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People are unreliable, especially when they're trying to change the way they've been living their life. Haven't we all been pretty unreliable whenever we're motivated to improve, for instance, our cooking skills? Gretchen also realized during this year of happiness that she needs gold stars. Well, she thinks she shouldn't need them, but she knows that words of affirmation, one of the five love languages, is a key point of satisfaction and happiness. The problem is, as Gretchen just explained, we can't bully people into appreciating us. As Gretchen was improving the apartment space more and more, she wanted great words of affection for her efforts. What did she receive? I was thrilled with the improved conditions in our apartment, and I kept waiting for Jamie to say, `Boy, everything looks terrific! Again, it is best for each parent to speak for him- or herself and use language that is age-appropriate. When children ask for specific details such as who, where, and when, it is advised you tell them that this information has been shared only with their other parent unless the answer has a direct impact on them (the children). An example of such a situation needing greater detail might be when a family needs to move or not see a certain relative on a holiday. I know you may be gasping as you read this. This is a difficult situation, but keeping the following key questions in mind will help guide you. Remember, age is a significant gauge. Ask yourself: A SOFT APPROACH TO DISCLOSURE The following couple took a less direct or what is thought of as a soft approach to disclosure. They recognized the value of sharing but delayed sharing the sexual component for a few years. Because we are more aware of the importance of sanitation and its role in infection, we tend to clean and sterilize most everything. We know that sanitation prevents the spread of germs, and because of this knowledge, we have reduced the number of illnesses that have affected our children.

But have we gone too far? Is it possible to be overly clean? What is the impact of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps that remove 99 percent of the bacteria on our skin? Is that a good thing? In fact, studies show that people who lived in large families in less sanitary conditions than we do today were not afflicted with the same illnesses that we are now. They had less asthma and fewer allergies. In the past, this was nonexistent. With greater access to medical care, we also take our children to doctors when they have common ailments. You've done so much work, it's so much nicer! This is a continuous struggle throughout Gretchen's article. Gretchen likes her gold stars, but few of us liberally dish them out to people. Don't you find people are hesitant to compliment each other? We all like to be appreciated, but since so few are open about complimenting people, so few feel appreciated for their efforts, just like Gretchen. So, is Gretchen truly happier after all of this effort? After the entire year of effort, activities and resolutions, she found the whole project to be a success. You could be a skeptic and say that she said it was successful because she doesn't want to spend a whole year doing something and say it was a waste. That's not very motivating! She finishes the article by challenging us with this statement: Should you choose the softer style, you have the option of sharing the message when you believe your child is more developmentally prepared. My kids were seven and nine when everything came out in the open.

They had seen and heard anger and crying, and they were aware their father had been absent a lot. When my husband went to treatment and I started my therapy, we simply told the kids that we had done some things to each other that were hurtful; I thought the best thing I could do for them was to keep a routine to their lives. I used my dear friends for backup, people the kids knew and trusted, during these initial treatment experiences. Their father and I told them that we loved them, that these problems were not about them, and that we were going to try very hard to work things out and have a happy family. While you may choose not to share information with your kids about the sexual aspect of your partner's acting out, their experiences related to the stress within the family need to be validated and they need to be supported. Children of all ages witness tears and anger, and they pick up on the stress between their parents. Basic information can easily validate their perceptions: Your dad and I are sad right now about how we have treated each other. Often people go to their doctors' offices with colds and want antibiotics. But most of the time, these so-called colds are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are primarily ineffective against viral infections. But perhaps because of pressure from their patients, physicians will prescribe antibiotics anyway, which then disrupt their patients' gut flora. Are we doing the right thing? Are we overtreating illnesses, and could many of them simply be monitored while our bodies' natural defenses go to work? With all of these changes in the modern era, we have also noted the onset of so many more cases of allergy, autoimmune disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Many health professionals (and we ourselves) also assert that we should let natural things be natural. Their advice includes the following: Do not stop your kids from eating dirt, as long as it hasn't been sprayed with pesticides. Let them get dirty. Let your dog lick the kids' faces. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity. I never expect to be done with my resolutions, so I don't get discouraged when they stay challenging.

Which they do. The Polar Differences Between Shane and Gretchen (1) Anything that you continuously need to do is considered worthless by an apathetic person. This is the first stark difference between Shane and Gretchen. Shane would never have Gretchen's attitude about life, because it's not worth his time. He sees no benefit in marginally improving himself, because it's marginal. And, since the dramatic change that Gretchen has implemented takes decades of time, the Shanes of the world would say, Ahhh who gives a rat's ass anyways! It probably won't happen to me. We are working on being kind to each other. There have been lies and secrets and now we are being honest with each other. We love you and we are sorry we have not paid attention to you and that we have lashed out at you when we were angry with each other. Yes, we are having some adult problems, but they are not about you. You are precious to us and we both love you very much. In hindsight, the parents in the next two situations wish they had taken a softer approach to disclosure. Looking back I think my children, who were under twelve, were too young to hear so much about my behavior. I don't think they really understood other than their father had done some really bad things that were causing a lot of anger and anguish. I think their being exposed to the information has influenced their dating relationships. But it is also hard to separate how much they were influenced by the dysfunction of my sex addiction and/or the hostile relationship their mother and I were openly engaged in for a lot of their early lives. Don't spray everything with bactericidal soap. Don't wash your hands with bactericidal soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Unless we work in a hospital or are constantly exposed to infections, the bacteria that we are exposed to are good for our microbiota. Our intestines become strong and hardy, and the intestinal barriers become strong. Nourish your bugs. Don't be afraid of them. Probiotics have been defined as live organisms that when given in adequate amounts confer health benefits. This interest started with recent studies on lactose intolerance, which is the inability of the body to break down lactose, a key component of cow's milk. As we age, the amount of lactase enzyme we produce in order to break down lactose decreases. As a result, with lactose malabsorption, people experience bloating, gas, and watery diarrhea. (2) An apathetic person's mind is always about the short-term. What can I receive from life right now? Shane operates on a very impulsive, reactive approach to satisfying himself. How can I have sex even if it's not the best sex? How can I still get paid while working as little as possible? How can I escape something I don't want to do as quickly as possible? Gretchen operates on a higher level and asks better questions. What activities can I do now to make my life happier now AND in the long-term? How can I make sure to enjoy everything great in my life as much as possible? How can I truly savor what's glorious about today and elongate this feeling for as long as possible? Because they had heard and seen so much, they needed to be told something. But it wasn't like a private discussion with the focus being what was best for them.