I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

Depression

The World health organisation estimates that by the year 2020, the leading cause of disability in the world will be depression. Where do your kids fit in?

Bullying

You're not alone. Read my story.

11 Apr 2014

Reflections on Happiness, Raising a Family, and Moving

Reflections on Happiness, Raising a Family, and Moving

By Melissa Reyes of MizMeliz.com

My husband and I are selling our home. This is the house where we have been raising our three sons for the past sixteen years. I had a 2 year old and an infant when we moved in. We chose this house because it had everything we wanted and felt that was needed to raise a happy and healthy family. We were blessed with another son while we lived there. Our family was complete. Our home was the perfect place for our little team to grow and thrive.

When we were house hunting I had a list of things that were important to me to find for our new home. I wanted a house in a quiet, friendly neighborhood on a street with no through traffic, like on a cul-de-sac. I wanted the children’s bedrooms to overlook the back yard and be at the rear of the house for safety. I did not want a pool, nor did I ever allow a trampoline in our back yard, for safety reasons. I was looking for something with lots of grass to run on and trees to climb. I wanted lots of space to entertain. Having a fun place to enjoy was important.

I hoped to have a home that faced West to watch the sunsets and avoid the winds that come from the North in our area. I wanted a window over the kitchen sink to look out while preparing dinner. I wanted a house with one level and no stairs, thinking of my aging parents’ safety and comfort as well as the possibility of an earthquake. Safety was very important to me. We lost everything in an earthquake once already.
I got everything I dreamed of when we found our house. It is perfect! It is not a big house. It does not have a lot of amenities or fancy things. It is simple and modest. With just three bedrooms, it has been cramped at times. We like to say it is “cozy.” We have made the most of our situation and have loved living here. Any time I considered what it would be like to move to a larger home or a newer home or a different town, my husband would say, “I don’t want to move, I love it here.”

That was music to my ears! All I want is for my husband and kids to be happy. My husband has always been happy in our home and that is very important! I believe our boys have enjoyed growing up in our home. At one time we were able to do some improvements to our old house. We upgraded the windows. We installed wood laminate flooring. We replaced the patio covering in the backyard and bought new patio furniture. We installed ceiling fans and air conditioners in the living room and bedrooms. We painted inside and out. We replaced the front door with a beautiful oak door (that I talked the painter into painting bright blue!) I love that door. All of these things made this house our home, our domain, our place.

Just like the seasons and the ages, time changes all things. My parents passed on. Our kids grew up. We stopped caring about the upkeep of the house and longed for less responsibility. We had overstuffed this home with a lot of possessions, things, and most importantly – memories. But, it came time to move on. This home is ready for a new family, a new facelift, a new perspective. It’s a quiet place and a lovely place to live. At one time I thought we would continue to live there long after the kids grew up and moved away. I love that most of our neighbors are original owners of their homes from when they were built in 1961. Our retired neighbors have lived there since they raised their families and their children have grown up and moved out. I didn’t think I was ready for that empty nest. I wasn’t ready to settle in. I have adventure and excitement ahead of me. I have always had dreams of moving to another place. I thought this was our “starter” home when we moved in. Why forget about that just because we were comfortable? Our happiness comes from our relationships, our accomplishments, our souls – not the home in which we live.

My husband and I were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Ventura, California one day. It was a gorgeous, warm and bright day. Their apartment is right on the water in Channel Islands Harbor. Over the years we have spent lots of time in that area. We have always loved it. I have always dreamed of living by the beach. I love the ocean. When we drove away, on our way home, my husband said, “I could live here.”
I was surprised! He was so happy in our little house on our quiet street in the Valley. I didn’t ever think he would want to move. Yet, my heart leapt at the thought! He said, “You have always wanted to live by the beach, would you be happy here?” I fell in love with him again in that moment. “Yes, I could be happy anywhere, as long as I am with you.” I said. Truthfully, he made me so happy at that moment I cried. I have focused on his comfort and joy for the past few decades and I felt the support and concern being returned. I didn’t ask for that. It was natural and graceful.

