Blog Archive

27 Email Etiquette Tips for Professionals


Even after the advent of social media and improvements in text messaging, email is  still the mode of communication that continues to prevail in the professional realm. The ability to give direction, put out fires, and more without being face-to-face has enabled many businesses to use email as a productivity tool. However, there are times when professionalism goes out of the window, and etiquette rules are forgotten. Today, we will take a look at 27 email etiquette tips for business professionals.

1. Greeting
s and Send-offs

I never start an email with the contents. An email always begins with a sound introduction or with the recipient's name. This will, in the beginning, let them know to whom they are speaking with. Whe
n you begin by acknowledging them by name (e.g. Hello, John Doe), you will let them know whom you intend on talking with. When you are done with an email, always finish by saying "Thanks" or "Cheers", to practice good etiquette and respect.

2. Know When to Call

Not all communication has to occur through email. Once conversation begins to mention specifics, it may be wise to schedule a phone call—this can prevent misunderstandings and can even expedite your correspondence. It is also respectful to pick up the phone when a meeting, scheduled by email, is cancelled.

3. Mind Your Punctuation

Professionalism involves knowing how to mind your punctuation. In a standard email correspondence, you should use periods and question marks about 95% of the time. Leave exclamation points to when your conversation is light-hearted, and you're familiar with the recipient.

4. The Clock is Ticking

When dealing with business, never keep them waiting. As the saying goes, "time is money". You should never let a recipient wait more than two days for your reply. Just like a phone call, waiting on an email can hold up progress on whatever project you are attempting to establish. After all, isn't that why you're emailing and not using snail mail?

5. Write it Right

Grammar and spelling should be two considerations when emailing in a professional environment. Even though the content is the star of the email, ensuring that your grammar is in check allows the business acquaintance to know that you are taking the conversation seriously. Most email clients have spelling and grammar checks, so use them!

6. Consider Company Culture

Let's be honest—while grammar and tone should be professional, we must still consider the companies that we are contacting. Inner business emails between more relaxed companies will of course be a bit different from, let's say, the White House. While minding your grammar, continue to give off an approachable vibe while emailing.

7. Engineer the Perfect Subject Line

The first thing your recipient sees is the subject line. Frankly, they will discern the importance of an email by a subject line before reading its contents. Make sure you leave a great impression by being mindful of capitalization, being concise, and to the point.

8. Reply vs. Reply-All

Nothing is more embarrassing than sending a mass email that was intended for only one recipient. This is the result of an email that began with multiple recipients. When replying, you will have the option to "Reply"—which emails the sender—or "Reply-All", which sends your message to everyone the original message was sent to. Double check before sending, or you'll be sorry.

9. Consider The Privacy of Others

There will be instances when you'll have to send business emails to multiple recipients who may not know each other. The recipient's email address is added to the "To:" section in average emails, but in multiple recipient emails, you should add the addresses to the "BCC" or Blind Carbon Copy section, to prevent others from viewing recipient addresses.

10. Tailor a Signature

Unlike a greeting or send-off, an email signature is automatically added to the bottom of a message, where you can add a small biography and contact information. This doesn't replace a quality greeting, but it does allow a new acquaintance to learn more about you and to know where to get in contact with you.

11. Go in Vacation Mode

Several times a year, during vacation, I usually find myself separated from my email. As seen in tip #4, time is of the essence, and it's rude to leave an email in your inbox unanswered. To alert individuals of my absence, I add an auto-responder (through Gmail, but also available on other clients) mentioning of why I'm gone and when I will return.

12.  Be Mindful of Links

Hackers have found ways to add viruses and malware to attachments and links. When forwarding emails, ensure that the links and attachments are safe. Also, reduce the number of chain messages you forward and never send any from an unknown recipient.

13. Create a TL:DR Summary

TL:DR is an acronym standing for "Too long, didn't read". It's quite blunt and is the case for many busy business acquaintances who simply are too busy to read long email conversations. For this reason, when forwarding or periodically when replying to conversations, summarize previous points in bullets to keep recipients up-to-speed on email contents.

