The Secret He Secretly Wishes You Knew

The Secret He Secretly Wishes You Knew

Hey friends-  this is Kathi. I could NOT be more thrilled to have Shaunti Feldhahn on the blog today. This woman changed the course of my marriage with her book For Women Only – Understanding the secret Lives of Men and now she’s done it again with her latest book. Keep reading! And don’t forget to comment at the end and be entered in to win all five of our books featured this week!

Show him you’re safe with his secrets – including one key burden he has probably never shared.

Ladies, did you know your man has a secret?  It may not even be an intentional secret, mind you, but a very personal burden that often stays hidden by default.  Nearly all men face it, but few feel able to really talk about it with their wives.  Yet if we know how to talk to our husbands about this and show them that they can talk to us about it, we will learn so much more about each other and go to a new level of intimacy we didn’t realize we were missing.

Here’s the secret burden: even the most honorable, godly man today lives in a culture saturated with enticing images that he cannot avoid, and which stimulate his brain in a sexual way even if he does not want them to.

When I first started doing research about men, I was stunned to realize that this applied even to men who were very trustworthy, even to men who worked to keep their thought lives pure, even to men who adored their wives and wanted to honor their wives (and God) in their choices. And it wasn’t just other men – it was my man!  I started to realize that there was big part of my husband’s life, including how his brain processed the world every day, about which I was completely clueless.

And if I was missing a big part of my husband’s life, wouldn’t there always be a limit to how close we could be? I didn’t want him to carry a burden on his own only because he didn’t know how to talk about it – or didn’t know if he could trust me with it.

So I started to ask questions, tentatively at first. (“Um… What do you think, when you see something like that hot woman in the skin-tight shirt who just walked past us at Target?”)  And he started to give some answers, definitely tentatively at first.  (“Uh… why do you want to know…?”)

But as I showed him that I wasn’t going to bash or condemn, but truly just wanted to understand (“Honestly, honey, it’s because I love you and just want to understand what life is like for you”) he began to open up and share things we’d never talked about before.Feld_9781601425119_cvr_all_r1.indd

Some of it was hilarious.  (“She must have paid a lot of money for those.”)  Frankly, some of it was hard to hear. (“Well, OK, to be honest, sometimes when I see someone almost undressed, there’s this micro-second flash of wanting to picture what she might look like if she is undressed. And then I have to immediately stop that flash and think about that work email instead.”)   There were times I was sad, or hurt, as my husband shared certain struggles he’d had on and off over the years.  But I tried so hard to not let those feelings control me and instead tried to show my husband that I wanted him to be able to share what was going on inside him.

Because as I began to do more of the research on the male brain wiring, I began to realize: men’s brains are actually designed by God to be visually stimulated in this way, because the only revealing image a man was ever supposed to see was of his wife!  And yet today, this culture is filled will very public images that were only supposed to be seen in private.  Our men and boys are living in a visual minefield.

Some men make rigorous choices to look away, look down, take those thoughts captive.  Others have grown weary of that struggle and have given into the temptation to look at things that they shouldn’t have, and many feel great shame in doing so.  Still others—although a much smaller number – have become trapped or addicted.

Yet many of them have one thing in common: they wish they could talk to their wives about it. They wish they could open up about their struggles.  They wish they could come in from a particularly bad day at work and say, without fear of condemnation, “Wow, Kerri at the office missed doing up those top two buttons on her shirt again and I couldn’t focus on a thing she was saying.”  Or if they are trapped in looking at porn, something deep inside sometimes wants to come into the light and get help – and yet the self-protective side says “no way!”  So all of it stays hidden.  All too often, a man handles all of this on his own.

But I think lots of us as women wouldn’t want our men to handle this all on their own.  That was one of the main things that spurred me to do the research that became my book For Women Only and later, my new book Through A Man’s EyesI wanted my husband to know that I was safe to talk to about this, even as he also knew that if there were any real issues (which, thankfully, there hadn’t been in recent years), I would expect him to get help.  And once we started talking about this, once he saw I wouldn’t freak out or condemn, we found that if we could talk about this in a healthy way, we could talk about anything.

