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Effective Communication

  I originally wrote this article back in 2015, but felt like it was worthwhile to publish it again. People are highly passionate in their beliefs, and in our current culture, differing beliefs or views are creating quite the stir. Difficult topics can make it a challenge...

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goodbye

See You Later Alligator - Saying Goodbye at DayCare

This blog post was originally published in April 2015.  With a new school year underway, many of you may find it helpful to see again!   You and your child have spent countless hours together bonding and forming daily routines. It has been wonderful witnessing your child's growth and development. Now it is time to return to work, or you need to leave your child with a caregiver,...

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Additional Ways to Strengthen Your Resilience

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How to Strengthen Your Resilience Capacity

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Reconnect with the world outside for optimal health

After being stuck inside from a bad winter, we often say things like, "I'm suffering from cabin fever", or after being inside all day we might say, "I need some fresh air." As usual, there is some truth to these familiar sayings that we have heard passed down from generation to generation. I hope that with it being summer, we do not find ourselves saying them. Our bodies crave the outdo...

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Can Technology Affect our Memory?

I get asked by the participants of my Wits Fitness Brain Training classes "how is technology today affecting our children's memory or ability to remember?" Good question. In the Wits Fitness classes, we do many activities that "exercise" m...

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ice cream cone

Summer has started – What is on your summer bucket list?

We are almost two weeks in to summer, and for me that is a little sad because that means the longest day of sunlight has already come and gone. In addition, as I look at the calendar, we are in the midst of celebrating the Fourth of July. I always look forward to watching the fireworks, though! That is always on my "summer to-do list." What are the things that...

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Prevent Vacation Stress

Do vacations have to be completely stress-free to be enjoyable? No, of course not. When we stop to think about the fact that children on vacation are often away from what is predictable and familiar in their home life and routines, it is easier to understand wh...

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Learning and Fun on Family Field Trips

Learning and Fun on Family Field Trips What is a family field trip? When you and your child travel into the wide world with learning as your goal, you are on a field trip! Your destination can be as close as the front porch or as distant as a museum in another town. What are the secrets of successful family field trips? Plan with care. Where...

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Good Communication is Important

Good Communication is Important Good communication is essential in all aspects of our lives, but it can sometimes be hard to accomplish. In a time where people have never been more "connected" to each other w...

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Unscheduled Time: Time to Play and Dream

Is your child forgetful, crabby, or constantly tired? He may be "overscheduled." Would you be surprised to find your child's day is as hectic as your own? People who study young children say that youngsters need time for unstructured activity—what adults sometimes call "free time" or "down time." Why is free time good for children? Health....

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Too Sick for Daycare?

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Take a Standfor Your Heart

Take a Stand...For Your Heart

Stroll through any store this time of year and you're bound to see the color red, valentine hearts, and love. Hearts are all around us in every shade of pink and red. This February, I'd like to encourage you to show a little love to your heart. The American Heart Association recognizes heart disease awareness and prevention during the month of February through their national Am...

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Caregivers Can Manage Stress with Self-Care

If you are in the habit of reading this blog, you know that I have written several times about the topic of caregiving. Having worked with older adults and their caregivers in my former career "life" and continuing to provide programs for them, I feel that they are some...

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Elements of Self-Care

Elements of Self-Care As part of our community wellness effort, I am reprinting a blog post on self-care with permission from a colleague. Michele Crawford, is a Community Health Educator for University of Illinois Extension in Cook County. One of her areas of interest is self-care. In her role as a Health Educato...

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2017

2017 Resolution: More Family Meals

'Tis the season to make resolutions. What's on your list this year? According to Statistic Brain , among the top 10 resolutions made for 2016 were losing weight, getting organized, spending less/saving more, quitting smoking, and staying fit and healthy. Rounding out the top 10 was "spending more time wi...

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Fostering Resiliency in Yourself and Your Family

Have you ever known someone who seemed to go through very difficult times and left you wondering "how can they handle so much?" Resiliency is the ability to recover from life's challenges and hardships without being overwhelmed and t...

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Fuss Management: Planning Ahead to Prevent Tantrums

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5 minute mindfulness

5 Minute Mindfulness for the Holiday Season

The gifts, the wrapping, the parties…oh my! Seemingly endless holiday demands can put additional stress on our time and resources. For most people, the holiday season is the busiest time of year with extra of everything – social demands, work projects, family obligations, and holiday to-do lists. I often find myself rushing through the season to get to the "next thing" and before I know it, New...

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action plan

Take Action on Holiday Stress

It's the "most wonderful time of the year"……for stress. The busy stores, extra-commitments, social responsibilities, pressure of finding the perfect gift or cooking the perfect meal, travel realities, decorating, making family memories, and attending (or surviving!) holiday family gatherings may leave us less joy-filled and more stress-filled. Each year, the American Psychological Assoc...

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Fun Thanksgiving Activities

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Take time to be more mindful each day

Take time to be more mindful each day. This week I want to talk about how and why we should be a little more mindful in our daily lives. But before I get started with that, here is an interesting fact on the increased popularity of the word mindfulness over the past 3 ½ years. The University of Illinois Family Life Team developed a lesson on mindfulness in late 2012. While rese...

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letter-writing

By the Way, You've Got Mail!

My son headed off to college this year and being the nice mom that I am, I decided to send him a letter to let him know that I miss him and was thinking about him. We talked on the phone a couple of times after I thought he would have received the letter and he didn't mention it. Finally, a week later I asked him if he ever received the letter. He said that he never thought to go and check his...

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rx bottle 2

Do you have a Vial of Life? Emergency information to be prepared at any age

First, let's start with a little history about the program. In doing some research I found that the word LIFE, in Vial of Life, stands for L ifesaving I nformation f or E mergencies. I had never heard that LIFE was an acronym. But it makes complete sense because that is exactly what this program is all about. It is having...

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Couple Relationships and Parenting

It seems that lately, my Facebook feed is just blowing up with pictures of babies! I currently have many friends, family and colleagues that are having babies – and I am so excited for them and this amazing time in their lives. This has inspired me to do a little digging in m...

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