Navigating Your Children’s Unequal Abilities

It’s an objective fact: one of our children is always going to better than another child at any given activity. One child might be academically sharper. Or one child may exhibit greater athleticism and coordination. Perhaps it’s nothing to do with talent, but instead it’s looks. One child is simply more handsome or pretty.

Sibling rivalry can often be the outcome of one child being better than another. Competitiveness, bad sportsmanship, cheating, and other ugly spats occur when they go up against one another. In other circumstances a child might become despondent, apathetic, or even passive aggressive when they see a sibling succeed, even when it’s not at their own expense.

Sometimes the inequality in ability is simply a reality of development. Older kids will usually be better at most things than their younger siblings. Other times it might be a question of resources. Sometimes the second or third child is the one who gets better opportunities. And then there’s issues of natural strengths, motivation, peer pressure, and other environmental factors.

As parents we try to minimise these differences. We don’t want to play favourites. Yet many of us know that those differences exist. The trophy cabinet, report card, or popularity of each child are evidence.

More vexing is that our kids recognise the differences. How do we help them to navigate their discrepant capacity in any given domain?

Resist Labelling

Avoid labelling your kids as ‘the sporty one’ or the ‘academic one’. When Ben is told he’s sporty, and when Hamish is told he’s smart, all Ben will hear is that he’s dumb and all Hamish will hear is that he’s uncoordinated. Our kids almost cannot help but infer judgement and comparison from us. They’ll potentially feel like it’s a competition. Even if the comparison is favourable, labels can create a divide and bad feelings between siblings.

Furthermore, labels pigeonhole kids into believing those things about themselves and make them resistant to change.

Rather than labelling, ask your child why they think they did so well. Encourage them to keep doing what lights them up and brings them success and joy.

Be careful about praise and criticism

Psychological evidence on the helpfulness of praise is mixed. Often our praise literally undermines the very attributes we’re trying to build. And our kids may even feel a need to compete for our praise, whether helpful or not. As a result, I tend to discourage parents from praising their kids. There are better forms of feedback to offer.

Rather than praising, try using gratitude. There’s less perceived judgement, and it’s harder for kids to feel a need to compete with one another to be told, “thanks”.

I feel that the best response is to invite children to praise themselves. Ask, ‘What do you think you did well today?’ Teaching them to see themselves in a positive light is the best way to foster motivation, wellbeing and resilience in our kids. This type of conversation is easy to share around, and encourages collaboration and building, rather than unhelpful competition between siblings.

In the same vein, we do best when we avoid criticism. However well-intentioned, constructive criticism that follows a poor performance can damage a child’s self-esteem.

Criticism leads to anger and defiance or, worse, withdrawal. As anxious parents we might then criticise more. We want them to snap out of it, and do well! But more criticism just leads to more anger, and the cycle continues.

In the sibling context, one child may perceive that you have been more critical of her than her brother or sister. This judgement fosters unhealthy competition.

Instead of criticising, we should ask, ‘Did you have fun?’ And then we should say, ‘I love watching you play’. There’s no judgement. There’s no competition. There’s no rivalry. This type of statement is nothing but encouragement and love.

Find Their ‘Islands of Competence’

As parents we have to see past our own expectations and desires for our kids. It’s important that we help our kids find their own strengths. Dr Robert Brooks, faculty member of Harvard Medical School and co-author of ‘Raising Resilient Children’ calls these areas of strength ‘islands of competence’. These islands of competence are where we identify and reinforce each child’s potential for excellence.

Having a strengths focus and creating islands of competence means honouring each child’s individual abilities. Focusing on strengths shifts a child’s perspective too. It’s no longer about what they aren’t good at, but what they are. Using strengths is great for wellbeing as well. It increases resilience and lowers depression, anxiety and stress.

Islands of competence also allow for islands of incompetence. We all have them. But like Riley from Inside Out, when we’re strengths focused, disappointments give our kids a balanced outlook on life, rather than total discouragement.

We all have strengths. And we all have weaknesses. Someone will always be better than us at something, and others will always be worse at that exact same thing. Our goal is not to pit our kids in contest with one another. Rather, it’s to help our children to recognise that dropping the competitive focus, celebrating others’ success, and striving for excellence themselves is a more sure path to joy.


You can find more advice on sibling relationships in 10 Things Every Parent Needs To Know.


10 Things Every Parent Needs To Know

The post Navigating Your Children’s Unequal Abilities appeared first on Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families.

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Staying Healthy This Season with Desert Essence

I feel like every year once the kids go back to school, I have to be more careful about germs. As temperatures fall, all of the indoor areas just become full of germs! We do our best to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and, of course, keep our hands clean. With three busy kids and lots of activities, it’s not always possible to wash hands as often as I’d like. So, we use Desert Essence probiotic hand sanitizers to clean our hands and keep those germs away!