I urge all my sisters out there: show your husband that you are safe to talk to.  Even if you are hearing some difficult things, show him you love and support him anyway and you’ll walk with him through it.  Learning how to talk about those things you’ve never talked about before will take your marriage to a whole new dimension of intimacy.  A place where you have no secrets and where you know and love each other fully, regardless.

Sounds a lot like what marriage was supposed to be, all along.

Headshot - blue shirt - bestDo you want Shaunti to share life-changing truths – including helping women understand men – at your event, church service or network? Inquire about Shaunti speaking, here.

To win a copy of all 5 books featured this week, leave a comment below!

Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ?ndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

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Sex is For You, Too! by Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sex is For You, Too! by Sheila Wray Gregoire

Hey friends-  this is kathi. you are going to love my friend sheila wray gregoire and her thoughts on sex (yes – it is for you, too!) I love how she honors marriage, wives and husbands all in one fell swoop. don’t forget to comment at the end and be entered in to win all five of our books featured this week!

 

Today’s post is taken from Sheila Wray Gregoire’s new book, 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.

My husband and I have been married for 24 years and happily married for 21.

Most of our early problems were with sex. It was uncomfortable, icky, and awkward. The more Keith wanted it, the more I felt he only loved me for what I could do for him. So I would pray, “God, please help him see how much he’s hurting me. Help him just to love me again.” I’d pour out my heart, certain that the God who wipes away tears would hear me and answer me.

9 thoughtsI did everything I felt the church had told me to do: I prayed. I cast my cares on God. I drew close to Jesus. Yet my prayers didn’t work. Keith still wanted sex! And he still got grumpy when I wasn’t frisky.

I wanted a marriage where my husband understood and cherished and valued me. Didn’t I deserve that? So what was Keith’s problem? And more to the point, what was God’s problem? I was doing my part, after all.

After I had prayed for two exhausting years that Keith would start caring about me, God put a thought into my head: Do you believe the only one who can fix this relationship is Keith? Don’t you have something to do with it?

I didn’t particularly like that thought, and so I vehemently argued with myself–and with God–about why changing was impossible. Even if we only considered sex, how was I supposed to enjoy something so gross and uncomfortable?

Then another thought hit me even harder: If God says that sex is good, and the whole world says that sex is good, maybe you should start figuring out how to make sex good.

I was stunned. If that thought was right, then the responsibility fell on me to do something about my struggle. I had to stop thinking sex was awful and start thinking, Sex is great—I just don’t have it all figured out yet. The problem may have started in the bedroom, but it wasn’t a problem with sex. It was a problem with how I was thinking.

A lot of us in church have awfully lousy thinking about sex. Maybe it’s for good reason–we were sexually abused or assaulted; we grew up thinking sex was shameful; we are burdened by a promiscuous past.

But then there’s the added burden that the Christian message about sex throws at us, and it goes something like this:

Just do it! Men need it, and if you don’t satisfy him, he’ll be super-tempted and might fall.

Wow, has anyone ever considered how totally UNsexy that message is? Just have sex–or your husband will cheat on you! Definitely not cool.

And also definitely a misunderstanding of what God created sex for.

You see, what I learned in my sexual journey is that there is a vast difference between just having sex and making love. Having sex has to do with the body; making love is an intimate joining on so many levels–physical, spiritual, and emotional. And actually, the closer you are emotionally and spiritually, the better the physical feels anyway!

The church is getting so concerned with things like porn that sometimes we give the “Just Have Sex” message a little too much, without elaborating on WHY we should just have sex. So let me share with you some of the things that I needed to learn about why sex is great for me, too (and not just for my husband!). When I started thinking this way about sex, then suddenly I wasn’t searching for my “No Trespassing” flannel nightgown anymore:

Sex helps you “let go”

We women have a non-stop to-do list in our brains every minute of the day. But sex is a way to turn all of that off and just feel. You don’t have to think. You don’t even have to do much of anything. You just get to experience your husband.

With sex, you can’t be a control freak. You have to let it just happen–or it won’t feel very good. That chance to turn off your brain, for just a few minutes, is a real gift.

