Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Want your teenager to do better in school? Folate may help.

Folate is a B vitamin that is found in foods such as green vegetables and certain fruits. A new study from Sweden shows that “teenagers who consume higher amounts of dietary folate… have higher academic scores compared to teens with lower levels”.

The study was conducted on 386 15-year-old students at Orebro University Hospital. Over the span of 9 years of schooling, the sums of grades were collected in 10 core subjects. The results showed that teens who consumed the most folic acid, on average scored 10% higher than students who were on the lowest level of folic acid consumption.

These fascinating results show how imperative it is to keep “a closer watch on folate status in childhood and adolescence”. To ensure your child has a healthy balance of proper nutrients, I personally recommend Kid’s NeuroVite. It contains folic acid and many other vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy growing body.

Source: http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2011/07/folate-levels-linked-to-teen-academic-success.aspx

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foods that affect your child’s IQ – Amen Clinics

Foods that affect your child’s IQ – Amen Clinics

I subscribe to Dr. Daniel Amen's blog. He works with brain imaging comparing healthy brains with brains that are in trauma. Head injuries, drugs, alcohol and toxins all affect the brain and the processes that take place in the brain. He is able to show, through images that he takes of the brain, how different areas of the brain are affected. Even people with ADD have different patterns of activity in their brains.

I thought this above article was interesting. Who wouldn't want to help raise their child's IQ with something as simple as a diet? Take a minute to read it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Benefits of Gratitude

I received this in my email toady. I thought it was timely as we go into the season of thanksgiving.

I have posted it word for word from Everyday Health.

The Health Benefits of Saying Thanks

An "attitude of gratitude" can improve physical and emotional health. Incorporate more thankfulness into your life not just during holidays, but every day.

We all know exercising and eating a healthy diet are good for our bodies, but how many people realize practicing an attitude of gratitude can improve our health as well?

benefits of saying thank you

There’s no doubt that mind and body are connected, and this link is especially apparent when it comes to gratitude. “Research suggests that individuals who are grateful in their daily lives actually report fewer stress-related health symptoms, including headaches, gastrointestinal (stomach) issues, chest pain, muscle aches, and appetite problems,” says Sheela Raja, PhD, an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Not only that, researchers in England studied a group of students at the beginning and end of their first semester in college and found that those who practiced gratitude experienced less stress and depression and more social support. Similar results were found by researchers at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. and the University of California at Davis — young teens who counted their blessings reported more optimism and satisfaction than those who didn’t. Grateful people are also often more content because they don’t spend a lot of time comparing themselves with others, says Raja.

An Attitude of Gratitude: How to Say Thanks

Now that we can appreciate the importance of gratitude in our lives, how can we make it happen? The first step is to understand that it’s much more than saying thanks for something nice that happened to us or celebrating on Thanksgiving — it’s a whole way of looking at the world.

“Feeling gratitude is a sense of what I would call appreciation, wonder, and thankfulness for what has occurred in our lives and what is going on right now, an eager anticipation of what is to come,” says Paula Langguth Ryan of Boulder, Colo., author of Giving Thanks, The Art of Tithing. “It’s being present to the wonders and joys of life as it is, without wanting it to be different, and a sense of fulfillment that comes from within, from seeing the good — or the potential for good — in every situation.”

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There are a variety of ways we can go about increasing the gratitude factor in our lives. Here’s some ideas to get started:

  • Practice meditation, yoga, or prayer. Anything that increases focus on the present moment will help increase gratitude, says Raja. Don’t think about only the big things — be thankful for the small nuances and beauty in everyday life.
  • Re-frame your thinking. “I recommend folks do ‘I am grateful’ or ‘thank you’ statements for everything that goes on in their lives, as it gets them into the habit of not judging,” says Ryan. “Years ago when someone I was really into decided to stop dating me, that very evening of the breakup I created a gratitude list of 25 things I was grateful for in the short time we dated. That shifted me out of feeling abandoned and unworthy and into feeling blessed for the new things I’d learned about myself, new ways of relating to another, and the new experiences I’d had during that time.”
  • Keep a written (or oral) gratitude journal. Write down what you’re thankful for, or share them with family at dinner. You can even simply think about them before going to sleep.
  • Do something for someone else. “There is strong evidence that helping other people actually helps us focus more on the blessings in our own lives,” says Raja. Do a good deed, big or small, and the good probably will come back to you.

