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Financial Family

The Evil Sister-In-Law

The evil sister-in-law can pose big family problems – what’s a family to do when one person comes along and has the power and the inclination to wreck every function she is invited to? Don’t invite her!
Easier said than done when she’s the wife of your brother (she seemed so nice when they were dating). Apparently there are a lot of ‘evil’ sisters-in-law at large out in the world of families – some of them hate the family functions and outings – maybe there are too many or every Sunday doesn’t leave too much weekend time to explore other avenues of entertainment with her hubby. What might start out as a happy family unit can turn over bearing if there is too much closeness and expectations abound if you’re expected to show up at every single gathering.
Often, we hear from the family about the outsider, your brother’s wife, but not so often do we get to hear things from her side. Perhaps one family member could have a heart-to-heart and try to get to the origin of the matter, especially if she wasn’t always a b___.
Has someone in the family made her feel unwelcome, made fun of her, and offended her in some way? Unless she is asked, who’s to really know, especially if her husband isn’t telling.
There are as many different types of sister-in-law problems as there are families that have them. They might come across as ignorant to others needs and are unable to see another’s point of view or way of life as different but OK, from their own. Many people with these characteristics have no desire to participate in group talk or discussion mainly because they’re really unable to contribute anything of value.
One problem not to be tolerated is unwarranted rudeness toward the parents of the son, ever. They bore and raised up her spouse, out of respect for him and his family, she has to refrain from treating them with nastiness and disrespect. This type of behavior must be addressed sooner than later, not sugar-coated – get in her face about her nastiness and what effect it has on the entire family.
She then can choose to refrain, change, or retreat from family gatherings altogether so the family can continue to enjoy the company of each other.
Often people are unaware of how they are seen by others – bring her behavior to her attention, make a united stand and she will either have an attitude adjustment and change, or fade away. A win-win solution either way, I think.

Small Business
Small Business

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Family Tips

A Few Tips For The First Time Home Buyer

If it is finally time to think about buying your own home, get some tips for the first time home buyer. You will want to look for certain things to make sure you are getting not only the best quality for your money but also as close to your dream house as possible.
The size of the house is an important thing to consider. It is best to decide according to the size of the family, or the expected size of a future family. Decide whether or not a future family will happen soon or in the distant future. It may be time to purchase a starter home.
If you are already a parent and the family is steadily growing, larger homes should be preferred, if possible. Be sure to look around the neighborhood of any chosen location to see what the atmosphere is like.
A neighborhood full of young children may be just what you are looking for. It will provide friendship for the children and extra security from other careful, watchful parents in the area.
If you are a single person who likes the quiet, consider a smaller residence in a more secluded neighborhood. It does no good to buy a home where there are only families. Doing a background check on the crime aspect is always suggested. Decide how many bedrooms you will want, how many baths, whether or not you want a basement or an attic, neither or both. There are more options, as far as dens, kitchens and living areas. How big the yard is would be yet another consideration. Ask yourself if a condominium might be more your style.
Remember that once a place is chosen, it may take some time before it can be occupied. The whole process should not be done quickly. As a home that you plan to stay in for the rest of your life, you should consider the permanency of the decision and weigh all options and opportunities that are available to you before signing any papers.
Be sure to consider interest rates, taxes and insurance on the residence. These are very important. If you are going through a real estate agent, they will be able to inform you and choose homes to show you that follow your specific guidelines. They will be able to suggest many different options and let you decide what is best for you.
Take notes on what you see when your agent is showing you through some of the homes he or she has chosen for you. This will help you remember what was good and what was bad and will remind you of questions to ask in future showings. A camera is a good idea. This will also help when trying to remember the features of certain homes that you have been in. It is a good idea to visit at least twenty houses to get a good idea of what is available on the market, what locations seem best and what size is most appropriate for your situation.

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Small Business

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Family Tips

Don’t Nag: Nurture To Develop Independence


I believe I can best explain this through an example. I recently had two families in my office, both struggling with twelve and thirteen year old children who appeared sad and withdrawn. In order to get them out of bed, parents were engaged in an hour long process of repeatedly nagging and pushing and prodding, ultimately leading to yelling and threatening the children. Often, parents were taking the children to school after they missed the bus.

Homework routines were even more depressing. Historically, these parents had reminded their children to get their homework done. When struggling, the parents would sit down, and spend hours with the children working through homework difficulties. Whenever the children would ask any question, the parent would sit down and then walk the child through finding an answer.

The mistake: Most parents believe that children will ?get it? at some point and start to do these things on their own.

The facts: Children don?t ?get it.? Parents must take a leadership role by modeling and demonstrating healthy behavior.

So if you want to create a dependent child who is ill prepared for the independence that comes with their teenage years, simply keep pushing and prodding, and keep nagging them to get their homework done and to get out of bed. As they get older, you?ll find that you are working harder and harder and they have become more and more difficult and dependent upon your efforts.

