Quickie Couple Communication Technique

It is so important for couples to stay connected. The bad news is that it can be very difficult to manage multiple demands and stresses, including communicating with your partner. The good news is that it only takes a few minutes a day to make a world of difference and stay connected.  See our blog for a quick and easy strategy for couples to utilize and promote connection.

Woosah on the 405

Do you spend a lot of time stuck in traffic? Do you ever find yourself annoyed or stressed out by your commute? We have been there too! Our Associate Director shares some helpful tips on the ldiheals blog for making long commutes more tolerable.

Apple Camp=Free Summer Fun

Looking for a summer activity for creative kids that enjoy technology? Apple Camp is a free 3-day program offered at Apple retail stores across the country for children ages 8-12. Each session is 90-minutes and gives participants the opportunity to express their creativity using Apple products.  There are three different camps to choose from this summer. Information for each camp, from the Apple Camp website, is below.

Creating Characters and Composing Music: Stories through drawings and sounds. Campers will start their session by sketching characters and scenes with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, then they’ll explore the basics for composing a track using GarageBand. They’ll bring their story to life by adding vocals and finishing touches.

Stories in Motion with iMovie: Ideas into real movies. Campers will learn how to brainstorm and storyboard. Then they’ll get hands-on with movie-making techniques like learning camera angles and editing with iMovie. On the final day, they’ll present their masterpieces.

Coding Games and Programming Robots: Programming through interactive play.
Kids will learn visual-based coding by solving puzzles with Tynker. Then they’ll learn how to program Sphero robots, and even create fun stories starring Sphero as the main character.

You do not have to own the products that are used for the camps. Apple provides the equipment for use during the sessions. Participants will also receive a free shirt (size selected during registration).

If you want to add this event to your family’s summer activity list, I suggest doing it quickly. Registration opened today, and I can see an offer like this filling up quickly. Visit the Apple Camp website for more information and to register. Participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents remain on-site during the camp sessions, so keep this in mind when selecting your dates/times.

Negative Thought Patterns: 20 Ways to Explore their Accuracy

Changing the way we view events can be a power tool in our coping toolbox. Negative thinking weighs heavy on our minds and our hearts. Sometimes our negative thoughts are accurate. Other times, our patterns of negative thinking may lead us to thinking about our situations less accurately. Since many of us would rather have less stress, sadness, and worry in our lives, examining our thoughts for accurate thinking can be a helpful stress management skill.

How do we know if our thoughts are accurate? We think about, what we are thinking about.

Ask yourself, am I….

  1. Thinking about the situation in an absolute (all-or-nothing) way?
  2. Thinking about this situation as being very likely to happen, when it is uncommon?
  3. Confusing my thoughts about the situation with the facts?
  4. Basing conclusions on my thoughts, without considering all the facts?
  5. Blaming myself for something that was not in my control?
  6. Overlooking (or underestimating) my contribution to the conflict/problem in the situation?
  7. Thinking the situation is all about me, when it may have little or nothing to do with me?
  8. Asking questions that do not have answers?
  9. Making myself out to be a horrible person, based on one event?
  10. Overlooking my strengths?
  11. Underestimating the problem solving and coping skills that I can contribute in the situation?
  12. Expecting perfection from myself or others in the situation?
  13. Thinking about the current situation for what it is, or making it a “forever event?” Meaning it is exactly like a previous event and will be occurring again in the future.
  14. Exaggerating details or outcomes of the situation?
  15. Making this situation a bigger deal than it needs to be?
  16. Open to other possible explanations for my actions or the actions of others?
  17. Thinking and identifying other ways to view the situation or assuming my view is the only one?
  18. Finding any good things about the situation or that can be an outcome of the situation?
  19. Assuming there is nothing that I can do to change my situation?
  20. Identifying parts of the situation that are in my control and actions I can take to lead to positive change?

Great Game for Upcoming Summer Trips

Parents often complain and report concerns that their tweens and teens communicate less often and that they have difficulty in getting their children to talk and spend time together. With summer around the corner, family trips might include long car or airplane rides, which provide great settings to connect and chat with your children. A fun way to facilitate conversation is to bring along a funny and engaging game to play- Would You Rather…? Would You Rather…? is the game of “mind-boggling questions.” It is a card game which poses funny, silly, quirky, and interesting scenarios in which you have to choose between two options (there is also a board game version but we recommend the card deck for ease of mobility and transport). You can play according to the game rules of trying to predict what others will choose, or you can make your own rules. Want to see how your children/family/friends perceive and problem solve? Have each person answer the same scenario and explain their rationale for their choice. Want to work on collaboration and negotiation? Make a rule that the entire group has to reach an agreed-upon decision. There are endless ways to modify the game to fit your needs! Children and teens often find the scenarios interesting and hilarious, and will often be willing to join in the fun. The deck is inexpensive ($7.99-$10.00) and can be found at many common retailers (Walmart, Target, etc) or online (Amazon). Don’t forget that when buying things on Amazon to visit and choose to support Learning Dynamics Inc. or other charitable organizations. Happy travels to you and your family!