Saturday, December 29, 2007

Don't Let Money Issues Tear Your Relationship Apart

They say money can’t buy love, but it CAN tear a relationship apart. Here are three ways to put a stop-payment on your money bickering, so you can start saving for your future. These come from Psychologist Dr. Jonathan Rich, who wrote the book: The Couple’s Guide To Love And Money.
  • Create 3 bank accounts. Start with separate “his” and “hers” accounts. Then add a third “ours” account. Dr. Rich says that’ll be the one you use to cover shared expenses – like the mortgage, utilities, and food. If one of you makes more than the other – make the “ours” account the same percentage of your total pay so it’s fair. Then use your individual accounts for personal fun. That way neither of you will feel deprived if one of you wants to splurge.
  • Stay focused on your long-term goals. Sailors are told to fight sea-sickness by staring at the distant horizon. That way their brain can focus on something stable, instead of the objects bobbing up and down in the water close by. Dr. Rich says that advice applies to money too. Bickering over small day-to-day expenses will strain your relationship. Instead, concentrate on the big picture. Sit down and map out some long-term goals – like saving to buy a house. Then after you agree on a plan, check in with each other only ONCE a month, to make sure you’re still on course.
  • Always share the wealth. It’s normal for men to thrive on competition, but rivalries have NO place in a marriage. If one of you gets a raise at work, consider it a raise for BOTH of you. Don’t stress out over who’s the bigger breadwinner! So if one of you gets a holiday bonus this year, Dr. Rich says cheer each other on. Don’t turn it into a competition between you because that’s one competition you’ll lose, even if you win.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dealing With Depression and Holiday Stress

Balancing the demands of shopping, family obligations, and house guests may leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. And stress itself can cause feelings of depression.

Try these 19 tips to beat holiday stress.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Suicide On The Rise Among Middle-Aged Americans

ATLANTA (AP) - The suicide rate for middle-aged Americans has climbed to its highest point in at least 25 years, in what's being described as an unrecognized tragedy.

One researcher says the age group is often overlooked. Suicide prevention programs tend to focus on teenagers, and many researchers only study suicide in the elderly.

The numbers in a new government report show suicides rose about 20% between 1999 and 2004 for Americans between 45 and 54. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that far outpace the increases for younger adults.

Experts don't know why middle-age suicides are on the rise.

The overall number of suicides is holding steady. Thirty-two thousand Americans take their own lives every year.

[Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.]

Friday, December 07, 2007

Teen Birth Rate Rises

The nation's teen — 15-19 age group — birth rate has risen for the first time in 17 years, according to a new government report. A government statistician Wednesday reported that it had jumped three percent from 2005 to 2006.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Marriage Is Eco-Friendly, Divorce Is Not

WASHINGTON (AP) - Here's a reason to stay married: Divorce can be bad for the environment.

An ecologist at Michigan State University has been studying the affect of divorce on the environment and finds married households are more efficient when it comes to water, energy and land use.

When there's a divorce, one household becomes two and that means a higher drain on resources. In the U.S., for example, splitting households increase utility costs by nearly $7 billion per year.
The researcher says he knows some couples really do need to split up, but says living with other people helps reduce the impact on the environment.

The analysis appears in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

[Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.]

It Is OK For Parents To Spank

The American College of Pediatricians carefully reviewed the available research on corporal punishment and concludes, in its position statement on the subject, that disciplinary spanking by parents can be effective when properly used. "It is clear that parents should not solely rely upon disciplinary spanking to accomplish control of their child's behavior. Evidence suggests that it can be a useful and necessary part of a successful disciplinary plan," notes the just-released position statement.

"When a child defies a parent's instruction, spanking is one of a few options parents can consider to correct the misbehavior," says Den Trumbull, MD, FCP, principal author of the statement. "Spanking is most appropriate with children 2 to 6 years old, and when milder types of correction have failed."

The complete policy and position statements with guidelines can be found at
The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. The mission of the College is "to enable all children to reach their optimal, physical and emotional health and well- being." We promote "a society where all children from the moment of their conception are valued unselfishly." The College further notes, "that children are the future of our nation and society."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Making Memories With Your Children

One of the most important things parents can give their children is memories. Memories of unique experiences, special times, or even the little things that are done every day around the house. Children will remember these things as they go on to build their own families later in life. These can be simple things such as taking a child along on an errand and talking to him about things he finds interesting.

The way you celebrate Christmas and special holidays will stay with your children for the rest of their lives. As parents, we tend to forget that this is one of the things that make not only for a great deal of fun but also it provides the cement and foundation that will help children become successful parents later as they grow and marry and have children of their own.

Depression and the Holidays

As you enter the fast-paced portion of the Christmas Season, you will encounter many in the who do not exhibit the holiday spirit. In fact, a lot of them will be depressed or manifest sadness.
For some, that feeling can easily be traced to the loss of a loved one or some memory of past yuletide seasons. For others, their depression will emerge due to finances or broken relationships. There will be those who find the pace of the season so hectic they fail to cope effectively. Many will be overcome with the thought of the relatives they must entertain, or church activities that take their families away. The point is — whatever the reason for radical mood swings or erratic behavior, they must be addressed or the whole meaning of the Christmas Season can be lost. That could even happen to you.

You think I'm kidding? A study by the Mental Health Administration (2004-2006) found that nearly two out of ten of us who serve in the personal care and service profession reported being depressed.

Major depression strikes 17 percent of Americans and government figures show about 30,000 a year commit suicide, according to USAToday.

How do you help the sorrowful or depressed person? For sure, pray for them and help that individual trace back to the cause of his or her situation. If the condition is ongoing or persistent, they will need to get professional assistance. Offer emotional support and, whatever you do, please do not just sweep that person's feelings "under the rug." They most likely are not faking and in time will get better, but you can't just say "snap out of it" — and, like the swipe of a magician's wand, expect everything to be better.

Here is a list of scriptures that might be helpful to you as you guide people back to wholeness:
  • "The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Ps. 34:18).
  • "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones"(Prov. 17:22).
  • "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed: perplexed but not in despair" (2 Cor. 4:8).