Financial Therapy, Parenting: teaching kids about money

Where do you start teaching your kids about money? How do you tell a kindergartener that money is a finite resource without making them worry? How do you pass on the value of the dollar and the importance of saving without raising them to be materialistic or cheap? They key is starting the conversation early, keeping it age appropriate and ongoing, and showing your kids how you use your values to shape your spending. Here’s an age-by-age guide:

Parenting: kids’ chores by age

Many parents wonder when their kids should start doing various chores. The key thing to keep in mind that your ultimate job as a parent is to raise an adult. Keeping that perspective and adjusting your expectations to your kid’s ability can help guide you in times of uncertainty. This article does a good job listing age-appropriate chores for kids:

Career Counseling: work – passion or duty

Americans have come to expect work to be a source of meaning in their lives, a job is now a career or a calling. Young people prioritize achieving one’s career passion higher than making money or getting married and consider finding a fulfilling job almost three times more important than having a family.

Unfortunately, most people are guaranteed to fail in this pursuit. Even people who love their jobs will report they must do thankless tasks from time to time. Few experience nonstop bliss, where sheer passion sustains them through long hours on the job. Our high-octane work culture has serious consequences, with Americans overall today engaging in fewer extracurricular social activities than in previous generations.

Consider rejecting the notion that work should consume our lives, define and give meaning to them, and see it instead as an opportunity to fulfill something larger, namely our duty, which can eventually lead to fulfillment. Duty is rooted in self understanding. Frankly assess what you can do, how you are best equipped to serve, and work. Hearing from early childhood that you can be anything you want can be oppressive. Identify the several jobs or roles you are called to do — inside and outside the home — and do them well.

Couples Counseling: Gottmans’ 8 dates

John and Julie Gottman wrote a new book “Eight Dates : The Essential Conversations That Lead to a Lifetime of Love”. Their big secret to creating a love that lasts and grows over time is simple: make dedicated, non-negotiable time for each other a priority, and never stop being curious about your partner. Four decades of research have led them to the eight topics that matter most to relationships — trust and commitment; conflict; sex; money; family; fun and adventure; growth and spirituality; and dreams. If couples keep talking together about these eight essential topics, they have the best chance of their own ‘happy ever after’.

Date #1: Lean on me

Date #2: Let’s agree about how we disagree

Date #3: Ignite the passion

Date #4: Time to talk about the cost of love

Date #5: It really is a family affair

Date #6: Be adventurous

Date #7: How to grow old together

Date #8: Live the dream

Brainspotting, Life Transitions, Parenting: handling birth trauma

One-third of women experience birth trauma, often during preventable situations. The experience can leave the new mother traumatized and unwilling to have any more children, even though she and her partner may have previously discussed having more.  A “one and done” decision after a harrowing labor and delivery experience isn’t uncommon among women who endure a psychologically traumatic childbirth. Birth is traumatic for 1 out of 3 women due to:

  • Lack or loss of control: 55%
  • Fear for their baby’s life or health: 50%
  • Severe physical pain: 47%
  • Not enough communication from provider: 39%

Brainspotting therapy can help women process the birth trauma and treat PTSD, so that they are no longer triggered by nightmares, fears, or difficult emotions of giving birth.

Couples Counseling, Financial Therapy: Julie Gottman on world peace at home

Here is a wonderful TEDx talk (20 minutes) where Julie Gottman gives an overview of Gottman Method Couples therapy and how it applies to dealing with perpetual and resolvable conflicts in the home. My clients will recognize the Gottman-Rapoport exercise based on principles of diplomacy and the Art of Compromise circles (or bagels, as Julie calls them) for successful negotiation and resolution. Julie reminds us how to state our feelings (without cheating) and that there is no such thing as too needy –

Parenting: kids who are read to have heard 1.4 million more words by kindergarten

Young children whose parents read to them 5 books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found. Even kids who are read only 1 book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver. This “million word gap” could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development. Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school.

Career Counseling, Financial Therapy, Life Transitions: struggles of Gen X women

Gen X women (born between 1965 and 1984) are really struggling with issues in their personal lives and relationships, dealing with their finances, and managing their careers. “They’re smart. They’re grateful for what they have. They’re also exhausted. Some of them are terrified. A few of them are wondering what the point is.”

Career Counseling, Parenting: girls with working moms get better jobs

According to a growing body of research, working mothers have an overwhelmingly positive influence on their children. Family and career data on over 100,000 men and women found that children of working mothers tend to lead different lives than those with stay-at-home moms. Daughters of working moms in the U.S. make about 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers. Sons of working moms grow up to spend more time doing household chores and caring for their own kids. Working moms model for their children how to manage a really complex life and what an egalitarian relationship looks like.