Sanity SaversTM and More...
June 2007


In June, school year is coming to a close. Summer is around the corner. There is lots of family time - graduations, weddings. People begin to think about some relaxing time with family and friends. Mother's Day has passed, and Father's Day approaches.

Whether or not you have a parent who is living, now is an ideal time to take a moment to reflect on the qualities you admire about this person who contributed to giving you life. You may or may not have an ideal relationship (who does?) but you can still be grateful to your parents for giving you the opportunities to become the person you are. If your parent disappointed you, you will likely not benefit from punishing or trying to change them. You will benefit by parenting yourself and your own children in the most loving and responsive way you can. It is also helpful to bear in mind that you cannot change the way you were parented but you can understand the effects of the way you were parented. And, most important, you can heal from the negative effect.

Note that you can choose the legacy you leave to the next generation, and you can honor your parent and yourself by being the most caring, empathetic person you can be. Giving up the Fantasy Parent will guide you toward reflecting on the relationship you have and find ways to improve it.

Closely related to relationships with parents are relationships with children. Building Independence in Kids offers tips for developing a positive attitude while fostering independent skills in children.

Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for updates on my appearances related to my new book, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life. I am proud to be a member of the Westin Renewal Council, whose purpose is to help people live the best life wherever they are. Please click Westin Renewal Council for some personal renewal tips. And if you would like me to speak to your group or organization, please contact me directly at dale@drdaleatkins.com or contact the Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    Now In Bookstores!
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Giving Up The Fantasy Parent
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Building Independence in Kids
    Don't Be Available 24/7
  • A Thought

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    Now In Bookstores!
    SS Book Cover

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life is out in bookstores and is filled with suggestions to save your sanity every day of the week.

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!

    Sanity SaversTM
    Giving Up The Fantasy Parent

    Are you someone who bemoans the luck of the parent draw or are you grateful for the parents you have and the lessons you can learn from having them as parents? Even if we profess love for our parents, some of us simultaneously dwell on how far our parents fall from the epicenter of our "perfect parent" fantasy. The ideal can differ greatly - from parent-as-patient-confessor to parent-as-relentless cheerleader and everything in between.

    Having an ideal of this sort is a common, understandable human reaction to unhappiness and frustration, but in hanging on to angry fantasies about your parents, you are letting yourself get stuck in a common childhood stage that is very painful. Blaming your parents not only for their actions but for who they actually are is a neat way to abrogate responsibility. It creates a negative environment that diverts you from coming up with practical solutions to deal with the real situation.

    Accepting the reality of who you parents are, separate from your dreams and expectations -- and from their peer group or the parents of your friends -- is a painful process, but one that will, in the end, elevate you to a much more comfortable, pragmatic plane.

    Following are some steps that may be helpful:

    Mourn. You should feel free to grieve the fact that you didn't get the parents you feel you deserved. Then, say good-bye to your fantasy. In doing this you lay to rest a piece of your own internal resistance and pave the way for liberation.

    Transpose the Loss of the Fantasy Parent into a New Identity. Before you can be whole, you must relinquish the fantasy by realizing that not having such parents does not define you. You are responsible only to yourself for what you are and what you will become.

    View Your Parents As They Are. There is no such thing as "perfect" parents. Parents are human, and therefore imperfect.

    Catalogue Your Parents' Strengths. It is easy to overlook positive qualities and focus on the annoying aspects of our parents' personalities.

    Accept Your Parents. They are living, breathing, changing entities who neither define you nor defeat you.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Today -Weekend Edition
    June 9th, 8:00am: Cyber-Sex and its Effect on Marriage
    June 17th, 8:00am: Sanity Savers for Father's Day

    New Morning Show
    June 6th: How to Achieve Clarity in One's Life
    Hallmark Channel, 7:00am

    The Premier Women's Blogging Site: Sanity Savers

    The Lisa Birnbach Radio Show
    Every other Wed., 9:15-10:00am
    June 6th
    June 20th
    The Lisa Birnbach Show airs LIVE Mon-Fri 9am- Noon EST

    NJ Chapter of WIZO
    June 7th, 11:30am: Keynote Luncheon Speaker, Sanity Savers
    Short Hills, NJ

    Women In Business
    June 14th, 5:30-9pm: Featured Speaker, Sanity Savers

    Dolce Norwalk Conference Center, Norwalk, CT

    Rick Crandall's Breakfast Club
    June 20th, 8:15am: Radio Interview, Sanity Savers
    KEZW-AM, Denver, CO

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    With all the family-related activities that come with summer, make sure to get the sleep you need to recharge your personal batteries.

    Catnap, shut out the world and revitalize yourself. Visualize a deep restorative sleep and waking up refreshed to tackle whatever the day has in store for you.

    Sleep restores. Even when it is disturbed, you can relax into it.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Building Independence in Kids
    Don't Be Available 24/7

    Most parents want to be caring and attentive. However, it is easy to overdo it. These days, with the ubiquitous cell phone, text messaging and pagers, parents can reach their kids anytime, anywhere and check in on any number of matters, warranted or not. It is important to provide your children space so they can grow and develop self-confidence and self-management skills.

    Consider the following tips:

    • Teach Positive Self-Talk - Children can internalize comforting statements their parents would say, and draw upon these in times of anxiety. "I can do this." "I know I am smart." "I can learn this if I practice."
    • Build Independence Skills- Start by doing things for your kids. Then move on to doing these things with your kids. Next, watch them doing these, and finally, get to a place where they will do things on their own. Your role is to teach and then have them learn and step back so they can absorb.
    • Teach the Basics- Give you children age-appropriate responsibilities around the house that will prepare them to take care of themselves when they are on their own.
    • Be the Coach- Rather than trying to take care of a problem for your children, listen, guide and encourage them to try alternative actions to address the matter.
    • Everyone needs space in order to grow.

    A Thought

    A man can't make a place for himself in the sun if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree.

    Helen Keller

    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and commentator in the media who appears on the Today show.

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience and focuses on living a balanced life, parenting, aging well, managing stress, life & work transitions, family connections and healthy relationships.

    Dr. Atkins is the author and/or co-editor of several books including:

  • Sisters
  • From the Heart:
    Men and Women Write Their Private Thoughts about their Private Lives
  • Families and their Hearing-Impaired Children
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that Works
  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day.
  • And her new book . . .

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • .

    Find out more....
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