14. Job Search Tip: Resume and Cover Letter

When searching for a job, email etiquette is of the utmost importance. When replying to a job board, always ensure that you include your resume and cover letter. By default, these should be attachments unless they explicitly are against them.

15. Ask Before Attaching

The reason companies don't like large attachments is because companies are given a specified storage space they pay for. Your large attachment eats up their storage allowance. Before sending a large attachment, or multiple ones, always ask for permission from the recipient.

16. When is Irony Appropriate?

Irony is a popular form of comedy for most people. However, in a business setting, you should shy away from it. Irony in any written form can be misunderstood at best, and at worst be taken as offensive. Save the irony for emails within your company.

17. Rethink Your Font

A company email isn't a PowerPoint presentation from your sixth grade English project: leave the fancy fonts for another time. Not only does it come off as unprofessional, some companies may not have the email clients that can present such fonts. Besides, who wants to read Edwardian Script font anyway?
Professional Fonts to Use
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia
  • Veranda
  • Arial
  • Book Antiqua
  • Calibri

18. Documents Open for All

Obscure file types can prevent companies from being able to open the attachments you send, which can slow down business operations and projects. Leave attachment file types to PDFs, .doc, .txt, or .jpeg. They usually are of a reasonable size and can be opened on most machines and operating systems.

19. Separate Work from Play

It's not wise to use your company email to send personal messages to friends and relatives. Use your business email for colleagues and business acquaintances only, for two reasons: to maintain the professional nature of your inbox, and to limit wasteful use of email storage space.

20. Ensure Your Email Wasn't Trashed

If you haven't heard back from a receiver, chances are that they are busy. Inquiring on whether or not they got your message could make it worse, but there are times when emails are quite pertinent. Wait a week to a week-and-a-half if time allows, and if you still don't have a reply, call them or dispatch another email.

21. Make Your Intentions Clear

When recipients only have a minute or two to read an email, you should make your message as concise and to the point as possible. Provide an outline in the beginning of the email of what you expect from the recipient before going a bit in depth.

22. Connect Email to Your Phone

To prevent recipients from waiting, connect your business email to your phone to ensure that you are able to reply to them in a timely manner. In the settings of most smart phones, you are able to adjust your signature.

23. Inner Company Acronyms

While acronyms are ill-advised to new acquaintances, creating company acronyms between co-workers can be a clever way to ensure that they understand the importance or intent of the message. Acronyms like "NRN" (No Reply Needed) can allow colleagues to know what messages are urgent and what can wait.

24. Extend What's in Email

It's easy to blame forgetting or misunderstanding a meeting request given through an email. Most email clients don't have alarm systems. This means it's your responsibility to apply outside the inbox what is relevant (creating calendar alerts for meetings, etc) to be productive.

25. Consider Time Differences

It can be aggravating to request a call or meeting through email and not hear back within a timely manner. It is necessary, however, to ensure that this isn't due to time zone differences. If you are requesting a call from an Australian acquaintance and you're in New York, ensure time zone differences are worked out.

26. Check Your Calendar

To prevent unnecessary back and forth emailing, it is wise to be mindful of  traditions and holidays in the culture or religion of your recipient. If you are in a country where Christmas isn't widely celebrated, it may not be wise to schedule a meeting for December 24th when the rest of your location is on business as usual.

27. Inform Employees on Etiquette

It's fine and dandy to follow all of these email etiquette tips yourself, but if you are the only one following them, it still gives your business a bad image. Share valuable email etiquette tips with your co-workers to ensure the business name is kept sound.
Let us know in the comments below of a moment when your email etiquette left a good impression on the recipient. Also, let us know when email etiquette was tossed out the window, and its outcome.

source: LifeHack

Health Benefits of Garlic

garlic
Image: Keerati/ freedigitalphotos.net

Garlic is the most powerful antibiotic cure nature has to offer. This unsuspecting herb can be used to treat a number of heart and blood-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and is even used by some to prevent common cancers, like stomach, colon and even breast cancer. This is due to a chemical in the garlic called allicin, the same element that makes the garlic smell and probably the reason for the folk belief on vampires. 

