More happiness is coming your way

By Sarah Treleaven, Chatelaine
You might think that you’re pretty content now, but just wait until you hit late middle age. A recent story by Libby Copeland over at Slate—“Obama at 50: Older, Wiser…Happier?”—explores how studies of happiness are finding that once we get past middle age, the rest feels like relatively smooth sailing. In other words, we get happier as we get older. For example, a 2010 study of over 300,000 Americans found that levels of anger, stress and worry all plummet at 50 and within a few years happiness rises—for men and women, the married and unmarried, and the working and unemployed.

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Talk time

Children will behave more responsibly and maturely if they are talked to with the same respect you would give an adult. If a child feels that you expect him to behave in a responsible way, then he’ll more than likely try to fulfill your expectations. We should try as much as possible to put ourselves in our children’s place and communicate with them in the way that we would like to be communicated with if we were them.

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Do you ever sit down with your child and talk for a few minutes only about his or her concerns? Finding a few minutes each day to do this will pay handsome dividends in building a relationship of loving trust with your child.

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Communicating with children

Evonne Weinhaus and Karen Friedman

Remember the old adage, “Silence is golden”? As parents, we have a hard time with this notion. We believe that when a child makes a statement, he is implicitly asking for a response. And, of course, we oblige, thinking that communication with our child is important. But here’s a new notion for you: You don’t have to respond to every comment that comes out of your child’s mouth. Sometimes the most effective form of communication is keeping silent. There are times when it’s okay for your child to have the first, the last, and the only word.

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Arguments in marriage

Sadly, it’s human nature that we often hurt most the ones we love the most and are the closest to. People who are married often argue with their partner more than with anyone else! If you’re having problems with arguing in your marriage, then of course all the above pointers will apply. But here are some extra tips:

Opera tenor Jan Pierce, after being married nearly 50 years, said: “My wife and I made an agreement long ago, and we’ve kept it no matter how angry we’ve grown with each other! When one is letting off steam, the other should listen–because when two people are peeved and trying to get their point across at the same time, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations!”

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How to win people to your way of thinking without having an argument

In Aesop’s fables there’s a story about the sun and the wind. In the story the argumentative wind boasted to the sun that he was the stronger. The sun maintained that he was. So the wind said, “I’ll prove I am! See the old man down there with the coat? I’ll bet I can get his coat off of him quicker than you can!”

So the sun went behind a cloud, and the wind blew and blew until it was almost a tornado! But the HARDER it blew, the TIGHTER the old man clutched his coat to him! Finally the wind calmed down and gave up!

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The thorn factor

I don’t think that God intended any marriage to be perfect. I think of it as the “thorn” factor that He allows into the equation — that element that we shrink from, but that He knows we need. You may ask yourself, “Why would we need differences of opinion, sensitivities, misunderstandings, jealousies, resentments, comparing, sacrificing, arguments, emotional upsets, fears, heartbreaks, and adversity? Those things don’t sound like they would build a very strong marriage.”

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Dealing with dragons

By Marie Story

Have you ever faced a challenge? A challenge that seemed so big and scary that you wanted to run away from it before you even assessed its enormity and level of difficulty? We all reach these points in our lives when we say to ourselves, “I’m too small to tackle what’s ahead.”

Dealing with scary challenges isn’t easy. It takes a whole lot of courage.

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God’s mosaics and Christmas

Have you ever come across a construction site where the men were laboriously laying a tiled floor, one of those mosaic floors with thousands of tiny tiles that create a picture when finished? While it’s being put in place, the picture isn’t clearly visible, because as they work, the men use a cement mortar to fill the area between the tiles, and the grout often leaves a gray film over the whole masterpiece that hides the beauty of all that’s been done. At the end, it is finally cleaned off to reveal the picture in its full beauty.

That’s so much like the way the Lord works in our lives.

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Five things super-happy couples do every day

By Ty Wenger:

The Lord knows this is not the sort of thing guys brag about. But I have a ridiculously happy relationship with my significant other.

It hasn’t always been this way. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that our current bliss is the result of almost a year of counseling, a desperate effort undertaken several years ago, when we appeared destined for doom. What we learned then is something all happy couples eventually discover: A good relationship is a bit like a pet boa constrictor: either you feed it every day or bad things happen.

We asked happy couples to tell us about relationship-strengthening solutions they’ve developed. Try your hand at incorporating a few into your daily life, and maybe you can be as ridiculously, embarrassingly, revoltingly happy in your relationship as I am.

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How gratefulness destroys negativity

By Jeremie Kubicek

Gratefulness is the boundary that keeps negativity at bay.

For example…

  • Being grateful for the freedoms we have gives us perspective to handle frustrations we have with administrations or bureaucracy.
  • Gratefulness toward having a job or career we love gives us patience to handle short term seasons of animosity or worry.
  • Being thankful for our families allows us to put up with any pettiness that naturally exists in day to day living.

In my experience, when gratefulness is turned up to its highest level in a person’s life, then areas of selfishness, greed, and unnecessary worry and frustration get pushed out of that life.

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