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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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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What’s in Your Forecast?

What’s in Your Forecast?

The Beast.  The best wooden rollercoaster I have ever met.  Each time I ride it, I relive the exhilaration from my childhood - being terrified as it raced me in and out of tunnels, through the woods, clinking, clanging every swoosh, every drop, every turn.  I couldn't have been more proud, more honored than when my tween son declared The Beast his favorite rollercoaster as well.  (Now that I have two "teens", my opinions are rarely seen as 'cool'.)  My son wants to spend any chance he can at our local amusement park, Kings Island, so I take him whenever I can.  But on opening weekend this year, the weather forecast was dismal - 80% chance of thunderstorms.  If you don't live in the Midwest, you might not realize that thunderstorms in the spring can also bring tornadoes.  Not something I wanted to chance, being out in the wide open with large metal structures and an almost positive likelihood of...
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This is Michael

This is Michael

This boy. This beautiful boy. His smile lit up your day, made your worries simply fade away. He had his own worries, but you'd never have known it. Like worrying about how to pick up his pencil that slipped out of his weakened fingers, or the simple need to blow his nose. He couldn't even lift his own hands to his face, his own body wasting away by disease. But, he never complained and he did everything thing possible in his limited world. He knew this disease was his life sentence, but no one else knew how hard he struggled because it was the love of life that he lived. The love of life in his banter, his curiosity, his gracious manner, and his encouragement. Yes, from his wheelchair prison, he encouraged us. He taught us in his short life, defining the true meaning of living. I hope the impact he made upon my life is evident in my encouragement...
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Do More Laundry by Doing Less!

Do More Laundry by Doing Less!

Possibly the most frustrating part of being a spouse or parent is the never ending piles of laundry needing to be done, or the clean clothes that never either make it out of the dryer, or never get put away.  Who hasn’t heard the early morning calls from a family member needing a certain item of clothing for a certain event, that day!  “Why didn’t you tell me this LAST night?” reverberates around the neighborhood from each household as the morning rush is in full swing.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably sent your child or spouse on their way with the dirty item packed for the event or worse yet, wearing the said soiled item…In an effort to avoid this repeating scenario in my home, here are some tips to make your laundry chore a lot less daunting. Have three laundry baskets for the dirty clothes and teach each family member to sort their dirty clothes into darks,...
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