A good rule of thumb is this: If you find that you are working harder than they are for their success, then you are heading down the wrong path! Guaranteed!



You probably have a strong suspicion based upon the foregoing discussion. Yet there are five principles that you can apply to dramatically impact this process.

Principle 1: Have faith!

That?s right. The most important principle is to have faith in your child, and to have faith in the natural ability for children to learn from the consequences of their actions. Children are not stupid, and yet we often treat them that way, by repeatedly making the same request over and over.

If you have to repeat your request five and ten times, the problem is not a learning problem, the problem is a parenting problem. Children are simply not stupid.

Teaching kids that they need us to get through daily activities is like teaching them that they are handicapped in some learn to believe that they can?t do it on their own. Regardless of how many times you say it, they will not grow to believe you allow them to grow more dependent upon you as a parent.

So the first step is to have faith in your child?s ability to learn, and to allow them to have the opportunity to learn key life lessons on their own.

Principle 2: Your words rarely teach. Consequences teach.

Let?s think about this in a very simple way. If your words were effective at teaching children to get out of bed, then you wouldn?t have to yell and scream. You wouldn?t have to ask ten times. You wouldn?t have to end up doing this over and over.

Plan and simple: Your words won?t teach until the consequences reach their world.

And yet there?s an important caveat to remember here. With the right use of choices and consequences, your words begin to play a HUGE role in teaching. It?s just simply that you can?t teach a child to hit a baseball without getting on the field and learning from their mistakes. With that learning however, then the proper coaching can make a tremendous difference. Make sense??

So how do you use this principle? You use this principle by making certain that there is some form of consequence that is present with your request.

This discussion needs more detail, and yet the key concept here is simple and straightforward. Let the consequences teach, not your words.

Principle 3: Work then play! Everyday!

For those of you who read the homework newsletter series, I reviewed this concept in detail. The basic notion is this. Set your child?s world up in a manner that they must first get their work done (i.e., homework and responsibilities) and then they can play (i.e., have TV, video, computer, telephone, access to friends, soccer practice, movies, games with Mom and Dad, etc.).

In other words, simply set up a world where your child is not allowed to have access to all of the wonderful goodies you provide for them, until their ?work? is completed. Do this everyday, including Saturday and Sunday mornings. Just make it a fact of life. We do our work, and then we play.

Why is this so important? It?s important for two reasons. First, it …

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Financial Family

Parent/teacher Conference Success

My son?s first ?real? parent conference is scheduled for today. Why am I so nervous? Certainly, as a teacher, I?ve conducted hundreds of parent conferences over the years ? conference time, for us was a nice short day, where either you could get your extra work done, or chat with the teacher next door. Now, I?m on the other side of the desk and I?m working to prepare myself for the 15 min face to face. Yes, I?m one of THOSE moms. Couldn?t you tell?

A parent/teacher conference is only as successful as you, the parent, make it. It makes no sense to let the teacher do all of the talking if you have questions about your child?s performance in school. The teacher knows how your child acts in school ? you may have questions on how to bridge that gap and how you and the teacher can create a successful student together. The parent/teacher conference is not the time to bring up something your child said happened three weeks ago or last month in the lunchroom. Any issues that your child brings home to you should be addressed at that time, when the facts are fresh. Use this fifteen minute window of time to gain as much insight to your child?s school performance as you can.

In order to be prepared for your conference, here are some questions that you can bring with you to ask. Don?t be afraid to take notes, to appear like a Type A over achieving parent. This is the image you want to project- by allowing the teacher to realize that you?re on your game, will compel him/her to be on his/her game when it comes to your child. Take it from a former teacher ? there?s nothing that we liked more than a responsive parent who actually paid attention to what was said in the conference and acted on it. In addition, talk with your child before the conference ? ask him/her if there are any questions s/he wants you to ask

Here are some questions (in no particular order) that you might want to ask your child?s teacher. Feel free to pick and choose the questions that you need as some questions are more appropriate for older or younger grade levels. I have also uploaded it in a PDF for easy printing.

? What are my child?s strengths and weaknesses? What is her best/worst subject?

? What can I do to continue to support my child at home? Do you have any suggestions for materials, books, activities etc that we can use to help him?

? How does she get along with the other students? Other teachers?

? **Are there any indications of a disability or other issues? (i.e. speech, vision, hearing, learning, motor control, ADD, ADHD etc.)

? Does my child show any special abilities or affinities for art, music, writing, acting?

? When is the best time to contact you? Would I be able to contact you via e-mail?

? Are there any school/community programs from which he might benefit?

? Are there any skills that need reinforcement at home?

? How does she handle taking tests?

? Does he work well independently?

? How can I continue to support what you do in the classroom at home?

Side note: **DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to ask this question. It is better to catch these issues early than to let them continue to affect your child?s achievement.

These are all the questions that we may think to ask when we come in for the conference, but forget to ask in the course of conversation! Print it out, take your paper in, don?t be ashamed to be a ?note taker? and a type A parent. Believe me, the teachers appreciate it.

