All posts tagged: new year

One-on-One Time with the Kids: A Date With My Son

1 on 1 time with each kid.  New Year’s resolution.  Somehow it happens more naturally with my daughter, 10.  We just find ourselves together.  My son and I used to find ourselves together.  Building Lego houses.  Making caterpillar homes.  Shooting hoops.  Now four inches shorter than he, I’m barely lucky to block his shot, with no hope of ever scooting past him with a soccer ball or football.  My only hope is to win the tiebreaker in ping-pong. He’s 13, and 1:1 time is just different now. How about breakfast out?  A date with my son.  Just the mention of Belgian waffles and bacon gets him to look up.  That’s it.  Our first official New Year’s Resolution Date. Uh-oh.  What do we talk about?  I mean, we spend time doing things together.  Um, as a family.  But this new 1:1 time . . . with my teenage son . . . at breakfast . . . is a little new. With my quiet and independent guy (“thanks, Mom, but I’ve really got it all covered,”), …

An ExtraOrdinary New Year

A new year is here. We all approach it a bit differently. Are you jumping in to make the resolution list? Or taking it all in and waiting to see where 2013 might take you? Whether you’re immediately seizing the New Year or letting it more calmly embrace you, here is a neat concept (given to me yesterday by our local pastor). She said: Be extraordinary in an ordinary world. Find the kindness, the generosity, the love in your heart . . . and spread it. Do the extraordinary things that just might not seem ordinary in our world. Being extraordinary can mean big things, of course; or it can mean those little things in our “ordinary” daily world – like letting the person go ahead of you. Holding the door. Opening the door. Looking for ways — big and small — to help someone out. That’s where I’ll start this year (with just a few more on the list). At least one extraordinary thing each day — big or small. Maybe it will be …

Happiness: Inside Out

The new year is approaching. The “Happiness Advantage” has captured my attention. Alex Hetland gives us a formula to increase our “happy” state and make our brains 30% more efficient — in 2-5 minutes a day. That’s cool. It’s cool for us parents; and it’s cool for our kids, especially our adolescents. Consider for a moment that only 10% of happiness comes from one’s external world . . . while 90% of one’s happiness is a result of one’s internal world. This is supported in science. Having recently discovered the concept of the “Happiness Advantage,” conveyed by Alex Hetland, I have enjoyed a renewed perspective on happiness, and all which that entails. Within the “Happiness Advantage,” there is scientific proof that a “happy” state increases dopamine in the brain, which in turn makes the brain 30% more efficient (Lyubomirsky, 2005, in Hetland blog of March 2012). So, Hetland says, the “Advantage” comes from grasping the 90% happiness factor in our internal world — and maximizing it. He even tells us how to do so. With …