Sanity SaversTM and More...
September 2011


In the Adult Sibling Rivalry I discuss ways to retire long-held roles and establish new relationships with your adult brothers and sisters.

In Best Buddy Then, Alien Being Now I suggest tips to help you nurture an old friendship with someone who is very different from you.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs well-trained, caring adults with underserved preschoolers who live in poverty in year long mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels; Playdate With A Purpose; and Read for the Record.

I am honored to be Jumpstart's Read for the Record's National Spokesperson on NBC's Today Show on October 6, 2011. Please watch, become involved, and if you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate.

There is something that every single one of us can do to help those less fortunate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world.

Please see Marlo Thomas' new website, www.marlothomas.com, where I discuss psychology and relationship issues. Marlo Thomas and I talk about families and the holidays (and we surely have a lot of holidays!). Tune in for some sanity saving ideas for YOUR family gatherings.

Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.

Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for updates on my appearances and use the Quick Links sidebar to access ongoing articles. I am available 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
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Adult Sibling Rivalry
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Best Buddy Then, Alien Being Now
  • A Thought

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

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life 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
    Adult Sibling Rivalry
    twins fighting

    Are you and your sibling still in competition for who has more? What do you do when your big brother still calls you "squirt" (and you're over forty and not a petite)? Have you never forgiven Sis for going out with the guy you had a crush on? Do you treat the baby in the family as if he is still in a highchair?

    Sibling rivalry in childhood is about competition and as people grow up into adulthood, what served as healthy competition can become destructive envy. It is rooted in your past. Coming to terms with your own and your brothers' and sisters' rivalries to release yourself from long-held feelings of competition and favoritism is not easy but it can allow you and your relationships to mature and grow in ways that can surprise you. After all, despite your history, you are adults now and you can choose the type of attitude you bring to the situation and the response you offer. Parents, whether they are alive or dead, can perpetuate familial perceptions of roles and of what our relationships can or should be, if we allow them. So take control and re-examine your sibling relationship as a way to significantly improve your life.

    I suggest you get out of 1975, 1955, or whatever year you conjure up when rivalry strikes. Begin to see your siblings as adults and attempt to know them as they would like to be known. Think about how you would like them to know you and consider what it would take to have a different relationship. Establish a new order or respect for one another even if you have to take the high road and make the first (and second or third) move.

    You and your sibling likely want to be appreciated as you are and not just as the "role" you were assigned or which you assumed when you were growing up. If you can, show respect and avoid going into autopilot when the familiar teasing or manner of interacting begins. Jokes and humor about "when we were kids" can be fun, but not at the expense of someone's feelings - playing right into your sibling's insecurity. Change your tone and manner and avoid minefields. Show a sincere interest in what your sibling does with his or her life and who they have become or are becoming. If you set the example, hopefully your siblings will follow. If they don't and you're the recipient of unwelcome comments, don't bite the bait. Change your attitude and remind yourself of who you are and that it is unfortunate that the same old pattern takes time and energy away from establishing a healthy and productive and supportive way to connect with each other and each other's families.

    When your brother or sister excels in something, allow yourself to acknowledge it with sincerity. Celebrate with them when something good happens in their life, whether it is running in a marathon, or buying their dream house. There are many facets of the sibling relationship and none is easy to deal with but when you can do that successfully, you will have a chance to connect and cooperate, which is a lot more comfortable than having an envious relationship.

    As you rethink your sibling relationship, consider trading in competition for cooperation.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins

    Be sure to read a brief article about relationships by Russell Lemle, Ph.D. : http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/me-first-we-first/201108/how-being-entitled-our-way-gets-in-the-way, with an introduction provided by Dr. Atkins.

    Hear Dr. Atkins on the Dr. Steve Show, WPIX
    Sept. 18th: Recovering from a break up with an "ex."

    Darby and Friends
    Archived from April 1st: Talking About Difficult Things

    Read Dr. Atkins' article about charitable children, at www.jccgreenwich.org/index.php?option=com_myblog&Itemid=91.

    Read Dr. Atkins' thoughts on baby name issues at: http://www.babycenter.com/0_i-regret-the-name-i-gave-my-child_10346611.bc,>
    and: http//www.babycenter.com/0_someone-stole-my-baby-name_10346610.bc,
    and: http://www.babycenter.com/0_people-hate-my-babys-name_10346609.bc.

    Read Dr. Atkins' And Edythe Mencher's article in Reform Judaism Magazine,
    Winter 2010 Issue, Cover Story: Behind Bullying, and When Jack Pushed Jill Down the Hill.
    Online at www.reformjudaismmag.com.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Therapeutic Issues with Recipients of Cochlear Implants," in the new text, Psychotherapy With Deaf Clients From Diverse Groups, Second Edition.
    Edited by Irene Leigh, and published by Gallaudet University Press.

    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.

    I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    Aspen wildflowers

    Bringing Nature Into Your Thoughts

    Imagine yourself walking in a field of flowers and see where you mind goes. Imagine yourself surrounded by the beauty of nature, and let soothing thoughts calm your senses.

    Appreciation of nature's balance is what allows us to keep balance in our daily lives.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Best Buddy Then, Alien Being Now
    statues on beach

    You and your dear friend were inseparable when you were young. There was nothing you didn't share. You planned your lives, sharing all the things you were going to do and with whom you were going to do them. But now that you are adults somehow those connections aren't there.

    Yes, people grow apart. However, for some of us, our critical judgmental nature takes over when we think about our friend with whom we shared so much. In part, because you were so close, his or her lifestyle, belief system, values, and almost everything else about them bothers you. You have a really hard time spending time with your friend now and you move at an entirely different pace. So is this reason to cut them out of your life? Is your shared history enough to keep your friendship alive in a meaningful way? You may still love this person even though your lives are so different. Is there a way to be with this person you love without losing your mind or your sanity? You can if you can engage, listen, learn, have open caring discussions without denigration and without trying to change them - all while being yourself.

    Here are some tips to try:

    Take a Cue from Star Trek. - That's right. Trekkies know the golden rule when visiting alien planets is to observe and never interfere. So when you go to visit your friend, pretend you are on their alien planet and you have no control over anything. Enjoy them the way they are.

    Why Disagree? - Unless you are asking questions to really learn about why he or she believes what they do and to gain a better understanding, why bother going down the path of creating problems which you know will not be solved in a way that will satisfy you. You just know how you choose to live and leave it at that.

    It's a Lifetime Connection. - The relationship obviously has something at its core and that can be supported and valued, so stay on that level of relating - it may only be a shared history; but that history is part of you and has helped to establish who you are and that can be invaluable.

    With age can come maturity. Who is to say that all of our friends need to be just like us, with the same view of the world? Connecting with someone with whom you share a significant part of your past can teach you a lot about yourself and his or her view of the world, which you may not give yourself the opportunity to access if you didn't have this person in your life.

    A Thought

    "When understanding is born in me, compassion is also born."

    Thich Nhat Hanh

    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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