Online Safety



Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Nineteen

During summer vacation, kids often stay up late, sleep in late and play outside a lot.  That is part of enjoying summer!  In addition, today’s kids also spend more time online during the summer, playing video games, surfing the Internet, and meeting friends in chat rooms and social networking sites, like Facebook.   Although these online activities can provide hours of entertainment and learning, they can also expose kids to inappropriate content or people who might want to take advantage of them.

Parents don’t have to unplug the computer or be watching over them every second to help protect their children online.   I believe there are ways to create some independence for kids at appropriate ages to use the computer if they have been set up with appropriate boundaries and expectations.  If your child is using the computer and you’ve not done your homework, you could be setting yourself and your child up for some real grief in the future. [Read more…]

7 Steps to a Better Marriage


7 Steps to a Better Marriage

Marriage is hard work and at times you hit bumps in the road or find that you’ve lost the spark of years past. Never fear – even the happiest and most romantic of couples hit rough patches now and then. What makes relationships survive long-term is how couples overcome the hurdles and work together to improve their relationship.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and it’s important part of celebrating the love in your life, I wanted to share some relationship secrets and tips that can help build your relationship all year long. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily mundane routines and forget to care for your marriage, so consider small changes and choices that you can make starting today! If you love these, you might want to read this post I shared a few months ago today.

Let the Small Stuff Go

If your spouse is messy, squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, or some other minor annoying habit, just let it go. Consider how fortunate you are to have your honey by your side and what a small price it is to pay to be with the person you love. You can also be sure that you have a few annoying habits that drive them crazy too!

Be There

We live in such a busy age with tons of distractions. Cell phones, computers, kids, neighbors, and work seem to soak up most of our time. One of the most important gifts you can give to your spouse is your time. Respond positively when your husband reaches out to you, even if you aren’t feeling your best. People in happy, healthy relationships stay focused on the here and now as much as possible, instead of dwelling on things of the past or worrying about the future.

Show More Affection

As couples become comfortable with one another, they tend to be less affectionate. Every day, make an effort to show your partner affection. A simple touch, holding hands, or an affectionate look can mean so much. A hidden love note in an unexpected place, a casual photo of you two tucked into a purse or wallet, a surprise flower, gift, or dinner are great ways to show affection. Last week my husband surprised me with notes hidden all through the house. They made me feel special and let me know he cared, even when he wasn’t there with me.


It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the events of your day, sharing random thoughts, dreams, and wishes, or even being a sounding board for your husband, communication is vital to a happy and successful relationship. Not every talk has to be on a serious topic, but regular communication is a must.

If you feel your communication skills are lacking, consider reading How We Love by Milan & Kay Yerkovich. My small group is studying this book together and I can tell you, it has changed how I view my marriage and how MY actions can change it. Remember, it isn’t so much about your spouse, you can’t change them. But you can certainly change yourself, so learn more about how your patterns of behavior were formed and what you can do to meet the needs in your relationship.

Work on Developing a Deeper Friendship

If you talk to couples who are in long-term relationships, they’ll tell you that not only are they partners, they are also friends. Spend time doing things you both enjoy while working towards deepening your friendship and you can’t go wrong. Men connect by “doing” activities – so why not find an activity to share with your husband? Hiking, golf, tennis, working out – the ideas are endless. Even if it is not your first choice, just do it!

Compliment One Another

It takes no effort to tell someone how beautiful, smart, or talented you think they are. Compliments don’t have to be mushy; they just need to be truthful. Be free with your compliments and you’ll both be glad you did. I bet if you gave compliments more freely to your husband, they may in fact come back to you more frequently too.

Agree to Disagree

Accept that relationships are not perfect and sometimes you will disagree. During these times, have an open mind and hear your husband out even if you disagree on the subject. By listening without interruption, you are showing them that you care. I’ve learned (the second time around) that disagreeing is just part of being a couple. You cannot possibly agree on everything and allowing it to rest sometimes is the best for everyone.

A marriage is like a two-way street where both spouses have to share in making it grow and become deep-rooted. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference when you approach them with an open mind and a loving heart.

How can you express your love to your husband – even after Valentine’s Day?

Six Ways to Encourage Communication


Sometimes, prying information from your child is like trying to open a can without a can opener. It just can’t be done. Before you pull your hair out, learn how to get your child to come to you and talk when they need a listening ear.

Effective listening is really a learned skilled, but how can you encourage your kids to share with you?

Today I will share Six Ways to Get Your Child to Open Up – sit back and take note to see if you can make some small changes and open communication up!

[Read more…]

We are the Star Role in our Child’s Relationship Production!


Post written by Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC of Imagine Hope Counseling Group

When we think of “role models” our mind often goes to teachers, coaches, or people in our community that showed us positive ways to develop into positive people. We are better for being taught by them.

As parents I think it is easy to forget that we are on stage all the time with our kids. We are being role models to them. They are little sponges that are soaking up everything. Little ones (and big ones, too) are trying to figure out their world and how to relate to everyone in it. [Read more…]

Gifts That Touch the Heart – Jill Savage


I thought it was the perfect time to share with you this wonderful article Jill Savage wrote when searching for the perfect gift for her husband.  Perhaps it will help you re-focus and give the give of yourself – the one that really matters most.

It’s hard to believe that the Christmas season is upon us. During this season I tend to move into overdrive with shopping, wrapping, baking, and entertaining. And often I accomplish my “to do” list to the neglect of my marriage. Have you been trying to figure out just the perfect gift for your spouse this year? I have. But today I changed my perspective. Today it struck me that my husband doesn’t really need another sweater, what he needs from me are real gifts from the heart. [Read more…]