Sex helps us sleep

How many times have you said, “not tonight, because I’m just too tired,” only to toss and turn all night because you know your husband is disappointed. And then the next day you’re so defensive you push him away?

But the nights that we do make love I fall asleep almost immediately and sleep so deeply! So now when I’m tired, I say, “Come put me to sleep, Baby!”

Making love helps you feel closer

When Keith and I haven’t made love in a while, it drives me nuts that he bites his nails. On the days after we do connect, though, I don’t even notice.

Making love truly covers a multitude of minor annoyances.

When you connect, you feel closer. You feel like, “everything’s okay.” We’re a team. When you don’t, then you’re always a little defensive about the relationship. And that’s why we tend to get more ticked off by little things!

Making love helps us “know” each other

No one else knows the things about me that Keith does, because this is something we only experience together. And the longer we’ve been married, the more “wild” I can be. It’s like everything that we do can become truly sacred, because we’re doing it together.

I feel this most after a fight. After we’ve let words fly perhaps a little too fast, and we’ve emptied ourselves emotionally, suddenly we’re so drawn to each other. We’ve become so vulnerable with each other that we need to connect even more.

It was the same the night that our son died. There we were, in total and complete anguish, and we turned to each other. Not because we were turned on in any way, but because there was this gaping hole that only the other person could fill. And we needed that intimacy.

Sheila2012bluelargeOur culture–even our Christian culture–has made sex seem like it’s just for men. And it’s reduced sex to something purely physical. But it’s not. Making love is so much more. You empty yourself. You bare yourself. You truly see each other. And then, after all that, you can truly relax and find peace. That’s a wonderful gift!

And if sex can do all that, and you’re not experiencing it yet, don’t settle for that! Make this the most fun research project you’ve ever done with your husband. God made sex to be amazing. When we start believing that, and stop believing all the gross things we’ve heard about sex, then maybe, just maybe, we can truly make love, too.

Get your FREE ebook – 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to Your Marriage now!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 9 Thoughts That Will Change Your Marriage. If you feel stuck in your marriage–and even your sex life–9 Thoughts will help you see the options God has available to you–and help you see how God wants to help you get unstuck! Sheila blogs daily at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com.

The #1 Secret to Ending Arguments in Marriage

The #1 Secret to Ending Arguments in Marriage

Friends- this is Kathi – I’m thrilled to have Fawn Weaver NYT best seller and president for the Happy wives club. You all know that I saw fawn at her TEDx talk about the argument free marriage- and I begged her to come here on the blog and share her secrets. You’re going to love her…

Titling an article, “The #1 Secret to Ending Arguments in Marriage” takes a whole lot of guts. Especially, when the person writing it is not a family therapist, marriage counselor, and has no “D” behind her name (PhD, MD, etc.). But I do have something I hope will, at the very least, cause you to want to read to the bottom of this page.

I have an amazing marriage.

I have loved every moment of being married since 2003.

The sound of my husband’s voice still gives me butterflies and the happy dance I began doing the day I fell in love with him continues on to this day.

Here’s the thing. And it’s going to sound crazy, I know.

41yGucszJBL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_My husband and I have never argued. Never. And before you begin to think that one of us is a doormat, or sweep things under the rug, let me assure you neither of us is wired that way. We’re both incredibly strong willed individuals with great conviction about what we believe.

There is, however, one thing we have consistently done to communicate better with one another from day one: we stick to the original emotion. In my recently released book, The Argument-Free Marriage, this has -by far- been the number one thing readers have asked me about so I like to share this story.

Several years ago, I came home for lunch in the middle of my work day and did something I’d never done before.  I sat on the couch and turned on the television.

I am a believer that all things happen for a reason.

My usual departure from running around the kitchen, stuffing something into my mouth and then heading back to work was –I believe- so I could share this with you.

On my television screen that day sat Rosie O’Donnell on the couch that made Oprah the “queen of talk.”  Attempting to make reparations to her image, Rosie talked about the huge fight between her and iconic journalist Barbara Walters, which resulted in O’Donnell leaving the Emmy-award-winning show The View.

Oprah asked, “Do you regret that moment?”

