Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

This. This is the piece of the puzzle from my childhood that I've been missing. This. This is the secret I've been hiding behind my smile. This. This is what countless children and adults in every zip code, every corner of your life face while navigating learning, relationships, careers, and even their long-term health.  Exposure to adversity in childhood by trauma or chronic stress actually changes our physiology, affects our brain development, and even alters our body's transcription of DNA. Childhood trauma does NOT just go away as we grow up. As an elementary teacher for fifteen years, yes, I have lived, experienced the hardships trauma and chronic stress cause for a child. I have seen children struggle to learn, battle for impulse-control, toil to maintain friendships, all while suffering tummy aches, headaches, lack of sleep. But that's not the end of their struggle. These children left my classroom, having learned to read and add and subtract.  But what about their tummy aches, headaches, and chronic deprivation of sleep?  What happened to those beautiful...
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Love and Loss

Love and Loss

Sharing Love Through Heartbreak When I came across this image, the love I saw through their loss, my heart stopped for a moment, and then I read the corresponding news article about the last day of a five year-old girl who died in the arms of her parents. The image was heartbreaking, yet beautiful. The healthy little girl, diagnosed with a quick-growing, rare form of brain cancer, left the family with limited time to share. The hospice nurse captured this moment as the little girl drew her last breaths.  She lay on her mother and father as they held her, gazing sweetly at her while her favorite Harry Potter movie played in the background. They were there for her first breath, and they remained there for her last. All Humans Love, and All Humans Experience Loss This picture evoked a human empathy that touched me personally.  I recognize through my relationships other parents who have faced love and loss.  I, myself, have lost...
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Routine in Life Stifles Your Fire

Routine in Life Stifles Your Fire

It’s hard to admit, but honestly, the only time I really clean my house well is when I’m expecting visitors. The rest of the time, it’s more of a clean as needed routine. I feel we experience life in this same manner - going through our days, on autopilot, just getting things done and settling into a groove.  (Or worse yet, the grind).  But consider the electricity in the atmosphere when a change blows into our routines. Feelings of excitement and anticipation create that unmistakable fire of feeling alive. It is staggering the ease positive energy puts into our activities when we break from our norm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing to clean my house more often, but the task sure is easier when I am looking forward to a visit from friends! Cheers to making each day special and different from the last!...
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Negative Perception Leads to Failure

Negative Perception Leads to Failure

“If you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”Henry Ford said that, and he left quite a mark on history.  Sometimes we justify a negative perception of ourselves, our capabilities as being “realistic”. But then, why waste your time even trying? The limit is in your mind only - eliminate negative perceptions. My son spent a week at Camp Woodward, an X Games type sports camp for his BMX trick riding, and my husband and I were speechless when we visited on the last day to see all that he had learned.  After a week with state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside professionals of the sport, he showed us the trick he mastered, No Hands. Yes, I wrote trick. A week.  At camp. Speechless. Dream it, you can achieve it.Reuniting with my son unearthed a lot of information, and insecurities.  It turns out that he put pressure on himself to appear successful, like the pros he was watching.  He told himself that if he couldn't do a trick...
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Failure is Really Success

Failure is Really Success

There is Only One Winner It's easy to classify yourself as a success or a failure, especially in the world of athletic tournaments.  But, does it have to be one or the other? This past hot, humid weekend, my husband and I attended a two-day lacrosse tournament for my child’s travel team.  Success did not come easily in this competitive field of teams, and with our team's failure to secure wins, we were recorded on the final tournament bracket as the losing team. Losing is Not Failure Underdogs, beaten by ten points almost every game, our team continued to show improvement in each match. Our players ran faster, blocked more defensively, and made more passes with increased confidence.  Still, these beatings were difficult to watch with the referees' bad calls and some rough play by other, more aggressive teams. Our hearts bled witnessing our children struggle match after match. Find the Success When You Fail My enthusiasm and general cheerfulness got the better of me...imagine this:...
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Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Summer, Sweet Summer with My Kids... Yes, like you, summertime has brought my kids back home to me.  The week school ended, I don't know who was more excited for summer break - my two children, their teachers, or me!  Visions of us sleeping in, making homemade pancakes to start our lazy days, and trips to museums, parks, etc. all dancing in our heads. But, two weeks later, fruit snack wrappers littered every end table and coffee table surface, wet towels laying near the towel racks, half-filled cups in bedrooms with none available in the kitchen cabinet for me to use, and both my daughter and son's bedroom carpeting was decorated with the myriad of clothing that somehow just couldn't make it into the dirty laundry basket. Yet my kids' requests kept coming - drop me off at my friend's house, pick me up some new shorts for practice, can we go to the waterpark? I am embarrassed to admit this, but even with...
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Is Video Gaming Addictive?  Even at 11?

Is Video Gaming Addictive? Even at 11?

Addiction has come way too close to home. When I asked my child to stop playing the video game and eat dinner last week, you'd really think from their reaction that their world as they knew it was coming to an end. This unfortunately was not my only experience with video gaming withdrawal symptoms that included begging, crying, screaming, and slamming...Not to mention the emotions my child was displaying when the video games were shut down... The scariest part of this addiction is that the games are actually encouraging my child to be anxious if they are not always playing. The most severe episode of withdrawal was when a game shut my child out for several days when the number of minutes the game demanded were not met. I had told him it was time to stop and get ready for bed. "But I can't stop!" my child desperately screamed at me, unable to fully explain the situation because their mind...
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