Sanity SaversTM and More...
December 2009


As we come to the end of the first decade of the 21st century I am struck with how quickly time goes by. I think about the type of world we live in and how we can use the time we are given to make the world a better place, for everyone.

In Bullying, I talk about the importance of becoming aware of bullying (in person and on the internet.) Tis the season to be safe and secure. Children need to feel that they can turn to the trusted adults in their lives to help them when they are the target of bullies.

In Morals and Values, I talk about the importance of knowing ourselves and what is truly important to us as we examine how children learn life's values.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs caring adults with underserved preschoolers in year long one-to-one mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart and events. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so at www.jstart.org/don ate.

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. For wedding-related questions, please click on the link for the Wedding Channel on the side bar of this newsletter. 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.

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Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    In Bookstores!
  • Sanity SaversTM
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Morals and Values
    Tips For Teaching Children
  • 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

    Bullying is a social problem most often associated with children and adolescents. Ask most adults where they think most bullying happens and they will say in the locker room or the playground. With the advent of increased internet access, children today also face cyberbullying.

    Bullying is all too common among school-age children. Sixth-graders appear to be the most vulnerable, according to National Center for Education Statistics. Furthermore, you don't even have to be a bully or a bully's victim to be harmed; simply being a repeat witness to bullying can result in fearfulness, feelings of powerlessness, guilt, and diminished empathy, which is why it is essential that we teach "bystander children" by example and by role-playing the importance to them, their friends, and to society, the value of speaking out against bullying behavior whenever they see it.

    How do you as a parent confront the challenges in identifying when a child has been bullied and determine the best response? First, it is important to note any changes in a child's demeanor. Has his appetite decreased suddenly? Is she sleeping less? Is he afraid to go to school? Spending time in a fun activity together may help you sort out underlying issues.

    If your child is being bullied, determine the seriousness and frequency of the behavior. Low-level bullying, along the lines of making faces, while unpleasant, is something you and the child can discuss and strategize for possible approaches. You can bring this to the attention of the school to discover what its policy is regarding bullying behavior. You can encourage your child to refrain from attacking his bully or showing anger at the behavior. Often, when the recipient of an insult does not show an emotional response, that stops the bullying because it is no longer "fun" for the bully. However the behavior still needs to be addressed and stopped.

    If your strategies fail, or the bullying level involves threats or physical harm, since you have already alerted the school you will need to follow up. Call or email the appropriate contact to inform them of the incidents and your inability to effect change. In a cooperative, direct manner seek their help regarding possible solutions. Be specific about what plan they intend to utilize and what you can do to be helpful.

    Follow up on what has been done and ensure that the school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. Whether the remarks or actions are oriented toward a child's race, religion, background, appearance, size, gender, or sexual identity, bullying has no place in a child's life. As the Anti Defamation League (ADL) suggests in their cyber bullying awareness programs for children of all ages, if you would not say it to a person's face, don't write it in an e-mail or text message, and don't forward it. For more information about bullying and programs to address it, please visit www.adl.org.

    Children need to feel safe (cyberbullying invades a child's "safe" place of home, since many children carry their phones on them and their computers are often in their rooms) and have the resources to respond appropriately.

    A caring adult in their life is one such resource.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Jan. 1st: New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep
    Please check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for the most current updates.

    The Core Club
    Dec. 2: 6-8PM. Featured Speaker: Is Happiness Contagious?
    66 E. 55th St., New York, NY.

    Jewish National Fund
    Dec. 15: 12 - 2PM. Featured Speaker: Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Live
    Asia Society Garden Court Cafe, 725 Park Ave., New York, NY.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling in Serving Children Who Possess Impaired Hearing," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation.
    Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by Plural Publishing.

    See Making the Case for Family Dinners, at iVillage.com: http://www.ivillage.com/making-case-family-dinner/3-a-62563

    See Dr. Atkins' and Rabbi E. Mencher's article, Are You a Buttinsky?, in Reform Judaism Magazine, Fall 2009/5769, pg. 8. www.reformjudaismmag.org. There is also a complimentary discussion guide offering thoughtful questions for conversation.

    See Dr. Atkins' article, Sanity Savers for a Balanced Life, in Black Tie Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1, pg. 64. www.blacktiemagazine.com

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Building Your Resilience

    Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you deal with stressful circumstances and traumatic events. You can do this daily in several ways, including: letting yourself experience strong emotions, and also realizing when you may need to momentarily put them aside in order to continue functioning; stepping forward to take action as you deal with problems and meet the demands of daily living. Step back to rest and reenergize yourself. Spend time with loved ones for support, encouragement, and nurturing. Know when to ask others for help.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Morals and Values
    Tips For Teaching Children

    In our hectic, 24/7 lives, children face many choices. Providing them tools to build a set of values is one of the most important things an adult can do. Opportunities to talk about values and morals are everywhere. They are not just learned at school or from a textbook; young people must see them in action. Parents are their primary teachers.

    Values and morals are often intertwined, and they are also internal, making it difficult for children to "see" these beliefs and attitudes and qualities at work. Children learn from your behavior as well as discussions related to the choices you make.

    Here are some tips to consider:

    • Shift the Focus - Instead of telling your children, "the most important thing is that you are happy," think about this: "the most important thing is that you are kind, and that you are responsible for others."

    • Help Children Appreciate Others - Don't let them treat a store clerk, waitress, or babysitter as if that person is invisible. Expect children to help around the house, and to be helpful to others. If your child wants to quit a sports team or chorus, make sure they think carefully about what it means for the group.

    • Establish Your Relationship As The Primary Model - Expect your children to appreciate your relationship with each other. This means not allowing your children to treat you as a doormat. Expect them to express some interest about your life and to thank you for your generosity.

    • Listen Carefully - Help your child register kindness and unkindness, justice and injustice in the world. Listen to your child's moral questions and dilemmas, and encourage discussion attempting to see their point of view. When the time is right, express your own values, finding a way to connect them to your child's experiences. There is a lesson in everything. Just be careful about lecturing, sounding pedantic or condescending.

      Teaching children values and morals starts with an understanding of our own values and morals. Once we are clear on these, we can always note the lessons embedded in most interactions. We can also set some time aside each week or month to discuss them with our children, and provide them the tools to navigate their lives.

    A Thought

    "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

    Mahatma Gandhi

    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 newest book . . .

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

    Find out more....
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