We can’t move to the beach just yet. We still have roots in our town. The boys are finishing up school and we are not interested in commuting. But we started talking about the benefits of selling our house now and renting in the area. There are many. The idea of renting and being able to move easily when we are ready sounded very good. Also, the fact that we wouldn’t have the weight of the responsibility for the upkeep on our shoulders, not to mention all the expenses and taxes on top of the mortgage payments, sounded really good to us. Since the recession, we don’t have the equity we hoped to have by now. That means that we won’t make any money if we sell. But we don’t think a few years, or even ten years will make a difference. So, the decision was made. This is a good time for us to move on. We talked to the kids about it and they agreed! We are all ready for a change. We are all up for an adventure!

We look forward to the change. We have a new list of things that are important to us now. A pool is at the top of the list. No more worries about our toddlers falling in. We are even okay with stairs. I think of it as a built in stair master! Lord knows I need the exercise. Friends have asked us if we are sad about moving. For some it may seem like we are losing our house or our investment. We do not think of it that way at all. We are living our dreams. We are acting on our word. We are confident in ourselves that we will be happy in a new place. Our family may be living in different places, but our hearts are closer than ever. This was not easy to understand or accept. I cry when I think of being away from our boys. When I wonder about what the next phase of our lives will be, I think it will be bittersweet. My heart is full of love, life, and gratitude. Nothing will ever change that.

When you start to think you are unhappy in your home and you would be happier if you moved, ask yourself if it is the home that doesn’t suit you or if you have grown out of it. Perhaps you are ready for a change. Change can be good. A move can be the best thing just as long as you are confident in yourself that you can be happy anywhere. For it is not the place that makes you happy, it’s you that makes the place a happy home.

17 Feb 2014

A Letter to America from Daniel Alexander @MizMeliz

A blogger friend asked me to write something for her blog.
You can find it here A Letter to America

2 Feb 2014

How Do You Deal With Anger?

I do a lot of work on my computer, writing this article for example. A few weeks ago, my computer froze while I was doing something. Man, I got mad! I was furious. Do you ever get there? I was madder than a rattlesnake. It had been freezing regularly and what made it worse is, a few weeks before this, I replaced the motherboard. So, I reacted! I punched my computer, bang! Not my proudest moment, and with me training to be a self-esteem coach, not something I’m too happy to admit. Don’t judge me though; I know what you thinking, “This fool is crazy.” I’m human though and so are you, so I’m sure you can relate.

So, there I was me vs. my computer, this was the Rumble in the Jungle. For those who don’t know what the Rumble in the Jungle is, it was boxing match between heavy weight champions Mohammad Ali and George Foreman. Until I researched this, I never thought of Foreman as a ‘boxer.’ He’s the man who sells meat-grilling machines. I did a little reading and he wasn’t a good boxer… he was a great boxer. I couldn’t believe it, 81 fights, 76 wins and 68 of those by knockout. I’m sure you’ve heard of Ali (Formerly Cassius Clay). He had an ego, he had a mouth; he’s the man who said, “I’m the greatest, I’m a bad man, and I’m pretty!” Ali knocked Foreman out at the end of the eighth round. The Rumble in the Jungle is arguably called the greatest sporting event of the 20th century, and it was happening again in my room.

So, bang, I gave my computer one swift left to the gut; cracked it. I was really sticking it to my computer, but the messed up thing is, I wasn’t Ali. No, no. I was Foreman. I might have been throwing the punches, but I was losing. I was getting hurt, not on my body, rather in my mind.

