Spark! Making Time for Family Meals

family_dinner*On the dotcomplicated blog, author Carol Archambeault writes such a smart reminder about the power of unplugging  In “Why You Should Dine Tech Free,” she promotes the idea of turning off devices during shared meals with friends and family. She writes, “I offer that we all need meaningful interaction every day with another person to offset the sometimes isolating effects of our digital world.” We couldn’t agree more. Read her advice for establishing great ground rules for mealtimes, then tell us: What other ideas do you have for creating memorable meals with loved ones?

*If you worry you helicopter too much, check out this article about how to stop overparenting, which was recently reprinted on StressFreeKids: According to the article, a new study conducted by psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein “found that parental concern is not a good indicator of a child’s happiness or how good a parent-child relationship will be. What does affect satisfaction and well-being? ‘Teaching autonomy and independence, using positive reinforcement instead of punishment, and being loving and attentive,’ Epstein explains.”

*And speaking of independence…. are your kids spending time at sleep-away camp — or on another adventure away from you this summer? You might want to check out KidsHealth‘s article on homesickness, which includes lots of great tips for kids about how to deal with feeling down. We love that it concludes with this sweet reminder: “Remember that there’s a good side to homesickness, too: It means you have family and friends worth missing and a place you want to return to when your adventure away from home is over.”

ONE LAST THING: Summertime is often when moms and other women start doing a lot of “fat talk,” complaining about the body flaws they perceive. ITwixie’s Rebecca gives us a good reason to hold back,”Want your tween to be confident in her appearance? Stop talking negatively about your body. She’s listening.”