Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Boost Your Child's Confidence (and Your Own) with "The Gifts of Imperfection"

    Photo: Jessica Mullen / Creative CommonsShame researcher Brené Brown first became famous from her aha-moment-packed TED talks, The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame. She has inspired millions of men and women to let go of pretense and to courageously connect with others in order to live more fulfilled lives.

    In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brown writes about engaging with the world from the perspective of worthiness, something that many parents struggle with personally. For parents who hope that they can lead their children to feel intrinsically valuable when they head out into the world as adults, here are 3 of Brown's ten guideposts to wholehearted living that she details in the book.

    1. Let go of what people think; be authentic.

    Around the age of middle school, people start to become self-conscious. We put on airs and wear masks of self-protection. We shun things we love because we're afraid of being perceived as uncool, e.g., "Ew, you

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  • 5 Instant Ways to Pull Yourself Out of an Emotional Funk

    Photo: The Integer Club / Creative CommonsDo you feel cranky more days than not? If so, you're not alone: psychologists have discovered that it's human nature to discount all the good things that are happening around us while we try to predict what could go wrong.

    If you're feeling distressed, read on to learn five instant ways to pull yourself out of your funk.

    1. Catch yourself when you start complaining.
    The other day I was chatting with a friend who was getting ready to go on a luxurious tropical vacation. Over the course of our conversation, she stressed about whether she was packing the right items and she worried and complained quite a bit about travel, even though she's flying first class both ways. I couldn't help myself as I said to her, "You sure have a knack for focusing on the negative!"

    But we all do. Psychologists call it the Negativity Bias. Humans spend most of their time looking for what might possibly go wrong, rather than appreciating all the good things right under their noses. The next time you hear

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  • 5 Lessons of Success I Learned by Chasing My Dream

    Photo: JenavieveMarie / Creative CommonsThis past year, I launched a business. I'd long suffered from undependable willpower that showed up in my life via yo-yo dieting and an overenthusiasm for wine as a stress-reliever. Once I got clear on the underlying causes of my struggles and how to solve them, I knew I could help others get to the bottom of their own issues; thus The Monarch Company and my signature program was born.

    Leaving the salaried life of the corporate world was a scary undertaking, and I learned a lot as I went into business for myself. Here are five things I learned this past year as I chased my dream and entered the world of entrepreneurship. These lessons apply to any endeavor we undertake in life.

    1. Embrace uncertainty.

    A lot of people, my past-self included, confuse employment with stability. I used to think that as long as I worked for a large, stable company and earned a good salary, that my needs would always be taken care of. It's easy to confuse personal financial dependence on a company with

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  • 5 Confidence Boosters that Can Help Moms Drink Less

    Photo: Eric Molina / Creative CommonsIt's possible that drinking just a little too much has become an epidemic in this country, moms included. Mothers are expected, at least by the media, to be perfect creatures: thin and beautiful, even-tempered and ambitious. This impossible set of standards combined with the pressure of motherhood makes a lot of mothers want to numb out and relax in the evenings with mommy's little helper, a glass of wine. And there's nothing wrong with that!

    I used to love my nightly glass, but over time, I hated that it disrupted my sleep and my motivation. As I entered the world of entrepreneurship, firing on all cylinders sounded more attractive than numbing out, and so I decided to take a year-long sabbatical from alcohol.

    Read More: Want to Cut Back or Stop Drinking Alcohol? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

    In taking some time away from wine, I've learned that these five confidence boosters can help make it a lot easier to break free from any habit, including the habit of having a glass of wine

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  • 5 Painless Ways to Get Yourself to Exercise

    Photo: lululemon athletica / Creative CommonsAs the mother of a toddler, I've found plenty of reasons not to exercise. I didn't sleep well. I should really spend my energy tidying the house. Perhaps I can let it slide and allow "moseying along at the speed of a 3 year-old" count as exercise. I was finding it difficult to get and stay motivated, and my lack of consistency was making it difficult to get into shape.

    However, I do care about my health, and so the excuses were beginning to wear thin. I discovered these five painless ways to get myself to exercise consistently so that I can improve my energy levels and health. See if these exercise motivators could work for you.

    1. Start small.
    Sometimes we can't get started because our goals don't sound like fun. For example, if you're trying to make yourself get up at 6 a.m. and go to the gym, but you wake up feeling like you could really use the extra hour of sleep, you're going to have an awfully hard time convincing yourself to get out of bed and go do something you don't

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  • Duggars on the Move: How the Family is Getting Ready for Josh and Anna's Relocation

    DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: How are you feeling about Josh & Anna's move to Washington, D.C.?

