When Someone You Love Is Disabled

Alison & Barry

    I confess. I was one of those people who never thought much about disabilities. Although I have had health problems through the years, none has left me unable to do the things I wanted to do. So my focus on disabilities was more about placards on cars and signs in parking lots. Then 16 months ago my husband had a stroke. It left him unable to use his left arm or leg, but we were lucky that his mind was fine and his speech, initially a little garbled, recovered quickly. Suddenly, things … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolutions that Lead to Happier Parents and Children

3 generations of family

Often, I meet with parents who are struggling with their children’s misbehavior and with feelings of failure as a parent. I point out to them that their own schooling did not teach parenting skills. Most parents do the best they can with the skills that they have. They often model these skills on what they have learned from their parents. So what can you do to make the year ahead a better one for you and for your children?   • Be aware of your own feelings and if they are negative, … [Read more...]

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

New Year resolutions

As I thought about New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that they often derive from some negative way that we see ourselves. I spend too much money; therefore, my resolution is that I will save more. I am 10 pounds overweight; thus, I will exercise more and eat healthy. I work too much, so I resolve to spend more time with my family.   The problem with these resolutions is not only that they come from some judgmental part of our self-image, but that they are hard to keep. We all have … [Read more...]

Caregiving & Isolation

Caregiving

Three months ago, my husband had a stroke. Doctors told us we were lucky it was not worse: he could speak, find words, and only needed to learn to walk and use his left arm again. The process of rehabilitation began, and I was so proud of him for his motivation and how hard he worked. But I realized that I was struggling with feelings that had little to do with his stroke specifically and more to do with how it had impacted our life as a couple, as well as my life individually. I limited my … [Read more...]

Learning from Loss

Death of a Pet

I recently read a wonderful story in the New York Times  "Things I Wish I had Known when my Dog Died" called What Emily’s Death Taught Me by Jen A. Miller.  It talks about what a person experiences and learns from the death of a beloved pet.  In this case, the author is a freelance writer who works at home and is single, so her pet dog Emily was perhaps even more of a beloved companion. The author learned many things following Emily’s death: - Most people will say the wrong thing.  They … [Read more...]