“Yes, I do,” O’Donnell responded. She said she regretted using her words as weapons and how her out-of-control rage “scared” Walters.

What O’Donnell said next confounded even the talk-show host herself: “For me, at that moment, if I had been braver, I would have just cried and said, ‘You really hurt my feelings.’”

Clearly dumbfounded, Oprah clapped her hands as if having one of her famous aha moments and said, “That is so interesting! That you would say, ‘If I had been braver, I would have just cried.’  Because oftentimes crying is perceived as the weak thing to do.”

She then asked O’Donnell why crying would have been braver than yelling and saying hurtful words.

“Because then you’re vulnerable. Then the authentic feeling that I had, [which] was pain and hurt and rejection [would have come out].”  Instead, as she told Oprah, she put on the same armor she’d chosen to protect her since she was a child.  She shielded her vulnerability, and masked her hurt feelings, with anger.

Consider the last time you were in an argument with your spouse. Hold that thought there for a brief moment, but don’t allow yourself to become angry all over again.  Now that you have the thought in your mind, let’s talk about it.

What was the exact thing that set you off? I’m talking about what you felt, not what you discussed. What was your original emotion in that moment? Was it hurt? Fear? Sadness? Disappointment? Insecurity?  What portion of your underbelly was exposed?

When we become angry enough to begin arguing, especially with someone we love as much as our spouse, we have allowed the original emotion—which would expose our vulnerability—to be covered up by a more aggressive, defensive response.

Rather than exposing the softer side of ourselves, we put up a shield and pull out our verbal sword and begin swinging. We swing left, we swing right, aimlessly out of control and missing the target every time. Yes, we may slice and dice the heart of our spouse, but we miss the mark because we’ve not dealt with the true emotion we’re feeling.

My husband, Keith, and I talk about everything.  And I mean everything.  We don’t suppress or repress our feelings and we never say things under our breath.  We don’t sweep anything under the rug.  If he does something I don’t like, I let him know it.  When I do something he’s not very fond of, you better believe he lets me know.  From an early age, I’ve always been a bit of a fire piston.  And Keith is the strongest man I know.

And yet, we’ve never argued.  How is that even possible?

Most of us are taught from an early age that arguing is normal. Getting mad is how couples communicate when upset. We are shown how to guard our true feelings and emotions by protecting our hearts. We learn that it’s better to go on the offensive than to find ourselves exposed. The problem with all this in marriage is that learned behavior leads to blind conversations. You’re never really fighting about what it is you think you are fighting about.

Sticking with the original emotion—remaining in a place of vulnerability—is the crux of bypassing arguments and getting to the heart of a matter.  Mutual vulnerability and respect allows you both to lay it all out on the table. Your dreams, hopes, ambitions, fears, hurt … nothing is off-limits.

fawnWe can’t keep everything bottled inside. We all need to have that one person we can be completely honest with about our perceived failures, hurts, successes, and hopes. We need to have at least one person who will love and respect us unconditionally. Who better than the one who shares your bed at night to share your deepest desires also?

As Rosie O’Donnell reminded us all through her uncontrolled rage that fateful day in Barbara Walters’ dressing room: there is great wisdom in sticking with the original emotion, if we would just be brave enough to be vulnerable.

Fawn Weaver is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, businesswoman, marriage advocate, regular contributor for the Huffington Post and BRIDES.com, a TED Talk alum, and founder of the Happy Wives Club. Her blog of the same name—spontaneously launched while she was simultaneously working as a hotel general manager—has garnered international media recognition and has been featured on media outlets, such as, The Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, ABC, NBC, BBC, Fox News, SELF Magazine, Huffington Post, ESSENCE Magazine and Popsugar, to name a few. She’s been hosted on more than 35 television and radio programs in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Canada, UK, Poland and Ireland. Her blog, HappyWivesClub.com, has attracted more than 10 million visitors, is followed by nearly 1 million people on social media and was twice named the Best Marriage site by the readers of About.com.

For a chance to win all three of the books featured this week, leave a comment below!

