Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

How to Calm Down An Argument

posted by Linda Mintle

couple embraceRuss and Rachel were at it again. Russ is driving like a maniac through busy traffic.

“Hey, slow down. You are driving way too fast!”

“I know how to drive and don’t need to be told what to do. When was the last time I got a ticket?”

“That’s not the point! I don’t want to die today. I need a manicure, and clean underwear!”

The couple laughs and the tension disappears. Russ slows down a little and Rachel relaxes.


What just happened to this couple has to do with why relationships make it or break it. Russ and Rachel know how to repair a tense moment of conflict.

Their success involved two things: 1) They trust each other and despite their disagreements, know they have each other’s back.

2) They know how to deescalate conflict when it comes to a boiling point. Just when Russ was starting to feel annoyed and angry, Rachel cracked a joke. Humor was a way of repairing the moment. Rachel’s humor lowered the heat, making them both laugh and relax.

When one partner makes a positive effort to reduce physiological reactions in the other, conflict settles down. This happens several ways between healthy couples.

Here are a few of those ways:


1) Use humor to break the tension.

2) Acknowledge that some part of what your partner says may be true.

3) Express some affection, a word of caring during an argument. It can even be a distracting comment like, “Your hair sure looks good today.”

4) Agree to one point of positive change.

5) Tell your partner you see his or her  point (show empathy) of view.

Next time, the heat of an argument rises, try one of these tips to lower the tension.


Can a Medical Device Help Diagnose ADHD?

posted by Linda Mintle

child finger paintChris has been diagnosed by his psychologist as having ADHD (Attention Deficit/HyperActivity Disorder) but mom and dad are not sure this is the right diagnosis. They keep asking, other than our reports and those from the school, is there any other way to really know that Chris has ADHD? They know other families who feel the diagnosis wasn’t accurate and wondered if schools were too quick to label children who may have problems or even be developmentally immature.

These parents share the concern of many–is ADHD over diagnosed? Why do we have so many kids with the diagnosis?


Diagnosis can difficult given the development of the child and  range of what we consider to be “normal” behaviors.

A new medical device may just help Chris’ parents. The new device is based on electroencephalogram (EEG) technology and is called the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System. The US Food and Drug Administration recently allowed the marketing of this medical device.

The device is to be used as part of a complete medical and psychological evaluation for children 6-17 years of age in the assessment. The 15-20 minute test is noninvasive and calculates the ratio of theta and beta brain waves. Theta/beta ratio of brain waves have proven to be higher in children and adolescents with  ADHD than children without the diagnosis.


Hopefully, this brain wave technology can assist in making better diagnosis. Given the average ADHD diagnosis is made around age 7, and that approximately 9% of children/adolescents have ADHD, this device could assist in accuracy of diagnosis.

But experts are not so sure, feeling that a 15 minute test really doesn’t tell you much about how a child behaves in real life.

Another area being studied is looking at unintentional hand movement. The notion is that ADHD kid have more of that movement. Johns Hopkins researchers studied this by having kids go through a finger tapping exercise. They noticed a difference between the nonADHD and ADHD kids. The ADHD kids engaged in less mirroring, but the difference wasn’t as noticeable with girls and older children. However, the results showed that finger tapping could be linked to ADHD in young boys.

Bottom line, used alone these type of tests are helpful, but not definitive. The diagnosis still needs to be made after interviews with parents, teachers and even the child. Right now, these tests may be helpful but certainly not definitive.




Another tool to use



Real Answers About Millennials and Church

posted by Linda Mintle

As a baby boomer, I see  differences between people in my generation and  millennials. I am the mom of two millennials and have church conversations with them  all the time. With so many millennials leaving the church, I want my kids to continue to go, but the church needs to become more relevant to their lives. And actually, to mine as well. I struggle with many of the same issues they do when it comes to church and daily living.

My husband and I have tried very hard to listen to what is happening to millennials when it comes to church attendance. We have visited dozens of churches to find ones we can worship in as well. We finally ended up in one for “grown ups” as we like to say–no cool coffee bars, no dark lighting (I like to see in church) and no people on a stage in jeans.  I’m not knocking those churches. We attended one of those before we moved that was terrific. Right now, I don’t want church to feel like an entertainment venue. I want to feel the awe and be surrounded by beauty and a sense of reverence. I love the pipe organ, the cathedral ceiling, the elevated pulpit for reading the Word. Thus, when we moved, we  have returned to a very liturgical church that preaches from the Word. And we aren’t so different from millennials who are looking for something bigger and more sacred than being entertained on Sunday morning.


