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Family Dinners: Just Holiday Time or All the Time? + Holiday Gift Ideas

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  • Dr. Charlotte Reznick PhD
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    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2011
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      Family Dinners: Just Holiday Time or All the Time?

      With the holidays upon us, there's likely going to be a lot of family
      gatherings - meals included. It brings up the question of how essential these
      rituals are to you - not just at holiday time - but all the time.

      Family dinners can be a loving, predictable routine that make kids feel safe
      and cherished. It's wonderful to know there is something you can always count
      on, even when there's so much unpredictability and change in our fast-paced
      lives. Yet with all the activities kids are running to after school - sports,
      arts, music, and more - family meals often fall to the wayside. Trying to
      juggle multiple kids' schedules becomes and almost Herculean task. So it's
      crucial to think about what's key to your family - what your values are - and
      come up with a workable solution.

      Find a workable solution:

      There's a wide range of what works. Some of the families I treat insist on the
      importance of gathering together every night. They believe that touching base
      daily is critical, especially after such busy days. These families work their
      kids' schedules so that there is only one after school activity a day. If Jonny
      might have soccer on Monday, Erin waits until Tuesday for her piano lesson. Dad
      leaves for work early in the am, and if need be, finishes a project after the
      kids are in bed. That way, everyone is home for dinner.

      Other folks choose a couple of nights a week as treasured; no one makes plans
      Wednesday and Sunday evenings. And on the other nights, whichever parent is
      home has special alone time with the children that aren't out. It seems to
      balance out well.

      Still other families accept the chaos of everyone's schedules during the week,
      but keep Friday nights as a sacred ritual. They pull out their very best china
      and the kids drink juice from wine glasses. They light candles and bring the
      spirit of love into their home and hearts as they welcome the weekend. Everyone
      feels like a "special guest" at the table. And everyone looks forward to this
      weekly loving connection.

      No matter how crazy and busy your lives are, find a mealtime ritual that works
      for your family.

      Appreciate the healing possibilities:

      There's nothing like a laughter-filled table to release the stress of the day
      with people whom you love and who love you. It's a great time to hear about
      everyone's experience - highs, lows, funny moments, silly seconds... One family
      has a unique take on the best/worst of the day; they share what their "rose"
      and "thorn" were that day and double up on the positive by adding a "petal" or
      two of sweet stories. Plus, the understanding that comes from knowing someone
      really listens to you - that a family member is on your team - can be
      exhilarating, cathartic, and healing.

      Five tips to connect at the dinner table:

      1. Start dinnertime during set-up-time and involve everyone - preparing the
      meal, setting the table, placing food - even the youngest can help.

      2. Try to talk one at a time and ask follow-up questions after someone speaks.
      Play simple sharing games such as "rose/thorn" or "high/low" or "success" of
      the day.

      3. So no one person hogs the conversation, everyone gets to speak once before
      the free-for-all of anyone speaks begins.

      4. Express gratitude before or after every meal holding hands.

      5. No one gets up from the table till the last eater is done; parents may want
      to linger to chat after the kids are excused.

      Please

      Electronic free zone?

      Six everyday activities that can also promote bonding:

      All found on [2]Huffington Post

      * Much of this article was prepared for a larger article for reporter Joanne
      Richard of Sun Media in Canada. Read Joanne's complete article, "Family Dinners
      Can Build Teen Confidence and Reduce Obesity," [3]here.

      **A special thank you and appreciation to the families who contributed many of
      these terrific ideas. Please write and share yours.


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      Holiday Gift Pack for Kids: 25% off

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      With love and light,
      Dr. Charlotte

      Featured Teacher


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      About Dr. Charlotte Reznick
      Charlotte Reznick PhD specializes in helping children and adolescents develop
      the emotional skills necessary for a happy and successful life. She is a
      licensed educational psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of
      Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Charlotte is the creator of Imagery For Kids^TM:
      Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity, and Empowerment and is the author/
      producer of several therapeutic CDs for children, teens, and parents. An
      international workshop leader on the healing power of children's imagination,
      she maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, California. Visit



      Go here to join in.....


      December (TBA)
      Radio Interview (Podcast)
      Happy Healthy Families
      Host: Hannah Keeley
      [15](Link to Site)

      Dec. 13
      Workshop at School
      Paul Revere Middle School
      8:30 - 10:00 am
      Brentwood, CA.
      [16](Link to School)

      Feb. 21
      Workshop at School
      Westchester Parents Nursery School
      7:00 - 9:00 pm
      Westchester, CA.
      [17](Link to School)

      March 22-24
      Workshop at Conference
      Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
      Creating a New Wisdom
      Omni Shoreham Hotel
      Washington, DC
      [18](Link to conference)

      March 25
      Workshop at Church
      (Info forthcoming)

      May 3-6
      Workshop at Conference
      California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
      Annual Conference
      Altogether Now: Diverse Faces of Mental Health
      The San Diego Marriott Mission Valley
      San Diego, CA
      [19](Link to Conference)

      L.A. Times best-selling [20]
      [21]The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety
      into Joy and Success

      I'm passionate about helping kids develop self-love and learn self-healing
      techniques for life's challenges.

      I'd be delighted to come to your school or organization - anywhere in the
      world. Let me share how Nine Imagination Tools can transform stress and anxiety
      into joy and success for the lives of the children and teens you care about.

      Write me directly and tell me your needs at

      Dr. Reznick can help; call (310) 889-7859 for more information.
      Imagery For Kids | 11911 San Vicente Blvd. | Suite 240 - Brentwood | Los
      Angeles, CA 90049

      Counseling Services, Guided Imagery, and Meditation Training offered to clients
      living in: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills,
      Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista,
      Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock
      Park, West Hollywood.

      Consultation, Workshops, Trainings and Speaking Offered Worldwide: U.S.,
      Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Africa.

      All Content Copyright ©2010 Charlotte Reznick PhD, All rights reserved.


      1. http://www.imageryforkids.com/learnMore.html
      2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charlotte-reznick-phd/family-dinners-just-holid_b_1106634.html
      3. http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/17/family-dinners-can-build-teen-confidence-and-reduce-obesity
      4. http://www.imageryforkids.com/bookpromocdoffer.html
      5. http://www.imageryforkids.com/bookpromocdoffer.html
      6. http://www.imageryforkids.com/holidaySpecial.html
      7. http://www.imageryforkids.com/holidaySpecial.html
      8. http://www.imageryforkids.com/shop-kids-relaxation-trio-discount-package.html
      9. http://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Forever-Womans-Feeling-Joyful/dp/061555332X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322521695&sr=8-1
      10. http://www.imageryforkids.com/
      11. http://twitter.com/#!/imageryforkids
      12. http://twitter.com/#!/ImageryForKids
      13. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=744618470
      14. http://www.linkedin.com/in/imageryforkids
      15. http://hannahkeeley.com/
      16. http://www.paulreverems.com/paulreverems/site/default.asp
      17. http://www.wpns.org/
      18. http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/symposium/symposium-2012
      19. http://www.camft.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Conference_Link_1&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=9489
      20. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399535071?ie=UTF8&tag=book-search-engine-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399535071
      21. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399535071?ie=UTF8&tag=book-search-engine-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0399535071

      This message was sent to indigo-schools@yahoogroups.com from:
      Imagery For Kids | 11911 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 240 - Brentwood | Los Angeles, CA 90049

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