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Day 1 to a Better Marriage: It’s Easy Being Married to You by Arlene Pellicane

Day 1 to a Better Marriage: It’s Easy Being Married to You by Arlene Pellicane

Hey Friends – this is Kathi! I’m excited that you’re joining us for our 5 Days to a better marriage series. Day 1 is my friend Arlene Pellicane.. You are going to LOVE Arlene as much as I do- she is all about becoming the happiest version of you that you can be. I like that in a person!

Make your marriage great! – kathi

It’s Easy Being Married to You by Arlene Pellicane

51uUZn6kprL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A few years ago, James and I did a Daniel fast.  He had lost 5 pounds and I had lost a pathetic half pound.  As he teased me, I defended myself by declaring, “I’m not doing it to lose weight.  I’m doing it as unto God!”  Of course to be honest, I was trying to lose weight but it felt good to rationalize.

I began stewing in my mind.

My husband hurt my feelings.  He’s such a know-it-all.  Everything comes so easy to him. 

Things were going downhill fast.  I did not think it was easy being married to James at that moment.  Keep in mind that we are fasting and here we are arguing!  After awhile, we weren’t even sure what we were fighting about.  We both concluded that we were under spiritual attack so we prayed together.

James disappeared and I heard the garage door open.  I thought he was sneaking out to buy me flowers.  But a few minutes later, he came in the room holding our box full of love letters from when we were dating, engaged and newly married.  He asked me to pull out three random letters to read together.  Hysterically, one of the letters was from our first months of marriage.  It was my response to a question he had written, “What do I do that pushes your buttons and irritates you?”

I had written two things:

Leave me alone (don’t try to improve me).

Don’t think because it’s easy for you, it’s easy for me (i.e. last minute entertaining).

It was divinely funny!  I was mad that losing five pounds was easy for James, but not for me.  You can see how the Holy Spirit led me to pick that exact letter out of more than one hundred notes.

Since you live with your spouse, it’s inevitable that you will butt heads, step on each other’s toes, and rub each other the wrong way.  When we make our disappointments larger than life and rehearse them over and over again, we can’t appreciate the good husbands we have.  That’s why I’ve found it so helpful to replace the self-talk of “You are so difficult to live with” to “It’s easy being married to you.”

What are the things you love and appreciate about your husband?  You can start a running list of reasons why it’s easy to love him.  Here’s the start of mine…it’s easy to love James because:

He’s a man of integrity who keeps his word.

He laughs every day.

He’s a great listener and doesn’t just endure our conversations; he actually enjoys them (or at least always gives me that impression!).

He’s a pro-active father.

I’m just getting warmed up!  Now it’s your turn to think about why it’s easy being married to your man.  The more positive traits you look for, the more you will find.  Leave a comment about one of your husband’s positive traits.

###

arlene_pellicaneHow’s this for something positive?  Arlene’s Ebook, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife is FREE today.  It’s available through eBook distributors including, but not limited to, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play.   Get it now while it’s FREE!  

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom and 31 Days to a Happy Husband.  She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Gary Chapman).  She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. 

Arlene lives in the San Diego area with her husband James and their three children.

To learn more and for free family resources such as a monthly Happy Home podcast, visit www.ArlenePellicane.com

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Wednesday: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Read But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother

Wicked Wednesday: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Read But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother

Top 10 reasons why you should read But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother:

  1. God’s Plan for Stepmoms
  2. Accept Your Reality
  3. It’s Not (ALL) About the Kids
  4. Define Your Role: Mom, Martyr or Minister
  5. The Ex-Factor Accepting Your Step kids Mom
  6. Say This, Not That
  7. At all Costs, Protect Your Marriage
  8. Building Trust
  9. Forgiveness: The Cure for Your Hurting Heart
  10. “What My Stepmom Did Right”
Clutter Free Makes a Difference!

Clutter Free Makes a Difference!

You may think you’ve got too much going on to start your decluttering project. Or you may think you’re too old or too tired to tackle something quite so daunting. Wait till you read this note I received from a woman in her 80s! Be inspired by her – it’s never too late!

