Jennifer M. Rodriguez - Family and Relationship Coach
Positively Jen

Step-Father's Day

Yesterday Jason and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary.  We have been engaged for a little less than a year, now; and he has had MANY opportunities to step into a father role with my daughters.  In fact, they are "our" daughters, because he has completely fallen for them in the best of ways!  Jason volunteers at the girls' schools, helps with homework, coaches them on the proper way to wash dishes, and enjoys teaching them the fine art of StarWars watching. 

Happy Father's Day

Originally Posted on Franny's House on Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:29 PM 
In the spirit of Father's Day Weekend, I want to share some personal stories about my experiences with my own dad.  
My dad loves to go boating.  I grew up in Houston so we had access to several lakes, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.  When my brother Brandon and I were teenagers, Dad took Mom and us out fishing on Galveston Bay.  The boat was stopped and we were drifting in the middle of the open water.

My Mother's Day Wish

Dear Children,
Jennifer and her daughters Francesca (left) and Alexandra (right) in 2005
Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I know you have something up your sleeve for me; but let me take this opportunity to tell you what I TRULY want to celebrate tomorrow.

I want to kiss the top of your head and smell your hair because it reminds me of when you were a baby cuddled in my arms. You might be taller than me now, and I can't reach your head without a step-ladder, so please bend down when you hug me.

I want to see your smiling face as you share your hopes and dreams with me--they are so much more than I imagined possible, and if anyone can do it, you can!

Squishing Away Stress: Recipes for edible clay

Forming shapes out of clay is not only a fun way to help squish out stress and worry, now it can be a fun snack!  This recipe uses peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey to form a dough.  Because the dough contains peanut butter and honey, it is not suited for children under the age of 1 year.    The following recipe can be divided among 4-6 children, or dough can be stored in the refrigerator and separated into single servings as needed.  

Peanut Butter Play Dough (edible)

Teachable Moments

Originally Posted by Franny's House on Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:32 PM

There are so many examples in today's society of how people let their emotions get out of control, and the consequences of impulsive acting out.  We were able to see that firsthand this week at the Sac State vs. Idaho State men's basketball game. 

I took the girls and one of my friends to see the game, and we had great seats right behind the scorekeeper's table.  Alex is trying out for the 5th grade basketball team next week, so she was really paying attention to the rules and what the refs were calling out.

Superman (It's Not Easy)

Hello Dear Readers,
 
Today I want to share Five For Fighting's song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" because they are performing at a benefit concert tonight atBaylor University'sFerrell Center in Waco, TX.  The concert is free, and it will benefit the residents of West, Texas as they deal with the aftermath of an explosion at a fertilizer plant from earlier in the week. 
 
Baylor University is just a few miles south of West, and several alumni, faculty, and students live in West.

Balancing your child's exposure to conflict

Originally Posted on Franny's House on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:37 PM

We know it is unhealthy to raise a child in a home where there is a lot of conflict.  (Duh Jen!)  But have you ever asked yourself how a child raised in a home with no conflict would act?  Would that child ever learn to compromise?  To problem solve?  To get along well with others?  I believe children should be exposed to some controlled conflict so that they learn social skills vital to building relationships with friends and family.

Just for fun: When the rain pours down, splash in the puddles!

Originally Posted on Franny's House on Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:13 AM

Check out this adorablevideo of a juvenile elk frolicking in a mud puddle.  When is the last time you were light hearted and free like this?  When is the last time your kids romped and played like this? 

BTW, this video was shot by David Neils and you can see more of his work at http://www.offthepavement.orgSpecial thanks to my wildlife loving father for bringing this to my attention!  Thanks Dad!

Words will never hurt me--or will they?

Originally Posted on Franny's House on Sunday, August 28, 2011 3:03 PM

The hippocampus is the area in the brain where a great deal of learning occurs. (National Geographic, Stanford 2008)  Bruce McEwan and Robert Sapolsky studied the result of chronic stress on the neurons in the hippocampus in a group of rats. (National Geographic, Stanford 2008)  In their study, the neurons of the chronically stressed rats were significantly smaller and with fewer dendrite branches than the neurons of the normal rats.

Wonder

Hello Dear Readers!

Natalie Merchant is simply beautiful. Her appearance, her clothes, her voice—are understated and natural, and beautiful. I really enjoy her song “Wonder” because it helps me to imagine what it would truly be like to be famous and subjected to the opinions of so many others, including people who really have no idea who you are at the core. It also helps me to understand how strong a celebrity’s personal boundaries must be so that they can be tough enough to keep out unwanted influences.