Broken Families Still Deserve Holiday Cheer!

Posted in: Better You, Holidays, Parenting, Relationships, stress

The weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day are the busiest time of the year for everyone. But for us single moms, the holiday season poses extra challenges.

If your family has gone through a divorce or the death of a parent, the holidays are when raw emotions and feelings of loss can hit the hardest. You’re worn out from shopping for gifts, decorating your house, and shuffling kids between in-laws. You’re financially stressed because the burden of your children’s expectations lies solely on you.

One single mom, Nancy, even felt “holiday cursed.” Check out her e-mail:

Dear Julia, I’ve always dreaded the holidays since my dad left us at Christmas when I was a little girl. Last year, my husband asked for a divorce during the holidays, and now we are divorced. I’m handling this OK, but I’m afraid that my eight-year-old daughter is not doing as well… Are we ‘holiday cursed?’  How can I reverse our luck and make the holidays cheery for my daughter? Help! —Nancy

On today’s show, mental health and parenting expert, and frequent Fox News commentator Dr. Karen Ruskin PsyD, LMFT, answers Nancy’s SOS call—and offers holiday solutions for stressed-out mommies.

Listen In. Blessings!


with Dr. Karen Ruskin PsyD, LMFT, – mental health and parenting expert

“Changes in families call for changes in traditions—into new, better ones,” explains Dr. Karen. By following her three-step plan, you can make those changes, and create new holiday memories!

Dr. Karen also offers insights into

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Parenting: Why Manners Matter

Posted in: Parenting

Let’s talk about manners and kids: single mother reader, Nancy, wrote to me and asked if teaching manners was “worth all the effort.”  

Her letter got me curious. We are definitely a less formal society than in the past so I wanted to check out if etiquette protocols are yesterday’s news.

I interviewed etiquette specialist Irma Vorbeck and recorded this week’s show, (listen here) and I now believe that “etiquette” isn’t outdated; rather, it’s an old-fashioned word for very important and necessary today skills!  Modern day etiquette professionals don’t talk about holding a tea cup properly but treating your neighbor respectfully, being a good sport, having empathy and living by the Golden Rule.

Listen to today show and see if you don’t realize it too–that if we take the time to teach and reinforce (and reinforce, and reinforce) the best way to treat others, to eat in polite way (that doesn’t gross others out!), to conduct oneself with a certain kind of refinement– our children won’t be limited in life by his social and people skills–which is what etiquette is really all about.  Read the show description below, and listen in as I also share my family secret to getting my son to have good table manners!  – Love, Julia ***


Progressive private schools across the country are adding etiquette to their curriculum. Good Morning America is airing features on teaching etiquette to children. But one single mom has asked me if it’s worth the effort. “Is it really important?” she said. “Is it worth the daily struggle and endless corrections it takes to teach good manners?”

Today’s guest, etiquette consultant and columnist Irma Vorbeck, answers YES. She explains, “Etiquette is the glue that holds a child’s education together. Without it, your children will flounder.”

Strong words indeed—but words Irma backs up with history. George Washington, for example, overcame his humble background (including being raised by a single mother) through superb etiquette. (His 110 Rules of Conduct are listed here:

However, we’ll get current, too. On today’s show we’ll touch upon the challenges of teaching manners and the reasons they’re just as important now as in the past. Besides giving children increased self-confidence and social poise, etiquette will help them build constructive friendships. “Like attracts like,” and if you take the time to teach your children to respect others, they won’t choose friends who are disrespectful.

But you don’t have to go it alone. For the busy single mom, Irma suggests enrolling children in a local etiquette program. And program host Julia describes the totally silly, but effective, game she invented that resulted in perfect table manners for her son. (No kidding!)

You’ll also discover how etiquette rules go way beyond saying “please” and “thank you” and using your fork properly. Etiquette is the foundation of how people relate to each other, and your children can’t be truly successful without it.

Tune in! Leave your comments below.


Scientific Proof That Your Child Is a Genius

Posted in: Featured, Parenting

(28 comments)  Hey Single Moms & Friends, 

Do you consider your child a genius? In most school systems, only a handful of kids are chosen for gifted-and-talented programs. If your child isn’t selected (as most aren’t) does this mean that he or she isn’t gifted?

Today’s guest, international educator Paul Scheele, answers with an emphatic “No!” And he cites the latest scientific brain research to prove why. “Your child,” says Paul, “absolutely is a genius.”

As parents, this revelation can spur the single most important gift we can give our children: to help them recognize and live in their “genius zone.”

In this show, you’ll learn

  • ·      how to identify your children’s unique brand of genius
  • ·      how to encourage their genius potential, even if they’re struggling in school
  • ·      why schools may not be teaching to your kids’ learning preference, and what to do about it
  • ·      how parents and educators inadvertently “de-genius” children

You’ll also hear stories of how kids get “wounded” in school and come to  incorrect conclusions like “I’m not smart. I’m not good at math. I’m not…”—conclusions that can limit them for the rest of their lives. Change those conclusions, and help your kids live lives of genius!

