Handy Family Tips: What to Do When There is No Shaving Cream?

A girl shaving her legs in the bathtub

If you have teens in the house, I’m sure you will relate to this. If you have a teenage boy, he’s probably started shaving their facial hair. If you have a teenage girl, she’s probably started shaving her legs.

Recently, my youngest daughter started shaving her legs. She is very proud and happy with her smooth legs, admiring and sharing the results with the whole family.

This reminded me of myself, at her age. Except that I was not allowed to shave. So I did it in secret, which meant I could not use my dad’s shaving cream or he would find out. I always used the a bar of soap instead. It made my legs so dry, I had to put moisturizing cream on my legs every time. At least it wasn’t as bad as shaving with nothing at all and leaving my legs itchy and with the occasional cut.

Recently, I saw some things being posted about using hair conditioner as a substitute for shaving cream. It sounded like a good option and I decided to check it out. I discovered that it is even better than shaving cream! Even my son tried it on his facial hair and said it was fabulous.

This post is part 22 of 22 in the series Handy Family Tips

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Attachment Theory: Main Characteristics of Attachment

Characteristics of Attachment Theory

The emotional bond between people depends on their ability to connect and the style of the connection. The attachment we have with the people in our lives (partners, children, siblings, friends and even our own parents) are strongly associated with the attachment we formed in our early years of life, with our primary caregiver (usually our parents). Similarly, the challenges we experience in our relationships as adults are shaped by the patterns of challenge from our early attachments.

According to John Bowlby, attachment is the connection a baby forms with its parent to ensure their basic needs of safety, comfort, care and pleasure are met. He described this attachment as “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings”. Bowlby believed that the style of the relationship between the parent (mainly the mother) and the child in this critical period of the baby’s development becomes a blue print for later relationships.

The main idea of attachment theory is that the caregivers provides the baby with a safe and secure base from which to explore the world. The baby knows that it is safe to venture out and explore the world, and that the caregiver will always be there to come back to for comfort in times of stress and discomfort.

This post is part 1 of 6 in the series Attachment Theory

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Ronit’s 100 Happy Valentine’s Day Tips

Loving couple on a park bench - take your Valentine

This year, Gal and I are celebrating our 34th Valentine’s Day and we are very proud and happy to be together. We are also sad to look around and see that fewer and fewer couples are able to find happiness and love on this day. Over the last five years, more of my clients experienced relationship breakdowns than ever before. Divorce and separation are very sad and challenging for the couple and for their families.

This week, I received a request from a radio show to share 5 Valentine’s Day tips with their listening couples. This made me think that I have many more tips and the fill list from my relationship tool kit is below.

I highly recommend having such a list for yourself. If you could give other couples advice on how to have a happy relationship, what would you say? Write down your ideas and read them every once in a while (even I have to read my own advice from time to time, especially in tough times).

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Shaming Kids: Good Parenting or Not?

Child wearing a sign around his neck do not trust me I will steal from you as I am a thief

From time to time, I hear or read about parents who shame their kids in public as a way to “teach them a lesson”. I think Shaming kids is a very bad idea.

Shame is one of the most debilitating feelings. It can make people, young and old do horrible things. Many grownups I work with are trying to overcome a combination of guilt and shame which is impacting their lives. These feelings are born in childhood, when parents use this combination as an incentive, thinking, “If I shame you enough, you will feel guilty and the guilt and shame will prevent you from doing it next time”.

I grew up in a house that thought where shaming kids and using guilt were major tools in the parenting tool box. If parenting practices are the tools, my parents used a hammer. Yet my parents grew up with parents of their own who used this hammer as an educational tool. They thought that if they just didn’t hit it as hard as their parents did, that makes them better parents. Their attitude was, “I am better than my parents” because of this. As a child, when a hammer hits your head (metaphorically speaking), the thought that your parents had their heads hit harder does not make the pain go away. Funnily enough, telling me how much shame and guilt they felt growing up did nothing to ease the pain either.

As a child, I was ashamed of my grades. My parents thought that shaming me would make me want to do better at school, but rather than working harder, I diverted all my energy away from learning and succeeding and towards hating them for it.

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Handy Family Tips: How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Boy eating corn

Vegetables are good for our health, but they are not very popular. I think this is because the advertising departments of junk, sugary and chocolaty food companies are much better than the advertising departments of vegetable companies. It is very simple. If we had the same publicity for vegetables that we do for junk food, it would be easy to get kids to eat vegetables and they would do it happily.