Studies have shown that allicin can aid tremendously in weight loss and may even help cure the common cold. Yet it is important to note that the wonderful powers of garlic are optimized when the garlic is completely raw, peeled and crushed, and when it is consumed only as a medicine.The ways to use garlic to fend off real-life vampires like the flu and other diseases:

1. Cold and Fever Cure 
 
An effective cold and fever cure is garlic tea. To make the tea boil some water and crush 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic (peeled) into the bottom of the mug. Then add the hot water, lemon and a bit of honey (to ease the taste) and drink it all down at once. Repeat as often as possible until the fever or cold symptoms subside.
 
garlic chopped
Image: artur84/ freedigitalphotos.net
 
2. Treat Skin and Fungal Infections 
 
To treat skin or fungal infections, garlic can be used topically on a daily basis. Apply a sliced of garlic to a wart spot regularly (about 2-3 times per day) and be amazed at the improvement! The wart or corn may not completely disappear, but any discomfort will subside. 

3. Garlic as an Antibiotic 
 
As mentioned above, in order to use garlic as an antibiotic, it is best not to consume the herb regularly. Studies have shown that eating raw garlic at the onset of food poisoning can kill off the deadly E.coli, Staph and Salmonella bacteria. Chop up garlic and drink it in a tea, this time without lemon, and a bit of honey, and the poisoning is sure to subside. 

4. For Those That Can't Stand the Taste
 
If you are not a big fan of garlic or its taste, there are some allicin supplements that can be store-bought and taken as needed. It is important to remember, however, that the potency of the allicin depends on its preparation, and it can change into a different chemical quickly. For this reason, it is best to buy the most natural version of an allicin vitamin where it is available, or stomach the taste of raw garlic just when you are sick. 

5. Bug Repellent 
 
Another way to use garlic harks back to the tell-tale vampire myth. Smearing garlic over the skin not only prevents against bacterial or fungal infections, but can also ward off mosquitos and ticks quite effectively. One village in India uses only garlic to deter the deadly Malaria mosquitos and can attest to the natural and harmless effectiveness of garlic. All that remains is to overcome the sharp smell!

Garlic in its many forms can be used to treat and prevent a variety of diseases and conditions, and, just as the folklore suggests, is nature's miracle solution for warding off the bad.
Source: Unknown

Shall I Quit?



Life is tough but you have to face the challenges in this small journey which is called life. Different ups and downs come, sometimes the situations get worse but we never think that if there were no sorrows in life then would the life would be adventurous or enjoyable. I personally don't think so. Because the happiness always come after a hard struggle.


Story: Dine Out with another woman

After 21 years of Marriage, my Wife wanted me to take another Woman out to Dinner and a Movie.
She said I Love You but I know this other Woman loves you and would Love to spend some Time with You.
The other Woman that my Wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER , who has been a Widow for 19 years, but the demands of my Work and my three Children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to Invite her to go out for Dinner and a Movie.


'What's wrong, are you well,' she asked?
My Mother is the type of Woman who suspects that a Late Night Call or a Surprise Invitation is a sign of Bad News.

 'I thought that it would be pleasant to be with you,' I responded.
 'Just the two of us.'

She thought about it for a moment, and then said, 'I would like that very much.'

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit Nervous.When I arrived at her House, I noticed that she too seemed to be Nervous about our Date. She waited in the Door with her Coat on. She had Curled her Hair and was wearing the Dress that she had worn to Celebrate her last Wedding Anniversary.

She smiled from a face that was as Radiant as an Angel's.

 'I told my Friends that I was going to go out with My Son, and they were impressed, ' She said, as she got into the Car.They can't wait to hear about our meeting'. We went to a Restaurant that, although not Elegant, was very Nice and Cozy. My Mother took my Arm as if She were the First Lady.

After we sat down, I had to read the Menu. Large Print.
Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A Nostalgic Smile was on her Lips.

'It was I who used to have to Read the Menu when you were Small,' She said.'Then it's Time that you Relax and let me Return the Favor,' I responded.

