Saying “Thank You” Instead of “Sorry”, and Other Tidbits for 2017

Hey folks – it’s already 2017.  Crazy, right!?  As New Years is a time of reflection, a lot of us have probably sat down with pen and paper and after some careful thought, written down a few resolutions for the new year.  After some reflection of my own, there were a few important things that stood out in my mind.  Both good and bad experiences serve to help us grow, and these are a few of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past year that may help you as well.

Tidbits to Make 2017 The Best Year Yet

1.) Family is top priority.  Life gets crazy.  Life gets hectic.  But sometimes you have to let the laundry pile up and dishes accumulate while you play “Pirates” or some other imaginative game with your 2 year old.  These are memories they’ll cherish forever, while that basket of’ll just have to be patient.  Maybe set aside a family game night once a week to get the whole family together and involved in some fun activities!  If you’re looking for the best games out there – try JMCremps’ extensive collection of board games, card games, & more.

2.) Little goals are key.  Sometimes the mountain of things we have to get done can get overwhelming.  Break everything down into little goals (it might help to write it down) so you can create a series of little finish-lines.  According to a study by Thai Nguyen, completing these little goals actually releases dopamine, which motivates you to take action towards your goals, desires, and needs!  For me, it’s even more satisfying when I can cross it off of a list.  Don’t forget to create a new goal before you’re done with your current one.  This ensures a consistent pattern for experiencing dopamine.

3.) Soak it in.  Vow to live more in the moment this year.  It’s a bit startling to think that each moment is fleeting and unique, and will never come again.  Each moment is precious, so be THERE for all of it.  Be thankful for all of it.  Put your phone down until you’re by yourself.  Show your loved ones that the time you spend with them is very important to you.

4.) Say “thank you” instead of “sorry”.  Instead of apologizing every time you mess up, try saying “thank you” instead.  If you’re late to a meeting with a friend, saying “thank you so much for waiting for me!” instead of “so sorry I’m late” sends out a much more positive message.  Of course there are times when an apology is necessary, but I’ve found that giving gratitude instead an apology to another person leaves both sides feeling better.

5.) Get outside.  This one should be obvious.  Put aside more time this year to get out into the great outdoors and get some fresh air.  I don’t need to quote scientific studies for this’s obvious how much better we feel when we take the time to go do some kind of outdoor activity.  Spending time out in nature can boost your creativity and cognitive function.  Not to mention the vitamin D we get (however little it may be in winter.)

I hope you’re able to use these tidbits to help improve your life even a tiny bit.  Let’s make 2017 the best year yet!


Book Review – Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

Parenting books are a dime a dozen, but good parenting books are a rare find.  This one is a true gem and is a must read for parents raising boys.  This book is written by acclaimed author and pediatric doctor, Meg Meeker M.D.  Dr. Meeker is the author of several books on parenting and parent/child relationships.  Her books have been highly acclaimed by parents the world over. Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker, MD

In Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, Dr. Meeker reminds parents that there is no greater blessing (or responsibility) than raising strong and healthy young men.  This book helps parents enable today’s boys to become mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow. In the book, we are reminded that boys will always be boys.  That means that they are rambunctious, adventurous and curious.  They climb trees, build forts, playing tackle football, and push their growing bodies to the limit as part of the rite of passage into manhood.  However, in today’s society our sons face an increasingly hostile world that doesn’t value the high-spirited, magical nature of boys.

In a collective call to let our boys be boys, Dr. Meg Meeker explores the secrets to boyhood, including
• why rules and boundaries are crucial– and why boys feel lost without them
• how the outdoors is still the best playground, offering the sense of adventure that only Mother Nature can provide
• the essential ways to preserve a boy’s innocence (and help him grow up)
• the pitfalls moms and dads face when talking to their sons
• why moody and rebellious boys are not normal– and how to address such behavior
• how and when the “big”questions in life should be discussed: why he is here, what his purpose is, and why he is important.

Parents are blessed with intuition and heart, but raising sons is a daunting responsibility. This uplifting guide makes the job a little easier.  Get your copy today and pass it on!


Teach Your Kids to Be Thankful Every Day of the Year

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving!  It’s our once-a-year reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for.  If you are like me, it’s also my once-a-year reminder that I need to be more thankful the REST of the year.  As a mother, I’ve tried to instill a culture of thankfulness into my children.  Fortunately, it’s an easy thing to do.  Here are a few simple ideas:

Teach Your Kids To Be Thankful All Year Long
Teach your kids to be thankful every day of the year!

1.  Help your children to notice all that they have to be thankful for by pointing out the wonders and goodness around them.  For example, a trip to the park can include the comment, “Aren’t we lucky to have such a great park near our house? I’m so glad it is here!”

2.  Thank your children when they do something good or kind, better yet, do so on a regular basis.

3.  Teach your children about the freedoms they have and enjoy.  That way they will learn to value the freedoms they have and will learn to be a good citizen.

4.  Freely and openly thank others in front of your children.  Saying thank you to a caring friend in front of your child is a very valuable lesson.

5.  Turn unexpected or negative events into an exercise in gratitude.  For example, a rainy day that caused a trip to the beach to be canceled can be turned into an exercise in gratitude.  “You know, this rainy day is the perfect way for us to bake your favorite cookies.  If it weren’t for the rain – there’d be no cookies!”

6.  Every now and then, ask your children what they are most thankful for.  You’ll be amazed at what they say!

Growing Grateful Kids
Growing Grateful Kids is a great asset for any family to have!

For more helpful advice on how to raise thankful kids, check out the book, Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson.  Susie has a wonderful perspective on how to raise your children to be thankful and content without all of the latest and greatest material possessions.   Another great parenting resource is the book Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes.  Another good read is Raising Real Men, Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Hal & Melanie Young.