    We're so excited for Josh and Anna. This just seems like a natural next step in their family's future. With Jim Bob being involved in politics all those years when Josh was young, I think it's just kind of a part of who Josh is. It's in his blood to be involved in the process of government. He has a love and desire to make a difference in our country. It's very near and dear to Josh's heart.

    Read More: How Michelle Duggar Deals with Her Daughter's Food Sensitivities

    Of course, our grandbabies are going with them, though, so we're going to be beating a patch between Arkansas and D.C. quite a bit because we have such a close relationship with them and we're going to miss them. There will probably be at least one of us from the family visiting them on a regular basis throughout the year. One of our girls figured it out and she said, "Well, mom, you know if we work this

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  • 5 Inspiring Steps for Forming Healthy Habits

    Photo: Daniela Vladimirova / Creative CommonsLet's say you want to start exercising or eating better. Sometimes it's hard to get started, and other times it's hard to keep going! Here are five tips that will keep you inspired to form healthy habits.

    Read More: 5 Elements of Habit Change Practice for the Beginner

    1. Focus on the pleasure.
    Frequently when we try to form healthy habits, we do it grudgingly, or with an attitude of "should." I "should" exercise for my health. Or I really "should" eat better, but we don't actually feel like doing whatever it is we resolve to do. We take on the habit reluctantly, and we're pretty sure we're not going to enjoy it, but this is a recipe for failure.

    If you hate rice cakes or yogurt or cottage cheese, then why the heck would you waste calories on foods you don't even like? The solution is to adopt a healthy habit for the pleasure of it. Find ways of moving your body that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Likewise, eat healthy foods that you find delicious and that you actually want

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  • 25 Essential Things to Do to Prepare for Your Vacation

    The whole purpose of going on a vacation is to relax, but preparing for a trip can be really stressful. I've never been one to just throw a few items in a bag and leave my house at the last minute. I also like to safeguard my home so it doesn't look like we are away and we don't come home to spoiled food in the fridge and extra dirty laundry. For that reason, I have a whole list of things to do before going out of town. I've found it's easier to divide up the tasks you'll need to accomplish over the course of a week to make them more manageable, and to reduce the stress of getting all of the important things done before you leave.

    Read More: 5 Travel Tips to Make Your Next Family Vacation More Relaxing

    One Week Before
    1. Place the newspaper subscription on hold to save money and not alert burglars you are gone.
    2. Submit a hold mail request at the post office to keep the mailbox from overflowing and packages from getting damaged.
    3. Confirm any details with your dog walker or neighbor who

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  • Why We Need to Put Our Phones Down During Our Kids' Activities

    Image: docoverachiever/Creative CommonsI can't say that I turn off the computer and phone whenever my kids are around. As much as I would like to give them my undivided attention, I work from home and I work odd hours so that I can actually spend more time with them. And of course, with the way the Internet provides us with everything from bill paying to ordering diapers to communicating with friends and family, even when I'm not working, I'm often online. I try to focus my attention on the kids as much as possible once they get home from school, and when I bring them to activities such as swimming or tennis lessons, I try to use that time to check back in on work least that's what I was doing until my daughter made one telling comment last week.

    Read More: How Your Cell Phone Could Kill You (Or Your Kids)

    "Mommy, will you watch me swim this time?"

    "What are you talking about? I always watch you swim."

    "No you don't. You're always on your phone."

    Ugh! I couldn't have felt more horrible when she said that. The thing

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  • How Michelle Duggar Deals with Her Daughter's Food Sensitivities

    DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: How is your youngest Josie doing and how do you help her understand her food sensitivities?

    Well, Josie is 3 years old now and she is so energetic, amazingly agile; this girl could climb anything! We jokingly say she's the bionic baby. She is so strong. But she's a miracle. Even though she was born prematurely, she's caught up in every way now.

    Read More: Michelle Duggar on Her Daughter's Journey from Preemie to Toddler

    She is still supposed to be careful to not get too much dairy in her diet, so I am teaching her about it. The other day, we heard some commotion in the kitchen. Jordan was standing in the kitchen holding a yogurt and trying to tell Josie that it would give her a belly ache. Josie just kept saying, "It doesn't have milk. It doesn't have milk. It doesn't have milk." She was really distraught.

    Read More: Michelle Duggar on Healthy Changes for the Whole Family

    I had to take her aside, and I had to talk to her about it and let her know

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