Ultimately being grateful is more than an act of thanks here and there; it’s a philosophy that can open up endless possibilities. Now that’s something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is something wrong with your baby? – Amen Clinics

This came from a blog that I subscribe to. I also reviewed this same information at a conference I attended in Coeur d'Alene. The Key-note speaker talked about Emotional Attachment Theory. I can see where I made mistakes as a parent, thinking I was doing the right thing, when really I was high-jacking my children's emotions. I'ts worth reading through, even if your family is raised.

Is something wrong with your baby? – Amen Clinics

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Empathy, or Lack Of

This past week I have been very disturbed by some of the Headlines in the news. What is happening to our children to make them become so insensitive to their peers? I
am talking about the issues of bullying, particularly cyber-bullying. I am appalled at how mean our youth can be to others through cell phones and social networks.

It is lack of empathy.

Empathy involves seeing the world through another's eyes, thinking about things as others think about them, feeling things as others feel them, and sharing in their experiences.

I hope that we can show empathy ourselves and help to teach others, young or old how to have empathy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I was doing some reading today and came upon this article about attachment and adult relationships. I found it very informative. I know raising toddlers is difficult and wears our patience. Remembering this information could help us with our patience, as we leave an impact on lives of growing adults.

Balancing dependence and independence:
The human infant is the most helpless mammal on earth. We are totally dependent on our caregivers for survival. Our identity is "we not me". Between the ages of 2-3 years old we begin to test the waters of independence. The terrible two's is a stage when we begin to entertain the notion of a separate "me". Children need to assert a measure of control over their own lives in order to form their unique identity and establish their will. We hear the word "no" more as a two year old than any other time in life. With too many "no's" our independence can be stifled. Not enough "no's" leads to poor boundaries. This process of balancing dependence with independence continues throughout childhood and peaks during the heightened independence seeking and identity forming times of puberty and adolescence. Adolescents must disengage from parents in preparation for independent living.

Our relationship with our parents provides the solid foundation in which to discover our independence. Mature and loving parents create a safe environment in which children can freely express themselves. Stable families can handle the stress of "letting go" and can tolerate their child's autonomy. They encourage exploration of the environment, allow mistakes, and permit disagreement. Healthy family systems promote both connection and individuality, accountability and independence. Unhealthy family systems discourage individuality and promote dependence. They interpret individual differences as an attack on their authority. They undermine healthy development by reinforcing dependency and helplessness. Because of the parents' high levels of anxiety, stress, and need for control, individual expression is discouraged. Children are taught to conform to the parents' wishes and desires. Personal boundaries (where I stop and you start) are vague. These children are needy or "pseudo independent". They act independent on the surface, but are deeply dependent underneath.

The lessons we learn in our families growing up about dependence and independence are taken with us into our adult relationships. People who grew up with too much independence and not enough dependence have difficulty being present in relationships. Those who grew up with too much dependence and not enough independence tend to be overly needy or smothering. They place a lot of pressure on their partners to meet their needs. If both your partner and you are highly independent, then your relationships will be comfortably distant. If you both are dependent, then your relationship will probably be very co-dependent; obviously there will be problems with a highly dependent and a highly independent match.

Healthy couples know what they are bringing to the relationship and have an understanding of what they want to create. Each couple needs to work out its own unique balance of what works for them. How much time do we spend together, and how much time do we need alone. Without conscious awareness of our needs and expectations, the task of sorting out the balance of dependence-independence becomes a struggle strewn with conflict and hurt feelings.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Are Lifeskills, as related to stress?

Lifeskills are an assortment of behaviors that can REDUCE stress and help us maintain both physical and psychological health. Some examples of lifeskills are found in people who know how to relax and take care of their physical health. They include knowledge about relationships, communication and expressing feelings.

Lifeskills also include learning how to get control over some of life's stressors through assertiveness, time management, goal setting, and planning. They are tactics that build rather than drain energy.

Remember, in and of itself, stress is neither all good nor all bad. It is a part of life.