To make matter worse, not only was it frozen, it was now also making a funny noise. I ripped the power cable and now I’m really mad. You know what I’m talking about… I got up. I started kicking my feet. I was throwing a tantrum; which isn’t actually a bad thing to do, when done in the right spirit: get all that anger out of your body. I mean, have you seen kids hold a grudge? They don’t. They kick and scream and 5-minutes later, it’s as if it never happened. Food for thought…

I was not doing this in the right spirit. I continued jumping around, and lucky I have many books in my room. One jumped out at me and yelled, “Aaaaah, remember me?” I remembered what I had read in it. There is a story in the book, a similar story where this father gets mad at his kids—you know the one? The outcome is the guy said, “…I took a deep breathe, stretched…” (Mindsight by Daniel Siegel pg 30) I took a deep breathe and calmed myself down. I looking back and asked myself, whose fault is all of this? Often we blame everything else. Have you done that before? Sound familiar… However, I realized that it was my fault and my reaction—emotional reaction—that caused the problem to get worse. With a clearer mind, I opened my computer, noticed that a wire was caught on the fan, a result of me sucker punching it, and that the heat sink was caked with dust and this was probably the cause of my computer freezing. Calmly, I cleaned it out and it has run perfectly ever since.

There is a little more to this story. As I said, I’m training to become a self-esteem coach, so I have many tools for these kinds of situations. Conscious, deep breathing however, is the first and probably most important step in the process. It allows you to reach the higher levels of your brainpower so you can respond to a situation and not react emotionally.

So remember, next time you get mad, with your kids, your boss, next time ‘life gets you down,’ or whatever it is, take a breath and respond.

Have You Ever Felt Sorry? Really…

Our world is full of communication blunders. They seem insignificant, but even at a quick glance, we know there are some problems in our world, most of which stem from communication. Look at the divorce rate all over the world: many couples don’t seem to have that ability to communicate effectively anymore and can’t get to the root of their problems. So, I’d say that there’s some benefit to learning about some of the seemingly insignificant communication blunders that we make today.

Earlier, I wrote about the 55-38-7 (Communication Mystery Explained: The 55-38-7 Rule) rule and in it I said that “feeling sorry” is another misquote we use in our society. Ask yourself, can you really feel sorry? The word ‘feeling’ is used a little too liberally today. A feeling is something that you can feel in your body. So again, I ask, can you feel sorry? The answer is no.

Think about what you can feel in your body: heat (hot and cold), pain or hurt, tired, tingling or ticklish, weak, poise, hunger and a few others. I counted a while ago and there are only about fifteen or twenty feelings that I can feel. Please feel free (lol) to list any feelings you feel in the comments below. Everything else that we experience is a belief, thought, want or emotion. Even emotions though, are unmanaged thoughts.

Think about this: a woman steps on two men’s feet. One man gets angry and another stays calm. The same thing happened to both men, but only one man got angry. He had some unresolved thoughts in his mind that caused his anger. And this is why distinguishing between actual feelings and the ones that we make up is important: if feeling sad is something that you create in your mind, then you have control over it, if you are willing to learn a little about your mind and take a dive in. We have less control over actual feelings. Sometimes your body tingles or gets ticklish uncontrollably, or you feel hungry.

So, what is the correct way to say that you feel sorry for someone: I am sorry for you. What is the correct way to say that you are feeling sad: I am experiencing sadness or I am sad.

Communication Mystery Explained: The 55-38-7 Rule

Recently, I watched a professional speaker give a presentation and something he said really disturbed me because it’s something that is widely used, and misquoted in our society. I am training to become a better public speaker and let’s face it, we all need to communicate, so I thought it would be a good idea to bring to your attention the myths behind the 55-38-7 rule.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the 55-38-7 rule. As it goes in our society: 55% of your communication is through your body language, 38% in your tone of voice and only 7% of your message is in your words. Does that sound familiar to you…? This is a misquote in-fact.

Imagine I’m wearing a black shirt and I walk up to you and say, “Hi, I’m wearing a black shirt.” No matter what body language (excluding sign language) or tone of voice I adopt, there is no way I could convince you that my shirt is anything but black. Thus, 100% of my message is coming through in my words. I could tilt my head to the side or speak in a ‘genuinely sincere’ voice but no part of these actions will give an indication of the color of my shirt.

