbibe or do so minimally. So many problems are rooted in too much alcohol loosening up people to say and do things without restraint. Later, you will regret it. And if your boss is a former alcoholic, drinking may put you in a negative light.

3) What happens at an office party doesn’t stay at an office party. Consider smart phones, social media and all the ways pictures and comments can be posted to the public. Missteps could ruin your career.

4) Don’t flirt or say sexually inappropriate comments. These are your co-workers, not your potential dates. This is your workplace and these are the people you will continue to interact with on Monday. Don’t make things uncomfortable. And remember sexual harassment in the workplace is real.

5) Don’t talk shop. This is a party, not a business meeting. Relax, get to know people, but leave business at your desk. Save your great ideas for a scheduled meeting. If you do make a job related commitment, write it down as soon as you get home so you don’t forget to follow through.

6) Dress appropriately. You can be overdressed or too casual. Find out the dress code ahead of time. Keep sexy down. Again, this is not a nightclub! Look professional.

7) Don’t blur boundaries. The lines of authority need to be respected. So don’t get overly friendly with a boss or person you supervise. They are not your new buddy just because it is a party.

8) Be nice. If there are co-workers who irritate you, let it go. Don’t engage in gossip. Be an example of grace.

9) Don’t isolate. Mingle. Don’t stand in the corner or wait for people to find you. Be social and make it a point to greet and talk to as many people as possible.

10) Thank the host. This may be your boss and whoever put together the party. This is basic etiquette but people sometimes forget.

Calculate The Probability of Your Newborn Becoming Obese

posted by Linda Mintle

When you hold that beautiful new baby in your arms, you are probably not thinking about childhood obesity. But maybe you should.

Researchers at the Imperial College London have developed an on-line calculator that strongly predicts a baby’s probability of becoming obese during childhood.

Here is how it works. You need this data:

  • Child’s birth weight,
  • Number of household members
  • The mother and father’s body mass indexes (BMI)
  • The mother’s occupation
  • Mother’s gestational smoking habits

Once you have this information, click on the calculator and plug in the data. Then click on the predicted probability and this will give you a percentage of how likely your baby is to become obese.

Researchers studied 4000 children born in Finland beginning in 1986. They looked at genetics, socio-cultural factors, lifestyle and more. Through statistical analysis, they were able to come up with the most predictive factors of childhood obesity (those listed above). These factors predicted childhood obesity up to 85% of the time.

Breast Feeding Baby Doll: Would You Buy It?

posted by Linda Mintle

Looking for a special doll for your young daughter this Christmas? Well, there is one that has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. It’s called Breast Milk Baby and is sold through Berjuan Toys for $89.00.

The doll comes with an apron type top that a little girl puts on over her clothes. Two flowers are positioned where the nipples would be and when the baby’s mouth comes to the flowers, the doll makes a sucking sound. The child can then burp the baby after feeding. The doll basically simulates a mom nursing her baby.

The doll has polarized parents. Those in favor of the doll see it as just a way to imitate mom, and hope it will create a positive view of breast feeding. Since breast feeding is so beneficial for babies, some parents feel this is a positive step in normalizing the act.

Opposers are worried that the doll is too much too soon. The concern is that this is one more way we over sexualize young children. Some parents wrote on social media that the doll would encourage pregnancy, others just say it makes them uncomfortable and would choose another type of doll for their child.

Honestly, I can’t see the harm. Many kids watch their moms nurse their younger siblings and do not see this as a sexual act.  Psychologically, I do not believe this is a way to over sexualize children. I nursed both of my children and trust me, it wasn’t a sexual thing!

Perhaps, we Americans have sexualized breasts to the point of making this a creepy thing. Research points to the multiple benefits of breastfeeding–breast milk is easier to digest, fights disease, saves money and benefits the mothers health as well. While I don’t think a child has to have a doll to feel that breastfeeding is a normal action of a mom, I don’t think this doll is going to harm young girls.

But you are free to disagree with me. In fact, I would love to hear your thoughts!

So come on friends. Let’s do life together by weighing in on this one.

 

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