A comedian once said that children are like the paparazzi – they’re always watching. It’s so true.

Children learn much more from our actions than our words. And yet, somehow we continue to convince ourselves, despite all evidence to the contrary, that what we say to our kids matters more than what we do.

Don’t get me wrong.

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

When we notice that some aspect of our life is truly out of control, we are likely to have one of three responses: we can take back the reins, we can stay the course (with some degree of denial), or we can surrender to the inevitable.

Most of us want to believe we’d take control. I suspect many of us fear – like me – that we’d surrender all too quickly. (One of my greatest fears, actually, is that I’m basically a chicken at heart.) In truth, the most common response is to stay the course, often with a healthy dose of denial.

I have seen true bravery in my life. I’ve watched my child withstand outrageous medical procedures with hardly a word or a tear (from her – I’ve cri

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

It was one of those phone calls you never want to get.  You know, the one that sounds so absurd you think the caller must be joking – only to find out that they are serious as a heart attack.

My eight-year-old was home with a friend and a baby-sitter. I was chaperoning a Junior High skating party with 47 teenagers. I moved to a quieter spot, held my finger to my open ear to block out the pounding beat of the music, and asked her to repeat herself – certainly I’d heard her wrong.  But the anxiety in her voice was evident, and the message was clear.  The sitter repeated, “he was hit by a tree—on his head.”

Stop.  Breathe. Think. THIS was going to take serious self-management.

First I was calm, asking questions, taking action: calling a friend to get over to the house quickly, finding my husband, talking to my son

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

My grandfather was a youthful old man well into his 90’s. He enjoyed his hamburgers and milkshakes as much as his season tickets to the opera and the theater. He lived a playful life, rich with gratitude and love. He was, truly, a blessed old man who never really felt old.

Until the age of 94, when everything changed: my grandfather had a stroke.

On that fateful late night drive to the hospital, I tried to calm myself:  “Oh God, please, don’t let him be trapped inside his body.” That’s the thing when you hear the word “stroke.” You just never know how severe it is, and the spectrum of possibilities is enormous. I couldn’t get there soon enough to assess the extent of the damage. I was trying everything I could not to “awfulize” my sense of his worst case scenario – that his brain would be intact, incarcerated in a body he could no longer control.

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

Twenty years ago, a rabbi’s eulogy for my grandmother taught me something so profound that it lives with me still: “Most people,” he said, “die in one of two ways: from the feet up, or from the head down.”

Each scenario carries with it distinct challenges for coping, both for the dying, and for the loved ones charged with watching, witnessing and supporting the degenerative process. Personally, given the choice, I’d prefer to die from the feet up.

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

Like snowflakes, no two children are the same, nor do they have the same needs. As parents, we spend a lifetime – our children’s lifetime – identifying and anticipating a child’s needs and meeting them as best we can.

When a child is identified with “special” needs, that effort becomes more complicated. Not only must we attain a certain medical expertise in order to identify what is required to meet the needs of our child, but then, we have to figure out how to do it, regardless of how extraordinary those needs may be. 

Because this is our child, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to make life work for him/her.

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

I have participated in one intervention in my life. It was sad and uplifting, and I recall the simultaneous feelings of power and powerlessness. Happily, my very dear friend has defied the odds to date.  He has been ‘clean’ for quite some time now.  
But let me tell you, there were a lot of years in there that were touch and go, to say the least. It felt very much like I had lost my old friend. He was immersed in a world that had nothing good to offer him, and was daily robbing him of anything worth living for.
Addictions like that don’t happen in a vacuum.  For him, there were clear life circumstances that led to loneliness and depression, loss and disillusion.  From my perspective, he started to use drugs and sex to feel something – anything – that would replace an inner hopelessness.  It started as a misguided way of seeking stimulation and spiraled out of control.
When a small group of us recognized that our friend was in serious trouble, we joined forces to intervene—but in truth, we had no idea what we were doing.  We

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

I am a perfectionist in recovery.

There are no 12 steps in my program. Founded on the premise that failure is as excellent a teacher as success, my program was developed while surviving the challenges of parenting a particularly complex child.

I was raised as part of the achievement elite, with Ivy-League-style expectations whispered into my crib and limited tolerance for all that was

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

Hyper-vigilance is exhausting.  It’s got that double-whammy combination of physical and emotional stress that is durable over the short-term, but unsustainable for the long haul.  The body can only stay on high-alert for so long, without a rest, before the stress begins to take its toll.  It is the lot of the modern-day caregiver.

At the mention of the term “caregiver,” our thoughts generally go to the management of those with chronic or terminal medical conditions. Our mind’s eye tends to leave the community of everyday life, and travel to a remote world of isolation that is relentless in its ongo

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

I have a black dog named Kat. She is one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever known. Her formal name (every dog should have a formal name) is Meer-Kat-Rina -- because she looks like a meerkat and was rescued from Hurricane Katrina. She answers to the names of Kat, Kit-Kat, and sometimes Kitty Kat, and leaps at the sound of a leash, tennis shoes or the opening of the refrigerator.

When I met

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

Search ShareWIK



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Enter email below to receive our free eNewsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust


Latest Columns

The Grass Is Greener Right Here
With her trademark wisdom, humor and honesty, Diana Keough provides a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.

Ben KaminSpirit Behind the News
Ben Kamin is one of America's best-known rabbis, a multi-cultural spiritualist, New York Times Op-ed contributor, national columnist, and the author of seven books on human values. His kids, however, are not that impressed.

I Kid You Not
With a self-deprecating sense of humor, a dash of Midwest sarcasm, and candid honesty, award-winning freelance writer Kristine muses on life in a chaotic household. Spoiler Alert: her teen, tweens and dog don’t find her even mildly amusing.

Susanne KatzSecond Life
After divorce, a death, a mid-life crisis, or just growing up and changing, baby boomers are learning to reinvent themselves, have fun and find satisfaction. Look out kids…it’s a new world out there!
Class Notes: Special Needs
Learn from the journey of Jacque Digieso who was given a challenge and a blessing with her son, who has special needs.

What's Eating You?
Dina Zeckhausen, Ph.D. on food, weight, body image and raising resilient kids.

Steve Powell
Steve is an experienced facilitator, practitioner, communicator and proven leader with over 25-years in experience in human factors education and teamwork training.
Living On Purpose
Elaine Taylor-Klaus, teaches how to make life extraordinary.
Dale Kuehne explores developing a world where relationships come first, and recognizes that individual health and fulfillment is connected to the quality of our relationships.
Teacher Feature
School teacher Margaret Anderson will provide insight into what really happens with your child in the classroom.
The Power of Grief
Diane Snyder Cowan specializes in grief therapy to help those in need deal with loss.
Jan Jaben-Eilon Cancer is Not Me and I Am Not My Cancer
My name is Jan Jaben-Eilon and I am an ovarian cancer survivor. I don’t like the expression, battling with cancer. I am living my life as fully and passionately as possible, despite the cancer. Cancer is NOT my identity.

Latest Activity

posted a new blog entry Are You Up for the Job of Caregiver?.
4 years ago
posted a new blog entry When does Sex End?.
4 years ago
posted a new blog entry Obesity brings on a variety of health issues.
4 years ago
posted a new blog entry Getting the marriage license.
4 years ago
posted a new blog entry Praying for Theo.
4 years ago