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Kathy Marshack News

How to Instill Positive Traits in Your Children

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Raising children is the most rewarding experience. Along with that reward comes hard work. At times you may wish you could encapsulate your child in a bubble to protect them from all the negativity in the world, but unfortunately that is impossible. The best way to protect them is by working hard to instill in them the good qualities – such as honesty, loyalty, self-worth, and a positive outlook.

The best way for parents to teach their children these qualities is start when they are young. Childhood is the best time for learning since comprehension is at its peak. Even when you think they do not understand or are not listening, they are little sponges that are constantly absorbing. Because of this fact, your example will have a powerful effect on who your children will become.

You are your child's first role model. So, recognize that you are on a stage and someone is watching you. Granted, you will not do everything perfectly and you will make mistakes. Those situations can actually become excellent teaching opportunities. Do you put the blame on someone else for you mistake? Are you quick to make amends or admit your shortcoming? Do you beat yourself up or say next time will be better?

If you start to identify negative behavior qualities in your child, be quick to redirect it. Help them to see the good traits that they have and with you on their side to help them work through the things that are more difficult for them. Another way to instill good qualities in your children is through experience. Introduce your child to art, travel, reading, and music. Help them to find what they are passionate about.

And don't forget the most important thing...Love. Your child needs a lot of love, affection, and your quality time. Look for opportunities throughout your day to do this.

Sometimes families need help. Do not be ashamed if it is necessary to find a family therapist in your local area. For more information on parenting, visit Am I a Good Parent.

Use Music to Ease Anxiety

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Anxiety disorders are often accompanied with physical symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, tension, and fatigue. The pain that experienced is very real and can feel overwhelming. A study performed at the University of Utah Pain Research Center noticed that listening to music can have a positive effect on the pain associated with anxiety.

About 143 participants were evaluated and told to listen to the music and look for deviant tones and melodies. While listening, participants received safe, fingertip electrode shocks. The researchers found that while listening, pain stimuli decreased. The focus shifted from feeling the pain to listening and being stimulated by the music. What a simple yet effective way to help the pain! For more information on this study, I recommend reading - Music Soothes Anxiety, Reduces Pain.

While music can play a powerful role in aiding someone with anxiety disorders, psychotherapy is still vital. Speaking to your doctor about the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or if you live in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, WA contact my office for more information.

For more information, read Coping with Anxiety Disorders.

Feeling Blue During the Holiday Season? Don't Give Up When Fighting Depression

Friday, December 23, 2011

This time of year can be a happy time for most, but for those with depression, it can be difficult. Loss of a loved one, financial struggles, divorce, or a job loss are all possible situations that could cause someone to feel down while the rest are joyful. If you feel this way, you are not alone in this battle. Many are fighting the same fight to overcome depression and sorrow.

If you are feeling depressed, take time to rest. That could include sleeping, deep breathing, or other relaxation methodology. Dealing with depression is exhausting, so you need time to recharge your mind and your body. This will help to give you strength to keep fighting.

It is easy to isolate yourself when you are depressed, but being around those who you love will remind you that there is more to life. Their support is what you need to not feel alone in your struggle. It can also distract you from only thinking about yourself. Sometimes what happens is that you didn't realize that the people around you are also going through difficulties. Recognizing that can give some necessary perspective.

Self-worth is usually lost when depression strikes. It is important to believe in yourself. You are only human. When you are feeling quite down, find something that will make you feel good about yourself and do it. You will find that your self-worth will rise. I recently wrote about cultivating a grateful attitude. What are you grateful about you? Think about that. Loving yourself is an important step to overcoming depression.

If your depression does not improve, speak to your doctor or a therapist. They will be able to provide you with the right tools to get you back on your feet. For more information, visit Overcoming Depression.

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Are Often Alienated From Their Family

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strong, driven, successful, untrusting, perfectionist, reliable, intolerant, a loner . . . These are some of the traits that belong to the authoritarian entrepreneur type and often times they are incredibly successful in business. While many of these traits are positive and lead to success, there is one major flaw of the authoritarian entrepreneur.

An authoritarian entrepreneur believes that he or she is doing a good job for family and employees, regardless of their protests. He can only see his point of view and assumes that others agree with it or otherwise are too immature to understand. Because he believes he is doing what is best for everyone, he pushes ahead with his plans, often ignoring the challenges, complaints and cries of those he is pushing aside. Once his family or employees fight back, he feels betrayed and hurt.

