Sanity SaversTM and More...
June 2008


Summer is around the corner. Some of us welcome June with mixed emotions as we celebrate graduations, weddings, and other rites of passage with family and friends. It is all about beginnings and endings; shifts in expectations and, often, living arrangements.

In When Your Child Comes Home For The Summer (Or For Good) I focus on adapting to change and revising expectations as you enter a different kind of parent - adult relationship. What are the ways you can maintain your self respect and demonstrate respect for your adult child (or your parent) as you live together under one roof at a time when you thought you would be living separately? What can you learn about yourself and your adult child during this time and what contributes to making it a positive experience for all involved?

In this month's tips, Tightening Your Belt, I discuss the importance of paying attention to spending in ways that you may not have chosen before. Being mindful and conscious of how you spend your money will only help you to become more aware.

Once again thank you for helping to get the word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.

Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for updates on my appearances related to my newest book, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life. For those of you with wedding related questions, please see my column on WeddingChannel.com at: www.weddingchannel.com/ui/buildArticle.action?assetUID=90252&s=84&t=71&p=106184112&c=90252&l=137006. 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
    In Bookstores!
  • Sanity SaversTM
    When Your Child Comes Home for the Summer (or for Good)
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Tightening the Belt:
    Tips for Adjusting
  • A Thought

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

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

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!

    Sanity SaversTM
    When Your Child Comes Home for the Summer (or for Good)

    Graduation season is upon us and your child is transitioning from college to the next phase of his or her life. Many graduates are moving to new cities for new jobs. Your child, however, is moving back home. While it may have have been difficult to adjust to a child leaving home, time has passed and now it may be a challenge to have him or her return home.

    You and your partner (as well as any other siblings still at home) have gotten used to a routine of life. How do you readjust with an adult child's return, maintaining the sense of freedom you and your partner have developed? Consider establishing a plan and ground rules early enough so that everyone is clear on expectations and responsibilities.

    What are key components of such a plan? First, it is important to set some house rules. Negotiate what is reasonable for all members when it comes to laundry, cooking, food shopping, house maintenance, gardening, computer and auto use, as well as entertaining. Bear in mind that your adult child has been living on his/her own and you don't want to turn back the clock and regress. At the same time, things work best when there is mutual consideration of your home and your life. Putting a plan in place is the foundation for a smoother transition.

    It is also wise to discuss finances. Start with what they need and what is reasonable. Presumably, you are helping them to become financially independent, and by paying for everything you are not helping that happen. Figure out what you and they can handle. Hopefully, they have already experienced living within a budget and have worked and saved. If not, you can help them understand the basics of budgeting and paying for certain expenses. Some adult children pay rent and contribute to food expenses, phone and cable; others have parents who help them save by putting some money into an account which they will have when they move into their own place.

    Future plans are another topic for discussion. How temporary is this new living arrangement and what is the end game? Do you set a deadline for moving out on their own? This works for some adult children. You can make a plan together and revisit that plan every month or two or three to see how they are doing in achieving their goals. Looking for a job, saving for grad school, whatever it is, have a time line. You can always revisit this, but if you don't openly discuss and agree upon goals, one or all of you may develop a growing resentment.

    Finally, the key to making this arrangement is respect: for you and for them. Respect each other's privacy, choices, and space. Realize you are adults living under one roof and you must resist the desire to "baby" or "be babied." Avoid falling into roles of doing everything for your adult child or having them expect that you will do everything for them. Remember, your home is now the way station as they complete the rite of passage of moving from their parents' home to their own.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updated listings.

    June columnist: Blended Family Month
    See www.FirstWivesWorld.com

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Dealing With Differences

    When we're overwhelmed by current events and all that we have to do, it is easy to become stressed and impatient with the people we live and deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes we snap more easily with family members and co-workers and are not as accepting of differences of opinions and different outlooks. So, why not practice stepping into someone else's shoes and allow yourself to see another perspective? This does not mean that you have to agree. Even if the subject matter is difficult and clear answers are hard to come by, hang in there.

    Today, look at a situation from a new perspective. Just because you have always looked at a situation one way, doesn't mean it's the only way.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Tightening the Belt:
    Tips for Adjusting

    This summer may find you with a different plan than you had anticipated. Your house which has been on the market may not be selling. Your vacation, which you desperately need, had you behind the wheel driving all over the country and may now be canceled (or certainly down shifted) because of the rising gas costs. Your soon to be adult children are moving in with you because living on their own is just too costly (see Sanity Saver article in this issue). Those same young people, while living with you, are using part of their pay check to help contribute to the family household expenses. You may be working past your retirement just to make ends meet.

    None of this may be what you had planned or expected. So how can you keep your sanity when you are financially strapped or concerned about your own or your family expenses?

    Here are some tips:

    • Be Aware of Who You Owe Money to and How Much You Owe. - Pay down your debt as best you can. Pay the debts with the highest interest rates first, or consolidate your debt. Seek the aid of a financial counselor in your area if necessary to help you come up with a reasonable budget.

    • Cut Back on Auto Use - Walk or bike or carpool with friends to do errands. Avoid using your car as much as you used to so you can save gas and get in better shape yourself.

    • Expand Your Dining Options - Spend time cooking and then pack lunches to bring to work for you and your co-workers. Explore new places and ask friends (or another family) to join you as you do something a bit out of the ordinary for you, like riding your bikes to a park for a sunset picnic. Instead of going to a restaurant with friends, have an old fashioned pot luck and play great music. And if you do go out to a restaurant, order sensibly by sharing entrees and considering an appetizer as a main course.

    • Be Creative with Your Kids - Swap (instead of buying new) toys with other families. When your kids tire of their toys, clean them up and put them into the "friendship toy exchange pool" and find something your kids would like (or exchange with one particular family). Organize local outings and get-togethers with other families to share activities. Offer older children babysitting opportunities among you and your friends so adults can share expenses.

    • Stick to Your Budget - Avoid compulsive purchases and stick to your shopping list (prepared ahead of time, of course).

      Although you may feel deprived with these adjustments, be careful NOT to cut back on all of your pleasures. Discover the simple pleasures and indulge yourself and your family.

    A Thought

    "Rejoice in what you have; sigh not for what you lost."

    Abrahim ibn Chasdai

    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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