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The weather is crazy and we’re all adapting to the time change. Holidays are coming, and there are a jillion things to do. There’s a stomach virus going around that if we haven’t gotten yet, there’s a good chance we’re going to get it. WHOA! This is the time of your life that many people consider to be the best of their lives, the time when their children were little. So why don’t you feel the best you’ve ever felt? Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. We get so focused on the downers that we forget all the great things in our lives. It’s like making a 93 on the test and focusing on the 7 we missed. In those 93 right things are things your children will remember about their happy childhoods. Here are some tips from Marge Kennedy’s book 100 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Family Together.

• Let your child overhear your bragging about him. A direct compliment feels good, but a brag on the telephone or to your neighbor that he overhears really has a special place.

• Record a day in your family’s life. Take snapshots, collect souvenirs, write down a quote from one of you, and put it all in a scrapbook on a page labeled “The Jones Family on August 20, 2017”.

• Start a family foundation. Everybody put their loose change in a jar and ever so often chose a charity to which you can donate the money.

• Adopt a neighbor. There’s no way to judge the impact senseless acts of kindness have on people. It’s also a great role model for your children. You’ll find they will do the same thing to you eventually.

• Take a leisurely stroll. Pick a regular time of the week for a stroll with your kid (without the cell phone). Walking can put you in touch with your surroundings, especially with a young child. Conversation will be uninterrupted, and as a special touch, walking naturally encourages hand holding.

• Share potluck with another family. An occasional evening with another family adds spice to a simple meal. In your home or at a park, it helps to hear about others in similar situations to yours.

• Play hooky with your kids. The earth will not stop revolving if one morning you go to the park instead of to work, or one afternoon you go to a movie. Done infrequently, this slacking off can pay big dividends. There have been families who make it a tradition, like on the first day of fall.

There’s so much for us to celebrate. Like Thoreau, I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find I haven’t lived at all. Seize today