I received complimentary samples of Desert Essence from Mom’s Meet. All opinions are my own.

Use Promo Code DEprobioticpower to get 30% off Desert Essence Probiotic Hand Sanitizers at

These amazing hand sanitizers kill 99.99% of germs. Desert Essence products use natural extracts and essential oils like tea tree, thyme, elderberry and echinacea to help reduce bacteria. While they’re keeping the germs away, they also help your skin nourished using probiotic-packed kefir! Their patented technology protects the probiotic without neutralizing the santizer. The probiotic thrives while the bacteria is wiped out! You just put the product in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together briskly until they dry. It takes only about 30 seconds!

I love how they don’t dry out my skin like other hand sanitizers, and are just as effective!

I like to keep the small travel sized bottles with our backpacks. The first thing I make the kids do when we get in the car after school is sanitize their hands.

I take a bottle to work, too!

My favorite place to keep hand sanitizer is right inside the door from our garage. If we have been out running errands, we can stop those germs from coming in the house!

Where to purchase Desert Essence products

Desert Essence Probiotic Hand Sanitizer is available to purchase at Visit for the full list of locations. They are also available on Amazon. The small travel bottles typically retail for $4.99 and the large bottles for $9.99. Make sure to use promo code DEprobioticpower to save 30% at

Desert Essence Probiotic Hand Sanitizer

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R U OK Day – Having the conversation and what to do if the answer is ‘no’.

Alex* was a popular kid. He seemed OK. He was good at sports, doing fine at school, and came from an affluent, strong family.

But in early September, 2019, the Year 11 boy took his life.

In the days following Alex’s suicide, several of his friends spoke to school counsellors and disclosed, “I had a feeling he wasn’t OK. But I didn’t know what to do or who to tell.”

Each September our social media feeds are flooded with people asking each other, ‘R U OK?’ These are wonderful sentiments. I’m all for it. The outpouring of concern is powerful. It’s helpful. It’s positive. And yet… there’s something missing. It’s a great start. But it’s not enough. While R U OK day has led to important breakthroughs for many people (and has likely saved lives) too many people nod and say, “yep I’m ok”, when they’re not.

And what do we do when someone responds with “Actually, no. I’m not ok at all”?

The official R U OK Day site says, ‘R U OK? Day is our national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone to ask, “Are you OK?”’ But what matters most in that sentence is not the question. It’s the word ”action”.

Having the conversation

survey of 2000 adults showed that the average adult is fudging the truth when they tell us “I’m fine”. My own recent research with 400 Aussie teen girls affirms that they lie to us all the time about being “OK”. After all, it’s just what we say isn’t it? And we don’t really want to tell everyone our problems.

Does that mean we should stop asking R U OK? Of course not. What it does mean is that we might be able to learn to ask better. And listen better.

This is equally important for our children as it is for other adults. In 2017, 180 children and adolescents completed suicides, accounting for approximately 35% of deaths in those aged 19 and under. Through their unspeakable pain and grief, too many grieving parents will cry, “We had no idea things were that bad.”

I was invited to speak at Alex’s school about a week after his suicide. I spoke with students. I talked with staff. I spent time working with the school’s counsellors. And then I spoke to parents.

They all wanted to know: “How do I deal with a child who is depressed, anxious, self-harming, or having suicidal thoughts?”

This is what I told them:

Tip 1: Just like dollars are the currency of our economy, attention is the currency of our relationships. Spending time in the relationship is critical for our children to be willing to talk with us, trust us, and disclose their struggles to us. We must prioritise our relationships over TV, email, cleaning the house, exercise, socialising, and in serious situations, even work. To a child LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E.

Tip 2: If you sense they’re not ok, tell them that. Be up front. Here’s how:

“I’ve seen how hard things have been at school lately. You’ve come home sad. You’ve preferred to stay in your bedroom. Things seem rough.”

“You seem to be really struggling lately. I’ve been trying to reach you but you seem to really feel like you want to be alone.”

“It feels like the whole world is crashing down for you at the moment doesn’t it. Sometimes it all feels like it’s too much.”

There’s an old saying that “if you can name it, you can tame it.” What we’re trying to do with those we love is to put a name to the emotion that might be dragging them down. When we do that, they feel understood.

Tip 3: Don’t try to fix things. You usually can’t. Instead, name the emotion and then sit with them in their struggle. Let them open up. Listen. That’s it.

While writing my soon-to-be-published book about teen girls, “Miss-Connection” I was writing about compassion. I discovered that the word literally means “to suffer with”.

If someone is not ok, we can’t fix them. But we can suffer with them. We can see they’re struggling and step into that struggle with them. That’s true compassion. And that’s how we truly help.

Tip 4: Tell them you love them. No. Matter. What.

Relationships are at the heart of wellbeing. When someone doesn’t feel “ok”, they often feel unworthy.

