Dare to be Free

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Independence, joy and happiness are common goals among people. Relationship problems, financial troubles, health issues and even rising gas prices can create an out of balance life. Control is an illusion that so many of us think we have but as we grip the things we want to keep they still slip through our fingers.

Take a look at your past; were there things that made it difficult to be happy? We want a close relationship with our partner but without the understanding of how that looks we try too hard and smother them. You can save your pennies from one day to the next but something usually comes along to wipe it out. True love is something that comes when you are not looking but for those wanting to get married and start a family how do you not look? Instead they do everything they can to find it.

Everyone wants to acheive their goals and to be happy without losing the things they desire the most. If holding on to them with a closed fist leads to their loss then we need to change our methods. Money and prestige doesn't lead to happiness, that should be obvious simply by glancing at the tabloids in the checkout line at the supermarket. By chaning the way you act and think you can achieve the happiness you long for.

Money often gets a bad wrap because many people place so much importance on it thinking it will buy them happiness. Studies have shown that people with plenty of money aren't necessarily happier than those with less money.

"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." - Mother Teresa

Generally happy people have a common thread - they enjoy giving. You don't have to just give money either; it could your your time and talents or simply lending an ear to someone's problems.You will never have a hard time finding ways to give to others. Happiness comes from giving when you do it without expecting something in return.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. - Acts 20:35

Giving can be habit forming and it will help you relate to those that are less fortunate. Praciticing kindness every day makes you a loving person. Everyone is in a position in life where there is giving and taking. We all need to hear a compliment or see a warm smile from time to time. Don't refuse someone the joy of giving by not beign a gracious taker.

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." - Winston S. Churchill

How Much is Too Much?

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It is common for parents to be a little confused when it comes to
deciding how much is too much with reference to after school activities.
They argue that since most of the activities are fun (as different from
studies), children will simply lap up these classes. But, too much fun
can wear down your child. Here is a simple guide that will help you
decide how much is too much for your child.

Your child is just beginning to learn to interact and get used to
discipline. His or her after-school life should be simple and carefree.
One or two classes per week are enough at the beginning. Once the child
settles down, look for more challenging activities like a music program.

Grade 1:
One or two activities per week, play dates and playground visits are
recommended. Avoid competitive sports activities. The child is still too
young to have to worry about winning and losing. After the rigors of a
full day at school, he or she needs a healthy outlet for pent up energy.
Physical activities and noncompetitive sports are best for this age.

Grade 2:
Your child is old enough to voice opinions on what activities he or she
wants. Sports, skating, swimming or computers - steer him towards things
he likes. Many children begin lessons on a musical instrument around this
age. But, allow your child some 'alone time' during which he can unwind
and just do whatever he wishes.

Grade 3:
Socialization begins to take center stage. Team sports are a good choice.
Developing motor skills, painting, drawing etc are good too. Let the child
explore areas of interests. But leave aside enough time for the family and
for fun activities.

Grade 4:
At this age, the child will tell you what he likes. He needs to get
involved in activities that will boost his confidence. This will also help
him manage stress as this is the time when social pressure is beginning to
build. But, beware of the homework demon. Your child needs more time with
his studies. Balancing his schoolwork with other activities is very

Grade 5:
The fifth grader is bubbling with energy and will want to do just
about everything. But she or he may conveniently push studies to the
background. So, close supervision is needed. Keep one or two days free for
family time and other activities. Now is a great time to get your child
interested in community service.

Middle school:
Steer him away from TV. Get him engaged in activities that reinforce
learning. Academic performance can be improved by encouraging your preteen
to join clubs like the Girl/Boy Scouts program, language clubs, chess
clubs etc. As a thumb rule, 16-20 hours a week of extra activity should be
more than enough. But look out for signs of burnout.

What you select for your child and how long he should work at it is
basically decided by the child's temperament. As a parent, you should
closely observe your child and base your decisions on feedback from the
child himself. Teach them how to set and achieve healthy short and long-term goals that will benefit them for years to come.

Breaking Bad Habits

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Have you noticed that we are creatures of habit? Whether our habits are good, bad or indifferent we all have them. Some are subtle while others are obvious and even offensive. Habits are developed over the years from the teaching our parents pass down, outside influences, observations and (of course) practice. The many habits we develop throughout our lives influence our relationships and quality of life so it is important to evaluate them from time to time and replace bad habits with good ones.

Read full article: How to Break a Bad Habit

Helping Children of Divorce

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Children need a great deal of support when a divorce is taking place. Surround them with resources to choose from and talk to them about additional help they may need. If they don’t have someone to talk to or they aren’t ready to open up to you then see if they are interested in seeing a professional counselor. The point is to give them an outlet to deal with what is going on in their life at this time. If you have more than one child it is likely that they will have different needs so stay in tune to the. It is important to remember that they will need this support long after the divorce has concluded. Just like with divorcing parents, their feelings don’t get turned off when the divorce is finalized.

Read full article: Children Support: During and After Divorce

Difference Between Depression and Grief after Divorce

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There is no doubt that you will feel depressed and grief when going through a divorce. You will feel empty and numb, as if you are in shock. You will likely have a physical reaction to the grief such as; trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, dry mouth, trembling, muscle weakness, trouble breathing, and nausea. The whole situation and subsequent ones may make you angry. You might even feel anger towards your ex, yourself or just be angry. Almost everyone in grief will also experience guilt, which is often expressed as, “I could have, I should have, and I wish I would have” statements.

Read full article: The Difference Between Grief and Depression

Communicating with Your Child

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One of the biggest challenges for single fathers these days (parents in general) is communicating effectively with their child. We all strive for open and honest communication but become frustrated when it appears their attention is somewhere else and they aren’t listening. Yet we seem to find it perfectly acceptable to discuss things with them while we are reading the paper, doing the laundry, picking up the house, working on the computer, watching TV and then wonder where the line of communication broke.

Read the Full Article: Successful Father Child Communication

Benefits of Online Journaling

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Online journaling is healing for me and it makes me consider the situations I encounter with the end result in mind. For example: I no longer just say, “I am angry.” I try to figure out why, lessons learned, and how this can help others. Publishing this website has done more than help me to grow but it has brought new people into my life. I feel we all have a purpose; a godly mission and there is a reason for everything that happens.

Read the Full Article: Online Journaling is Healing

Life After Divorce

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Christian life after divorce is what we make of it. If we hold on to the bitterness and hatred then our spiritual walk won’t be very fulfilling. But if we seek God and learn to reach out to others we are going to live a rewarding life. I know it isn’t always easy… There were plenty of Sunday’s I didn’t make it to church and felt like giving up. But those feeling fade and if you know the truth then you never want to truly let that go. Just do what you can and never give up.

Read full article: Christian Life After Divorce