The authoritarian entrepreneur has no awareness that he has any problems, which makes it exceedingly difficult to get help. He is an example of a good quality gone awry. That is, he travels on the notion that "the end justifies the means." This end-justifies-the-means drive comes from an insecurity deep inside the authoritarian entrepreneur. The source of this insecurity depends upon the individual. It may come from a childhood experience of being abused or threatened by a critical, distant, or aloof parent, whom the entrepreneur could never please. It may come from the lessons of a traumatic experience, such as war combat, wherein the entrepreneur learned to stay alive by doing whatever it took. It may come from an actual organic disability, such as dyslexia, making schooling difficult, and the entrepreneur all the more determined to prove he is smart or smarter-than. Whatever, the reason, the authoritarian entrepreneur has a fear of failure, tucked away deep inside that drives him to succeed at whatever the cost.

If you are an authoritarian entrepreneur, use stubbornness or personal strength to attack the problem and solve it. You have intelligence and drive. You have already proven that you can succeed. Now admit your flaws and rebalance your life. Grieve your losses. Learn to love. Break the pattern of insecurity in your family that began with an abusive parent, or a thoughtless teacher, or a war that shaped a vulnerable teenager. By keeping those fears buried, you are perpetuating the insecurity into the next generation. As much as that negative energy (i.e., fear, anger and depression) has served you to create wealth, it has also alienated your family. Is this really the legacy you wish to pass onto your children? Seek help. It will be worth your while.

For more information, read my article - Living With an Authoritarian Entrepreneur.

Degree of Separation? Only 4.74 Degrees

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I am sure you have heard of the phrase, "Six degrees of separation." Back in 1967, a psychologist by the name of Stanley Milgram, conducted a study to see how many acquaintances separated one person from another. He concluded that the number was six. Fast forward to 2011 and the era of Facebook, studies now show that the number has changed from six degrees to 4.74 degrees.

In one month, scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan used a set of algorithms to calculate the distance between the 721 million Facebook users around the world. Their conclusion was 4.74 degrees. I guess we can truly say that it is a small world. To read more about this fascinating study, read the New York Times article - Separating You and Me? 4.74 Degrees.

After reading this, it did make me think about the people we choose to refer to as our "friends." When it comes to making friends on social networking sites, many choose to friend just about anyone. While it can be both interesting to see and monitor the people we come in contact with, nothing will ever or should ever replace the value of cultivating deep and meaningful friends. These types of friends do not number into the hundreds, but rather just a small handful. Even though you may only have a few in your lifetime, it is a beautiful thing to take the time to maintain the real fulfilling friendships. Maybe take a moment today and tell one of those special people how much you appreciate them. I guarantee it will brighten their day and yours.

Stay Safe While Shopping This Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To all my readers, I want to make you aware of a situation that I found a bit disturbing during this busy shopping season. released an article about how this year, two malls are tracking the movements of shoppers cells phones from Black Friday through New Year’s Day. The reason given was to track the movements of shoppers throughout the mall and collect data to learn about their shoppers, what they do, where they go etc. This is the first time that this type of data has been collected by cell phones. The data is apparently anonymous and no specific shopper is targeted. Stores hung signs notifying customers of the tracking and said if they prefer not to be tracked, then their cell phone should be turned off.

Some of you may have mixed emotions about this type of tracking. Some may view it as "market research" while others may feel an invasion of privacy. I wanted to share my concerns with you, possibly giving you something to think about especially if you haven't before. One of my concerns is safety. The management company behind this tracking claims that it is safe and there is no personal data collected. Granted that may be true, but just because someone says it, doesn't mean it is true. It raises the question, how safe is you personal information? Are you taking precautions to protect yourself?

My other main concern is for children and teens. Most have cell phones nowadays. Parents, are you discussing with your children the possible dangers that are out there? Are you teaching them to also take the necessary precautions? This can also branch over to the Internet and social networking. Are they using the privacy settings correctly? Parents, educate yourselves so you can educate your children.

Of course, this information is not to frighten you, but to make you more aware. If you’d like even more food for thought take a look at the book, "Unplug the Christmas Machine" where the authors examine the impact of the American way of life on a peaceful holiday season.

Reasons Why You Should Cultivate a Grateful Attitude

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Many people only think about being thankful around Thanksgiving but once a year isn’t enough. Gratitude may have a greater affect on your emotions than you realize. Having a grateful attitude is now linked to less stress and anxiety, sleeping more soundly, better physical health, greater satisfaction in life and relationships. Those are some pretty powerful reasons. You may be thinking that this type of attitude just does not come naturally for you. Do not despair. You can learn to cultivate it.

