It's no secret, that when your kids are happy you are happy. I hear this in therapy all the time, 'I just want my kids to be happy.' Your kids can be happy, but you can't expect them to be happy all the time. As human beings we have a variety of feelings: anger, sadness and happiness to name a few. One of the first steps is letting your kids know they don't have to be happy all the time, and give them permission to express other emotions. 

Children learn by example. If you only show happiness to your child then they will think they need to be happy all the time. It's alright to express other feelings to your children or around your children. A lot of mother's out there will say things like, 'Your father will not hear about this, we don't want to upset him.' What message are you sending your child when you say that? The message is that dad must be happy all the time, that is a lot of pressure for everyone. When dad comes home fill him in on the day, whether it's good or bad. 

Here are five tips that will make you a better listener with you kids:

  1. Get happy yourself. As a parent it's easy to want to please your children and make…

Read more: How To Stop Yelling And Start Listening To Your Kids

Entering a relationship, is like starting a long term investment for retirement. That is, if you're in it for the long haul and would like to have a nice retirement. It's no secret that relationships have highs and lows. What's important is that you repair after the lows. 


You build a good relationship over time. It's the small deposits that make a big difference over a long period of time. If you aren't making a lot of small deposits, then making one big deposit won't make a bit of difference. It may actually hurt your relationship in the long run.


If you make too many withdrawals, you will end up overdrawn which can cause the relationship to end. This doesn't mean you count. Counting is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship. This means you make genuine deposits into your relationship, and take a genuine interest in your partner. Here are five simple investments you can make everyday:

  1. Kiss, Kiss, Kiss. This is very simple but it's easy to get away from when you are in a long term relationship. Kiss for at least six and a half seconds, twice a day. This is not a long time. When you kiss for six and a half seconds, things in the brain begin to change. Prepare for the kiss like you did in the beginning.…

Read more: 5 Simple Investments You Can Make In Your Relationship Everyday



First of all there is nothing wrong with being single in your 40's. Whether your single because you are divorced or you have never married, you're not alone. There are more single people than ever these days. I know many great people who are single in their 40's. They are doing things they never imagined they would do in their 20's.

There is also nothing wrong with wanting or needing to be in a relationship, in your 40's. I'm actually glad that you do. As humans we are designed to need other people. This is the normal process of life. If you are single, this is a great time to get to know yourself better. You can try new things, and even travel to new places.

One of the first things you need to do is to stop criticizing yourself for being single. You also need to stop comparing yourself to all of your married friends. This is easy to do. But, the good news is you can stop. Here are seven reasons to start a relationship in your 40's:

  1. Men and women in their 40's are generally more self-assured. They know what they want, and they aren't afraid to ask for it. I think this is one of the best parts. You don't have to pretend anymore. You aren't scared if things don't work out. You…

Read more: 7 Reasons Why You Should Start A Relationship In Your 40's

Self-care is the big buzz word these days. But, what does it mean to really take care of yourself? There are so many other things that you need to do. The children need help with homework, the laundry is piling up, or you have a million calls to make at the office. Does this leave time for you?

I've found some of the simplest forms of self-care are the best. One of my favorites is my time in the morning, having a cup of coffee with my kitty sitting on my lap purring.  All I have to do is pet her. Despite what people say, kitties are great pets. They are actually loyal and there are many times my kitty greets me at the door. 

Here are 10 simple tips to take care of yourself:

  1. Go easy on yourself. I say this to many of my clients. Why is it that we are so hard on ourselves? I can't believe the things people tell themselves. If they said this to others, people would think they are crazy or they would hate them. 
  2. Focus on your strengths. We tend to do the opposite. We all have are strengths and our weaknesses. And, that's alright. Nobody is perfect. Make a list of ten of your strengths. Ten is not a big number. Start today, and then tell others…

Read more: 10 Simple Tips To Take Care Of Yourself

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you aren't alone. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illness' in the United States. 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. This is 18% of the population.

If you have an anxiety disorder, you know it's no fun. Constantly in a state of worry or even fear. It's not that unusual to feel anxious before an exam or a big project at work. But, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you know the anxiety doesn't go away.

Maybe, you've already seen a Psychiatrist and have tried medication. Or, you've seen a therapist and have tried to talk about it. There are also many helpful workbooks and websites. I find a combination of all of these can help. You can also add some self-care to the formula. Here are seven tips to help take care of yourself when you have anxiety:

  1. Try shifting your focus. Get up and go for a walk. The fresh air will help clear your mind. Take a good look at your surroundings. If there are flowers around, stop and look at them. Notice all the details of the flower. This will help take your mind off what you are having anxiety about.
  2. Keep a journal. Start to take note of what is happening when you…

Read more: How To Take Care Of Yourself When You Have Anxiety

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94404

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