Happy Conferencing!…

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Financial Family

Photograph Psychology – What Stance You Make Says So Much About You

In this day and age, only a handful of people do not possess a camera. Be it from a build-it cell phone camera to those hard to understand not to mention expensive SLRs. It is time to check out if the people you have captured are actually telling a hidden story.
Most of the time you’d whip up a camera when there is a family gathering right? Try to analyze this situation when capturing family portraits:
– Do they stick so closely together?
– Is there one member who stands a little away from the entire group?
– Are there poses that look so similar?
This is so dominant in a family that feels to tight-knit that they actually look like flowers that are all bunched up in a vase as if they would wilt if separated. They actually mirror each other’s mannerisms and how they smile or tilt their heads. Even in a happy family, there is still the odd one out. This family member would be standing a little away from the huddle and would want to either stay in front or at the very end.
Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words and can tell a story about you and your family.
By paying attention to these small details, you’d see the confidence levels of the people you are taking photos of. If there is one member who loves staying in the middle and has this particular glow in the eyes and has the widest smile, he or she happens to be the happiest, most confident and of course, shutter addict in the family.…

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Family Tips

The Broadband Internet – Can It Affect Your Family?

Can we accuse broadband for making a happy family becoming happy individuals? To a great extent YES!
This is a story of a happy family that got torn to a mistress called Broadband!
With dial-up network, every moment at home was peaceful. Since mails came slow and went slow, the husband had time for his family. He could easily have a cup of tea in the time his internet got connected. By the time he would sit for work…would be the next relief…i.e…another disconnection! Then, it would be time to play one round of game with kids. Thus, the man of the house had time for every enjoyment at home. Many a times, due to the poor connectivity, he would prefer to switch off the computer and go out to shop with family. This was the story of the happy family.
Today this loving family has been shredded – shredded as man, woman, boy (son) and girl (daughter). With the broadband revolution every home tasted the flavor called broadband. As expected, it charmed all with its speedy connectivity sans disconnection.
The husband, who could play a game and take wife out for shopping, preferred to finish his work on his laptop. With easy data access and transfer, he couldn’t ask for more. Wife chose to check recipes online and catch up with the latest and chat with friends. The kids had their own studies and social networking, and games to play. When tired, each watched their own moves or listened to music on their hi-fi Wi-Fi mobile phones or computers. Shopping too began happening online!! No family shopping, but individual online shopping became the new trend, thanks to broadband!
Broadband connection, made life not just easy, but in a way, its multifaceted convenience made individuals move at an unimaginable faster pace.…

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Balance Work and Family Tips

How To Keep Your Man Happy

Sounds like a 1950’s how to booklet on relationships, right? Well it’s not, but back then they had things right. Our grandparents learned long ago how to keep a marriage long and happy. They had the right priorities; families come first.
In today’s society, we have a me mentality or a what can I do for me, or more specifically, what can you do for me? And sometimes we don’t care who we screw over to get what we want. Even our spouses.
Not only are we more concerned about ourselves, we are also impatient to find out what comes next. I like to call this the hurry-up disorder and the I’ll-be-happy-when disorder. We are never happy with what we have or else it isn’t good enough. Our houses aren’t big enough, our cars aren’t new enough, and we’re not moving up the corporate ladder fast enough. I don’t know who we’re competing with.
I will be the first to say that we work hard for what we have and we deserve to pamper ourselves from time to time. It’s only money, we only live once, we can’t take it with us, and any other cliche we can come up with to make us feel better. But when it really comes down to it, it is just stuff. And what’s more important, the stuff or our families? Our families of course.
But more specifically, our husbands. Once the stuff is gone, once the children are grown, what will we have left? Hopefully our husbands. Your marriage should be the most important thing in your life. It should trump all the other things, but sadly most of us do not value our husbands.
What I’m about to suggest may seem like I lost my mind and set women’s rights back 50 plus years, I’m not. This really works. What I want you to do is to put your husband before all else, including the children. I know it’s a radical thought, but trust me when I say, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Your husband should be king of his castle. He should be greeted with a smile and a kiss when he walks in the door in the evenings. Admit it, how many times have you passed a screaming baby off to your husband as he walked in the door. Or met him complaining that the washing machine broke and has flooded the basement? Ok, that one might be a little important, but it should not be the first thing he has to hear. How do you think that makes your husband feel to be greeted with chaos and bad news? My guess is he probably doesn’t want to come home.
Our homes should be a welcoming place of relaxation. It should be a place where our husbands want to be in instead of the local corner bar. Maybe even staying late at work instead of coming home to more complaints, screaming kids, and a messy house. If you don’t want to be in that environment, what makes you think he does?
Your goal is to tidy the house, cook a nice dinner, make the kids play quietly in their room until dinner is ready (bribe them if you have to), freshen up yourself a bit, and put on a smile for your hubby as he walks through the door. Home from a long hard day.
A happy home makes for a happy family and a good marriage is the foundation for it all.…