Dear Kathi,

Last week I picked up a copy of Clutter Free and enjoyed reading through it.  A few nights ago as I was getting ready for bed, I looked at the stash of books in my bookcase and thought I’d just pick out the books I hadn’t yet read and decide what to do with the rest.  To my surprise, one that I picked up was The Get Yourself Organized Project!  Since it is copyrighted 2012, I must have gotten it a couple of years ago.  Have I done anything with it in that time?  No!  So now I think it’s about time I get off my duff and start doing.

Let’s just say that I am one of the world’s worst procrastinators.  I do have sort of a half-baked excuse.  For four and a half years my husband was in a nursing home, but he changed his address to heaven on Easter Sunday – so I no longer have an excuse to let things pile up until I would be embarrassed to have my pastor drop in unexpectedly.  I “temporarily” lose things – such as the bill that I know came in a few days ago and must be somewhere in the mess that is my kitchen table (do I really need more than enough open space for my dinner plate and mug?).  You’d think that at my time in life (I’m in my early 80s) I would have things more together, but maybe – just maybe – when my eldest daughter comes to visit me here in Colorado from her home in Massachusetts, she will no longer be able to say, “Mom, you’ve got too much stuff”!

Thank you for saying what needs to be said.  I’ve been a bit jealous of those women who can welcome any and all into their homes without saying, “Good grief! I wish I had picked up this morning!”

Thanks for you listening ear.  I’m determined to get started using your practical steps to becoming organized.

Sincerely, Mary

Is Clutter Free For You?

Is Clutter Free For You?

Have you tried decluttering a thousand times and it’s never stuck? You find yourself returning to the clutter over and over again? Have you been thinking about trying Clutter Free but you’re afraid it’s just another book that will clutter up your shelves?

Here’s what Sue, one of our readers, said is different about Clutter Free…

“I have a collection of de-clutter and organizing books.  Yours is the best…I love your book!  I will be clutter free in heaven…I hope.  You really helped me with your insights as to why and what we “clutter”.  I am making progress slowly…but surely. Tomorrow I’ll pick out the pj’s I actually wear and get rid of the rest. My most cluttered area is my vanity…creams, creams, and more creams.  Thanks for your great help!”

5 Ways to Connect Better with Your Kids

5 Ways to Connect Better with Your Kids

5 Ways to Connect Better with Your Kids by Paula Tobey

Have you ever had an encounter with one of your children that left you feeling like the ‘bad guy’? Either there was eye rolling, or stomping and yelling, or even better – a door slammed on your hand (check out my article about that one here http://phemomenallife.com/need-god) and all you could do was pray or kill a kid, lol. Well here are five great tips for you to have a better relationship with your child that will help prevent any of this from ever happening!

Believe it or not, kids need love. They don’t act like they do (and the older they get they may tell you often they don’t) but they do. The ‘kind’ of love is what is in question. Sure as anything, that too changes as kids grow. They want to show love to you. It’s just differently than before. Less kisses and hugs and more ‘trust’ or privileges. Kids need to feel like they have some control, and if that means telling you to stop kissing them at the bus stop, then they will use what works. Just remember, they do love you! Help them feel loved and respected by trying these tips:

  1. Know your kids – Can you tell someone with certainty what your child’s favorite activity is, favorite show or book? Can you list off some of their closest friends? What makes your kid tick?   Make sure to listen to your child’s interests and pay attention to what they talk about. Ask questions.
  1. Accept your child where s/he is – The truth is: kids grow up, and they all do it at different times (although research shows it is happening at an earlier age than ever before). We need to be aware that they might just be ready for the next stage, so we should love and respect them where they are.
  2. Encourage good decisions and positive interactions – When your child does something that is nice or helpful, make sure to comment on it. Positive reinforcement goes much further than negative reinforcement. Negate the nagging! If you don’t like to be nagged by your mother or spouse, why do you think nagging your kid will get them to do much of anything? Give choices and ask them questions like “what are you supposed to be doing right now” rather than “do your homework”. Then after they answer, suggest they can do “A” or “B” and be okay with their choice even if it involves consequences.Paula Tobey
  3. Share some personal things – Kids do want to hear from you. Share with them some of your struggles. Tell them you had a hard time with X, and you don’t want to see them struggle, and that is why you care so much what happens. If they hear from you and your ‘pain’, they are more willing to be understanding and listen to you.
  4. Be available – When kids get home from school, most of them want to wind down a little bit. Give them some space for a few minutes but then engage with them over a snack or in the car. You never know when they’ve had a really bad day and need to talk. Most kids are just waiting for the chance to feel loved. The more available we are to them, the more likely they are to open up to us when needed.