During the Dinner, we had an Agreeable Conversation, nothing Extra-ordinary,  but catching up on recent Events of each other's Life. We talked so much that we missed the Movie.

As we arrived at her House later, She said, 'I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.'  I agreed.

'How was your Dinner Date?' asked My Wife when I got Home.
'Very Nice. Much more so than I could have Imagined,' I answered.

A few days later, my Mother died of a Massive Heart Attack.
It happened so suddenly that I didn't have Time to do anything for her.
Some time later, I received an Envelope with a Copy of a Restaurant Receipt from the same place Mother and I had dined.

An Attached Note Said:  'I paid this Bill in Advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; But nevertheless, I paid for Two Plates
One for You and the Other for Your Wife. You will never know what that Night meant for Me.  I Love You,My Son.'

 At that moment, I understood the Importance of saying in Time:
 'I LOVE YOU!' and to give our Loved Ones the Time that they Deserve.
Nothing in Life is more important than God and your Family .
Give them the Time they Deserve, because these Things cannot be Put Off till 'Some Other Time.'

Pass This Along To Everyone With An Aging Parent, To A Child, To An Adult, To Anyone With A Parent, And Most Importantly, To Someone You Truly Love.

Time Pass Cartoons :)

12 Short Stories Worth Reading


1. Fall and Rise
Today, when I slipped on the wet tile floor a boy in a wheelchair caught me before I slammed my head on the ground.  He said, “Believe it or not, that’s almost exactly how I injured my back 3 years ago .

2. A father's advice
Today, my father told me, “Just go for it and give it a try!  You don’t have to be a professional to build a successful product.  Amateurs started Google and Apple.  Professionals built the Titanic

3. The power of uniqueness.
Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70’s – what his top 3 tips are for success.  He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.

4. Looking Back
Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.
 
5. GOODNESS GRATITUDE
Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug.  When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her.  She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
 
6. A DOOR CLOSES TO OPEN ANOTHER
Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job.  I start tomorrow.

7. LOOKING BACK
Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

8. AFFECTION
Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.  About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy. (Too bad and extremely unlucky person on earth)

9. INNOCENCE
Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.”  I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” “Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.

10. JOY
Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

11. KINDNESS
Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me.  He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”.

12. SHARING
Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe.  He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating.  The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”
 Cheers to life.

How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps

…happiness is a tremendous advantage in a world that emphasizes performance. On average, happy people are more successful than unhappy people at both work and love. They get better performance reviews, have more prestigious jobs, and earn higher salaries. They are more likely to get married, and once married, they are more satisfied with their marriage.

So looking at the science, what really works when it comes to raising happy kids?

Step 1: Get Happy Yourself

The first step to happier kids is, ironically, a little bit selfish.

How happy you are affects how happy and successful your kids are — dramatically.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Extensive research has established a substantial link between mothers who feel depressed and “negative outcomes” in their children, such as acting out and other behavior problems. Parental depression actually seems to cause behavioral problems in kids; it also makes our parenting less effective.

And this is not merely due to genetics.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…although the study did find that happy parents are statistically more likely to have happy children, it couldn’t find any genetic component.

So what’s the first step to being a happier you? Take some time each week to have fun with friends.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Because laughter is contagious, hang out with friends or family members who are likely to be laughing themselves. Their laughter will get you laughing too, although it doesn’t even need to in order to lighten your mood. Neuroscientists believe that hearing another person laugh triggers mirror neurons in a region of the brain that makes listeners feel as though they are actually laughing themselves.

More scientific methods for increasing your happiness here.

Step 2: Teach Them To Build Relationships

Nobody denies learning about relationships is important — but how many parents actually spend the time to teach kids how to relate to others?

(Just saying “Hey, knock it off” when kids don’t get along really doesn’t go far in building essential people skills.)

It doesn’t take a lot. It can start with encouraging kids to perform small acts of kindness to build empathy.