Were you ever wounded in school? Was this show useful? Leave a comment.



The epidemic of ADHD/ADD in kids and what’s GOOD about it!

Posted in: Health, Parenting


Hello Single Moms & Friends,

This week’s show is all about considering what’s GOOD about our children’s challenges–even the acute ones. Before you get a pitch fork out, consider the metaphor of the butterfly.

  A Butterfly’s Journey

There was once a woman who while gardening noticed a caterpillars’ cocoon, and the butterfly that was trying to emerge. There was a tiny crack and this butterfly was fighting to open it. For hours she watched it struggle and struggle to work its way through the crack. After a long while it seemed to stop. It had expended all it’s energy and couldn’t do any more.

So the loving and caring woman thought “Let me help.” She carefully took a tiny garden tool and gently cracked open the opening a bit further so the butterfly could emerge. Sure enough, it worked and the butterfly came sliding out and landed on the ground. 
It was all curled up and she waited expectantly for it to open its wings and fly, except it never did. It remained a withered creature for the rest of its life. What this woman discovered later was this: cracking open the cocoon is nature’s way of moving fluid from the butterfly’s body to its wing. The struggle was necessary and divine for the butterfly to build the strength to some day fly on its own.

When you’re tempted to think that your children’s challenges are nothing but negative, consider the Butterfly’s Journey and whether there is some purpose to it all. You’ll see what I mean when you listen to this weeks show.




The Epidemic of ADHD/ADD in kids

and what’s GOOD about it! 

with ADHD/ADD coach and specialist, Laurie Dupar 

What could possibly be good about ADHD/ADD? Google “ADHD” and you’ll get 62 million hits of symptoms, medications, and side effects. You’ll find a long list of everything that’s wrong—all the ways ADHD/ADD children aredeficient, how they fail to, how they are less than, and what they can’t do—and very few sites or experts who say anything positive. But there is one.

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Planting Self-Esteem Seeds That Sprout Happy, Powerful People

Posted in: Parenting

(21 comments)  Hey there, Single Mom peeps! I’m improving things over here. Going forward, I’ll be bringing you both a great weekly radio show with a show description, and—also on this websitea short personal blog post on the same topic. This way, you and I can connect more… better… truer. Make sure you click the RSS button to automatically receive your weekly postings. (And pssssttt… tell a friend!)

Here’s today’s blog post:
This video filled my eyes with tears. It’s tough. It’s true.

I’ve posted this video because it relates to self-esteem—our topic this week on Single Mom Talk Radio. The reason why it relates is that the key to teaching our kids self-esteem is having great self-esteem ourselves. Children will build their self-image based on ours.

It’s painful to look in the mirror. Each of us single moms has a messy story to tell. My mommy journey was one of abandonment and loss (see my bio). If I were to tell you that my self-esteem wasn’t devastated when my son’s father left me to birth and raise a child on my own, I’d be lying.

I survived because new and old friends rallied around me. Through writing the If I Were Your Daddy… book, through many personal development programs, and through the grace of God, I rebuilt my self-image and self-esteem stronger than before. But this process took years. (And lots of European chocolate.)

Check out today’s radio show and take notes on the insights shared. (I’ve listened to it twice already!) Our guest, Dr. Joe Rubino, also offers a self-esteem building program, helpful because it’s not about hearing something once. It’s about creating the habits that are going to build rock-solid, personally powerful people: us and our children.

Whether you get Dr. Rubino’s program or another one, building self-esteem can be a priceless education—worth investing our time to master and pass on to our children.




with Dr. Joe Rubino – author of more than twelve self-esteem books and audio programs

Self-esteem seeds are being planted in our children everyday, just as they were planted in us when we were young. It’s human nature to fill in the gaps and give meaning to our lives. As a result, children often generalize events in an attempt to both understand and avoid unpleasant experiences. A girl who did poorly on a math test may conclude, “I’m not very smart.” A boy who gets teased in class may conclude, “People don’t like me. It’s better if I don’t speak up.” The effects of such conclusions are disastrous. Left unchecked, they can lead to tragedy. More commonly they show up in disguise, as endless struggle.

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Finding the Right Person to Leave Your Child With

Posted in: Parenting

(43 comments)  Click to “Listen to this Radio Show”
with Candi Wingate, award-winning and nationally recognized child care expert and founder of three of the world’s largest online nanny databases.

For a single mom, finding loving, responsible child care isn’t just a wish—it’s a necessity. When you have to be away, how do you trust the person you’re leaving your children with? What questions must you ask a potential nanny? Should you spy on her with a nanny cam? How can you turn good sitters into excellent ones?

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