Even more than advertising, the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to love eating vegetables yourself and to buy lots of them for your home. If this is what kids have on hand, this is what they will eat. Obviously, this is not as easy to do as we might think. Otherwise, everyone would do it and every kid in the world would eat vegetables at every meal.

The A-Z Vegetable Challenge

One of the tricks I offer to my clients to get kids to eat vegetables and overcome eating problems is the A-Z Vegetable Challenge. Starting with the letter A, the family chooses a vegetable beginning with that letter to focus on for the week, to learn about, research, cook with and eat.

This post is part 21 of 22 in the series Handy Family Tips

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Raising Babies: Talk, Talk, Talk

Tired baby boy

I have three kids and they all started talking very early. Many new parents ask me if it is better for babies to talk early or not? Is it something they are born with?

Firstly, I personally do not think this is hard-wired. There is no timer in the brain of a baby that says, now you are 1 years old, you should start saying words. It is very much dependent on the stimulation the baby gets from their environment.

Secondly, babies who can communicate early are very easygoing babies.

Why?

Because they can express themselves and are not as frustrated as a baby who uses sounds to communicate.

This post is part 6 of 6 in the series Raising Babies

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Family Matters Wishes You Happy Holidays and a Happy 2015

Happy holidays and a happy 2015 from the Be Happy in LIFE family

The end of the year is fast approaching. It has been another full year and it looks like it is going to end with some great changes for us. My family and I are going on a fantastic holiday just before Eden, my eldest, moves in with her fiancé and begins preparations for their wedding in 2015.

As at the end of every year, I am writing a summary of our adventures for the year. Here is my summary for 2014.

2014 has been a very full and active year for the Be Happy in LIFE family. Our children have enjoyed a great year and we had lots of opportunities for “pride therapy”.

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Raising Babies: Extended Family can be Bliss

Grandparents with grandchildren

Your extended family can be a great help once a new baby arrives. I didn’t understand just how much until Eden was born. I was in my last year of university and working full time. My parents lived over 3 hours drive from us.

I never had a close bond with my mom. When others talked about having their moms around when you had a baby, I didn’t really know what to think about it. When Eden was born, I was in hospital for 10 days. I got a terrible infection and my mom came to stay with us after we were discharged from hospital because I had to go back every day to change my bandages.

We got home and I didn’t really know what would happen. But my mom incredible. She had already had 5 kids of her own and she knew exactly what to do. She said to me, “You focus on eating, sleeping and breastfeeding” and that is exactly what I did. Meanwhile, she cooked, cleaned and played with Eden, massaged her and sang songs. I never knew my mom could be like that. She was awesome.

This post is part 4 of 6 in the series Raising Babies

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Save Your Marriage: Expressing Feelings

Married couple walking down the road

Expressing feelings in a relationship is very important. Feelings are at the heart of every marriage. We get married because we love and have strong and positive feelings towards someone, and we choose to spend our lives and have children with him or her.

As long as we express those happy and wonderful feelings towards our partners, the more happy our relationship with them will be. Problems start when we express those not-so-happy feelings and this can easily get out of control.

Many of my relationship-coaching clients confuse between thoughts and feelings. They learned that expressing feelings was important so they added the phrase “I feel” into their communication. Unfortunately, instead of expressing feelings, they disguised thoughts as feelings.

Imagine your communication with your partner as a ball game. You can throw the ball in a way that your partner will catch or you can throw the ball in a way that will probably hurt them. One of these is called communication and is a constructive way to create a happy marriage. The other is called “the blame game” or painful communication and it contributes to struggles in a marriage. No one wants to play a ball game if they need to protect themselves from getting hurt.

This post is part 24 of 28 in the series Save Your Marriage

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Save Your Marriage: The Nitpicker

Nit comb

In the last chapter of save your marriage, I explained how a “king/queen” mentality can impact even the most wonderful of relationships. Over time, kings only strengthen their position of feeling superior, which can drive any “servant” out of the relationship.

In this chapter, I will talk about the king’s cousin, the nitpicker.

In a similar way to the king who adopts his mentality from his upbringing, the nitpicker adopts his habits from his parents. Growing up with a parent who is a nitpicker starts a pattern that children carry on into adulthood. Depending on their emotional state, kids will choose to either adopt or totally reject this mentality. They will either be like their parents or avoid their company and adopt a completely new way to communicate. This is not a conscious decision. Most people are not even aware that they do it. That is why external help is necessary if you want to change from a nitpicking communicating style.

This post is part 23 of 28 in the series Save Your Marriage

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