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Tips of the Month for Families are regular tips for building strong relationships and healthy families. If you would like to sign up to receive these tips, scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up.


Ask women what core value they recall their families emphasizing as they were growing up. A majority are likely to say: be nice. It’s a message especially conveyed to girls. What does it mean to be nice? Children easily understand it to mean, Don’t make others uncomfortable by asserting yourself — your needs, thoughts, and feelings; people might not like what they hear.   Be nice shapes girls to be people-pleasers. 

Teens Around the Dinner Table

If the thought of adolescence is enough to turn your stomach, here's something to chew on: eating meals with your teenager may enhance his or her well-being.  Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the more often adolescents ate with their families, the less likely they were to perform poorly at school, feel depressed or suicidal, and use tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.  

The Loss-Sadness Connection

Here’s an easy way to boost your child’s emotional intelligence (EQ): teach them about the loss-sadness connection. 

Back to School

Classes are resuming this time of year, and so are... mistakes.  Mistakes? 

Making Amends

“Our ability to hurt each other is enormous, but nowhere is it more powerful than in families, so nowhere are apologies more frequently needed — and resisted."1 

Social Media Safety

 Scrolling through social media takes up a significant amount of time in the lives of our tweens and teens — whether we like it or not. While conversations with our sons and daughters about some of the ill effects of social media have never been more important (see Toxic Comparisons), talking about online risks and safety should be part of your family chats.

Slow Down

When so many cultural trends have shaped us into creatures who move fast — and who want everyone and everything around us to move fast, too — can we reasonably expect ourselves to slow down? It may be reaching for the stars to harbor this wish, but it could make a world of difference in our effectiveness as parents.  

Hearing Voices

Do your kids hear voices? Of course they do. They hear your voice. What you say to them — especially what you say repeatedly — lodges in their brain and echoes at key moments throughout their lives. In time, the words that originally were yours will come to seem to them so familiar — so automatic — that they won’t differentiate between your words and theirs.