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Activities to increase a child’s empathy

Unstructured summer days lie ahead. What activities can we use to enrich kids’ lives while having fun at the same time? Strengthen a child’s empathy this summer and you may see these results in the upcoming school year*: more relaxed physically, with lower levels of...

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5 fun activities teach kids to think of others

In an old issue of Psychology Today, I ran across an article featuring the words of Dennis Rosen, M.D. Sometimes children seem so self absorbed and so preoccupied with gadgets and toys, we wonder whether they are aware of, or care about, what goes on around them. We...

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Resilient kids are made outside their comfort zone

Are we doing children a favor by letting them have the easiest and best of everything? “What distinguishes healthy families is not the absence of problems or suffering but rather their coping and problem solving abilities.”  (Froma Walsh) A good definition of...

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Tell children your own spiritual stories

Many times, a personal story sheds a brighter light on the subject than moralizing. Rather than telling a child facing a question or decision what to do, telling them a story from your own life can be much more helpful. It helps them think creatively and gives them...

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Teen spirituality on a tightrope walk

The tightrope walk may be an apt analogy for one's teen years. Exhilarating and risky, these years are better navigated following some serious practice time/strength training and a safety net. "Researchers are beginning to discover the importance of being a spiritual...

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The blessing of undivided attention

I’ve never been good at multi-tasking. It’s not that I didn’t try. I tried for years.  I just can’t hold my thoughts together when I’m working on multiple projects at once. It’s always been this way, so it’s not just because I’m getting older. I admit being jealous of...

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Predicting a hopeful future blesses children

Their future brightens when we bless children with a sense of assurance that they have what it takes to accomplish their goals, to push through challenges and heartaches. We do this through acknowledgement of the child’s worth. We back it up with our own investment of...

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A child’s must-have: a hope-filled future

I remember playing the fortune teller game as a kid. We would take a piece of paper, write dreamy messages and fortunes on it, then fold it origami-style to predict our future—you will be rich, you will be famous. Now I try to bless the children in my life with words...

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More than compliments communicate a child’s value

Adults do three things all the time to express how we value the children in our lives. I'm working at these things. I want to be are good at them because, more than compliments, these actions form a foundation of trust. 1. We keep our mouths shut and let the kid...

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Blessings that make a difference

Regardless of our differences in religion, language or ideas, there is no heart that is without an inner divine reference. And each family seems to have a unique impression about when, how and if God makes known his thoughts and feelings toward them, often referred to...

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Bless a child with the healing power of words

One of my family’s weirder slogans or expressions  -- Self-Praise Stinketh – came into being on account of me. As the story goes, I said so many nice things about myself that they shortened it to SPS to save their breath.  Later in life, I had to ask myself, “Why did...

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The gift of appropriate, meaningful touch

A dreaded part of my childhood piano lessons came on the days I got excused from school to go before an adjudicator for grading on my skills. I was very nervous, but I did well enough to receive small silver and gold pins signifying my competency. At times I felt...

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