Tag Archives: Take a Break Post


WHY THIS:  One of the best parent tips, but a hard one to follow, says “Take a break”

Doing so has a place among my  Ten Commandments for Parents. Even God rests one day a week. At least the bible tells us so:

“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work ….”

Not only did God rest, He commanded us to do the same.  He must shake his head in despair at how few of us do it.  Can you turn off?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The world is full of others telling us to take a break.  I recently read an article  on  business coach Tanveer Naseer’s blog.  Henry Mintzberg and Peter Todd, professors and Deans Megill University’s business school were his guests. They suggested that in today’s over connected world pushing the off button should be done with greater frequency. 

Here is the quote that started me thinking,  “… the strategy used by Danah Boyd of Microsoft, who periodically declares an e-mail sabbatical and ceases all electronic communication (she recommends doing it for a minimum of two weeks).”

My immediate reaction: “Two weeks? Not on your life. Maybe if I make it to 85, but two weeks unconnected–Bah, humbug.” 

She has a point, however, starting with some small steps might get you to taking better care of you and modeling to your kids what really matters.


Parent Tip Number One

Figure out why you don’t disconnect electronically.  Here are the common reasons:

  1. Delusions of granduer, meaning we think the world will not go on without us. False idea.
  2. An internet connection addiction stemming from needing and craving lots of affirming.   Better to get that need met with real people.  Needing internet contacts for affirmation may be a sign you are not getting enough at home.  That is probably most true if you do more giving then taking.  Disconnecting may help your at least take better care of you.
  3. Fear we will miss out on something. Guess what, the emails will still be waiting for us, voice messages will be there.
  4. Fear someone will be angry if we aren’t at their beck and call.  I directed a number of crisis teams requiring 24/7 coverage.  Not being available could get you fired. In time an on-call protocol was suggested and the strain was eased on all.  Something to think about proposing if your outside job requires 24/7.
  5. And yes, I know, parenting is a 24/7 job.  However, do a little reality checking.  All electronically connected to your kids?  When was the last time you got a true 911 call?

Parent Tip Number Two

Think more clearly about fears  you might miss what I call a 911 call. By that I mean two situations:

  1. Your child needs your immediate help to stay physically safe? Here is a reality check for those situations.  If it is a true 911 situation, calling you first only delays the right help getting to the child.he best solution remains, training your kid to call 911 first if anyone is hurt, then you and if you can’t be reached your back ups.
  2. Your child is stranded somewhere.  Car breaks down, last bus is missed.  Yes, most likely you would want to be the first person called.  But be real? How often in your lifetime have you been stranded and needed someone to come and pick you up.  We drive old mileage high cars.  They break down, which is why we have AAA.  Have had it for almost twenty years.  Guess what?  In all those years, we have probably had to call  AAA  eight or nine times. at least.

Parent Tip Number Three

Establish back-up people who can be called when you are not available. What do I mean by  back-up people, certainly family in the immediate area.  Then friends…a friendly neighbor the best choice as they might be available if you cannot be found.

Parent Tip Number Four

Make sure everyone in the family  who carries a cell phone has ICEd it. That means all storinh essential information In In Case of Emergency is plugged into cell phones so para-medics or police stand half a chance of finding some one when an emergency renders a person unconscious.

Parent Tip Number Five

Make sure each person also carries an In Case of EmergencyCard.  This should contain people to call on one side and on the reverse important medical information including medical conditions, medication, allergies, Family or Personal MD and insurance ID#.  Mine has a red border and is laminated.

If you have not done the above do it now.  You will gain peace of mind, keep all your family members safer, and have one less reason to take a break.


Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing. 

Lao Tzu   


Be kind to me,  like this post or share it.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe some others as well.  You will also be practicing one of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises.  Click here to view all Daily Emotional Fitness  Exercises.If  regular practice of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises does not improve the quality of your life, more might be needed.  That is the time to think about therapy.

Good luck, life is a struggle, caring for children harder than you expect AND despite the struggle, life as a parent is also wonderful.  


IMAGE by: Very Smart Brothes. com


WHY THIS?  Friday means time for a Take A Break reminder.  Stepping back  keeps you emotionally strong. Emotional Fitness Training is about knowing when to step forward and when to step back.

IMAGE BY: Dreamstime

Feeling like you are being pulled down by things? All the media encourages buying.  Even I would like you to buy my E-books; at least they are electronic and take up space on your hard drive, not your book shelves.

