Books

On Technology and Talking Face to Face

We have the world at our fingertips. With the Internet. With our phones. We are connected to everything -- and yet we’re growing disconnected from what counts: Instead of having deep, meaningful face-to-face conversations, we text, email and chat online. And when we do talk face to face, we’re often scanning or glancing at our phones or other devices. We are less present with others. We are less present with ourselves.

There’s even the word “phubbing” in the dictionary now. “It means maintaining eye contact while texting,” writes sociologist and clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, Ph.D, in her newest book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. “My students tell me they do it all the time and that it’s not that hard.”
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Books

Want to Make 2016 a Happier Year? Here’s How I Did It Month by Month

If you’re looking for ways to make 2016 a happier, healthier, more productive year, may I self-promotingly suggest my book, The Happiness Project?

The first day of the new year always feels so fresh and full of promise to me -- but at the same time, it’s very discouraging to look back over the year that’s just ended, and realize that I’d never accomplished an important, happiness-boosting change that I’d hoped to make.

This feeling is one of the major reasons that I undertook my happiness project.
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Bipolar

My Well-Kept Secret

I’ve been an adjunct writing teacher at a major university off and on for more than 25 years. I teach the freshman-level classes -- College English I and II.

In College English I, students learn how to organize a variety of essays around thesis statements. The reading for this class consists of essays from a nonfiction anthology. In College English II, the students learn how to incorporate outside sources into their own persuasive documents. The reading for this more advanced course consists of a number of full-length texts organized around a particular theme.

One year, the theme was banned books. Students read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou; Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck; Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger; and The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison.

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Books

3 Tips for Really Listening

We all want to be heard. We want to be understood. We want undivided attention as we share our thoughts, feelings, worries, triumphs and trials; as we share ourselves. That means the other person isn't playing with the phone or watching TV. The listeners aren't distracted in other ways. They aren't interrupting us. They aren't judging us. They aren't rushing us. They're listening, quietly and patiently, to what we have to say.

But a lot of us aren’t very good at listening. Because, as it turns out, listening isn’t all that easy. It isn't a natural instinct or a character trait. Listening well is a skill. It takes effort.

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ADHD and ADD

ADHD Isn’t a Disorder of Attention

Many people think of ADHD as a disorder of attention or lack thereof. This is the traditional view of ADHD. But ADHD is much more complex. It involves issues with executive functioning, a set of cognitive skills, which has far-reaching effects.

In his comprehensive and excellent book Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress & Helping Children Thrive, developmental behavioral pediatrician Mark Bertin, MD, likens ADHD to an iceberg.

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Books

3 Ways You Can Meaningfully Give Every Day

There are many myths about giving. For instance, we might think giving is about writing a check (which we might not be able to do right now). We might think giving is about volunteering our time (which we just don’t have much of right now).

But giving can actually be many different things. And all of us can give in some way. In fact, we can make giving part of our everyday routine. The key is to figure out what works for you. Since we’re all different, we’ll also give in different ways, according to Jennifer Iacovelli in her book Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day.

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Books

5 Books Guaranteed to Unlock Your Creative Genius



Why does it seem like some people can effortlessly “follow their passions”, while others can’t? What’s the secret of successful entrepreneurs and creatives who live out their dreams of dedicating their careers to inspiring, meaningful work? Why do the rest of us feel stuck in an unfulfilling funk?

Not everyone can follow their passion and make money from it. Not everyone can work on a personal project or business that lights you up and makes everyday feel like retirement. Or can you?

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Books

We Never Spoke of It

My father’s nicknames defined him. Bones, for his length, and “Glue Tips,” for his good reach and sure hands as a tight end on the football team. He won a football scholarship at BYU. It wasn’t until Dad returned home from the Korean War that he set about wooing my mother. She wasn’t easily convinced, and in hindsight, she said if it weren’t for his good genes and long legs, he might never have had a chance with her.

My mother was in her early 20s when she married, and she started having children faster and easier than either of them wished. We were all beloved, and my mother recounts those early years, with five children under the age of seven, as her favorites. I was the middle child, squeezed between two standout older siblings and two mischievous younger ones.
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Books

Teaching Kids to Identify and Cope with Their Emotions

It’s hard enough to identify, understand and cope with our emotions as adults. It takes practice. And often we get it wrong. That is, we can’t figure out what we’re really feeling. We ignore our feelings or pretend they don’t exist. Or we turn to unhealthy habits.

So it’s understandable that kids find feelings so confusing and overwhelming -- so much so they have meltdowns and tantrums. They kick. They scream. They sob. They stomp their feet.

Fortunately, parents can help. You can help your child tune into what they’re actually feeling and find healthy ways to cope with those feelings. It’s a skill that all kids need and benefit from greatly (as do parents!).
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ADHD and ADD

ADHD & Parenting: Tips for Creating Calm

When your child has ADHD, there may be a lot of frustration. Your child might get frustrated with having to complete homework that bores them. They might get frustrated with so many thoughts ping-ponging in their brains. They might get frustrated that they have such a hard time focusing -- and have to deal with many other challenges triggered by ADHD.

And you might get frustrated with everything from their taking forever to get ready in the morning to not following your rules. As a result, you might apply more pressure, thinking this will motivate your child.

But it only backfires.
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Books

3 Tips for Raising Kids Who Aren’t Entitled

Does your child expect you to do things for him or her? Do they rarely lift a finger to help? Are they quick to blame others? Do they try to manipulate people to get their way? Do you spend a lot of time rescuing them? For instance, maybe you remind them about deadlines, finish their projects and drive forgotten items to school.

Does your child freak out when they don’t get their way? Do you find yourself resorting to bribes and rewards to get them to cooperate? Do you bend over backwards for them? For instance, maybe you make three different dinners to satisfy all three kids’ appetites. Maybe you rush out to buy their favorite toothpaste. Maybe you work extra to give them a pricey wardrobe every season.

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