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Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A Defining Role in Parenting

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Q: How do you draw the line and define the roles in parenting. Often moms spend more time with the children than dad. We take them to doctor appointments, playdates, we handle their schedules and discipline more often. Usually it is because we are with them more. How do you handle it when the husband has different ideas on parenting and takes the approach, “Well, I’m their dad”? What language should I use instead of saying, “I know them best?” How do you resolve the tug-of-war?

A: The context of a parental discussion is to be considered when making decisions that are best for the children. I would ask myself why my husband might feel the need to pull the “I’m the dad” card. I think this is the bigger question. Does the husband feel the wife has an alliance with the children and he feels like an outsider? Is he trying to stake his claim as a leader of the family? The wife needs to consider the cost vs. benefit of including her husband in decisions, especially if he is trying to step up and become more involved in the decision-making process. If the mom is with the children more than dad, then there is no doubt the mom has had opportunities to make child-rearing mistakes AND learn from them. Has the dad been given these same opportunities to bond with his children, make mistakes with his children and grow and learn? I would also ask if letting your children follow dad’s lead when he is with them, as opposed to correcting your husband, even if there might be a better way, could be viewed as teaching your children disrespect for their father. Witnessing the battle between two parents can be damaging. A husband and wife need to create a unified front when the children are around. Wisdom becomes your friend as you seek an appropriate time to discuss options with your spouse. If the husband can see his wife as his partner, someone that is for him and not against him, he will welcome her input. But if the wife is acting out of a heart filled with hurt, or a place of arrogance because she feels she knows better, the issue will not be resolved by telling the husband he is not needed as a decision maker. This will only serve to divide the couple, which, ultimately, hurts the child. Parents that are united, even when mistakes are made, create healthier examples for children than parents that are divided, even if the “right” decision won out. And making a mistake as parents, united, also affords you both the opportunity to show your children you are not perfect, correct your mistake and ask their forgiveness. This teaches a child to have a forgiving heart (assuming the mistake was something the child even notices). We make mistakes, we say we are sorry, we forgive. As parents, stay united, and have discussions on parenting, when possible, in private.


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com