I have moved 9 times during my adult life; I probably will have to move several more times.  Each time I moved, I let go of stuff;  by the time the next move came I had always acquired more stuff  than I left behind.  Moving from the Bronx to Colorado lead to a major getting rid of stuff.  But our garage is slowly filling up once again.

No, I’m not a major hoarder.  David is better at that; moreover, every time he suggests getting rid of stuff, it is my stuff he is talking about.

Anything not obviously trash in the a wastebasket gets a “Did you mean to throw this away?”

My mother always said silly questions deserve silly answers; so if having a bad mood day, I snarl my answer: “No, I meant to throw it at you and missed.”

Sharing keeps our marriage going, even the occasional sharing of insults.  Toughens us up.

Anyway, I read an article by Greg Mckeown called the Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He was writing for business managers;  if you read me, you know I think of parents as Power Leaders; all of us can from things successful businesses know and do.  One of my favorite parents books was Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager. However, I degress. Back on track. 

Greg was talking about clarity in your life’s mission.  He points out that climbing ever higher on the ladder to success may not be wise.

Don’t know if you know Peter’s Principle?  I loved it early on when as an under thirty even as I moved into the older crowd.  As are so many have through out the ages,  I  worked under some pretty incompetent bosses.  Peter’s Principle claims that in the corporate world people are promoted to their level of incompetence.  Very true and very sad.

Anyway, Greg’s article is worth a read if you can spare the time,  but I’ve made the main point.  And again digressed.

The main point of this post is to  suggest that as you take a break this week end, think about not buying more stuff.


Considering our consumer oriented economy, curbing buying is an up hill fight. For parents of most teens the climb is a Mount Everest challenge.

Still,  I have mixed emotions about telling people not to buy.  I want those who have gobs of money to spend; moreover, I want them to pay top dollar, tip well, and give lots to charity.  I am not opposed to their paying higher taxes.  I think none of us should be taxed to the point of having to lower our life style.  So if you won the Power ball or inherited lots, live it up, but expect to pay more taxes then I do. Also, think of taking me along on one of your yacht cruises.  A cruise is one of the items I have not let dropped from my bucket list.

Anyway, even the rich would do well to take a day away from spending.  Of course, the really rich don’t do lots of hands-on  shopping, they have assistants who do most of that.  And I have digressed yet again.   Onward to some tips for parents.

Tip one: Don’t add, replace. This is an old one, but oldies are often goldies. Buying a new fur coat? Give the old one away. And yes, I know we do need a some things. But do you really need 100 pairs of tennis shorts?  I once saw that in a friend’s closet.  Does your kid really need all the stuffed animals she was ever given?  Well, if they are taking up more room in her bed than she is, draw the line.  Otherwise, you are creating a hoarder.

Tip two:  Delay.  Have wish lists posted on the refrigerator and if a kid asks for a new toy, add it to the list.   You can do a number of things with the list that will teach your children to wait and be rewarded for waiting: use it to get birthday presents, just because I love you presents, rewards, and reward for saving.

Have the kid cross off things he has not gotten that he no long wants. That teaches a lesson also. Delay your wants until the wants get separated from the needs. Then you can also cross off some items.

Tip three: Declare a “Family Good Riddance Day.”  Good means something that can be sold or given to someone who needs it.   Start with a Good Riddance dump spot.  Our garage is ours.  Having a garage sale, posting some stuff to sell on Craig’s list is low on my to do list, but it is there.  And periodically, I decide to make a donation of some of my Good Riddance Pile to Good Will.

Tip four:  Make one day a week a” No Cash Paid Out or Credit Cards Used Day.”  Make ice cream or pizza as a family event instead of heading out to a quick food joint.

Tip five: Remember what matters.  Here is a quote worth thinking about:

The man who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer. He only is rich who can enjoy without owning; he is poor who though he has millions is covetous.

Orison Swett Marden

The grammar checker says covetous should be replaced with greedy.  But covetous makes that this writer was doing his think way back when.  In the early 1900’s.  His wisdom lives on.

PRACTICE KINDNESS, like this post or share it.  I need all the caring I can get. Not only will you be helping me stay strong but perhaps a few others as well.

You will also be practicing one of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises and strengthening your emotional fitness.

Click here to view all Daily Emotional Fitness  Exercises.  If  regular practice of the 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises does not improve the quality of your life, more might be needed.  That is the time to think about therapy.

Good luck, life is a struggle, caring for children harder than you expect AND despite the struggle, life as a parent is also wonderful.