What people do with particular triggers (stressors) and their own reactions (stress patterns) differs greatly from individual to individual. What seems stressful to person may not seem stressful to another.

It is believed that people can learn to be skillful in managing stress-producing situation. Some are naturally more successful at it than others. The cave dwellers who survived in primitive eras were probably those who knew best when to fight or flee, therefore living to produce another generation.

Today's successful adults are those people who learn how to respond to stress appropriately in self-nurturing, creative, and assertive ways. Instruction in lifeskills doesn't simply call for "superior coping strategies", like better "pain medicine", but for more resourceful stress management skills.

We need to manage, not cope.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stress and Gender Differences

In addition to personality characterisitics, there are some fairly typical gender differences in the way young men and women respond to stress.
Reportedly, boys suddenly become "vanishing experts" around the house. They spend a lot of time away from home with their peers, "hanging around the neighborhood." They are extremely reluctant to state where, with whom, or when they will likely return. In order to avoid messy conflicts with parents, they say "yes" to requests, but simply avoid fulfilling the request.
They are found to be less verbal and more physical in their response to stress than girls. Their physical expression can be either active, throwing things or putting a fist through a wall, or passive by becoming a slug in front of the TV.

In contrast, girls are often more verbal in dealing with stress. At home, they may engage in non-stop verbal sparring with siblings or parents. They can adopt "sneaky and lying" behaviors and spend more time manipulating friends and family in an effort to boost their self-esteem or status. They tend to be more aware of subtle changes in relationships, and more vocal in expressing insecurity, jealousy, and competitiveness. This description fits the female teenager who is overt in responding to stress. There is also a flip side, the passive female who holds all her feelings inside and attempts to keep a very controlled image on the surface.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Do you deal with teenagers? Have you noticed how they deal with stress? Here are some typical teenage reactions to stress. Information is taken from Fighting Invisible Tigers by Connie C. Schmitz, Ph.D with Earl Hipp.

Basically teenagers respond to stress in ways that are consistent with their personalities. Some are active in their expression of stress while others take a passive route. The symptoms they express are not too different than symptoms adult express. Teen's manner of coping mirrors that of parents and other family members.

Some signs may include:

  • general irritability, arguing about everything, however minor
  • regressive or immature behavior; they want their own way, they want it now; can't tolerate change from routine
  • obsession with external appearances and material goods; lots of time spent looking right
  • school phobia; avoiding school work; sudden drop in school performance
  • secretiveness; lying about whereabouts
  • chronic dissatisfaction, nothing is good enough
  • loss of interest or pleasure in things
  • excessive sleeping
  • difficulty concentrating
  • frequent crying spells
  • significant change in eating habits
  • frequent colds, flu, or other communicable diseases
  • withdrawal; spending a lot of time alone; saying "no: to invitations from friends
  • escapist behaviors (e.g. excessive TV watching)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unsticking Stuck Stuff

I was reading information on a website-by Rue Hass
Mad to Glad
© Rue Hass 2005  10  IntuitiveMentoring.com
Profoundly light -hearted strategies for unsticking stuck stuff

I liked her advice. We need to take responsibility for our feelings and the following phrases are practical to use when we do self-talk. Try them on yourself:

  • I am choosing to feel angry right now and using you as my reason.
  • I am frustrating myself by the way I’m doing this project.
  • I am stressing myself by thinking these thoughts.
  • I am abusing myself by accepting your behavior.
  • I am making myself anxious by continually entertaining these thoughts.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Friday was Courtney's birthday. It was also the birthday of her little baby girl, Ayla.
Courtney was born February 12. Her sister was thrilled to have a sister. In fact, when I went to the hospital to deliver, Kimberly went and prayed that the baby would be a sister for her. Remember when we didn't know the gender of the baby?

Courtney was blessed on Friday to deliver a healthy baby girl, Ayla. She was born just before 5 P.M. and weighed 5 lbs 11 oz. She is beautiful. This makes grandchild 14, with 10 of them little girls. He brother and cousins are going to spoil her.


I tried to post this yesterday, when it was Valentines, but I did not have enough time and patience. This is a snapshot of the beautiful flowers my valentine gave me. It was a delightful surprise. He also surprised his daughters and daughters-in-law with some. What a special weekend it was.