Therapist couple gives tips on building strong family ties

Don and Deb MacMannis Credit: Provided
Don and Deb MacMannis
Credit: Provided

Parents might often feel they are running a daily gauntlet, from backpacks and breakfast in the morning to bedtime tuck-ins. But every now and again, parents should take a few minutes to check in with each other and their children.

One therapist couple, Don and Debra MacMannis, have 10 tips in a new book they say are needed to create lasting bonds called “How’s Your Family Really Doing?”

Don, a child psychologist who also writes music for children, says the book was inspired after 35 years of families reaching out for help, often asking the same questions.

The couple gave Metro some advice on how families can form stronger ties, starting with taking time to connect:

1. Catch moments in between — like driving in the car, eating a snack, walking the dog — to share thoughts and feelings with your loved ones.

2. Too many parents give all the love and attention to the kids. Make a conscious decision to be more affectionate with your partner. Remember the early days of courtship when you held hands, kissed and hugged hello and goodbye (and then some), shared back rubs or cuddled up on the couch? Do that again.

3. Deeply listening to one another can be a profound way to reconnect if distance has crept between you. If you are the listener, make eye contact, take deep breaths to keep yourself calm, centered and quiet, and remember not to give unsolicited advice.

4. Words and gestures can also be affectionate. We obviously feel more loved when complimented rather than criticized. Use pet names like sweetheart or honey, and don’t forget to say the precious words “I love you.”

5. Use voicemail, email or texts to send your love or to check in on how your partner’s day is going. Even little gestures help us feel loved.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.