Vitamin N Improves Behavior

By Karen DeBolt | 18th Apr 2011 | Filed under Family Rituals, Parenting, Personal, Reflections, Relationships, Self Care, Techniques

I feel very fortunate to live in an area where nature is
very close, yet it is so easy to forget to go out and enjoy
it. I get so busy that I forget to smell the freshly mown
grass or forget to go over to the local woods for a nice
walk. This lack of being in nature or “vitamin N” can
really start to make us feel crumby after a while.

This is especially true for children who get stuck watching
TV or playing their favorite videogames. Its not like when
I was little and my mom would just say, “Go outside!” and I
would hang out with the neighborhood kids riding bikes or
skating. Our modern world seems to be full of a lot more
worries now.

Lessons from Day Camp

Yet, this vitamin N deficiency really does affect our
children’s behavior in a negative way. During our Summer
Day Camps, we have learned that taking a hike in nature
every single day means that the afternoon activities go
well. Even just going to a playground doesn’t quite work in
the same way. There’s something special about mindfully
walking looking for living creatures to show to each other.
Our campers would be able to focus better and control their
emotions better after taking a hike.

So take this as a reminder to get your Vitamin N this week,
both for yourself and for your child.

And, if you are still thinking about whether to sign up for
Whiz Kid Summer Day Camp then now is the time. We have a
few different options to choose from a 5 week two day a
week camp and a traditional one week Camp for each boys and
girls. All the details are here:

Please don’t delay if this is something that you think would
be a good fit for your family! We have 3 more spots available
in August and 4 in June/July.

Check out the link or feel free to give me a call at
503-459-2073 to get started.

All the best,  Karen

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Happy Holidaze to you and yours

By Karen DeBolt | 13th Dec 2010 | Filed under Family Rituals, Reflections

We celebrate Christmas at our home, and today was the annual going to get the Christmas tree ritual. As in past years, things did not go completely smoothly. You can probably relate!

As some of you know, I work on a crisis line over the weekend on the overnight shift. While I do really love this work, the hours make life very hard sometimes.  My 15 year old also has all kinds of choir practices and 6 performances and my son is also doing play practice and my 17 year old is working part time. Needless to say, finding a time to go get a tree was not easy this year! So I decided that I would just stay up one morning, and we would go.

So I get off work yesterday morning, I’m a bit wound up over something that happened at work so that delays me in getting home. Then my 15 year old is refusing to get out of bed. She is usually my easy kid too! ugh! I lay the guilt trip on strong and thick. It worked! Luckily, my son and other daughter are ready and excited to get started. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

We go to a local farm, Furrow Farms, to pick out and cut our own tree. We walk and walk until we find the perfect enough tree. Everyone gets a vote and it took a while to find the perfect tree. By the time we walk back to the car, I’m dead on my feet! My beloved husband gets the tree tied up on the roof of the car and we take it home.

The tree is  sitting in my living room now smelling lovely and looking gorgeous even without a stitch of ornamentation yet. Hopefully, I won’t have to resort to the guilt trip to get them to decorate it!

Wishing you and yours lovely holiday rituals in whatever way that you celebrate the season.

All the best, Karen

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Holiday Wishes

By Karen DeBolt | 18th Dec 2009 | Filed under Family Rituals, Relationships, Self Care

Here is wishing you and yours a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter.
Well, I don’t know about you, but we are in full swing around here. I have attended 4 out of 5 choir concerts (All three of my kiddos are in choir!)  this season and have been trying to organize the special meals and celebrations to come. I was beginning to feel frazzeled already!I got this message from Rena Hatch who is a Life Coach and truly a maven of self care that really helped me get back into focus on what is important.Check out her message about how her cat inspired her thoughts on self care for the holiday season.  Cats really are pretty wise! :) All the best,

Karen DeBolt, MA
Parent Coach and Family Therapist

Helping families struggling with chaos at home to raise happy, successful children.

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Okay the hat has got to go!

Photo by Delina on Flickr

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No Resolutions, just a burning bowl

By Karen DeBolt | 7th Jan 2008 | Filed under Family Rituals

Burning Bowl CeremonyBurning Bowl CeremonySeveral years ago, my family and I created a family ritual to mark the beginning of a new year. It takes the idea of New Years Resolutions and expands it a bit as well as making it a lot more fun. Here’s what we do:

Items to collect:

2 candles – one dark colored like blue and one white
1 fire proof container – we use a ceramic bowl that one of my kids made, but you can also use an ashtray or anything along those lines.
2 pieces of paper for each person
1 envelope for each person

How to do it:

Light both of the candles to set the mood, then pass out the papers. You write on one piece of paper all the things you would like to let go of in the new year. These can be bad habits or qualities that you would like to change or even bad memories or feelings that you have. Then carefully place the paper in the flame of the dark candle and put it in the fireproof bowl. Watch the paper burn as you imagine releasing the items you wrote on the paper.

Then on the other paper, write what you would like to bring into your life in the next year. Write goals, plans, qualities, and feelings you would like to have. Then place the paper in the envelope with your name. Now gaze at the flame on the white candle and imagine what your life will be like when everything that you have written is yours.

Once everyone has completed the ritual we put the envelopes away in a safe place. We review what we wrote on previous years to see what progress we made or whether we changed our minds about what we actually wanted.

Sometimes we share what was written, but that is completely optional.  This should be a nurturing and loving family ritual not a time for teasing. Dreams can be very fragile sometimes.

I hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think about it!

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