Author: Cara Martens

Need a Nap?

Every parent is a working parent.  And a lot of us know sleep is important.  We’ve heard about the different types of sleep cycles that we go through (ideally) several times a night, but did you know that research has shown that there are also natural cycles during the day as well? Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to notice– we just compensate by grabbing a sugary snack or another caffeinated drink to get through the 3 o’clock slump. In a recent book called “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working”, author Tony Schwartz tells about an experiment where researchers watched to see when people naturally want to rest each day.  Guess when it happens?  Can you say, “Siesta”—between 1 and 4 pm every day. If a nap is out of the question, read on for some things you can do to replenish your energy during the day and throughout the week. One of the most memorable things Schwartz says is, “Rather than running like computers at high speeds for long periods, we’re at our best when we pulse rhythmically between expending and regularly renewing energy.” Schwartz points to specific research by Anders Ericsson and his team at Florida State University that found. “Great performers…work more intensely than most of us do but also recover more deeply. Solo practice undertaken with high concentration is especially exhausting, The best violinists...

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Intentional Time

According to some new research, parents are spending more time interacting with their kids now than generations before. In 1965, the data from the Americans’ Use of Time Study shows that mothers spent 10 hours weekly on childcare as a primary activity. Fathers spent 3 hours. Fast forward to a recent analysis by economists Garey and Valerie Ramey who found that college-educated moms now spend 21.2 hours on childcare. Not to leave out fathers, Betsey Stevenson and Dan Sacks at the University of Pennsylvania calculated that college-educated dads are now up to 9.6 hours per week. Do you wonder...

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More than Words

How we communicate with our kids is important—how we say it and when we say it and what our body is saying too. In fact, every message has at least 3 different parts. The actual WORDS we say The TONE in which we say it Our NON-VERBALS (facial expression, body posture, gestures and actions) Did you know that studies show we pay attention to: 7% of what people actually say 38% of their tone when they say it and 55% of what their body language says? And for us to actually TRUST the message (and the messenger) all three of these components need to match up in a believable way. The classic example that all of us parents, as part-time referees of children conflicts, have experienced is the “insincere I’m sorry”. Your child has just grudgingly apologized to someone else, but they said it in a rush, sarcastically or so quietly that no one could hear. Eye contact was non-existent and their body language screams that they are looking for even the smallest excuse to fight some more. Or maybe it was you or your spouse with this unconvincing apology because you desperately want to avoid further discussion or more conflict. I’ve been there too! How have you seen this play out in your home? What are some techniques you have learned that help you communicate to your kids...

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Phone in hand (or out-of-hand)?

It’s addictive. The ding of a new email and the chirp of a new text. All these messages just begging to be answered. Did you know that the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London found that people constantly interrupted by e-mails and instant messages did worse in a controlled test than those intoxicated by marijuana? The author said: “The IQ loss also turns out to be temporary. Remove the multitasking requirement, and test scores jump back to normal.” This constant listening for and checking of technology leaves us feeling over-stimulated and unfulfilled—which actually leads to more surfing and...

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