As most of our schedules change (summer
vacation for some, a slower pace, more time
with people we care about) we are faced with
an opportunity to think about the way we
interact with those we meet, and those who may or
may not be related to us but whose lives we
influence just because our paths intersect.
In Reach Out to Children I focus on
recognizing the positive value we each
can have in the lives of children (ours or
other people's). I ask you to consider how
you can be a positive influence in the life
of a young person who really needs you. Who
doesn't need a positive role model or
inspirational person to accept and encourage
In this month's tips, Be Kind, I
suggest alternative ways to think about and
behave in interactions that appear doomed to
be confrontational. I ask you to think about
the way YOU respond and behave (regardless of
the other person's attitude, body language or
words) and to recognize the choice that is
always available to all of us as we enter
into any interaction with another person.
Once again thank you for helping to get the
word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for
Women to Live a Balanced Life.
Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com
updates on my appearances related to my
newest book, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to
Live a Balanced Life. For those of you with
wedding related questions, please see my
column on WeddingChannel.com at:
And if you would like me to speak to your
group or organization, please contact me
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact
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Wishing you health, peace and balance.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is in bookstores and
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
Reach Out to Children
Life is filled with surprises: good ones, bad
ones, sad ones, happy ones, tragic ones and
delightful ones. We all have people in our
lives whom we like and don't like, who "get"
us, appreciate us, and celebrate us, and
those who don't do any of that. They may be
jealous, resentful, disloyal or hurtful. They
behave badly more often because of their own
issues rather than ours. We "trigger" their
insecurities and they come out blasting, so
we need to protect ourselves and we need to
have other people in our lives who support
and who take joy in who we are, without
trying to make us into someone we are not.
Children cannot always do this for
themselves. They need to be protected and
Children need much reassurance and love
their parents, yet circumstances at home may
not provide the tools necessary for them to
build a healthy sense of self. You may
parent with children at home. You assume many
roles and parent is just one of them and
sometimes being a caring parent is just not
possible for you. If you are an adult with
children who are in your life peripherally
you can have a positive impact and
on an impressionable child.
Each of us has influence over others.
are perceived by other people's children, for
instance, is often not known to us but is,
nonetheless important. We can be powerful
role models and support systems in
of young people, particularly those whose
parents are not alive, available, or who have
difficulty relating to and /or appreciating
and encouraging their children.
Some of us are lucky to have an aunt or uncle
or friend of our parents, or a teacher or
clergy or coach who are our personal
cheerleaders. They are interested in us, and
as kids, we know they like us, they light up
when they see us and they accept us as we
are. They help us through difficult times
socially, academically, or with our families.
They literally "save us" and help us through
tough times with our own families or
identities. They help us realize we are
wonderful people (even if we don't get that
message from those who are parenting us.)
Pay attention to the kids in your lives. Be
there for them. Accept them, foster
individual relationships and allow them to
get to know life through your eyes as you
learn to see it through their eyes. Expose
them to things they might not be exposed to
with their own families and encourage their
growth. It is essential to be there for the
kids in our lives. Whether or not we have
our own children, we can have a profound
impact on the nieces, nephews, and children
of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues
whom we meet in the course of our lives. We
may never know how important our
relationships are for them; but they are.
So make the time to look around you and see
the children in your life. Reach out and find
an avenue for communication and an
opportunity to be a positive influence in a
young person's life.
A Good Daily Habit
Reclaim Some Personal Time
Taking time for you often produces guilt. If
you have an extra ½ hour in your day and want
to stop and browse in a bookstore, or sit by
a lake, or stop by a coffee house and listen
to music, you may feel that you SHOULD
do something else (i.e. call your mother,
check in with a stressed out friend, or do
something on your never ending "to do" list
because you have a moment free). Well, as a
way to save YOUR sanity, attempt to
change the way you think about that moment.
Do not consider it as a FREE moment,
but rather, as a moment for YOU. A
moment to refill your personal reservoir. A
moment to recharge your battery. Whatever
metaphor works, use it. Now, this is not so
easy to do but YOU CAN.
When a person or thing comes to your mind
with a neon "should" next it, breathe deeply
and watch the image or thought float by. Make
a note, or tell yourself you will take care
of it another time. Right now it is
YOUR time so breathe, smile (no
kidding), focus, and allow.
For many people guilt is really a driving
force in what they do and why they do it.
Often following guilt is resentment. Now, a
little bit of guilt never killed anyone and
probably helps to keep us aware of our
responsibilities. But be aware that
sometimes, you must do things for yourself
even when other people do not see the value
in your doing them.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Tips for Responding with Kindness
There are so many times when people are
snappy with us, show us their short tempered
side, and our first reactions could be
surprise, self protection, defensiveness,
avoidance, or combat. When someone is
initially thoughtless or rude, we can choose
to respond to them similarly.
This is one way to deal with the situation.
But perhaps, instead, you can consider a
different, kinder response. Rather than
(which the similar response will surely do),
bring it down a notch as Chef Emeril says.
Here are two tips to bear in mind when you
find yourself in this situation:
- Consider Your Response Options -
We all encounter people with an "attitude."
Instead of responding to this person with
the same (or worse) attitude take a breath (a
really deep breath) and tell yourself that
this person is having a difficult moment
(day, life, whatever.) Do they need MORE
hate or more kindness? Think about it.
Consider responding with a smile, an open
heart, and patience.
- Rewind and Start Over -
You may (or may not) wish to say something.
Perhaps, looking in their eyes with kindness
is a start. You may wish to comment: "Seems
like you are having a stressful time. "Let's
back up and start again." "Can we begin with
"hello?" Or maybe you can say, "No need to
sound impatient. Let's take it from the top."
Or, you can inject some humor: "Don't you
just hate it when somebody comes up to you
with a question? Well, I'm that somebody!"
Every interaction you have with another human
being is important and can enhance or
diminish you and them. Watch your words.
Watch your attitude. Remember, how you
choose to interact with people is always your
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak
but their echoes are truly endless."
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works
Now in Paperback!