Being Kind is Good for Your Kids

By Dale AtkinsBy Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW

Kindness is important because, among the many benefits, studies continue to support that it is positively linked to our happiness, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, overall well-being, AND it can give our life meaning. For kids who are engaged in service to others, research shows that they feel better about themselves, have better attitudes towards learning and school (and they do better in school), have improved social skills, and increased civic engagement.

The majority of parents say that they place high value on their children being kind, yet that message can be confusing for children, especially, because they are more often acknowledged for their academic, athletic, and artistic achievements than for their acts of kindness. But when we look at our children through a lens of kindness we see things that often go unnoticed. When we tell our son: “It was thoughtful of you to draw a “get well” picture for your friend Joey when he was in the hospital” or mention to your daughter: “I noticed you filling your hamster’s water bottle. You take good care of her”, we are paying attention to, and acknowledging our kids’ kind behaviors. When we take an extra moment to thank the person who bags our groceries, or when we hold the door for someone behind us, or put our phone away to fully focus on the person with whom we are speaking, we are practicing and modeling kindness. Having these interactions, brief as they may be, gives us an opportunity to connect with others. And our children observe us doing these everyday acts of kindness. (more…)

What Do I Need to Know About Concussions

By Dr. Daya Alexander Grant
Daya Alexander GrantWe’ve all been there. Your child falls, hitting her head, and your mind immediately switches into overdrive: Does she have a concussion? Should I take her to the doctor? Will she have long-term brain damage?

With the heightened media attention on concussions in recent years, these concerns are natural.

Let’s address the most frequently asked questions: (more…)

There Ain’t No Proper Way!

The best way to support grieving parents is to let them know that it’s ok to smile, laugh and dance again.

By Ruth Molinari

This is us, a month after Emilio’s passing. That’s right, a month, and there we were smiling. We were attending the Creative Emmys in support of our dear friend, who was nominated for Best Stunt Coordination. We got all dressed up, jumped in a Limo with our best friends, and began the night. I was happy to go! I was eager to step out again. I so desperately wanted to feel normal. That night, we laughed so much, we cheered on our friend, we drank and we DANCED for the first time together. An incredibly powerful moment for the both of us! I felt so grateful. Grateful to feel joyous enough to move my body and dance. I remember looking up at our friends on the dance floor, they rushed over to us and we all huddled together…no words were said…no words were necessary. I felt safe. It’s times like those that get you through it….friends like those who help you hurdle along, without judgement.

I recall around the same time, us having dinner with friends, when an acquaintance of my parents saw us enjoying ourselves at the table. The look on her face said it all! She was so shocked to see us and actually looked disappointed. What that acquaintance did not know is how much I cried that day or cried myself to sleep that night. Is there a proper way to go about all this??! Nothing is natural about outliving your children so I don’t think there is a proper way to go about your business and getting on with your lives. (more…)

How to Discuss Race and Diversity with Your Children

Trina Moore-SouthallBy Trina Moore-Southall, Ed.D.

I was in a department store with my beautiful, Black children. A white child from his stroller examines the skin tone of my children. He then asked (who I assume to be) his mother, “Why is their skin brown?” The lady responded, “That’s not nice”. This response communicates to the child that recognizing people as different is wrong. The message is clear: Diversity is a bad thing. I felt a need to intervene. I knelt down to the young boy and put my brown hand next to his white hand. I explained that my hand was bigger, b犀利士
ecause he is still growing and maybe one day his hand will be bigger than mine. I also said we both have something called Melanin. I have a lot, which has made my skin darker. He has a little bit, which has made his skin lighter. When I had my children, they also got my melanin. He then said (at maybe 4 years old)” My mom and dad didn’t have a lot of melanin, so I ‘m white like them!” Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit. The lady still seemed uncomfortable and did not know how to respond to me or the revelation her child just had. I said to her, “This is only the beginning.” When children have questions, we answer them. My hope is that her next conversation with her child about difference is ongoing and purposeful. I also hope that this child will not silence his friends, family members, or maybe one day his own children when they equate the recognition of difference with something erroneous. (more…)

Surviving a Life Threatening Illness

By Kavita Basi

Kavita BasiI was taken into the accident and emergency wing of the hospital on March 17, 2015, with a life-threatening subarachnoid hemorrhage. I was only thirty-eight years old and had always been a healthy person. I was successful, career-oriented, and travelled the world while working too many hours with no time to relax and think. Then, one night, I suddenly became extremely ill, and my whole world fell apart. I was in the hospital for nearly two months, and after four intense brain surgeries, I had difficulty understanding what was happening to me and why.

My memoir covers my journey to recovery and how my perspective has drastically changed, as I now see the important things in life, the materialistic things don’t matter to me and I want to focus on the true meaning of life. I had to relearn how to do the simplest tasks, like climbing stairs, retuning noises due to losing some sense of hearing, severe constant headaches as a result of watching any TV, leaning how to use my mobile devices without having motion sickness. My personality changed, and I was left with short term memory loss, intense mood swings, an emotional state of mind, being very direct when talking, having the black and white thinking and losing that middle ground of understanding. This new life also had a major effect on my relationships, family, and view of work. (more…)

Finding Courage in Loss

Ruth MolinariBy Ruth Molinari

Why? I don’t know. The only way I’ll ever know is when I see him again… and I will!!
Emilio’s death shocked our communities to the core. A perfectly healthy boy dying in a flash scared the shit out of everybody and tested our faiths. We are good people… we’ve always done right in our lives… we’ve always prayed to God as a family and believed in spiritual law and karma. Nothing made sense as to why?

I don’t think God hates me. I don’t think God has forgotten about me or that I’m being punished. I don’t think God loves me less because another human being might be saved. I have always felt, and feel, that there is something beyond us all that is happening. Something higher, something greater.


Ways to Prepare Your High Schooler for College

As it usually does, the time has flown by and your little baby is now going to high school. These next four years are not only crucial to determining what opportunities may be available to them after graduation but are also necessary to prepare your teen for college. Outside of making sure they have done their research, go on tours, talked with their counselors, written an essay, and taken all of their tests, you want to make sure that your teen has adopted the life skills necessary to survive the campus life.

As some of you may know, college is a lot different from grade school, middle school, or high school. It is a diverse educational environment that requires a great deal of effort, responsibility, and skill to master. By taking the time now to prepare your teen, they can transition into college life much easier. Below, are some suggestions on how to prepare your high schooler for life on campus. (more…)

How to Manage it All

You need your job to provide for your children, but the demands of doing both are starting to weigh on you heavily. Every day you’re required to get the kids off to school, manage the office, and then come home to wrangle in the household. Seeing as how you’re only one person, it really is a lot. In fact, the responsibility of it all is starting to have an effect on how you perform at work and your ability to be a great mom at home.

Don’t Suffer in Silence
Working as a mother has always been a struggle. Although there have been many changes made to the business environment to try and make things easier and equality for women in the workplace, it doesn’t stop the challenges you face at home. Unfortunately, many suffer in silence and make it appear as if all is right with the world. (more…)