When I came across Rachel Held Evans blog on why millennials are leaving the church, I felt like she nailed it. Like me, millennials have plenty of opportunity to be entertained during the week and don’t want church as another performance to attend. They want to find Jesus, and feel like so much of what happens in church,  misses Him. It is the substance of the church that needs changing, not the style.

According to Rachel’s blog, millennials want a church that…

1) Ends the culture wars

2) Calls a truce between science and faith (I’ve personally never understood the debate since God created all things. Science only confirms what He has created!)


3) Tells us what we stand for, not what we stand against (How about more on love, unity and reconciliation).

4) Where asking questions doesn’t always result in predetermined answers. With my kids, I haven’t found easy answers but we go back to Scripture and try to apply it to today as well as look at the life of Christ.

5) Isn’t politically focused, but Kingdom focused. Can I get an AMEN on that one!

6) Isn’t American centric and considers the importance of all nations. This doesn’t mean we don’t love our country, but we are not the center of the Universe.

7) Welcomes LBGT friends. I would add, loves them like Christ already does.

8) Expands holiness beyond sexuality and considers it in relation to the poor, oppressed,  creation care, peacemaking and reconciliation.


I suspect, as Rachel notes, that you don’t have to be a millennial to resonate with this list. And please don’t misunderstand, I am not knocking churches that have an informal style, but substance matters. Ina  world that is filled with uncertainty, I want my family to know Christ above everything else. How we present Him to all generations is important.



Offended? The Media Will Help You Stay That Way!

posted by Linda Mintle

Yesterday I listened to another round of racial offense, this time located in the NFL. The story is basically this: A white football player went to a concert, starting drinking and made a racial slur, captured on video. Now, he is being taken to task by the media. Yet, his team, the Philadelphia Eagles, seem to be dealing with it.

But that isn’t enough. It’s time for the unmerciful to lambast their judgment on yet another flawed person and make sure his career and life are deeply impacted.

What’s going on here in this repeated pattern by media?

First, let me frame my remarks. Racial slurs, bullying and any unkind remarks are never OK. We have to do better at examining the prejudice and discrimination we hold in our hearts.


In fact, the Bible tells us that every careless word will be judged one day! Ouch!

But last time I looked, we are all flawed, some of us would say we are sinners, falling very short of the glory of God.  We make mistakes, we say terrible things sometimes. What if we were videoed 24/7 in our families, on the job, etc.?

Media go too far and incites people to hang on to offense, not work through it. Especially the news pundants who rarely report but are big on their opinions.

This time around, I give Michael Vick, quarterback of the Eagles big props! His response was refreshing. Why? Because Vick has been the target of unrelenting media that tried their best to crucify him for his mistakes. Again, please hear me, what he did in his past with dog fighting was wrong. But Vick, I really believed, learned something from his mistakes and hopefully will continue to do so. His  response last night was helpful and forgiving. People make mistakes, you deal with it and move on.


Vick said. “Riley is still my teammate. And he just stood in front of us as a man and apologized for what he said. And somewhere deep down, you have to find some level of respect for that. Riley wished he never said it.”

According to the Huffington Post, his brother Marcus Vick, went on a Twitter tirade, calling Riley all kinds of expletives. His tweets– angry, degrading, and hateful. Somehow, that is OK? Who is taking him to task for hate speech? Hate spewed back at a racist remark  just revs up the hate. To Michael’s credit, he said he did not agree with his brother.

A mistake should not define the person for the rest of his or her life or we all are in trouble. Cast that stone at  your brother and it will fly back in your face at some point.


Here’s a novel idea: How about media being part of the solution instead of problem? How about asking questions, conducting interviews with people like Vick, Tebow (yes I put them in the same sentence) and others who manage to find a way to forgive and keep moving forward. What about promoting reconciliation instead of constant anger and division that stirs up hate? Wait, that doesn’t help ratings! We prefer the out of control rantings of reality TV, where revenge, resentfulness and unforgiveness are glorified.

But for grace, so go I! We’ve all sinned. The important part is if we confess those sins, repent (change our ways) and walk in God’s grace. He is the only judge and jury on the state of our hearts. Our job is to accept the confession and forgive.

Was the racial slur offensive? Yes.

Was there an apology? Yes.

Should we forgive? Yes.

Does that mean that everything is great now? No, it means people need to address their prejudice and work on race relations.

Who truly changes hearts? God, not  political correctness and certainly not the media!

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