This not only builds essential skills and makes your kids better people, research shows over the long haul it makes them happier.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who were trained to provide compassionate, unconditional positive regard for other MS sufferers through monthly fifteen-minute telephone calls “showed pronounced improvement in self-confidence, self-esteem, depression, and role functioning” over two years. These helpers were especially protected against depression and anxiety.

More on creating good relationships here.

Step 3: Expect Effort, Not Perfection

Note to perfectionist helicopter parents and Tiger Moms: cool it.

Relentlessly banging the achievement drum messes kids up.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Parents who overemphasize achievement are more likely to have kids with high levels of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to other kids.

The research is very consistent: Praise effort, not natural ability.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

The majority of the kids praised for their intelligence wanted the easier puzzle; they weren’t going to risk making a mistake and losing their status as “smart.” On the other hand, more than 90 percent of growth mind-set-encouraged kids chose a harder puzzle.

Why? Dweck explains: “When we praise children for the effort and hard work that leads to achievement, they want to keep engaging in that process. They are not diverted from the task of learning by a concern with how smart they might — or might not — look.”

More on praising correctly here.

Step 4: Teach Optimism

Want to avoid dealing with a surly teenager? Then teach those pre-teens to look on the bright side.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Ten-year-olds who are taught how to think and interpret the world optimistically are half as prone to depression when they later go through puberty.

Author Christine Carter puts it simply: “Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two can practically be equated.”

She compares optimists to pessimists and finds optimists:

  1. Are more successful at school, work and athletics
  2. Are healthier and live longer
  3. End up more satisfied with their marriages
  4. Are less likely to deal with depression and anxiety

More on how to encourage optimism here.

Step 5: Teach Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a skill, not an inborn trait.

Thinking kids will just “naturally” come to understand their own emotions (let alone those of others) doesn’t set them up for success.

A simple first step here is to “Empathize, Label and Validate” when they’re struggling with anger or frustration.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Molly: “I am SO SO SO MAD AT YOU.”

Me: “You are mad at me, very mad at me. Tell me about that. Are you also feeling disappointed because I won’t let you have a playdate right now?”

Molly: “YES!! I want to have a playdate right NOW.”

Me: “You seem sad.” (Crawling into my lap, Molly whimpers a little and rests her head on my shoulder.)

Relate to the child, help them identify what they are feeling and let them know that those feelings are okay (even though bad behavior might not be).

More on active listening and labeling (and how hostage negotiators use this) here.

Step 6: Form Happiness Habits

We’re on step 6 and it might seem like this is already a lot to remember for you — let alone for a child. We can overcome that with good habits.

Thinking through these methods is taxing but acting habitually is easy, once habits have been established.

How do you help kids build lasting happiness habits? Carter explains a few powerful methods backed by research:

  1. Stimulus removal: Get distractions and temptations out of the way.
  2. Make It Public: Establish goals to increase social support — and social pressure.
  3. One Goal At A Time: Too many goals overwhelms willpower, especially for kids. Solidify one habit before adding another.
  4. Keep At It: Don’t expect perfection immediately. It takes time. There will be relapses. That’s normal. Keep reinforcing.

More on developing good habits here.

Step 7: Teach Self-Discipline

Self-discipline in kids is more predictive of future success than intelligence — or most anything else, for that matter.

Yes, it’s that famous marshmallow test all over again. Kids who better resisted temptation went on to much better lives years later and were happier.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…preschoolers’ ability to delay gratification–to wait for that second marshmallow–predicts intelligence, school success, and social skills in adolescence. This is at least in part because self-discipline facilitates learning and information processing. In addition, self-disciplined kids cope better with frustration and stress and tend to have a greater sense of social responsibility. In other words, self-discipline leads not just to school success and sitting nicely at the dinner table but to greater happiness, more friends and increased community engagement.

What’s a good way to start teaching self-discipline? Help kids learn to distract themselves from temptation.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

One way to do it is to obscure the temptation–to physically cover up the tempting marshmallow. When a reward is covered up, 75 percent of kids in one study were able to wait a full fifteen minutes for the second marshmallow; none of the kids was able to wait this long when the reward was visible.

More on increasing self-discipline here.

Step 8: More Playtime

We read a lot about mindfulness and meditation these days — and both are quite powerful.