For more great tips on parenting practices, check out all of my blog posts.   http://phemomenallife.com/category/family

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to my blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. 

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Clutter Poison Control Alert – Your Sink is a MESS

Guest post by Paula Tobey

Dear Clutter Free Friends,

poison paulaWhen was the last time you looked under your sink? Was it when you were frantically looking for the Resolve carpet cleaner for the spilled coffee? Was it when you could not find the pot scrubber brush for the burnt on macaroni? I bet it has been a while. At least it had been for me! I don’t often think to clean out under my sink, but let me tell you when you do a whole lot can be found under there, and you can actually organize it!

This Week’s Maintenance Challenge:

Go through the cabinet under your sink by emptying it. Wipe it down top to bottom. Find all of the items that are practically empty and throw out any of them that are old, expired or you don’t remember what they are for anyway.

Put back the items that:

  • Are necessary but contain harmful chemicals (toward the back of the cabinet). Ammonia, Air Fresheners, Bleach, Carpet Cleaner, Dishwasher Detergent, Furniture Polish, Oven Cleaner etc.
  • You use often (toward the middle). This would be trash bags, stack of cleaning cloths etc.
  • Smallest items can be placed in the front — such as brushes, sponges, and plugs for the drains.

When you use this simple but effective way to organize your sink cabinet, you will be able to find what you are looking for easier, limit the need for gutting the entire thing each time you need some cleaner and keep a safer home in case a pair of little fingers wonder into the cabinet.  Also consider going online to get “Mr. Yuck Stickers” from Poison Control if you have young children OR elderly people living in your home. This will also help keep accidents down if they are visibly aware of what is safe and what is not. You can also get baby proofing magnets. These are an easier way to lock cabinets and don’t scrape fingers trying to find little plastic hooks inside the cabinet door. Magnets need to be placed in the correct position and a small child will not be able to find it where as an elderly adult probably could.

Want More Fun?  Join the Clutter Free Facebook Community!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clutter-Free/410093652478105

Looking for More ways to Clean the Clutter? Try the 3-Bag Combo!

http://shop.kathilipp.com/product/clutter-free-3-bag-combo/

Tell us how many items you found under the sink that could be thrown away. Tell us how many bottles you had of the same thing that were all half full.  Join in and have some fun with this.

Paula TobeyFor great ideas on making your marriage more connected and fulfilled, come on over to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ParentingCoachPaula and check out the posts, books and videos.

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be.  For more information go check out her website here www.PheMOMenalLife.com

10 Hot Date Night Ideas for Married Couples

10 Hot Date Night Ideas for Married Couples

When was the last time you and your husband went out on a hot date?

Remember back when you were first married? The romance, the candlelit dinners, the anticipation of that good night kiss . . . and then you had kids.

Let’s be blunt: kids, while adorable and lovable and a gift from God, are romance killers. Suddenly come-hither looks are replaced with bleary-eyed glances accompanied by the vague notion that the guy across the dinner table looks familiar, but you just can’t quite place him.

Well, that guy is your husband and the two of you deserve more! It’s time to put your marriage first, to commit to intentional (and intense!) romance. We all have budgets and packed schedules, so inside this short ebook you’ll find tips and tricks that fit your lifestyle.

Date NightsIf you’re ready to fall in love all over again, you’re ready for this Hot Mama Challenge!

Get the eBook or paperback version of 10 Hot Date Night Ideas for Married Couples today and get your hot dates back!


And if you like this, you’ll love Kathi and Erin’s full-length book, Hot Mama: 12 Secrets to a Sizzling Hot Marriage due for launch in August and the other eBooks in the series, 10 Quick Fashion Fixes to Feel Confident and Sexy, and 10 Ideas to Inspire Red Hot Sex.