A few tips to help cultivate a grateful attitude:

Write down what you are grateful for everyday. Years ago, Oprah encouraged her viewers to start a "gratitude journal." Everyday write down a few things that you are grateful for. This simple, daily task really works. Over the course of a few months, you will be surprised how you will be more inclined to take note of the little things that are positive versus getting sucked into the negative. You will be focused on looking for the good. By noticing what others are doing for you, you will be drawn to do more for others because you recognize how it feels to be the recipient.

Express it. Once you are noticing the good things that others are doing in your behalf, thank them. If it came from a random person, stop and sincerely thank them. People do not get thanked enough in this world. If it is someone you know well, consider writing them a letter or an email expressing how much you appreciate them. Try this especially if you are having a bad day. I guarantee that it will lift your spirits.

Put a positive spin on a negative situation. When a frustrating scenario arises, instead of focusing on your frustration, realize that it could be worse. If you think of how the situation could be worse, the situation you are in will naturally look more appealing. This may seem silly, but it's really all about perspective.

If you just seem to not be able to get out of your negative funk, then you might need to seek some professional guidance. Click on the links for information on Managing Stress and Overcoming Depression.

What’s the Harm in Being a Perfectionist?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are you a perfectionist? A perfectionist is a person obsessed with being perfect and anything less is a failure. They expect perfection from themselves and of others. This type of behavior is not only harmful for yourself, but it also harms those around you. Perfectionists usually suffer from depression, guilt, low self-esteem, and a lack of motivation to try new things.

Here are a few tips to help overcoming perfectionism:

Redefine real success. Real success comes not from doing it perfectly the first time, but trying, falling, and picking yourself up again. Doing something perfectly the first time is impossible. So, if you feel like you have failed, try again. That's true success.

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Honestly evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are and trust me . . . everyone has both! By realizing who you really are will help you to see what you would like to work on. When you can recognize an unhealthy pattern developing, you will be more equipped to stop and change your "perfectionist thinking."

Look for the positive. Human tendency is to look at the negative rather than the positive. Make a conscious effort to look for the good in others and yourself. Over time, you will be more inclined to think positively instead of negatively.

Being a perfectionist doesn't necessarily always have to be negative. If you learn to harness your tendencies in the proper way, you can be very successful because the core of perfectionist is the desire to succeed. If you need assistance in this regard, consider psychotherapy. A therapist can assist you to emphasize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. For more information, visit Psychotherapy Options.

Depression in Fathers Impacts the Whole Family

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Millions of men are affected every year by depression. Many men like to keep their emotions tucked away which can make it difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms. Unlike the "typical" sadness, depression in men comes across aggressive and irritable. It may be hard for a man to admit to being depressed, but pushing aside the stereotypes and seeking help is necessary – especially if there are children involved.

A study performed at the New York University School of Medicine noted a serious issue for children with depressed fathers. After analyzing 22,000 children in two-parent homes, noted that children with depressed dads are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. Researcher Michael Weitzman, M.D. stated the seriousness of depression in the family by stating, "There is a doubling of the risk if the father alone is depressed, a tripling of the risk if the mother alone is depressed, and the risk increases fourfold if kids have a depressed mom and dad." For more information on this study, read Dad's Depression May Raise Kids' Risk of Emotional Problems.

Many times depression is something that can’t be avoided, but it can be treated. If a mother or a father is depressed, then seek help immediately. You will feel better and your children will benefit in a big way. For more information, read - How to Help Children with Depressed Parents and Overcoming Depression.

Addressing the Challenges of Adoptive Families

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thousands of children are adopted every year in the United States. Raising an adopted child and growing up adopted only applies to a specific group of people. Because of that, it does make them different, creating a unique set of challenges. Adoptive families can create a successful family unit, but the key to doing so is knowledge and application of such knowledge.

If you are thinking about adopting a child or have done so already, it is vital that you educate yourself about the effects that adoption can have on you and your child. You are both involved in a completely new experience and you must be prepared. Where can you go to educate yourself on parenting an adopted child? Fortunately the resources are endless!

Books and seminars are a wonderful place to start. You can also consider joining a support group with other parents that have adopted. Finding a group of people that can relate to the blessings and the challenges can be a real source of comfort.

Being an adoptive parent myself, I have found that one of the most valuable resources would be to regularly speak to an adoption professional who is also a mental health care professional. Since each adoptive family is different, this type of professional can specifically address the needs of your family. Books and seminars are for the masses, but a one to one discussion will be completely focused on your needs and the needs of your child. If you live in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area, I would be happy to assist you. Contact my office to set up an appointment. If you live elsewhere, speak to your doctor or pediatrician for a referral.

The blessing of raising an adopted child are plenty. Take the time to be prepared to meet the challenges. You'll be happy you did! For more information, visit Adoptive Families.

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