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How to Reframe Common Words and Phrases That Can Be Harmful to Others

I had this crazy idea recently that I will start writing and sharing more on my blog. It won't always be themed or professionally laid out, but it will be honest and real. Do you ever think about the true power of words? I am no expert when it comes to writing and language, but I do use common sense when I say or write certain words. There are so many times that family members, friends or acquaintances say words that really make me cringe. If you are a product of any type of childhood abuse or abuse in general, some words can be particularly triggering, and can bring up negative feelings or thoughts. Some words may seem so common and innocent when in fact they are quite harmful. I am writing this post not as an attack on anyone, but simply as a tool to maybe help others see how their use of words can be hurting others without knowing it. 

Some words and phrases to consider using an alternate for: 

  • Hate. Hate is such a harsh and unnecessary word in my opinion. I heard it so much in my household growing up, but I will spare you the details. You have to really have some deep-rooted issues if you throw this word around on the daily. I see folks online commenting on a food photo and say oh I hate broccoli or whatever the food is. I see it when they complain about celebrities they don't care for. Saying you hate them is so unneeded. Maybe keep scrolling or if you are asked your opinion you can simply say you do not care for that person or they are not your cup of tea. Doesn't that sound better? Some alternate words or phrases you can use are: dislike, not my thing, not a fan, or even have a distaste for. There are definitely more things you can say, but it is ultimately your choice. 
  • Kill. This word really has an effect on me personally. I have been told by family members in the past I will kill you if you do so and so, and it stayed with me my whole life. That is not something anyone should say to another person or even joke about. Saying oh he/she/they might kill or murder you if you do that is horrible. What is the purpose of even saying something like that? I believe that you can speak to someone regularly, and not know some of the details of their past that with one word, you can put them in a bad headspace. I have seen some friends online post about someone who might have taken their life, and they use the term unalive or unalived themselves. While that might be an odd word, it sure beats using kill or killed. 

Two common words that people often use with a negative connotation are "problem" and "fail." Here are alternative words that can convey a similar meaning but with a more positive or neutral tone:

Instead of "problem," you can use:
  • Challenge
  • Issue
  • Opportunity
  • Difficulty
  • Obstacle
Instead of "fail," you can use:
  • Learn
  • Experience setback
  • Encounter difficulties
  • Fall short
  • Not succeed 

There are so many other words I could mention in this post, but I will choose to stop here. At the end of the day, we all have choices in how we speak to others whether it is casually, professionally or online. I choose to speak in a more positive tone and prefer to spread joy and love. I know we are all wired differently, but I challenge you to take an extra moment to think before you speak or write. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this today. It means a lot. <3

5 Skills to Teach Your Teen or Young Adult Before They Move Out

It’s hard to believe time really does move so quickly. When your teen or young adult is ready to move out of your home, they must be prepared. Here are five skills that you need to teach them before they leave the nest. 

1. Manage Their Healthcare

For most of your child’s life, you have been the one to bring them to the doctor and take care of them when they were ill. This is now their responsibility, and it can be overwhelming.  Educate them about what medications are available over the counter for headaches, allergies, colds and other common ailments. It’s also necessary to help them establish a new doctor and dentist if they move away from the local area. Issues such as proper nutrition, avoiding drugs and preventing unplanned pregnancy Des Plaines, IL are essential lessons to teach. 

2. Know Basic Home Maintenance Tasks

It’s common for teens to have the responsibility of keeping their room clean or contributing to chores, but do they have the knowledge to keep a home functioning? Such tasks as plunging a toilet, changing the HVAC filter, running the dishwasher and unclog a drain are vital skills to have. Most of these skills are very basic, but it sets them up to be more independent from the start. 

3. Maintain a Budget

Now that your young adult has their own bills to pay make sure they know how to spend and save wisely. It’s very easy to overspend when there isn’t a budget to follow. Show them how to plan ahead for their bills, so they know how much spending money they have for extra activities. It’s a good idea to demonstrate how to create a spreadsheet, use a ledger or banking apps to establish a long-term routine. Learning early on in life about proper spending habits sets them up for better financial security. 

4. Cook a Meal

At some point, your teen will realize they want to eat more than cereal and sandwiches. Teaching them basic cooking skills gives them a wider variety of meals and allows them access to healthier food choices. This is also a good time to teach kitchen safety and how to use essential tools and appliances. 

5. Take Care of Their Car

Knowing how to check the oil, fill the gas tank, and check tire pressure are basic maintenance tasks a young adult should know how to do. But what happens if there is a larger problem, or they’ve had an accident? There are scenarios you teen probably hasn’t experienced before, so knowing what to do before it happens makes sure they know how to respond properly if it does Make sure they know how to contact the police, exchange insurance information, take pictures of the damage and follow up with insurance after an accident. If their car needs repair talk to them about how to find a repair shop and get an accurate price quote. 

Having your child move out is an adventure for everyone. Knowing these skills helps your teen or young adult be more prepared to live on their own.


5 Ways Parents Can Teach Their Kids Important Money Lessons During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is especially fun for kids, but it also provides parents a great opportunity to teach their little ones important lessons about money. What are the best ways mom and dad can do this without their children losing interest?

Steve Siebold is a Certified Financial Educator (CFEd) and author of the book “How Money Works,” which is written on a level that even children can understand the basics of money.

His 5 tips to help parents better explain money to their kids this time of year:

Invest any money they are gifted: When your children receive checks from relatives far away or if you decide to gift your children money as a holiday present, don’t just put it away in a savings account that will yield practically no interest. Teach them to invest their money so it can work for them. Show them the different places they can put that money, the potential for growth and risk for loss.

Let them get involved with budgeting: As you do your holiday shopping this year, involve your kids. Let them see how money work, how you create and stick to a budget. Explain to them the benefits of a budget, and how it prevents you from overspending. Be frank with them and show them that if you go over a budget, it impacts other important things you need money for.

Explain wants vs. needs: The holiday season is a great time to explain to your kids the difference between wants and needs. For example: they might want a Play Station 5, a new iPad or that new bicycle. Let them know a need is something like clothes, food, a place to call home and a bed to sleep in. Explain that there’s nothing wrong with “want” gifts, but that needs always supersede wants.

Teach them to think before spending: One of the biggest reasons so many people struggle with money is because they don’t think before they spend. That’s even more so during the holidays because Madison Avenue does a good job of convincing us of all the things we supposedly need to buy. Teach your kids to stick to logic when it comes to spending this time of year, and to leave their emotions on the shelf.

Teach them it’s better to give: Most children love waking up on Christmas morning to open up all those gifts under the Christmas tree. Use the holiday season to also teach your kids the importance of giving. Explain to them how it’s nice to help others in general, but especially this time of year. One of the greatest lessons you can share with your children is purchasing a gift for a child who wouldn’t otherwise receive one this holiday season.
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