Feeling left out, or even being ignored, isn’t a fun experience. It feels childish, and can be hurtful.

Ostracism or exclusion have been studied for decades. While the silent treatment may not leave physical scars it can cause pain that is deeper and lasts longer than physical injury.

Being ostracized is an invisible form of bullying but because it doesn’t leave bruises we often underestimate its impact. Being excluded by a social group, office colleagues, extended family and especially by a spouse can be excruciating!
Why is ostracism so painful?
Because it threatens our fundamental needs as human beings of belonging and esteem.

And even being ignored or ostracized by a stranger has damaging effects?
Research has found again and again that strong, harmful reactions to ostracism are possible even by a stranger.
Purdue studied 5,000 people via a computer game to show how just 2 or 3 minutes of ostracism by strangers can produce lingering negative feelings. Continue Reading…


We put out a poll on Facebook asking viewers if they sleep in a separate bedroom from their spouse. Most don’t, but some couples do sleep in different beds.


Every family has their bedtime routine. Jammies, brush teeth, bedtime story, or whatever works in your house.

Your children’s bedtime isn’t just the transition from daytime to nighttime. It’s a sacred window that’s perfect for deepening your connection.
Plus, when you and your kiddos know what to expect each night you will both be able to fall asleep more easily and avoid the roller coaster of sleep-related drama.
Ben and I have a GREAT respect for parents and their kiddos’ bedtime routines. At our recent sleepover with our nieces and nephew, 7, 5 and 3-year old twins, we saw first-hand just how tricky it can be. Before bed, do you wear them out and have them jump and dance all over the room? Or do you dim the lights and softened the music so they start to relax? Different things work for different children, it seems. My goal was to just make sure that everyone was alive and unharmed until their parents’ arrival. Nothing impressive. (Maybe the pictures will work during this intro? There’s a video clip, too, if we could find it together.) Continue Reading…


More and more millennials are putting off marriage until later in life. A big influence on these young adults’ view on marriage is your own example.


The whole family is together on Thanksgiving, so creating deeper connections is an important part of the day.

Thanksgiving dinner constitutes a lot of different scenarios: small groups, large group, in-home, at a restaurant, in-laws, out-laws, no laws. The questions posed to each other can change according to the dynamics of the people around the table.

What do we hope to gain from asking and answering certain questions of each other? Closeness.

We often say there’s strength in numbers; I believe there’s strength in knowledge. Around the table this Thanksgiving decide ahead of time what outcome you’d like to achieve as you pass questions randomly around to your guests or even write one unique question for each guest’s individual name card.

How Well Do Others See Me? (especially my child)

Let’s start with our children. Earlier this year there was a popular post on Facebook encouraging a parent to sit down with their child and ask them 14 specific questions, and then repost the answers along with the child’s name and age.

So instead of the parent asking questions to the child about that child, the parent asks questions to the child about that parent.

The answers were tender and endearing. Here are some of the questions

  • What is something I always say to you?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What makes me sad?
  • How do I make you laugh?
  • What is your favorite thing about our relationship?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What is something I’m NOT good at?
  • What do you enjoy doing with me?

Continue Reading…