Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Divorce

With the divorce rate in the United States over 50% we can’t help but wonder whether those who choose to call it quits have thought through the decision carefully enough – and if they may have been able to salvage their sacred union.

In marriages involving unrepentant adultery, chronic abuse, addiction and abandonment, the option to stay together may not be tenable. However, a large number of divorcing couples just claim to have “drifted apart” or “fallen out of love.”   

A sincere examination of the questions below may help you make the best decision for your future. Ask yourself these ten questions: 

  1. Does your spouse have a sincere desire to work on your marriage? 

If your partner is willing to take responsibility for their part in your marriage problems and has expressed a desire to work on restoration, it is worth making the effort before deciding to divorce.  

  1. Are you emotionally attached to someone other than...
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How to Fill Your Child's Emotional Tank

Many families have experienced an unusual level of stress this year due to job loss or changes, online schooling, social isolation, and anxiety about illness affecting them or someone they love. Some of you may feel as though your physical and emotional reserves are depleted. If you, as an adult, feel as though you’re running on fumes, you can imagine that your children, who don’t have your years of maturity and experience to draw upon, may be running on empty emotionally. 

Kids who are stressed or depressed may act out their feelings with misbehavior, back-talk, appetite changes, aggression, poor sleep or bad dreams, headaches, tummy-aches and unexplained crying. As a parent, you may not be able to fix everything that’s going on, but you can put some small habits into your relationship to strengthen your children’s resilience. 

Here are some ideas that will help refill their little emotional tanks: 

Demonstrate simple kindness. Say...

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Are You Dog Tired?

A legend about Alfred the Great, King of the Saxons from 871-899 AD, purports that he used to send his sons out hunting with many dogs who would come back panting and worn from the hard work. Hence, the phrase we still use today: “Dog-tired.” It’s that particular kind of tired that happens when you have exerted and used up your energy.

You may be saying, “Yes, that’s my life every single day!” You work all day on the job and come home and work some more as you raise children, prepare meals, keep up with household chores and attend to volunteer commitments. Or, during these days when many are working from home, you’re swamped with all of it happening at the same time…all day…24/7!

Some days you go through the motions of your daily routine, wondering why you bother going to the same old job doing the same old things. Or you can’t remember why it’s important to prepare meals and wash dishes and laundry day after day....

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The Role of a Father

As we approach Father’s Day, I would like to take a moment to recognize the powerful role fathers play in the lives of their children. I believe the role of a father is too often undervalued in our society. The truth of the matter is that fathers have a significant impact in the their children's social, emotional, academic, spiritual and relational development. 

As I reflect on my life growing up, I can’t help but feel truly blessed to have had such an amazing father in my life. He was a constant provider for our family and an extremely hard worker. Though my mother was more present in our day to day lives, I have fond memories of the role my father played. He taught me the power of a strong work ethic, how to be true to myself, the power of consistency and action, and how to ride a bike. My dad took me on vacations, called me while he was on trips for work, and either showed up to my sports games to cheer me on or asked me how they went afterwards. I never knew how...

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Seeing the Good in the Bad

It never ceases to amaze me how important our attitudes are when it comes to rising above life’s circumstances. Every week I meet with people from all walks of life that are dealing with heartache and pain and all they can see in front of them is the bad.

When my children were young we would go fishing every summer. I recall one particular fishing trip that I will never forget. Thirty minutes after arriving at the lake, my son, Scott, wanted to leave. He complained that it was too windy and the fish were never going to bite. I tried to encourage him by telling him to try and enjoy the beautiful scenery, the cool breeze and watching the guy next to us catch one fish after another. His response was, “Dad, I hate it when you always see the good in the bad.” Although he was frustrated, I took Scott’s comment as a compliment.

Most of us have been impacted by the Covid-19 virus in some way – from minor nuisance to life-changing tragedy. Even if the illness...

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Tips for Parents Navigating Covid-19 with Kids

For weeks now, life has looked different for families across the country. More time is being spent at home, routines are changing, and children have made the transition to learning from home with distance learning. 

I have been working with parents and students who have shared their thoughts, frustrations, and fears with all of the changes taking place. They want to know how to manage this new way of living. 

The new structure at home can feel overwhelming and challenging as you try to create new routines and take on new roles. As you navigate this time, here are 5 tips to help you and your kids feel successful and make the most out of this unusual time. 

  1. When it comes to distance learning, set up a designated space and time for schoolwork.

Kids thrive when provided structure and routine. If you are having a difficult time getting your child to sit down and get to work, know that you are not alone! Making this transition to learning from home can be...

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Dealing with Covid-19 While Stuck at Home

I recently had the opportunity to do a Facebook Live event with Dr. Randy Carlson for the Intentional Living radio program. We were discussing some of the issues families, in particular, are dealing with as they are staying at home due to the Covid-19 protocols. Here are some of the tips and insights that might help you and your family as you navigate your own situation.

One of the disturbing factors of the virus and the measures being mandated to prevent its spread is the uncertainty that accompanies loss of control in our own lives. One of the strategies we can employ is to reasonably control what we can. I have talked to many people who are anxiously watching news reports for developments and finding it only adds to their stress. My suggestion is to drastically reduce the amount of news they consume. In reality, from hour to hour, there will not be any drastic changes, so a brief, daily check-in is probably enough to keep you informed but not overwhelmed.

It can also be...

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Little Things Count

We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s the little things in life that count.” There’s a lot of truth in that, since most of life is made up of a series of little things. 

Everyday life consists of innumerable moments, in which we work, play, interact with other people, and just exist. The things we do in those moments are the things that put a positive or negative spin on each day we live. If you pass a stranger on the street, do you choose to smile or to look away? If an old friend comes to mind, do you take a moment to write a note or pick up the phone to call, or do you let the thought slip away? If you find yourself with an hour of quiet time, do you spend it constructively, or just passively watch another television program? 

Little things make a difference in the big picture of life. You don’t have to solve all of your problems at once or fill every minute of your day with important activities, but moment by moment, you can make little...

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The Power of Expectation

I want to share a truth that was first revealed to me by my mother when I was a child, then later reinforced through my own life experiences:

“What you expect has phenomenal power over the quality and course of your life.”

Your expectations about your relationships, work, finances and every other area of life are almost always either positive or negative; they are rarely neutral. 

Good and positive expectations trigger excitement, optimistic anticipation, encouragement and hope. In fact, the absence of good expectations is a definition of hopelessness. Negative expectations such as, "People won't like me," "It's going to be one of those bad days," "My kids are headed for failure," or "I will never be out of debt" often lead to discouragement, unhappiness and poor choices. 

Of course in real life, bad things do happen. No one is immune from disappointment, rejection, and bad news at times, but if you expect these themes to be a regular part of...

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Meet Kristen Linaman-Weleba, MS, LPC

Hi, everyone! In place of our usual blog post, I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the newest member of the Relational Advantage team! My name is Kristen Linaman-Weleba and I am a certified teacher and Licensed Professional Counselor. Most importantly, I have the joy of being a wife and mom to my husband and two children.

I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and my Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University. I began my teaching career working with elementary age students and then transitioned into teaching middle and high school. For the last few years I have been a therapist at a residential treatment facility.

Every year while in the classroom, I encountered a small group of children and teens who not only struggled academically, but socially and emotionally as well. I knew how to address many of the academic challenges, but I recognized that these students would likely...

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