Getting kids to do them regularly however can be quite a challenge. What works almost as well?

More playtime.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Most kids already practice mindfulness — fully enjoying the present moment — when they play. but kids today spend less time playing both indoors and out… All told, over the last two decades, children have lost eight hours per week of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play…

Playtime isn’t just goofing off. It’s essential to helping kids grow and learn.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Researchers believe that this dramatic drop in unstructured playtime is in part responsible for slowing kids cognitive and emotional development… In addition to helping kids learn to self-regulate, child-led, unstructured play (with or without adults) promoted intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Unstructured play helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and behavior, and speak up for themselves.

No strict instructions are necessary here: Budget more time for your kids to just get outside and simply play.

More on the power of playing (for kids and adults) here.

Step 9: Rig Their Environment For Happiness

We don’t like to admit it, but we’re all very much influenced by our environment – often more than we realize.

Your efforts will be constrained by time and effort, while context affects us (and children) constantly.

What’s a simple way to better control a child’s surroundings and let your deliberate happiness efforts have maximum effect?

Less TV.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…research demonstrates a strong link between happiness and not watching television. Sociologists show that happier people tend to watch considerably less television than unhappy people. We don’t know whether TV makes people unhappy, or if already unhappy people watch more TV. But we do know that there are a lot of activities that will help our kids develop into happy, well-adjusted individuals. If our kids are watching TV, they aren’t doing those things that could be making them happier in the long run.

More non-television happiness activities are here.

Step 10: Eat Dinner Together

Sometimes all science does is validate those things our grandparents knew all along. Yes, family dinner matters.

This simple tradition helps mold better kids and makes them happier too.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Studies show that kids who eat dinner with their families on a regular basis are more emotionally stable and less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They got better grades. they have fewer depressive symptoms, particularly among adolescent girls. And they are less likely to become obese or have an eating disorder. Family dinners even trump reading to your kids in terms of preparing them for school. And these associations hold even after researchers control for family connectedness…

More on the power of family dinners here.

Sum Up

Here are the ten steps:

  1. Get Happy Yourself
  2. Teach Them To Build Relationships
  3. Expect Effort, Not Perfection
  4. Teach Optimism
  5. Teach Emotional Intelligence
  6. Form Happiness Habits
  7. Teach Self-Discipline
  8. More Playtime
  9. Rig Their Environment For Happiness
  10. Eat Dinner Together

We’re often more open to new methods when it comes to work and careers, but ignoring tips when it comes to family is a mistake.

The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.

- Harold B. Lee

I hope this post helps your family be happier.

http://time.com/35496/how-to-raise-happy-kids-10-steps-backed-by-science/

Challenge Your Brain with These 9 Riddles


Challenge your brain with my riddles-galore, you'll answer a couple and want even more!

 
1. Brothers and sisters I have none but this man's father is my father's son. Who is the man?
2. What kind of tree can you carry in your hand??
3. The maker doesn't need it. The buyer won't use it. The user can't see it. What is it?
4. Which word in the dictionary is always spelled incorrectly?
5. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
6. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
7. Paul's height is six feet, he's an assistant at a butcher's shop, and wears size 9 shoes. What does he weigh?
8. There was a green house. Inside the green house there was a white house. Inside the white house there was a red house. Inside the red house there were lots of babies. What is it?
9. What kind of room has no doors or windows?

 
Please try  and answer will be........????????????
 
 
1. Quite simple - my son.
2. A palm tree.
3. A coffin.
4. Incorrectly.
5. A Stamp.
6. A towel
7. Meat.
8. A watermelon.
9. A mushroom.

 
 
What's Your Riddler Rank?

 
0: Back to riddle school with you! Next time, try and think a bit more outside the box, we know you can do it!
1-3: You're a novice riddler, who still misses most but is starting to grasp the basics of riddling.
4-6: You're a riddler in the making, no doubt about it! Your ability to think outside the conventional answers is quite impressive, good for you!
7-10: Are you some kind of super riddler? How did you DO that?? We take our respective hats off before your mighty riddling powers, and can only hope you can teach us your clever, clever ways.