As I’ve said a few times, you’ve probably heard the same misquote at some point in your life. Many of you have probably even said it. It’s so popular in our society, that there must be something to it. So, what is the real deal behind the 55-38-7 rule? Before we talk about the what, let’s talk about the who: who is the man that came up with the 55-37-8 rule? His name is Albert Mehrabian. He was born in 1939 in Iran. He moved to American and worked at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) as a psychology professor. He published a book called Silent Message, in which he documented the finding of his study and the 55-38-7 rule. What he was studying was the link between body language and tone of voice (non-verbal cues), and the words we say, when communicating feelings and attitudes. Thus, the 55-38-7 rule only applies when communicating feelings and attitudes! The 55-38-7 rule does have ramifications on other forms of communication. If you would like to read more about that, check out Through the Crimson Mirror.

Here are two examples: if I told you that I was sad, or grieving for your loss, or that I felt sorry (feeling sorry is another misquote we use in our society; maybe I’ll write about it soon) for you, with a big cheesy grin on my face, you would probably think that I’m being insincere. This is because my body language is incongruent with the emotions that I’m trying to express. On the opposite end of the spectrum if I dropped my head, lowered my tone and talked in monotonous fashion, I would battle to convince people that I was happy or confident.

So there you have it, the 55-38-7 rule unraveled. Thank you all for reading and please always remember to do your research thoroughly, and more especially remember, the 55-38-7 rule only applies when communicating feelings and attitudes.

13 Dec 2013

Side effects of ADHD stimulant medications

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a medical condition that causes inattentiveness, hyperactive and impulsive behavior.  The symptoms can affect a child’s school performance, way of thinking, behavior, feelings and relationships among others. First recognized in early childhood and often continues to adulthood.

There is no cure for ADHD, but different treatments can help improve child’s behavior and symptoms to help them do better at school, at home, and with friends. Parent’s oftentimes become confused whether treatment is necessary for ADHD. Most experts agree that unrecognized and untreated ADHD can lead to serious consequences which include:
•School drop-out.
•Depression and poor behavior.
•Failed relationships and poor performance in the workplace.
•Increased risk of accidents.

Different medicines are prescribed to help children pay attention and concentrate better. ADHD medicines are often very effective in improving the condition, but they may cause side effects. The most effective treatment for most school-aged children and the first-line Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a stimulant medicine which acts by mimicking the norepinephrine and dopamine the brains neurotransmitter.

As the name denotes, stimulant does not cause a child with ADHD to be more stimulated, rather it improves communication between several areas of the brain. This helps in improving attention and concentration. Nevertheless, medicine doesn’t cure ADHD nor teaches the child how to behave, work well with others, follow rules in school or become more motivated. To address the issue behavioral treatment along with medicine can be added.

The most commonly used stimulants for treating ADHD are available in short and long acting formulas are:
•Methylphenidate
•Amphetamines

A stimulant medicine has a long history of being relatively safe and works effectively when used properly and few children manifest few serious side effects. Stimulants are not addictive. Some of the common side effects include:
•Decreased appetite
•Trouble sleeping
•Weight loss
•Sudden involuntary movements

Less common side effects include:
•Blood pressure and heart rate changes
•Headache
•Social withdrawal
•Nervousness
•Irritability, moodiness
•Stomach pain

Rare serious side effects may include
•Stimulants are not recommended in children with serious heart problems as it may increase risk of cardiovascular problem.
•The incidence of suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and aggressive behavior has very few legit reports of children who are taking stimulants.

Over the past years there are complimentary supplements that work as effectively as the prescription medicine for ADHD. This brain supplementation works in improving the symptoms with ADHD individuals by reducing the hyperactivity, impulsivity and improving mental skills, ability to think clearly and organize activities.

There is no reason to feel discouraged or hopeless; an individual with ADHD if diagnosed and treated properly can go on to live a productive and happy life.

By Kallum Mitterer
Kallum is an author of Elite Nootropics and several other popular supplement blogs. He enjoys neuroscience as well as the pharmacological reaction of certain drugs and supplements. Kallum also owns several websites and is highly interested in marketing and has combined his two interests. Nootropics have helped Kallum immensely in both his professional and personal lives. He believes with proper understanding and research people can chemically improve their brains and become the greatest they can be.
View Kallum website here: elitenootropics.com