Reassurance that they are valued – loved – is key. The added confirmation that they matter to you – no matter what – can be pricelessly affirming. It assures them of their worth. They hear you promise that they mean something to you. They make a difference.

If your child, or someone you love, is not ok:

Take it seriously.

Ask questions.

Find out if they need urgent help.

If you are concerned, ask the question: “Have you been thinking about self-harming or suicide?”

Many of us will shy away from conversations like this. But asking those kinds of questions doesn’t increase the risk of suicide – in fact, they can actually help someone feel less distressed. It’s ok to ask.

If they say yes, drive them to your nearest Emergency Department and tell them you have a child who is talking about suicide. Don’t wait. Just go.

And don’t wait until R U OK day to ask.

Important Numbers

Contact beyondblue at 1300 22 46 36 for information about mental health

Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 for suicide and crisis support.

Contact 000 for emergencies.

The post R U OK Day – Having the conversation and what to do if the answer is ‘no’. appeared first on Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families.

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DIY Essential Oils Joint Pain Relief Roller Recipe

If you have joint pain, this easy DIY joint pain relief roller is a great thing to keep in your purse. It is made with a blend of essential oils. You probably already have some of them at home! Make sure to check out my other essential oil recipes too!

Joint Pain Relief Roller Supplies:

• 1/2 tablespoon of witch hazel
• 1/2 tablespoon of a fractionated coconut oil as a carrier oil
• 10 drops of copaiba essential oil
• 10 drops of wintergreen essential oil
• 10 drops of myrrh essential oil
• 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
• 10 drops of ginger essential oil
• Roller ball container (I get mine on Amazon)

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Joint Pain Relief Roller Directions:

First, in a small mixing bowl, add the witch hazel and carrier oil.

Next, add your five essential oils to the bowl.

Then, mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl.

For the last step, use the dropper to add mixture to roller bottle. Top the bottle with ball and lid. This recipe will make one roller bottle. Roll topically on joints as needed to relieve soreness or pain.

The post DIY Essential Oils Joint Pain Relief Roller Recipe appeared first on Healthy Happy Thrifty Family.

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6 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success

6 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success have been given by Mike Williams and shared by Matt Lloyd who is a very successful Entrepreneur and we are displaying these tips here for the benefit of our dear readers.

The transition from an employee background to an entrepreneur can be one of the biggest challenges of your life, especially if you don’t have any family or friends who are entrepreneurs.
You have to change the way you think, the way you act and the way you live your lifestyle.



Mike Williams credits a lot of his entrepreneurial success to having wonderful mentors. There are plenty of people who will be willing to take you under their wing, if you seek them out and ask them to be your mentor.

Although it’s extremely helpful to have a mentor who’s accomplished in the industry you’re going into, that doesn’t need to be the only kind of mentor you have. Find anyone, even a family member, who’s willing to encourage you and understands what you’re trying to do.

Mike Williams’ father did not encourage him to leave his career to start a business. He was more of a family man than a businessman, and was not a risk taker.

If you can relate to Mike’s lack of support from those closest to him, it’s incredibly important that you are able to find people who do support you.


All successful entrepreneurs read books. If you’re concerned that you don’t have the time to read, you’re not alone, but don’t let that stop you. Listen to audiobooks when you’re exercising instead. The wisdom you can gain from books is too valuable to pass up.


Attending events is how you can combine the value of being around supportive mentors and acquiring valuable knowledge.

Don’t limit yourself to just MOBE events. Find local networking groups in your area, attend regularly and get to know others who are on the same path as you. This is a way you can fight the loneliness that many entrepreneurs suffer from.


Don’t expect everything to work on your first try. When things don’t work, just evaluate and improve them the next time.

The secret of the world’s top entrepreneurs is not that everything they touch instantly turns to gold. It’s that they try many different things, and although they don’t all work, they keep going and don’t let temporary failures stop them.

Continue what works and stop what does not work.


Be open to partnering with other entrepreneurs. Business partners can sometimes be difficult, but they can also sometimes be a blessing.

If there’s a particular aspect of your business that you hate doing, it’s practically guaranteed that some other individual or company wants to do it for you. They may even be desperate to do it. That’s something to take advantage of.


Finally, keep taking action. Remember that any action is better than no action at all.

If you fail, it’s better than having not acted at all. Allow yourself to fail in the interim and you will ultimately succeed.

You can access more business strategies like this one, and learn how to model the “thinking patterns” of the world’s most successful business owners and entrepreneurs by clicking HERE.


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How To Get Lightning Fast Access To Your Website

How To Get Lightning Fast Access To Your Website is vital to achieve more visitors to your website so that you get more income. Please watch this video to feel how fast is the data flow from Solid State Drive (SSD) Hosting as offered by this example hosting company based in Paris (France) and offers the service in both English & French languages. Enjoy the video given below.

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