Who You Love is a Mirror Image


You meet and love your partner as a mirror of what you think and feel about yourself. What you ‘get’ is what your vibration attracted for good or otherwise. Look at the other one as you in a different body. You may have different background, skills, likes and dislikes but your energy in the beginning mirrored theirs. If you loved your inner self, you attract someone who merges with that, even if they are on the cusp of loving themselves likewise, but perhaps the attraction is your mutual love can bring that out of them.

If you have dissatisfaction with who you see yourself as, and are not likely to do anything about it, that’s the same energy you will likely attract. Things go less than expected because you and your partner gave less than was possible. Everyone is beholden of lessons for your choice of how you react or respond. When your ‘vibration’ is high, you will only attract those that fit into  your vibration. Low vibrations only ‘vampire’ higher ones, ultimately resulting in a repositioning as a ‘non fit’. Lower attracts lower, and the ensuing challenging experiences.  
 
People who mainly find themselves attracted to the outer with little attention to the ‘inner’ of themselves and the other will be disappointed when the love is often missing later. Love is for those who are willing to let go and love with all their heart! Love is not for ‘people of the mind’ or those who value any other aspect of life more. Mixed love is not the way of godliness. Distractions to love will lower the experience of love, and hence the problems that follow. 

Indulge the self! Not the outer, but the inner for it’s all you’ve got that will go everywhere you go. There is always ‘here’ with the ‘you’ that you perceive with or without clarity. The inner love or lack of it will be your guide in decisions you make. Love and awareness bring wisdom for life’s journey. Life and love are cause for celebrations. Why miss all the celebrations?!

Throw your hands up in the air, and reject the round and round of the rut you’ve dug yourself into. There is no way to raise your vibration but through your intention and passion to keep the commitment. You are not ‘broken’, but for your perception of being so. Have moments of breathing deeper while letting all thoughts fly away. You are the clear mirror, but for the dust that waits your wiping away. Love yourself more and more, and life will be filled with joy and hope alone. The universe will give to you as you give to life.

Story: A Cry for Help


Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, and all of the others, including Love.
One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.
Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment.
When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help.
Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No I can't..There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place for you here."
Love decided to ask Vanity, who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.
Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness let me go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"
Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!
Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name.
When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Love, realizing how much he owed the elder, asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.
Author Unknown


25 Ways to Ask Your Kids 'So How Was School Today?


QUESTIONS

This year, Simon is in fourth grade and Grace is in first grade, and I find myself asking them every day after school, "So how was school today?"

And every day I get an answer like "fine" or "good," which doesn't tell me a whole lot.

AND I WANT TO KNOW A WHOLE LOT!!!!

Or at least get a full sentence. So the other night, I sat down and made a list of more engaging questions to ask about school. They aren't perfect, but I do at least get complete sentences, and some have led to some interesting conversations... and hilarious answers... and some insights into how my kids think and feel about school.

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1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)

2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.

3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)

4. Where is the coolest place at the school?

5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)

6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?

7. How did you help somebody today?

8. How did somebody help you today?

9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.

10. When were you the happiest today?

11. When were you bored today?

12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?

13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you've never played with before?

14. Tell me something good that happened today.

15. What word did your teacher say most today?

16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?

17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?

18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?

19. Where do you play the most at recess?

20. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?

21. What was your favorite part of lunch?

22. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?

23. Is there anyone in your class who needs a time-out?

24. If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?

25. Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.

*****

So far, my favorite answers have come from questions 12, 15 and 21. Questions like the "alien" one give kids a non-threatening way to say who they would rather not have in their class, and open the door for you to have a discussion to ask why, potentially uncovering issues you didn't know about before.

And the answers we get are sometimes really surprising. When I asked question 3, I discovered that one of my children didn't want to sit by a best friend in class anymore -- not out of a desire to be mean or bully, but in the hope they'd get the chance to work with other people.

As my kids get older, I know I am going to have to work harder and harder to stay engaged with them -- but I know it's going to be worth the work.

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