Tips to help achieve harmony in the family business

When family members work together, it often turns into all work and no play. The personal side of the family/business relationship is taken for granted. How can these things be prevented? Remember that if you work in a family firm, most of your interactions with your family involve work. You need to give at least equal time to the personal side to keep communication, trust, love and respect healthy. Here are some tips to help achieve the perfect balance:

1. Take time away from work every day to talk with your family/business partners about something other than work. You might start the morning with coffee and sharing the crossword puzzle.

2. At least quarterly, arrange a retreat for the family firm that involves playing, such as a trip to the mountains to ski.

3. Discuss all problems no matter how small, whether they are work issues or not.

4. Allow for individual differences. Allow members to speak up in disagreement. Just because you are family and work together, does not mean you are all joined at the hip. So make room for new and different opinions and ways of doing things.

5. Hang in there when there is a problem. Don’t give up until you have a solution to the problem that is a winning one for everyone.

6. If things get out of hand, ask for professional help.

For more information about family business, please click on the link.

Tackle the New Year with new priorities and a new attitude

With the New Year right around the corner, January is a wonderful time to build a foundation for the goals you want to accomplish this year. Many throw themselves into new projects come January 1st, but then find that it is difficult to accomplish them. Here are a few tips to help you gain a better understanding of how to make New Year’s Resolutions that actually stick this year.

1. Let the New Year bring self-acceptance.
If you can appreciate who you are, that each and every day you are making a valuable contribution to your community by just doing your everyday thing (not overachieving), then you will have a much more prosperous new year. You will notice your talents more and strengthen them. You will notice your flaws more too, but you can build a plan to correct them.

2. Change your paradigm.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your life, pay attention to what is right. Accept that you can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. Trust that you have the resources within yourself to make the changes you need and want to make.

3. Self-acceptance turns crisis into opportunity.
If you recognize that life is a complex and problem-filled arena designed to assist you on your quest toward wisdom and maturity (just as it is for everyone else), then when you have a problem you’ll face it squarely with full self-acceptance. You’ll dig in, assess, diagnose and search out the meaning. You will use all the strengths at your disposal to create workable solutions. At the end you’ll be a little smarter, a little wiser, a little stronger, a little saner.

I wish you a Happy New Year!

Conquering holiday worries with faith and hope

The winter holidays and the transition to a new year can take worrying to a whole new level. Somehow this time of year brings a mixed blessing even in the best of times. I am confronted with the contradictions in my life such as how to plan for the holidays amid a worsening economy. I alternately look forward to parties and feel guilty for not doing more to help others. I make my gift list at the same time as I wonder if that money should be spent in a more practical way. I want to create a warm and loving holiday celebration for my family, but I worry about what next year will bring to all of us. You have to be careful at this time of year not to get deeply depressed, especially with the current state of affairs in our country and our world. There is just an awful lot to worry about this season.

Today’s crises are no more intense and overwhelming than those humankind has endured for centuries. As a matter of fact do you know what we are celebrating at this time of year? Our year-end holidays celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Thanksgiving is the holiday started by our Pilgrim forebears because they made it through their first harsh year in New England. Chanukah commemorates a miracle that occurred in the war torn country of the ancient Jews. Christmas celebrates the incredibly humble birth of a poor child who inspired a new world religion.

In other words these holidays are a reminder that even at the worst of times, if you have faith and hope you will not only come through hardship but you will be better for it.

Money challenges for parents of autistic children

According to the April 2008 edition of Pediatrics, the annual income of parents with autistic children is 14% less than parents without autistic children. Guillermo Montes, PhD, of the Children’s Institute in Rochester, N.Y and his colleagues write, “The average loss of annual income associated with having a child with autism spectrum disorder was $6,200.” Researchers speculate that part of the reason may be due to the different choices regarding work a parent might have to make. For example, some communities may not have the services available for autism forcing parents to relocate.

As a health care provider in the Pacific Northwest, I am determined to give guidance and direction to parents with autistic children. If you are in need of assistance, please contact my office to set up an appointment.

Here are some additional resources in the Portland/Vancouver area:

http://www.autismsocietyofwa.org/ASWSWC.html

http://www.aspergersnet.org/about.html

http://www.oregonautism.com/index.php?fuseaction=groups.region6

The Link Between Smoking and ADHD

A recent study by Nicotine and Tobacco Research showed that people who suffer from ADHD are more likely to smoke and have a harder time quitting than someone without ADHD symptoms. Smoking provides a type of self-medication due to the release of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is related to attention processes and impulse control.

With this new understanding on smoking cessation and ADHD, physicians will be in a better position to tailor treatments for their patients. For those who desire to be a successful non-smoker, here are two key steps that I recommend to start you off:

First: Change your environment at work and at home so that smoking is not as easy to do.

Second: Recognize that most of your smoking is done to take care of other emotional needs. When you desire a cigarette, ask yourself, “What do I really want instead?” Then take care of the real need.

For more encouragement to stop smoking, click on the link for more information.